The Practical Experience of Higher Dimensional States of Consciousness
“Arjuna saw in that universal form unlimited mouths and unlimited eyes … there were many scents smeared over His body … hundreds of thousands of suns rose up at once into the sky … Arjuna could see in the universal form of the Lord the unlimited expansions of the universe situated in one place although divided into many, many thousands.” Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 11 verses 10–13
In this article, we explore the practical application of meditating on the geometry and mathematics of higher dimensions as a means to understand the mysteries of the heavens, the physics behind the fundamental structure of the universe, and how our minds may have evolved to ‘tune in’ to this using consciousness. The author suggests a simple way to walk around higher dimensional spaces since these spaces have been built and are easily found and are accessible all over the world.
Religious description of higher dimensional experience
“Small? No, I could live in a walnut shell and feel like the king of the universe.” Hamlet to Rosencrantz, in Hamlet, Shakespeare (written 1599–1600)
The experience of higher dimensional states in religion is commonly displayed in sacred buildings by using symmetries in their design. Symmetry itself as a concept is one ‘gateway’ to understanding and visualizing higher dimensions.
Symmetry is a theme alluded to in religion in other ways. It is believed to be critical to the design of the heavens, much like that seen in a kaleidoscope. The ‘design’ for Earth (or rather us as individuals) is to become symmetrical with, or mirror, or become closer to these ideals of the heavens. The liturgical year is symmetrical with the Christian structure of time spiralling towards union with God. The sacred architecture and imagery of all faiths usually displays many forms of symmetry (see the Vatican above and Samarkand Mosque below). In the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 15:15–28 describes the spiritual symmetry of the death of man, the resurrection of Christ, and the stepping down of Christ from next to God in heaven at the end of time. 1 Corinthians describes this as “a perfect ending”. Examples of symmetry in Christian art can be seen here.
Supersymmetry is an even higher concept that can be applied to many disciplines. In geometry, multiple symmetries can be “wrapped up” in the shape of an object. An example of this is the twisted Solomonic columns of the Bernin Baldachin (above). A cylinder has continuous circular symmetry; when twisted further symmetries are added, and then more again by placing four of them around the baldachin. This creates a symbolic space of infinite symmetries at the heart of the Basilica, the spiritual centre of the Roman Catholic Church. In nature supersymmetry is found in the design of DNA so that as much information as possible can be packed into the smallest space. DNA is literally packed into higher dimensional space.
Higher-dimensional concepts in religion can also be found in: the Major Chakras of Hinduism; Ezekiel’s vision of God and His higher angels in the heavens; The Apocalypse of Abraham as he looks down after being lifted above the heavens; The Heavenly Palaces of the Shekinah (dwelling place) of the Merkavah mysteries in Judaism; descriptions of the Prophet Muhammed’s first revelation when he saw Gabriel whichever way he looked; Metatron, alluded to as Ezra (Judaism) or Uzair (Islam) as a gateway; the Ascension of Jesus ascending into heaven as seen by the third person by eleven of his apostles; in Acts 8;39–40, when Philip is transported or ‘teleported’ to Azotus.
Higher dimensions in physics
In nature, we see the extension of circular symmetry in 3 dimensions in the physics of light. In 4 dimensions symmetries are found in the mathematics of space-time, such that the passage of time in the laws of physics can move both forwards and backwards (and stay still). In five-dimensional physics Kaluza-Klein theory attempts to unify gravity and electromagnetism by proposing that space-time is curled up in a tiny radius (perhaps so small that you could line up 600,000,000,000,000,000,000 along the diameter of a single electron). In theory, a particle in that dimension would move a short distance only to return to its initial position in doing so. You can use your imagination to picture the smaller size of even higher dimensions.
String theory attempts to mathematically describe general relativity and quantum mechanics in ten dimensions, believing that these extra six dimensions are ‘compactified’ to form a six-dimensional space. Most recently, ‘loop quantum gravity theory’ suggests that time and space are actually granular. At source, time and space are composed of finite-sized loops that are impossible to divide at very small levels. The scale of these loops is in the order of the Plank length, which is 0.000000000000000000000000000000000001 metres.
Higher dimensions in geometry
“If you have ever studied geometry, you remember that by a course of reasoning, Euclid proves that all the angles in a triangle are equal to two right angles,” Abraham Lincoln
Many of the above theories started out using geometry to unpick the basic principles of our world. People have often thought of geometrical principles as heavenly principles. From Euclid’s Elements (c. 300 BC) to the current mathematic study of non-Euclidean space, these abstract ideas have helped solve many seemingly non-related problems. Abraham Lincoln famously carried a copy of Euclid’s Elements with him all the time. It is believed that Euclid’s first axiom: “Things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other”, helped him start the long process of first abolishing slavery of African-Americans and (less successfully) ushering equal rights for them. At the time, many people could not accept the idea that African-Americans were ‘the same’ as white people, so instead, he gave them the same rights as white people under the law. This application of geometric law onto legal law is an excellent example of the practical use of the principle of ‘the shape of heaven (as found in the study of geometry) being determined by the needs of the earth’.
