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chaos star I am an adept of Chaos.
By saying that, I probably have conjured up all kinds of conceptions and judgements in your mind. But before you hitch on to those, step back and first ask the question: What is Chaos? Bear with me how I started out with the simple concepts from a role playing game, to arrive at something grander.

Dungeons and Dragons

When Gary Gygax devised Dungeons and Dragons, he realized he needed something to quantify ethics, with an eye towards metaphysics. He did so in true Dungeons and Dragons style, very simple but reasonably effective. He devised a subsystem with two axes: a vertical one with opposites in Good and Evil and a horizontal one with Order versus Chaos. Each was divided in three sections, so crossing them led to nine types of ethics, labeled with the awkward name 'alignments'.
Of the two axes, the Good-Evil one is the most clear. Most monotheistic religions spend all of their time dividing the world into good and evil, lauding the former and denouncing the latter. Everybody is familiar with the concepts, though the interpretation of what is good and what is evil differs through time and location.
The Order-Chaos axis is much less clear. Dungeons and Dragons describes Order as structured, constant, lawful, authoritarian and bureaucratic; Chaos as free, flexible, unpredictable or even insane. This does not touch on human ethics as forcibly as Good and Evil, so it never became popular outside the game.
I think that Gygax was right to put Order and Chaos into his system. But I also think that his implementation is all wrong.

Order and chaos

So what are Order and Chaos then? In my opinion they are not parts of human morality, but 'forces of nature'. Mind you, not physical forces, rather metaphysical and certainly not sentient ones. But fundamental forces nonetheless. As such, Order and Chaos present interesting viewpoints and that is why I am writing this here.


Order is about immutability. That does not mean that there is no change in Order, only on a small scale. Order is cyclic and repetitive. It shows itself in the cycle of day and night, the yearly seasons, birth and death of living beings, among others. Within the cycles things change, sometimes dramatically so, but on a large scale it is the same old story over and over again, making Order effectively static.


Chaos is still the opposite of Order. In Chaos change is fundamental, not repetitive. Every change brings something new. Examples of Chaos are the evolution of life, the progress of science and technology, the increasing complexity of human society. Eventually the change brought by Chaos leads to an ultimate endpoint, or where there is none, to infinity.

Chaos versus Order

Change generally does not come without a struggle, against the status quo of Order. Chaos may employ destruction as a tool, to break such stalemates apart. This does not mean that destruction is the only way of Chaos, building up is even more important. Breaking things apart to a previously occupied, often 'lower' level, even to build them up again is not renewing; it is repetive, in the domain of Order. In Chaos, things are broken apart only to make room for something new, something 'higher'. As these higher levels are often more complex and fragile than the lower ones, so keeping up Chaotic change often becomes more difficult while it progresses.


Conclusion? Sorry people, that does not make sense here. If I stuck to Order, I would not present a single conclusion but an infinite number of them, all similar. And if I adhered to Chaos, it would only be a stepping stone to the next. If I said I was an adept of Chaos, where do you think that I am now?