Fractals fascinate me. Not the math, though I’m sure it’s great, but the patterns. If you don’t know what I mean, check out http://xaos-project.github.io/XaoSjs/ . Zoom in as much as you want, and you will see repeating, incredibly similar patterns. It’s the similarity that intrigues me: no two structures are quite the same even though they are very alike.
The Tao Te Ching talks about the earth as a place where “creatures flourish together, endlessly repeating, endlessly renewed.” I think this is an essential understanding of the nature of existence. There is a conservation of form. Humans have an enormous amount of things in common, but physically, intellectually, emotionally, there is enormous variation.
When patterns work Nature replicates them. Its genius is that it is a pattern, not a mold. Though there are masses of humans, we are not mass produced. We follow the blueprint, but the differences are manifold.
I like to take ideas like this and apply them to my life. Notice my repeated patterns. Observe what is the same, and also the variations. I learn about myself from my own behavior and work, and like Nature, I can choose to repeat what successful and discard what is unsustainable.
****Interested in philosophy and Taoism? Check out my book Tao of Thoreau. ****