Chaos (Greek: χάος cháos, from χαίνω "gaping, yawning") is a state of complete disorder or confusion and thus the opposite term to cosmos, the Greek term for order. While the cosmos is the epitome of the created world, of creation, of being in general, in chaos lives that which is still uncreated, not yet existing, but becoming. In chaos, in the abyss of the not yet created, in the perfect emptiness, the primordial spiritual world is directly active, from which all creative future impulses come. The first of the seven secrets of life, the secret of the abyss, is expressed in this. The ordered world of the cosmos rises out of chaos and falls back into chaos, i.e. into a purely spiritual existence, in the end, when all outer being has disappeared. Chaos is thus at the same time a place of destruction and of creative new beginnings.
„That which stands behind the physical, out of which the physical is made and born, chaos - all have known it. Whether the Greeks called it chaos, whether Genesis describes it to us in the way we have seen it, or whether Indian philosophy speaks of the Achaos, the Akasha: it is always the same thing which, out of the secret schools, is to remind us how that which was in the beginning continues to work through all ages.“ (Lit.:GA 284, p. 87)
Etymologically, the word is related to the Greek verb χαίνω ("gaping, yawning"), so it originally meant something like "gaping space", "yawning emptiness", "chasm". This is also the name of a deep mountain gorge in the Peloponnese, comparable to the primeval gorge Ginnungagap, the yawning abyss of Norse mythology.
In the Theogony of the Greek poet Hesiod (ca. 700 BC), chaos is the primordial state of the world: "Verily, first came chaos into being, and later the earth..." (verse 116). In this myth, chaos bears resemblance to nothingness and emptiness. In Hesiod, the children or descendants of Chaos are Gaia, Nyx, Erebos, Eros and Tartaros. In the first creation story of the Bible (Genesis 1:2), the words "without form and void" can also be interpreted as another expression for chaos. In the Hebrew Bible, this passage reads Hebrew: תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ Tohu wa-bohu.
Since the 17th century, chaos has been used in everyday language to describe disorder, clutter, disarray (such as an untidy room).
- Rudolf Steiner: Bilder okkulter Siegel und Säulen. Der Münchner Kongreß Pfingsten 1907 und seine Auswirkungen., GA 284 (1993), ISBN 3-7274-2840-6 English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
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