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a traveller in need of a place to stay happened upon a humble residence housting a family of four. the entire family was enlightened. upon realizing this amazing fact, the travellor asked the mother "is enlightenment easy, or difficult"? her response was "oh, it is remarkably easy". encouraged by this, he asked the father the same question. the father responded "enlightenment is the most difucult thing possible for a being to accomplish". man, this traveller didnt understand: how could he recieve contradictory statements from two enlightened people? so he asked the son, which stated "enlightenment is both dificult, and easy". ok, thats a little better, he thought. exausted(sp), he asked the only remaining family member, the daughter: "it is neither difficult, not easy".

*all of you will surely pull different meanings from this tale, but what I got was this: enlightenment is not something you can DO; any path you take is not THE path. enlightenment springs forth from embracing THIS MOMENT. we are all only a collection of our experiences, thus our vantage point is limited. so our only tasks are: purification, balance, and EXISTENCE. the first two just happen if the later is achieved, which, obviously, IT HAS! the universe is much like a fractal in that it is infinitely deep and breathtakingly beautiful. from a scientists perspective, or mathematition, or even a philosopher(all just seekers), they want to understand this fractal. but the deeper you take it, the deeper it goes, on for forever. thus, all that is required is to sit back and marvel at THE FRACTAL ITSELF, and you will merge with the eternal mother.

for as long as there is a vantage point, we only see ourselves!

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Fractals are a real eye-opener, showing how wonderful the world is. In nature, there are loads of identifiable fractals.

I'm just an inquiring sort of person not a mathematician so I would'nt be the best person to explain about fractals. Perhaps someone else here could comment with more authority? A fractal is a type of geometric shape where the base shape is preserved through a transformation, so that the transformation is always composed of a series of smaller base shapes inside it. A good simple example is a fern plant: the larger leaf stalks are made up of smaller leaves in exactly the same shape, only smaller (in every proportion, they are exactly the same shape). It's like all plants are programmed to follow fractal patterns, with more or less complex rules determining the way they grow.

Interestingly, Indian decorative patterns on cloth and elsewhere follow the L-system rule (L-system is the specific class of fractal transformation found in nature - there are other fractals which have not yet been seen to exist in nature). The swastika is one L-system fractal which suggests a propeller. If you progress it a couple of generations, the shape looks like a Tibetan mandala, containing empty spaces in the shape of swastikas. L-system fractals are being used by some artists, and it is remarkable how the flowing forms suggest Indian traditional patterns.

Fractals were only just "discovered" (i.e. recognised) about 20 years ago. Is'nt it wonderful, how things seem to follow this design.

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