Indra's Net: Alchemy and Chaos Theory as Models for Transformation

Indra's Net: Alchemy and Chaos Theory as Models for Transformation


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Where the hermetic sage unites with contemporary physics, Indra’s Net is an innovative and captivating approach to spiritual transformation; a must-read for all who seek out the hidden messages within science and antiquity. Alchemy and chaos theory, a peculiar pairing no doubt, share a transformative nature that is fascinating and, surprisingly, spiritually awakening. Jungian psychologist and author Dr. Robin Robertson compares these intriguing practices to the beautiful symbolism of Indra’s “web”, the Hindu god’s expansive necklace of shining pearls and jewels. Like the mythic Hindu net, which illustrates the intricate interconnectedness of the universe, alchemy and Chaos theory both reveal the microcosm and macrocosm as infinitely related.

The age-old hermetic maxim “as above, so below”, which is said to be inscribed on the mysterious Emerald Tablet of Thoth, has long been praised by alchemists for eloquently embodying the parallels between all macro and micro levels. Dr. Robertson applies the groundbreaking laws of chaos theory, which prove the perpetual union of the vast and infinitesimal, to the wisdom of this ageless hermetic principle, validating alchemy’s timeless transformative power.

Deeply provocative, yet written in a language that is accessible and easy to grasp, Indra’s Net reveals the amazing synchronous elements between 21st century science and ancient hermetic teachings. Examine the implications of the Mandelbrot set fractals for all organic composition. Compare Chaos Theory’s ‘feedback’ to the widespread, primordial concept of the ouroboros, the mystical tail-biting snake. By evincing the powerful relevance of alchemic philosophy and practice through modern physics and mathematics, Robertson assists readers in recognizing the true Philosopher’s Stone, a transformative ‘spiritual gold’ latent in us all.


Robin Robertson has a knack for grasping the pure quill in our crazy-making daily whirl. Indra's Net is magical, because readers will learn more about themselves than about Indra, alchemy or chaos theory.
Daryl Sharp, Jungian analyst, Publisher, Inner City Books

I greatly appreciated Robin’s scholarly historic presentation. As a Jungian and mathematician, it is not surprising that Robin has culminated his writing career on mysticism, myth, mathematics, and metamorphosis with this fusion of chaos theory and alchemy. Besides illuminating these subjects very lucidly, he draws lessons from self-organization. I would place this book, along with R. Abraham’s Chaos, Gaia, Eros, and Peterson’s Newton’s Clock as the most important and enjoyable books on the history and implications of chaos theory.
Fred Abraham, PhD, Co-founder of the Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology, and co-author of A Visual Introduction to Dynamical Systems Theory for Psychology

Robin Robertson has one of those minds that range over disparate models of reality, see their affinities, intuit their implications, and bring them home to us with clarity and with deep feeling. That he can also link up these various forms and elements with the deep sources of transforming archetypal energy within each of us is still another priceless gift.
James Hollis, Ph. D., Jungian analyst and author of What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life

Chaos theory and the arcane symbolism of alchemy conjoin in Robin Robertson’s new take on personal transformation. Always engaging and lucid, Robertson pursues strange attractors and the philosopher’s stone through the outer world of pre and post science into the inner world of psyche. Elegant descriptions, up-to-date analogies, and personal reflections enrich and enliven Robertson’s unfolding themes. He synthesizes alchemic mystery, mathematics and psyche with profound simplicity, re-affirming his mastery of this genre.
Barry Jeromson, Ph.D., has taught Philosophy and Jung Studies at the University of South Australia.

In Indra's Net, Dr Robin Robertson articulates with an uncommon clarity and erudition both modern chaos theory and alchemy. Taking apart and contrasting insights from these models of transformation, he then puts them together to foster an original contribution to our understanding of change in our souls. This jewel of a book illuminates the unpredictable detours of individuation.
Christophe Le Mouël, Ph.D., Executive Director, C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles

There's definitely no one on the planet today who knows more about the continually revitalizing confluence of currents of transformation coming together from the intersection of Jungian individuation, nonlinear dynamical mathematics, and the sheer joy and magic of living fully. I know of no other person like Robin Robertson whose business card reads: psychologist, mathematician, and magician and that in each case these designations are completely genuine. That's why the reader of his new book cannot but be imbued with the rich experience of metaphysical, developmental, and spiritual insight offered on every page.
Jeffrey Goldstein, Ph.D., Adelphi University; Editor in Chief of Emergence: Complexity and Organization; Trustee of Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences