The Light and the Chaos

By: Danny Geisz | December 15, 2020

Project: #Life

Sup Schmeags. Insofar as my perception of reality can be taken to be a non-local standard, it appears as though reality can be understood as a compositional and hierarchical collection of entities. For sake of precision, I’m defining and entity to be any stable system with well-defined characteristics and behaviors.

That’s somewhat redundant, because a “behavior” is simply a characteristic with a temporal element, but we’re time-bound creatures, so I find it to be a useful categorization.

You know what? I’m going to capitalize Entity because I’m the lord of this blog, and nothing can stop me.

Now it’s quite important to me that you understand the generality of an Entity. While the term “entity” typically brings to mind some connotation of either a physical object or some abstract localized notion, please understand that an Entity, as I’ve defined it, is far more general.

There’s nothing inherent that constrains an Entity to be spatially localized in any capacity. Additionally, there’s nothing that constrains an Entity to behave in a smooth, locally linear fashion throughout the expanse of time. It just so happens that within our three space dimensions and time dimension, there happen to be a higher degree of correlations that occur between Entities which are closer in time and space. And I most certainly mean closer in the typical sense.

So then, why talk about Entities? Well, friend, they’re kinda the only thing that matters. And you know the most important aspect of them? Stability. To add a slight caveat, they’re important insofar as knowledge that is useful to human survival is important.

Why is stability important? Well, the only reason you can comprehend, articulate, or imagine anything is because the objects of your interest have some degree of stability.

Good heavens, I suppose I should define stability so that the importance of this topic is clear. By stability, I mean the extent to which an Entity is able to maintain its characteristics and behaviors as time progresses.

This definition is intrinsically bounded in time, but it is generalizable to any situation in which there’s even the slightest notion of evolution in the state of a system.

That’s kinda a side note. Anyway, back to the importance of stability. Why are homo sapiens a big deal? Because they’re a highly adaptable Entity that are able to contend with their environment in a manner that allows them to promote their personal and group stability in a highly robust fashion. Why do you care about Netflix? Because it’s an Entity which has proved to be highly stable throughout the last decade and has behaviors and characteristics which bring humans utility. Why are sub-atomic particles important? Because they’re so incredibly stable and have such a robust set of behaviors that they’re able to constitute an unreasonably large number of higher-order Entities.

I do hope that this has somewhat convinced you about the importance of Entities and stability. If you’re not convinced, respectfully go shuck a duck.

Now then, let’s talk a bit about what makes Entities stable. A very good first step is for the Entity to be internally stable. And by “good first step,” I mean “unavoidable, crucially important first step.” By internally stable, I mean that the sub-Entities which constitute this particular Entity are in and of themselves stable.

So, to give examples, a molecule is only stable because the atoms that constitute the molecule are stable. A cell (as in Eukaryote) is stable only because its organelles are stable. Here’s one you might like. Why is Netflix stable? There are literally to many sub-factors to even name. In order to Netflix to be even possible, let alone stable, you need a large population of people with computers and Televisions, you need a stable power-grid that typically behaves in a well-defined fashion, you need a stable population of producers who are willing to make shows, you need a stable population of actors and actresses who want to be in shows in the first place. You need a stable frikin internet, which allows for the highest bandwidth of information transfer even conceived.

I could certainly go on, but I think you get the idea. Basically, stable things (Entities) can only exist if their constituent parts (sub-Entities) are stable.

I really should emphasize that by “stable,” I do not mean “static.” Static means “fixed in some capacity.” Anyone who remembers the God-awful early days of Netflix can attest to the fact that many times, an Entity needs to adapt and improve if it is to survive.

Now then, I didn’t actually want to spend the entirety of this post reiterating my theory of Entities, so let’s talk about the aspect of Entities that’s important for this particular post.

In order for an Entity to be stable, not only does it have to be internally stable, but it also must be externally stable as well. This presupposes that an Entity is necessarily embedded in some environment, but that seems to be a safe assumption because it applies to literally every Entity ever witnessed and recorded by a human being.

Whether you’re an atom, a molecule, a coronavirus, a human being, a literal planet, or a nebula, in order to be stable, you need to be able to contend with your environment. And your environment typically presents a myriad of threats to your stability.

Imagine I’m an amoeba. I’m boolin around, absorbing organic matter, doing my thing, and them all of a sudden, BOOM I run into a eukaryotic cell! Oh frikin no!

Now, lets put the dirty biology aside for a second and talk about what could happen in this here Mexican showdown between different forms of organic matter.

