Fractal

David Cowles

Sep 7, 2021

Mythology exists in the space between cosmology and psychology. It is consistent with the modern notion of Being as a fractal: it reveals the same patterns on every scale.

Ancient Norse cosmology begins with Yggdrasil, the ‘Tree of Life’. It is the center of the cosmos and all else exists around it. It includes the Nine Worlds, each one inhabited by a unique ‘ontic entity’, for example, gods, elves, wolves, humans, etc.

Mythology exists in the space between cosmology and psychology. It is consistent with the modern notion of Being as a fractal: it reveals the same patterns on every scale.


Ancient Norse cosmology begins with Yggdrasil, the ‘Tree of Life’. It is the center of the cosmos and all else exists around it. It includes the Nine Worlds, each one inhabited by a unique ‘ontic entity’, for example, gods, elves, wolves, humans, etc.


Two of those worlds are Niflheim, a region of intense cold, and Muspelheim, a region of intense heat. They are separated by Ginnungagap, the primal void and the locus of creation itself. It is from Ginnungagap that we get ‘objects’, ‘things’, etc. In that sense it is analogous with the Jewish notion of Sophia and the Greco-Christian notion of Logos.


I’ve recently discovered that my own life includes a personal Ginnungagap. I find myself now on the southern rim of the ‘Gap’. Looking across the abyss, I see myself clearly on the northern rim. What I don’t see so clearly are the contents of the abyss itself.


This suggests to me a 3 stage model of human life: (1) Preparation (0 – 25?), (2) Procreation (aka Production) (25 – 65?), and (3) Reflection. During the first and third stages we are focused on ourselves (microcosm); during the second stage we are focused on the other (macrocosm).

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