What do you think of when you hear the word chaos?
Maybe a hectic time in your life, a scramble of not knowing what to do, a scene from a movie with a lot of bad guys and explosions?
The funny thing is, that is what chaos is, but it isn’t at the same time. According to Merriam-Webster, chaos is “complete confusion and disorder; a state in which behavior and events are not controlled by anything.” I like to think of chaos in terms of the chaos theory though.
The chaos theory states (in a very simple definition) that randomness in events has an underlying order that can’t be fully predicted. The double pendulum is a great example of chaotic motion. Check out this clip.
Now the really interesting thing is when you take two double pendulums and drop them from two points that can be infinitely close to each other, without being the same. The motion starts to be very similar, I mean they do have the exact same structure and similar initial conditions. But then there becomes a point in time when they start going on different paths, almost acting like aren’t similar to each other. This is chaos.
Okay, now to explain this is a real world sense, since we aren’t double pendulums. The chaos theory is why people get anxious over doing a simple thing wrong even in the slightest way. We have intuition telling us that this could go very wrong if we don’t get it right, it could turn out chaotic.
We let that idea consume us. We have to get it perfect, we need to know the order of events, it needs to go as planned or I will create chaos (perfectionists will know exactly what I’m talking about).
Did you ever stop to think about how beautiful chaos is though?
The path of a double pendulum appears to be completely random, swinging in every direction without any visible course. But there is, you just don’t know it.
The path of your life appears to be completely random, heading in every direction without any visible course. But there is, you just don’t know it.
Life has a predetermined path, and we think changing a single condition of it, in the slightest, will change the entire outcome. We classically forget that our pendulum was dropped from the initial condition already. There is no changing the path, it is already set.
New things start to occur in our lives, don’t mistake those for a new initial condition, they are just the pendulum changing directions again. As you saw, the pendulum can change rather rapidly at times. But that’s not a new start, at least for the motion as a whole. It is however a new start to the motion in a new direction.
Isn’t that beautiful?!
Do you feel that sigh of relief? You can’t control any of the events, but eventually they will swing back and start anew. So there is nothing to worry about! Just watch the beauty of your life unfold.
Go with whatever your life brings. Certain people are brought into your life, without any warning, welcome them. Events can be presented to you to be involved in, take advantage of them. Don’t regret not going for it, because you were worried about what it might cause. Find the joy and happiness in what appears to be random.
There’s no understanding of what is to come. People are corrupt, unhappy, greedy, but in no means does that mean you shouldn’t go for something.
Everyone is the protagonist in the story of their life. You could learn a lot from trying to see the world how they do. Don’t sit and judge someone before you’ve tried to look at their perspective.
An event that causes you to question everything you ever knew? I can see how that could scare you. We like following scripts, taking the quickest path. Why not take the scenic route though? You’ll get to see a lot more out of it, and you might not have many chances to see it again.
We have this fatal flaw of the human condition. It’s hard for us to just be, to just let things take there course. But when you are able to accomplish that, oh the benefits you will reap.
Now just imagine if everyone in the world started to try and accomplish that. That’s thinking big, and who knows the wonders we could achieve. And that starts with you.
Each initial condition of the double pendulum that is ever so slightly different is each person in this world. We all have our own beautiful path to let be.
So you tell me, how wonderful can chaos be?