When you hear the word chaos what do you think of? ....Confusion? Turmoil? Danger? What if you were to see it as an opportunity?
The spiritual practice of Dancing With Chaos is exactly that: seeing chaos as an opportunity for transformation.
To engage the practice of Dancing with Chaos we must first reeducate ourselves in the meaning of the word. The word chaos comes from the Greek word khaos which means “formless primordial space.” This refers to the Greek myth in which Gaia (Earth) was formed from khaos. Our earth was formed from chaos; our solar system, our galaxy, our universe was formed from chaos.
Chaos is an opportunity for a new birth. The philosopher Nietzsche wrote “One must allow chaos within oneself to give birth to a dancing star.”
The practice of Dancing with Chaos is that of using chaotic life circumstances (internal or external) to birth a new life; it means opening to chaos rather than recoiling from it or trying to control it. Dancing with Chaos is a skillful surrender into the experience of chaos.
To Dance with Chaos means to find its rhythm and to move with it. Chaos may seem to have no rhythm, but the science of Chaos Theory shows us that within the appearance of chaos lays a hidden order that is quite profound…and quite beautiful! This hidden order emerges from within the chaos itself, if we have the eyes to see it.
Dancing with chaos rather than trying to control it will frighten the ego; it undermines the ego’s illusion of control. Letting go feels like loss, and even like death.
In a way, it is a death, but not the death of anything real; it is the death of an illusion. To the caterpillar, entering into its cocoon and gradually turning into mush might look like death, but it’s actually the birth into a new way of being. The caterpillar dies (or so it seems) and is gone--yet it lives on in the butterfly in a way that is incomprehensible to a caterpillar.
The obvious enemy of this practice is the ego’s attempt to control or destroy chaos in order to restore its illusory comfort. But there is another (near) enemy which is much more subtle; it may masquerade as the practice itself--but it is not.
Some folks seem to live their life in eternal chaos because they unconsciously create chaos through poor communications, unclear boundaries or an unwillingness to make responsible choices. They may do this because it feels familiar or it’s a way of manipulating others--or for any number of other reasons. This is not the practice of Dancing With Chaos.
You need not try to create chaos or to perpetuate it; strive to live an orderly and responsible life, but when your life brings chaos unbidden, see it as an opportunity to dance with it rather than resist. You can see chaos as a way that the universe is seeking to evolve through you. Be curious; open up and look for what is seeking to emerge--and dance.