Scientific investigation in the past concentrated its attention on the discovery of the laws which apparently rule our universe. Scientists sought and found many predictable elements in nature; they found order and regularity. And when they did accidentally come upon chaos, they spontaneously rejected it as too bizarre. Such was the case of the French mathematician Henri Poincare in 1889 (Breuer 1985: 47).In the last twenty years, however, science has raised chaos to a respectable object of investigation. Its phenomenology and its dynamics are presently being studied by physicists, physicians, mathematicians, chemists, biologists, and computer scientists. All of these fields are engaged in what today goes under the name of ‘chaos research’.How are we to understand this intense interest in chaos? On the one hand, the computer is responsible. With its extraordinary capacity for complex and rapid calculations, it provides an excellent tool for the study of chaos. Seemingly chaotic data can be plotted so as to reveal their hidden correspondences: from what appears as a jumble of disparate information, patterns emerge. Without the help of the computer, chaos research as it is being practised today, would be practically impossible.On the other hand, the awakening of scientific curiosity in the domain of chaos can be interpreted as a manifestation of the collective unconscious at work. Compensating for the dominant ideas and values in our society, the collective unconscious is stirring up that which has been rejected. Our contemporary exaggeration of the value of order would, therefore, automatically be calling forth an upsurge of interest in the opposite, chaos. From this point of view, modern science is fulfilling the same function

and playing the same role as the folk customs and beliefs of earlier ages. That is, it is helping the individual and the group to accept and integrate chaos as a fact of life. One may readily say that today more than ever in the history of mankind, chaos belongs to our world picture. For science has come to see our world as being in a state of constant movement, change, and growth. Nothing is static and stable, neither the planets nor the continents, neither small organic organisms nor the human body itself. Within such a universe chaos plays a major role. It is an integral part of natural order and in itself is not entirely without order.So we see that science has come to reconcile chaos and order. The two terms no longer appear as mutually exclu­sive. They can and do coexist in the life processes of natural organisms. In this chapter these recent scientific discoveries will be surveyed. Of fundamental interest here is their eventual applicability to humanity. Therefore, after first presenting the theories on chaos and order which seem pertinent, I shall go on to suggest what they might look like in the realm of human experience. It is helpful to sum up the discoveries in a few succinct points: 1 Chaos can reveal order: patterns and scenarios (order in chaos).2 Order can emerge from chaos in the following way (order from chaos).3 Component parts of a system co-operate to find order (synergetics).4 This can happen when a certain critical point is reached.5 Then the system becomes unstable.6 Non-linearity governs these transformative processes.7 The time factor is important.8 Development can take place in sudden leaps (saltation) or gradually.9 In extremely unstable conditions, slight changes can provoke major, unpredictable effects (the butterfly principle).10 Sensitivity and flexibility are key traits in the survival of natural organisms.