Disequalibrium

From Kevin Kelly's book, Out of Control, on systems theory, chaos theory, evolution, swarm theory, artificial intelligence and more. It's one of what he calls The Nine Laws of God. 

"Seek persistent disequilibrium. Neither constancy nor relentless change will support a creation. A good creation, like good jazz, must balance the stable formula with frequent out-of-kilter notes. Equilibrium is death. Yet unless a system stabilizes to an equilibrium point, it is no better than an explosion and just as soon dead. A Nothing, then, is both equilibrium and disequilibrium. A Something is persistent disequilibrium - a continuous state of surfing forever on the edge between never stopping but never falling. Homing in on that liquid threshold is the still mysterious holy grail of creation and the quest of all amateur gods." 

(It might be considered a rather poetic description of the "phase transition" in physics.) 

Though read 20 years ago, I return to it often and it remains one of the most influential books on how I think that I've ever read. My copy is a dog-eared, underlined, tattered soul.