Finding Peace in Chaos

Are you having a tough time finding peace in chaos? We all live in a very chaotic world. There is anxiety, stress, tension, suffering and pain all around us. As long as we have unlimited internal firepower to withstand and endure the hardships that we face in life, this thought of finding peace never occurs to us. When you get a certain level of maturity in life, you wonder how do we go about finding peace in this chaotic world.

You can find peace in chaos by realizing that the world is a delusion, chaos is not in the world but within you, chaos is the order of nature and finally, letting go is the secret to finding peace in chaos.

The world is a delusion

Haven’t you heard quotes saying beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder? What is seen essentially lies within the seer. In Vedantic parlance, they call it a troika of the seer, the seen and the process of seeing. The world is therefore a big delusion. There are people who find peace in it and then there are the unfortunate ones who are only able to find chaos in it.

The very inquiry of finding peace in chaos comes in your mind because you’ve either got frustrated with life or reached a certain level of maturity and thereby realized the futility of trying to change things around.

The fact of the matter is that chaos in the world is essentially a reflection of who you are. If there is commotion within, there appears chaos outside. This is very much like the mirage in deserts. It’ll cease to exist, when you go near it (meaning, try to know it fully). This is just a fleeting delusion not to be paid much attention to.

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Chaos is within you

The most likely reason you’re seeing chaos in the world is because your mind is in deep worry, sorrow or despondency. Perhaps, you have some expectations form the world which are not being met adequately. You’re likely a perfectionist expecting excellence in every thing. You are desperately wishing to change things around and set things right. The capitalist would wish the communists just never existed, the left wing would wish the right never existed and so on. And if you’re one such person, you must realize that you’re all set up for huge disappointment in life.

You need to realize that we can’t expect perfection in the world. Every thing has its place in this world- the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, everyone is here for a reason. No thought, no word, no action is perfect.

Everything, by design, is compromised. For example, if you have a noble thought, the moment you convert it into words and express it, it gains imperfection- someone can contradict it, find errors in it, say something against it etc. Everything has opposites in this world. And this is a great cause of fear in people.

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The rich is afraid of taxes and thefts, the scholar is afraid of greater scholars, the healthy is worried about diseases, the king is in fear of enemies and so on. Everybody, who has something to lose, has things to worry about.

If you are clinging on to some type of identity, and your sense of individuality revolves around that, you’ll find everything that challenges it as a problem. To put it differently, if you consider yourself as a proponent of peace and want all conflicts to cease, you’ll only end up finding the whole world as chaos.

Chaos is the order of Nature

Look at how a jungle functions. From the perspective of a modern civilized human, we would find no order in it. There are all types of animals, birds, plants and trees, living, thriving, feeding on each other, mating, and living lives in their own little ways. Do you think the lion would ever feel that the forest is in chaos? Never.

The intent here is drive home the fact that, such feeling that the world is not in order arises only because you have some idea of order and the world is not conforming to that idea. This doesn’t mean that the world is in chaos but only reveals that you have a pretty amateur idea of orderliness and a narrow-minded outlook.

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Chaos is not bad

Chaos is not disorder. It’s perhaps a different, complex order that we’re not able to comprehend. Anything that we don’t comprehend is dreaded. For instance, before civilization started the ancient humans almost worshiped everything that they couldn’t explain- like lightening, thunder, the sun, the nature etc.

We’re conditioned to fearing what’s not comprehensible. Even modern day businesses believe that only what’s measurable is manageable. Hence, throughout history, humans have feared the unknown.

That which you do not know is not by default bad. Therefore, we need to put in a little more effort in understanding the strange order that the universe works in, or just let go of our judgement that this apparent lack of understandable order is the cause of lack of peace in your life.

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Letting go needs wisdom

Do you know why the monks, who renounce the world and sit in some remote mountain or jungle, is at peace with themselves? That’s because they let go of everything. They have shed their identity, ego, expectations, judgements, pride, biases, and everything. Such a human would not judge the world, for they have nothing to earn by doing so. They do not harbor the false sense of moral duty to set the world in order. That’s because they’ve gained the wisdom that the world is already in order– something that we are not able to comprehend. If the world was able to survive thus far, there is no reason it can’t survive in the future as well.

Therefore the secret to attaining peace lies in the art of letting go. If you feel there’s something wrong happening, take a step back. Ask yourself, “Who am I to judge that it’s wrong?” Let me just observe whatever is happening like a mute spectator and enjoy the divine play. Take life in a happy-go-lucky way and enjoy every event. Everything happens for a reason. Let it happen. You just be.

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