a brief snapshot of the universe

In my post of a couple of months ago Flights of Talmud, my friend YodaYid commented about entropy.. which started me thinking. Here's his comment:
I would throw entropy into the equation as well. Entropy and time are deeply intertwined (in ways I don't quite understand). And the reason we need to keep feeding ourselves is entropy - we use up our energy and need to replenish. It's also the reason food goes bad after a certain period of time. So I would suggest that entropy is the link between food and time, at least scientifically speaking.
Here is where I took it:
I've spent a lot of time in Hassidic texts over the past few years, and they jive with my own personality, between the two my mind is almost hard-wired to take everything and turn it inside out and upside down.

As (I think) I've mentioned in a few posts lately, the original Tzimtzum (that created the empty space into which the universe and everything in it was created) was in essence a revellation of God's attribute of "holding back." (din/judgement דין) This is a difficult way to look at everything: Any lack is a revellation of "holding back," not an absence. In fact, on some level, the revellation of "holding back" is really just a revellation too great to behold. A revellation, in the normal more accepted sense of the word, is actually a very metered and measured revellation on a level we are able to receive. Without the measured and metered contrast of how much revealed, how much held back, we can't perceive anything at all.

People like to think of entropy as a force in nature that is slowly ripping everything apart. Entropy is the force that works towards spreading energy evenly throughout the whole universe. Since we, as created beings, are pockets of a relatively large amount of energy packed into a relatively small space, it would seem that Entropy has it in for us.

Normally, we consider God's "Holding Back" as something that works against us, something that prevents us from growing, that hides His Light from us. Normally, we consider God's Kindness as that Light which He grants us, all of the blessings of all of the things that bring us comfort and protect us.

In reality, it is God's attribute of Mercy (רחמים) which balances and unifies the forces of God's Holding Back and God's Kindness and ensures that we receive all of God's blessings.

Entropy, rather than being seen as a destructive force, can be seen as an overly benevolent force: It is trying to evenly distribute God's blessing throughout the cosmos with complete impartiality. Entropy is actually the extreme expression of God's Kindness. Really, why should any space in the universe be devoid of God's light? Why should any space in the universe get preferential treatment over any other? Such is the logic behind the unbending Kindness inherent in Entropy. Conversely, Gravity can be seen to be an overhanded expression of God's Holding Back. The more I have, the more I have to hold on to, and the stronger will I hold on to it! The existence of the universe stems from a fine balance between both of these competing forces.

So, as we can see, Entropy is an expression of Kindness or Hesed, (חסד) Gravity can be said to be an expression of Holding Back or Din, (גבורה) and the fine balancing act that makes this universe an hospital place to live represents Mercy. (רחמים)

So, in answer to YodaYid's question about trying to lump Entropy into the attribute of God's Dominion (מלכות/שכינה) I would have to say that while God's Dominion is the attribute through which He channels His Mercy, (תפארת/רחמים) it is still an independent attribute.

[As an interesting aside, birth is another example of the forces of Kindness and Holding Back coming together in a Merciful mix. Labor is broken into intense contractions at intervals with rest periods of expansion.]


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