Order, the known, appears to be symbolically associated with masculinity. Maybe it is because the primary hierarchical structure of human society is masculine. Men are and throughout history have been the builders of towns and cities, the bricklayers, the operators of heavy machinery, the engineers. In its positive guise, order is stability. However order can be pushed too far. When this happens, an imbalance manifests itself. Order, when it becomes extreme, is terrible and destructive. Extreme order leads to forced migration and Nazi concentration camp.
Chaos, the unknown, is symbolically associated with the feminine. This is partly because all the things we have come to know were born, originally, of the unknown just as every being we encounter was born of a mother. Chaos is mother, origin, source. It is the substance from which all things are made. In its positive guise, chaos is possibility itself, the source of ideas. Chaos is the realm of gestation and birth. As a negative force, chaos is the lioness who in trying to protect her cubs, marks you as a potential predator and is ready to tear you to pieces.
All our life, we inhabit order surrounded by chaos. We are always occupying a known territory surrounded by the unknown. We see and touch objects but in the deepest sense, we are not adapted to the world of objects but to the meta-realities of order and chaos. Chaos and order as they coexist make up the eternal, transcendent environment of the living.
Why am I talking about chaos and order? Because many things start to fall into place when you begin to consciously understand the world in this manner. Wonderful things happen when the knowledge of your body and soul falls into alignment with the knowledge of your intellect, and understanding reality as chaos and order aids this. This is the kind of knowledge in which you know not only what but how. It tells you how to act. In fact you find a way, a way that is narrow with order to your left and chaos to your right. “How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:14).
Do you want to have a balanced and meaningful life? Then one of your foot has to be firmly planted in order and security while the other is in chaos, possibility, and adventure. Life will no longer be dull and boring. Life will become intense and gripping. When you are so involved in what you are doing that you give it your full attention and do not notice time passing by, know that there and then you are right there on the border between order and chaos. There is a subjective meaning you will encounter there which others will likely neither see nor understand. That meaning is coming from your deepest being. The good feeling you have then is a sign that you are occupying a space and time that is proper for you. In every sense, this is the right place to be.
You have lived through many situations and every lived situation has the two fundamental elements of chaos and order. Regardless of where you are, there are some things you can identify and make use of, and there are some things you neither know nor understand. Whoever you are, wherever you may be, whether at Aso Rock or at your village, some things are under your control and some things are not. The president can therefore have an understanding with the farmer. We find ourselves in places we can master, surrounded by things and situations that make us vulnerable.
I know you want to be stable and secure. I know you want order. But order is not enough. Why? Because there are many vital and important new things you have to learn. Chaos is necessary although chaos can be too much. You have a limited capacity hence too much chaos can overwhelm you. But you don’t want too much order either – you won’t grow. So what do you do? Place one foot in what you have understood and mastered and the other in what you are currently exploring and trying to master. Then some things are under your control and you are secure, and at the same time some things are unknown to you and you are alert and engaged. Then you have positioned yourself for something to move from the potentiality of chaos to the actuality of order.