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Monday, December 25, 2006

Three Dimensions of Time, and the Multiverse

I dreamed about extra dimensions a great deal during my Australian life, for example whilst I was off my head with Boyd B. at our Rowntree Street kip, trying hard to impress the man they called the Wolf. I was on a New Age Spirituality tip at the time and I endeavoured earnestly to imagine what these other dimensions would be like, always picturing them as extra spaces, physically present but inexplicably invisible to my eyes, as well as my other senses. In the Fifth Dimension stars were Earths which had attained Enlightenment and Combusted, that is what they New Agers said (and like my cousin Kellie, they are still saying it now!) Of course it's wishful thinking, and I don't believe it -- ever since I moved to Japan I have become pragmatic, a realist, a disciple of Nietzsche's Here and Now. The world won't explode in the year 2012, I can feel that in my bones, but there is no need to throw out the baby with the bathwater, as the old cliché goes, and dump the entire New Age canon. Surely there is something in there worth salvaging, before that baby sinks? However content I am with my current reality, I can't get let go of the idea: Are there extra dimensions of space/time, beyond the three or four that we are all aware of? But if they exist what do they look like, and why can't we perceive them? Recently I have been wondering if I was barking up the wrong tree, by imagining the Fifth Dimension as a kind of Garden of Eden blooming less than a P from our Cartesian cell. Maybe the Fifth Dimension is not a space, but a time. A plane of Time, to complement the classical field of Newtownian space. The Fourth Dimension is a line of time just as Einstein understood, the Fifth Dimension is a field, and the Sixth Dimension is... wait for it, a sphere. Or actually a Solid of Time, according to Ouspensky, who pondered such things well before I was born. As The Theory of Six Dimensions relates:

Some say there are three or four dimensions, some say more dimensions (10, 11, and 26 are current favorites of some physicists), some say there are an infinite number of dimensions. But Ouspensky's explanation of the six dimensions resolves that dilemma by showing how six dimensions are both all-inclusive and yet only partial...
In modern physics and science in general, the first three dimensions are the same as those described everywhere. But then things get a little confused. The fourth dimension, which is time, is sometimes described as space-time, which is actually the fifth dimension—as Ouspensky points out, the fact that space-time is curved requires another dimension.
The sixth dimension, all possibilities, is essentially the "multiverse" or "many worlds" interpretation of modern physics. The many worlds explanation is an attempt to explain observations of quantum phenomena that have no ordinary explanation but do have a consistent, but extraordinary, explanation. It basically goes like this: At every moment when you seem to choose among multiple possibilities, you actually choose each possibility, and different universes fork off, the one you are in now is the one in which you made the choice to read this, for example. There is another universe where you chose not to read this, another where you read part way and stopped and so on...

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