Saturday, March 08, 2008

Imagination and the fifth dimension, by J A G U A R I T O

Ah, I always love a bit of theoretical physics! - particularly for its "mindfuck" qualities, if you'll pardon the French. I discovered this video entitled Imagining the Tenth Dimension (see below) courtesy of my younger brother who is in his second year of a science degree and who is also interested in the philosophy of science. As far as the content of this video is concerned, I think I'm only convinced up until the fifth dimension. If we take the idea of "virtual" to describe all of those possibilities in a given set-up that remain un-actualised, it is precisely this which, in the video, is given the name of the "fifth dimension". The first four dimensions (height, width, depth, and duration) all exist in the realm of the "actual", but the fifth dimension onwards exist only in the realm of the virtual. I've thought a lot about the virtual in previous theorisations, but until now, I'd never really thought of it as a "dimension", in the sense that height, width, depth, and duration are. However, I think I like the formulation a lot, and feel it will be incredibly helpful for me in my work! For instance: So many of us remain trapped within four dimensions, but to become cognizant of the fifth dimension is surely to become aware of the fact that what "is" is only one among infinite possibilities that exist in the virtual, and that at any moment, any one of those possibilities can be actualised through a combination of chance and will. It allows us an appreciation that what "is" is not necessarily what must be, and that things might always be otherwise. Reality, then, becomes reconceived as a dynamic process, rather than in terms of static being. As activists, it is precisely the fifth dimension that is called upon in our imaginations as we both re-imagine how the world might be otherwise and struggle to make that imagined better world a reality! The battle-cry of the World Social Forum says it all: "Another World is Possible!" I would contend that the imagination emerges as central here, seeing that it is precisely the faculty of the imagination which we employ in order to behold that which does not yet exist in actuality. I would add that the imagination becomes central in another sense too: Let's say we liberate the concept of the imagination from the human psyche and use it to denote the very realm of the virtual; that is, the fifth dimension from which everything emerges or actualises. That which we know and which we take for reality is but one manifestation of an infinite number of possible worlds, and the realm of the actual (i.e. the so-called "real world") is continually transmutating through relay loops back and forth between the fifth dimension. If we apply the term "imagination" to this realm of the virtual, then we might say that reality itself is imaginative! Anyway, here's the video. Enjoy!

Awesome. Thank you - as I have also linked to the video. And thank your brother for me - if I wasn't so selfish (by focusing my career as is the most financially beneficial) I would absolutely be a scientist. I am a vet and am regularly thanked for my local contribution - contributers to science - are globally beneficial. Far exceeding my contribution. Appreciation is prominent and you are linked.

Hi Alice, I'm the person who created that video, thanks for posting it. Your thoughts about how this way of imagining ties into an activist mindset are right on the money, my compliments! I have touched upon this idea a number of times in my Imagining the Tenth Dimension blog. My project also has 26 songs about the nature of reality attached to it, and one of the ones that relates very specifically to what you're discussing here is called "What Was Done Today" (if you type that phrase or "Song 15 of 26" into google you should find it quite easily.

Thanks so much for your insight! I will be posting a link to your blog entry in my blog's "Interesting Links" section.

Rob Bryanton
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hi Rob!

You sound like such a cool person! I have to give creit where credit is due. Marco Hewitt (J A G U A R I T O) is the author of that post...I just love his writing and he was living near me here in No Cal for a while - he is BRILLIANT! I'm going to his blog right now to forward your message..

All Good Things to you!
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