There is a reason chaotes are hesitant to define exactly what it means to be a chaote or if they do, why asking five chaotes, will get you at least six different answers. The reason is quite simple really, each understands that whatever definition they offer it will have its limitations, as it is based on individual experience and understanding. It suits the individual’s paradigm, and each understands that this will not necessarily match another’s, despite having a similar belief system.
What is this nonsense Hassan I Sabbah says about “Nothing is true; everything is permitted?” It means exactly what it says. Nothing we perceive is true, it is a facet of whatever is out there, outside the self — if there is even anything out there at all. However, everything is permitted, you can believe whatever you want, the universe does not care enough to argue, and if it does, it does so in a way you can understand that another might not see. You can believe rocks and sticks are one and the same – fantastic, no-one else really cares.
It seems universal enough among chaotes that it is safe to say that wilful paradigm shifting is a popular pastime. What this means is that a chaote will adopt one paradigm as long as it suits hir, and changes it when it no longer fits hir understanding of things, or to utilize a different one on a whim, or that is more useful in one’s endeavours. Therefore, a chaote can be a Bible-thumping Christian one day, and a tree-hugging Wiccan the next, with (if they are doing it right) no issues of conflicting belief. The belief is complete, and should attained by decent research if one is going to attain any level of success.
The benefits of having a reality kaleidoscope are numerous. One of them is open-mindedness. Ever been frustrated by someone you met who just did not get something you were talking about? Like the Christian fundamentalist who believes in resurrection, but who sees no evidence for reincarnation? Well, if one is successful and adept at shifting one’s paradigm at will one can enter this view, and then enter it from one who believes in reincarnation, and see both sides of the argument, this should work for any case. Of course, one may have a tendency to believe one thing more than another, and this remains part of one’s personal belief system, that part of one’s paradigm that is most difficult to change or annihilate.
Annihilating beliefs that one holds as seemingly absolute realities can be difficult to shake. There are many methods of dissolving these through a process called “deconstruction.” Deconstruction rids oneself of any particular beliefs one holds on to and cannot seem to shake through simpler methods of paradigm shifting (which also uses a form of deconstruction) as it is more personal than a belief in a particular goddess, god, or disbelief in one. Generally, what happens when one deconstructs a belief is that a new one forms. Deconstruction and reconstruction and construction (lather, rinse, repeat), is an on-going cycle in one’s life, and especially so for chaotes, as they often consciously changes the unconscious and conscious minds.
And there you have some basic understandings and reasoning behind them. Read others. Read conflicting ones. Know that there is truth in all of them, especially those that do not make any sense. It may not be your truth at the time and indeed may never be, but does that make it any less real? Are you comfortable with that?
Image credit: Torley
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