by Frederick David Abraham, senior author of
A Visual Introduction to Dynamical Systems Theory for Psychology (with R.H. Abraham & C.D. Shaw) &
Chaos Theory in Psychology (with A. Gilgen, Eds.)
Many of us got into chaos theory because it afforded a new scientific metamodelling and research strategy for investigating more realistic complex processes in nature. As we got involved with it, we became aware of its potential to overflow its mathematical and scientific roots, to join myth, mysticism, poetry, literature, art, religion, and philosophy in providing an interconnected view of the universe, our world, our society, and our selves. It empowered the insights of those domains with a unifying view and discourse that was liberating rather than totalizing. Briggs and Peat do a wonderful and exciting job in their new book exploring this expansion of the chaos metaphor. I especially loved their attitude toward creativity: "Chaos suggests that instead of resisting life's uncertainties, we should embrace them. . . Painters, poets, and musicians have long known that creativity blossoms when they are participating in chaos." They also point out that this is true of cultural and social institutions; that the liberation of the human spirit depends this flow. This book should help liberate us from the constraints of modern and postmodern society.