29 May 2012

Heaven and Infinite Dimensions

I had a thought as I was drifting off to sleep last night that I want to capture someplace – and this is it. Pure speculation but I thought it was worth writing down.

  • Any object we can see exists in at least four dimensions at once. (Length, Height, Depth and Time)
  • Superstring theorists tell me the universe is probably made of at least ten dimensions, perhaps more.
  • It seems reasonable to think that the same 4D object mentioned above does, or at least could, exist in those other dimensions at the same too.

All of that is only to say something pretty straightforward – that the things I typically know and interact with are multi-dimensional be their nature. I point this out because I have been trained by Sci-Fi movies to think of ‘alternate dimensions’ as wholly distinct worlds. Like some other 4D universe that is parallel to ours as opposed the more mathematical description of each dimension representing an additional ‘direction’ of freedom or motion. To that we can imagine the Flatland people who for some reason are limited to their 2D world (3D if you count time) where they are unable to move off their plane of existence even though we could look at and observe them without fear of being noticed. Likewise, if we are bound to this limited subset of dimensions, someone with even one additional degree of freedom could easily hide from us simply by moving in that direction.

This is connected to one possible understanding of little-h heaven. By ‘little-h’ I just mean something like ‘the spirit world’ or whatever you might call the place/ dimension / existence in which angles and demons do their thing as opposed to ‘big-H’ Heaven which is the whole God’s throne room paradise thing. Going back to superstrings, heaven could be nothing more or less than those six+ extra dimensions we suspect are there. For some reason, perhaps because of the fall, they are mostly inaccessible and imperceptible to us – but by no means are they illusory.

Up to this point, I’m just summarizing what other people have written as a starting point. What I was thinking about last night was building on these ideas.

  • Quantum mechanics tells us that in some profoundly weird ways reality is shaped by our perception. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schrödinger's_cat).
  • Now add that to some interesting imagery and concepts in the Robin Williams movie “What Dreams May Come”

What if every soul that gets created, or perhaps every soul/spirit that remains ‘alive’ in Christ, somehow creates an additional dimension in the whole big manifold of creation. This dimension could be understood as going ‘into’ that person perhaps in the way Christ and the Holy Spirit dwell ‘within’ us. Within my dimension I have the ability, conscious or unconscious, to shape what it is like there. It is as responsive to my will as my attitude – and for that matter it may be as resistant to my will in the same way. There could be skill, training, and experimentation involved as we get used to this kind of ‘self-control.’

Also, if these are dimensions that stack into reality as opposed to self-contained and parallel worlds, then an object like a tree could exist in many. If not all, of those dimensions simultaneously. Then, just like walking around a car to see it from all sides, I could move from layer to layer to layer to see how that tree appeared in a multitude of ‘selves.’ How you saw the tree could be different than how I saw it and that perception would be realized within ourselves. Some ‘lesser’ objects, like a tree, may be limited to a subset of the existent dimensions/people – maybe I have to ‘opt in’ for it to appear in my space. Other ‘greater’ objects like the New Jerusalem appear in all dimensions as part of the ‘default kit.’

With every soul, a new world is born and yet all worlds remain part of God’s interwoven creation. We move between worlds or perceive many at once as we explore our degrees of freedom.

That could be pretty fun.

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