Is there meaning in chaos?

Just recently, it seems like everywhere I look, people are trying to give meaning to current events. ‘It’s a plague on humanity, punishment for some collective crime’, we are told by some. It’s a plague sent by God to punish us for some other collective sin’, say others. Frankly, I grow weary of all of this. Did anyone stop and think that perhaps we live in a chaotic system and this is what chaotic looks like? Does there have to be a reason for these events? Does there have to be a super power or deity behind them? And, if there was a deity or intelligence behind these events – what meaning would that have? Surely, to us, it would be chaotic and unknowable? Why do we even ask these questions? Surely, the meaning people seek isn’t to be found in the chaos at all but in how we react to it?

I do happen to believe that all is One Thing and interconnected. There is even something of a model for this and its called the Tree of life. The tree exists with three pillars – severity, mercy and balance. I consider that one must always try to seek the balance, but that may be another post. The fact is that this model – the tree of life – it has dualities (in fact there are at least 3 polarities – see The Mystical Hexagram) – but let us look at Geburah and Chesed in particular as it is instructional. In any closed system like the Tree, there must be a mechanism for destruction and it is found on the pillar of severity at Geburah. I like how this website describes Geburah,

This is the sphere of Severity. It is most singular in its purity. Like a Shire horse at work, it is blinkered and intent upon its path. This nature of evil is revealed here, in adversity and temptation; the Great War rages.

Whereas Chesed is described by the same website as follows,

This is the sphere of Mercy and Majesty. Here is the perfected nature of governance, and the highest God known to man. Compassion, cooperation and consensus are here. In the number four the power of earth is revealed, though the sphere is given to water for its passive and receptive qualities.


These statements remind me of how some commentators see the current situation. There are those who see the deaths as just old people dying who would have died anyway – no big human tragedy and certainly not worthy of threatening the whole of humanity via a depression (Geburic) versus those who mourn every lost precious life and see a tragedy beyond its true reality (Chesedic). I try to approach the problem in as balanced a way as I am capable. The fact is that, in this system, Geburah fulfills a very necessary function. We can call it evil because it looks that way to us but maybe it is the tough love that is sometimes needed to improve the whole. What is evil anyway?

There is an aspect of evil that is relative to our perspective and the story “Moses meets his master Melchizedek” (Comte de Gabalis, Discourse II Commentary) gives a very good taste of this. In the story, Moses asks to follow Melchizedek who readily agrees though says that if he is questioned by Moses, he must go. On the walk, Melchizedek does several things that Moses does indeed question as they seem to him to be evil acts. Melchizedek chides Moses and sends him away after explaining the higher purpose behind each of his acts. We often see creation as order and chaos and the battle between them. But who is to say what is chaos and what is order?

So, it annoys me to see people descending to simple superstition and seeing a punishment by God, Goddess or whatever, in the events we see around us. I’d rather see it as the ongoing order and chaos dichotomy – as an example of how the system works as seen in Geburah and Chesed. It may well have divine origins, but it is not punishment though there may well be a lot of karma worked out. It is a trial, a tribulation designed to have each and everyone of us reflect and learn. It is an opportunity to grow spiritually – not as seen by the tedious political nonsense of today in arguments about ideology (climate change and the like) – but in terms of the whole system resetting itself.

I often see the outer world as a reflection of the inner self. When the outer world is chaotic, should it not perhaps cause us to ponder a little on how our internal spiritual make up is? In reflecting a bit on what the current situation, and a reset, may mean to us, we should be strive to find inner peace and balance. Perhaps in doing so, we will help to restore peace and balance in the world? We might see the current scene as an opportunity for spiritual growth. A lesson yes, but not one taught by a harsh and angry God/Goddess. No –  more like a bit of tough love.

Again, there are those who write of magnificent outcomes. New worlds and new orders and a lot of other such nonsense. Again, isn’t this just man trying to imagine being God and projecting self onto deity and the unknowable? The One Thing isn’t out for revenge and the outcome is actually likely to be more of the same, but slightly different. It is likely to be a bit less fluffy and a bit more focused on the realities of living. And a few might have experienced a bit of a wake up call along the way about what is truly of value. This will be of a personal nature to them, but I do suspect many will discover that things they had thought important never were and some things they took for granted were as precious as gold.

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