My first introduction to the word ‘fractals’ wasn’t in a classroom. It was actually mentioned during an acid trip with friends, somewhere in nature, as we were staring off into the sky. Someone made a comment about being able to see everyone’s fractals. I had no idea what they were talking about but didn’t think much of it as I was deep in an introspective and trippy journey. Another friend pointed out that nature was filled with fractals: nature, trees, in the patterns of leaves.
Afterwards, when I returned to a sober state of mind, I made it a point to look it up and was met with a confusing block of words. Basically, they are never ending patterns.
From FractalFoundation.org, they define it as “infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales. They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop. Driven by recursion, fractals are images of dynamic systems – the pictures of Chaos.”
As I went deeper into my research, I noticed that you can apply the concept of fractals towards daily life.
That in your life, no matter where you are or where you go, you bring a set of inherent patterns that come into play. The choices that you make. The way that you respond. The way you breathe. How quickly you walk. Everything is correlated to a set of patterns. Something I learned is that you experience these repeating patterns somewhat unconsciously. Some of them have been taught to us by our parents. Some of them have been learned from friends and society. Some of them are self imposed. In any case, it just means that your entire life is one large fractal. If you want to uncover or change something about your life, find the common thread that will unravel everything for you.
There are many reasons. As David Pincus Ph.D. explained, “Essentially, fractal systems have many opportunities for growth, change and re-organization. Yet they also are very robust. They maintain their coherence; they hold together well, even under tough circumstances. They are balanced in this respect, between order and chaos. They are simple, yet also very complex. This balance is often referred to as “criticality.” And the term “self-organized” is often added because systems tend to become fractal on their own, simply by putting a lot of system components together and allowing them to exchange information. Think of a party. All you need to do is come up with enough people at the same place and time and they will start to form complex patterns of connection with one another.” (Source)
How do you do that and what does it mean?
Notice yourself, your actions and your emotions. Are there are any situations that play themselves out over and over again? This self awareness will help you choose how you create your life. If everything is just an onslaught of patterns repeating themselves, then it means that when you find yourself in the moment before you make a choice, you are conscious on whether or not you want to repeat the same pattern or choose a different choice.
Like for me, I notice that I have a tendency to run from lovers and romantic relationships. That once the going gets hot, I find some sort of reason to pull the plug and run. You can boil it down to psychology and call it fight or flight, but you can also notice that these are the choices that we have in life. Perhaps I need to gain bravery or courage to see something through. Or perhaps it goes back to that saying Know Thyself. That maybe this is just an inherent part of my nature that I cannot shift or change.
And perhaps this leads to the question of nature or nurture?
Is this my human nature? Is there someway to nurture a different response? And even if I did change something in my response, would that change the outcome? Would it result in a different reality or would it just lead to life playing out in a different way but with the same result?
It’s interesting to think about the daily lives that we live. How many times do you go to the same coffee shop? Do you have a routine? Have you ever tried to do something different? Do you notice how you feel when you do?
Change and growth is uncomfortable. I read somewhere that perhaps your comfort zone is not a good benchmark. Perhaps it is a strange way to feel and think: that perhaps life lies in the discomfort of our souls? And if each of us are trying to unravel that spool to return to home, what exactly is that home?
Is it a feeling? A way of soul expression? Is it a specific place in the world or maybe the people that we choose to surround ourselves with? Is it a mindset?