Saturday 13 May 2023

The Weight of Entropy

I use the term 'entropy' to describe a very fundamental concept that emerges from an insight - or rather experience - of Mankind emerging as self-awareness begins to develop.

This insight-experience that dates back at least to the Ancient Greeks when (it seems to me) it was that which led to the very first philosophy - which was concerned with change versus stasis, movement v stillness, the temporary v the everlasting, chaos v order, the earthly v the divine, illusion v truth etc... In all these dualities, the first term corresponds with what I am terming entropy. 

To feel the truth of this realization is rather heavy mass that presses down upon all awareness and thinking. This insight can be described as experiencing the Weight of Entropy: in other words the realization that everything we know and know-of in this world will change and be lost; that  - in this world, and for all particular entities - death has the upper hand over life. 

Not everybody seems to have had this experience*, and (it seems) many of those who have had the insight choose to ignore and try not to think about it, or to deny its validity. 

But for those who have felt the Weight of Entropy, it has the ring of a profound intuitive truth. 

It is a metaphysical assumption hence cannot be proved, but it is consistent with everything in our experience - and nothing has been found in this material world (e.g. by 'science') that escapes entropy. 

Yet, the very fact that we can experience and recognize the Weight of Entropy in its fullness implies some kind of contrastive possibility; is a kind of proof that it cannot be the whole story, and is not inevitable in some kind of a cosmic sense. 

My understanding is that we are Beings who experience, think, and know from creation; from our innate experience of being-part-of creation. 

As original Beings, before divine creation; insofar as we had consciousness our awareness would have been of isolation in a universe of chaos (other Beings seeming like aspects of chaos, because they were behaving as such) - except we would not have regarded it as chaos, only as what is.

It is our inclusion in divine creation - and our experience of loving (cooperating with) other Beings, that gives us the basis of something alive and purposive, from which we can experience the workings of entropy dragging-us-down. 

And it is also that inclusion within divine creation that provides the awareness of at least a theoretical possibility of escaping - eternally - from entropy.

In other words; to feel the Weight of Entropy is usually a horrible and chilling experience - and it will remain so if we stop at that point (as so many people have, in the modern West). 

However, if we fully acknowledge the Weight of Entropy - instead of trying (and failing) not to think about it by distraction, intoxication, dishonesty etc; then we 'stay with it' and learn from it; we can go through entropy to the other side: which is awareness of divine creation.   

Note: A similar and related experience of 'weight' is that of sin - the insight that (for all the Good in the world, and that it is what many people, apparently, most desire) there is a sense in which sin is cumulative in a way that Good is not; and that corruption is an insidious influence that requires conscious and recurrent (if not continuous) resistance. But such an insight is perhaps restricted to some but not all cultures; whereas I suspect that the Weight of Entropy may occur to individuals in any kind of society. 

* When I read an ancient, or merely old, writer - I feel that I can sometimes recognize whether or not he has had this experience; when present, it seems like mind calling-to-mind across the ages and between vastly different circumstances. 


Luke said...

I am thankful for this understanding that we live in an entropic world. I have never felt the reality of this, the weight of it, but thanks to this blog I can see it, understand it to be true, and that it paves the way for a solution, an answer -Christ.

Also your other posts on how seeking healing may be a hangover from the leftist-positivist world view has given me peace and direction as I realise that my time on earth is to learn from the entropic experience of mortal life and that this experience of entropy is inevitable no matter how much the leftist-materialist world view tries to obfuscate and distract from this truth, and no matter how much healing I get.

Likewise, your post a long time ago on how maybe what we want to pray for (healing, etc) may be not what God wants, and we would be better to align and pray and be aware of what He wants.

Altogether, I am accepting more and more the entropic world or Sister Death as St Francis said. And entropy, or sister death, does seem like a friend as it teaches us that there may or must be another plane of existence where moth and rust doth (not) corrupt, and where thieves (don't) break through and steal.

I feel this concept of entropy has helped me where the traditional Christian symbolism and exposition of death and sin have failed to communicate sufficiently the predicament of mortality, and where the leftist-materialist message is to hide the weight of entropy by all means precisely because it is a way to Christ.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Luke - What you describe is a good summary of what I have discovered for myself and tried to communicate!

Your last sentence, on death and sin, was something I got from reading the Fourth Gospel, when it gradually dawned on me that 'sin' was usually being used as if it meant death.

WmJas Tychonievich then 'cemented' this understanding by pointing out that 'the lamb of God' probably referred to the Passover *lamb* - the 'sacrifice of which type of animal (rather than the kid/ goat) was specifically used to daub the lintel of doors with blood, which symbolized and ensure death would not fall on but instead pass-over the family within.

In other word's the 'sacrifice' of Jesus to save us from sin meant salvation from *death* primarily - rather than from moral wrongdoing. Saving us from death and for resurrected life everlasting/ eternal is what Jesus says he has done for those who will 'follow him'; says it over and again throughout the Fourth Gospel.