The Four Primal Truths

I thought of this while briefly thinking about the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths. The Four Primal Truths are about the nature of reality, and the core nature of reality effects all reality.

1.) Reality is chaos.

2.) Chaos is the raw energy and force that motivates all motion, reflected in the cycle of creation, destruction, life, death, and rebirth.

3.) This force is also reflected in the desire and residual emotion and power of creatures.

4.) Without chaos and its energy, nothing would exist.

The first truth is of the truth of chaos, the second is the truth of the nature of nature, the third is the reflection of chaos in natural life, and the fourth is the truth of chaos as vital to life.

Chaos and nature veneration

A lush green jungle. One of the things I like about the natural world.

Philosophically, I believe in primal chaos as the prime substance, element, and foundation of all things, I’ve talked about it before quite a few times. Naturally, this means I venerate this chaos and all the primal. But do I venerate nature? In a way, I do. I get the idea to ponder this because lately I am thinking a lot about paganism and similar beliefs, as well as my own beliefs.

I already have some respect for nature and the natural world, and its beauty, as well as man-made beauty. We humans are also a product of nature, of chaos, and there is beauty in our image and us as humanity, mainly beauty in the potential of mankind and the fire in Man’s soul.  I also tend to appreciate nature through beautiful earth mother goddesses (such as Durga/Kali/Parvati/Shakti, Gaia, and others), and other goddesses and deities with any association with nature. Gods like Shiva also speak of something primal, rawness, energy, rage, and sexuality, and there’s immediately something symbolic about the deity being covered in serpents. In paganism, polytheism, and other belief systems, deities are viewed as embodiments of nature, and that’s the principle I guess I subconsciously use. One could say I never believed that we were separate from nature, rather we are part of it.

Kali, an example of a goddess who relates to nature, the primal, sexuality (in some way), energy, and what chaos is all about.

But that still pales in comparison to the connection between chaos, nature, and the primal. I find there is a connection in all those things. Nature is a manifestation of chaos, or in a way Nature is Chaos and Chaos is Nature. The primal is linked to chaos and nature intimately. You might find it inside of us and in nature. Sexuality as a part of nature is an expression of ecstasy and something much more primal. Emotions and feelings may also be similar expressions, rage and anger for instance being an expression of the gut flame within. The point is, if chaos and nature are the same or related, or if nature is a manifestation or expression of chaos, not to mention the cycles of nature (including creation, destruction and rebirth, or life, death, and rebirth, etc.), then surely by venerating chaos and the primal, I am venerating nature, or respecting it further. And if chaos is all-encompassing, so is nature.

Keep in mind, I’m not trying for peacey pacifist-ish New Age holistic stuff. I’m just saying that we as products of nature aren’t separate from it.

Chaos as opposed to order

The dragon is a creature long associated with primal chaos. I know it’s an Oriental dragon, but I like it.

This is sort of a follow up to yesterday’s post, dealing more in the nature of chaos, and opposed order, and dealing with the true nature of that too.

I know this might play into the “order versus chaos” kind of thing, but even I have it in the mind. Maybe it’s appealing to me. Anyway, Chaos, to me, is the primal substance and force of everything. It is the primality of all the existence. The carnal, serpentine matrix from which all springs forth. In it, supposed patterns occur, the endless play of creation, destruction, and rebirth occurs, and events happen. Everything happens there, anything is possible. Connections are created by us in order to create some kind of structure. But don’t be confused, structure and order aren’t the same, not truly.

If order is opposed to chaos, then order is really nothing. Order as opposed to chaos has no soul, no movement, because order is harmony, and true order, or true harmony, does not exist, just like absolute stillness doesn’t exist. The “harmonious” aspects of the universe we live in are merely that – aspects; a part of chaos that we enjoy. True order is an ultimate purity and peace that lasts forever. It doesn’t exist, and its existence is impossible. If it does or can exist, then such a state of perfection should be avoided. Why? Because it is an empty, all but motionless, lifeless state that does not even breathe. And when you try to make such perfect harmony in human society, it would require an overseer to dissolve all free will we have, and deprive all of its primal nature. And there you have it, true order, a state of utter perfection and harmony, but no free will, no power, no life or movement even.