In 2 dimensions, there are an infinite number of regular polytopes (polygons): triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon, heptagon … circle. In 3 dimensions there can be only 5 regular polytopes, the so-called Platonic Solids (plus sphere). These are tetrahedron, octahedron, cube, icosahedron, dodecahedron.
The geometry of 4 dimensions appears a little strange in that more regular polytopes can exist here than in both 3 dimensions and higher dimensions (6 in fact). We also get odd moving shapes like the duocylinder, Clifford torus, and spherinder. Contemplating some of these shapes can produce exciting experiences.
In 5-dimensional geometry and upwards, only 3 regular polytopes (other than the n-ball) can exist. These are the simplex series (tetrahedron), the cross-polytope series (octahedron), and the cube series (tesseracts). The volume of higher dimensional cubes increases exponentially to infinity, but the volume of the simplices, cross-polytopes and n-ball all vanish into nothing, as if into their own black holes — more on practical and spiritual application of this in other articles.
The n-ball has exciting properties that we explore in greater detail elsewhere, except to say that its volume maximizes in the 5th dimension, surface area in the 7th dimension and (crucially) the ratio of these two becomes negative in the 6th dimension (acting like a ‘ladder’ connecting the 5th and 7th dimensions) before all of these variables then vanishes into nothing in much higher dimensions (below).
Symmetry breaking: the Higgs Boson and the descent of the Spirit
“Hidden in what seems like empty space … are the very elements that allow for our existence. By demonstrating that, [the discovery of the Higgs Boson at the Large Hadron Collider] will change our view of ourselves and our place in the universe. Surely that is the hallmark of great music, great literature, great art … and great science.” Professor Lawrence Krauss (2012)
In physics, symmetry breaking is a phenomenon in which small fluctuations acting on a system crossing a critical point decide the systems fate by determining which branch of a bifurcation is taken. This leads to a more stable situation that requires a lower energy state that is more ordered (below). Symmetry breaking plays a significant role in orderly outcomes of self-organization and the common principles behind many similar patterns in nature.
A ball located initially at the top of a central hill is unstable. A small perturbation causes it to fall to one of two stable wells (L or R).
Now there are two seemingly unlinked principles here that requires the suspension of belief and some reason. On the one hand, the mathematics of the Higgs field (the quantum excitation which produces the Higgs boson), and on the other, the asymmetry of the longitudinal axis of Lichfield Cathedral. We will see later why it is thought that some believe this northerly ‘kink’ may also represent the difference between the ideal and the natural, creation from nothing (ex nihilo), the descent of the spirit into the flesh of man and the tuning of the musical octaves amongst other things.
The Higgs field is somewhat like a weather temperature map, with values at every point in space, with components that form a complex symmetry. The field’s ‘Mexican hat-shaped’ (or champagne bottle) potential has a non-zero value everywhere, including in the vacuum of empty space. This underlies the mechanism by which some particles can acquire mass. The Mexican-hat shape of the field also means that below extremely high energies, such as those produced in the Large Hadron Collider, and during the first picoseconds (0.000000000001 secs) of the Big Bang, the Higgs field has the interesting property of having less energy to settle into a non-zero value than a zero value. This non-zero value breaks the symmetry of the electroweak interaction (two of the four fundamental forces, though at the time of writing, a fifth force appears to have been discovered at the LHC) everywhere. This symmetry breaking is required for atoms and other structures to form and nuclear reactions in stars, such as our Sun. The Higgs field is responsible for this symmetry breaking.
Now the west-east kink in Lichfield Cathedral is an architectural breaking of symmetry with many potential explanations. The most obvious explanation is that as the Cathedral was built on a sandstone hill this kink allowed for greater stability of the building. On a more romantic and speculative level it can be seen as a metaphor for the builders’ understanding the universal principles of symmetry breaking and by extension, in history, the physics and mathematics of the Higgs mechanism.
One theological basis is the tilt to the right of Christ’s head on the cross. More esoteric reasons are: it is the ratio describing, in higher dimensional space, the difference between the ideal (the heavens) and the real (the earth). The author speculates that the underlying geometry of the building is 6 dimensional and that the observer walking through it adds 4 dimensions of space-time to complete the 10 dimensions of its meaning; in this way it also represents the creation, a continuous sustaining, of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1) as seen from the Crossing; it is a ‘Pythagorean comma’ describing the difference between the pure mathematical calculation of the musical scale (Pythagorean tuning) and its adjustment by the ear to correct this (Diatonic tuning); it represents the descent of the spirit at the time of conception or birth into the embryo as symbolised by the astronomical alignment of the building at Sunrise on St Chad’s day in 669 AD (the head of Aries, the star Hamal in particular, with Venus to the north-east). The symbolism of this astrology is discussed in detail elsewhere. At the west end of the building, we have the coming together of the two sexes in the male and female spires.
