Linear vs. Non-linear
◊ It is this universe that we sense around ourselves that the Vedas refer to as the vast “ocean of energy”. On the western side we now understand that it is non-linear. There are symmetries within symmetries within symmetries – endlessly so, ranging from the very large to the extremely small (See Fig 1). The Sanskrit alphabet reflects these macro and microcosmic symmetries in an elegant arrangement of varnas that can give rise to virtually any colloquial sound.
In a linear, idealistic world energy lends itself to simple cause and effect solutions – I push this object and it moves forward – in a ‘Non-linear’ equation this is not so. A push here may not result in an immediate effect there, the effects may collect over ‘space and time’ zones to precipitate entelechies, (insert definition) sudden occurrences or epiphanies which seem totally disconnected. Or small effects can cause huge changes. The advent of super-computers in the 1980s actually brought about the detailed study of these ‘Non-linear’ equations. Till then the large number of calculations required could not be done manually and since most technological applications were mechanical (or one can say ‘ordered’) nobody bothered about non-linearity or chaos. The Global weather problem was the first non-linear equation to be widely studied and Edward Lorenz showed in 1963 , how very small changes in weather patterns could precipitate huge changes thousands of miles away. He coined the phrase ‘the butterfly effect’ whereby he meant that a small butterfly flapping its wings in Peking could change the weather in New York. And this was prophetic indeed because the ‘El-Nino factor’ is now legendary. A small current in the Pacific has been empirically found to effect world weather.