4d man

Poster for the 1959 sci-fi film The 4D Man
This will be a rather dense post, because I'm adapting it from some notes I wrote last night when I was noodling on the question of how to make sense of paranormal and postmortem phenomena. The idea requires more elaboration than I can give it here. But at least this is a start.

The basic idea is that our four-dimensional reality (three dimensions of space and one dimension of time) exists on a continuum, with higher dimensional realities above our own. For simplicity, I'll refer collectively to these higher-dimensional planes as five-dimensional or 5D reality, although there could be more dimensions than that.

The famous book Flatland by Edwin Abbott imagines a two-dimensional world existing on the surface of a sheet of paper. The narrator, a Flatlander, has an epiphany in which he experiences a higher, three-dimensional world from which he can look down on the paper from above. This episode of "cosmic consciousness" alters his worldview irrevocably.

Note that the two-dimensional world of Flatland is grounded in the three-dimensional world (known as Spaceland in the book). The ground of being, in other words, has more dimensions than the ordinary world. This observation points up a defect in the model of a holographic reality. A hologram is a three-dimensional image projected out of a two-dimensional plate. In that case, the ground of being is lower-dimensional than the observed reality. But in the Flatland model, the ground of being is higher-dimensional than our ordinary reality. I believe this is probably more correct.

In this case, to speak of going higher in terms of dimensions is also to speak of going deeper in terms of structure. This is not as paradoxical as it may seem. We already use the terms high and deep interchangeably to refer to advanced thinking: a high-minded deep thinker, or elevated, profound thought. So there's no necessary contradiction in saying that as we go higher, we also go deeper. It's a matter of perspective.

Now we have to ask in what way five-dimensional entities or realities or inputs would be experienced in our four-dimensional world. Again, an analogy with the world of Flatland is helpful. Imagine a pencil, a three-dimensional object. If it were to intrude into a purely two-dimensional world (Flatland), it would be perceived only as a slice. It might be a small dot (a slice of the graphite tip), or a somewhat larger circle (a slice of the wooden point), or a still larger circle (a slice of the widest part of the pencil). Or, if the slice were made at an angle, then it might be an oval. If the pencil were sliced lengthwise down the middle, it would be a silhouette of the pencil. But the matter how it is sliced, the slice itself will always be a two-dimensional object, and someone unfamiliar with the three-dimensional world will be unable to visualize the complete three-dimensional pencil, much less imagine its origins or its purpose.

There's one more point to make. Each higher level of reality corresponds to a higher level of consciousness. A four-dimensional reality is perceived by a four-dimensional mind - a mind limited by the architecture of a four-dimensional brain and nervous system. A five-dimensional reality is perceived by a five-dimensional consciousness, which has no such limitations. Five-dimensional entities intruding into four-dimensional space are perceived in a distorted or altered form not only because of the restrictions of the 4D environment but also because of the limitations of the 4D mind. Indeed, we could say that there is no distinction between environment and mind. The 5D object exists as a 4D perception in our reality because 1) that is the only way it can exist here and because 2) that is the only way it can be perceived by us. And in fact, #1 and #2 are two ways of saying the same thing. To be is to be perceived.

The 4D mind is essentially what we think of as the ego, while the 5D mind is what we think of as the higher self or the subliminal self. The ego, in other words, is a slice of a much larger and different 5D reality.

Even in our 4D incarnation, we are not utterly cut off from 5D reality (in terms of either higher consciousness or a higher plane of existence - which, again, amount to the same thing). We have intimations of it, leakage from it, hints and nudges and signs. We can improve our access to 5D reality by minimizing the activity of our 4D brain through hypnosis, the hypnopompic or hypnagogic stages of sleep, sensory deprivation, meditation, or even brain-impairing injury or illness. The basic function of the brain is to funnel or filter the overwhelming awareness of 5D consciousness into a manageable slice of 4D consciousness; because of this, impairment of brain functions can result in greater access to 5D consciousness.

Children, whose egos are not yet fully developed, are more likely to be in tune with 5D consciousness and to experience phenomena such as past-life memories, imaginary friends, ghosts, and ESP. Savants, whose brains are incomplete or defective in some way, are able to tune in to the higher levels of awareness of 5D consciousness. Their abilities can seem supernatural because 5D consciousness is supernatural in the literal sense - it is superior to (above and beyond) the 4D physical world.

Dreams, or at least some dreams, are 5D experiences altered and distorted into bizarre, incomprehensible slices of 4D memory. The 4D memory may bear as little resemblance to the original 5D experience as a circle bears to a pencil.

