Me: OK, I thought of a few. you said "which perceive other dimensions as being aspects of time." I was wondering if you explain a littler further what you mean by "other dimensions being aspects of time"?
Also, you said," looked at from higher dimensional spaces, otherwise discrete objects become connected as aspects of one, larger object." Is there any way you can explain how these discrete objects become one? Is there an easy way for a layman to grasp this kind of thing? Thanks a lot
Matt: In order to understand how spacial dimensions can be packed into time, it's necessary to think about how space and time appear to the consciousness of a lower animal. First, take a snail. Snails have a very simple sensorium, as well as a very bare-bones nervous system (if I can be forgiven that phrase for a boneless animal.) Now, to a snail, the world it perceives is very small: essentially, only that which is immediately in front of, and immediately behind it. In essence, it perceives the world to be fundamentally one-dimensional, a line along which it travels. Of course, we can look at it and see that it's actually travelling within three dimensions, but the snail can't see that; to the snail, the other two spacial dimensions exist only as aspects of time. That is, while it can encounter other aspects of an object, it doesn't grasp the unity of those aspects, but experiences each aspect as a stand-alone.
Now, take a higher animal, say, a dog. Here the discussion gets a little more involved. Dogs - or any other animal, besides a human - are unable to form abstract concepts, because the formation of such concepts requires language. They can sense things, and they can form impressions, but that's the limit. This means that the third dimension - which can exist, cognitively, only as a concept - is fundamentally beyond their grasp. If you think about it, the third dimension is actually invisible; you can't ever see it. All the eyes can see is a two-dimensional image of reality. In the human mind, of course, that 2D spread is interpolated into three dimensions, something we can do only because we can form concepts, ie in our mind there is the concept of tree: we might see many trees, all different, but all are an example of the type 'tree', whereas for a dog or any other animal, every tree is one-of-a-kind, to be treated as an individual.
My own understanding of this is somewhat imperfect, so it could be that I'm not explaining it too well. I'll direct you to the source, then, the Russian philosopher Ouspensky:
You can find an extended excerpt from one of Ouspensky's books at that link.
At any rate, when I say that higher dimensions are packed into time, what I'm basically talking about is perception. Lower animals perceive fewer dimensions, because the higher dimensions (ie 2nd and 3rd) which we perceive, we do so by virtue of cognitive faculties which they lack. Following this chain of reasoning, it's easy to speculate that there are yet higher levels of awareness, as far beyond us as we are beyond snails or dogs, which allow the perception of higher dimensions, dimensions which appear to us be aspects of time.
Now for the second question. It's helpful to understand a bit about higher dimensional thinking, here. Diagrams would be useful, but difficult in an email, so I'll do what I can. Now, imagine that you're only able to perceive two dimensions, ie, you're a flat creature on a flat world, a living diagram on a piece of paper. If someone jabs a fork into the paper, what you'll see is four suddenly appearing line segments, apparently separate, but linked through the 3rd dimension (which is of course invisible to you.) Essentially, any group of lower-dimensional objects can be linked through higher dimensions, while leaving their lower-dimensional appearance unaltered.
Another useful conceptual tool is the idea of the wormhole, which I'm sure you've encountered due to its ubiquity in SF. What a wormhole does is link two points in space-time through a higher dimension. Togo back to our two dimensional world, say we made two little holes on opposite ends of a strip of paper. To a 2D entity, going from one hole to the other would take a certain amount of time; however, the paper can be easily folded through the 3rd dimension, such that the two
holes now touch. Of course this folding is imperceptible to the 2D entity, but if it could locate the hole it would be able to cross over to the other side of the paper instantaneously. The same logic applies at higher dimenions: lower dimensions can always be folded and connected through higher dimensions.
Now, I wasn't talking about wormholes, exactly; rather, I was alluding to the concept that discrete particles in 3D space (electrons, protons, etc) may well be projections into the 3rd dimension of a single shape in a higher dimension. Maybe the 4th, maybe the 5th, maybe the 13th. At this point, with what we know of science, it's impossible to say with any certainty.