The world of our ordinary (extraordinary) experience is what is called the physical universe. Our ability to perceive it and function in it has evolved our capacities for perception, knowledge (thought) and action that are efficient and sufficient for our extraordinary natural survival. This is our natural world of lived experience.
It takes place in the perceived world of four dimensions: three familiar dimensions of space and one of time. Space in three dimensions are the “x, y and z”: before us and behind us, above and below, to the left and right. The three dimensions of space, whether vast or small scales, are perceived in this way. For that is how our brains evolved. That is what we needed to survive and thrive. Then we have the dimension of time, that which throws it all into motion: the sequence of events as we perceive them in our expending, evolving universe. Operating in these four dimensions we are able to survive and to thrive and to live, as individuals, as a species, as all of nature.
And our brain activities, the field of thought constructs we call “mind” is able to time-travel, to interpret remembered past experience and to project alternative future scenarios to be chosen for our enactment. This gives us the freedom of self-perception as agents enacting our choices in life, participating in the actions and experiences of our amazing unfolding lives.
And yet this actual universe is not necessarily limited to these four dimensions. In fact, very much of it does not make scientific sense and consistency in four dimensions only. Rather this universe of our experience seems to be arising from a greater dimensionality. Everywhere present and completely real, yet we only see how it is manifesting in the 4- D world of experience. How many dimensions are there that might constitute our actual physical universe? I certainly do not know and cannot perceive (like you). String-theory, the leading proposal for a “theory-of-everything” that is consistent with quantum physics, gravity and all the known mysteries of the universe, indicates that at 11 dimensions all of the equations resolve into seemingly perfect mathematical symmetries. So, perhaps.
I do know that there is an additional “dimension” available to our direct and immediate experience that is beyond the 4-D world of time and space. And this is the dimension of Consciousness itself. It is the dimension of our own conscious awareness – the knower of our thoughts and perceptions – That which is our ever-present sense of a timeless and non-contingent “Self”. For convenience I am designating this as “Dimension zero”. For in deep meditation we can “melt” effortlessly beyond time and space, melt beyond perception of the body and senses, melt beyond thought forms, ideas and concepts altogether. In meditation when our awareness rises in a new direction (neither up, down, left, right, forward or back) beyond time and sequence. We “melt” into the immediacy of the silent splendor of our own beingness. Beyond into the “sky of Consciousness”. Only there is the fullness and peace and aliveness of a being of Consciousness, not contingent upon the mind and senses. Only there is the nourishing joy that is called “Ananda”, a non-contingent timeless bliss of being. There is the fullness of experiencing unity with all of life everywhere. There is the knowledge of our own Self: as Consciousness alone, within Consciousness, by means of Consciousness. And in that the “dance” of this whole universe is magnificently taking place.
Learn and practice deep meditation. Go see for yourself.
Paul Van Camp MD, February 3, 2019