Monday, June 13, 2011

Your Temporal Extension

"I watched as her fingers drew a perfect line in space, I watched as she looked on through into another place." - Devo, "The 4th Dimension"

There's a quantum-physics notion that Time is either a key part of the Fourth Dimension or actually is the Fourth Dimension itself. With that view, some startling things about life, birth and death inevitably rear their head.

Viewed from the Fourth Dimension, some posit that you and I are actually worm-like entities that represent the "us" as we see ourselves from birth to death, like a series of Muybridge photographs showing a runner proceeding from A to B. Even though the runner was at point A and then moved on to point B, quantum theory says his actual self is at both those points simultaneously and both are expressions of the same entity.

As you sit there reading these words on your computer monitor, imagine that the "you" who was getting turkey slices out of the fridge half an hour ago is part of a greater entity that includes the "you" that sits here now. From a 4-D perspective, we are an entity that extends into our past and our future. We think that our future "hasn't happened yet" but this is an artifact of our limited consciousness, as is our perception of what we call Time.

J.H. Brennan describes it best:

"It is the focus of our consciousness that creates the sensation of time passing, rather as looking through the window of a train creates the sensation of scenery passing, although we know the world outside the train is in fact standing still."

Meanwhile, science has finally caught up with what philosophers knew all along - that everything we have experienced in our life is permanently recorded and nothing is ever truly forgotten - which also fits in perfectly with four-dimensional theory.

Looking into the future, now that's a little trickier. But it can be done. And philosophy, once again, has the leading edge over modern science with their zillion-dollar particle supercolliders.

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