“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.