Meet Mr. and Mrs. DVD. They are a well-rounded pair, but they don’t know it. When they look at each other all they see is a straight line. If they could move around, and circle each other, looking at each other from any direction, it would be the same. Flat, straight lines.
I, however, am a higher power to Mr. and Mrs. DVD. (I actually created them.) I can see them as flat lines, but I can also see their perfect roundness. Mr. and Mrs. DVD can’t even comprehend the idea of roundness.
I’m reading Flatland by Edwin Abbott. It’s not an easy read, but it’s worth the work. It really makes you think! John read it a few years ago, and it has prompted so many conversations between us – you know those deep, dangling, metaphysical discussions that never resolve, but create more deep, dangling, unresolved ideas.
That’s how Mr. and Mrs. DVD were born.
So here they are. The DVDs are contentedly living on this flat shelf of life. They have no idea of roundness or depth. No concept of the beautiful rainbow shimmer up on their surface. (They can’t even grasp the idea of up.) All they know is their flat dimensions of length and width.
Their eyes have not seen, and their ears have not heard and their minds can’t even imagine all the dimensions we know. And they can’t imagine the potential they have within themselves.
But I know all about their potential. I know what I created them for – to provide stirring music and beautiful pictures! That’s what’s inside them – their very essence.
So here I am in 3D Timeland. My mind can only comprehend length, width, depth, and time – but physicists and mathematicians keep finding new dimensions.
I looked it up on the internet, (Who would have even imagined the internet 25 year ago?!) and this is what I read “In physics the question is still somewhat open. Originally we believed there were only three, but Einstein demonstrated that time was another dimension, and thus established that there were four (three spatial and one time). Recently, certain problems in physics have suggested that even “higher” dimensions exist. These dimensions are purely (as far as we know) spatial, but are “wrapped up” tightly around themselves, and are thus invisible and undetectable in most situations.
That hurts my head.
The point is this. There is One who is the ultimate High Power – God. He created us. He can see each of our lives in the same dimensions we can. But since He is in a higher dimension, He can see far beyond that. He has created us with eternal potential, and He has plans to give us a future and a hope that is beyond our imagining.
If someone held a finger just a fraction of an inch above Mrs. DVD she wouldn’t know it. The finger would be in a dimension higher than her experience. Even if it was almost touching her, she couldn’t comprehend it.
But if she had a soul – intellect and feelings – she would probably sense the reflection of a higher reality, of something greater than herself.
Our Creator is close. In Him we live and move and have our very being. He is in another dimension, but He created us with souls, and with the ability to catch glimpses of the higher reality reflected all around us. He has given us the capacity to realize there are dimensions far beyond what we see in this world. And He wants to reveal it all to us.
March 6, 2013 at 10:46 am
Coolest thing I have read in a while
March 6, 2013 at 1:20 pm
March 6, 2013 at 3:38 pm
Rich and I were just talking about this very thing last night, how we can barely conceive the greatness of our creator and the depth of all that he has created. Layers upon layers of wonder. We are so small. I loved reading this. It inspires my soul. Thank you!
March 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm
Reshell, it’s so nice to hear from you! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
March 8, 2013 at 7:37 pm
I too am often intrigued by the nature of this space/time world God has created as our home (especially the time aspect). Like your DVD friends, our current perspective no doubt affords us a greatly restricted view of reality, as in a “mirror dimly”. But deep down, we all know there is something more. Much more. One can’t help but wonder what incredible new dimensions of reality we will discover when we someday fully cross over into God’s spiritual realm – the realm from which He spoke into existence all space and time. I enjoyed reading your post Andrena and am also looking forward to reading Flatland.
March 8, 2013 at 10:38 pm
Wish we could get together and Talk about Flatland when you finish it Wayne! I love our kindered-spiritness.
March 18, 2013 at 8:32 pm
Flatland was fun to read and thought provoking. While obviously an allegory, the Preface warned not to look for a Flatland-to-Spaceland correspondence in every detail. Some descriptions were just for fun. But the main parallels were clear – a class society (each polygon with its own social standing and expected behavior), evolution (each generation acquiring an additional side), euthanasia (“irregular” polygons with physical or moral deformities eliminated). I’m not sure if the color revolution was mankind’s general resistance to change and innovation or something more specific to Britain in the 1880’s when Abbott wrote the book. Likewise, his descriptions of women seem harsh now, but in his day were accurate, biting sarcasms exposing the lack of respect and equal status for women in his culture (and in some still today!) I sense there are many more Flatland parallels to nineteenth century Victorian culture that were lost on me with my very limited knowledge of that time period in Britain. Part Two of the book switched from culture comparisons to realty comparisons, that is, the nature of “space” and our inability and/or unwillingness to consider additional unseen dimensions. From a Christian perspective, I immediately thought of the spiritual realm currently superimposed on our own, just as real, yet invisible in most respects. Abbott’s story makes it painfully clear just how difficult it is to persuade someone of the reality of the unseen. There seems to be no shortage of online analysis of Flatland, like http://www.indepthinfo.com/flatland/analysis.htm Apparently, several movies and short films have been made as well. I hope to check out some of these resources in the future because I have a feeling that Abbott’s Flatland has much more to say about the nature of society and reality than what I am capable of deciphering on my own. Thanks Andrena for letting me know about this book. I am interested in hearing your “Peace-cry” about Flatland.