Through the eyes of a phoenix.

Like many, mental illness compelled my life into chaos. The ever daunting prospect of enduring an existence dominated by uncertainty slowly detached any sense of belonging I had once had, and just like that I was alone. Much to my despair, isolation was no cure and I quickly found myself desperately searching for something else: a reason. A reason behind the chaos and disorder my life had fallen in to. I knew there was only one place that I could turn to in my quest, a place countless others had gone before. I turned to science.

And there, I found my answer. Do forgive me, it might take some explaining.

The voyage of scientific discovery is a spectacular journey. By embracing ever greater abstraction science continues to illuminate the seemingly unfathomable, distilling from reality its very essence and introducing new and wonderful passages of thought that penetrate through the most esteemed academic, philosophical and poetic minds of the age.

One such abstraction that surfaced in the 19th century and ignited furious debate was entropy. Entropy, in its simplest form, is a measure of disorder: the greater the disorder, the greater the entropy. What was particularly fascinating was that upon its understanding and application it revealed a very mysterious quality to the universe; in a natural system entropy will always strive towards a maximum. Order naturally decays into disorder.

Since the beginning of time this fundamental law has applied to every level of measure; from the colossal workings of our solar system to the intricate network of biochemical reactions that orchestrate life itself. That of course is not to say that there is no order or complexity in our cosmos. We experience, create and often yearn for such order in our lives, but it comes at a cost. With order comes inevitable disorder, providing one of the greatest demonstrations of how every atom, quark and sub-atomic particle of this universe is entwined.

The consequences of this interconnected change is the delightful efflorescence of matter that not only facilitate our existence, but surround it in a world bursting with ecological beauty and diversity. Each and every kingdom of creation having been hoisted out of the darkness; erupting, flourishing in the face of eventuality.

For we are but gazing through the eyes of a phoenix; born from the ashes of disorder into an improbable world of spectacular wonder. From chaos comes order, comes life, comes love. And I am reminded of the enchanting words written by Friedrich Nietzsche, “You must carry a chaos inside you to give birth to a dancing star”.


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