The Joy of Chaos

Chaos. Quite a fascinating thing isn’t it? We easily believe that chaos can only mean disorder, especially of the violent kind. You can’t blame us, really. We’re bombarded by messages that tell us that, or speak of chaos to describe such things and give us that connontation. Seems like a waste, doesn’t it? For the Greeks, chaos, or khaos, referred to an empty formless void or abyss, which in Greek mythology would later be transmuted through creation. Such a view of chaos may also appear in Judeo-Christian texts; the Jewish Torah and the Christian Bible, in which chaos acquires the name tohu-wa-bohu, meaning “formless and empty”, much like the Greek view.

Chaos Magnum

My view of chaos is somewhat different. Why is chaos so attractive? I think it’s because there is a freedom that can be found in chaos, one that is not found in order, or at least not our definition of order. Chaos is both orderly and disorderly, whenever it feels like it. Whenever we think order, we think laws, rules, regulations, peace, harmony. I don’t think we can look at the universe or creation in such a manner, though harmony does seem to be a part of the picture, but just a part. Chaos is both infinite and of infinite freedom, if that makes sense. It’s also of infinite potential and power. In this regard, it’s a neverending placenta of existence, and all things and states. It’s dark, psychotic, wild, and yet there’s lights too. In this sense, I do not consider chaos as emptiness or void, because emptiness’ only potential is that it can and will eventually be filled, nothing more, while chaos’ potential is infinite. All this and chaos’ intimate link to creation and destruction (both of which I like very much) is what attracts me to chaos so very much.

The dance of Shiva, which represents eternal creation and destruction.
The dance of Shiva, which represents eternal creation and destruction. In a way, Shiva is potentially a god of chaos.

I gotta mention how my love of chaos starts. It may have some slightly shallow origins, like playing Shin Megami Tensei games, or looking into the demons and and chaos monsters. The strange thing is the chaos monsters of the Judeo-Christian, Greek, Canaanite, and other mythologies are not like the emptiness and void that chaos nearly means to these mythologies. Instead, they are like amazing wild beasts and dragons, and very powerful ones too. But the relatviely shallow seeds (like monsters, video games, and a love of freedom), do not detract at all from this love of chaos.

The biblical Leviathan, an example of a chaos monster.
The biblical Leviathan, an example of a chaos monster.

To conclude, you can see why I find joy in chaos. Not the designated violent disorder feared by the masses, not the empty void of mythology, but the power, the beauty, the ecstasy, the freedom, the infinity, and the vibrant and colourful potentiality that is what chaos truly is. To me, chaos is something primal, or a primal force.