Pretty much like the Christian heaven.

If you want to oversimplify it, order is true harmony and chaos is unharmonious. And look at life, or existence in general, which you could extend to beyond the physical life we see. It’s not always coherent, and it’s not very harmonious, not truly. That’s not to say complete discord is all there is, or that there is no room to rest. In chaos, pretty much anything happens, and everything moves somewhere. And of course there’s conflict between something and another, pretty much all the time. For all I know, all of us are always fighting against something in life.

Simply put, order does not exist. Nor can it ever truly exist.

Hell, just the fact that conflict and spontaneous events can happen can tell you that order doesn’t truly exist. What one may call order from chaos is really something starting another, or one event starting a chain of other events and happenings, the exchanges of said events and happenings, and reactions. And yet, I’m alright with that, because there being no order doesn’t necessarily mean we live in a universe of doom. In fact, what’s more fun? An existence where any meaning is your own, or one where the meaning is decided for you? An existence full of life, or one full of nothing? Would you live with primal chaos, or run away to the illusion of order?

I’ve always wanted to go to the jungle

That looks so sweet.

I have always dreamed of travelling to many places around the world. I’ve wanted to go to Africa, Australia, and the Far East (China and Japan), among other places. Since I was a kid, I’ve loved jungles and dreamed of going to a tropical rainforest. For a time, I even wanted to be a scientist of sorts in Venezuela. I got over that pretty fast, but my love for the jungle remained.

I even tried supporting environmentalistic causes aimed at saving the rainforests. I’m less inclined to be very environmentalistic, due to some learned skepticism, but this doesn’t change a lot about my opinion of rainforest. It seems a very primal place, and a lush place that always births countless life on what seems like a constant basis. It also sounds like paradise. Where I can have some fun and some wild times. It sounds childish, but you have to remember that (a) my childhood is where this comes from, and (b) I have never been to a real life rainforest anywhere. Can you blame me, though?

A toast to the gods of chaos

A god of chaos is a mythological deity who represents not just classical chaos or primordial chaos, but also primal forces, and the link between chaos, the primal, the sensual, and creation and destruction. You may not believe some of the gods that I have elected as gods of chaos. Also, not all gods follow the same pattern. Also, I am aware that a there is a god called Khaos in Greek myth, but I do not count it because (a) that would be dumb, and (b) Chaos was more a concept in Greek myth anyway, just like the way I see it. Satan and Angra Mainyu don’t count either, because officially they are not gods.

Shiva

I swear I’ve said this three times now. Shiva’s intimate link to creation and destruction and primal forces and desires, for me, merits him his staus as a god of chaos, in some way. To add to his primality, he has a heavy association with the Aum, the primordial syllable of creation and the universe.

Set

He’s not here just because everyone else calls him a god of chaos.

Ah, the ancient Egyptians. They sure loved their order, and whenever it was disturbed, they described it in in pretty calamitous proportions. Set was a god of storms, chaos, and dark forces, and he was already a force to be feared, but he could also aid those who worship him, so, like the rest of the pantheon, he was an ambivalent force. Then, politics ruined his image. He became the victim of an Egyptian chaoskampf (“stuggle against chaos”) in which he is slain by Horus, and over time he effectively became an Egyptian Satan. Is it any wonder he became worshipped by theistic Satanists?

Tiamat and Apsu

A painting of Tiamat by Susannah Iles

Tiamat may have been a chaos monster, but she was also a goddess of the primordial chaos, the creatrix of the universe along with Apsu another primordial chaos god. Together they made sweet primeval love and Tiamat birth many gods, as well as dragons and serpents. She would later be slain by Marduk, and become the archetypal example of the Chaoskampf.

