While we may think of stability and flexibility as opposites, Chaos theory suggests both are required for a system to continue. Research has found that chaos often overlays a higher order. In fact, chaos itself is found to have order within it. The simple formula of fractals, for example, is found throughout nature.
Natural systems display random fluctuations arising from order. If something is too stable or if the randomness is suppressed, it becomes rigid. Tall buildings must be able to move with the wind and earth or they will collapse. Rigidity becomes inertia (tamas guna), then entropy (disorder) takes over.
This is also true bodily. For example, if you watch a family playing a game on the floor, the children will wiggle about while the adults sit still. The kids jump up quickly, the adults more and more stiffly with age.
Too much change makes us feel like a leaf, buffeted by the wind. So we need that stable inner base of being. But too much stillness leads to rigidity. Balance is the key.
This is true even of spiritual practices. Shiva the destroyer is associated with consciousness. While he is the destroyer of ignorance, an excess of ungrounded transcendence leads one to poor health and finances. The Vedic principle is dying the cloth – you dip the cloth in the dye (consciousness), then hang it out in the sun to bleach (activity). Repeat until the colour becomes fast. Too much dye, the fabric rots. Too much sun, the fabric also deteriorates.
We need a little chaos to stay stable and alive. Homeostasis isn’t control, it’s flexibility – balance in the face of change.
This is the dance of life. To find our stable roots within, then enjoy the adventure of constant change.
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