Chaos will always be manifesting itself in our lives. It’s part of existing. It’s more part of the opposite of existence…which is non-existence. We as humans must deal with the vulnerability and fragility and impermanence of our form. ‘Life is suffering,’ as the Buddhists would say. And a more fitting translation for that seems to be Life is impermanence, or stress…or chaos. The Christian doctrine provides the cross as a symbol of this. I gain the most understanding though from the Taoist symbol of the yin and yang. That image effectively illustrates how even as we grow to build more order (opposite of chaos), truth, happiness, positivity, and contentment…that a piece of chaos will still be present. We will always be susceptible to desire. We will always sin. We will fall off of the path.
Given this truth, I might as well stay off the path. I mean…what’s the point right? If I can’t get to a life with just order…with no chaos…why continue to struggle and seemingly waste energy trying to grasp onto a fleeting hope of perfection? First, it’s important for me to acknowledge that I can’t have one without the other. I can’t have existence without non-existence…permanence without impermanence…order without chaos. There is no true perfection or enlightenment…only the process or path of trying to become so.
And yes, even realizing that, I should still try to stay on the path. I should still try not to sin, and still attempt to bring order into my life. Without that effort, the chaos in our lives compounds. The small, black-colored dot within the light side of the yin-yang starts to bleed out, and then it overtakes and saturates…until everything becomes dark. This is hell. It is much much worse than ‘suffering’ or attempting to live with chaos and order. It’s 10X the darkness.
A bad break up with a partner involving betrayal can lead to sadness…depression even. Chaos would certainly emerge here. And boy would it be difficult to stay on the path, and to keep confronting life on the path. That’s challenging and admirable. But it’s the struggle to keep order and avoid more chaos. If that same individual decided to not stay on the path…and instead turn to alcohol and narcotics and more unhealthy relationships… the chaos compounds, and a noticeably different darkness emerges. Again, this is hell. It would be very hard to come back into the light from even from just the betrayal and depression. But think how grueling a return from the other situation would be. Many don’t return from hell.
Stay on the path my friend. Keep fighting the fight. One foot in front of the other. Keep mending your ark to float within the flood. Look to those around you, and lend a hand to help them out of chaos. Encourage them to stay on the path, a hard as that may seem. Get really self-aware and keep an eye on how you may step off of the path yourself. Get back on. Keep good company that will inspire you to stay.