Life – A Fractal Fantasy

 

Fractals are everywhere… in the foliage of the trees, in the waves of the ocean, in the neurons of the brain, in the atom, to the solar system. Fractals pervade all existence.

The idea that the world and life itself are a tapestry of intricately woven fractals is nothing new. When fractals were discovered, it became quite apparent that they are everywhere. Some fractals are obviously simple recursive units, other more complicated copies of multi themes. However, our mind seems to compartmentalize our knowledge as theories and realities and more often than not fails to apply  theory to the reality. Even when the idea is no longer a theory but a fact.

For it is the whole that the mind grasps, not as a sum of it’s parts.

Once we realize that all existence is but a fractal, a conglomeration of multi fractals within fractals, we are no longer intimidated by the complexity.

Fractals not only remind us that the manifest world is really very simple, if one focusses on the unit rather than the whole, but also provide an answer to the big question, how could this complicated world arise out of nowhere. When one looks at the sea, the trees, the rivers, the sky, the stars, the bugs, the birds, and of course the ever-present teeming millions of humans, the mind reels from the complexity and variety of life, of nature, of matter. Many a mind has been boggled with confusion at the sheer complexity of existence. The mind wonders, how could such complexity have evolved? And therefore invents a superpower to create it. Then over the ages, the superpower acquires more accessories in terms of myths and miracles and voila, a religion is born. But is the universe really that complex? All existence is really simple. Simple, elegant and therefore deeply understandable – if only we look for the core of everything.

This stretch of existence that we call ‘Life’ is but a unit of a mega fractal with multiple planes of existence both emotional and physical. On a larger scale, it is composed of life-life interactions, such as the food web, the matings, the emotional interchanges, and the drama they beget. This mega scale is but a fractal of individual life forms which in turn are fractals of cells. The basic unit of the cell are the biochemical processes that generate energy, energy within the cell to respirate, to replicate. And when one bores down these biochemical processes, they are but chemical reactions. All life boils down to this – chemical reactions. And all chemicals are but made of the  very same subatomic particles. And so are all galaxies, all cities, all populations, all life, all atoms, all subatomic particles…a part of this multi fractal, each getting closer and closer to the core as it gets smaller and smaller.

It is not just the tangible things that could be part of fractals, but the intangible as well. We scream as anger ebbs in us, the scream the fractal of tiny emotional outbursts in the neurons. After all, neurotransmitter molecules rule the brain. Their interactions along the neuronal walls fractalize to form emotions.

Even our quest for knowledge follows the fractal pattern. Just as we are unaware of what lies before or after life, we ponder over the before and after of the world’s existence. On a smaller scale, we ponder about the subatomic particles and what lies within.

Will we ever fully understand every nuance of this tangled world? As scientists, we chip away at the mysteries, one rock at a time, at various points on the fractal, hoping that all this knowledge, aggregated, would solve the puzzle for us. But this manifest universe is infinite and there are infinite factoids that can be mined within it and therefore this approach will never offer complete knowledge of this universe, which is by definition infinite. It hence follows that it would serve us much better to hone in on the unit of which all this is comprised so that we may extrapolate the rest.

We need to rethink our thinking. We need to shed the complexity. We analyze loads and loads of data, make connections and draw conclusions. We are trained to see the ‘big picture’ and oftentimes forget that the picture is but a sum of its parts. We get entwined in the arms of the fractals, mired in their apparent complexity, while life’s secrets lie in plain sight, in the sublime core.

 

 

 

Beyond Science, Beyond Religion

 

***This blog will remain in a constant state of flux, between the edited and the updated…constantly changing…like life itself…evolving as thinking evolves…***

Some of the world’s dominating religions would like us to think that only a couple thousand  years of human civilization are relevant and that the world was either comatose or in a state of moral and psychological chaos before their inception. However, human race has been flourishing for over 5000 years and surely the inquiring mind came up with other workable theories before then. Of course it is hard to put a ‘date’ on some of the older religions such as Judaism and Hinduism. While Judaism may be more streamlined, Hinduism is more akin to branches of alternate thinking tied together by some commonalities.

