### Old Woman

There was this old woman sitting outside of her shop. She was sitting on the ground, not quite on the ground on a very low seat, and she had this big plastic pitcher of pancake batter.

She would pour enough pancake batter onto a small electric griddle that was in front of her and then she would look at the pancake and she would flip it over and then when it was finished she would put it into a Tupperware container.

Every time that she flipped the pancake over, she would look at it, she would smile and she would say something. There was a man watching her doing this but he couldn’t quite hear what she was saying so he decided to walk up and ask her what she was saying.

### Enlightenment Seminar

There was a seminar on how to achieve enlightenment. It wasn’t a seminar to achieve enlightenment for a specific purpose, it was just to teach people how to meditate and how to separate your consciousness from your body.

The instructor was very clear. You can use this skill for anything you want. The purpose of this seminar is only to learn how to do this. To learn how to separate your consciousness from your body. It took about three days and she wanted to make sure that everyone had that experience at least once.

She was very clear that this was a very weak skill by the end of the three day seminar and if they really wanted to improve their skills on being able to separate their consciousness from their body they would have to go home and practice and that the more you practice the skill of separating your consciousness from your body the longer you will be able to do it for and the more use you’ll find for this particular technique.

### Seminar Aftermath

One of the seminar attendees was in a very good mood on Sunday afternoon when the seminar ended. He was walking from the hotel where the seminar was held to a parking lot a couple of blocks away were his car was and on the way there he got bit by a dog.

There’s a very interesting an idea in mathematics, it was essentially discovered or invented back in the 60s, and this is the idea of a fractal. A fractal is a kind of pattern that has a very repeating element to it and there’s a couple of very interesting components of a fractal very paradoxical components.

One of them is if you zoom in on the side of a fractal you’ll see the same pattern repeat over and over and over again. If you have a very powerful computer that generates this fractal from a algorithm then you can find some videos on YouTube of this and they zoom into the edge of this fractal pattern and the more you zoom in the moral see the same shapes pop up over and over and over again.

### Finite Surrounded By Closed Infinity

Another very interesting and paradoxical idea about a fractal is that they are in closed loops. The inside of this enclosed loop is a finite area but the length of the line around the outside of this finite area is infinite.

When I was in college, one of my most profound experiences was in one of my differential equation classes. At this point in my career it was just enough to show up the class, hopefully understand what the teacher was talking about, go home and practice with the homework and hopefully understand it enough to get a passing grade on the test.

But this one particular day the teacher, who was a retired engineer who really loved the idea of science and mathematics he derived Euler’s identity.

### Euler’s Identity

If you don’t know about Euler’s identity, it’s one of the most elegant, one of the most beautiful, one of the most profound equations in mathematics:

After he derived this formula, he stopped and he stood back and he looked at it and I didn’t really understand what it meant at the time but I was aware of how much he was impressed by this equation and he just stopped.

He was quiet for a few moments and looked at the equation and he said, “Some people think that God is a mathematician, but I disagree. I think God is an artist and He uses science and mathematics as his brush.”

### Do It Yourself Fractal

If you can imagine a triangle, an equilateral triangle, and you look at one of the sides and you put another triangle on the side and so the base of the new triangle which is one third of the size of the big triangle sits on the edge right in the middle of the edge and you put one of those new triangles on each one of the edges of the big triangle then you’ll have something that looks like a star of David.

Except the lines are not crossing. You have one big shape and then you can take the other sides of all the other new triangles and put another triangle on those sides and you can do this an infinite amount of times. So long as you have a powerful enough computer, you can keep doing this over and over and over again this is essentially what a fractal is.

It’s how you build a fractal. Of course in real life this will be impossible because eventually your width of your pencil would be way too thick to draw another triangle. One idea is that these fractals approximate, these fractals are an idealized perfect version of what is approximated in nature.

### Greek Philosophy

This is very similar to the ideas of the ancient Greeks. That the philosophy of man is a perfected version of reality which is imperfect. If you think about this in the terms of fractals, a fractal is perfect. A fractal you can zoom in on a fractal and infinite amount of times, but in real life there’s no such thing as a fractal because there’s limits. There’s atoms there’s size limits there’s quantum physics.

If you think of a tree, a tree trunk starts off one big trunk it goes up and goes off in the smaller branches in each branch goes off in a smaller branches and each smaller branch goes off in a smaller branches and each smaller branch turns into leaves and if you look at the leaves each leaf has a main vein down the center in each of the main vein branches off into smaller veins and this is exactly what fractal is.

Every time you go smaller you see the same thing over and over again and the structure of a tree the fractal-like pattern of a tree is exactly like our cardiovascular system. So you see all these fractal-like patterns in nature but the only way we can see an actual fractal pattern is in our imagination.

### Why’d The Dog Bite Me?

The guy was angry that his enlightenment led to him getting bit by a dog and having to have painful rabies shots. He finally went back to the seminar teacher to complain and explained what happened. She said you don’t understand. When you left the seminar, you were enlightened, but the dog was not.

When he approached the woman making pancakes, he realized what she was saying. Every time she flipped over a pancake, she would look at it, she would smile and say perfect. He watched her do this a few times but each time she said perfect, none of the pancakes were perfect. They were all slightly imperfect.

None of them were perfectly round. None of them had a perfect distribution of bubbles. He asked her, he said, “Why do you keep saying perfect? None of them are perfect?”

### Everything Is Perfect

She said, “You don’t understand. Everything is perfect. Everything is the way it must be. Everything is the way that it only can be. The only thing that is imperfect is the way you imagine things should be.”

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