Practical Paths to a Fractal Practice
As the classical world approached 500 BC, Hippasus of Metapontu was drowned off the coast of Greece by Pythagoreans furious that he had divulged the horrifying secret that existence was not rational. Pythagoras believed correctly that “all is number” and incorrectly that everything was an expression of whole numbers and their ratios. The man best remembered for the geometrical theorem to determine the hypotenuse of a right triangle was a numerologist more than a mathematician.
The mathematikoi of Pythagoras refused to accept an obvious implication of the famous theorem. If a right triangle has two sides one unit long, then the unit length of the third side is the square root of two. They tried desperately to find the “rational” fraction for this answer, and they failed because the square root of two and the vast majority of numbers are “irrational,” having no whole number ratio expression. Arriving at this realization against their will, the mathematikoi determined that the truth mattered less than faith. Unable to be rid of the truth, they hid it and forbid it.
Hippasus was sacrificed to a nonexistent rational god, and for thousands of years humanity has drowned with him, anchored to a false sense of security that is an intuitive fantasy of the human mind. Existence does not make simple sense in an exercise of what appeals to us. Fighting against the truth wins nothing and causes considerable suffering.
The Pythagorean mythology has proven to be quite durable and continues to infect all manner of “rational” thinking. That rancid saltiness we taste as we perpetuate the ruination of living against the natural order serves only as a reminder of what we strive to forget. Civilization is built on an intellectual fault, but we keep rebuilding after every quake. Rationalism is an insane delusion that blames all else and makes life a Hell on Earth while the Garden of Eden withers under its dominion.
As we progress into the Information Age, our reliance on computers has substituted for our rational dependency. We no longer worry too much about difficult to ponder distinctions, and computers are not bothered by such issues. Although the absurd faith in rationalism lingers painfully, our new technology allows us to explore the magnificently irrational mathematics of fractals in dazzling graphic displays. These images speak deeply to our collective subconscious and our individual unconscious minds, echoing the beauty of numbers without numerals that abounds throughout Nature. They are as relaxing as a walk in the woods, perhaps even more so. The evidence of fractal stress reduction is overwhelming, and fractal images can help us heal from a cultural wound thousands of years old.
The most healthy practice in this venue is to use Apophysis, JWildfire, or one of the many other free and easy fractal generating programs. Please try to do this for yourself. Use the works shown on this site for inspiration and relaxation as well. We have made a concerted effort to share the splendor we enjoy. Help yourself. If we can be of any further service, contact us.
‘But “glory” doesn’t mean “a nice knock-down argument”,’ Alice objected. ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ … ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’ Through the Looking Glass