Last modified on 12 January 2015, at 03:04


Order is the state of being arranged; the opposite of chaos.


  • Oh, order! Material order, intellectual order, moral order! What a comfort and strength, and what an economy! To know where we are going and what we want; that is order. To keep one's word, to do the right thing, and at the right time: more order. To have everything under one's hand, to put one's whole army through its manoeuvres, to work with all one's resources: still order. To discipline one's habits and efforts and wishes, to organize one's life and distribute one's time, to measure one's duties and assert one's rights, to put one's capital and resources, one's talents and opportunities to profit: again and always order. Order is light, peace, inner freedom, self-determination: it is power. To conceive order, to return to order, to realize order in oneself, around oneself, by means of oneself, this is aesthetic and moral beauty, it is well-being, it is what ought to be.
    • Henri Frédéric Amiel, journal entry (January 27, 1860), in The Private Journal of Henri Frédéric Amiel (1935), trans. Van Wyck Brooks and Charles Van Wyck Brooks, enl. and rev. ed., p. 131–32.
  • Order is the law of all intelligible existence.
    • John Stuart Blackie, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 440.
  • If you delay till to-morrow what ought to be done to-day, you overcharge the morrow with a burden which belongs not to it. You load the wheels of time, and prevent it from carrying you along smoothly. He who every morning plans the transactions of the day, and follows out the plan, carries on a thread which will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life. The orderly arrangement of his time is like a ray of light which darts itself through all his affairs. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidents, all things lie huddled together in one chaos, which admits neither of distribution nor review.
    • Hugh Blair, "On the Importance of Order in Conduct," Sermons (1822), vol. 1, no. 16, p. 195. Early time management advice.
  • Order is a necessity for everyone, but not everyone understands it in the same way.
    • Fausto Cercignani in: Brian Morris, Simply Transcribed. Quotations from Writings by Fausto Cercignani, 2014, quote 43.
  • Let all things be done decently and in order.
    • I Corinthians, XIV. 40.
  • For the world was built in order
    And the atoms march in tune;
    Rhyme the pipe, and Time the warder,
    The sun obeys them, and the moon.
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson, Monadnock, Stanza 12; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 574.
  • Can any man have a higher notion of the rule of right and the eternal fitness of things?
    • Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones (1749), Book IV, Chapter IV. Samuel Clarke—Being and Attributes of God. John Leland—Review of Morgan's Moral Philosopher. I. 154. (Ed. 1807). Also his Inquiry into Lord Bolingbroke's Writings. Letter XXII. I. 451.
  • Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • Set thine house in order.
    • Isaiah, XXXVIII. 1.
  • To make the plough go before the horse.
  • Space and light and order. Those are the things that men need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep.
    • Le Corbusier, quoted in his obituary, The New York Times, 1965.
  • Confusion heard his voice, and wild uproar
    Stood ruled, stood vast infinitude confined;
    Till at his second bidding darkness fled,
    Light shone, and order from disorder sprung.
  • Not chaos-like together crush'd and bruis'd,
    But, as the world, harmoniously confused:
    Where order in variety we see,
    And where tho' all things differ, all agree.
  • Order is Heaven's first law; and this confess,
    Some are and must be greater than the rest.
  • Folie est mettre la charrue devant les bœufs.
    • It is folly to put the plough in front of the oxen.
    • François Rabelais, Gargantua (1534), Chapter XI.
  • The heavens themselves, the planets and this centre
    Observe degree, priority and place,
    Insisture, course, proportion, season, form,
    Office and custom, in all line of order.
  • As order is heavenly, where quiet is had,
    So error is hell, or a mischief as bad.
    • Thomas Tusser, Points of Huswifery (1561), Huswifery Admonitions, XII, p. 251.

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