Aditi

Aditi is a creatrix mentioned in the Vedas as a mother of the gods and the goddess of both heaven and earth, in contrast to many traditions having a sky father and an earth mother. Her attributes are freedom, infinity, creation, and might, and she is often corresponded the primordial of many ancient mythologies. Unsurprisingly, this includes Chaos, but it also refers to the waters of space, or the deep, and primordial light. She is also associated with Lajja Gauri, the nude earthly goddess of fertility and abundance in folk Hinduism.

Kali

Statue of Kali Maa

Make no mistake, she’s a wild lady alright. Beautiful too. She is really violent and destructive ,but that ain’t the only side to her. In fact, I believe she is just as linked to creation and the primal as well as destruction as Shiva. She might just be a female image of Shiva, though Parvati/Uma and Durga are also the shakti of Shiva.

Tezcatlipoca

Jaguars aren’t his only deal.

Tezcatlipoca is a very diverse god, and a very dark one. He’s a god of war, strife, disorder, chaos, the sun (he did rule the sun a few times in Aztec lore), obsidian, beauty, the earth, the night, hurricanes, kings, temptation, and magic. His complexity is the main attribute that merits his status as a god of chaos.

Eris

Yeah, as long as we’re talking about gods of chaos, but just what’s so primal about her? Well I suppose she is the daughter of Nyx. You could say she’s the strife side of chaos. Then again, she’s the goddess of Discordianism, whose authors have written this about Eris in the Principia Discordia: “I am chaos. I am the substance from which your artists and scientists build rhythms. I am the spirit with which your children and clowns laugh in happy anarchy. I am chaos. I am alive, and I tell you that you are free.” I guess I can accept that.

Gaia

She looks beautiful in this modern artwork.

Gaia is extremely intimately linked to primordial chaos, having been directly born from chaos. She is primality. Since she is nature, or all things earthly, and chaos seeps into and is a huge part of the natural world. Chaos then is the blood of the natural world. By this logic, any earth mother can count as a beautiful and bountiful goddess of chaos, or at least most earth mothers.

Now, to raise a glass to these magnificent gods.

What is chaos?

Fractal of Chaos

How do I define chaos? I define it not as violent disorder, as a confused space, an empty void, or as the designated object of fear and contempt designed for a lazy species. I see it as a primal force, a primal element, and a primal power, intimately linked with creation and destruction, and all the ecstasy of creation and existence. Whenever we try to designate an order, it is still an order of chaos, and some would say it is an order, and yet not order. Conflict, war, the struggle and fighting of warriors, life and death, desire, power, sex, free will, even our precious natural order harks back to chaos. All primal origins. Chaos is in all of us, because of its primal nature. And we’re primal too, ya know.

To quote the brilliant Hakim Bey (who despite our mild political differences I can respect), “Chaos never died”. And that’s true, the primordial chaos has never been destroyed. Not in the stories of creation, not in the noise of our Abrahamic texts, not in the realm of mankind, not anywhere, not ever. The gods never even killed chaos to begin with, they simply used it to create, and to transmute form, if that makes any sense. But do you really want it to die? Do you really want order, or rather the false, artificial, mechanical order? Would you really want something so lifeless, breathless state, bereft of spirit, energy or power, absolutely determined? Would you really want emptiness? In fact, one might say that chaos becomes more needlessly frightening the more you try to cut yourself off from it.

It’s a shame, really, that the only side of chaos most of get shown is evil, and it’s this “evil chaos” that gets too much attention. Really, good and evil are your judgement. You are the judge of right and wrong for yourself. The king of your own life. Master of your so-called destiny. That is part of chaos’ bliss, that you do whatever you want in it, and make whatever you want with it. Chaos as a form can be considered like clay or play-dough, in that you can make it into whatever form you want, but I most associate it with primal beings or objects, things that represent desire, the wild, freedom, and power, especially roaring power, mainly because the thing I know and respect chaos for: its primality.

The Joy of Chaos

https://mythoughtsbornfromfire.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/red-chaos.png

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.