Four Dimensions and Integrity
“We are three dimensional creatures, of course we cannot visualize the fourth dimension,” but is that really the case?
To continue our last article on discussing the scenic imagination, we will spend time in this one expanding on ways we can use our imagination in today’s climate. One goal of using language is to stretch common ideas of reality, so that we then become aware of the situations that contain us. Think of it like we are being placed in unsolvable situations so that we use language to create solutions that would not normally be available—if we were to let the original scenario run its course. This, eventually, becomes much more complex in our modern landscape where these unsolvable situations usually revolve around disputes and arguments within language. That means that language also can allow us, in today’s world, to call into question all the ways we have used language before, and not just the moral goods of fixing unsolvable situations. We become aware of our current contexts; we use those signs to judge, post facto, how true they have remained to the reality; we update our reality. The scenic imagination lets us review the reasons we have initially been swayed to make decisions and to generate awareness of how we continue to follow older centers and imperatives as they relate to newer commands.
One of the more perplexing ways us moderns have done this is in the visualization of imaginary or invisible realms. Many try to visualize the fourth dimension, as well as spiritual forces, ghastly beings, imaginary values and all sort of fantastical things. What we will demonstrate in this article is that the easiest way to accomplish any of these goals is to isolate the anthropomorphic ideas pregnant in those situations. This is meaning we analyze infinitesimally smaller reasons to fight over mimetic situations. These mimetic currents lead us to fantasize some outbreak of violence, something that we as humans react strongly against. By hypothesizing that gesture that aborts violent appropriation, or violent imagination, it enables us to determine gestures of the deferral of violence within new scenes. In essence, by making the imagination anthropomorphic we can increase our capacity for visualization, even in seemingly impossible realms.
The Fourth Dimension
To properly visualize smaller dimensions, they should be much like our own. We think of ourselves as three dimensional because all we can really do is jump—up and down—move—left to right—and walk—forward and back. But beyond that there seems to be a misconception with attributing three dimensions to those movements. Each movement also implies a roughly continuous space—not so simply an abstract line we can coordinate and map our movement by, but something traversable. When we walk forward we don’t suddenly accelerate at irregular intervals. The space around us is generally consistent, and reliable. Many attempts at visualizing the fourth dimension rely solely on the mathematical coordination of values, rather than what it means to apply force in those directions.
If we follow the general semantics outlined above, our idea of a reality should be something that is tangible, can withstand some amount of force, requires empty space to move into and generally stable.
Other, Smaller Dimensions
First, we must tackle the idea of what exactly a dimension, in this sense, must be. So, in order to do this we should tackle smaller dimensions (1st, 2nd and 3rd) before understanding a fourth.
If we are to anthropomorphize these dimensions, the easiest is starting from creating 1-D, 2-D, etc. beings. Let’s start with two dimensions, since one is a bit difficult to imagine:
Placing two different realities, to give some better visualization, the first is if gravity doesn’t have a specific direction inside the two dimensional plane—the direction I’ve applied it is as shown by the red arrows. The second is if gravity does pull the creature to a specific direction within the plane, in which I’ve shown where friction might appear—through the green arrows—as well as how the creature might navigate the plane. So, for the first he crawls like a spider, the second like a monkey.
If we are to try to “view” reality as we would the two dimensional subject, it wouldn’t quite work so well. To make it more palatable, I’ve stretched the first and second diagram into three dimensions:
Viewing it this way, it’s much easier to imagine how a two dimensional being might see things. Rather than isolate them into singular planes, where there are infinite 2D variations along a third axis these beings don’t exist on (like if they could only crawl on single piece of paper), this gives them a real-ness to their bodily composition. If we were to imagine them in our three dimensional realm they would be infinite vertical spiders and horizontal tubes of lovecraftian proportions. But it would be easier to imagine how perplexing, or even non existent our world would be to them. If they inhabit the entirety of the axis they don’t exist within, then they would, perhaps, see our Earth as just a black pole. All of the discrepancies, the curvature of our mountains depth, wouldn’t make sense to them:
Would our Earth’s two dimensional counterpart (as shaded by the yellow lines) be visible or invisible to them? Look around your desk area, or the phone that you are holding right now, would you notice a four dimensional object until it suddenly grew and “appeared” in 3-D? Much like the earth, in our example, suddenly grew into a bigger 2-D circle?
If we refer back to our anthropomorphic checks, we must imagine that this reality is continuous and traversable. So, the answer for our above questions is a bit of a trick. I’ve applied a scenario where we must break the rules (the reality isn’t continuously 3-D, and “breaks” into 2-D wherever our two dimensional beings roam—forcing a paradoxical scenario for our 3-D ball—does it stay 3-D, or , also, “break” into 2-D?).
The answer is that the ball simply wouldn’t exist until its third dimensional variable entered its 0 value, or becoming plausible for the two dimensional being to “touch”. So, if we are to imagine our anthropomorphic checks again, with seemingly traversable, and finite variables, then what appears as growing and expanding to the 2-D creature is just a continuous surface of the 3-D ball. The quality of depth is always the final, maximum, dimension for dimensional beings.
