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Iona Miller's Easy Chaos Theory

"Chaos is the law of nature; order is the dream of man."
--Henry Brooks Adams

The paradigm has shifted from one of determinism to one of uncertainty and chaos theory. The zeitgeist of the times suggests things are falling apart not progressing steadily. We have reached the limits of growth and sustainability. We are in a period of cascading changes, avalanches of shifting culture scapes and meltdowns of old systems. 

Our notions about ourselves and the nature of the world (worldview) around us are filtered through our prejudices about "the way things work".  We never apprehend reality directly--only our world-simulation which is congealed from the convergence of our sensory input channels and the information-creating processes of chaotic neural activity.  The brain filters and creates reality.

Brains are chaotic systems which create internal perceptual patterns that substitute directly for sensory stimuli.  These stimuli are evoked potentials or evoked fields--standing waves in the brain.  Imagination has the ability to induce real-time changes in the psychophysical being.

Imagination embodies the power of transformation. It may be accessed through obvious imagery, such as dreams, vision, and other sensory analogs, or viewed directly in symptoms, behavior patterns, emotional patterns, mental concepts, and spiritual beliefs.

The imaginal process is our primary experience and it permeates and conditions all facets of human life.  During experiential psychotherapy, the sensory-motor cortex system is influenced through imagination.  Psyche affects substance at the most fundamental level, through chaotic neural activity.

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Chaos Theory describes the behavior of non-linear dynamic systems, fractal geometry, and the complex, systematic behavior of nature as well as our nature, consciousness and health.  It describes in eloquent equations deterministic ordered randomness, dimensionality, reflexive feedback loops, boundary conditions and integration.  It is the realm of the irrational, paradoxical, of rich values and structure, self-generative and self-iterating, of self-organizing (autopoietic) emergent creativity, stretched time and folded space, inherent unpredictability, yet boundaried and geometric.  The domain of global behavior, open systems, criticality, sensitive dependence, strange attractors, fluctuations, turbulence, perturbations, thresholds, trajectories, bifurcations, phase transitions, temporal density, reiteration, synchronicity, resilience, the "butterfly effect," subquantal chaos (ZPE), dynamic geometrization, probability, relativity, disruption, coherence and stochastic resonance, synergetics and tensegrity, self-reflection, nested cycles, the breakdown of order with sudden transitions, the creative and evolutionary "edge."  Chaotic systems are apparently acausal, inherently qualitative, sustained by complex feedback loops, and disproportionately responsive.

Author, Therapist, Artist
Iona Miller

"Yea verily, I say unto you
A man must have chaos yet within him
to birth a dancing star."


"To this day God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my willful path violently and recklessly, all things which upset my subjective views, plans and intentions and change the course of life for better or worse."

--Carl Jung, 1961

FREE RADICAL: Iona Miller, consultant and transdisciplinarian, is a nonfiction writer for the academic and popular press, hypnotherapist (ACHE) and multimedia artist. Her work is an omnisensory fusion of sacred activism, intelligence reform, esoterics, science-art, chaos theory, plenum physics, and emergent paradigm shift melding experiential psychotherapy, new physics, biophysics, resonant space, philosophy, cosmology, healing, creativity, qabalah, magick, paranormal, media ecology, mind control, paramedia, metaphysics, and cultural filters.

CHANGE AGENT: Rather than having an interest in specific doctrines, she is interested in the transformations, the EFFECTS of doctrines from religion, science, psychology, politics and the arts. Our beliefs are the moldable raw material of the psyche, manipulated by governments, media and culture. How do we become what we are and how is that process changing in the near future?

META HARI: Performance artist and spywhisperer, Ms. Miller is published by Phanes Press, Destiny Books (Inner Traditions), Autonomedia, Nexus Magazine, Dream Network, PM&E, Journal of Nonlocality and Remote Mental Interactions (JNLRMI), Chaosophy Journal, OAK, DNA Monthly, Pop Occulture, Schiffer, Bolero, Science-Art Research Centre, and more. She is a Gaia.com Ambassador and serves on the Board of Medigrace.org nonprofit organization. Recent print articles include Alchemy Journal Vol. 10 No.1, Mar 09 (Australia), Paranoia zine #44, #46, #49, #50 (USA), HunterGatheress Journal, Vol. I and Vol. II, JNLRMI (Russia), Der Golem (Germany), Antibiothis I and III (Portugal), The Art of Fetish (Miami), and Journal of Interdisciplinary Crossroads (India). Her artwork has shown in Miami, Phoenix, New York, in magazines and more. Appearances include "21st Century Radio," "Untamed Dimensions," "Reality Portal," " Digital Long Island," "The Ascending Way," etc.

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The modern myths of our times are those scientific theories which foster our sense of mystery and awe when we gaze into the deep heart of Nature.  The Anima Mundi--Soul of the World--the soul of matter, is alive and well.  All we need do to connect with her is turn an imaginal eye on our relations with self, others, and world.

There is a therapeutic value in deliteralizing our theories about the way things work.  We can view theory poetically, metaphorically to illuminate the natural process of creation and dissolution of pattern and form.  Nature repeats herself at all levels of organization. Therefore insight on the fundamental nature of matter and the relationship of interacting systems reveals analogies with human existence and behavior. Whatever nature is, we are that.

