The Fifth Dimensional
Chapter II :
Formal Definition of the Fifth Dimension
A point may be called a dimension of zero. Imagine placing a succession of
points side by side to create a one dimensional line. Place the lines side
by side to create a two dimensional surface, called a plane. Then stack the
planes one on top of the other to form a three dimensional solid. This solid
is characterized by the three dimensional measuring units of length, width
and height. To our macroscopic senses, three dimensional objects endure;
they don’t flash in and out of existence. They have duration over time,
forming a fourth dimensional, or enduring shape. Therefore, time, measured
in nanoseconds, microseconds, seconds, minutes, hours or years, is the
measuring unit of the fourth dimension.
Imagine a point, then a line of points, then a line, then a plane, then a 3-D solid
An ant, crawling on the ground, may not be aware that there is a barrier
it's goal and it's current position. An ant cannot perceive objects from its
limited flatland- or two dimensional- perspective. We, easily operating from
a 3 dimensional perspective due to our height, can perceive a larger two
dimensional field than an ant can. We can also 'see' into the fourth
dimension of time and perceive that an ant about to cross a roadway is in
danger of being run over by a truck. Humans, thinking about not only what
is, but what will be, operate easily in a fourth dimension.
Imagine an ant about to be run over by a large truck.
A formal definition of the fourth dimension was made by a Polish
mathematician, Hermann Minkowski, in the nineteenth century. Einstein used
his ideas in developing the theory of special relativity. These ideas can be
expanded into a definition of the fifth dimension.
The major idea consists of treating time as a dimension just as we usually
treat space. Figure 8 illustrates a simple Minkowski diagram with only one
space dimension drawn in for the sake of simplicity. The lines represent the
path of a car. First the car sits in Boston without moving in space, while
time goes on. Then it is driven to New York. While being driven, it moves
both in time and in space. Then it sits in New York at one point in space
while time again passes. Such a diagram is called a “world line” in
Minkowski geometry. You can easily imagine the diagram extended
indefinitely, with many zigs and zags representing the total world line of a
car from its manufacture to its ultimate destruction in some junk yard.
Referred to as Fig. 8. Graph of space on x axis and time on y axis. Shows a
car traveling from Boston to New York.
Our assumption of time could be expanded sideways to form the set of
enduring three dimensional objects of all possible shapes, in other words,
what could be. Think of a plant which changes in one time line, and all the
possible shapes it could have morphed into. The total set of possible shapes
can be called a 'fifth dimension'. Each possible shape of the plant forms
what can be defined as an alternate reality for that plant. Each one can be
given a probability between 0 and 1. For example, a plant probably won't
change into another kind of plant, grow fruit if it isn't a fruit bearing
plant, or grow poison thorns. (Probability = 0.0000001?) Therefore, the
measuring unit of the fifth dimension is called probability.
Every moment, or every few moments, hours, or days, we make choices. These
choices start us down one path or another and thus, step by step, we create
our own reality. That is, we move gradually into a particular alternative
reality, one of many choices. It could be said that each choice, tiny or
large, conscious, forced, or automatic, sometimes impelled by planetary
influences, guides us into another dimension, a parallel or alternate
universe. Usually these alternate universes are so small we don't even
notice them, such as whether we choose to eat oatmeal or eggs for breakfast,
or to drive on the freeway or side streets to work. They are personal
universes and don't interact much, if any, with other people’s personal
universes. Sometimes the choices we make are important, such as moving to
another state, taking a one job rather than another, or marrying one person
instead of another. These could all be said to be alternative universes.
Sometimes we simply imagine or visualize different alternative realities or
parallel universes if we were to, or had made, different choices. Like the
game of chess, wherein one imagines what our opponent would do if we made
this or that move, etc. Chess could be called a 'fifth dimensional game',
and so is life.
To attain a 'higher consciousness' is to be aware of more sensations, or
information. Humans not only can see to some degree along a fourth
dimension, they also imagine different outcomes of choices made at each
moment. In simple terms, we can make a guess at what will happen if we
choose one course of action over another. What if… is a popular pastime for
humans. We all can do it pretty well. In other words, we can not only look
ahead in time, we can to some degree, look at alternate times, or imagine
alternate probable alternatives. The set or collection of imagined
alternatives can be called a fifth dimension- a dimension based on
probability. Parallel or alternate realities can be ordered on a probability
scale which can be said to constitute a 'fifth dimension'.
