Awesome Things: 11. Fractals

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Inspired by 1000AwesomeThings.com, I will be doing my own list of 25 awesome things for the rest of this month. Enjoy...

A fractal is a simple mathematical equation that produces amazingly intricate and complex designs in nature through repetition. I’ve been fascinated by fractals for years, and look for them in nature at every opportunity. Only recently did I realize that fractals can be found in Scripture.

Scripture fractals. Though I’ve been reading through the Bible for years, I’ve often come away frustrated for lack of understanding. Most people brush off this kind of frustration by saying, “Well, God is just beyond us. We are not supposed to understand the Bible now.” But that doesn’t make sense to me. He wrote the Scriptures FOR us, so doesn’t that mean He wants us to understand them? Plus there are many passages that promise understanding to those who seek for it like buried treasure. Also, if all Scripture is inspired, every last word and phrase of it should mean something, but often it seemed to be hidden behind lock and key. But this past year, a great unlocking has begun to occur for me, the results feeling much like the video you just saw.

Nowadays I am getting happily lost in the magnificence of the Word, seeing intricate patterns and beautiful themes taking shape, though I’m convinced that I’m still barely scratching the surface! For example, I’m reading a book right now called, Creation’s Heartbeat. This is an entire book devoted to unlocking the hidden pictures and meanings in the Hebrew words and letters in Genesis 1:1. Yep, a whole book devoted to one verse. And you know what? God’s whole plan for mankind is revealed in this one little verse when you study it with the help of a Hebrew scholar!

The deeper I go, the deeper it gets! Did you know that the Hebrew scholars say that there are at least 70 layers of meaning/ interpretation to every verse in the original Hebrew Torah? They also suggest that, like Genesis 1:1, the whole of the Torah is contained (hidden) in every verse. Sounds a lot like a fractal to me—no matter how small you reduce it, it repeats itself! Mind boggling!

These patterns in Scripture are a little understood concept in the church today. Everyone is looking for ONE fulfillment of any given prophecy. But the Hebrew interpretation of Scripture is that “history repeats itself” and that His-Story unfolds in cycles and repeat patterns.

How I wish I could explain it all in a blog, but I’m afraid I can’t. I have been writing about a lot of it over the past year, and plan to continue in the future. So stay with me and we’ll try to dive deep in the coming days.

P.S. For you science Geeks, here’s a more in-depth video:

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  • TedB

    I love this concept. Thanks for sharing Julie! Perfect timing today.

    • nofinalconflict

      Thank you Julie that really woke me up today. I recall as a child my fascination with a tube of mirrors containing loose coloured beads, pebbles, or other small coloured objects. The viewer looks in one end and light enters the other end, reflecting off the mirrors, the Kaleidoscopes of my youth. It also reminded me of a scripture:
      "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:11-13
      Thank you my sister in Christ for a moment of sheer delight in recalled thoughts and pleasures.

      BA

      • jferwerd

        What a wonderful thing when we are taken back to warm childhood memories. Thanks for sharing!

    • jferwerd

      Ted! So nice to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by this a.m.!

  • dmarkins

    Julie, I'd like to be in your head for just one day…your insights are astounding! (Longer than a day–my head would explode.) Thanks for all the time you invest in your blog much to my benefit!

    • jferwerd

      Perhaps that's why I need naps often :D.

  • Why wouldn't fractals be in Scripture? God designed them! :-)
    I discovered them a number of years ago in: THE COLOURS OF INFINITY from which the lower clip
    above is taken. Beautiful beyond imagining. Hope everyone sees this. Thanks for posting.

    • jferwerd

      What is "The Colours of Infinity"?? Sounds intriguing.

  • Very insightful. Thank you for sharing. I couldn't few the second video because the buffering was driving me crazy. I think there's a way to turn the buffering off but I don't know how. I could sit and stare at the first one for hours with some hymns proclaiming God's truth playing in the background–what a meditation that would be.

    • jferwerd

      Lisa, you might try watching it on Youtube…it might play better for you from there. Thanks for commenting!

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  • This is amazing! I want to get that book!

    • jferwerd

      Yeah..what is super amazing is that Genesis 1:1 is FULL of the universal reconciliation theme. I'm not sure of the author's stance on it, but if he doesn't get it, he spilled the beans in spite of himself. ;)

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  • Tessie

    Wow – I am learning a bit about the holographic nature of the universe – how any pattern that exists will be fully existent in the whole and it every small part. Apparently if you have a piece of holographic paper with an image embedded in it, and you chop the paper up into tiny pieces, each fragment will contain the whole image. Scientists think the universe works this way. An example is your DNA – every tiny bit of it contains the whole genetic code.
    Some scientists think that the ancients knew this and somewhere along the way we lost it. To hear you say that the Torah is contained in each verse is fascinating stuff!!! They obviously did understand the nature of things if they say that!
    Thanks for your blog Julie

    Tessie