Chaos, Law, the primal force, entropy, and will: A shift in perspective

The primordial chaos of Genesis 1:2, illustrated by Wenceslas Hollar.

Over the past week my perspective on Chaos has been shifting, especially after I was contemplating yin and yang. I began to worry that my definition of Chaos was too aligned to the Yang side of duality.

Though this force is beyond yin and yang, or more or less both, I begin to see Chaos as not a spiritual force, but a state or ideology (an idea which I believe I’ve explored before). As a state of the universe, it is a state where the universe has no ruler or master, everything that ever was, and will be, emerged spontaneously, and motion and change occur all the time, but it is in this state of Chaos, the wilderness, that we are, on a spiritual level, free to create our own structure, or “order”, out of the raw materials of the universe, using our will and mind. Or at least, as long as we are not thought slaves, which tragically in our society we are. Which brings me to Chaos on an ideological level. As an ideology Chaos advocates that we are and should be free to create our own structure and follow our own path, fighting off the forces of spiritual entropy and doom, as opposed to Law (note that I borrow from Shin Megami Tensei) which states that there is an order set for us that we must follow.

The Chaos-aligned hero (red), the Law-aligned hero (blue), and the protagonist (green), from Shin Megami Tensei.

It’s worth noting that the spiritual process of creating structure out of the wilderness of the universe calls upon the intellectual, thoughtful, conscious side of the human mind. Also, as I mentioned earlier, I refer to Order as Law to connect with the roots of my spiritual philosophy, and because I am starting to develop a shift in perspective regarding order, though I still do not prefer that term compared to structure, since I still believe the term order risks aligning me to Law.

Now for the primal force. I have mentioned before that Chaos was this primal force and motion of the universe, the carnality of everything. But as long as Chaos is a state of the universe, I feel it would be more accurate to describe this primal force as “the horned force”, or just Shakti. Traditionally, Shakti is a feminine concept, but here I use it in a gender-neutral term to refer to primordial cosmic energy, the primal force and motion behind all there. After all the word Shakti basically means “Power” or “Energy”. Besides, Shiva and his wife Parvati/Durga/Kali (traditionally referred to as Shakti) are basically female inflections of each other. Where there is one, the other is often implied. One is the male image of Shakti, the other is the female image of Shakti. 

Shiva and Parvati sitting besides each other amorously.

You may call it The Horned Force, Shakti, or simply The Primal Force. Either way, it refers the primordial energy of the universe and its divine carnality. The passion and breath of life that runs through all living beings. I find it can be symbolized by both the Aum and the pentagram, usually together. This primal force has both male and female manifestations. One has male and female sexuality, and there is the horned god and the earth mother, and the earth mother is actually something of a yin-ish trope. However, the female sexual power is also well symbolized by wilder and fiercer goddesses, such as Kali. The primal force is the source of life, but just as it is the source of life it also brings death, since life and death beget each other. It is the motion of both creation and destruction, thus it begets and consumes everything.

The Primal Force is actually very much welcome in a Chaotic universe, and in ideological Chaos, because by power and will we remain free. The passion and life are welcome because, as creatures of Nature, which itself is a direct product or manifestation of the same primal force, we have passion and life (which our society seems bent on taking away from us), and we ought to have the freedom to enjoy passion and life and all things that come naturally to us. Looking at it from the prism of the Shin Megami Tensei series, the forces of the Chaos faction mention such things as passion, life, and joie de vivre (examples include Strange Journey, Raidou Kuzunoha versus King Abaddon, and Shin Megami Tensei IV).

Of course, in this life, there is always entropy. That force which looms over all of our heads. As I said before, the universe gives life and takes it away, as does the force behind it, and the universe falls into entropy and rises up again for ever and ever. All creation dies and rises. Out of the wilderness, the Chaos of the universe, creatures rise, feel senses and pleasures, and we rose from evolution and began to feel and perceive. And in some way, life, will, and mind rises up against entropy and doom. On the physical level, we fight or struggle for our existence and the right to pass on our legacy, but our bodies eventually die, thus it is only on the spiritual level that we may truly rise up against and prevail over doom. And religion will not help. It is only through individual spirituality and by the will that we may attain the power necessary triumph over entropy. We find representations of this in the battles of Baal versus Yam, Marduk versus Tiamat, Set or Ra versus Apep.

Set fighting Apep, the representation of entropy.

I discount Yahweh fighting Leviathan because it symbolically represents the Judeo-Christian God, representative of the forces of Law oppressing Chaos (and let’s face it Leviathan didn’t do much in the Bible besides existing).

Also, the concept of afterlife is often based around the soul surviving and triumphing over entropy to enter Heaven, and what is a particularly interesting expression of spiritual triumph over doom is the journey of the Egyptian pharaohs to the afterlife, where they take on the power of the sun god and pass through obstacles to paradise and fighting off the forces of entropy, including Apep.

There is however, another way of seeing these battles. They are also reminders of our struggle with the natural world. Yes, we are very much a part of the natural world, but we had to fight for our survival against natural forces that threatened our survival in the long run, and in some way we still do. It is worth noting that early man had to deal with all kinds of predatory or dangerous animals, such as lions, snakes, crocodiles, and other deadly animals, and these eventually become symbols of cosmic entropy (though it is worth noting that the serpent in the ancient was a symbol for lots of things other than evil or entropy, and many animals had other symbolism attached to them). We should remind ourselves though that though we often have to struggle against the natural world around us for the sake of our survival, in the end we are still a part of nature. And though we have an individual self, we are still nourished by the world around us and by nature, often just as much as we are challenged by it. In fact, as we arise from the wilderness of Chaos and are brought to life by the primal force, we take with us the carnality of the nature, and we have our primal nature. And perhaps it is with the strength of the dragon that we are able to combat the dragon that threatens our path and our life.

So, to sum it all up, my new perspective is basically, Chaos is a state of the universe, the Primal Force is the separate but related primordial energy of the universe and I still believe in experiencing that force, and I have a new understanding my own spiritual goals as a fight against entropy, just Baal, Set, and the sun god fought against entropy, and while this is a perspective shift, I find the new perspective fits well with what I already have, and in fact nourishes my beliefs, my values, and ideology.

2 responses to “Chaos, Law, the primal force, entropy, and will: A shift in perspective

  1. I have been thinking about chaos in relation to my personal philosophy. My current thinking is that energy might be considered on three levels:

    Entrophic energy/anti-matter : totally unstable energy that nobody can work with since it is immediately lost like a handful of sand through the fingers.

    Formless energy/potential energy/dark matter : a stable energy that is trapped waiting to be liberated like energy in a battery. This energy is a basic formless building block that can be used by the individual to create anything they like.

    Formed energy/kinetic energy : energy in motion that you can do nothing with because it has already been released and is following the nature of its form it was released as. This sort of energy is manifested as a visible form such as light, a chair, a bird, until entropy snatches it out of existence again.

    My theory is that the basis of Chaos Magick is working with potential energy to release it as a desired manifested form such as a new car, using the mind as the tool to shape the energy into the form.

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