Posts Tagged Radha Burnier

Chaos or Order? No, Life!

We see everything in opposites,

Right or WrongChaos or OrderGood or BadYin or YangHot or Cold, …

There is more to it than that.

We all talk about Order fighting Chaos, and most of us see ourselves fighting Chaos on the side of Order. But thats not how the universe is, and that is the reason why so many of our struggles go wrong.

Man is always struggling on one or the other side,
instead of finding the middle way.


Lets take a simple example: The Sun is the most Chaotic we know and the Moon is the most ordered we have, nearby. A Black Hole is of course more ordered, but our moon is just up there. The Sun and The Moon are two opposites, and we would not like to live on any of them, one too hot and the other too cold, so we live on Earth, somewhere in between those two extremes, alive in Equilibrium. Seen from that point of view, both the Sun and the Moon is deadly Bad, while the Earth is Good for living.

I define the Equilibrium as the midpoint between chaos and order, and in this context it is Life (I prefer the vocabulary of chaos theory for that of thermodynamics.)

The more ordered or dead the universe is, the higher entropy of the universe following the Second Law of Thermodynamics. With time the entropy will increase until the absolute death of the universe. So, with Entropy, big is Bad!

Following the Second Law life depends on the difference between Warm and Cold:

Since any thermodynamic engine requires such a temperature difference, it follows that no useful work can be derived from an isolated system with maximum entropy; there must always be an external energy source and a cold sink.

Its interesting that our universe have suns and planets, and life on at least one planet, contrary to the Second Law. The life on Earth has been build against all odds, decreasing the local entropy constantly, since the Big Bang.

Misuse of Resources

Today we are increasing the entropy here on Earth with an alarmingly high rate. Our use of the resources of Earth and our destruction of nature is increasing the entropy and destroying our chances for survival in the long run, removing natures possibilities to decrease the entropy while trying to keep the equilibrium.

In Scientific American there is an intelligent article “Does Nature Break the Second Law of Thermodynamics?” about Thermodynamics and local self-organization.

As we normally think in dualities, we have problems defining equilibrium. If we take Thermodynamics as an example, they define equilibrium in the one extreme where entropy is highest, where the universe is dead. In Chaos-theory equilibrium lies somewhere between chaos and order.


From “The Middle Way” by Radha Burnier:

Sir Martin Rees, the eminent scientist who is the British Astronomer Royal, states in his book Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe, that there is this kind of equilibrium or balance in the cosmos itself. According to him, these six numbers, which are either very, very small or very large, represent various forces in the universe, but all those forces exist in a state of equilibrium. It is very similar to the Eastern idea that there are three gunas or three kinds of forces working throughout manifestation. When they are in a state of equilibrium, it is called spiritual sattva or truth. Sir Martin Rees mentions that through the ages, the force of gravity has been in a state of fine balance with the force of expansion. If the force of gravity were too great, the universe would collapse into nothing. If the force of expansion were too great, the universe would expand away into nothingness.

In Christianity we talk about following the Golden Middle way, staying away from the sides, and the Indians talk about Dharma, the way to follow. In Kabbalah the Pillars at the sides are the opposites, Order to the left and Chaos and energy to the right, and the middle pillar is the equilibrium, Life. In the crosses on Golgotha we have Christ in the middle symbolizing life, Love.

Here a description of The Second Law of Thermodynamics without Entropy, very instructive.


Ilya Prigogine

Ilya Prigogine

From WikiPedia

Prigogine is known best due to his definition of dissipative structures and their role in thermodynamic systems far from equilibrium, a discovery that won him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1977.

Dissipative structures theory

Dissipative structure theory led to pioneering research in self-organizing systems, as well as philosophic inquiries into the formation of complexity on biological entities and the quest for a creative and irreversible role of time in the natural sciences.

His work is seen by many as a bridge between natural sciences and social sciences. With professor Robert Herman he also developed the basis of the two fluid model, a traffic model for urban networks, using Bose-Einstein Condensation theory in traffic engineering.

Other Work

In his later years, his work concentrated on the mathematical role of determinism in nonlinear systems on both the classical and quantum level. He proposed the use of a rigged Hilbert space in quantum mechanics as one possible method of achieving irreversibility in quantum systems. He also co-authored several books with Isabelle Stengers, including End of Certainty and the classical book La Nouvelle Alliance (The New Alliance).

The End of Certainty

In his 1997 book, The End of Certainty, Prigogine contends that determinism is no longer a viable scientific belief. “The more we know about our universe, the more difficult it becomes to believe in determinism.” This is a major departure from the approach of Newton, Einstein and Schrödinger, all of whom expressed their theories in terms of deterministic equations. According to Prigogine, determinism loses its explanatory power in the face of irreversibility and instability.


