Heaven's Fractal Net: Retrieving Lost Visions in the Humanities, Volume 1

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Indiana University Press, 2004 - Philosophy - 311 pages
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"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.

 

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Heaven's fractal net: retrieving lost visions in the humanities

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Fractal patterns, as defined by French mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, are self-similar, recursive, and potentially infinite. Jackson (comparative religion, Indiana Univ. & Purdue Univ.) argues that ... Read full review

Heaven's fractal net: retrieving lost visions in the humanities

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Fractal patterns, as defined by French mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, are self-similar, recursive, and potentially infinite. Jackson (comparative religion, Indiana Univ. & Purdue Univ.) argues that ... Read full review

Contents

Introductory Reflections Little Alps and Big Alps Again and Again
1
Standing Back and Learning Lessons from Fractal Beauty and Fractal Unity
8
Strand One The Weave of the Net
19
Nets Work
27
Envisioning Heavens and Hells
39
Tamil Correspondences Levels and the Thread of Unity
46
Water as an Embodiment of Cosmic Possibilities
54
Strand Two Shipshape Earth and Other Fractal Holding Patterns
60
175 E O Wilsons Mammal Genes and Mammal Society
175
Evolution as Mental Process 180 Bateson and Systems Theory Chaos and Paradox
180
Evidences of Mind in Matter
184
Nature and Culture in the Relations of Humanity and Land
189
Descartes Encounters Chaos and Backs
194
What Way of Culture Shall We Iterate?
200
Child of Oneness 205 Child All Awe and
205
Child of Wonder Oneness
210

Examples of Fractals and Related Patterns in the Literatures of Spirituality
72
SelfSimilarity in Structures of Ancient Religious Systems
86
Hinduism and the Following of Divine Patterns
92
Power Relations Peer Relations and Relations of Subordination
105
The Madness of Art and Arts Rational Strength
113
Child Creativity Wholeness Echoes of
119
Wave upon Wave of Catchable Energies
126
The Way of Art as Opening and Paradox
128
Sensitivity to Resonating Nuances and Chunks
132
Drawn by the Updraft Taking Risks Involved in Love
134
Fractals in Literature 138 Philosophers and Poets on the Signs of Mind in the Cosmos
138
148 A Mystics FractalUke Paradisal Reflections
148
152 Other Mystic Poets of Cosmic Sensibility
152
Notes on Fractal Sensibilities in Various Stories and Verses
158
NatureCulture Fractal 167 Wholeness Overlappings of Nature and Cultural Traditions 167 Discovery and Invention Inspiration and Cultivation
167
Dreams of Reason in the Furnace of Concealed Flame
173
Hidden in the Layers of Scale from DNA to Stretchmark Galaxies
215
Interweaving Strands
218
Pao
219
VedicUpanishadic Vision See and Become the One Consciousness
220
Listen to the One God One and Only Only Reality
222
Ascending to the Ones Presence 224 Living an Inspired Dance around the
224
The Wholeness of Nature Meanings SelfRevelation
225
Fractal Process Structures
227
Envoy to the Envoy
236
Conclusion Unfoldings without a Finale 241 Something Fractal This Way Comes Why Are There Fractals in Culture?
241
Nothing New and All Things New
247
The Proof of the Principle Is in the Practice
253
Notes
259
Index Color plates follow p 146
305
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About the author (2004)

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.

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