As the ancient alchemists noticed, the transformation of matter is analogous to transformation in the psyche.  This is not to say that consciousness cannot transcend its physical substratum.  If we concur with David Bohm, positing consciousness as pure information, it not only transcends the human sphere but the entire domain of physical manifestation.

Chaos theory provides an interesting philosophical basis for exploring this relationship of psyche and matter--the interface of mind and matter.  Perhaps one of its primary virtues is that it allows us to formulate a theory of consciousness and healing based on an organic model of transformation, rather than a mechanistic or cybernetic process, which form the basis of some other current theories.

Unfolding the analogies of the Creative Consciousness Process with Chaos Theory is not intended to bind the two together as a final picture of the way things are.  CCP was not developed from nor structured around Chaos Theory.  It is just the best state-of-the-art scientific metaphor we have to describe the transformative process in nature's terms.

Most of the nuts and bolts "how to" of CCP is covered in DREAMHEALING: CHAOS AND THE CREATIVE CONSCIOUSNESS PROCESS.  The science behind what Graywolf later called CRP (Consciousness Restructuring Process) is in HOLOGRAPHIC HEALING, by Graywolf Swinney.   Since this journal is being developed essentially as a "house organ" for practitioners of CCP or CRP, or dreamhealing, it refers to this foundational work as the source of the basic theory and method of practice.

CHAOSOPHY '93 explores the philosophical implications and assumptions underlying that practice.  It is rooted in the notion that imaginal representation is the fundamental experiential reality of human existence, and that these representational systems can be radically deconstructed and creatively repatterned holistically.

Psyche is not separate from matter.  Consciousness is not separate from matter.  But this philosophy is neither dualist nor materialist--it is functionalist; it works.  Yet it also adheres to the romantic traditions of shamanism, philosophy, the arts, and depth psychology.

Chaos is ubiquitous throughout nature, yet has largely been ingnored by science in the past due to the overwhelming complexity of detecting its underlying pattern and purpose.  Much the same could be said for its appearance in human psychology and philosophy.

Yet chaos has always been recognized as a primal or fundamental condition from which all systems emerge and into which they dissolve.  This statement holds as true for the ego as it does for the creation of any form of order.

Chaosophy, as a philosophy of treatment, is based in the notion of following the creative flow of meaning which emerges continually as the stream of consciousness--an upwelling river of imagery.  When there are blocks to this free flow of energy--frozen states of consciousness obstructing the flow--they can be deconstructed, "liquified."

As the ego encounters the powerful flow of autonomous imagery, consciousness can ride its waves back to their emergent source.  Creative regression into more fundamental (less-structured) states of consciousness ranges from representational forms to nonrepresentational patterns, from the phenomenological to the nonphenomenological.

In this process the ego is deconstructed--temporarily dissolved--relieved of its fossilizations and rigidities, and prepared for holistic repatterning by "chaotic consciousness," the holistic ground state.

This "RE-CREATIONAL EGO DEATH" paves the way for the new emergent order which repatterns the whole person, radically altering self image and relationship to the world at large.  It is a direct experience of an enlarged sense of self and participation in the greater whole.  It restructures the belief system and personal mythology.  Creativity and healing are emergent properties of self-organizing systems.

Several other scientific theories are relevant to an amplification of the nature of this natural transformative process.  CCP just facilitates and follows nature's way.  Other relevant concepts include relativity and quantum mechanics, theories of the holographic nature of mind and universe, parallel universes, virtual realities, nonunitarian transformations, general systems theory, and information theory.

Part I, CHAOS AND POSTMODERN PSYCHOTHERAPY, introduces a worldview which serves as a philosophical basis for experiential therapy with an organic deconstructionist orientation.

Part II, POLYPHASIC CONSCIOUSNESS, presents the case for a model of consciousness rooted in radical pluralism of infinite states or phases of consciousness.

Part III, THE HOLOGRAPHIC PARADIGM, provides further links from physics and cognitive sciences which embed CCP in holistic models of reality.

Part IV, CHAOS CULTURE, is meant to suggest applications of this philosophy in daily life.

Part V, INFORMATION THEORY  carries us into even more arcane areas of applications in psychology and philosophy.

Though these articles build on one another, they are not necessarily to be studied in a linear manner.  They build on one another in a reflective, recursive fashion.  Therefore, they may require more than one reading, as the later material illuminates notions presented earlier in more cursory fashion.  Like iterating fractals, these articles present multiple views of the same self-similar process over and over again from slightly different perspectives.

As poetic or metaphorical speculation they are meant to provoke and evoke deep thought and awareness in the reader, helping perhaps to clarify the reader's own worldview.  We hope they will shed some light on the nature of the archetypal healing process and creativity as they emerge in therapeutic interaction.

Hopefully, those of you who are practitioners or "armchair" philosophers may be moved to make your own contributions.

Chaos theory has been one of the most fertile venues of interdisciplinary study of the nature of consciousness and reality, and we welcome all comments for revue.

                                                                                              --Iona Miller, 1993