They both listened silently to the water, which to them was not just water, but the voice of life, the voice of Being, the voice of perpetual Becoming.”
― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
It’s not unusual to discover connections or patterns in seemingly ordinary events or days or even in people. You begin to focus on the most minute details, as you are forced to live through the, more or less same sequence of events every day. Our mind is designed in such a manner that we never stop learning. In essence, while everything seems repetitive and usual everyday, you’re inadvertently registering details that you will again, unbeknownst to yourself, may or may not make use of, in the near future.
So, when I had someone tell me that books and life were two different entities, I was very reluctant to agree to that. Firstly, because I tend to believe everything and everyone is connected in one way or the other thus making the idea of disconnected entities seem perfectly absurd. I’m not saying everyone and everything is similar, just connected or related or atleast have something in common.
There are only patterns, patterns on top of patterns, patterns that affect other patterns. Patterns hidden by patterns. Patterns within patterns.
If you watch close, history does nothing but repeat itself.
What we call chaos is just patterns we haven’t recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can’t decipher. what we can’t understand we call nonsense. What we can’t read we call gibberish.
There is no free will.
There are no variables.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor
Books and life can’t be different, their nature is, I agree; one is almost abstract and the other is atleast physically present. But books are often inspired by life, written to escape the harsh reality of life, to capture a memory in time, to express feelings etc. all of which have their very own link to life thereby making books, a collection of such connections and hence connected to life in the finest of manners.
I’ve often felt that patterns manifest as an embodiment of these unseen connections. Designs on something as small as an individual leaf or even certain habits can often be perceived as patterns. No one can influence these patterns simply because they weren’t brought about or artificially made in the first place. They sometimes just appear or have always existed. We just never stare long enough to register them or perceive them as patterns. Hence, they seem random or chance events or designs.
THE WORLD IS made of patterns. The rings of a tree. The raindrops on the dusty ground. The path the sun follows from morning to dusk.
― Kathi Appelt, The Underneath
There is an even more interesting and fascinating example present abundantly in nature. Straying a little away from the specific but to appreciate the wider idea, I’m making use of a little Mathematics here!!
Fibonacci, also known as Leonardo Bigollo Pisano (born in 1170 in Pisa, died in Pisa), was an Italian mathematician from the Republic of Pisa, considered to be “the most talented Western mathematician of the Middle Ages”(Wikipedia).
The Fibonacci numbers, commonly denoted by Fn, form a sequence, called the Fibonacci sequence that is believed to go on forever like the value of pi. This sequence is such that each number is the sum of the two preceding ones, starting from 0 and 1. The beginning of the sequence is thus 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89…
Perceiving the world as well designed and thus the product of a designer, and even seeing divine providence in the daily affairs of life, may be the product of a brain adapted to finding patterns in nature.
― Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
The golden ratio, derived from this sequence describes predictable patterns on everything from tiny atoms to stars. It is a number that’s approximately equal to 1.618. It is often denoted by φ, the Greek alphabet, read ‘phi’. There is also a golden rectangle (shown below) which is a rectangle whose side lengths are in the golden ratio, which is, approximately 1.618.
From where we stand the rain seems random. If we could stand somewhere else, we would see the order in it.
― Tony Hillerman, Coyote Waits
As to how the Fibonacci sequence is related to the Golden ratio, consider dividing each number in the sequence by the previous number. This would give:
and so on up to 144/89 = 1.6179….
The resulting sequence is:
1, 2, 1.5, 1.666…, 1.6, 1.625, 1.615…, 1.619…, 1.6176…, 1.6181…, 1.6179…
It can clearly be seen that the values appear to get closer and closer to 1.618—the value of φ, the golden ratio!!
Isn’t it incredibly fascinating?! Please watch this video to understand it better!
Pay attention to the intricate patterns of your existence that you take for granted.
― Doug Dillon
A quick disclaimer that the parts excluding the Fibonacci sequence and the golden ratio were merely my thoughts and have no validity whatsoever from an educational point of view. The golden ratio however is widely used in architecture, photography, painting and even in finance!