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quotations about order

Order is Heaven’s first law.


All things began in order, so shall they end, and so shall they begin again; according to the ordainer of order and mystical mathematics of the city of heaven.


Nature goes her own way, and all that to us seems an exception is really according to order.

GOETHE, Conversations with Goethe

In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.

CARL JUNG, "Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious"

Art ... is an attempt to bring order out of chaos.

STEPHEN SONDHEIM, interview, July 5, 2005

Order is a prerequisite of survival; therefore the impulse to produce orderly arrangements is inbred by evolution.

RUDOLF ARNHEIM, Entropy and Art: An Essay on Disorder and Order

Order is the framer of great things.


What is called chance is the instrument of Providence and the secret agent that counteracts what men call wisdom, and preserves order and regularity, and continuation in the whole, for ... I firmly believe, notwithstanding all our complaints, that almost every person upon earth tastes upon the totality more happiness than misery; and therefore if we could correct the world to our fancies, and with the best intentions imaginable, probably we should only produce more misery and confusion.

HORACE WALPOLE, letter, Jan. 19, 1777

When circumstances defy order, order should bend or break: anomalies and uncertainties give validity to architecture.

ROBERT VENTURI, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture

Chaos is a name for any order that produces confusion in our minds.

GEORGE SANTAYANA, Dominations and Powers

Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.

HENRY ADAMS, The Education of Henry Adams

The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, First Inaugural Address, Apr. 30, 1789

All order, I've come to understand, is theoretical, unreal -- a harmless, sensible, smiling mask men slide between the two great, dark realities, the self and the world -- two snake-pits.


One man's idea of perfect order is another man's chaos.

DEAN KOONTZ, Dark Rivers of the Heart

Chaos was the law of nature; Order was the dream of man.

HENRY ADAMS, The Education of Henry Adams

Disorder increases with time because we measure time in the direction in which disorder increases.

STEPHEN HAWKING, A Brief History of Time

Order lives in chaos.


The man who believes that the secrets of the world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down. The rain will erode the deeds of his life. But that man who sets himself the task of singling out the thread of order from the tapestry will by the decision alone have taken charge of the world and it is only by such taking charge that he will effect a way to dictate the terms of his own fate.


Chaos is God's body. Order is the Devil's chains.

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit Redux

Order generally was a product of human activity. Chaos existed as a raw material from which to create order.

FRANK HERBERT, Chapterhouse: Dune

Order is the law of nature, the universal trend, the cosmic direction. If time is an arrow, that arrow points toward order. The future is pattern, organization, union, intensification; the past, randomness, confusion, disintegration, dissipation.

ALAN LIGHTMAN, Einstein's Dreams

Human beings being what they are, order spreads, given half a chance, almost as fast as confusion.

SAMUEL R. DELANY, The Fall of the Towers

Order and simplification are the first steps toward the mastery of a subject — the actual enemy is the unknown.

THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain

The order that our mind imagines is like a net, or like a ladder, built to attain something. But afterward you must throw the ladder away, because you discover that, even if it was useful, it was meaningless.

UMBERTO ECO, The Name of the Rose

Order is a necessary condition for making a structure function. A physical mechanism, be it a team of laborers, the body of an animal, or a machine, can work only if it is in physical order.

RUDOLF ARNHEIM, Entropy and Art: An Essay on Disorder and Order

Order is the sanity of the mind, the health of the body, the peace of the city, the security of the state.

ELIZA COOK, Diamond Dust

In ordering one's self aright one helps others to do the same.

LOUISA MAY ALCOTT, Jack and Jill: A Village Story

Good order is the foundation of all good things.

EDMUND BURKE, Reflections on the Revolution in France

However fiercely opposed one may be to the present order, an old respect for the idea of order itself often prevents people from distinguishing between order and those who stand for order, and leads them in practise to respect individuals under the pretext of respecting order itself.

ANTONIN ARTAUD, letter to Andre Gide, Feb. 10, 1935

The friend of order has made half his way to virtue.



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