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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E is for Entropy

There is an increasing sense among those who are wakeful to what is currently happening in and to the world that we are spiraling inexorably toward some kind of massive change- apocalypse, cataclysm, "the end of the world"... or just Change.

It's no wonder, really, that so many people live in fear of this Change, and use labels like the ones above to describe the metamorphic nature of this process; change is always threatening, especially to those who have a poor grip on their own Nature. The fact is, though, that the only constant is change, and while I hate to be trite, the point remains: things that do not change stagnate and die. They wither.

Why? Why is change so imperative? Why is it that a system that is "good" and "working" cannot be left alone, cannot be allowed to flow forward (if there is such a thing) without modification?

The answer is simple: entropy.

Entropy is an idea originally put forth by German physicist Rudolph Clausius in the 1850's. Without getting into too much technical detail, Clausius was attempting to use mathematics to describe the idea that any system with moving parts slowly sheds energy as it works, that there is "waste" energy given off with slowly, inevitably degrades the system. Sooner or later, he was trying to say, without intervention, any system that does "work," that has "moving parts," will break down. It will change. His work, along with several other notable mathematicians and science-types, became of the groundwork of the second law of thermodynamics.

...but, of course, that's not what I'm talking about.

A very wise friend of mine (you'll see me referencing him a lot in this blog; he knows who he is) frequently talks about the Emerald Tablet: as above, so below. The Spirit and the Mundane reflect one another intimately. If you want things to be a certain way, then you ACT a certain way. Ghandi said (and I detest this quote because it's become so trendy, but it applies) "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Essentially, he was saying the same thing.

How does this fit in with Entropy? It's pretty simple, really: if you run your car, day in and day out, doing nothing but adding fuel, and take no other care of it, what will happen? It will deteriorate to the point that it will no longer function. Why? Wear and tear? Yes... and no. It's entropy in action. WHY is there wear and tear? WHY do parts break down and stop working? It's because we live in a world that's built on the idea of cycles, of change, of entropy. Entropy isn't just a thermodynamic law; it's a natural law, like gravity, like osmosis, like capillary action- they are the mechanical elements of the physical place in which we live.

Likewise, the Emerald Tablet tells us, Spirit works in the same way. If you establish a set of beliefs, of ideas, of faiths, and call them "complete," sooner or later you will run into something which you cannot make fit into your neat little box. Something will come around that forces you to reconsider your position, or tries to. An open minded, wakeful person will make every effort to accomodate the new input, while someone who is asleep, who is mired and snared in their filters and walls, will attempt to live in denial of new truths.

Our world changes, shifts, and mutates constantly, and so does the world of Spirit. If we are to thrive... if we are to survive... we must learn to accept the process of Entropy; we must change, shift, and mutate alongside reality.

It's the only way we'll ever change anything.


  1. I imagine, should they read this, your "very wise friend" would nod and agree that you're very wise yourself. :)

  2. Please accept my bow of gratitude, Spider, for yet another very enlightning post. I look forward with eager anticipation each day to see what you are going to come up with next!

  3. Ahhhhh, change is inevitable so why not embrace it!!! I love how you explained it so well. :)

  4. This is one of the many many reasons why I love you and the collective Tribe. Just touching on the point you made regarding set ideas and beliefs. I remember the many years I spent feeling crazy because I was unable to adopt a standard of beliefs. Foundation is one thing, but not being open to the idea that you may have been wrong or there may be something else that you didn't consider left me coughing up the word "arrogant".
    Again with the random thoughts put together n' stuff.
    Thank you again.

  5. Just because change is inevitable doesn't mean I have to like it. Very insightful.