Synopses & Reviews
"Fractal" is a term coined by mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot to denote the geometry of nature, which traces inherent order in chaotic shapes and processes. Fractal concepts are part of our emerging vocabulary and can be useful in identifying patterns of human behavior, culture, and history, while enhancing our understanding of the nature of consciousness.
According to William J. Jackson, the more one studies fractals, the more apparent their connections to the humanities become. In the recursive patterns of religious music, in temple architecture in India, in cathedral structures in Europe and America, in the imagery of religious literature depicting infinity and abundance, and in poetic descriptions of the nature of consciousness, fractal-like configurations are pervasive. Recognition of this structure, which is also found in social organizations and ritual symbolism, requires only that one develop "an eye for fractals" by studying the work of researchers and observing nature. One then begins to see that the separation of humanities and science is convenient oversimplification, not an ultimate fact. Includes a DVD of animated fractals.
About the Author
William J. Jackson, Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, is author of Tyagaraja, Life and Lyrics, and Songs of Three Great South Indian Saints. Jackson lives in Indianapolis.
Table of Contents
Introductory Reflections: Little Alps and Big Alps, Again and Again
Strand One: The Weave of the Net
Strand Two: Shipshape Earth and Other Fractal Holding Patterns
Strand Three: Like Father, Like Son
Strand Four: Creatures of Creativity, Creativity of Creatures
Strand Five: Atom Snowflow Kingdom Earth: Fractals in Literature
Strand Six: Elephant Carved in Ivory: Nature/Culture Fractal Wholeness
Strand Seven: Envoy: Child of Oneness