The quantum world is a 5D reality when it is unobserved. But when our 4D consciousness observes it, it must be rendered in 4D terms. Thus, in the double-slit experiments, a subatomic entity like a photon exists as a cloud of potentialities transcending time and space in its 5D form. But when observed, the 5D cloud of potentia must "collapse" into a 4D slice - a particular point in space and time.

Because 5D reality transcends space, entangled quantum entities can continue to affect each other across any distance of space. And because 5D reality transcends time, delayed-choice experiments will show effects that are seemingly retroactive.

What we know as time is a 4D slice of 5D reality. The Planck time, the shortest interval of time that can exist in our reality, is such a slice. What we know as space is also a 4D slice of 5D reality. The Planck length, the shortest interval of space that can exist in our reality is, again, such a slice.

How about various paranormal phenomena?

Telepathy. The five-dimensional realm is essentially unbound by time and space. Separation between minds is a separation of time and space. Without time and space, there is no separation. Therefore the 5D mind, when it is accessed, can pick up other people's thoughts, because it is not cut off from them.

Remote viewing and out-of-body experiences. Since the 5D realm is not limited by physical space or time, access to the 5D mind potentially allows access to any point in space or time.

Retrocognition and precognition. Unrestricted by time, the 5D mind can observe past and future events, or at least probabilities (bearing in mind that the 5D quantum world consists of clouds of probabilities, not specific physical objects at specific points).

Near-death experiences. The dying brain allows greatly expanded access to the 5D realm, though still necessarily interpreted in 4D terms by the recovered patient. These 4D interpretations may be unintentionally misleading and inaccurate, as we see in conflicting claims that reflect cultural differences, or in prophesies that fail.

Mediumship. A medium can connect extra-physically with discarnate (5D) minds; but these minds must adjust to 4-D conditions, in order to interface with the medium's brain. This is why discarnate communicators typically say they must "lower their vibrations" and restrict their consciousness to an earthly level in order to communicate through a medium. It also accounts for errors in communication, as the (temporarily) 4D mind of the communicator and/or the (necessarily) 4D brain of the medium alters and distorts the material coming through - in effect, misinterpreting the 4D slices of 5D reality.

Physical mediumship and psychokinesis. 5D consciousness, transcending space and time, allows manipulation of matter and energy. But when expressed in our 4D reality and perceived by our 4D consciousness, this ability is inevitably inhibited and curtailed. Physical mediums insist that they cannot perform in the light, not even infrared light. Although this requirement has often been merely a cover for fraud, it may also have a legitimate basis, in that any illumination that allows the 4D brain to perceive the phenomena will also inevitably distort, alter, restrict, and inhibit the phenomena by converting it into 4D terms.

Ghosts, apparitions, hauntings, poltergeists. These seem to exist at the borderland between 5D and 4D realities, and as such they are ephemeral, elusive, and sometimes perceived by certain observers but not others. Attempts to capture the phenomena on film or video often fail, presumably because, as with physical mediumship, any physical (4D) perception will inevitably distort or inhibit the 5D source.

UFOs and related phenomena. Again, these seem to exist at the borderland between 5D and 4D realities, with many of the the same characteristics as ghosts and apparitions (or sightings of the Virgin Mary etc.). If UFOs, whatever they are, originate in 5D reality, then their intrusion into our 4D reality will inevitably alter and distort them. What we are seeing is a 4D slice, not the 5D whole. Since perception is reality, and since we can only perceive things that are familiar to us in some way, we will perceive these 4D slices as something roughly known to us. Technologically primitive peoples may perceive them as gods. A seafaring people may perceive them as schooners in the sky. A culture just developing airships may see them as immense dirigibles. A culture on the verge of space travel may perceive them as spaceships. These perceptions have little to do with the actual 5D reality, which our 4D minds cannot apprehend. Our senses cannot be trusted when dealing with slices of 5D phenomena that we're not equipped to perceive.

Synchronicities. These are possibly an example of the 5D higher self impinging on the 4D ego and its environment. Again, the distinction between observer and observed may not hold at higher levels of reality, so that changes in our environment and changes in our perception may only be two different aspects of the same thing.

The basic point is that the ground of being is a five- (or more-) dimensional reality, while our ordinary experience is a four-dimensional reality. Attempts to apprehend intrusions of 5D phenomena into our 4D realm will inevitably distort the true nature of those phenomena. We can see only a slice of this higher dimension. In fact, we ourselves - as we currently exist in this incarnation - are only a slice of our true higher-dimensional selves. Where we make an error is in mistaking the slice for the whole.