A Mathematical Description of “Reality Checking” and Depth Testing
If I were to give a simple mathematical description: all dimensions of n+1 that approach n, where the n is the normal number of dimensions for a being, will have this growing and expanding effect to such a being’s perception. Realistically, all we are imagining is another factor of reality where we can “shoot” ourselves out of—where we can become increasingly invisible and intangible—much like our three dimensional earth in the above 2-D sketch (that if we were to slide along the 3rd axis would “pop” out of existence for the 2-D creature). While the further an object moves on the n+1 plane, the less tangible it may be to n-dimensional beings, it still is held within the coordinate system of the original n-dimensions. That is to say, it isn’t like it becomes out of our grasp and “blinks” out of existence. To that n+1 dimensional being, it would simply be slightly raised along the n+1 axis, it would find it odd that these n-dimensional beings would lament it “blinking” out of existence. It may cry out, “the ball is just over there, why are you so sad? It’s, literally, right next to you.”
Continuous Surfaces and Color-Coordination for n+1 Anthropomorphic Beings
Given that we’ve defined—through our anthropomorphic checks—a fairly continuous and livable environment, we should ask: how does curvature, or surface quality, change in a new four dimensional environment? If a three dimensional object gets nudged into the fourth dimension, how do we easily view it, assuming it only moved along that fourth axis, in our third dimension?
Relying not on perspective or other mathematical formulas, we should revert back into anthropomorphic qualities. One of the ways we differentiate objects that look alike, in size and contour, but are really quite different in their quality is through colour. This is especially true of mushrooms. Colour can be the key difference between an edible one and a poisonous curse. Here’s our ball, again, but sliced up, this time, so our 2-D creature can comprehend it better:
For us our dimension constitute a sense of direction. For our n-dimensional beings we must give them a new sense of "proprioception”, although this new sense of bodily awareness, since it is new, must be independently controlled. We, in this scenario, give our two-dimensional being an ability to colour-shift. We tell him, “apply a mental force and watch your hand shift from red to purple.” He would do so and then, for him to develop proprioception, must continuously do so, until he begins to believe that in order to touch objects they must be of the same colour-frequency. He cannot touch a red circle if he is standing, predominately, in a green-purple plane, e.g..
What this also allows us, as 3-D beings, is to also develop a sense of height. “Purple” becomes the leaves of our trees, it also is harder to discern since the sun would also be upwards in the purple realms. So, we might wince if we color-shift to purple to quickly, much like when you look directly into the sun. We can imagine a further reality where, neither we would just so simply look at our reddish “grounded” reality—perhaps, terrible blue-green vultures colour shift, and descend upon us, to our yellowish domain and pluck with iridescent shimmering beaks at our eyes.
There really is a lot you can play with, here. An example I like is to imagine trying to fight in such a colour-shifting realm. Someone tries to punch you, and you block, reasonably well—placing your hand where they seem to be aiming. It looked like they were going for your mid-green-body, but you see them lurch forward and shift towards a purplish hue. Their blue, ever-quickly purple, fist passes seemlessly through your greenish hand. You are sent flying backward and your reality takes on less of a greenish-yellow dimension and more of a purplish-blue tint, as you also curve back and upwards (like normal).
The more scenarios and scenes you imagine in (like the above) the more interesting it becomes. Eventually, once you get a good example of how a scene might take place in 4-D you may even begin to keep expanding through many more dimensions. Really, it all depends on your sense of imagination and how easily you can construct “real life” in those new coordinate systems. By anthropomorphizing variables and coordinates, we can get a better sense that being human doesn’t necessarily depend on whether we are 3-D or extradimensional. At the end of the day, what matters is the ways we defer or imagine violent realities.
Personally for me, this was an interesting practice. It would be interesting to see someone, in a literary context, take this idea of dimensional shifting and run with it. Given that we really are just imagining more peaceful occurrences of scenarios that might have initially caused violence (we can think of colour shifting as an ostensible solution to an imperative like, “walk through that wall”), certain variations have appeared in super-hero literature. Such as the quirk of “passing through walls” or even, to a degree, “becoming invisible,” One could even think of various magical systems as reaching into a fourth dimension. That extra-dimension allowing the magic user to present a magical growth in a fire-place (imagine a line in a book, “to a colour shifter, it simply was just in that plentiful energy spectrum. He just had to call it downwards into our earthly plane. To an observer the fire flung from his palm.”)
Any bypassing of an imperative is just a scenic shift through an extra dimension. It’s all just ostensive slight of hand, at the end of the day. This is the same with moral ideologues.
Incongruent, decrepit ideologues are dimensionally stuck in 3-D. Perhaps we see them in one such as a simple black and white 3-D. Those that adapt to new ostensive independent variables, like the colour shifting scenario, see reality as multifaceted and colourful. Most people have their own fourth dimensional slider, that they evaluate “grounded” individuals by. If you take any individual slider, you may just get stuck in your own, personal ideology. To other people’s fourth dimension that they shift through (by committing to moral actions they rise higher in value on that plane) you may just be stuck, invisible through your own attempts at creating value and sliding. The goal should be to develop a common morality that transcends personal distinctions and “colour shifts”, left and right distinctions, and one where we all increase our sense of moral, public legislature. A new ostensive, a deferral of violence through sameness.
When all things are cast into dust, we can trust in our integrity; that our friendships and partners who commit to creating new moral infrastructure with us, as that which truly transcends the death of our bodies and egos. Our evaluation process will be when we witness those new people. They, born and brought onto our scene, can inspire hope and we can be pleased when they “colour shift” in new, additive dimensions and ways. Carrying along our legacy as we are, finally, allowed to vanish back into our common evanescent point—death. There is little out there that is more beautiful a thought, to me.