state of a set of things being arranged
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Order is the state of being arranged; the opposite of chaos.

By art is created that great Leviathan called a commonwealth, or state, which is but an artificial man; though of greater stature and strength than the natural. ~ Thomas Hobbes

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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Nature (the art whereby God hath made and governs the world) is by the art of man, as in many other things, so in this also imitated, that it can make an artificial animal. For seeing life is but a motion of limbs, the beginning whereof is in some principal part within; why may we not say, that all automata (engines that move themselves by springs and wheels as doth a watch) have an artificial life? For what is the heart, but a spring; and the nerves, but so many strings; and the joints, but so many wheels, giving motion to the whole body, such as was intended by the artificer? Art goes yet further, imitating that rational and most excellent work of nature, man. For by art is created that great Leviathan called a commonwealth, or state, (in Latin civitas) which is but an artificial man; though of greater stature and strength than the natural, for whose protection and defence it was intended; and in which, the sovereignty is an artificial soul, as giving life and motion to the whole body; the magistrates, and other officers of judicature and execution, artificial joints; reward and punishment (by which fastened to the seat of the sovereignty, every joint and member is moved to perform his duty) are the nerves, that do the same in the body natural; the wealth and riches of all the particular members, are the strength; salus populi (the peoples safety) its business; counselors, by whom all things needful for it to know, are suggested unto it, are the memory; equity and laws, an artificial reason and will; concord, health; sedition, sickness; and civil war, death. Lastly, the pacts and covenants, by which the parts of this body politique were at first made, set together, and united, resemble that fiat, or the “let us make man,” pronounced by God in the creation.
  • Set thine house in order.
  • 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.
  • When man works to restore order, he associates himself with the author of order; he is favoured by nature, that is to say, by the ensemble of secondary forces that are the agents of the Divinity. His action partakes of the divine; it becomes both gentle and imperious, forcing nothing yet not resisted by anything. His arrangements restore health.
  • 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.
  • A disordered society—to use Kirk’s language—is both a mass and a mess of disordered souls. A band of disordered souls can hardly give birth to a justly regulated community. Order, both in the individual soul and in society, is the science of what comes first and what comes next in sight of decent behavior in all occasions. Order promotes a viable fellowship among human beings, a meaningful social existence, even a personal saintly life. It is a matter of priorities and hierarchy, of choices and waivers. Only an ordered community of ordered souls can feel the moral call to share one’s neighbor’s burdens.
  • ...there is a perpetual struggle between manifested chaos and the unmanifested. It is the struggle of the Forces of Light with the dark forces. Christ Himself actively resisted evil... he drove the merchants from the Temple, and all his severe accusations against the scribes and Pharisees... If we try to read objectively the words... attributed to Christ, we shall see a Teaching which is severe in its mercy. Therefore, the words "resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek turn to him the other also... If this law of Karma, "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," is inevitable and exact justice, it by no means follows that we ourselves, personally, should attempt to fulfil it in this way. If we do so, we shall never emerge from the magic circle of karma. (26 May, 1934)
  • Now let us imagine the situation of Moses if he had not resisted evil and had allowed the worst and crudest elements to destroy the best—the one which was able to assimilate the ideas of morality and order. What would have happened to his task? His duty as a leader and an earthly lawgiver was to protect his people and to maintain order. Therefore, the resistance to evil was basically necessary. All teachings of antiquity declare active resistance to evil. Thus, the well-known sage and lawgiver of China, Confucius, used to say, "God for good, but for evil—justice."
    • Helena Roerich, Letters of Helena Roerich Volume I: 1929-1935 (26 May, 1934)
  • The politics of control and manipulation can only have a degenerative effect on civilization and stability. When larger systems dominate smaller ones, society and its members must face a host of bad choices, debilitating harm, and dicey outcomes. Once the leviathan has been released, few can really control its movements. So once the damage has become visible, historians can point to the inevitable source of the criminality: the ‘structured order’ of politics, rather than an ‘unstructured order’ of the people. To the gullible, this is a shocking revelation. How could any system entrusted with maintaining order destroy the very thing it had sworn to uphold?
    • L.K. Samuels, In Defense of Chaos: The Chaology of Politics, Economics and Human Action, Cobden Press, (2013) p. 91.
  • Chaos provides order. Chaotic agitation and motion are needed to create overall, repetitive order. This ‘order through fluctuations’ keeps dynamic markets stable and evolutionary processes robust. In essence, chaos is a phase transition that gives spontaneous energy the means to achieve repetitive and structural order.
    • L.K. Samuels, In Defense of Chaos: The Chaology of Politics, Economics and Human Action, Cobden Press (2013) p. 135.
  • 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.
  • Is not to meditate to deepen oneself in Order?
    • Paul Valéry, Dialogue of the Tree (1943), in Dialogues (Bollingen Series XLV 4/Princeton University Press, 1989), translated by William McCausland Stewart, p. 173.

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