Disturbing the established order

All seemingly stable systems are subject to perturbations and disruptions; what we perceive as stability is only the temporary emergence of fixed patterns within a container of unfathomable complexity, or what we commonly call chaos. We begin to think we can control chaos by adapting ourselves to fixed patterns, but this illusion is quickly shattered when “accidents” or unforeseen outcomes arise.

Our attachment to fixed patterns is largely emotional. Intellectually we know that we live in a complex natural world subject to invisible forces. Before the advent of fixed satellite imaging from space, weather itself was one of these invisible forces. Metaphysical forces are also at play, which is to say, human imagination. Our imagination produces an endless stream of actions, each of which adds to the infinite complexity of existence. Between the hidden physical and metaphysical forces at play in each moment, it’s actually miraculous that fixed patterns arise at all.

Of course, on a cosmic scale, fixed patterns emerge as well. Our solar system, with its planetary orbits is one such pattern. For that matter, the Milky Way Galaxy is another. From the smallest to the largest, temporary fixed patterns establish themselves, but all are subject to the truth of complexity and all are temporary and impermanent. Billions of years from now our galaxy will collide with the Andromeda galaxy, and the temporary, cosmic fixed patterns will undergo change.

On a human scale, civilization is our attempt to futher a fixed pattern. We use laws, cultural conventions, habits, manners, governance, and so forth to try to stave off the “chaos” of complexity in which our patterns of stability reside, and when those patterns are threatened or challenged we struggle to maintain the established order. Resorting to force, aggression, coercion, bribery, seduction, logic, lawsuits and the like, the established order resists change by all means available.

Any disturbance to established order generates turbulence, the re-emergence of complexity within a pattern of stability. Whether physical or metaphysical, an obstruction creates turbulence. In a physical system, obstruction disrupts flows and established patterns, like a large tree falling in a creek forces water up and over its banks. In the metaphysical system created by human imagination, obstruction disrupts as well, and often it disrupts the flow of money. Money is the water-flow of society; it’s called “currency” for a reason. The metaphysical nature of money is virtually a physical phenomenon, which is to say that any obstruction is perceived as tantamount to a threat to survival.

When the established order of money is threatened, those potentially affected respond by trying to remove the obstruction. In conventional terms, obstructions to the flow of money are called regulations. Put in place to preserve the stability of a fixed pattern, regulations are seen by some as blocking the free flow of currency and are resisted. The established financial order, of course, is metaphysical, which means it resides in the collective imagination. It has no fixed nature, and represents a measure of human attachment to and confidence in fixed patterns.

Those who disturb the established order are labelled “trouble-makers” by those who stand to benefit by its continuance. But “trouble” is the truth of systems, metaphysical or otherwise. Galileo Galilei, Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs…the emergence of “trouble-making” system disrupters is, in fact, the history of the inexorable emergence of truth.