Chaos, from the Greek khaos, entertains two meanings pertaining to physics:
- Behavior so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions (i.e., chaos theory).
- The primordial, formless matter that existed prior to the creation of the universe.
A creative person has a mind that tends to be chaotic (in the first sense of the word). To him, finding connections between different things is second nature. As a new idea is introduced to him, it integrates with his inner “matrix” (a complex model of the outside world intermigled with his inner experience), effectively becoming a new node in his multifaceted network. A simple but profound idea can be a tsunami that washes over his entire matrix. Hence, he can have thoughts “so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in” what he perceives.
The primordial, formless matter that gave rise to existence is synonymous with the Tao. And what is the Tao? Interconnectedness. Nonduality. Emergence. Seemingly separate things that bring about a greater unity. Yin and yang. How apparent contradictions give rise to one another. My life has seen many such contradictions, and so I embody the Tao to a certain degree.
Combine the dual senses of chaos with my powerful polymathic impulse—I have more interests than time to commit to them—and I envision this blog exploring all sorts of disparate topics, from both granular and holistic vantage points, to see how they interconnect and what roles individual ones play within the larger ecosystems of which they’re a part. There’ll also be lots of heavy metal.
The Tao is a divine chaos, not a random accident. It is fertile, undifferentiated, and teeming with unrealized creation. It is the mother of everything in nature; it is a great darkness that operates spontaneously to give birth and life to all things.
Header image: Primordial Chaos (渾淪圖) by Zhu Derun, 1349 CE, Yuan Dynasty.