In deterministic physics, all processes are time-reversible, meaning that they can proceed backward as well as forward through time. As Prigogine explains, determinism is fundamentally a denial of the arrow of time. With no arrow of time, there is no longer a privileged moment known as the “present,” which follows a determined “past” and precedes an undetermined “future.” All of time is simply given, with the future as determined as the past. With irreversibility, the arrow of time is reintroduced to physics. Prigogine notes numerous examples of irreversibility, including diffusion, radioactive decay, solar radiation, weather and the emergence and evolution of life. Like weather systems, organisms are unstable systems existing far from thermodynamic equilibrium. Instability resists standard deterministic explanation. Instead, due to sensitivity to initial conditions, unstable systems can only be explained statistically, that is, in terms of probability.

The Golden Triangle and the Fibonacci Spiral


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Tao – The Equilibrium of Yin and Yang

When looking for the Caduceus Staff I thought about the Yin-Yang symbol, as they also have the curves of the serpents. As the Staff in Caduceus and the Middle Pillar of the Kabbalah Tree of Life, the symbol of Yin and Yang has an imaginary line separating the two sides: Tao! In Christianity we call the line for The Golden Middle Way and in India its called the “Middle Way” by the Buddhists and the “razor-edged path” in the Upanishads. Our way through life is lead by two powers, dharma and karma, where dharma is the idea behind our life, the plan that we follow, that lead us to the people we share karma with and karma is what gives form to the idea, what we have to transform to wisdom through understanding.

The Taiji Diagram's Early History by Francois Louis.

Yin – Tao – Yang

Dharma is the white half, our super-conscious with our higher I, and karma is the black half, in our subconscious with lower feelings, desires and instincts. The line separating the two are TAO, the soul with the I.

All creation starts with the unity splitting in two and later unifies again. From The Gold Egg Model:

According to Chinese myth, before the world began there was chaos shaped like a hen’s egg. The huge Pan Gu separated this egg into Yin and Yang. Yin formed the earth, Yang formed the sky. Yin stood for all the female, wet, dark things of nature, while Yang stood for all the male, dry and bright things. There could be no perfect happiness till there was a balance between Yin and Yang.

Wuji is the uncreated, the primordial, limitless void, the possibility for the created and Taiji is the created, Yang and Yin, heaven and earth. From the interaction between Yin and Yang emanates the soul of man, binding Heaven and Earth together.


The description of Tao (from“About the Tao”):

It is so very deep
So tranquil
It seems to barely exist at all.
Its origin is unknown
It preceded the Gods themselves.

Matches the Sephira Keter, which represents the infinite, and is found in the first triangle of the Tree of Life,  separated from Man by the Abyss.


From WikiPedia

“Dion Fortune describes Keter as pure consciousness, beyond all categories, timeless, a point that crystallises out of the Ein Soph, and commences the process of emanation that ends in Malkuth.”

From “The Middle Way” byRadha Burnier:

Hearing the term “the razor-edged path,” one might think it is the most dangerous, but it is the safest of all paths because it is where a complete equilibrium is preserved and therefore there is complete security. It is a path where there is a profound peace, a path where there is absolute harmony. If you stray from that path, get lost in the surroundings, and find other paths, there maybe conflict, there may be hesitation, but when you tread the middle path, it is secure, because it is one-pointed and in it, harmony can be found from the beginning to the end.

Rudolf  Steiner calls Yin for Ahriman and Yang for Lucifer, and the imaginary separating line for Christ.

All things in the universe are either Yin or Yang, but there are no absolutes:  nothing is ever all Yin or all Yang, but a balance between the two forces, when for example day changes into night, it is an example of Yang changing into Yin; when winter turns into spring; it is considered a changing from Yin to Yang. These forces are opposite and yet complementary, and share an interdependent relationship; without Yin, there is no Yang, and without Yang, no Yin. Yang is generally associated with what are bright, warm, and in motion. Yin is generally associated with what are dark, still and cold.

Neijing says,

“Yin and yang are the law of Heaven and Earth, the outline of everything, the parents of change, the origin of birth and destruction, and the house of shen ming( God or higher consciousness, the spirit, Tao), when curing sicknesses we should base our point of view on the roots (Yin and Yang)”.

The principle of Yin and Yang is the basic principle of the entire universe. It is the principle of everything in creation.”

If Yin and Yang change the people will change likewise and their destiny can then be prefigured. … In ancient times those people who understood Tao patterned themselves upon the Yin and the Yang and they lived in harmony with the arts of divination.”

Obedience to the laws of Yin and Yang means life; disobedience means death.”

In Heaven there are ethereal spirits; upon earth there is form and shape.”

