Friday, February 27, 2009

The Material and The Spiritual

My friends Jack, Melissa and I have been gathering for lunches on Fridays at the coffeeshop. Jack and I are sometime writing partners. However, we were both pretty lame last year about actually writing anything, so we sort of stopped. Now, we have started again with short assignments. Two pages. This week's theme was The Material and The Spiritual. Here is what I wrote in my little notebook.

(I showed it to my friend Chris later and he said, "I don't know whether you wrote this because you're depressed or whether you're depressed because you wrote this."

Probably both.)

Let's say that humans have a soul, or some tangible, spiritual, ethereal self. Let's say this is a conscious self also that is reincarted many times, without memory, into may different bodies and lives.

We know that from our observations, the universe tends toward chaos, toward entropy. This is true of the universe and its expansion, of decay and erosion on earth, and also of our bodies. Our bodies slowly break down and erode until they fail and die, so the soul moves on.

If entropy is true of the entirety of the universe, then wouldn't it stand to reason that it also holds true for the soul?

Entropy manifests itself in the body in a slow breakdown of organ function, a drying up of skin elasticity. It take years or even a lifetime.

How does entropy occur in the soul? I have heard that there are "old" souls, and this makes sense. But it also makes sense that old souls are identifiable by a maturity, a melancholy, a sadness that has no tangential relationship to that particular body, lifetime, or experience.

Perhaps depression is an indication of a soul's aging and entropy. The soul breaks down in the body and decays. This causes the body to need more sleep and causes depression symptoms like not looking forward to anything, inability to enjoy life.

What if depressed people have souls nearing the end of their cycle? How do souls stop the endless iterations of life and bodies and experiences?

Maybe they can't. Or maybe this is one explanation for why people kill themselves [I am not suicidal]-- they somehow know that this will make things stop, not just for this turn in the cyle, but STOP.

If there is a God, then does God also tend toward entropy? A topic for another day...

What is eternity? A bird's wing can cause the most undetectable kind of erosion when it tips the edge of a mountain. Perhaps the entire universe is slowly decaying at a rate that will take eternity.


  1. Cheer up! Though I know saying that to a depressed person is like telling someone with lung cancer to stop coughing.

    Things happen for a reason. Or, maybe not.

    Anyway, hang in there. Thinking of you...

  2. Just my opinion, but...

    Nope. The older your soul gets, the more free of this sort of thing you become, the further you get from the small concerns, the less you get caught up in the "big questions". Old souls don't spend time trying to figure out why they're here, they don't waste time thinking if they can understand the mechanism of the universe they can somehow control it. You're here, and that's enough. What you do with that time is what's important.

    I can see how you went down that particular analogical road though. :)