  1. The Entities could both just go their own separate ways, and nothing more happens.
  2. The amoeba could potentially destroy the eukaryotic cell.
  3. The cell could potentially destroy the amoeba.

And when I say destroy, I’m not necessarily talking about some evil, premeditated attack. It could be as simple as the amoeba running into the cell, which ruptures the cell, causing it to no longer exist as a Eukaryotic cell.

Basically, what I’m getting at is that both organisms potentially pose a threat to one another.

Ok, whatever. It’s possible one or both of the organisms won’t survive the interaction. And who cares? They aren’t conscious, they don’t have souls, they don’t have feelings. If they die, literally no one knows or cares.

Be that as it may, if the eukaryotic cell possessed the capability to contend with the amoeba, then it would have a higher chance of survival.

How would it do this? Well, both of these organisms live in our 4-dimensional world, so perhaps the eukaryotic cell has a chemical detector that is able to detect the presence of an amoeba or other external threat. Let’s say this chemical detector, once activated, triggers a mechanism that propels it away from the threat.

Alternatively, let’s say the cell has a mechanism which releases a powerful acid if it’s threatened. Then, when the amoeba approaches, BOOM chemical blast. The amoeba dies!

As a third potentially rarer option, let’s say that when the amoeba approaches the eukaryotic cell, the amoeba realizes that the eukaryotic cell is excreting a chemical that is necessary for the amoeba’s survival. Likewise, the eukaryotic cell realizes that the amoeba destroys other harmful organisms that approach, so it’s the in cell’s best interest to keep the amoeba around. Thus, the two organisms live symbiotically, and potentially merge into a higher-order Entity.

So there you have it! When faced with an external threat, a stable Entity probably should flee, fight, or “learn” to cooperate with the threat. You’ll notice that I have in no way presupposed the existence of emotions, goals, motivations, consciousness, or anything of that sort. All I’ve asserted is that if Entities possess these particular traits, they’ll likely be more stable.

Ok. Now then, let’s talk the Light and the Chaos. I’m about to get all Daoist on all y’all, so prepare yourselves. The Light represents order, structure, and the “known.” The Chaos is an abstraction for everything not in the light, the “Great Unknown” in the most expansive meaning of the phrase.

As stable Entities, human beings exist at the boundary of the Light and the Chaos. As the most stable inheritor of a truly staggering array of lower-level stable Entities, not only do we impulsively live at the edge of the Light and the Chaos, but we’re also conscious of our position.

Now I should say that the boundary between the Light and Chaos is in no way clear cut. The Light and Chaos rather bleed into one another. The Chaos permeates every facet of the Light, but to differing degrees. However, regardless of the Chaos, there are always still areas where the Light promises of its own existence.

Now then, let’s discuss what we might do about our present reality of Light and Chaos. Where ought we strive to live?

Should we walk into the depths of the Chaos? I certainly think not! That would be akin to nearing the gaping mouth of an inky black cave, hearing the sounds of terrible beasts rustling around within, and nevertheless strolling inward.

Should we call that bravery? Perhaps. But also likely suicide. Much like the cave, not only do you have no knowledge of the dangers which lurk within, but you also are in no way prepared to contend with the dangers when they attack. And thus, to plunge into the Chaos is external defeat, and is therefore evident of internal defeat.

But what else can we do? Should we wallow in the Light? In an area entirely permeated by the Light, with not a shred of Chaos in sight, adventure goes to die. There is nothing meaningful whatsoever about living entirely within the confines of the Light. It spells certain survival, but survival at what cost? There’s nothing more soul crushing than a guarantee of nothing new, nothing fresh, a staggering lack of adventure. You will live, but you will live in a state more despicable than death.

So what is left? What leads to a meaningful existence? An existence that perhaps has some degree of important within the context of reality?

It is along the murky Border of the Light and the Chaos that we must walk. Only at the Border of this duality is meaning to be found. Only at the Border does Light no longer represent despicable stagnation. Only at the Border does Chaos no longer spell certain failure and defeat.

At the border, Light becomes the structure we use to remain afloat, the tools we use to build, and the weapons we use to fight. At the Border, Chaos becomes nothing short of the giver of life, continually presenting us with the newness and adventure as crucial to our souls as water or food is to out bodies.

It is at the Border where Heroes are formed. It is at the Border where the most glorious humanity has to offer take up the sword and the hammer, and truly contend with the chaos. It is at the Border where Jacob wrestles God. It is at the Border where Atlas holds up the sky. It is where Light is spoken into Chaos.

It is where meaning lies.