We usually make the most probable choices but we don't have to, if we are
willing to make the effort. Awareness of this helps one move through life.
Ultimately, as the human race evolves, we will develop the ability to shift
from one alternate universe to another, choosing, rather than being stuck in
just one we didn't intend and don't like.
There is a certain base line reality defined loosely by the human race mass
consciousness. It is the one we are, as individuals, stuck in, or more or
less limited to. That is the general human condition, or what humans believe
to be true. Humans live a about 80 years, sleep 4-10 hours, have to eat so
much food, etc. These are the most common beliefs which form reality at this
point in time. The photo shows my son surfing on a big wave. Few people surf
on such waves now, and years ago it was thought impossible. In a few more
years it will be crowded on such waves.
The set of all possible behaviors is limited by the general beliefs of
humanity. To race a mile in under four minutes was once thought impossible.
Now several runners have achieved this. Charles Tart, a psychologist at the
University of California in Davis, has studied people who can consciously
travel outside their bodies. Marishi, an Indian guru and founder of what he
called ‘transcendental meditation, taught students the beginning hops of
flying. If babies were taught that flying (with only the body) was possible
and had models of at least some people flying, they might do it naturally.
When people say to me: “that’s impossible!” I laugh and think of the quote
from Alice in Wonderland: “‘why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six
impossible things before breakfast.’”. As Seth said over and over in the
books by Jane Roberts, “drop all self-limiting beliefs”.
While it is possible to write of probability as a measure of likely or
unlikely probabilities crudely estimated, what about probabilities of
parallel universes created by a probable self in a parallel universe? For
example, say my alternate self, who is a university professor in a parallel
universe, imagines, or has one probable self who is a playwright, and that
probable self has one of many more probable selves who may be a dope addict,
a banker, a corporate employee, etc. Then each of those probable selves has
their own field of probable selves. The whole set of parallel universes,
expanding indefinitely, seems way beyond calculation, or even estimation of
a probability. It’s hardly comprehensible.
One restriction in the Minkowski diagram, that lines must always move upward
on the diagram, arises from the notion that things must go forward in time
(footnote). Though the car can move from Boston to New York and back, the
path of travel would be as in Figure 9, not as in Figure 10. footnote
Another restriction on the diagram is that there can be no absolutely
horizontal lines. That would imply an infinite velocity, meaning a car could
get from one space point to another in zero time. Actually the line would be
nearly flat since light does apparently exhibit some travel time. While this
was the case in 1905, there may now be evidence of a force that travels much
faster than light. If validated, Minkowski diagrams may have lines that are
not quite horizontal, but flatter than if the speed of light is used to
measure distance. (See the book: The Spin Force- A Collection of articles
and Experiments, by the author (www.buryl.com)
Referred to as Fig. 9. Graph with space on x axis and time on y axis. Shows
car traveling from Boston to New York and back.
The one-wayness of time seems to distinguish it from space dimensions. No
one-wayness exists in space; we can apparently move to any place and move
back as often as we wish, but we cannot usually move to and fro in the time
direction. Most people believe that time travel is impossible. Is it?
Why is time one-way while space is not? Is there something special about the
universe that forces time to flow one-way or do we only see it that way? It
is true that our memories usually give us the sense of a time-flow in one
direction, but these memories and our related notion of time are relative to
our culture, our language, and our training.
Referred to as Fig. 10. Graph with space on x axis and time on y axis. Shows
an incorrect world line of the car’s path (the car goes backward in time).
Besides, one-wayness of time-flow need not be a property of all objects and
processes in the universe. Some processes indicate a preferred or more
probable direction of time: fruit ripens and decays, mountains erode and
wash away slowly but surely into the sea, we are born and die, things become
mixed up easily but unmixed only with difficulty, etc. Processes of aging
and decay are obvious in the case of living things, and happen as well in
many realms of the nonliving. The perceived one-wayness of time may only be
a probability, not a 100% truth. For example it is a very low probability
that molecules of milk, if spilled on the table, will gather together and
fly back into the cup. Yet, probably some person has the belief and enough
conscious power to make that happen.
