Papernumber: 1478

Entropy debt, Entropy cycling and Karma - the teaching of Buddha in terms of system theory


keywords: Vipassana, Buddha, nibbana nirvana, I Ching,Taichi, entropy debt, entropy cycling, karma kamma, system theory, spirituality and systems, thermodynamics, egolessness, impermanence, dis-satisfaction

The development of modern science established the laws of thermodynamics. There is the disorder force governed by the second law of thermodynamics that drive everything into a equilibrium state with a maximum entropy. The development of system theory on the other hand have discovered the organizational force governed by the constrains of a system that drive the system into a particular steady state with a low entropy. In the teaching of Buddha, there are three characteristics of phenomena in this universe namely anatta meaning egolessness, anicca meaning impermanence, and dukkha meaning suffering or dis-satisfaction.

The first law of thermodynamics mentioned that the total energy never change, they are just transforming from one kind to another all the time. They act like a playground for matters and life to evolve. In the teaching of Buddha, Kalapas make up of everything in this universe and they have eight characteristics at the same time, transforming from one to another but they cannot be destroyed. And in order to experience that within ourselves, we need to achieve egolessness meaning that there is no me nor mine. It is different from the idea of unity because unity is still something while egolessness will neither end up as something nor nothing, and egolessness will even get us pass the kalapas and to the final state of the total truth namely nibbana (nirvana).

The second law of thermodynamics mentioned that there exists a disorder force that drive all ordered things into a disordered equilibrium and maintain them there. This is similar to the phenomena called impermanence in the teaching of Buddha. Experiencing the disordered force of impermanence within ourselves can purify our mind through the disordering our impurities like hatred and aversion, ill will, animosity and agitation. The method that Buddha taught us to practice for this is called Vipassana which include awareness and equanimity.

The force that make up lives and our ordered world is called organizational force in system theory. It is similar to the phenomena called differentiation in the teaching of Buddha. And is similar to the concept of Taichi in in the ancient Chinese science of I Ching. Differentiation creates relativity like good and evil, high and low, or big and small. Differentiation is also the fundamental starting point of set theory in mathematics, resulting in A and not A components, and union and intersection relationships. Organization force creates potential difference and creates ordered systems. Taichi cause the differentiation of Yin and Yang forming spectrums.

Living systems maintain themselves by in-taking negative entropy through organizational force and abide to the second law of thermodynamics through paying off entropy debt through out flows according to the constrains of the systems. Living systems may also obtain more organizational force and keep expanding their boundary to a maximum size before paying off the debt.

The entropy debt of matter is the causality with simple information while the entropy debt of living systems is the causality with complex information. Noted that matters pay off their entropy debts in any form. However, if human pay off their entropy debt in the wrong format, we would create more debts that need to be payback later. For example, when human intake the ordered energy of anger from others, we normally pay back the entropy debt with the ordered energy of anger, or even with increased magnitude using energy obtained from ordered food.

This is similar to the phenomena of suffering in the teaching of Buddha and is created by the ignorance of using differentiation. Hence Buddha re-discovered the technique of Vipassana to help us to get enlightened, to realise the truth and to get out of this suffering phenomena. In this paper we investigate on the art of paying back entropy debt in human systems.