Word and World: New Ideas About the Fourth Dimension, Part One

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Maestro, please, some creepy Twilight Zone music.  We are about to enter a domain so weird and so common that most of us never give it a second thought, until . . . well, until our three-dimensional habitat is inadequate to our needs or explanations.  And then — whoosh! — as if from on high, something strange enters our world and gives us the very thing we have been seeking.  Some call it synchronicity, some call it miracle, some call it intuition, some inspiration, some emergent properties bubbled forth from the quantum foam, but I want to present an idea here that these inexplicable phenomena are actually intrusions from a hyperspace that exists above our three-dimensional world.  Skeptics among you will fold your arms at this point and say something like: “Typical of a poet, wanting us to believe something on faith, not on facts.”  But I would ask for a suspension of disbelief while I present my case of why facts are never going to be relevant in these situations, and that we will get much farther in our inquiries by the operation of certain linguistic levers, some puffs of smoke, and some fancy fan-dancing of the now you see it now you don’t variety.  In brief, in part one of this essay, I will attempt to fleetingly reveal by inference and innuendo why a fourth dimension must exist, and how we experience it from our ordinary three-dimensional perspective.  After all magic is a practice, not a theory or a belief, and we poet-magicians must turn our hunches into Universal Laws, not in order to obey them, but so we can put them to creative use.  Already perhaps you have perceived that a sleight of mind is happening here in which the word “poet” has subtly usurped the power usually reserved for physicists, a rabbit which will come out of the hat to your amazement, even more brazenly at the conclusion of Part Two of this farrago.

Every good game has its rules, so let’s start with the rules that we know about three dimensions, i.e., the line, the plane, and the volume.  Every move from a one-dimensional line to a two-dimensional plane and from a two-dimensional plane to a three- dimensional volume involves a one-degree increase of freedom.  From the domain of a line there can be no evidence of a plane.  From the domain of a plane, there can be no evidence for three-dimensional space.  Thus every intrusion of a higher dimensional vector to a lower one will either seem like a miracle, or conversely, like any other phenomenon of the lower domain.  That is, the miracle will be destroyed by claims of fraud or remain unsubstantiated by whatever passes for scientific rigor in that particular dimension’s definition of facts.  UFO’s will become “swamp gas,” crop circles will become “hoaxes,” and synchronicities will become “coincidences” explicable by the application of laws pertaining to large numbers.  (There is another weirdness here, which I will mention in passing, just to make things more puzzling.  Both the scientist-skeptics and the true believers will be right, depending upon which dimension’s rules they are following.) 

Physicist Michio Kaku, in his book, Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension, has a number of illustrations of how ordinary events in higher dimensions seem impossible or look like magic in lower ones.  Here are a couple of his examples: “ . . . in three dimensions, separate rings cannot be pushed through each other until they intertwine without breaking them.  Similarly, closed, circular pieces of rope cannot be twisted into knots without cutting them. { } However, in higher dimensions, knots can easily be unraveled and rings can be intertwined  This is because there is ‘more room’ to move ropes past each other and rings into each other.”  We can infer from this that any attempt to prove 4th dimensional phenomena by three-dimensional means is going to be at best inconclusive and at worst beside the point.  How could a square on a flat plane demonstrate to itself the existence of a cube?  Ergo: by the logic of illogic we may dismiss the skeptics as being trapped in three dimensions, which makes them in our game, both out of bounds, and very poor sports.  If we want answers here, or more properly, not answers, but experience, we have to turn to those much more tricky and elusive figures, who still lurk at the margins of our culture, and this we will do when we post Part Two of our 4-D excursion.

End part one





As a daily practice conducted in conjunction with his Kryia meditation, Roy Dean Doughty has written a poem every day for more than twenty years.  He is the creator of The Ten Thousand Poem Project and the author of  Fourteen Poems, Yodo International Press, 1987, Clear Mo(u)rning, and Spirit Chronologies. His work has been featured on “The Oneness Program” KEST Radio, San Francisco, VoiceAmerica Radio, Phoenix, Arizona, and Unity, FM radio.  He can also be read at www.doughtyspoetry.comwww.doughtysjamesjoyce.com, and www.doughtysbrainfood.com

Look for Roy Doughty's powerful online course, "Creativity" starting October 4th — Offered through The TAO Metaversity.

Featured Images copyright Jeff Clay / Clayhaus Photography




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Word and World: New Ideas About the Fourth Dimension, Part One | TAO • The Arts Organization


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