Remember when you first learned about the idea of order residing in chaos? How our bodies, a collection of pieces serving different purposes, function in such a way that we are actually able to live. The universe, with all its seemingly random rocks, stars, planets and vastness, could be viewed as some giant deities puddle of vomit. Yet we are a part of a clockwork system that is structured so perfectly that every morning we can wake up knowing that we’ll have the sun to greet us. As far randomness goes, the randomness of reality appears relatively structured.
Order in chaos is inherent to the basic make up of our world and the way that it operates. Life, at first glance, always appears chaotic; full of differing pieces and seeming randomness. But one brushstroke cannot paint the whole picture, and just as each brush stroke works to create a painting, the chaos connects to reveal something structured and clear.
Our culture is going through a very unique move in its understanding. Ambiguity has replaced objectivity. The rise of the role of individual perception has allowed for personal understanding to be what dictates truth rather than common and hierarchical understanding. This, to some, is dangerous. It is viewed as a compromise of truth, leaving facts for individualized fiction. However, I want to suggest that the rise of individual perception, while at first may confuse and convolute, will eventually lead to the same order amidst chaos that the rest of the universe operates under.
If individual perception were a face, every human perception would be one small characteristic of the whole. One persons perspective would be an eyelash, another the arc of a lip, another the lines on the outer part of someones eye when it squints, and so on. When a person falls in love with someone, they never fall for just one of those tiny qualities, they fall in love with the compilation of it all. Sure, someones eyes can be beautiful, but you don’t fall in love with just the eyes. It is the the collection of the individual pieces where beauty is found.
This idea in the world of philosophy is known as an organic unity. It is the whole that establishes beauty rather than one tiny characteristic. Organic unities are tied to the same idea of order in chaos. The sun alone makes very little sense and holds very little purpose, but when viewed as the sustainer of life on earth, it begins to serve a purpose. One tire on a car doesn’t make the car capable of travel, it is the tire tied to the unit of the vehicle that makes it move. The individual pieces aren’t the collective, the collection of the individual pieces form the collective.
In the same sense, not one individual perspective makes sense, but the compilation of all individual perspectives to find the ultimate and reoccurring theme is where beauty and truth reside. Prior to this period of time (the post-modern era), authorities tried to accomplish finding what ultimate reality was. However, the problem, which has been and is still heavily criticized, is that that the understanding of ultimate reality was located in the hands of the authority.
We are currently in a period where that means of determining truth still exists but is subsiding and giving way to the role of individual perception. Although I’m optimistic about this shift, I still recognize the selfish nature of humanity. My take is that the beginning of this shift will be selfish in nature and will focuses around the”me” or “I.” This isn’t much of an individual realization as ithas been made abundantly clear through products like the iPhone, iPad, and, my personal favorite, the selfie stick. The individual, with their new found self importance, will consume products that promote their individualism. In due time though, I believe that people will begin to recognize the flaws of individuality when found in consumerism alone. There will be a rise in seeing how individual longings that are more existential tend to be very similar to the vast majority of other existential longings of all people. And that’s where the fun starts.
I would suggest that it is this existential shift in postmodernism that will help pave the way for the human construction of a so called “heaven on earth,” or, as the Jesuit paleontologist/philosopher Teilhard de Chardin calls it, the “omega point.” Once humanity recognizes how their desire for peace, love, hope, and prosperity are also the desires of the vast majority of everyone else, they will begin to construct that reality. A slow process to be sure, but a process that, once it becomes conscious to the collective mind of society, will grow rapidly.
Now undoubtedly there will be push back to this because of extremists tied to all different religious and political titles, but as the latin phrase Amor Vincit Omnia suggests, eventually, love conquers all. If people begin to recognize their individual longing for peace and love, they will see that that is something that unites them with almost everyone else. Rather than finding the shallow reward of individual consumerism, focuses will be set on the universal reward of harmonious unity, and work will be directed to reach that end.
However, we are at the very beginning of the “me” generation and therefore it must go though the selfish side inherent to it first. Yet, once humans begin to see that the worldly things like products don’t last, I believe they will set their sites on things of eternal importance like love. Not eternal in the sense that they take us elsewhere when we die, but eternal because they extend past the basic worldly context of our individual lives into a far greater reality. The reality of peace, universal love and acceptance, and a heavenly realm right here on this earth.