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Creativity and Chaos

As creativity births new forms, it may appear chaotic.

Photo by Luceigh. Used with permission
Source: Photo by Luceigh. Used with permission

Perhaps what we call chaos is actually creativity in the process of birthing new ordered forms.

Throughout the history of the universe, changes have been ongoing. Common cyclic themes include birth/death, construction/destruction, order/disorder, and evolution/devolution. Space and time needed for identifiable change vary.

For Earth and life on it, when the process is slow enough to allow for adaptations along the way, such as a bird changing its beak shape, the changes appear to proceed smoothly, and there is less urgent stress on the systems involved. When the change is catastrophic, such as a volcanic eruption, adaptation must happen afterward, often under desperate conditions. Implicit in these changes are roles for creativity and chaos. 1

One way to describe change is that creativity is continuously in the process of birthing new ordered forms, and within that process, there are temporary periods of apparent disorder required. Another way to describe change is that chaos is necessary first so that creativity will then have separated components available to choose from to connect into new ordered forms. Either way, creativity and chaos seem to be intimately related.

In our current times, it seems that chaos is often the prevailing condition. Has chaos captured creativity to use it for creating more chaos? I sometimes feel it has, such as when I learn about climate change effects, masses of suffering refugees, brutal terrorism, widespread corruption, and other states of disorder.

I can get discouraged witnessing current events that make the whole world appear chaotic and unbalanced. I’ve even asked if my own creativity has been kidnapped and held prisoner by chaos so that I am stymied to act. I refuse to accept that as true, however, and search for a clearer view space.

Creativity’s greatest moment to act is in this time of mounting confusion, for the energy to make the change is lessened by the dislodging that comes from our frustration.

I regard creativity as an essence of existence that assists in the evolution of the universe. It is ever-present and ready to participate in the generation of novel forms. As humans, we can express new forms through words, material works of art, dance movements, designs of new physical objects, and so much more.

Creativity is like a silent guide originating from our unconscious. We need only the intent of listening to her to bring her designs into our conscious awareness. Once there, we have choices whether and how to bring something new into being.

There are more options for new connections when there are more parts available from which to choose. Frustration or dissatisfaction can be feelings evoked by old patterns being broken into more parts. If we try to hold on to parts that must break away, it is likely to be futile.

Instead, we can view those parts as subcomponents for our inner creativity to choose to use. Creativity’s expansion of novelty through imaginative connections can influence the expansion of our own awareness, for we then have a purpose to break old neuronal connections and form new ones. We can convert frustration to elation through creative action.

When I sense the chaos being promoted by the intentional corruption, cruelty, or greed of others, I find myself feeling broken in both mind and heart. Piles of misdeeds, lies, and ugliness remain to rot in plain sight. Some part of me rises up to take action without knowing what action to take.

It’s like goodness and truth and beauty are being razed one after another. I have to believe it is only past structures that are being razed and not the fundamental essence of goodness, truth, and beauty. I believe these can always be creatively expressed in deeper and broader new forms.

With this belief, I reflect on the nature of creativity and what it offers. Rather than weep over the chaotic dismantling of what brought me comfort in the past, I can choose to see all the broken parts as pieces to be connected into new forms, easier to do once they are already broken into smaller units. One might interpret this as going to a dump to pick up trash pieces to create a house with new ways to conserve energy or to save space. Maybe so, but I also think of piles of discarded ideas, philosophies, standards of relationships, roles of groups of people, ways of treating Earth, and so on. Forms that were effective at one time in history may now need to be recreated into forms prescient to a new, emerging era.

If I am confused now by the potential loss of my previous way of life, if I am anxious about the ruthless destruction of my preferred surroundings, if I am fearful of dictators setting brutal rules, there is still something no one can take away from me, even in the midst of chaotic times. I will always have the inherent freedom to choose from whatever material or ideological remains are available. I will always have what still resides in my mind and heart to create what renews my inner way of life. I will always be able to send an intention to my unconscious for creativity to play with until its answer rises into my consciousness for me to enact.

It may require more courage, humility, and persistence to make choices under chaotic circumstances. Perhaps that is one pathway to increase inner dedication and personal strength required to express creatively. Both chaos and creativity may be needed in order to offer one’s finest gifts in service to the humanity of which one is a member.

I am creativity waiting to serve in the darkness of your chaos . . . to affirm my presence as the ordering principle that empowers you to reform anew.

© B. A. Luceigh, 10/2019


1 Chaos has different meanings for physics, common use, or Greek mythology. I use it here in the general sense of local disorder and, when capitalized, as a state of being of energy/matter within the universe. Creativity is capitalized to indicate it as a universal driving force toward order.

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