Try to picture this in your mind’s eye…. Yesterday was my weekly mentoring session with this new little guy for his Lenten Confirmation — he’s 15 years old; I’ve never mentored anyone during their Catechism classes on the way to Confirmation; it was a fairly challenging proposition for me at first; but so far it’s been pretty easy and dare I say rewarding for both of us; (more on this in another post…) So while in the car and driving, I noticed someone on a bicycle on the sidewalk to my right. There was a red light up ahead, so I slowed down and eventually came to a stop. The bicyclist zoomed ahead of all of us who were in cars. I was listening to NPR in the car. So within seconds I completely forgot about the person on the bicycle. Instead focusing on what I was hearing on the radio. A few minutes later the light turned greed and those of us in cars started accelerating again. Within a minute or two I noticed myself whizzing past this guy on a bicycle again. Like whoosh! One minute he whizzed past us and was ahead of us and in the next minute he appeared to be traveling in slow motion as we sped past him so fast. Pretty soon he was completely out of site. And soon after out of mind.
The event made me contemplate for a moment there… how quickly he seemed to be traveling when we in cars were stopped… and yet how slow he seemed to be traveling when we whizzed past him; it was as if he weren’t even moving. He literally seemed to be stationary due to how much faster cars travel compared to someone on a bicycle. It made me consider for a moment how subjective “speed of travel” is, depending on how we are traveling. When we’re walking we do FEEL like we are moving, like we are making forward progress. We start off in one place and eventually end up in another place. So too when we are on a bicycle. It’s only when someone on a bicycle passes us while we’re walking do we realize how slowly we are traveling. And the same goes for being in a car versus being on a bicycle. On that bicycle we really feel like we’re getting somewhere. Depending on how fast we are going, we even feel the speed at which we are traveling… the resistance of the wind against our face and body. And yet as we glance at the cars whizzing past us we can tend to feel like for a moment that we are crawling… just barely moving.
Each mode of transport is a little world unto itself. Often times we don’t even notice the other people in the other worlds. When we’re walking — like say down a street or avenue in Manhattan — we notice things. Lots of things. Things on the ground. Stores and restaurants to our right and left. Other people walking. Even what other people are wearing. But we don’t tend to notice the people in the world of bicyclers. We may catch a glimpse of them as they whiz by us for a moment, but they’re going to fast for us to notice much about that world that they’re presently in. So it goes when we are driving in a car. We might never even notice all the people on the streets and sidewalks who are walking. They’re moving too slowly. And we’re too preoccupied with everyone else who is driving along the road with us. It all depends on where our attention is. And if you’re doing something, anything, it’s best if THAT is where your attention is. That’s a given. It wouldn’t be safe to be driving in a car and place the majority of your attention on the world of the people who are walking.
I found this line of thinking, heading down this path of thought, to be an interesting metaphor for exploring other dimensions. We currently take for granted that the universe that we live in has at least three dimensions. up and down, side to side, front to back — to simplify it. Some people claim that “time” is another dimension. To me that’s semantics. Not necessarily essential or relevant to the subject. Yet the existence of a fourth dimension has been pondered for eons. And not just a fourth, but many many more besides just the three that we presently are pretty positive exist. The reason we are so sure that at least three dimensions exist is because we can see them. We live in them. It doesn’t take a high IQ or a degree in rocket science to verify that there are at least three dimensions in the known universe. But many people doubt the existence of additional dimensions besides these three that we can see.
It was about 20 years ago when I first learned of all the science that was being collected about the so-called fourth dimension. There are tens of thousands of books on the subject. For younger folks, books are like the internet printed out on paper. One assumes Googling the phrase “the fourth dimension” will reveal tens of thousands of websites on the subject. Explaining the idea of it from a scientific viewpoint was easier than I expected. It took a few reads and some contemplation, but after a while I could begin to envision what the fourth dimension was like. The key to it is to realize that it is neither above or below us, neither in ahead or behind us; instead it is just “larger” than us, so to speak. As in we are INSIDE of the fourth dimension, but unable to see it because we are trapped inside of the third dimension and thus limited by the confines and constraints of only being able to see third dimensional reality. But that doesn’t imply that we are not INSIDE the fourth dimension.
Proponents of such theories go on to propose that there may be other beings, like us, unlike us, we really don’t know… who live in the fourth dimension. Living in the fourth dimension presumes that they automatically therefore also live in the third dimension. Just as we automatically also live in the second and first dimensions. Thus these beings in the fourth dimension can see us, but we cannot see them. This immediately helps to justify the idea of angels and spirits — beings who are something else besides “human” and live “somewhere else” or in “another world”. Some people don’t quite understand that no one is saying that angels or spirits live in THIS dimension but just in a “place” that we haven’t yet discovered yet. Let’s face it. We’ve explored this world extensively. And sure, those who have studied astronomy understand that there is still plenty of space in the universe that exists out there that we just haven’t been able to see yet or even detect because it is just so far away from us that light being emitted from it hasn’t even reached us yet. That makes sense. And indeed there may be places WAY out there that contain other forms of life. In fact I’d offer that it’s a given. There are probably an infinite number of life forms somewhere out there in THIS dimension, but they’re just really far away.