Furthermore, when one meditates on the concept of symmetry in 4th-dimensional space (space-time), we can see that by using geometric logic, time can be described as something that is at right angles to everything and everyone in 3 dimensional space. This is a more abstract way of perceiving time, rather than just something we measure with clocks, and indicates the fundamental principle discovered by Einstein that time is relative. Reflecting again in even higher dimensions, we can see that all things perceived by all things are also always at right angles to each other, meaning that they are all equal to each other. This is why at source we are all the same, and why the Golden Rule of morality, and the dimension of morality, is a Natural and not man made phenomenon. This is both a mathematical geometric proof and spiritual insight at the same time.
Current research and technological developments are using the principles of higher dimensions to test the quantum entanglement of photons and the ability of single photons to carry higher orders of information. It is an exciting time to be alive when our science closely parallels our spirituality.
A model of consciousness as higher dimensional neural networks resonating with supersymmetric strings
“For bedtime reading, I usually curl up with a good monograph on quantum physics or string theory, my speciality. But since I was a child, I have been fascinated by science fiction. My all-time favourite is ‘The Foundation Trilogy’ by Isaac Asimov
Various fields of science are moving towards an understanding of consciousness, particularly the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness. When this is fully understood the author believes that everything will change. Indeed, it may be the most significant discovery we ever make, even more so than discovering life on other planets.
One particularly interesting theory is that brain neural networks, which make up higher dimensional circuits, may resonate by some induction mechanism at very small scales with strings. Strings are tiny vibrating entities that make up subatomic and atomic particles described by physics in superstring theory. The mathematics of superstring theory is 10 dimensional. This theory of consciousness put simply, says that our naturally occurring multidimensional arrays of brain neurones ‘resonate’ with these strings at orders of magnitude similar to the Plank length (0.0000000000000000000000000000000000161255 metres). The theory suggests that the brain itself has evolved to perform this very function so that consciousness may have been ‘switched on’ in this way. It is a point in evolution that has allowed the Universe to look back at itself. Similar neuronal arrays are found in many animals throughout nature. Whether the neurons act as these ‘antennae’ is still a matter for debate, but microtubules are one suggested mechanism. Microtubules are the ‘skeleton’ of cells and have diverse functions. They are themselves cylindrical, and so share multiple symmetries.
When examining the relative sizes of what might be involved here, the figures get interesting. Making the assumption of comparison (and yes, the author agrees this is a big assumption), we can look at the proton’s size compared to the Plank length. If a Plank length is increased to the size of a man, then a similarly enlarged proton would be approximately 100,000 light-years across, the size of the Milky Way galaxy. This gives you an idea of how small a Plank length really is. Is it possible that an ‘induction’ effect could occur over such a large distance? If the path of our whole Solar System is affected by the distant black hole at the centre of our galaxy 50,000 light-years away, then it is clearly possible. In addition, if microtubules do turn out to be the ‘antennae’ that pick up these signals, there are so many of them, and in every cell, and intertwined in so many symmetries, that this might help them act as powerful ‘antennae’.
Practical application to experience higher (inner) dimensions of space
“The kingdom of heaven is within you; and whosoever shall know himself shall find it.” Ancient Egyptian Proverb
The author believes that the Gothic design of some Cathedrals is an attempt to describe 6-dimensional space in stone. 4 additional dimensions of space-time are provided by the worshipper (this is discussed elsewhere) as they pass through the building. And so, the spiritual function of the Cathedral, is to elevate the conscious experience to 10 dimensions as you walk and pray inside its space. The spiritual ‘reality’ of these 10 dimensions is discussed elsewhere, but found perhaps most clearly in the ancient mysticism of Judaism, the Kabbalah.
The author has found that by experiencing and studying the beauty and detail of Lichfield Cathedral, he has come to understand things more clearly and appreciate the simpler things that life has to give. With this in mind, wherever you are, there are sacred buildings designed for all faiths with similar ideas that may open your mind to these simplicities. The author would recommend most heartedly that you visit them, wherever and whenever you are to share in this experience.
Dr Nick Stafford
Exert from ‘Eye of Heaven. Lichfield Cathedral a Theory of Everything. Published by Unicordia Forest Publishing UK.
The ideas expressed in these articles are pure speculation and the author makes no claim of truth in any of them.
Baldachin of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City, 6 April 2009, with thanks to Matthias Kabel
Graphs of volumnes and surface areas of n-spheres of radius 1. With thanks to Cmglee.
Higgs Field potential Mexican-hat graph with thanks to Gonis.
Symmetry breaking diagram with thanks to Tigraan.
Neurones, ‘Reseau de neurones humains’ by ‘Else If Then’ with thanks to Wikimedia Commons.
All other photography is by the author.