Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fractal morphic energy fields of love

I'm happy to be the one to inform you that the woo-woos have added another word to their vocabulary, and that word is "fractal."

It's about time they come up with something new.  The old ones -- quantum, energy, field, dimension, vibration, flux, resonance, and frequency -- were getting kind of trite, frankly.  So it is with great joy that I bring you the latest in woo-woo silliness...

"Fractal Healing."

How can fractals have anything to do with healing, you might ask, given that a fractal is a mathematical construct, albeit a very useful one?  A fractal is a structure that is "self-similar" -- it shows an identical pattern (or at least a similar one) on small scales as large ones, and has a precise mathematical definition involving recursive functions (and for those of you who are calculus nerds, it is a function that is differentiable nowhere -- which I find kind of mind-blowing).  Fractal mathematics has been useful in various realms, including mapping, creating realistic computer animations of things like animal fur and leaves on trees moving in the wind, and studying natural phenomena such as lightning bolt paths, geologic faults, and coastlines.

But let's leave reality behind, as we so often have to do.  What about "fractal healing?"

As is usual in such cases, they start off well enough, with at least a modest understanding of what the word means.  Here's the description that they give of the concepts associated with the term:
A fractal is a never-ending pattern. Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales. They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop. Driven by recursion, fractals are images of dynamic systems - the pictures of Chaos. Geometrically, they exist in between our familiar dimensions. Fractal patterns are extremely familiar, since nature is full of fractals. For instance: trees, rivers, coastlines, mountains, clouds, seashells, hurricanes, etc. Abstract fractals - such as the Mandelbrot Set - can be generated by a computer calculating a simple equation over and over.
Okay, that's not bad, you have to admit.  Even if it's not what I'd call rigorous, at least it's within hailing distance of correct.  (Although calling fractals "pictures of Chaos" is kind of ridiculous, given that the whole idea is that it's a pattern that is infinitely deep -- the exact opposite of chaos.)

(Image of the Mandelbrot set courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons)

Of course, woo-woos never keep their eye on the ball, and ultimately end up having said ball zip right past them and shatter the Plate Glass Window of Reality, and this is no exception:
The fractal field is the coded field of the sacred geometry of nature.  It lies beyond the morphic field of energy and actually creates the morphic field...   The fractal field holds the geometry of the natural world.  By repairing, resetting, and upgrading the fractal codes within our fractal field, we can heal ourselves, enhance our life experience, and move our evolution forward, in ways never before known that are exponentially more powerful.

When our fractal field is returned to its original perfection, we return to our natural state of grace.  We perceive and manifest our reality through the knowing of our inner divinity and perfection.  We transcend all limitation and express and experience transcendent love in perfect human form in union with all.  This is our journey.
Predictably, what drives me crazy about this is that they're taking something that really is cool and weird and interesting (fractal mathematics, about which you can learn more here) and using a vague understanding of it to support whatever wacky view of the universe they happen to have.  The same is true of all of the other terms woo-woos use, though, isn't it?  If you actually bother to put in the hard work to learn about phenomena like quantum mechanics, resonance, energy dynamics, and so on, you are rewarded by opening your mind to some pretty amazing stuff, with the added benefit that it's real.

Here, though -- we have the usual New Age mushy philosophy about returning to our State of Transcendent Love and Grace and Perfection, and it's given undeserved credibility by appending a word to it that honestly has nothing to do with pop psychology.  All because it's easier to do that than it is actually to learn what fractals actually are.

So, that's our new woo-woo vocabulary word for today.  Watch out for it.  I predict it's gonna be popular.  They certainly have gotten enough mileage out of "quantum," after all.


  1. Good article. I do agree.

    "using a vague understanding of it to support whatever wacky view of the universe they happen to have."

    Yes, but that isn't the real problem. The real problem is that the text you quoted is utter gibberish. And this is what we see so often. Cool-sounding words placed next to each other in some sort of subject-verb-sequence, superficially a sentence structure, but actually not encoding any discernible meaning. The word pudding doesn't even consist of statements; it is beyond being true or false, it is just gibberish.

  2. And now for something completely useful ...