Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Multi-Dimensional Mind

Originally posted on March 1, 2016

At one dimension—a line—we notice more or less of something, a spectrum. There are innumerable spectrums on all sorts of criteria or parameters. (My son David wrote a book about Spectrums, but he only touched the most obvious physical parameters.)

In two dimensions—on paper on a computer screen—all sorts of patterns can be noted, as well as colors, shades, lines, etc. Everything that can be shown on paper. Note that there are countless types of things that go far beyond what can be described meaningfully in only one dimension.

In three dimensions, which shows our physical reality, the one in which it seems that we live, there is the additional dimension of height, or thickness. This can be hinted at in two dimensions, in drawings, through perspective or other tricks, but other senses such as “feeling the thickness” and again innumerable other variables account for what we take as real.

Actually, the sense of real and living is different from real but dead in that the fourth dimension is brought in—time. Things move, and where they were is transformed into slightly or very different of a location. Time is involved—that’s the key. Time can be represented as a dimen-sion, as Einstein suggested, but it’s really more a matter of experience, of mind. A moment of a touch of a hot stove may be equvalent to an hour of comfort. There is also being born, maturing, growing older, and dying—all time-bound, also known as “events.” That’s the fourth dimension.

Now we go beyond what animals do: We remember far more than they do. We anticipate far more than animals do. We create tools for helping us remember, and tools for transmitting suppositions, stories, stuff that’s completely made up. Fiction. All these and more constitute a fifth dimension!

We are entering a time of meta-cognition—a sixth dimension. We notice that there is thinking and we think about it. We do linguistics, to notice more specifically all the ways we think. We do anthropology, to notice that other cultures think differently. We do psychology and sociology to explore all the various ways we experience and think. And much, much more. We do represent-ational art, and also abstract are—and also music and other forms. Notice that with each dimension the quantity and variety of elements involve expand significantly!

The seventh dimension tops off the sixth by noticing that mind is not all that much rational; it’s aesthetic and multi-modal. There’s an aesthetic pleasure in doing dance, perhaps as much if not more as witnessing or appreciating dance. This is very variable, according to the maturity, sensitivity, openness, and other aspects of mind. Play becomes an important variable at this level, although it may be expressed at any of the lower levels. The point is that with play, fluidity, flexibility is introduced. Sometimes categories are even reversed.

Play notices all rules and limitations of any dimension and plays with, explores, creates variations that combine the limitations of some dimension or combination of dimensions, some boundaries, and then stretches or transcends these boundaries enough to stay “in the game.” Occasionally it leaves the limitations, and then may be experienced as simple non-sense.

The eighth dimension is mystical. It involves the ineffable—which means that it goes beyond what words can describe; and the numinous—to various degrees—which means that what is in focus seems profoundly meaningful and compelling, or in a more dilute way, trivial. Such variables are sensed intuitively by ordinary mind—more or less relevant and compelling—but their understanding benefit from being re-cognized—re-thought about—as transcending their obvious applications.

Some things, like love or beauty, attraction or repulsion, are taken for granted. Mind tends not to think about what it can’t think about. My point in this mini-essay is that the reason it eludes thought is that we don’t much recognize the operations of the higher dimensions. But aesthetic and emotional preference are so varied—they do operate at the eighth level—and they’re elusive because there’s no recognition of an eighth level. There’s not even much recognition of the fifth dimension, even less of the sixth, and much less of the seventh dimension.

The Sufis are Islamic mystics, and we’re talking about mysticism, which is eighth dimensional mind. There’s a Sufi saying that a pickpocket at a convention of saints can only see their pockets. That is, they wouldn’t know what a saint was or even recognize one when they saw him (or her). So too, I fear that my description of the higher dimensions will be quite misunderstood by people who are fixated at the third dimension with a little bit of fourth-dimensional awareness.

But we are living in an era where sixth dimensional awareness is opening: People are thinking about thinking itself, and the way other people think differently, and what it all means. We’re coming from a time when such questions were taboo and it was a legal requirement to accede to the world-view then in ascendence in one’s culture, and to submit to the official guardians of that world-view. The higher dimensions throw that belief into question due to the fact that there are way too many seemingly authoritative world-views!  Judging all of them evil and one true is so 19th century, imperialistic, ethnocentric.

Thinking of a wider spectrum—and I don’t suggest for a moment that my aforementioned description is complete—, there may yet be further higher dimensions! Also, there may be other variations of mind that are not edified by the aforementioned spectrum.

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