Why Welcome Disorder

Modern life is so full of pressure pushing this way and that that most of us react by trying to impose order upon it. Our society of chaotic forces is thus a society of endless laws and regulations. This is not surprising, because humans thrive on order and are frightened by disorder. Disorder is unpredictable and out of our control, therefore it makes us feel stressed out.

Think of a time when disorder and unpredictability suddenly crept up in your life: Missing an airplane flight, having your car break down by the side of the road, hearing that someone you love has lost a job.

Almost always these events work themselves out; there is no real harm done to your existence, just minor inconvenience. Yet your nervous system probably reacted very strongly, expressing fear and discomfort when your plans went awry. The ego’s response to chaos is to fight against it and to impose even more control. The next time you flew you probably double-checked your departure time and left early. The next time you drove you took precautions against the same breakdown occurring again.

The problem is that all this struggle, worry, planning, and controlling runs against the grain of life. Life compresses chaos and orderliness together. You cannot have one without the other. If you want to be in the flow of life, you can’t struggle against it at the same time. Therefore the quester after perfection accepts that he is always going to be uncertain, that she is always going to feel off-balance. “The role of the disciple,” Merlin said, “is always to stumble but never to fall.”

Despite the fact that your ego hates unpredictability, the truth is that you have benefited from it again and again. Think for a moment about the unexpected opportunities that have come your way, offers of help you never anticipated, sudden brainstorms and inspirations, impulsive decisions to move or talk to a stranger that opened new horizons. This is the natural way to live.

“Your life is already organized within itself,” Merlin said. “Life flows from life, the bud unfolds into the flower, the child ripens into the adult. Trust in each stage, celebrate it, and allow the next one to come to you effortlessly.”

Adapted from The Way of the Wizard, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 1995). Reprinted by permission of the author.
Adapted from The Way of the Wizard, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 1995).

59 comments

Emma S.
Emma S2 years ago

I quite like a bit of disorder myself...

Tori W.
Past Member 6 years ago

Great! I spent a lot of hours teaching employees to learn the "kind of, sort of" management style. It's what helped us let go of control, ride the waves of uncertainty, and being benefits to the company during the uncertainty. It's nice to know that this is a natural life event. This was more difficult for some than others depending upon one's own comfort level with chaos.

Tonya Freeman
Tonya Freeman6 years ago

I resonate with this very much. Sometime ago, it came to me that Divine Chaos is a good thing and Spirit Directs the Flow. Whatever happens, happens because is was meant to. As I've stated for years, "It's not what you go through but how you go through it."

Carole H.
Carole Hagen6 years ago

READ!

Shiatsu Cat
Past Member 6 years ago

You need disorder to learn, after disorder comes order but then be aware not to get lazy or you end up in disorder again.... although that gives new lessons... which is nice.....

Bb La Desh
.6 years ago

Excellent!

I pride myself on being flexible, after a series of unfortunate events, my life was metamorphosing, I've settled into a comfortable pattern. As a creature of habit it's been awhile since I looked at each day as an adventure and wondered what surprises were in store for me today.

Andi M.
Andi M.6 years ago

Thanks for this article! I find the older I get the more I welcome disorder.

Mark S.
Mark S6 years ago

I really appreciate this article. I have an unhealthy need to feel in control, and while I've been working to let go of that it's been very difficult. But I see now that I need to focus less on letting go of control and focus more on embracing and accepting change and the unpredictable. How liberating!

leo l.
leo L6 years ago

as we say in triathlons " You can prepare for it 6-9 months ahead down to the detail, come race day something always goes wrong"

Jean Sleigh
Jean Sleigh6 years ago

haha!! great article... thanks. i've been telling those friends who ask 'why me'... just trust the process, i keep saying.... and yeah, i try to live it too - can't not practice what i preach! :D (as Madonna says in one of her songs "life is a lesson we have to learn" - and as we know, some subjects/classes/lessons are more difficult than others :)