Narration. Storytelling. Meaning. All combined in consciousness. The ego, too, a product of the conscious mind. A powerful, at times all consuming, illusion. Children, at the earliest possible age, should be taught these truths. All manner of trauma, of fear, of anxiety, could be learned to be placed in their proper context. As I recently read: life, living, straddles the fine line between order and chaos. Order is a narrative, a sense of security, a sense of knowing the world and your place in it. Chaos is an assault on that narrative; chaos is unleashed when the death of a loved one, when the betrayal of a lover, when the loss of a job, when the paralysis-causing head-on collision suddenly and without warning severs one or more of the intricate threads holding your narrative together. And we will do nearly anything to salvage, to repair, to retie those threads. Getting up in the morning and facing the day is greatly aided with a secure narrative. Believing one’s health is good, is order. Believing one’s family is safe, is order. Believing one’s job is secure, is order. Believing one’s loved one is faithful, is order. As the events of life pass through our senses and are viewed with the light of consciousness, they are immediately and without notice fitted into one’s narrative. Cold objective reality is given meaning. The sense of one’s autonomy, of one’s ego, is continually fed the illusory nutrition of the free will. All control; all keeping chaos at bay.
But because the universe is not a reflection of our (often self-serving, at times delusional) narratives, chaos can and will emerge at any place, at any time, in any form. Chaos severs and hurts and maims our sense of security, our foundations. Some are more susceptible to assault than others. Some have a narrative thread so large, so thick, so structural for the whole of one’s story, that its severing can cause serious instability and anxiety.
One of those threads of my narrative has been cut. Imagine a great river flowing, nourishing the otherwise infertile plains around. Imagine a great tree reaching to the sky, the trunk of which supports countless branches and leaves collecting the sun. Now dam that river, over night. Cut down that tree, leaving nothing but a stump. What happens to the fields that depend on the water, to the leaves that need the support? Chaos ensues.
The narrative torn-up, consciousness is at a loss. It desperately tries to fit events into their rightful place, assign meaning, but there is no more structure. The ego is floating, pieces of it breaking apart, being lost to the ether.
But there are threads remaining, rivers still flowing; there is a forest yet. As I spin and float and do somersaults in the air, my hands are grasping, my eyes searching for the ends, for the lines that can save me. But alas, whatever I may salvage, the illusion has been shattered, for good, for all time.
A healthier, more stable, more compatible narrative must be written.
I was not responsible for my first narrative: my ego built itself. Now I am an author, I am aware. It is now my destiny to walk the thin line between order and chaos, keeping a foot firmly rooted in each, as I weave a new narrative, imbue my life with new meaning, mould an ego that (it can only be hoped) is less illusory, less naive, less susceptible to the chaos all around and within everything.