Friday, June 19, 2015

Adventures in the 4th Dimension

3-D movies have pretty much plateaued in popularity these days. Still, I occasionally find animated films entertaining with computer generated characters and sequences enjoyably popping out of the screen.  Wouldn't it be even cooler to explore a dimension deeper than the three we know and love.

Watching the Past Happen Far Far Away
(The Eye Nebula)
The not so surprising 4th dimension I shall discuss is "time!"  (sorry fans of hypercubes and tardises)  Alas, I think this ephemeral dimension is often surprisingly overlooked.  Time, though we measure it and keep our calendars by it every day, may not actually exist, being be an artifact of matter's extensive properties including it's three dimensionality, temperature, conductivity...well you get the idea.

Nevertheless, the world around us would be pretty dull if the temporal dimension was static.  In this "frozen time" extreme, not only would things not be moving, but light and sound and all of our sensing inputs would be absent, creating quite the dreary nothingness.

Which is to realize: isn't it just grand that we are able to swim (dance, sneeze and blink too, among other things!) in the great sea of the Universe.  Particularly, as humans, we wield the ability to research the present, investigate the past, and speculate about the future!

Investigating the Past Up Close
(Great Great Grandma Johnston's Rosebush,
Aunt Flossie and Me)
What a pleasure to recognize our bodies are comprised of molecules which were forged in supernovae and formerly accreted into a certain planetary body billions of years ago. Patiently those molecules were baked and stirred by earthly and solar forces until DNA like structures arose and began sending their messages of complexity forward on the 4th dimensional communication lines.

And here we are today, a product of evolutionary and societal selection. Looking forward to the generations ahead, we imagine creative outcomes beyond simple survival.  Perhaps the present is all that truly exists, but with the time in mind, meditating on the past, present and future have never been so amazing!

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