Metaphysics 101 – Purpose or Chaos – Is There a Pattern to Personal Experience?

by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

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As we awaken from our deep sleep in matter, we slowly but surely expand our horizons and our possibilities, particularly in the area of non-physical experience. We learn that we are not just our bodies and that there is more to us than the visible. We learn that we have higher possibilities for our consciousness and get excited for the opportunity that awaits our attention. As discussed in previous articles, sometimes progress is a “two steps forward, one step back” cosmic dance, but over time we do make progress. We must stay committed, accept occasional failures or lessons, put in the thought and the effort, walk the walk and talk the talk. We, during this journey, have an “Aha” moment, when the pieces fit together like a puzzle and awareness flashes upon us. Those are moments to be treasured because they have definitely been earned, and that moment of awareness can indicate a giant step forward in our consciousness. Yes, we may still have a long way to go but we are making real progress.

One of the quandaries we face fairly early in our spiritual development is whether life itself and its experiences are random and chaotic or purposeful in nature. Is there a pattern? Does this smack of fate or destiny? I was raised with traditional Christian values and did not have a great many philosophical questions or angst until my early thirties. At that time, I ran into the fact that I had several “blind beliefs” which defied my own ability to explain. That pushed me into questioning most of what I believed and I was shocked to find within my own consciousness multiple areas of blind belief. That was very uncomfortable for me, so I pursued the questions and the answers necessary for better-informed beliefs.

For this article we will look at the concepts of chaos and purpose. Does it have to be one or the other – as in versus? Or is it possible to live in a universe that embodies and uses both concepts?

  • According to my eMac dictionary, chaos is described first as disorder and confusion.
  • It then goes on to state that physics describes unpredictable behavior that appears random because there is “great sensitivity to small changes in conditions”.
  • The third definition is that of the formless matter that is thought to exist prior to the creation of the universe.
  • The fourth definition is from Greek mythology as the first created being.
  • Later in our evolution, during and after the 15th century, chaos represented a vast chasm or void.
  • There is an associated term called chaos theory that has a natural affinity with our question citing mathematics similar to the physics definition above, adding “small alterations can give rise to strikingly great consequences”.

Chaos Theory I am in the process of studying chaos theory, so I do not feel qualified to do much as yet. What had struck me previously with the word chaos was total randomness. Chaos theory refers to an underlying order, or seemingly chaotic patterns that serve structure and purpose, which is to me quite the opposite of the word chaos. My own study of this has recently taken me into the realm of fractals, which are extraordinarily fascinating. Again, I’m a neophyte, but there is the most amazing mathematical progression and creativity in the study of fractals. What can appear to be random or unconnected has the incredible patterns and connections, not truly random in any way and deeper in purpose than I ever imagined. I recommend fractals and/or chaos theory for a personal study.  Be prepared to spend some time.

Chaos If chaos (total randomness, no pattern or order) is true, how in the world do we all live any kind of “normal” life?  How would we even know what “normal” was? If I pick up my right foot (assuming I can figure out where my foot is and what it looks like in a universe ruled by chaos) to take a single step and there is no order, how and where do I put my foot down and to what purpose?  I do not understand how life could have existence or any form of coordination could occur under that circumstance. To me that type of existence would look like a kaleidoscope, constantly moving, randomly in that motion, serving no purpose and achieving nothing in particular. I cannot imagine the value in total disorder and purposeless experience. Sorry, my personal consciousness does not buy into that and yes, I do realize that could be a result of my ignorance of the subject.

Purpose To me there is an underlying theme or purpose to existence and we can define that purpose and pattern in billions of ways, at least once for each of the 6.8 billion humans alive on this globe at this time (2009). I am an astrologer. I study the heavens and the cosmic cycles. I have studied human nature and experience through thousands of readings and research. As close as I can tell there is reason and purpose to the universe and to the life we experience. I do not go as far as rigid destiny or fate, but I do see predictable patterns – lots of them. I do see a rhythm and purpose to experience, my own and the thousands of others for whom I have read and continue to read.

If the universe provided us with an instruction manual or recipe for living, with no personal freedom or option to our choices and actions, that would suggest a fated existence. We would be automatons with no free will and no real learning cycle. Whatever created that circumstance would receive little if any value to that type of creation. This creation we are experiencing, however it came into existence, is 13.8 billion years old (scientists’ current best estimate). What if there were no purpose and all was random and chaotic, with a few billion more years to go before it simply runs out of gas and dies? Does that scenario make sense to you? 

However, if the universe provided us with an incredibly large venue for experience and a concept that provides for progression of consciousness, the sky would be the limit for that progression. The creative factor would have enormous feedback and potential for growth. And we universal sparks of consciousness would have opportunity, experience and growth. It could appear to be chaotic at any point, but an underlying pattern is always in existence, it just might not be visible.

If you are a creationist, then Deity “caused” existence. If you are a scientist, the Big Bang is the cause of existence. I do think that both theories sound like a Big Bang creation to me. If you are a creationist, Deity is at the core and in the driver’s seat. If you are an evolutionist, we started from a random big bang but cycles and order ensued. Evolution has a pattern based on survival of the fittest (and circumstance). It seems to me like both science and religion espouse purpose and pattern, but they just choose different words and labels… and then argue with each other. We are arguing semantics.

Life is. Life has emergence, pattern and purpose. Evolution of mind and circumstance exists. We grow and become because there is rhythm and reason to living. Occasionally individuals devolve only to have new and different experiences. The universe, however it came into being, does not allow destruction of a piece of itself. The universe has alternatives. The universe, however it was created, has time to allow growth and evolution, eons of time. Living our life with zest and participation is our way forward.

Recommended Reading:

“Chaos or Purpose – a Universal Question to Existence – My Argument is for Purpose”

Published on EZine online Jun,e 2010, republished with slight editing.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.