What should I do if my girlfriend is a cheater? Imagine you’ve been married for ten years. And then your wife tells you that she has had three affairs. Each of them lasted three years and the last one has lasted five years and it’s still ongoing or maybe you discover that. Okay, so then you might say, well, what happens then. Well, what happens is that everything you thought was wrong. Right. And this is such an interesting thing because it actually means. You had the past. And you think the past is fixed. It’s done with that’s why it’s the past. But all of a sudden you find out that one of the things that you thought about the past and it happens to be a very important thing wasn’t true at all.

Your life was a lie

And so what that means is that whole past that you thought was what it was wasn’t what it was at all. So it transforms itself from an actuality into potential. And most of that potential is negative. And unless you’re relieved that your wife had an affair, well. But that’s an important consideration because you know you can imagine a situation where your marriage is dreadfully unhappy and you’re just looking for an excuse to leave. It’s possible that that revelation, even though it would be shocking. Would also come with a fair bit of relief. And so this the potential that manifests itself even when it’s unexpected. Doesn’t only necessarily manifest itself in a negative guys, it can also free you, you know and if your marriage wasn’t happy, even if you wanted to cling to it, if your marriage wasn’t happy and the. Betrayal was revealed and you’re divorced and you set yourself up in two years. You might be in a better place than you were. It’s not a pathway I’m recommending, by the way, I’m just saying that it’s more complicated than it looks.

Chaos in a relationship

That’s the introduction of chaos into order. And the the oldest story we have is something like. Order is susceptible to disruption by chaos and the human. The fundamental demand that’s made on the human being is to contend with the chaos that disrupts order. Not to live in order and not to live in chaos. But to be able to contend with the chaos that disrupts order. And so when you encourage your children, for example, what you’re doing is encouraging them to become the masters of the chaos that can disrupt order rather than denizens of order, which makes them tyrants or denizens of chaos. Which makes them nihilistic and hopeless. So you train your children, you encourage your children and yourself and your partner if you have any sense to be a master of emergent chaos and to be able to contend with that. And so chaos is potential and it’s this disruptive. It’s the capacity of the infinite world to disrupt your finite considerations. That’s another way of looking at it another way of looking at it is it’s the serpent in the garden of eden. And the reason that that story is set up the way it is is because it’s trying to represent that. There’s no place that’s so bounded and secure even if it’s set up by god himself, that doesn’t have an agent of chaos inside it. It’s exactly the same idea that the dallas put forward with their with their symbolic representation. It’s just portrayed in a different manner. And the question is. What do you do in the garden. Given that there’s a snake in it and the answer to that is something like you become the master of snakes. And so. And that’s a deep idea that’s the same idea as confronting the dragon and getting the treasure. That’s the same idea as going to the bottom of the ocean and rescuing your father from the belly of the whale. It’s the same idea that. And that’s an element in the greatest of stories and the greatest of stories is heroic heroic story and the heroic story is to voluntarily confront the unknown when it manifests itself and to gather something of value as a consequence and to share it with the community. There isn’t a story that’s more emblematic of what it means to be human than that. That is us. That’s our best bet. All right, so chaos. Chaos is the catastrophe that will suddenly enter your life. Chaos is the flood. That’s definitely coming. Chaos is the ever present possibility of apocalypse in your personal life, in your familiar life and in this broader social life. Chaos is the consequence of your finite fragility. Existing in a world that’s beyond you. Chaos is potential chaos is what lies before you chaos is what you can call on when you need something to rescue yourself from malfunctioning order. It’s a permanent element of existence. Chaos is what you don’t know. Chaos is what’s outside the fire. Chaos is what’s outside the walls of your house. Chaos is what’s outside the walls of your town. Chaos is what’s outside of the borders of your country. All of that is chaos and potential. Order is where you are when what you’re doing is working in the manner that you intended. Okay, it’s a very specific definition. How do you know that you know what you’re doing? Well, you don’t because you don’t know what you’re doing because you don’t know everything. Everything you do is bounded by ignorance while you still have to operate in the world. And so what you do is you make finite plans and then you execute plans and then you execute strategies to to make those plans manifest themselves and if the plans manifest themselves the way that you desire, then you regard your knowledge as sufficient. That’s your definition of truth and it’s the only definition of truth that you can use because you don’t have everything at hand and when you’re where what you’re doing is working, that’s order. And you might think. Well, I should just stay there because that’s a comfortable place to be and there’s a certain amount of truth to that except for one thing.

Order and disorder

If you defined a domain of order. And you stand in it and you wait the disorder will enter all by itself. Because things aren’t static, things change all the time and your attempt to bind yourself within a static structure is destined to fail because everything around you is in flux. And the thing that you’ve parceled out as permanent will transform itself across time here is an example. Let’s say you’re a perfectly well adapted eleven year old and it’s actually possible to meet eleven year old children are often very delightful because they’re like adult children. They’re not teenagers. They’re like they’re they’re the most mature form of children and they can be really delightful people and then like three years later you hate them and. And the reason for that is that, of course, as soon as they hit puberty. Which is the emergence of chaos into the into the already developed childhood structures, really the emergence of sexuality into a structure that didn’t have to adapt to sexuality and maybe even the emergence of aggression to some degree. But mostly sexuality. If the child maintains only the eleven year old personality by the time they’re sixteen. They’re no longer a delightful eleven year old. They’re a very immature sixteen year old and the reason that I’m pointing that out is because just because something works for you now doesn’t mean it’s going to work for. Five years from now and so in order to remain stable. You can’t be stagnant. They’re not the same thing.

Find your balance

Stability is a dynamic. Not a not something static. And so not only do you have to be where you are, but you have to be going to where you’re going and you have to be participating in both of those things actively. So it’s stability plus transformation. And I would say that manifests itself. You know when you’re there because that manifests itself as meaningful. That’s actually the the instinct of meaning. Which is an instinct and perhaps the deepest instinct is precisely the instinct that tells you when where you are is sufficiently stable. But you’re transforming yourself at a sufficient rate to keep up with everything that’s changing. And you know. That because if you’re at your job. You might say to yourself. Well, my job is really secure, but it’s not very challenging. And you think why do you care about that, it’s very secure and the answer to that is, well, if it’s not challenging. It’s deadening in a sense, the spirit goes out of it. If it’s not challenging, you need to be challenged. And why is that. Well, the answer is. Well, tomorrow is coming and whoever you are now isn’t enough for tomorrow. And so today you also have to be preparing for tomorrow and next week and next year, and if your job isn’t challenging. Then it isn’t doing that for you and you find it deadening, not meaningful. And the reason for that is that it violates your most essential instinct and your most essential instinct is the instinct for meaning and it signifies that it actually signifies that you have the balance between chaos and order. Deeply right, which is why it’s the most fundamental of instincts because chaos and order are the most real of things. All right, so you have the chaos that surrounds you and in some sense infinite in scope and then you have the order that you produce, which is. Your mastery of it. Well, let’s take order apart for a minute. We want to think about the structure of order. And I’m not saying that chaos is bad in order is good. I’m not saying that at all. That’s not the right way to look at it. It’s the balance. It’s the balance between them. That’s of crucial importance. They just they exist as superordinate categories. Whether you like them or not, is really not that relevant there. There there there are the fundamental constituent elements of reality.

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