Thursday, August 03, 2006

Models of spiritual dimensions - part 1

For years my terms have been to divide reality into the physical universe as physics defines it and some spiritual side to reality, “spiritual” just meaning “nonphysical” to me. You and I may have been talking about only the former being objective – that I would say and mean. I don’t remember, but I do believe in something spiritual, though I can’t be sure. I need it because I can’t make sense of the God I’ve encountered without that, unless the atheists are right and everything I know of God is just a better part of my consciousness.

Two years after my road-to-Damascus experience, I had a vision that I remember clearly because it gave me a place to put God, whether the details are exactly right or not. What I saw was a five-dimensional structure. You can’t actually see that unless you contract the spatial dimensions, but then it was just like seeing multidimensional spaces back when I was in school. All you need is one extra dimension to have a place for God. The same way one can define an “up/down” dimension for anywhere in space and time, any extra dimensions can touch everywhere in the universe at once, maybe even everywhere in time. So if God is off to one side in this fifth dimension, then we who only experience four dimensions may actually have a position in this fifth that defines how close we are to God, affecting our behavior, who knows what. Everything in our four dimensions would be the same. It’s not like someone would disappear from existence in four dimensions by moving in the fifth any more than something disappears by changing temperature any number of degrees.

It was a vision. A thousand words aren’t enough when it comes to five-dimensional structures. The point of it wasn’t that this is exactly correct. It was one way of visualizing a real God out of many possibilities. There might be many more dimensions to account for spirituality. It might be something else hidden rather dimensions. But what I did know after that vision that I didn’t know before is that there is at least one way this works, with only one extra dimension, which is very easy in cosmology. Someone else could quibble that it works. I don’t care. It wasn’t their vision. It was my vision. It worked for me.

Now what was this? The natural thing to say is that it is imagination. Oh really? I’ve imagined a lot of things. I even imagined multidimensional spaces in math and physics classes, but I never have seen anything like this. I try to see it now, and it’s so crude. I can shrink the four-dimensional universe down to a disc, so this fifth dimension is perpendicular to that, one direction being toward God, the other direction away from God. This I can see, but it’s memory much more than imagination. I don’t think there’s any chance I ever would have imagined such a thing on my own. And at the time there was much more. There was a display of the various peaks and valleys of individuals being closer to God or farther away. There was a display of things changing over time. I just watched, and the meaning came to me.

Inspiration? What does that mean? If there’s something purely physical that does that, it’s as poorly known as the exact location of God. For me, I look at that and say it was something spiritual, like all these other spiritual experiences I have that don’t fit any science I know. It gives me a place to put them to say they’re spiritual. Someone who says they all fit in the physical world needs a lot more than vague and abstract terms to demonstrate that. I’d listen to anyone who wants to be precise about that, but who does? I don’t find things like that except from God. He speaks my language. So does She. So do all of Them, one Spirit, many voices.

Now to find the right words for anyone else to experience what I experience is very hard. I often encourage people to ask God themselves, but maybe that’s not enough. Maybe it is when people are sufficiently motivated. Maybe only then are people willing to not get so caught up in exactly what the truth is and just learn to follow God. I guess it matters if someone is just exploring or if they have a more urgent need. I’ve explored a lot. There’s nothing wrong with that. I think it took some desperation to accept as much as I have, though. Some would say it’s nuts. Some would see parallels with what they know or believe. That’s what spirituality is like. It works for me.

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