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Snowman, Buddha, or Fractal

Updated on September 8, 2011
Fractal Art
Fractal Art | Source

Yesterday I posted a question on HubPages asking what this picture reminded people of.

There were various answers, ranging from food, to jewellery, to a drawing of a lady with a very large backside, and even possible association with the "evil eye".

This object sits on my desk at work and it's also been referred to as a "snowman".

Read on and I will reveal what it actually is....

More about Restorative Justice in general

A Talking Piece

The object itself is actually known as a "talking piece" and is used in Native American healing circles. Participants in the circle pass around the talking piece, and whoever is holding the piece may speak for as long as they want (or they may pass the piece to the next person without saying a word).

Healing circles give everyone in the group the chance to express their feelings, if they choose, and they know that they are being listened to.

More recently this approach has been used as a tool in restorative justice It is very effective in conflict situations for everyone to express how they feel about the situation from their own point of view. In this way victims of crime can express to the perpetrators what the effects of their actions have been, and the perpetrators (who may themselves be victims of some other circumstance) can express what motivated them. By considering all sides and with the help of facilitators involved the circle agreement can be made as to how the situation can be resolved.

There are no real restrictions on what a talking piece can be, but they are usually easy to hold in the hand and interesting enough to induce a contemplative feeling.

The piece in the picture above is a painted rock, which has been varnished, and it fits neatly into the palm of he hand. On one side is the design and on the other is the word "ORDER".

The Fractal Design

Not everyone will recognise the design but those who do may find it deeply significant.

The painting is of a fractal, and a particularly famous one in the mathematical world. It is called a Mandelbrot set and is named after the father of fractal geometry, Benoit Mandelbrot.

A fractal is a geometric shape that is derived from a mathematical equation and shows repeating detail the more that it is magnified. There are many different shapes that can be derived.

The Mandelbrot set is sometimes called the Buddhabrot when shown with a particular rendering technique- see link below- because of the resemblance to the classic shape of the Buddha. This rendering also appears to show the "brow chakra" or "third eye" which is also thought to be representative of the pineal gland of the brain.

Awesome Animation of a Mandelbrot Set

Unfurling fern
Unfurling fern | Source

Fractals in Nature are Everywhere

Fractal geometry can be found everywhere in nature and has become a popular area of study in recent years.

A classic example is the shape of a fern, which expresses a pattern that repeats itself at smaller and smaller scale.

Once you start to look it's possible to notice these patterns in everything.

It has even been shown that patterns in the stock market are of a fractal nature.


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    • Admiral_Joraxx profile image

      Admiral_Joraxx 6 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for the information, I didn't know there is such a healing method as this. Great healing I guess as you are being healed from the negative feelings you may have against someone. Nice hub catsimmons! voted up and beautiful!

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      Homesteadbound: oh, mathematics is gorgeous. Scientists have used mathematics to show that everything i equal and has a solution. I cannot remember the URL but there is a way to use addition equations where the questions and solutions placed one on top of each other form a pyramid. And all you use in the questions are single digits added together.

      catsimmons-I am the person who said jewelry as a rock for the stone in a ring. I saw your question as a Rosarch test (I can't remember the proper spelling)used in psychology.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      This is a very interesting hub. Who would have thought that mathematics could be so beautiful?

    • profile image

      Pamela Maunsell 6 years ago

      Thanks for the great selection of links. I'm settling down with a cup of tea to read through them.