Spilled milk on the table, empty cup tipped over next to it..
Since we don’t usually perceive ourselves and others from an extended time
or world-line point of view, the notions of time developed by nuclear
physicists do not seem to apply to our gross physical bodies. Although the
electrons and protons which make up our bodies may be moving to and fro in
time, we do not have experiences of moving backward in time or of our bodies
ceasing to age. Apparently the alteration of the perception of physical time
only becomes perceptible for particles moving at speeds near that of light.
For a photon or light wave there is no time, but for us, clock time is
always flying. These things are confusing to us because we don’t yet have a
new terminology and new theories for the expanded views of time. I suggest
the terms “clock time” for minutes and hours, “psychological time” for our
inner sense of time, and “fifth dimensional time” or perhaps “high time” for
the expanded sense of time based upon Minkowski’s geometry, Zen Buddhism,
and the findings of nuclear physicists. Let’s see if I can make the notion
of fifth dimensional time clearer by more analogies.
Ordinarily we see only a cross section of things as they pass from the world
of the future to the world of the past. It is as if we were beings that
lived on the surface of water and could perceive only what transpired right
at the surface. Any irregular object gliding from the air into the water
would appear to us as a two-dimensional something continuously changing its
shape. We could not see the whole of the object just as we can’t ordinarily
see the whole of time. We might think that some “force” acting on the object
caused its mysterious changes of shape. Only when the object had passed
completely through the surface could we understand the whole of it. Like
Alice, our memories only work backward. We invent “forces” and “energies” to
explain what we see or to substitute for our perceptual limitations of time.
Of course, we do not literally see just a cross section of time. Our
consciousness does extend time to some degree- if it didn’t the world would
be just a series of quick flashes. One’s nervous system sums up impressions
to provide an enduring picture of the environment similar to the way one
integrates the static frames of a movie projection to produce the illusion
of motion. In the case of the movies we transform static two-dimensional
pictures (which represent three-dimensional scenes) into four-dimensional
experiences: that is, movement in space during time intervals. In the
movies, time is artificially made to flow.
By extension, we can transform a series of movements to give us an
experience of a world line. Obvious examples of world lines are time
exposures taken of cars at night. The car lights form streaks (world lines)
on the film. Man frequently constructs sections of world lines in his head
as he lives his life, and takes no particular notice of this ability. We
imagine the path a baseball or Frisbee will take in the air, and move to
intercept or dodge it; we avoid oncoming cars or pedestrians by plotting
their world lines and our own; we plan, make diagrams or lay out schedules
in our heads before committing ourselves to the actual work; and a dozen
We live in fifth dimensional time at least to some extent or we wouldn’t
survive. Nevertheless, we see only a small portion of many world lines,
compared to their potential extent. We peep out of a slit of time at the
real world which is indifferent to the limitations of our ordinary
consciousness. As we raise our consciousness we can begin to see more
time-extended views of events. Now take a few seconds now to stretch your
world view to multiple world views.
Practice Exercise 1
Look at some simple objects around you- chairs, desks, lamps, pencils, etc.,
but instead of just looking at them as simple objects, dwell on each for a
brief second and try to perceive it as a four-dimensional object. For
instance, visualize the world line of a chair. How long is that particular
chair? Visualize the chair in a factory, in a store, in your home, moving
from room to room. Visualize the probable future disposition of the chair
and imagine its ultimate ending in a fire or on a garbage heap somewhere.
What would be the world line of a typewriter? Of the house itself? Try this
with different objects you come in contact with whenever you idly walk,
drive, or move about. Can you step above classical space-time to get an
expanded sense of the world lines of everything around you?
Although we usually see a person the way we see a physical object, as having
definite boundaries, we know that he or she is much more than that. We
actually see only a time-slice of a person, like a snapshot; by putting many
snapshots together we form our view of the person. After all, why should our
inner perceptions be limited by the width of our time-slices? Any view of
the organism-as-a-whole must be a world-line view to some extent at least,
mapped out in four dimensions, not simply a cross-sectional slice.
