The universe is riddled with mysteries that simply don’t fit into three spatial dimensions, including blackholes, warped space-time, quantum tunnelling, dark matter and dark energy. So it is highly likely that we live in a multidimensional reality but are only experientially aware of three of them.
The idea of extra spatial dimensions was initially conceived in the 1920s with Kaluza-Klein Theory, which is a unified field theory built around the idea of one extra, compact or curled up, spatial dimension. Since then, more advanced multidimensional theories have been developed, the most popular of which is string theory.
From a distance (or from the macro-perspective) a string is a just a 1-dimensional line, but up close (or from the micro-perspective) it has a cylindrical surface, which is a second “curled up” dimension that was not apparent from the macro-perspective. This principle is typically explained with the following analogy… To a tightrope walker (the macro-perspective) the rope is one-dimensional, because she can only walk forwards and backwards along it. But to an ant (the micro-perspective) the same rope is two dimensional because he can also walk left and right, around its curved surface.
That simple analogy helps us to understand how scale and curling are related to extra spatial dimensions, but the analogy is limited to only one extra dimension. To understand how the principles of scale and curling apply to multiple extra dimensions we need a different analogy…
The Twisted String Analogy
If you twist a taut piece of string, it coils up to form a thicker string (as per the image below). If you do the same with that piece of string, it will form an even thicker string, and so on, and so on. With each subsequent order of twisting, the string becomes more rigid and less free to move or vibrate.
So let’s combine this twisted string idea with string theory and its 6 extra dimensions that are curled up inside each other:
- Begin by imaging a string that has undergone 6 orders of twisting (one for each of the extra dimensions), and that string is formed into a “quantum pixel” (please read the previous article on Quantum Pixels if you haven’t already done so). Because the string of the quantum pixel is thick and rigid, it can only vibrate in 3 spatial dimensions, so it can only manifest reality with 3 spatial dimensions.
- But if we uncoil one order of twisting and make a pixel from that thinner more flexible string, it can vibrate in 4 spatial dimensions, so it can manifest a subtler order (or 2nd plane) of reality with 4 spatial dimensions.
- If we uncoil a second order of twisting and make a pixel from that even thinner, even more flexible string, it can vibrate in 5 spatial dimensions, so it can manifest a subtler order (or 3rd plane) of reality with 5 spatial dimensions.
- If we continue the untwisting process… the 4th plane has 6 spatial dimensions, the 5th plane has 7 spatial dimensions, the 6th plane has 8 spatial dimensions, and the 7th plane has 9 spatial dimensions (or 10 dimensions if we include the time dimension).
Important: Uncoiling the strings doesn’t create the extra spatial dimensions. Reality is inherently multidimensional but our experience of its multidimensional nature is limited by the multiple orders of twisting of the strings in physical-plane quantum pixels. This limits the vibrational freedom of the strings and pixels to only 3 spatial dimensions. The less-twisted strings of higher planes of reality can vibrate more freely so can manifest more spatial dimensions of the inherently multidimensional reality.
It’s Not Just a Matter of Scale
Reality isn’t just composed of ever-smaller units that all belong to the same order of reality, which is why physics struggles with anything subtler than the physical. Each higher dimension or plane is a fundamentally different order of reality due to differences in subtlety, scale, dimensionality and temporality:
- Subtlety: Subtlety and implicate-ness are one end of a continuum with materiality and explicate-ness at the other. A unified field of quantum pixels manifests our 3D physical reality, and similar fields of subtler pixels manifest the higher dimensions or planes of reality. They can’t be directly detected by physical means, but their effects are evident in the laws of physics, the fundamental forces and everything that physicists can’t explain from a purely physical perspective.
- Scale: The pixels of higher planes are smaller than pixels of the physical plane, and higher definition pixels manifest a higher definition (or subtler) reality.
- Dimensionality: You might think that enfolded dimensions or planes would be smaller and less spacious, but the opposite is true. Each level of untwisting results in more spatial freedom, so each higher plane has much more spatial volume than the preceding one.
- Temporality: Smaller pixels have faster refresh rates, so time passes faster on each higher plane.
A Continuum of Implicate-ness & Explicate-ness
The different dimensions/planes aren’t separate like the shelves of a bookcase. The higher dimensions/planes are enfolded within the lower, so they all interpenetrate, influence each other and operate as a holistic universal field.
According to David Bohm, “the implicate order has to be extended into a multi-dimensional reality.” And, “In principle this reality is one unbroken whole, including the entire universe with all its fields and particles. Thus we have to say that [reality] enfolds and unfolds in a multidimensional order, the dimensionality of which is effectively infinite.”
So there isn’t just one implicate order and one explicate order with a clear boundary or event horizon between them. Each higher plane is implicate from the perspective of the lower plane, and within each plane there is a more implicate/subtle end and a more explicate/material end, as previously described in The Two Sides of Reality. So the terms implicate, higher dimension and higher plane are more-or-less interchangeable.
The Esoteric Perspective
Esoteric cosmology has always described the universe as being comprised of seven planes of existence, and the nine spatial dimensions of string theory seems to support this. Esoterics also describes the seven planes and being composed of seven subplanes, which reflect the fractal or “as above, so below” nature of reality. The subtle-material continuum that exists between the seven subplanes of a particular plane fractally corresponds to the implicate-explicate continuum that exists between the seven planes of reality.
The pixels that manifest the fundamental “atoms” of each plane equate to the 7th or highest subplane, and is referred to as the atomic subplane. The lower 6 subplanes are constructed from combinations of the fundamental “atoms” and are referred to as “molecular” subplanes. Each lower subplane is progressively denser and more explicate than the preceding one. On the physical plane, the highest 4 subplanes are quantum or etheric, and the lowest 3 subplanes broadly equate to gaseous, liquid and solid physical matter.
Each atomic (7th) subplane is the “event horizon” between the implicate order (the plane above) and the explicate order (the molecular subplanes below).
Our Simplified Experience of the Totality of Reality
The universe is a multidimensional totality that spans at least seven orders or planes of reality, most of which are utterly inconceivable to us due to their vastly different scales, frequencies, subtleties and dimensionalities. The 3D physical reality that we experience is just a narrow band of the multidimensional totality. Also, our experience of that narrow band of reality is greatly simplified, which is the result of biological and evolutionary limitations…
Our physical brains consume lots of energy, so they need to be used efficiently. Using more “brain power” to give us a more comprehensive experience of reality just wasn’t viable from an evolutionary perspective. Our prehistoric ancestors would never have survived times of hardship if their brains required more calories, so the human race would have died out. This biological limitation means that we only experience as much of reality that we require for our on-going physical survival.