However, this is not a treatise on religions and I am sure there are ‘experts’ towards that goal, the point is not which one of these religions is superior and which one decreed as the ultimate by a higher form, but rather how relevant are these systems and where do they stand today?

Religions are but theories of this enigma called life – how it came to be, why it came to be and a how-to – at least for those who need or want a set of instructions to go with it. Religious thinking evolved as human consciousness evolved. Religions started as an exquisite marriage between the need for social norms to ensure societal survival and the more individualistic mind yearning for answers to profound yet fundamental questions. Some amount of individualism has to be sacrificed for communal good and this would only happen if those rules were etched in so called holy books and trimmed with futuristic consequences extending oftentimes into the afterlife. This ensured that society sailed more smoothly.

However, over the years, the religions gathered more and more moss, traditions got tarnished with superstition, high priests established themselves as demigods and more importantly, many of the basic tenets of the religions lost their relevance. But then peoples’ minds had become so mired in the rituals and moors of the religion they were born into that it became impossible to break free. The fear of consequences and now and in the life after, fear of excommunication and ridicule kept the outliers more inline, bound by the chains of their religion.

The mind continued to think, ask questions, science evolved, aided by the few who ventured into the woods, their logic and scientific methods as tools of choice to chip away at this mystery called life. Science developed as the logical alternative to religion, the pathway of the mind as a flowchart of ifs, hows and whys. Theories were formed, tested, some proven with tools created. The proofs however limited by the tools.  How can you measure that for which there is no tool…yet. Do all tools have to be of the physical form? Thought matters, is that tool enough?

However, as of yet, science does not have all the answers, especially so for the big questions  such as the ‘why’ of life. Science as it is today and religion are both but crutches, temporary aids to living life. If one limits science to materialistic tools, that is. Religion, limited by logic, science limited by its tools. But the mind yearns to go beyond beyond science and religion, knowing that it knows nothing yet. Science has been merely chipping away at the edges of questions, religion shrouds them with a cloak of theories.

It is because of the limitations of the knowledge we have today that religion is still filling in the cracks, as a band aid, an instant gratification of sorts, so the mind could then look beyond the questions and get on with this mundane life. There has always been a constant tug of war between religion and science. Those that stick to empirical formulas and facts limp behind, forever caught in the duality of living a life they have not fully understood yet while those mired in religious beliefs go on unperturbed, but ignorant.

What if the mind broke free? Of every tenet, every decree, every tradition of their religion? What if we stood naked, draped only by our thoughts, evolving, spinning a web around us? Is it possible? More often than not, it is the fear that something ‘bad’ would happen that keeps us from this nakedness. The fear of some materialistic loss in this life that we lead as a consequence of our transgression. Ridicule of friends and family or fear of an after life in hell. What if we rose from such fears and did stand tall?

What then, where then, is the answer? The mind screams. Its neither science as it stands today nor religion. It is something beyond, an off shoot of their intersection. Some minds cling on to religion in order to fill in those gaping holes science is yet to fill. Is this necessary? Why not leave the unanswered questions just as they are, unanswered, instead of spinning theories to mask them? Whom are we cheating? What does religion accomplish today anyway? There is more strife, hatred and abject terrorism in the name of religion than any positive consequence from it. Individuals may seek and obtain peace, or even respite from the unsettling nature of life’s deep questions as they rest on their deeply ingrained religious beliefs, but then they give up on true liberation, and get mired forever in the web of hypocrisy.

The only valid argument religionist have had so far is that science has not answered any big questions yet. However, we should stop considering the scientific method from the purely physical nature that it has now, and explore other planes of thoughts. We need to extend science beyond what is today. It is at present an analytical tool on the observable universe. We need to extend it and go further into metaphysical and ethereal realms.

If we are to find the essence of all, we need to look beyond the tools of the physical world, beyond tools such as microscopes and telescopes. What we need  are thought accelerators more than particle accelerators. We need to delve deep into thought and introspection. It is a deep knowing, not defined by our thoughts, beyond our thoughts, not quite a feeling, but a subconscious perception that comes when one sheds all, accepts all, brings the inside to the outside into one seamless existence. It is  a personal strife, a personal journey that encompasses all, undefined by words or even thoughts or emotions.

A sanyas of the soul.