Today has been a bit slow, I’ve been sick since my return from Canada but my mind has been given a mental workout while I rest my physical state in this couch.
It started off with me having a couragous dogfight in the infinite beauty of space, only the stylus and the Nintendo DS in my hands being the flaming sword to smite all opposers. Pontificating to deaf ears about the duties of being a true Star Fox pilot (which I advice anyone that reads this to go to your local game store and purchase this game immediately), I calmly shut the game off and turn on the TV.
Comedy central, it seems, is playing Dogma.
Despite the rave reviews from many of my collegues, I had never been motivated to watch this movie. It could have been the religious context that might have put me off. Carpe diem, I thought – I’m never going to rent it anyways and I happened to catch the very beginning of the movie….why not? Nothing else is on.
And you know what? I liked the movie. It is as good as everyone says it is, maybe because it has that feel good feeling at the end of the movie. The whole catholic mythology (which, according to the movie, ticks God off when we call it mythology) was interesting as all the values of human morality was incorporated with even the actions of angels and well…seraphs, really.
What really struck me is the question our protagonist asks God in the end of the movie.
“Why are we here?” To which God (played suprisingly by Alanis Morissette, not a bad choice either) simply poked her in the nose and said, “Honk.”
I’m not a man of pious intellect yet somehow it made sense to me…this….honk. What if the idea of life is more than any material or emotional or token or achievement or whatever anyone’s reason to live but all can be rolled up into one single point. So miniscule and so large at the same time that we can’t ever fathom what life truly is and the only proof of any kind is our breath.
Of course, the scientific side of me revelled in the idea of religion only answering important questions by seeming to answer them. As though scripted, the doorbell rings and it’s a package that I’ve almost forgotten. Enclosed in this maple colored parcel, is a simple looking book, clad in white covers, called Imagining the Tenth Dimension. As people have said before, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” this piece of literature stands up to it. I’m assuming you expect this book to be some sort of geek and nerd text, but I tell you it is not. The content of this book is about String Theory, though one science nut can interpret some of the ideas in the book part science and part philosophy. I suppose one can’t help throwing the ideas of our own mortality when trying to explain to oneself about the creation of all things that exists to the beginning of the beginning to the infinite ends of all infinites.
I know not much about Catholicism so I can’t give a plot analysis of the movie but I’ll try my best to explain my take of the meaning of life through science and philosophy using….string theory. I’m sure you can find many essays about Dogma but seriously, when are you going to read anything about the meaning of life through String Theory?
First of all, you have to know what String Theory is about. We all know we are made of matter and matter is created by atoms which are created by sub-atomic particles created by hadrons, baryons, mesons created by quarks…..blah blah blah. It seems like it never ends right? So what are we made up of? This is the idea of String Theory. It is the theory that the harmonic resonance of vibrating superstrings happening in the tenth spatial dimension is what creates the most basic laws that define our reality. It creates everything that I have mentioned above to laws of gravity and light and time and so on. It is the energy created by the strings’ vibrations that converts into mass (Einstein’s E=mc^2).
We also know about at least up to the 4th dimension, and if not, I’m going to write a brief overview in a minute so keep your panties up. And according to String Theory, all of the 6 dimensions above the four are curled in themselves, unimaginably small and all around us. Before anything, quantum physics, string theory, and anything that I might mention isn’t as simple as I might explain they are. The topological construct of these topics are far beyond my own intelligence (I wouldn’t even know where to begin explaining something like branes or supersymmetry) so don’t take my word over decades of research. I’m just trying to promote the science. With that being said…..get ready to “peep the science” as I need to explain the Ten Dimensions to put by point across.
The first 4 dimensions should be pretty simple to explain as we can somewhat perceive it tangibly.
The Zero dimension is just a point. It has no definition, just a single point.
If one were to create another point and connect those two points, we created the First Dimension: a Line.
Another line that crosses that line and we have an X and Y axis – the Second Dimension: a Plane.
Now, we hit the Third Dimension by adding a Z axis to it.
Obviously, this is the easiest to understand as we live in this dimension. We know that in our world, anything in it has a width, height, and depth. A coordinate for the second dimension can be graphed as (x,y), right? Well, much like our dimension, I can tell you to go to 33rd street and 3rd avenue and I’m on the 3rd floor, which has both x, y, and z.