But what about beings who may live really close to us — in terms of distance — but just not in THIS dimension, and THAT is what makes it impossible for us to see them? Perhaps they can see us. But we just can’t see them. If angels and / or spirits (as in the souls of those who were once human but no longer possess a physical body) exist, there’s a good chance that they don’t live a million billion miles away from HERE, but rather just live in a different dimension, a higher dimension if you will, or a larger dimension better put. (Higher implies height. As in two dimensions. The old fashioned way of looking at ideas such as “heaven”. But we now know there really is no such thing as up and down in this world. It’s more like the universe is infinitely high and infinitely low, seemingly going on forever in any direction. Pointing up may indeed get you “somewhere”, but only to a certain extent. After that, say once past the atmosphere of earth and the orbit zone and then you’re not really pointing “up” anymore; you’re pointing “out”. That’s an important distinction.) If there is a heaven, it’s probably not “out there” somewhere. It’s probably right HERE, but just in a larger dimension, one that we can’t readily see or measure.
In order to mathematically proof Super String Theory to be a valid explanation of how the universe works, scientists had to add more dimensions to the known universe than the three that we presently know about. Some used ten, others came up with eleven, and from what I understand still others came up with twelve dimensions that had to exist in the universe in order to create equations that proofed out in order to make Super String Theory a valid idea. If one is unfamiliar with the concept, I would encourage you to Google it and study it. It basically just breaks down the atomic world into an even smaller world where matter is not composed of matter as much as it is composed of energy that exists INSIDE of atomic matter. The energy waves inside of atoms are represented by wavering strings… They aren’t really strings at all, but vibrating energies. But if we were to view and measure them with machines, the energy they emit would appear like vibrating strings. Hence the name. Many scientists now hold the Super String Theory to be a valid one and take it for granted as a viable explanation of how the universe works and what it is composed of. It’s wild stuff.
But even more interesting is this new idea that there invariably must be at least seven to nine other dimensions in the universe — all around us — besides the three that we’re accustomed to believing exist. To me the proposition makes perfect sense. It opens up the potential for all these other seemingly mythical ideas that humanity has come up with through the millennia to be possibly true; things like heaven or the spirit world, or the angelic realm, or the world of entities. We no longer can dismiss these ideas as being mere fairy tales because “we know there is no place in the universe where these other worlds can be”… Now we know that they might not be HERE and just “really far away” (which seems rather preposterous), but they might be HERE but just in larger or smaller dimensions that we can’t yet see.
The exploration of this subject reminds me of the difference between being in the world of the walking versus the world of the driving. Sometimes totally unaware of each other except mildly and through our periphery vision… Our awareness and our attention on totally different things, different smells and sights and sensations. Both existing simultaneously side by side, but both just busy doing their own thing. Only bumping into each other on occasion — such as when a pedestrian (someone in the world of walking) walks into the street when he isn’t supposed to and get’s hit by a car; or when a car veers off the road accidentally and onto a sidewalk. Perhaps this is precisely what happens when someone claims to see a spirit or an angel in this world. WE immediately think they’re out of their mind. But…
This might also explain the world of mystics and psychics and mediums who claim to be able to see the future or speak with other beings or life forms on “the other side”. What we sometimes call “astral traveling”… We’ve certainly collected enough data to believe that such things are possible. Edgar Cayce, Ruth Montgomery and John Edward are all great examples of this. Their penchant for being accurate too often to believe they are lying or have some trick up their sleeves. Perhaps there are ways to tap into our Intuitive Mode of consciousness and transcend being trapped only within the confines of this dimension and make our way into other dimensions where these other beings exist. In fact one would have to assume that’s exactly what is happening. Take them at their word. Communicating with beings who exist in other dimensions besides the third… Beings who can see and hear us, but we can’t see or hear them.
I believe it is only a matter of time before we are able to confirm this scientifically. For most people, this is what is needed for them to believe something. Scientific proof. Think about how long it took humanity to believe that the earth revolved around the so-called “sun” and not vice versa. But in the meantime, I don’t believe that we need scientific proof before we begin exploring this matter more and beginning to practice trying to do it. Like everything else, it’s most likely something that we just need to start practicing on a regular basis in order to begin to get proficient at it. We just need to commit and then allocate a set amount of time to it and begin. When you think about it, isn’t that what we are doing when we pray? Attempting to communicate with someone/something from another dimension…? So in fact many people are already doing this already. Maybe just haven’t ever thought about it in that respect before.
I will begin to view prayer in this light, and further start practicing this communication with and exploration of other dimensions… Will share what I discover here from time to time when there is something to share. More later.