Fractals, Body, Mind and Matters

Oct 14, 2023

I don’t know about you, but I love reading and just wish I could read all I wanted to - and even more importantly - remember what I read!

Regardless of my poor retention, I have to say that my current dive into the book ‘Zero’, by Charles Seife, is one I hope I remember the details of for a long while.

‘Zero’ is a fascinating read into how much trouble zero caused philosophically, how connected to the religious issue of the void, or infinity, the ‘zero issue’ actually was, WHY ARISTOTLES DOCTRINE WAS SO CONNECTED TO THE CHURCH AND CONSIDERED HERETICAL IF YOU DIDN’T AGREE WITH HIS PHILOSOPHY (I capitalize this because it has been a big question for me to understand and I loved this part in itself) and how much zero/infinity/void messed with people’s minds and cultures and then calculus came out and made everyone go, ‘Ooooooh’.

(Not that calculus answered all the issues at hand, it was just an advancement of brilliance that made everyone think we could make better sense of things for a moment. I never studied calculus, having never progressed past grade 11 math, and while I don’t understand the dialogue around it in this book I still find the relationship between maths and philosophy to be fascinating in itself as I glaze over the hieroglyphics in the math-y sections).

Full of interesting facts and fables, the one I wanted to share here has to do with the Fibonacci sequence.

Fibonacci, whose name was really Leonardo of Pisa was the son of an Italian trader who travelled to Africa and studied mathematics from the Muslims, becoming a good mathematician in his own right.

I quote directly from Seife’s book….

“Fibonacci is best remembered for a silly little problem he posed in his book Liber Abaci, which was published in 1202. Imagine that a farmer has a pair of baby rabbits. Babies take two months to reach maturity, and from then on they produce another pair of babies at the beginning of every month”.

(Sheesh, busy bunnies)

“As these rabbits mature and reproduce, and those rabbits mature and reproduce, and so on, how many pairs of rabbits do you have during any given month?

Well, during the first month, you have one pair of rabbits, and since they haven’t matured, they can’t reproduce.

During the second month, you still have only one pair. But at the beginning of the third month, the first pair reproduces, you’ve got two pairs”.

(Why does this make me think of a drinking game?)

“At the beginning of the fourth month, the first pair reproduces again, but the second pair is not mature enough: three pairs.

The next month the first pair reproduces, the second pair reproduces, since it has reached maturity, but the third pair is too young. That is two additional pairs of rabbits: five in all”.

(My math brain already starts to look for something else to think about by this time, but wait for it….)

“The number of rabbits goes as follows: 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55…..; the number of rabbits you have in any given month is the sum of the rabbits that you had in each of the two previous months”.

(Oh! the Fibonacci sequence is apparent even in bunny breeding? Suddenly math becomes, dare I say it, interesting…)

“Mathematicians instantly realized the importance of this series”.

(Really?? Good thing this didn’t depend upon me).

“For instance, 8/5=1.6; 13/8=1.625; 21/13=1.61538….These ratios approach a particularly interesting number: the golden ratio, which is 1.61803….”

(Ohhhhhh…..and now the golden ratio and the fibonacci sequence are related…not just floating in space of their own ideas…that’s comforting)

“Pythagoras had noticed that nature seemed to be governed by the golden ratio. Fibonacci discovered the sequence that is responsible. The size of the chambers of the nautilus and the number of clockwise grooves to counterclockwise grooves in the pineapple are covered by this sequence”.

I don’t know if this was an EXAMPLE Fibonacci came up with or he had some major lightbulb moment in pondering bunnies and birds and bees, but I like to make these things up. Like he was bored one day with a stalk of wheat in his mouth as he stared over an Italian field and suddenly had a fantastic insight that made his day, and made him famous. Did he know he was going to be famous? Would he have cared? Did he own rabbits?? Was it an African elder who, in the interest of speaking in a language Leonardo may have grasped, used bunnies to speak more simply to a European mind not yet mastered in the arts of ancient African wisdom??

These things keep me up at night. In the meantime, I thought you might like to know about the means by which his famous sequence can be explained - and maybe had even been discovered that way….who knows?

After writing this, it occurred to me that even more clarity on the fibonacci sequence - and its relationship to Pi and Phi, and what on earth they are - may be of interest. This prompted me to upload one of my videos from my Fractal Anatomy and Geometry of Healing program to my youtube page today. It’s what I created so I could understand how this trinity is connected, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it!

You can watch the story of Pi, Phi and Fibonacci here; https://youtu.be/SAhYOZT8bn4