Heaven was created by an accumulation of Yang, the element of light; Earth was created by an accumulation of Yin, the element of darkness.”

From I Ching

In the heavens phenomena take form; on earth shapes take form.”

“Since in this way man comes to resemble heaven and earth, he is not in conflict with them. His wisdom embraces all things, and his Tao brings order into the whole world; therefore he does not err.”

From A Holistic Look at an ancient Chinese Energy Modality I have

According to the Daoists the left of the body is Yang and the right is Yin . Yang represents the male aspects of the human being. Males according to Traditional Chinese Medicine mostly have anger issues . That would mean the acupressure therapist should start on the left side of the male body. All emotional issues , like anger, fear, worry, sadness and joy are functional aspects that involve an output of energy and are therefore described as Yang. Yin represents the female aspects of the human being . Traditionally women have mostly Yin related issues that have to do with blood, lymph and all the fluids . These are structural issues. In this case, the therapist starts on the right side of the body . Also, the area above the navel is described as Yang, while the area below is described as Yin.

Relating Yin and Yang to the sides and up and down of the body. Other traditions work with the same notion:  Serpents of the Kundalini Fire. Not all Chinese texts are in agreement here, just as many new age authors have it reversed.

Chart of the Great Ultimate (Taiji tu)

Rudolf Steiner on TAO:

“The Tao gives expression to the highest to which a large part of humanity can look up and has revered for thousands of years.It is something which was considered as a distant goal of the world and of humanity, the highest element which man carried as a germ within him, which would one day develop into a fully opened blossom from the innermost depths of human nature.

Tao signifies both a deeply hidden basis of the soul and at the same time an exulted future. Not only the name Tao, but the very thought of Tao filled those who had insight into it with timid reverence. The Tao religion is based on the principle of development, and it proclaims:

‘That by which I am surrounded today is but a stage which has to be overcome. I must clearly see that this development in which I am involved has a Goal, that I am going to work towards an exulted Goal and that within me there lives a power which spurs me on to come to the Great Goal of Tao.

If I can feel this great force within me and if I can feel that all creatures are aiming towards this great goal, then this force becomes the guiding force rushing towards me in the wind, sounding out of the stones, flashing its light to me from the sun. In the plant it is revealed as the force of growth, in the animal as feeling and perception. It is the force which will continually create form after form for every exulted aim, through which I know myself to be at one with the whole of nature, which flows out from me and into me with every breath I take, the symbol for the highest evolving spirit which I experience as life itself. I feel this force as Tao.” (November 16, 1905)

In Korea they have the Taegeuk, where Red symbolizes heaven and blue the material world, Earth.

From Wikipedia:

Taegeuk refers to the ultimate reality from which all things and values originate according to oriental philosophy.

The taegeuk is from the Eastern Zhou Dynasty in ancient China.The taegeuk design dates back to the 7th century BC in China but recent excavations go back even further. This shows that the taegeuk design and thought were utilized earlier in China than in elsewhere. There is a stone carved with the taegeuk design in the compound of Gameunsa Temple, built in 628 AD during the reign of Silla’s King Jinpyeong. Traces of taegeuk design have been found in the remains of the ancient cultures in China: in Longmen Grottoes and in YuyuanTai Chi village astrology. The taegeuk design was also used to drive off evil spirits. In the Goryeo and Joseon dynasties, the design was later used to represent Korean taoism and to express the hope for harmony of eun and yang to enable the people to live happy lives with good government. The blue and red swirling semicircles of the Taegeuk pattern have existed since ancient times.

Celtic Yin yang swirls on bronze plaque from Mairy, Marne, dated to 4th century BC; on display at Musée des Antiquités nationales in Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

Celtic bronze plaque

Roman shield pattern of the Roman Mauri Osismiaci (ca. AD 430), with the dots in each part kept in the same shade of color

Roman shield pattern

A Japanese futatsudomoe (two-fold tomoe)

Japanese Futatsudomoe


Doctrine of the Mean, Wikipedia.

Golden Mean(philosophy), Wikipedia.

Yin and Yang in medicine.

The Taiji Diagram’s Early History by Francois Louis


According to the
Daoists the left of the body is Yang and the right is Yin . Yang represents the male
aspects of the human being. Males according to Traditional Chinese Medicine mostly
have anger issues . That would mean the acupressure therapist should start on the left side
of the male body. All emotional issues , like anger, fear, worry, sadness and joy are
functional aspects that involve an output of energy and are therefore described as Yang.
Yin represents the female aspects of the human being . Traditionally women have mostly
Yin related issues that have to do with blood, lymph and all the fluids . These are
structural issues. In this case, the therapist starts on the right side of the body . Also, the
area above the navel is described as Yang, while the area below is described as Yin.

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