When people use the word ‘order’, they often misunderstand its meaning and regularly confuse it with the idea of constraint or inhibition.
For some people, order suggests a rigid and fixed state of affairs which prevents any kind of spontaneity, creativity or innovation.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
If we take time to explore this more deeply, we will discover that it is only through order that the greatest freedoms known to us can be experienced.
Consulting a dictionary we find that order is synonymous with uniformity, symmetry and alignment.
In other words, order is a conformity with some law, some tried and tested system. In arranging ourselves in parallel or in alignment with such a system, we discover whole new horizons which grant us the ability to achieve our goals.
Let’s use the example of a key to a door.
Its individual grooves must be cut into its metal body in a precise way, and it is only in conforming to the exact pattern of the wards within the lock that the key will unlock the door and allow us to enter a new space. Similarly, the design and construction of an aircraft must agree perfectly with the laws of aerodynamics to allow it to take flight and freely navigate the skies.
Even the artist, sculptor or musician must first arrange his or her ideas, and proceed to synchronise with those principles of symmetry, contrast and harmony which will grant expression to the intended idea.
Shakespeare’s iambic pentameter provides the indispensable framework from which the poetry of a Hamlet or a King Lear may flow.
Even the practice of astrology requires the exactness of measurement and calculation to facilitate the more abstruse art of interpreting individual charts.
We could say that order has within it the exactness of true science, a discipline or technique which is essential for all innovation and providing the crucial springboard for the creative work of the artist.
For every inspired work of invention or creation there is an underpinning application of some formula, principle or law.
Without such a foundation, the original concept cannot be made manifest. Therefore the rule of law would seem to be the essential vehicle for any aspiration to growth or spontaneity.
Through Trial and Error
Rosicrucians know through trial and error, and after many hours of practice, that it is only through the exact application of certain laws that we can achieve the greatest results.
It is only by conforming to certain principles that we are able to access higher levels of sensitivity and consciousness, and to widen our range of cognitive experience. And so, when we reject the idea of order, we are throwing away the key to our freedom.
To help us understand the importance of order in all our endeavours, it might be useful to consider the antonym of the word.
Its opposite meanings are: disorganisation, lawlessness, imbalance, discord and disagreement.
From our experiences in life we know that for example, a disorganised event can result in chaos and is only half as successful as one which has some kind of inherent order to it.
In a lawless society, citizens are denied the freedom of being able to walk the streets safely. In any collective meeting, the absence of an agreed formula for discussion and resolution of issues leads only to discord.
Disharmony has its equivalent in music.
Where two or more notes are sounded together which, according to the prevailing harmonic system are unresolved, the result is a discordant and deeply unsatisfying combination to our ears.
Correspondingly, the lack of symmetry or structural balance in architectural design can lead to the overloading of stress points and the eventual collapse of the building.
The beauty of a rose in bloom, hinting at a perfection emanating from levels beyond our human perception, has evolved from seedling to flower according to the precise template dictated by Nature itself.
Gateway to the Unknown
And what of innovation and experimentation?
Does order inhibit and suppress the path of growth and discovery? Absolutely not: just the opposite in fact.
For every new discovery, there has been a dedicated exploration of an existing and known law or principle which has eventually given rise to the new idea. Throughout human existence, the known provides the gateway to the unknown.
Every successful and ground breaking idea or development is simply a new application of an existing and fundamental law.
Indeed, it has often been someone’s observation of the processes of subatomic particles, of nature or of the universe which has enabled them to discover corresponding applications in other areas of life.
This is also how symbols work. They are the communication highway between the known and the unknown.
In this way, we can grow to understand that the seeming rigours of geometry express untold and fathomless truths about existence and about our own relationship with the Cosmos.
Perhaps some misconceptions about what order is really about arose from a confusion with the idea of form or shape, reminiscent of the snowflake which freezes the moisture into a fixed and precise pattern, or the way in which energy is harnessed and channelled into a determined form such as light or heat.
And this is where the fundamental misunderstanding takes place.
Form or shape is the result of a process, a momentary snapshot of the eternal process of becoming. It is a materialisation or condensation of applied force into perceivable, albeit temporary, form.
As humans, we could not function without the momentary manifestations of nature’s forces. We would not be able to perceive or navigate our physical world.
But as we know, what we perceive with our physical senses is not all there is to existence, and back of the tangible and seemingly fixed, exists a whole vibratory, constantly moving ocean.
Order, on the other hand, is the means through which that process of becoming can be most clearly expressed.
It provides the optimum configuration or arrangement of elements required to release the cosmic flow. It is the foundation stone for the cathedral of all Endeavour.
It is the tried and true recipe for all success. It is the secret template underlying all the seeming randomness of nature’s forces, the vicissitudes of life, and the entire evolutionary process. It is the architectural language of the Cosmic.
Order is the medium through which the Divine makes itself known to us, and opens a line of communication with us.
In embracing order as the basis of our endeavours, we are manoeuvring ourselves into a position of contact with the harmony and unity of the Cosmic, and participating in its wonderful possibilities.
When we come to realise this on all levels of our being, we will be freed forever from all constraints and limitations.
The Evolution of Understanding
We have evolved the faculty of reason, and the instrument of that reasoning, the brain.
The evolution of our understanding as individuals and as the human species, has been the result of our recognising underlying patterns, templates and systems within our world and the universe as a whole.
Not only that, but we are only just beginning to explore our own connection to this great universal order. As time passes, we are each discovering the full implications of this relationship, and the endless possibilities that are opening up to us.
Socrates is well known for his dedication to the exercise of reasoning. He sought genuine knowledge in his pursuit of truth.
In his conversations his adept navigations of the landscape of pure logic may fascinate us, but he is demonstrating the importance of the exercise of Reason and Logic with which we are endowed.
It is through the exercise of our faculty of reason that we observe, understand and apply universal law.
Socrates said that our true happiness is promoted by doing what is right, that human action aims toward the good, and that there is purpose in nature.
In ever being awake to this and recognising the template, we discover the key to our ultimate freedom.
Adaptation of “Order is the way to Freedom” by Lynn Hodgkinson from the Rosicrucian Beacon, March 2016.