Why do the good die young? Why are rich people the least generous and why do only rotten people decide to become politicians? These may be generalised observations on modern life but they do have ring of truth about them. They also reflect a condition that exists throughout every area of life which is termed as paradox.
In his book The Order-Disorder Paradox Nathan Schwartz-Salant explores one of the most compelling examples of paradox that we face in modern society.
Why is it that whilst we create increasingly complex systems of order in our social structures it only seems to result in breeding disorder!
A Lifetime of Analysis
Five decades of research and forty-five years working as a psychoanalyst has left Nathan Schwartz-Salant with a wealth of research material regarding this specific paradox.
In his ground-breaking book he drills down into the root of the problem as he sees it — which is how do you reconcile the fact that we live in a world which is becoming increasingly 'organised' using science and technology when at the same time we are becoming victims of an inexplicable rise in disorder? This is an observable effect that is having a truly devastating impact upon our personal relationships, the structure of the society we live in, and the resulting catastrophic impact we are heaping upon our natural environment.
It seems that the more we try to categorise and quantify the more disparate and irrational things become.
For answers as to why this state of affairs exists Schwartz-Salant turns to Jungian psychology — which may, at first, seem like a strange area to start looking in until you realise that many of the paradoxes that we experience within society originates, or is reflective of, dynamics that operate deep within the personal human psyche.
In focusing upon Jung, Schwartz-Salant particularly references his essay On Psychic Energy which the author originally discovered in 1966 as a student in Switzerland.
Discovering this manuscript came at a pivotal time in his life — one when his interests turned from mathematics and the physical sciences to psychology; although later he did find common territory in the two through his analysis of energy and the energetic, archetypal currents that impinge themselves upon the life of man.
He explains this in the following way.
"The proposed theory of psychic energy conceptualises how order and disorder interact in the human psyche, The theory is like a map, helping us remember energy transformations that easily elude our conscious grasp as we are effected by complexes and their energy fields."
Given that we then project these psychological elements out into the wider world it is perhaps not too surprising given that an Order-Disorder Paradox rules our lives.
Our Review of The Order-Disorder Paradox by Nathan Schwartz-Salant
Paradox is an inherent aspect of life. It comes, as they say, with the territory.
The primary paradox that the author examines in his book is that of the problem of manifesting disorder out of order. However, his book also highlights other contradictions and so broadens the subject out greatly. If, for example, you have ever wondered why it is that so often when you observe the results of your actions they simply fail to reflection your expectations then this book might just give you a few answers.
In fact many questions regarding the utter ambiguity of our life experience are revealed in this supremely brilliant examination on the nature of energy — along with its cause and effect.
The Order-Disorder Paradox is a publication that will be enjoyed by anyone who has thought deeply about life and its many hidden agendas; for in its pages Nathan Schwartz-Salant presents an incisive and engrossing examination of so many the psycho-dynamics that forge our sense of reality but which operate behind the scenes. It is an account that is powerful, illuminating, and transformative. For those reasons alone I can't recommend it highly enough.