Consider for example a world line of your physical body. There would be a
birth point and a death point about eighty clock years apart; in between the
line would snake back and forth from space point to space point like the
most intricate Chinese script, only continually moving upward on the
Minkowski plot. Straight vertical lines would represent sleep and periods of
quiet, whereas slanting lines would represent motion between space points.
You can easily imagine such a world line and you can scan it in a flash as
your mind’s eye travels along a chain of memories. From such a vantage point
you could see all of your life spread out behind you, and in fifth
dimensional times you could perceive ahead as well.
Practice Exercise 2
Make a deliberate effort to perceive other persons as world lines, all at
once, spread out before your mental eyes. Blur their physical image into an
extended lifeline. Recall their past and imagine their future. Blend the
past and future together into one line image. Now visualize yourself as a
world line. How does your world line intertwine with those of others? What’s
this trip like that you’re on?
Although we have been taught to believe that our organisms move through
time, in a four-dimensional geometry there would be no motion in time. We
just are- long, living lines stretched out between two points, one called
“birth” and the other “death”. With such a notion birth and death are merely
end points of a totality; from a timeless point of view the whole exists at
To see this clearly I must place my viewing point outside of space-time. I
must transcend the simple here-now awareness of the ongoing present and try
to take a bigger view, as a hiker does when he reaches a hilltop and looks
back at his path or forward to his destination. The higher the degree of my
consciousness, the more of the path behind and ahead come into my view.
As it is now, we have only the most feebly developed fifth dimensional
consciousness, analogous to lower animals which possess only a weakly
developed fourth dimensional consciousness. Occasionally, though, we do have
snatches of awareness which transcend space-time and leave us breathless
with awe. In Zen, this is called satori. In such brief instants one may have
views of “the future” or be struck with an intense emotional awareness of
one’s whole life, its meaning, purpose, and direction. Ordinarily this
happens rarely; our vision is blurred and confounded by a thousand fantasies
and imaginings- wishes, hopes, and desire.
Perhaps this represents the first edge of an evolutionary advance. For if
consciousness acts as the driving force of evolution, as Teilhard de Chardin
suggests, then consciousness of times provides a significant measure of our
evolutionary growth both as a species and as individuals.
Each level of life encompasses and transcends the lower ones in its freedom
to move in space and time. Plants have only the most limited knowledge of
the space dimension. They can only move about by transforming their essence
into seed form and relocating it elsewhere, which is by “dying” and being
“reborn” in another place. Animals can move freely in space, although they
have much less time consciousness than man.
Men were born to the freedom of land space, have covered sea space, and now
even pushed into extraterrestrial space. The next frontier lies in the fifth
dimension, measured by time. Consciousness of time arose early in man’s
history- a linear time based on the suns rising and setting, the ebb and
flow of the tides and the season’s changes. The development of spoken, and
especially written languages have enabled man to leapfrog through time,
building idea upon idea, generation after generation, in a continual
progression. Moreover, his conceptualization of time and its measure have
refined and sharpened; today’s standards of clock time represent a nearly
ultimate degree of precision. But as we have seen, the rigidity of linear
clock time does not fit our inner consciousness, or does it apply to
phenomena on the frontiers of science. We have simultaneously arrived in
both science and psychology at the need for developing new ways of
conceptualizing and perceiving time. In our present stage of development, we
are confused by living in high times, and the daily struggle to satisfy our
physical needs in ordinary time. We are confused by some gurus who perceive
in fifth dimensional consciousness but call it ‘spiritual awareness’, and
others who stress being here and now in three and four dimensional time,
struggling to satisfy our perceived bodily needs, living at a basic level.
We are like pioneers in a new land, a land with few trails and only
rudimentary maps. Clearly we need guidelines for our spiritual growth. The
notions I have developed from science show that solid foundations are
available to help focus our experiences and make them comprehensible.
Perhaps the ideas in this book will help clarify and bridge the notions of
bottom line gurus and ‘spiritual’ super gurus who seek to help us along the
pathways of evolution. The next chapter explores some less formal parallel
universes and gives some more exercises to develop fifth dimensional