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Creativity and Chaos—As Creativity Births New Forms It May Appear Chaotic

Perhaps what we call Chaos is actually Creativity in the process of birthing new ordered forms.

Throughout the history of the universe, changes have been ongoing. Common cyclic themes include birth/death, order/disorder, and evolution/devolution. Space and time needed for identifiable change vary. For Earth and life on it, when the process is slow enough to allow for adaptations along the way, such as a bird changing its beak shape, the changes appear to proceed smoothly and there is less urgent stress on the systems involved. When the change is catastrophic, such as a volcanic eruption, adaptation must happen afterwards, often under desperate conditions. Implicit in these changes are roles for Creativity and Chaos.[1]

One way to describe change is that Creativity is continuously in the process of birthing new ordered forms and within that process there are temporary periods of apparent disorder required. Another way to describe change is that Chaos is necessary first so that Creativity will then have separated components available to choose from to connect into new ordered forms. Either way, or some other, Creativity and Chaos are intimately related.

In our current times, it seems that chaos is often the prevailing condition. Has Chaos captured Creativity to use it for creating more chaos? I sometimes feel it has, such as when I learn about refugees fleeing from the impact of climate changes, brutal terrorism, widespread corruption, and other states of disorder. I can get discouraged witnessing current events that make the whole world appear chaotic and unbalanced. I’ve even asked if my own Creativity has been kidnapped and held prisoner by Chaos so that I am stymied to act. I refuse to accept that as true, however, and search for a clearer viewspace.

Creativity’s greatest moment to act is in this time of mounting confusion, for the energy to make the change is lessened by the dislodging that comes from our frustration.

I regard Creativity as an essence of existence that assists in the evolution of the universe. It is ever-present and ready to participate in the generation of novel forms. As humans, we can express new forms through words, material works of art, designs for renewable sources of energy, and so much more. Creativity is like a silent guide originating from our unconscious. We need only the intent of listening to her to bring her designs into our conscious awareness. Once there, we have choices about whether and how to bring something new into being.

There are more options for new connections when there are more parts available from which to choose. Frustration or dissatisfaction can be feelings evoked by old patterns being broken into parts. If we try to hold on to parts that must break away, it is likely to be futile. Instead we can view those parts as subcomponents for our inner Creativity to choose to use. Creativity’s expansion of novelty through imaginative connections can influence the expansion of our own awareness for the process breaks old neuronal connections and forms new ones. We can convert frustration to elation through creative action.

When I sense the chaos being promoted by the intentional corruption, cruelty, or greed of others, I find myself feeling broken in both mind and heart. I am especially devastated by the ravaging of Earth. Some primitive part of me rises up to take action without knowing what action to take. It’s like goodness and truth and beauty are being razed one after another. I have to believe it is only past structures that are being razed and not the fundamental essence of Goodness, Truth, and Beauty. I believe these can always be creatively expressed in deeper and broader new forms.

With this belief I reflect on the nature of Creativity and what it offers. Rather than weep over the chaotic dismantling of what brought me comfort in the past, I can choose to see all the broken parts as pieces to be converted into new forms. I think especially of piles of discarded ideas, philosophies, standards of relationships, roles of groups of people, ways of treating Earth, and so on. Forms that were effective at one time in history may now need to be recreated into forms prescient to the emerging Ecozoic era. This is the challenging task at hand that impacts us all and drives us to identify common themes of natural processes.

If I am confused now by the potential loss of my previous way of life, if I am anxious about ruthless destruction of my preferred surroundings, if I am fearful of dictators setting brutal rules, there is still something no one can take away from me even in the midst of chaotic times. I will always have an inherent freedom to choose from whatever material or ideological remains are available. I will always have what still resides in my mind and heart to create what renews my inner way of life. I will always be able to send an intention to my unconscious for Creativity to play with until its answer rises into my consciousness for me to enact.

It may require more courage, humility, and persistence to make choices under chaotic circumstances. Perhaps that is one pathway to increase the inner dedication and personal strength required to express creatively. Both Chaos and Creativity may be needed in order to offer one’s finest gifts in service to the humanity of which one is a member.

I am Creativity waiting to serve in the darkness of your Chaos . . . to affirm my presence as the ordering principle that empowers you to reform anew.

© B. A. Luceigh, 10/2019

An earlier version of this essay first appeared in Betty Luceigh’s blog on Psychology Today.com called “Is It Beautiful?”


[1] Chaos has different meanings for physics, common use, or Greek mythology. I use it here in the general sense of local disorder and, when capitalized, as a state of being of energy/matter within the universe. Creativity is capitalized to indicate it as a universal driving force toward order