The Four Dimensions
Before we proceed we need to establish a foundation on where these thoughts lead. We will do a brief overview of the three dimensions that are readily accepted by everyone mainly because these are three dimensions that we see and experience in the world around us at all times.
The first dimension is simply a line from two points in space. For anything that can comprehend this line then they can traverse it from point to point. However, if the limit of their comprehension and understanding is only this line, then they are stuck in the first dimension.
Imagine a caterpillar crawling through a straw. They only have the option of moving either forward or backward in the straw and are stuck in a one dimensional space without the option of moving on a different plane.
The second dimension is the addition of another line that crosses the first. Now there are more options in directions that are available. If we imagine both lines continuing without end and the idea that more lines can freely cross these lines then we now have the second dimension.
So the caterpillar in the straw has come out the end and is now on a sheet of paper now it has the option of moving in two dimensions. It can take turns and even walk in a circle, but still lacks the option of moving up or down. It is unable to jump or fly so the third dimension does not exist for the caterpillar. If a bird flies over the caterpillar the caterpillar is unaware of the existence of the bird as it cannot be observed. So life in two dimensions allows movement forwards, backwards, side to side, diagonally, etc. but does not allow any vertical movement.
The third dimension adds the vertical axis and now the option of going up and down suddenly exists. So the caterpillar bored with two dimensional life finally decides to build it’s cocoon and metamorph into a butterfly. With the recent addition of some wings now the butterfly is able to experience all three spatial dimensions. The butterfly has all of the options before of moving forwards, back, etc. and now can fly up and down as it pleases.
We see and experience existence in the three spatial dimensions so it is fairly simple for us to comprehend and understand. We enjoy freedom of movement in all three dimensions.
The next dimension is also one that most of us are able to comprehend without too much difficulty. That is the of time. We experience time flowing in one direction much like the caterpillar experienced the first dimension by walking along the tightrope. Without the fourth dimension then everything would simply stand frozen eternally in time.
Without time, even with three other dimensions we would be forever stuck on a single point unable to move from place to place. An easy way to comprehend the usage of four dimensions would simply be to arrange a meeting with someone at the Observation deck at the Empire State building.
The first step would be to establish the location in two dimensions. So we have the address as 350 5th Avenue. The 350 establishes one dimension while 5th Avenue now establishes the second. For the third dimension it is the Observation deck located on the 102nd floor. The 102nd floor now gives us the third dimensional coordinate for the meeting.
So with three dimensions we are able to establish a location or place to meet, but still lack one final bit of information to make such a meeting possible which is the time of the meeting. By establishing the fourth dimension of when to meet, such as noon on the first of March, 2024 we now have all of the information that makes such a meeting possible.
So we can easily establish that we live and experience at least four different dimensions in our everyday lives. We interact with three dimensional objects and live in a three dimensional world and traverse it through the fourth dimension of time.