The Fourth Dimension is usually referred to as Time. I can tell you again that you can meet me at 33rd street and 3rd avenue on the 3rd floor at 3 o’clock, but that doesn’t really explain what the Fourth Dimension is. It is because of the fact that since we live on the third dimension, we can only really observe the higher dimensions as a cross section using 3rd dimension laws. If you were to truly to see yourself as a being of the 4th dimension, you would be a timeline of sorts. You can see your beginning as an embryo to your end as a corpse and you’re present self would be somewhere in the middle. Like I said, it’s hard to understand that fact so we only see cross sections of ourselves in the 4th dimension as aging.
You can see yourself age through the years in the 3rd dimension but you can see yourself born and die in the same instant in the 4th.
Now….5 and up.
Now take that timeline 4th dimension of yourself.
One would think that from your birth to your death is one straight line right? It’s not, and the simple way of explaining the Fifth Dimension is free choice. Depending on the choices you’ve made or other factors in your life, branching paths towards your death are created and taken.
Say instead of ordering chicken, you ordered steak. At the end of the meal, you were satisfied, but there was that path that you could have been satisfied or not by eating the chicken. Hell, there was that branching path that you might not have liked the steak either or the branching part of when Hell opened up and Lucifer comes out and congratulates you on ordering the steak as he ate at that restaurant before and he completely vouches for their steaks.
Who knows, right? That’s the 5th dimension.
…but what if you wanted to see what would have happened if you ate the chicken? Say you wanted to see where that would lead you. You’d have to travel back to the point where you made the decision, and follow that branch to see where it takes you.
It’s the concept of time travel, traveling back to a point of decision and making another and you ride that timeline to a different branch. You’d still be traveling along the 5th dimension by doing that.
The Sixth Dimension is when you’re able to hop through each possible branch of every branch at anytime.
It’s a hard concept to perceive but think about this: a 2 dimensional world (just imagine a piece of paper) and an object was resting on the edge of the world. If we take that flat world, like a piece of paper, and we fold or bend the world so that the edge touches another edge and moved that object to the other edge, those living on that 2 Dimensional world would have seen that object disappear from one end of the world to another. The inhabitants aren’t affected by the actual bending of their world, as it’s always still 2 dimensional but that fold we made created an instantaneous jump.
Now, if we could fold the different timeline branches together so they were touching, we would have the power to jump through all possible endings for our timeline, hence the 6th dimension.
Then, take all of the 6th dimension and just crunch it to a single point, stating that every possible end to that timeline is in that point. Draw another point and state that the point you just drew is also every possible end to a completely different timeline is in that point. This signifies all possible beginnings to all possible ends.
The Seventh Dimension is what we call Infinity.
Now you probably are asking, “well, what the fuck man, if it’s Infinity, how the hell are we going to create more dimensions, you dipshit?”
To which I reply that you should go play hide-and-go-fuck-yourself.
Okei, maybe not like that, but seriously, what is past Infinity, right?
Well, we only conceptualize infinity to our universe. What if the universe was created from something else than the Big Bang? What if God actually did create another universe?
We don’t know this yet the fact that the universe could have been made through different means brings about other Infinites.
Much like the 5th dimension of branching decisions for one particular timeline, we how have branching full timelines of different Infinities. This is the Eighth Dimension.
And also like the 6th dimension, if we were to fold the 8th dimension so that all possible infinites are close enough that we can hope through each, we have reached the Ninth Dimension.
Now take all of those infinite possibilities of infinite possibilities and state it as just one point: The Tenth Dimension.
This is where it ends…
…as where do we go after all possible infinites is easily accessible through all possible infinites creating all possible infinites of those possible infinites?
To which it ends as just….a point…..like the Zero Dimension, to which could be stated that there is an infinite amount of infinite recycling dimensions. We could just be just part of a Zero Dimension of another set of 10 dimensions, so on and so forth.
Poetically speaking, since the tenth dimension encompassess all possible realities, it is much like the color black of the color prism.
Every possible vibrant color and shade and hue is absorbed to become just black.
Almost like a void.
It’s uninteresting, has no meaning, no idea, no depth, no self.
Only when we view lower dimensions do we start seeing the beauty of the colors. Any dimension lower then 10 can only be viewed as a cross section of it’s true self; but maybe that’s where the answer lies to the question of, “Why are we here?“
Maybe the answer to it all is not in the infinite void of “black” color but the fact that from all the possibilities of all infinite possibilities…
We are here in this specific one…
…that makes life so colorful.
Even with all the possible outcomes, I’m glad I’m in this one because I got to meet you.