I’ve been reading a lot lately about the nature of chaos and order, right and wrong. This started with reading Jordan Peterson’s book ’12 Rules For Life’, but it quickly led me down an ethical, and existential rabbit hole.
I’ve convinced myself for a while now that morality is relative. In some aspects it is, but in general, there can be a definite right and wrong. This feeling is inbuilt if you’re not a psychopath. It’s that nagging twitch in the back of your mind when you do something that may be perceived as morally questionable. It’s that universal idea that murder is always a bad thing, or that charity is always a good thing. However, morality in this sense is still relative. You can’t know something is ‘right’ if you don’t have any experience of what is ‘wrong’. You can’t be happy without knowing what sadness is, or appreciate warmth without first feeling cold. In that sense, your sense of what is right is constantly adapted by your sense of what is wrong, and vice versa.
In the same way order and chaos interact. Order being the consistent, known part of life, Chaos being the unknown, unexpected out of blue part. Chaos is car crashes, and missed buses, and sudden death. Order is family and day jobs and calendars. These two forces need each other for the sake of balance.
What the fuck am I talking about? It’s coming.
Snakes are physical and metaphorical agents of chaos. This has been a common feature for thousands of years. In the Bible, a snake is the unprecedented chaos that causes Adam and Eve to be banished from paradise. Everyone has snakes in their lives too. You know several people who are ‘absolute snakes’, people who manipulate and sneer and actively seek out chaos. They want you to fail, and they proactively attempt to make your failure a reality.
The conclusion I came to during my reading though, is that you need your snakes. You need your chaos to balance out your order. You need every single snake in your life to temp you into chaos, and you need to develop your will along the way so that you don’t succumb to them. The bright side is, that the more snakes you find in your life, the more likely that you’re on the right path. When people try to drag you down means that you yourself are probably on the way up. People don’t tend to drag people up from below, rather they pull you from excelling heights.
It’s sort of cliche, but people only talk shit about people who are ahead of them. Nobody has a critic until they start being successful, and so chaotic snakes are the price worth paying to gain your true order, your absolute right, and your purpose.