Speaker Allen (Hacker) <firstname.lastname@example.org> is the founder of ASC Missions Group, ntc. This article is an excerpt from his book, Mind Matters - how thought becomes reality, (c) 1993-98 ASC Missions Group, ntc.
Chaos: bad, good or indifferent?
Most people today think of chaos as just
another word for confusion, and they have strong aversions to
confusion. Thus to them, chaos seems bad.
However, there is a subtle difference between
chaos and confusion. Confusion suggests a situation where
things are jumbled together so that it is difficult to discriminate between the different elements in the mix.
Confusion is also a state of mind.
Chaos, in its common usage, implies a complete and irremediable lack of organization.
-24- So we can say that a confusion can be
fixed while chaos is an entity unto itself. And while it is true
that chaos is often thought of as disorder, it has a larger meaning.
The word chaos originally meant an abyss
or chasm. Nothingness. But the ancients knew, and now the
most modern scientists know, that nothingness is an illusion. Therefore, definition #1 in our dictionary
(Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition) is, the disorder of formless matter and
infinite space, supposed to have existed before the ordered universe.
The idea of an ordered universe is now called
Newtonian, and the physics of order and mechanics are
called Newtonian physics, after Sir Isaac Newton, who described the universe in terms of a huge
clockwork. In Newton's world, anything can be reduced to laws, as of motion, and everything can
ultimately be predicted.
Then came relativity, followed closely by
quantum physics, and the Newtonian model was overturned. A
good book on this is Gary Zukav's The Dancing Wu Li Masters.
-25- Another book, one that traces yet another
big step in the transformation of science, is James Gleick's
Chaos. Gleick does a wonderful job of explaining chaos theory. Basically, it is the idea that there are
implicit orders hidden throughout disorder. The theory is that apparent order manifests as patterns caused
by or oriented to "attractors".
Chaos theory leaves one with the impression
that there must be, after all, a grand design, but one so
subtle that it must be observed mathematically or deduced from recurring patterns at different scales, as in
the twist of a conch shell and the spiral of a galaxy. It is at this point that scientists begin to seriously
speculate on the probability of a deity.
Flowing inevitably from chaos theory is the
idea that not only are all things possible, all things happen. The
question is only where and when. But what if the explicit order, which we experience as solid reality, is a
total illusion? Then maybe space and time, as parts of that illusion, do not exist either.
This means that everything exists in some
implied form, all the time and everywhere. -26 The name given
to this view of things is The Holographic Paradigm (Marilyn Ferguson). A very good book explaining this
view is Michael Talbot's The Holographic Universe.
How can all this be described to those of
us who have spent all our lives believing in the physical
universe? One way is by taking the ladder-steps up through the states of matter.
Begin with solid matter. Heat it up and it
will become a liquid and then a gas. But in these levels you are
still dealing with matter that retains its atomic identity. Cool a gas, and you always get the liquid state and
then the solid state of that same element.
But at energy levels above gas, the atoms
come apart and form a cloud of ions. We call this the plasma
state. This is where things get a little weird.
What's above the plasma state? The best modern
science has given us on this is ylem, or "primordial
stuff". And ylem is not physical. You could say that it is just an idea. And that is where science meets
philosophy -27- and puts metaphysics in everyone's face. Ironically, that is also where science began.
Hundreds of years ago, alchemists pondered
the nature of reality and the states of the physical universe
and came up with ideas that are only now being reconsidered. One is that there is no such thing as
nothing. Space is not empty, physicists now say. It is filled with potentials that wink in and out of existence
at different rates and for different durations.
The ancients, too, said that space was not
empty. They said it was composed of (not filled with, there is a
difference) a not-yet substance called the AEther. They also said that everything is called from the AEther
by the Word of God. And they believed that, since they were created in the image of God, they could,
through piety and faith, issue some degree of the Word and bring forth a measure of that which they
This perspective survived into the nineteenth
century in the form of a religious perspective known as
Deism. Deism is the belief that the Creator put the universe into motion, but -28- rather than remaining
separate from it, actually became it, remaining hidden in the background and operating as natural law.
This law, it was believed, could be discerned by the minds of people who cared to look for it. Many of
the founders of the United States were deists, including Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.
Manifestational Chaos Theory extends all
this. It says that everything exists all the time and that our minds
are the "attractors" that establish the patterns we experience.
Thus it follows that to direct our destinies
we must gain understanding and direction over how the
attraction happens. This includes education and application. We need to know how it works so we can
use it, and we need to know how to use it to be successful with it. It also includes counsel, because we
need to undo our bad thought-habits and remove ourselves from the errors they lead us into and the
consequences they pin to us.
All of which moves us from the theory to the philosophy of life based on it.