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Opinion philosophy

Lesson 2: Order and Chaos

Image result for yin yang taoism

The Ying-Yang symbol has its roots in Taoism. If you look at the symbol, you will notice that the white half has a black circle inside of it, and the black half has a white circle inside of it. The philosophical connotation, according to Peterson, is that the world is divided into chaos and order, but within chaos, there is the potential for order, and within order, there is the potential for chaos.

Each person, no matter how chaotic their lifestyle, how lazy and misguided and shortsighted they are, there is always hope that they can put their life together. And each person, no matter how organized and put together they are, how clear thinking and focused they are, they can lose a hold of everything at any given moment.

Such is the delicate nature of life. It is both inspiring and frightening.But essentially, everything in life can be characterized as falling into order or chaos.

For most people, order is good, and chaos is bad. Others prefer chaos.

But what happens when you get too much order? A degeneration into tyranny. And too much chaos? A degeneration into nihilism. So the optimal place to occupy is somewhere in between, and this is as true for politics as it is for the individual.

We have had many dictators and modern pseudo-dictators that tilt towards too much order, and thus tyranny, and that is not a stable situation. And on a personal level, if your life is too ordered, and lacks any novelty, then it is boring, and you are not learning anything.

On the other hand, a leader who is too chaotic, will tilt towards nihilism, and this will result in an unstable system that is prone to failure. On a personal level, if you live too much in chaos, then you are constantly bewildered and lost, you have no anchor, and no sense of progress or stability.

This idea can be applied to relationships too. When your relationship with your partner is going well, then you are embodying order, but if you find out that your partner has been cheating on you, then you fall into chaos.

Falling into chaos means that all of your presumptions are now open to scrutiny. What was considered impossible in the past has now become possible. This includes questions about your personal identity, what type of women you attract, what kind of partner you are, how well you can read other people, and whether you can trust others or even yourself.

In your profession, you know that you embody the optimal point between order and chaos when you are deeply engaged in something, and self-consciousness disappears. This is a signal from deep within you that you are ordered enough to be secured but you are tapping into enough chaos so that you are learning and being renewed. This concept is also known as flow. And if you are autotelic, this will come more easily to you.

"A gilded No is more satisfactory than a dry yes" - Gracian

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