Home Philosophy of Entropy: Overmen Must Die

It's not the state which matters but the process. The states in this universe are always in flux with no absolutes except in abstract thinking. The correct way to live with this universal feature is to understand the very basic principle that models the shape of cosmos itself and its final destiny. It is what we call entropy.

The formal definition of second law of thermodynamics states: The total entropy of any isolated thermodynamic system tends to increase over time, approaching a maximum value. Entropy is represented as an abstraction - something intangible - but its effect is very real.

We may speak of entropy as an attribute to matter/energy distribution, as if it was something tangible, but this inspection is only secondary if we wanted to know more of its true origin and meaning for existence itself. Instead, entropy should be addressed as the inseparable feature, a tendency if you will, for the vibrant time-space tissue to enforce upon itself the essential process of becoming which undulates between the abstracted nothingness (death) and being (life eternal) without ever achieving either.

Why must this be? To simply put it: if it wasn't for the perpetual process of becoming - in entropic motion - the universe as we know wouldn't exist because it lacked the essential continuum. There wouldn't be time and consequential actions -- just the vast emptiness of the static Being, the all cosmos as immutable singularity.

Another interesting aspect of entropy is that it makes the process of becoming gradual and rather controlled. If entropy had different nature, the universe might be too unbalanced or violent to sustain life: without the energy transmutating greadually into heat, life and death would become abruptly polar events.

While entropy is the basis of continuum, it's also a continuum into itself in that its effect is gradual, much like a sine wave or standard deviation curve.

x dies, y lives

Death has always been a mystery and source of many musings in human cultures for a variety of reasons. The most popular is, of course, the common conception of afterlife which is a metaphor for immortality. Yearning for power, youth and vitality aren't necessarily encoded in our genetic material; detecting them is. What is more influencing is our egoistic fear cloaked in the animal need to survive.

Indeed, it has been asked countless of times "Why the best must die?" and often even less nobly "Why must I pass?" while they hide from and keep dodging the uneasy notion of ending their ego-gratification at last. In death there is variation, new beginning, and chances unlimited. Dynamics provides universe that it never runs out variation but like a fractal creates infinite numbers of the same patterns expressed differently.

Returning to chances unlimited, now there is something worth inspecting. In philosophical dialogue we know these wielders of god-like potential as overmen - those who rise above triumphant and conquering - who understand these cosmic principles and act thus.

Overman, the ideal human, is a good concept, but alas, so prone to misinterpretation and abuse. It's partially due to our limited language which is inclined to stress states as absolute qualities but mostly because simple-minded people prefer the tangible for its inherent superficial understanding. The secret of esoteric knowledge is not in understanding the states themselves but the processes which yield the result. That is why Pagan religions had rites which iniated the subjects to new aspects of life: youth to adulthood, beloved to partnership, old to death. Gods, the celestial processors of cosmos played the central piece in this play, since without their essence change for better wouldn't be possible. What makes especially the manhood rites so special is that they override the superficiality of states and instead let a holistic and demanding ritual to truly tell if he is worthy of becoming a full fledged man of his tribe.

Consider this example: Growing pubic hair is an indicator of nearing maturity but not the definite one. As such, the rite gives two clever advantages over the superficiality: 1) A demanging rite will only validate matured men, 2) instead of being the passive object of tribe elder's active selection, the candidate will become an active being in a brilliantly self-succeeding motion: he validates himself. Both these aspects will serve a higher function in the creation of overman, for he must be both self-perpetuating and active principe.

There is no absolute overman nor will there ever be. Genes are entropy moulded cooperative mechanisms which serve as an end itself: to guarantee dynamics, there must be continuum, thus life. As such genes are susceptible to change through various processes of selection and mutation. Life must keep adjusting itself to changing local conditions, and entropy itself erases information, which is why life procreates in multiple numbers: the more copies there exists, the surer its survival gets.

Information is volatile, which is why we need to understand the process in order to replicate the results: any input can produce quality output (here: analogue of the model output, not a clone) if supervised vigorously (here: faithfully to the process) enough with sufficient time. For example, overman will never be a clone of single genetic material bred and manipulated to its "height", because such ideal conditions don't exist and the genetic reference information is always at stake to degrade.

Entropy simply is the triumph of death, an epitome of utter destruction, but within is also carved the universal design and expression: beauty truly never dies, for it will always resurface in another form.


Understanding death as the consequence of evolution and biologic interpretations is correct but misleading: evolution itself is the consequence of dynamics enabled by entropy. Apoptosis, programmed cell death, is just nature's "logical response" to the evident: cells degrade because of entropy and they must die to live once more renewed. Same goes for all of us when we die and our offspring take over the legacy.

Cosmic dynamics may have burdened us with endless death and suffering in struggle, but without it there wouldn't be anything to live or dream for. As Nietzsche put it, it is only up to us to overcome this what we call the tragedy of mortal life, and re-write our roles in the cosmic play. While the invisible strings of statistics will always be pulling our actions in the large scale, it can never put the lines in our mouths. That we must do ourselves.

Overcoming life's tediousness is thus: while riding the high sea of suffering one must grin and laugh from all one's heart and soul, and lo! -- the grand tragedy of life becomes comedy of free spirited philosopher-poets who smirk at the meaninglessness of everything -- and become masters (unto) themselves!

Life is the noble process which turns suffering into excellence.

July 2, 2007

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