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  • Writer's pictureDarcy Reed

Entropy: resistance is futile

Updated: Feb 21, 2019

According to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, all things tend toward chaos, or entropy.

It is fine to discuss the rule of the universe that insists on entropy. It’s another device of physics that indeed does make chaos mandatory. Order always has to give in to chaos. Our resistance is futile, like resistance to gravity in Star Trek.

Things fall apart from entropy because they need to come back together again like leaves that fall from a tree and decay and join the soil and help fertilize the tree for a new season. The yin and the yang of it all is marvelous. People hate decay but they themselves decay, that is why they think when they get old it’s a tragedy.

They must not believe in the afterlife or the recycling of all things. I see that my parents once were young and very beautiful. Now they are old and beautiful. They want to be recycled properly. They, after all, believe in new life but like all folks they are afraid of entropy because they are on the downside of that cycle and it’s not as elegant as youth and growth and the order that entropy wants to destroy.

I believe that there’s beauty in decay, even the skin forms a more interesting pattern on aging people and in the forest, it starts out green and yellow, then brown, then the snows crush the particles. It’s beautiful. It’s important to notice that although things fall apart according to the entropy law, they also come together. That is a fact. It is an ongoing cycle like the Taoists might look to as normal – the yin and the yang, the dark and the light, the forming and the unforming.

The many other characters of world religions do the same. In Hinduism, it’s Shakti the creator and Shiva the destroyer. It’s the same process being described in many different cosmologies. In the end, we will either be the building blocks or the wreckers. Resistance only makes us fret; it’s best to accept these contradictory processes as perfect and necessary on the physical plane.

I suppose it’s true in outer space, too, I guess. I only hear a bit of physics on TV and form these opinions. In some other dimension, these things don’t bother anyone. They aren’t observed as agonizing or fearful or even annoying, but rather entropy is merely a discharge of energy reforming itself.

The drama we feel in our hearts with the passing of all things is also inevitable like a universal law. The key to understanding this suffering that these little destructions cause us is part of our spiritual challenge. Look to nature. See how it renews from all decay.

We also renew in this cycle of life. In the end, it will be to the benefit of all beings that things destruct toward chaos. The things on the planet that do not destruct, like plastic or nuclear waste, are the most outrageous anomalies that we need to tend toward disappearance. History teaches us that civilizations also are part of this law of entropy. They all eventually slide into destruction and chaos, but then some other day rise again in another way and place. Life goes on. There’s not resisting it. Best to embrace the natural cycle of things and not fret.

illustration by Carolyn Reed

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