The very structure of the universe and man’s quest for answers in order to understand the universe suggests that mankind yearns for order and hierarchy in all systems. While many liken chaos to an abysmal state of disarray and confusion, some perceive the subtle benefits which might potentially arise if chaos is “harnessed”. Most belief systems prefer order to chaos and pay quite the price for it. Invariably, an astrologer spends half his life finding explanations, testing theories, reading the glorious stars enmeshed in a big mass of matter suspended high up above the earth simply to provide solutions to the seemingly random occurrences in the past and present. People cannot live with chaos so they end up developing beliefs and accepting these answers. This is the very basis of culture, philosophy and various mythologies.
As a boy, with little knowledge of the workings of the world, I always raced down excitedly to my grandmother’s room to remind her of “moonlight tales” she normally narrates to me after our evening meals. There, in the open compound in front of our house, under the beautiful glow of the glistening moon , she told me –and a few other kids -stories about the wise tortoise, the cunning fox and the loyal dog. Yoruba folklore wasn’t left out ; she spoke with so much detail gesturing with her hands and head; adjusting her gait from time to time to demonstrate traditional dances about Sango(god of thunder)and praises of eegun(masquerade).
A particular story she never explicitly told me was that of ‘ojuju’(I don’t know the english name till date).She only mentioned it in passing. She described “it” as a vengeful spirit of the night, clad in black with a terror-filled voice like the sound of a whirling hurricane who kidnaps young children who wandered around in the dark hours and eats them. Back then, it was the bane of every young child, we never stayed out late for fear of being eaten by the dreaded ‘ojuju’. Effectively, it kept us in “order”. This story may not be necessarily true , the adults don’t believe it but it was imperative to avoid chaos.
According to Greek mythology, Chaos is regarded as the first primordial being; the void state preceding the creation of cosmos(the universe).It birthed Gaia(earth),Uranus(sky),Eros(drive of creation). The Genesis chapter of the Holy Bible describes the creation of heaven and earth from void and light also was derived from this void.
The rise of Hitler suggests chaos is a building block .After world warone,Germany was in a pretty bad shape. Their economy was in shambles, unemployment rates soared and they were held solely for the countless human lives lost during the war. Germany was an eye sore!
Hitler found it to be the perfect “ladder”. He felt it was the best time to sell out his ideas and people would accept it. However outrageous his ideas sounded , people accepted. He was able to instigate a large army of elites, create the fearful Nazi party and cause world war two .In the words of Peter Baelish(Game of Thrones) “he said, ‘chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again.The fall breaks them.'”
So, is chaos that dangerous a path that we actually fear to tread it?; If chaos is the building block of the universe, is it all bad? Can chaos produce substance of positive benefit? If chaos serves as a forewarning, Is chaos and order not equally important? The fear of chaos is the beginning of order.
Conclusively, I leave you to deliberate “should chaos be described as just mere disorder or a necessary precursor to order?