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(3) The Disputed Fourth Dimension

You know what I love about nerds the most? Their willingness to argue. God, I love a good debate almost as much as I love a good night spent sipping wine with a special someone. Almost.

And while Einstein himself thought of time as a dimension of space-time, others dispute it. I will not go into the contra arguments, mostly because I just don't understand where they are coming from. Einstein's argument is simple: One cannot move through space, without moving through time as well. I think, based on my limited understanding, that the deniers of time as a dimension, dispute it purely because we cannot go back in time, only forward. Pfff! What a limited 3D view of time.

Let's get one thing straight: We live in all 11 dimensions at once. We only observe 3 of them consciously, and are trapped in a single trajectory of the fourth, that doesn't mean we don't exist in the rest of them, just because we have no freedom of movement in them. That is what makes us mortal, after all. And what a gift, mortality is!

So whether you think of time as a dimension or not, this will decide if you live in a 10 or 11 dimensional universe. That is THE disputed dimension. Many people who's knowledge dwarfs mine a thousand times over, would dispute time as a dimension. I still think they are wrong. See, they may be smart, but they lack our imagination.

In order to understand time as a dimension, we must imagine ourselves as an immortal being, capable of living outside the boundaries of the universe. Esoteric! I know. Blasphemous even, but I'm in good relations with God, and It says it's OK to imagine oneself as a creator. Even the Bible says we were made in the image of the Creator. Creators ourselves being, this is our God given right, despite what the too mortal Vatican has to say on the matter.

SO! An immortal being, unbound by time and space, floating through the infinite universe, we stumble upon a pale blue planet called Dirt, by its inhabitants. We isolate a single being on this planet, her name is Doe. As an immortal being unbound by time and space, we can see Doe in its completion.

You see, as mortals trapped in the 4th dimension of time, we can only observe that dimension one moment at a time in a singe direction. Kind of like measuring the length of a cube, 1 centimetre at a time, without being able to go back even a millimetre. Did you miscount or add another centimetre? Welp, you can't go back to verify, you can only go forward.

But as an infinite being, we can look backwards in time just as simply as you and I can measure backwards in length, height or depth. Actually, we don't even need to start at the beginning, we can start observing an object from the middle or even the end going backwards. Is this getting too abstract? Have another breath of fresh air and let it sink in.

So, infinite and unbound as we are, we look at our little Doe, and she has her own life, full of emotions, turmoil, and most importantly: DECISIONS!

She has made all of those important decisions and her life is well spent. She is dead now. Boo hoo. But us, we can see her whole life at once. From the moment she was a young Doe to her very last moments as a wise Doe elder. Every turn, every struggle and every decision, all laid out in front of us at once. Yes, she can only observe her own life one moment at a time, but we are not bound by those limits of space-time. We can see it all at once. Many scientists like to metaphorise this as a time worm. Ewww! I know, but it makes sense. We start small, grow big in the middle and then shrink by the end. If a person's entire life was to be displayed as a static image, it would look like a worm, with an embryo at the beginning, and a shrivelled old husk at the end. The best part in the middle.

I offer a more elegant metaphor. That of a vinyl or CD. Imagine the centre of the vinyl is Doe's birth, going into her first steps, her graduation by minute 2, and her death happening at the end of the vynil on minute 10. You as an immortal being have the power to listen to, or observe, this vinyl as many times as you want. You can even start it in the middle, or play it in reverse. And your observation of Doe's track, does not affect her life in the slightest. The same way, you listening to an actual vinyl record, does not change the track in the slightest. The information is there, permanent, regardless of what you as the listener do with the vinyl, you cannot change the nature of the song.

Nor does your ability, as a higher dimensional creature, to listen to Doe's vinyl, or my vinyl or the trillions of vinyls that planet Dirt has to offer, make you qualified enough to make your own. This is what makes our life better than those of the highest dimensional creatures, including God itself. None of them have a vinyl, only we can create these vynils. We are the music in their all-knowing life, and this is why even the angels envied the humans in the Bible. Because we are music to them. Mortal as we may be, they want what we experience. But they can never make music like us, because of their foresight. How can one be surprised, when one knows what is coming, for ever and ever? And if one cannot be surprised, one cannot feel. Not fear, not envy, nor anger and equally not pride, joy nor the holiest of holiest, the beginning of life: love. Immortality versus feelings. Feeling special yet? Chosen? Someone's favourite, despite all the plagues in the world?

This is the fourth dimension: TIME. Our inability to move backwards in this dimension is both our limitation, and our gift. And our limitations do not define the universe. Time is a dimension. One we are stuck in. And us being stuck in this dimension, does not, in turn, make time less of a dimension.

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