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Fractal Geometry as a Bridge between Realms

Fractal Geometry as a Bridge between Realms
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Author(s): Terry Marks-Tarlow (Private Practice, USA)
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 19
Source title: Complexity Science, Living Systems, and Reflexing Interfaces: New Models and Perspectives
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Franco Orsucci (University College London, UK & Institute for Complexity Studies, Italy) and Nicoletta Sala (University of Lugano, Switzerland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2077-3.ch002


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This chapter describes fractal geometry as a bridge between the imaginary and the real, mind and matter, conscious and the unconscious. Fractals are multidimensional objects with self-similar detail across size and/or time scales. Jung conceived of number as the most primitive archetype of order, serving to link observers with the observed. Whereas Jung focused upon natural numbers as the foundation for order that is already conscious in the observer, I offer up the fractal geometry as the underpinnings for a dynamic unconscious destined never to become fully conscious. Throughout nature, fractals model the complex, recursively branching structures of self-organizing systems. When they serve at the edges of open systems, fractal boundaries articulate a paradoxical zone that simultaneously separates as it connects. When modeled by Spencer-Brown’s mathematical notation, full interpenetration between inside and outside edges translates to a distinction that leads to no distinction. By occupying the infinitely deep “space between” dimensions and levels of existence, fractal boundaries contribute to the notion of intersubjectivity, where self and other become most entwined. They also exemplify reentry dynamics of Varela’s autonomous systems, plus Hofstadter’s ever-elusive “tangled hierarchy” between brain and mind.

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