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Entropy as it pertains to life

As most of you know, I think a lot about life and waves and the effects that environment has on us.  While most of my writings and musings are on the subject of electromagnetic radiation, another aspect of physics that intrigues me is the second law of thermodynamics – Entropy.  Classically, Entropy is the nature of heat to move from hotter to cooler sources.  It really is the nature of our food naturally reaching room temperature and cold objects warming to a static point.  It essentially, is heat reaching equilibrium.  Entropy can also be viewed statistically which really examines the multiple ways in which a system without energy added, will fall to disorder or a state of equilibrium.

So, what does this have to do with life?  Well, it essentially means that if we do not put some energy into our system; into our life, then we will settle into a state of disorder.  While nobody can afford (energetically speaking) to continually add maximum energy to life, we do need to know when some energy needs to be added.  We simply do not have the energy reserves to continually supply our lives with maximum energy indefinitely.  We must accept at times that we need to take our foot off the gas and let things fall back.  The challenge, I think, is finding that “sweet spot” where we add enough energy to our lives to maintain some internal and external order but not so much that we burn the system (our bodies) out.  If we were to completely give in to entropy, and stay in that state for a long time, we might lose the ability to add energy and gain order.  We might become disabled.

I have seen this many times in my patients who suffer from chronic pain.  I have witnessed first hand what happens when people are not able to add energy to the system for months or years – they literally forget that they used to know how to add energy and restore order.  Imagine somebody who unfortunately finds themselves unemployed due to injury and pain for many years.  The longer they are unemployed the harder it gets to correct. The key not only to rehabilitation but in many ways to life itself is to accept that the natural order of life is to decay to equilibrium.  Accept that this is natural and realize that the slight addition of regular energy prevents not only burn out but falling into a spot where your forget how to come out.  The people I know who seem to lead the most happy and healthy lives are masters of knowing how to regulate their energy.  Sometimes they take their foot of the gas and sometimes they put the pedal to the metal but most of the time they are hovering happily in the middle knowing that at any time they can control direction either up or relax into entropy for a rest.  Plan on a long life and keep the RPMs low but not so low that the engine stalls.

Apologies for the gratuitous automotive metaphors.

brett

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