Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

The Fruit of the Tree is Entropy

August 07th, 2014 by G.


The fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was entropy. Non-entropic conditions were barred by cherubim and a flaming sword.


Why was it knowledge of good and evil was what touched off entropic conditions? One possibility is that meaningful choice between outcomes works best in a world of limits, i.e., in a world that doesn’t have limitless amounts of energy and order and information. Entropy is time: is choice possible without time? Doubtful.

Another thought is that entropy works on gradients, areas of higher energy and lower energy, areas of higher order and lower order, areas with more information and areas with less. Differentiating good and evil creates such a gradient. Spiritually speaking, the Garden of Eden was the singularity “before” the Big Bang.

In the story, the Tree of Life was theoretically accessible in the fallen state (which is why the cherubim were called in). Apparently an endless source of energy and whatever else you need to avoid entropy is damnably horrible if you are still entropic on the inside. The bad guys in Wright’s Golden Age trilogy—they are the Silent Oecumene, if I remember—are the possessors of a technology that allows them endless energy and matter for each individual’s use. They are also rotten to the core, but the logic of it escaped me until I was thinking on the creation story recently.

Both Eve and Adam’s curse have entropic elements. Adam’s in particular, as anyone who has had a garden knows. Of course, the gardener gets more out of his garden then he puts into it (mostly), because the sun supplies an outside source of energy. Under conditions of entropy, the gardener could not get sustenance from the garden unless there was a source of energy from outside the system.

In the extended version of the creation account that we get in the temple, we see that the entropic system of mortality has just such an outside source that allows us to get more out of it than we should: a Savior, or his agents.

Which explains a feature of the temple ceremony that has always puzzled me. Although the ceremony is sacred and we do not bruit it about, it is mostly only confidential as a matter of custom or practice. We only formally commit to never divulge a few password-equivalents that we give to the guardians in our ritual ascent to heaven. Why? Passwords are so . . . prosaic. So I thought until recently.

But now I see the meaning of the password-equivalents. Giving passwords that we got from somewhere else affirms that our salvation is not our own. We are entropic. Our ascent must come from an outside source. Our formal commitment not to spread them to other people is our acknowledgement that we are not ourselves capable of being that outside source for anyone else. We can’t pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. In effect, we are covenanting that we won’t imitate the devil and try to do that which has been done in other spheres, by usurping God’s role.

Comments (7)
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August 07th, 2014 15:07:53

Clerk Maxwell
August 7, 2014

Are you suggesting the cherubim with a flaming sword was actually one of my demons?

Bertie W.
August 7, 2014

Easy on the sauce, Clerkie old chap. I’ve perused the diagram like billy-o and can assert forthrightly there are no demons.

Edit: Jeeves just ventured to suggest that the gentleman was pleased to be jocose, in which case, power to him, and a hotchacha.

David "Zen" Foster
August 8, 2014

G, I am not certain I understand your last paragraph.

In any case, I am not convinced entropy is really our enemy at all. Entropy can be defined as disorder, but mathematically it is better described as the number of possible states something can be in. So, because the number of possible ways my daughters room can be disorganized is vastly larger than the way it is properly organized, then disorder is proportionally more likely.

I wrote a paper a while back that looked at this.

“There are currently a lot more ways to sin (spiritual disordered states) than there are to keep the
commandments (spiritual ordered states). There are more degrees of freedom and paths that lead
to sin, than paths that do not. Currently, the number of possible sinful states is much larger than
the number of possible righteous states. In this life increasing entropy means that not only is sin
and disorder is more likely, statistically speaking, but that because energy flows to where there
are the greatest increases in entropy, resources flow towards corruption as well.
Jacob’s warning about spiritual entropy was no idle threat: “For behold, if the flesh should rise no
more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the
Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more. And our spirits must have become like unto
him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God…” 2Ne. 9: 8”

So, because of the way energy flows, sin is statistically more likely. But that is not a simple given. Energy can flow the other way, but in this world, it is not stable. If we could find more ways to create organized states, than disordered states (sin) then the same laws that create disorder and death on earth, could be an equally great force for life and righteousness.

Incidentally, it would also give us a strong reason why the different degrees of glory are separated.

If you are interested, you are welcome to look at the paper I wrote, where I flesh those ideas out. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2_wt8pJc1H1cVpjelZGcmJVWEU/edit?usp=sharing

August 8, 2014

that’s quality speculation. I will be reading that paper soonest.
OK, last paragraph. In entropic conditions, you can only move from a state of lower order to a state of higher order if you aren’t in a closed system: there is an outside source of order/energy/etc. In the temple rite, the inability to ascend without the password-equivalents that have been provided by Christ and his agents is one of the several aspects that reflect the need for this outside source.

August 9, 2014

The Light of Christ to all, is like the sun to the gardener.

August 10, 2014

I like this post. I am not sure I agree with it because I have not fully understood it, but it is along somewhat similar lines as I have been thinking lately.

Monty Python
August 10, 2014

Spammers must die, die, die.

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