24 August 2005

Chaos as a “brand in trouble”

While thinking about the new information-based marketplace and the state of what is oft-referred to as contemporary spirituality and the occult in today's world, I've come to realise one of the major forces I am going to have to approach: chaos and the Western perspective on it.

After watching Bin Laden score one against the United States, and countless years watching the U.S. score countless BOOMS against pretty much any other nation on the planet, we've come to see a huge contingent of the American populace embrace order. They're voting to give up liberties in exchange for security.

Benjamin Franklin is famous for stating, Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

It's peculiar to see that North America — the States in particular, according to their history — was so focused on a state of liberty, and such a dynamic struggle has arisen over the centuries between order and chaos.

And just to clear things up, libertarianism was born of anarchism when it was outlawed in Europe (heh, make a name change and no one seems the wiser today).

Wikipedia states that chaos is:
Chaos derives from the Greek Χαος and typically refers to unpredictability. In the metaphysical sense, it is the opposite of Law and Order: unrestrictive, both creative and destructive.

Χαος did not mean "disorder" in classical-period Ancient Greece. It meant "the primal emptiness, Space". It is derived from the Indo-European root ghn or ghen meaning "gape, be wide open": compare "chasm" (from Greek), and Anglo-Saxon gānian (= "yawn"), geanian, ginian (= "gape wide"); see also Old Norse Ginnunga gap. Due to people misunderstanding early Christian uses of the word, the meaning of the word changed to "disorder". (The Ancient Greek for "disorder" is ταραχη.)

An oft-made assumption is that the metaphysical Chaos is Evil and that Law is Good, however it should be noted these are different concepts, and it is quite possible for Chaos to be Good and Law be Evil. One example of this would be the story of Robin Hood, or the real-life world examples of oppressive governments and dictatorships being thrown off by freedom fighters.

Chaos is also used to refer to the earliest conditions of the universe, the unbounded space and formless matter that existed before the creation of the universe.

Chaos is a friend of people looking for opportunity, change, growth. Order is often used to implement these forward movements. The two are equally important, yet chaos is so often associated with the image pictured above: evil and dark.

Interesting to note that in Chinese mythology, Chaos (Chinese: 浑沌 húndùn) is the name of a god. Chaos is described as having neither eyes nor ears; when he once invited two friends to his palace, the two friends offered to craft two eyes and two ears on his face so that he could hear and see, but he soon died when he finally got his eyes and ears.

Does this imply that as sensate order is imposed, Chaos's natural inclination (its very own order of things) is to give way to an ordered and manifest reality? This could be echoed in the those that practice chaos magic. The senses are so intrinsically tied into the perceptions that drive the ego, and the ego plays such a huge part in our personal myths unfolding as we interact with reality. Or putting it in modern terms, by fucking up the user interface to the matrix, we are free to assemble our own code. We shall have to further develop this analogy in order to help clients to program their own subjective user interfaces. If reality is, in fact, akin to frozen light and this is all a hologram, by taking control of the projector (one's self), you can hack into the matrix and make changes as one would so please.

The beauty of this system is that the more effective the itnernal, subjective user interface becomes by personal programming, the more outside of the ego must be spent "programming" it. Divine inspiration and a commonality to others (empathy?) is found once one's focus is shifted beyond ego.

If I push forth and further develop this brand experiment, chaos must be taken into account. As pragmatic as possible, I want to eschew poetics and give people the tools to analyse the world of order they've build up around themselves. After review and analysis of the paradigm each person has created, they will be given the tools necessary to intuit and understand that there is potential beyond their established order.

The trick will be making a defined and supportive transition from the comforts of one zone of order — their accepted gestalts and relatively easy and peaceful worlds — to the shores of chaos. The tools necessary for them to take their first steps into the waters of potential will be an engineered/designed occult knowledge. Once in the throes of chaos, as their worlds shift, crumble, and remakes itself anew, we can offer no more service.

Upon their arrival into a newly formed paradigm (Robert Anton Wilson's reality tunnels), we can offer them further tools to work with the previous knowledge provided them, combining thus with their newly acquired experience within the realm of potentiality, and allow them to build a new order.

Rinse and repeat until chaos is your bitch and our clients can change orders around as readily as they change their shirts.

EDIT — After reading a quick blurb on Tim Boucher's site, I believe this entry should more accurately entitled "Chaos has a PR problem."

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