Sunday 26 November 2023

Order or Chaos - or the Third Way: How the options of Life seem to the typical modern (perpetual-) adolescent?

I suspect that, in very general terms, the modern materialist mainstream person - whose attitudes are (unless they are very young) essentially adolescent - sees life as a choice (in practice always a compromise) between the possibilities of order and chaos. 

Order and chaos are given institutional form in bureaucracy versus the mass media; realism idealism; ideology instinct; optimal outcomes for society over the longer-term "myself" in the short-term; or globalist totalitarianism versus sexual (and other) gratifications unrestrained.

There is some basis of 'truth' - and indeed Good - in both of these extremes; which is why they have appeal and sufficient surface plausibility to be a Life Goal. 

Yet, as goals; both extremes are alike impossible to implement; and lead to misery when attempted; while any compromise, while more sustainable, is doubly unsatisfying - unsatisfying on both sides - in both directions.    

I would have thought it obvious that neither of these options, nor any combination or middle way between them, is actually a Good Life; but the problem is that these are implicitly regarded as the only possible options - which is why the "order v chaos" dichotomy appears in so many guises, and so many places, in modern society.

Clearly we must have a Third Way, which is hierarchically above both order and chaos (or their manifestations) - and this Third Way is the path following Jesus Christ and leading into resurrected eternal life in Heaven. It is a path by which love and creativity in mortal life is carried forward to divine life in a divine society.

The Third Way is what enables someone to look above and beyond the merely temporary satisfactions and compromises of this mortal life; but which also enables the utmost value to derive from the choices and actions (including thoughts) of this mortal life. 

However the existence of this Third Way is outside the allowed-realities of materialism - the Third is, in short, a spiritual way, and therefore excluded by assumption from all the discourses of modernity. 

This means that it is very difficult, and in the short term often impossible, to describe and offer the Third option as a realistic, here-and-now-and-forever path to a typically materialist adolescent-minded modern person. 

Modern people simple won't believe the Third Way is possible, and cannot therefore get into a position of choosing it. 

I suppose that this is why the modern world is what it is, and going where it is going. Having refused even to acknowledged the possibility and reality of the Third Way; The West is following-out the consequences of this rejection to its bitter end.

Those who choose order and totalitarianism are seeing their plans sabotaged by those whose allegiance is to chaos and hedonism; while, in order to survive and have power, the hedonists are required to sustain a miserable and anti-life system of totalitarianism - while the would-be moderates are buffeted to-and-fro, and their lives wrecked by the oscillations and clashes of the extremes*.

Having rejected outright the chance to learn-from and choose-between Life experiences of mortality; our civilization has chosen, and is getting, some very tough, very harsh lessons regarding the inevitable misery and meaninglessness of a life of materialism.

Both as individuals, and perhaps collectively, Modern Men are being confronted by the fact that a life without purpose or meaning is a mere existence - and for most people, most of the time, such an existence is intolerable to contemplate - and can be dealt with only by refusing to contemplate it - by self-impairment with distraction, drugs, or whatever effectively prevents thought. 

*Note. The characteristic mainstream modern intellectual is (whatever his supposed function) "some kind of manager" - and the characteristic mindset of such persons is precisely to oscillate between a rigidly bureaucratic, servile-to-superiors/ arrogant-to-subordinates, anti-individual, anti-human professional life; and an ideology of extreme leftist-radicalism rooted in a kind of deification of some individuals (who 'represent' and are conceptualized in terms of oppressed groups). The oscillation is often manifested as an individual - with a persona of obedient officialdom at work; but with transgressive sex, alcohol and drug intoxication outside of work. Another oscillation is when there are unprincipled exceptions to bureaucratic rules and laws granted to favoured persons; alternating with progressively ever-increasing surveillance and control of individuals and subordination of 'private' behaviours to bureaucratic imperatives.   


Alexey said...

I always viewed chaos/order dichotomy as a sort of a fantasy pseudophilosophy

Bruce Charlton said...

@A - I would say that the idea is implicit in a great deal (nearly all?) of metaphysics that is not instead rooted in an ultimate unity/ oneness.

Chaos/ Order in some kind of interaction seems to be underpinning many major areas of discourse, indeed I can't really think of an exception; at least, the stuff I have encountered.

So much so, that I felt impelled to make a new metaphysics to satisfy myself.

Alexey said...

@BC I see order and chaos as a complementary things rather than opposite. Order bounds chaos into something meaningful which in turn allows for freedom(human from originally chaotic atomic and subatomic particles, for example)

Bruce Charlton said...

@A - As I said! It seems that you too hold to a metaphysics of order and chaos!

But I find it radically deficient.