Moss-covered Monk

Moss-covered Monk

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Delayed Daily Musing - February 2nd, 2013 - Uncertainty - 不確定 - Bù quèdìng

Uncertainty - 不確定 - Bù quèdìng

A skipping stone sent flying;
ripples cascade across still water.
Chance and randomness are guided by order.

~inspired by Deng Ming-Dao

Chance exists in this world. Things do happen randomly. When a pebble is skipped across the lake, it was not pre-arranged, there was no plan before you sent it flying. Some argue that there is always some sort of underlying order, claiming that "God does not play dice." What then is the relationship between order and chaos?

It is possible to say that randomness becomes order. Overall frameworks exist to guide lifeforms - in cases of procreation for example - but within that framework, there is randomness in the combination and passing on of genes, or in the varying levels of vigor and creativity in reproductive systems. In the physical sciences, we have identified certain constants on Earth, such as gravity, but in other environments, even gravity is subject to change. This is chance. One is left to wonder if this means that everything in the universe tends to disorder - to chaos.

For this to be true, order must exist in form. From where does order arise? How (or who) imposes order upon the universe? Has disorder and chaos existed from the beginning, or did they arise later, becoming part of the fabric of reality? The sages are without consensus, the answer eludes definitive resolution. Those who truly follow Tao are more interested in accepting the existence of uncertainty, and by doing so, making the most out of a chaotic world. For them, incorporation of uncertainty is an integral step in healing the heart, providing for spiritual growth. This is the way to feel most human.