McKenna and Braden’s Fractal Nature of Time

The repeating pattern of fractals form an important element of time and space; its the core of our existence. Different religions and cultures like Hinduism, Chinese, Buddhism, Hopi Indians, Mayans, Incas believe in the cyclical nature of time and the same belief has been advocated by renowned spiritualists.

Like Terence McKenna – the American ethnobotanist, philosopher, psychonaut and shaman – was instrumental in popularizing the belief that a major event looms on the horizon in the year 2012 through his Timewave Zero theory. It’s a very fascinating discovery by McKenna, who accidentally stumbled upon the I Ching, an ancient, sophisticated fortune-telling tool used by the Chinese to predict the pattern of events which will govern and shape our destiny.

Mckenna decoded the most ancient King Wen sequence, which is an arrangement of 64 hexagrams or divination figures in I Ching or ‘Book of changes’.

Each hexagram occurs in 32 pairs, and the second one of each pair is the inversion of the previous hexagram, except for the eight symmetrical hexagrams that remain unchanged after rotation (1 & 2, 27 & 28, 29 & 30, 61 & 62). If you observe the image you will see that each figure is composed of six broken or unbroken lines, these represent yin and yang respectively.

Timewave theory king wen sequence hexagrams iching

In the King Wen sequence the individual lines are made up of both Yin (broken lines) and Yang (solid lines). The concept of change and balance is inherent in the hexagrams.

McKenna noticed an obvious pattern in the number of lines that change between each pair and within each pair and decided to build a mathematical construct based on the sequence of hexagrams in the I Ching. What emerged out of this was the notion that time had a structure, and time itself was not simply a place where you put events, but time followed a fractal pattern so that at every level it reflects this sequence.
The creators of the I Ching had actually figured out the basic structure of time!

He plotted the various integral events that have shaped our history, and the entire graph, representing the beginning and end of time, can be seen duplicated when one looks at a smaller span of time; so events happening in a particular period resonate with another event happening in a different epoch.

Terence mckenna timewave theory events
Timewave graph showing events from February 1992 to December 21, 2012

Terence McKenna   Timewave Zero

The video above is very informative as compared to others based on this topic, here McKenna explains the King Wen sequence and his Timewave theory.

He cited examples of two different eras which are resonantly related to the events of other times. One of them was the period when Pyramids of Giza were built and rise of the Nazi in Germany. When you think of it, there were quite a few similarities – the word ‘Pharaoh’ and ‘Fuhrer’ both have some etymological root, both used slave labour to build their architectural construction and both leaned heavily on the Jews. These events were separated by thousands of years and operated in different parts of the world, yet were connected by the wave generated by the I Ching.

As the Timewave pattern moves forward, the fractals become smaller and smaller approaching zero point or singularity date predicted to be December 21st 2012. Timewave Zero was improvised and codified into a software program that seemingly mapped major moments in humanity’s evolution with the Timewave’s peaks and valleys.

After going through numerous sites, I also came across articles that suggest McKenna’s belief in his own Novelty theory fading away in the 1990s and his brother and partner in his journeys – Dennis McKenna – too mentioned that he was the biggest skeptic on the Timewave in spite of being involved in it.

Gregg Braden’s Fractal Time

Gregg Braden, renowned author and speaker of the New Age movement, in his book Fractal Time, incorporated McKenna’s Timewave concept to show how everything from war and peace between nations to our most joyous relationships and personal crises are the returning patterns of our past.

As each pattern returns, it carries the same conditions of previous cycles—fractal patterns that can be known, measured and predicted! Braden explains more about in the video below –

Gregg Braden: Fractal Time

Braden suggests that recurring cycles carry a ‘choice point’ that allows us to choose a new outcome for the cycle. We can change the future by identifying key events from our past and recognizing the pattern that projects the same events into the future, and perhaps avoiding the same mistakes.

gregg braden fractal time
Gregg Braden, author of Fractal Time proposes that all patterns – both personal and planetary – are cyclic and that man can identify the seed event and change the future

Braden has devised a simple tool, Fractal Time code calculator (you can click on the link), that gives an easy access to the patterns that unfold as nature’s cycles. It shows when we can expect the conditions of the past to play out again as our present or our future, and because cycles of history are made of space and time, when the time repeats, the conditions of the space that it carries also repeat. Try it out, detailed explanation on how to use it is given as well.

Chinese philosophers understood the cyclical nature of time long ago, like Chuang Tzu, who lived around the 4th century BCE, said, “Time cannot be arrested. The succession of decline, growth, fullness, and emptiness go in a cycle, each end becoming a new beginning.”

The ancient Hindu Vedic scriptures describes the creation and destruction of the universe as a cyclic process, which repeats itself forever. Similarly, Buddhism too regard time as cyclical consisting of repeating ages that happen to every being of the universe between birth and extinction.

Age-old beliefs, interpretations and different concepts on time signify the same thing – the interconnectedness with the elements governed by fractals and the outcome of which remains to be seen, but the signs of change are visible.


Doomsday 2012
Braden on fractal time

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Bhavika is a nature-lover, aspiring yogini, traveler and co-founder of Fractal Enlightenment, who strives to help fellow beings reconnect with nature and their true selves. Thank you for being part of this journey.


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