Welcome Chaos: Episode 335

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We might think that most dysfunctions of the mind stem from disorder. However, in Michael Pollan’s book How To Change Your Mind he presents the evidence that neurosis normally comes from an excess of order.

The classic example is “obsessive compulsive disorder”. A person finishes washing his hands and decides he needs to wash them again, and again, until he has washed them 17 times. The mind has so much order that he finds it difficult to escape from this routine.

In your own travels you might have noticed in countries where everything runs on time, people tend to be more neurotic. In countries where things are chaotic, where you can’t rely on the systems, people tend to be more easy-going.

Likewise, if you imagine a person living in the chaos of the jungle, he is likely to be mentally stable, and able to adapt to many situations that arise.

When things go wrong, we might become irritated or angry. Really, these things serve to bring us into the random or unknowable nature of the universe. By welcoming chaos, we are welcoming life.

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