Tuesday, 16 November 2010


From the Chaos Theory we get the “Butterfly Effect”, then we get ‘sensitive dependence’ whereby both describe the changes that take place in any given scenario no matter how small that can affect the long term prognosis or estimate of what will happen or could happen. Small changes which to the casual observer mean relatively nothing or are indeed insignificant can eventually produce devastating or dramatic changes to a concept or theory or projection. Even our washing machines and dishwashers use a type of “fuzzy logic” to predict a random set of events or circumstances to give us a better and cleaner and more efficient wash. Every day pilots flying around the world often have to make small but continuous adjustments to the aircraft speed and direction otherwise they would miss the destination airport particularly on long haul flights. Chaos like anything else changes in appearance depending upon how we look at it, from a snapshot chaos is just that something that is literally chaotic and is all over the place or hasn’t got set parameters or boundaries. But from the “bigger picture” it has a definition and a life of its own that can accommodate relative predictable and quantifiable areas that together can be utilised to provide a solution to many problems. Knowing that a certain degree of predictable unpredictability is to happen allows us to programme such events into an equation and work out something that gives us a tangible grasp of whatever it is we are looking at. In short there is an order in life and sometimes that order has a span greater than we imagine or possibly shorter too so everything has to be looked at in context.

Where our human thought comes into play it’s often somewhat different in that we rarely see the bigger picture or make allowances for events or situations. Preferring to jump straight into the emotional aspect of what we feel or what we perceive and not put a great deal of thought into considering implications and conditions unless they stand out a mile and then we don’t often do justice to what we have gleaned. Many people go drastically wrong by assumptions and by wanting to move on too quickly and get some degree of closure or resolution based upon the facts as they see them. And facts are relative, if we are wealthy then the price of a small car is not only cheap we wouldn’t even consider buying it, if we are somewhat ‘hard up’ then even the cost of a cheap car could be quite considerable and we may even need a loan, so what is said by whom always needs to be born out by the credentials of who is saying what and for what reason. Most people like order in their lives it gives stability as well as a feeling that they know that they can move in different directions on the understanding that their bearings are always relative to their movement. But where even minor chaos is in evidence one can move forward and from where one came everything has now changed although in itself that position still exists. For example in a revolving restaurant, one gets up from the table to go to the toilet, on returning your table has moved forward further round the building yet the core has remained firmly where it is so you have to look around to get your bearings again and then find your table, simple, but with life itself it can be far more complicated.

How we live our lives depends upon how we view life and accept the changeability of same as well as at times the unpredictability and the consequences of such. There are many variables in our lives and many that we take well within our stride, that a certain road is closed so we go via another route that we know, or the buses or underground has routes that are not running for some technical reason, we with a little thought plan our journey in our mind using what knowledge we have of the transport system, and so it goes on. The future of our lives rests with what we do today even though there are ponder-able areas such as bereavement, winning or being bequeathed some money, or bankruptcy, or illness etc, that can radically alter the structure of our lives and how we respond defines the quality and ability we have in coping with whatever it is that’s made such a difference. Our mind rules who we are, it’s just so personal to us, even if we go around taking advice from anyone who can string a sentence together, it’s a choice we make, and the resultant actions are down to us to follow. There is an order in life and we are both part of that order and part of the larger chaos at the same time. We can make both aspects work towards our own benefit and it can be very advantageous that we consider facts in future about decisions to be made as opposed to blindly jumping in then wondering yet again why things aren’t exactly where they should be and that yet again there is a dead end sign ahead.

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©John Rushton / The Life Alchemist 2010

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