Chaos & Order

As I continue reading the book, “How One Might live” by Todd May, I came across another phrase, which is Deleuzian. It goes like this, “Chaos yields order; Chaos doesn’t yield to order.” In the framework of this philosopher, chaos (difference) is more primary than order (identity). Each identity is one of the several possible actualizations from the realm of difference. In similar veins, order is one of the several possible actualizations from the realm of chaos. Just because order is there, it doesn’t mean chaos are destroyed. [Deleuze doesn’t have an extremely negative understanding of chaos/difference as we may have. A greater detail of Deleuzian thinking is beyond the scope of this paper].

I am going to expand this thought to Christian understanding of creation. I am doing it more as an imaginative exercise than as a theological one.

God created order out of chaos. This is one of the many ways in which the creation story of Bible is described. (Let us avoid the normal tendency to designate chaos as evil). God invites humans to be co-creators with him.

Now I try to apply the deleuzian thought here, “Chaos yields order; Chaos doesn’t yield to order.” When we say humans are co-creators, what does that mean? We have the continuing responsibility of creating order from chaos. The order of yesterday may need to give into a new order tomorrow. Creation continues and the order is dynamic. There are many possible orders.  

When we take the dynamic dimension of creative actions, chaos and order seriously, we cant be conservative (We can’t keep on saying that it was like that in the past).

After thought: I still feel  the conception of chaos as evil may be coming back to some of your mind even through my article. It is not the problem of Deleuze, but mine and it would take a little more understanding on the concept of difference, which is difficult to put down here.

1 Comment

  1. Entropy was found to be a flawed theory several years ago when it was discovered that despite predictions of an ever increasing spiral into disorder in a closed system, order begins to emerge spontaneously within the system despite the dire prediction. And so there appears to be limits to both chaos and order, and there is no state of either where one is the winner over the other.
    The narrower the slice of time and space one observes these states the more extreme the dominance of either one can be witnessed, but on a higher or lower level the underlying chaos may appear harmony, or the harmony on a different scale appear discord.


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