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Chaos originally referred to the unordered state of matter in classical accounts of cosmogony. It has since come to mean any state of disorder, or any confused or amorphous mixture or conglomeration.


  • [Varys:] What do we have left once we abandon the lie? Chaos, a gaping pit waiting to swallow us all.
    [Petyr Baelish:] Chaos isn't a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but they refuse. They cling to the realm or the gods or love. Illusions. Only the ladder is real; the climb is all there is.
    • David Benioff & D. B. Weiss, screenwriters for the episode The Climb (2013, S03E06) in the fantasy television show Game of Thrones, through the character Petyr Baelish
  • The world was void,
    The populous and the powerful was a lump,
    Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless—
    A lump of death—a chaos of hard clay.
  • The chaos of events.
    • Lord Byron, Prophecy of Dante, Canto II, line 6; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 97.
  • The classic example of chaos at work is in the weather. If you could measure the positions and motions of all the atoms in the air at once, you could predict the weather perfectly. But computer simulations show that tiny differences in starting conditions build up over about a week to give wildly different forecasts. So weather predicting will never be any good for forecasts more than a few days ahead, no matter how big (in terms of memory) and fast computers get to be in the future. The only computer that can simulate the weather is the weather; and the only computer that can simulate the Universe is the Universe.
  • Chaos, that reigns here
    In double night of darkness and of shades.
  • Fate shall yield
    To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the strife.
  • The Joker: Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I'm an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It's fair!
  • Then rose the seed of Chaos, and of Night,
    To blot out order and extinguish light.
  • Lo: thy dread empire, Chaos, is restored;
    Light dies before thy uncreating word:
    Thy hand, great Anarch! lets the curtain fall;
    And universal darkness buries all.
  • ...there is a perpetual struggle between manifested chaos and the unmanifested. It is the struggle of the Forces of Light with the dark forces. Christ Himself actively resisted evil... he drove the merchants from the Temple, and all his severe accusations against the scribes and Pharisees... If we try to read objectively the words... attributed to Christ, we shall see a Teaching which is severe in its mercy. Therefore, the words "resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek turn to him the other also... If this law of Karma, "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," is inevitable and exact justice, it by no means follows that we ourselves, personally, should attempt to fulfil it in this way. If we do so, we shall never emerge from the magic circle of karma. Indeed, we must forgive our personal enemies, as who knows but that the blow one receives is a return blow, well-deserved under the law of Karma? By returning such a blow with another and with a feeling of revenge in our heart, we do not outlive this karma, but we continue and even intensify it in the worst way for ourselves. Moreover, by forgiving our enemies we decrease the amount of evil in space and become immune against many blows. Similarly, let us understand the words "Love thine enemies." However, with all this, we must resist evil, if we do not want to be entirely overwhelmed by it. (26 May 1934)
  • Nay, had I power, I should
    Pour the sweet milk of concord into hell,
    Uproar the universal peace, confound
    All unity on earth.
  • Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos.
  • When Shaw is read in the light of the existentialist thinkers, a new philosophical position arises from his works as a whole, a position of he himself was probably unconscious. It is this: that although the ultimate reality may be irrational, yet man's relation to it is not. Existentialism means the recognition that life is a tiny corner of casual order in a universe of chaos. All men are aware of that chaos; but some insulate themselves from it and refuse to face it. These are the Insiders, and they make up the overwhelming majority of the human race. The Outsider is the man who has faced chaos. If he is an abstract philosopher — like Hegel — he will try to demonstrate that chaos is not really chaos, but that underlying it is an order of which we are unaware. If he is an existentialist, he acknowledges that chaos is chaos, a denial of life — or rather, of the conditions under which life are possible. If there is nothing but life and chaos, then life is permanently helpless — as Sartre and Camus think it is. But if a rational relation can somehow exist between them, ultimate pessimism is avoided, as it must be avoided if the Outsider is to live at all. It is this contribution which makes Shaw the key figure of existentialist thought.
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