Everyone will tell you that time marches on, but no one will tell you why. Well, after taking this month-long vacation from the blog-nation I have collected few rough ideas and have my own opinions on the same. The thing is the deepest-of-deep answers to the timeless question of time lie hidden in plain sight. It’s right there.
But here’s a hard truth, a truth revealed by physics: The universe, the cosmos, you see- loves chaos. This is how it gives meaning to time. We all are doomed and our fates have been set.
About 400 years ago Isaac Newton figured out the basic laws prevailing matter and motion. Using these laws he could predict everything from the motion of planets to the exact path of a bank shot in a game of pool.
There was one flaw: Newton’s law can’t tell time.
To be precise, they can’t tell the direction of time. Make a movie of two billiard balls smacking into each other and Newton’s law can’t tell you which direction the movie should run. There’s just no difference between past and future in Newton’s basic description of physics.
Similarly in life, we have no problem telling the past from the future /present. We scramble eggs into omletes but can never unscramble them into eggs. We say something cruel to a loved one and can never unsay it. There’s only one simple hack to this- Let Go.
Let go of the control and allow yourself to be swept away by the existing currents of life. Let go of productivity and be open to opportunities and creativity.
How Chaos Works.
Consider what we’re doing when we plan our day, our week, our year: we try to wield control over life.
We are saying: this is what I’m going to do today. This is how things will go. If I get these things done, life will be good. This is my idea of what this day will hold.
Now consider: we absolutely have no idea if any of this is true. We cannot predict the future with any kind of certainty, and the idea that we can plan based on these predictions is a nice fiction. But a fiction nonetheless. We do not know what will happen today, the rest of the week or month. Knowing what will happen this year? What an idiot.
And consider: what if we could know? What if we could predict every single day and plan each day exactly? Would this be perfect? I think that it would suck infinitely more than not knowing. Foreknowledge of future means we know what will happen each day and that is being stuck on one unshakeable path. Foreknowledge means extreme lack of freedom.
What can we do instead of predicting and planning our daily chores? Learn to embrace uncertainty. Let unpredictability rule, let randomness be the force of our life, let spontaneity be the rule.
Embracing chaos with good.
Some random thoughts based on my experiments:
Chaos is creativity, and creativity is chaos. They are the same thing. Creative work doesn’t happen by plan and control. Sure, some of the world creative genius were detail freaks, but they didn’t make a plan to come up with a creative genius idea – it came to them because they were open to random thoughts, explored thoughts no one else had thought to look down, took an idea they saw from someone else and twisted it in a new way. Creativity comes from the place of chaos, and its only when you open yourself to this lack of control that you can come up with your best creativity.
Some things to read. One of the best books I’ve read recently is The Humans of NewYork by Brandon Staton. It embraces the idea of uncertainty and originality. Sure the pictures and the story they reflect is phenomenal but it’s the story of Brandon, his vision and his simple and true love for photography inspires me more than anything.
If you don’t expect things to go as planned, you are open to the unplanned. Something might arise that is unexpected, and if you go with it, you’ll have to let go of your previous plans. This can be a wonderful thing. Many people (including me sometimes) get frustrated when new things come up that were unplanned, when plans go awry, but it doesn’t have to be frustrating. Just expect plans to change, or don’t really plan at all. Expect unplanned things to happen and, when they do, smile.
Embrace not knowing what will happen. This is the ultimate freedom. You don’t know what you’re going to do today, nor what will come up. You are locked into nothing. You are completely free to do anything, to pursue any creative pursuit, to try new things as they come up, to be open to meeting new people. It can be scary at first, but if you smile when you think of not knowing, you’ll soon realize it’s a joyous thing.
When you’re not focused on one outcome, you open the possibility for many outcomes. Most people are focused on specific goals (outcomes), and relentlessly pursue that outcome. They then dismiss other possibilities as distractions. But what if you have no predetermined outcome? What if you say that anywhere you end up could be good? You now open an infinite amount of possibilities, and you’re much more likely to learn something than if you only try to do the things and learn the things that support your predetermined outcome.
“You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star”