In our work, we rely on the fact that archetypal patterns in nature tend to repeat.  With this understanding we extrapolate fundamental properties from one system onto another.  For example, we link parasitism in nature to the activity of shadow complexes in mind.  This article describes the way this fractal-like patterning works.       There is an ancient alchemical maxim,   As Above, So Below  . It comes from a hermetic text called the  Emerald Tablet of Thoth .  This is  an actual text  that has been transcribed many times across several languages originating at least 1000 years ago.  Because ancient knowledge is all too often deemed outdated in our current scientific era, jewels such as this are overlooked.     “That which above is like that which is below to do the miracles of the one thing.”      – Hermes Trismegistus, the Emerald Tablet of Thoth    It’s only now that we’re beginning to become aware of the actual scientific merit of this statement.  This phrase, which is the primary maxim under which medieval alchemy is based, infers the truth of “self-similarity”.  What this means is that patterns in nature can repeat in their fundamental patterning, although they never duplicate exactly.  The platonic solids that manifest in minerals are such shapes.  The spiral is such a shape.  A Mandelbrot fractal is itself an archetypal patterning which epitomizes self-similarity.  Dr. Jonathan Wolfe’s  presentation on fractals  may be of interest.   Philosopher  Ken Wilber  has brought this understanding back to western culture through his use of the idea of the   holon   and   holarchy  .  Arthur Koestler coined the term holon, which Wilber used extensively in his psycho-social mapping.   Holarchy stands on two major tenets.  One is that all matter is organized with  individuality  and  community  as equals and intrinsically related. The other is that these collectives manifest with  self-similarity .  Every “thing’ in this universe, whether it be an atom, an automobile, a human being or even an idea is at once a single solid individual thing – and - a community of smaller things within it, existing in a larger community above it.  For example an atom is a single, sovereign individual entity  and  a massive community of sub-atomic particles. It’s also a constituent member of a larger community, a molecule.  Or, a cell is a sovereign entity in itself  and  a giant community of organelles and complex molecules.  At the same time, it’s a member of an organ, which is itself a member of an organism.  This goes on forever.    Every thing or holon is a community of holons downwards, and a member of a greater holarchy upwards.  Wherever there is a distinct boundary around a community, that creates its “thing-ness” and what we call a holon.  Even a non-material thing like a sentence is a holon, made of smaller holons called words, made of smaller holons called letters, all existing within a greater holarchy we call a language.  Ken Wilber says “There are no things, only holons”.  By recognizing this, we open up our polarized view of the universe as an organization of  things , to a more holistic understanding of things  in   relationship .  Things literally “are” relationships.  They are holons.   The other component of holarchy is self-similarity.  This is where we find the connection to the hermetic maxim  As Above, So Below .  Nature repeats fundamental organizing shapes that work well.  The Fibonacci “golden ratio” of 1:1.618 is a mathematical code which is embedded into natural shapes everywhere, showing us that self-similarity can be sourced in knowable ratios.  Or the fractal-like patterning in trees, rivers, animal vascular networks and far beyond.  The spiral is another archetype being reused over and over.   Spiral Dynamics, a related mapping system to Wilber’s Integral Theory makes it clear that the spiral is also linked to psycho-social development.  Self-similarity is really a law of archetypes.   The reason why this is so important is because we can expect repeating archetypal patterns to manifest. So when we are investigating invisible domains like the psyche, we have a starting point.  We can look for evidence that psychic structures, for example, relate to other patterns in nature that we can actually see.  If proven out, we have some base mapping to begin with.  By starting our investigations of mind and nature with the archetypal patterns the universe reuses ubiquitously, we are not lost in a sea of random occurrences, but we are navigating within networks of intelligent and well designed patterning.   In our own work on the human shadow, we have used this understanding to decipher the relationship between shadow complexes in the psyche and parasitism in biology and information systems.  We have also correlated shadow dynamics to polarity dynamics in electro-magnetism and cultural disease in the society.  We can stand on such correlations not only because the circumstantial evidence points to such conclusions, but also because we understand how self-similarity manifests in nature.
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