The Out-of-Body Experience as Dimensional Translocation
Jim DeKorne looks at the scientific theories that ‘prove’ the existence of other dimensions – strange worlds inhabited by alien life forms.
"Pause for a moment and try to imagine four-dimensional space. It is right next to you, but in a direction you can't point to. No matter how well hidden you may be, a four-dimensional creature can see you perfectly well, inside and outside". -- Rudy Rucker, The Fourth Dimension
"How might these beings be even dimly aware of our presence, if we normally don't have an inkling of theirs? Once more, we're treading on extraordinarily thin ice by even thinking about explanations for this phenomenon. The mere need to attempt an understanding shows us how far afield our thinking has come". -- Rick Strassman, M.D., DMT, The Spirit Molecule
"If these men are correct, then physics is the study of the structure of consciousness". -- Gary Zukav, The Dancing Wu Li Masters
Consensus reality in the "real world" is founded upon corporeal entities beholding three-dimensional space. When out-of-body explorers or UFO abductees claim that they passed through solid walls during their experiences, they are contradicting perhaps the most fundamental perceptions of human observers.
Scientism condemns such assertions as either fraudulent or hallucinatory because if they were accepted as legitimate, our entire conception of reality would collapse - an appalling prospect, challenging the credibility of all self-appointed official observers. Nevertheless, when faced with such an abundance of anomalous data any fearless spectator might suggest that our concepts of dimensional location need to be re-evaluated and clarified.
At its simplest, the experience of three-dimensional space is the awareness of three perpendicular axes: North-South, East-West and Up-Down (e.g., a cube). Two-dimensional space (a flat plane) contains only two of these axes, and one-dimensional space consists of only one axis - a single line.
Time is also a dimension, though not a spatial one; however, it is a necessary extension to our awareness of space, and so we normally describe our reality as three dimensions of space, plus one dimension of time - the so-called "four-dimensional space-time continuum." Even small children can understand this because we spend all our lives living within its confines: it's an experience so commonplace and taken-for-granted that we never really think about it. (It is, after all, our consensus reality).
Four-dimensional space, on the other hand, though mathematically describable, is a concept virtually impossible to visualise. That's because progression from one spatial dimension to another follows a logical sequence of perpendicular extension: a plane is merely the extension of a line in a direction at right-angles ("perpendicular") to that line's axis; a cube is created when a plane is extended at right-angles to that plane's axis.
This is easy enough to portray as long as we're dealing with three dimensions or lower, but in what perpendicular direction would a cube have to move to create four-dimensional space? Even if you know the secret, the mind boggles and goes into spasms while trying to visualise it.
The reason for this is because we are multi-dimensional entities "serving time" in a three-dimensional spatial prison and brainwashed into believing it's a life sentence without parole or any hope of escape.
To switch metaphors, consider for a moment a Zen Koan - an existential test of your ability to transcend your perceptual situation:
You are standing on a spot where (judging by the rumbling sounds and trembling beneath your feet), a volcano the size of Krakatoa is just about to erupt. Immediately above your head an enormous fireball, a meteor as big as Manhattan, is only seconds away from crashing exactly where you're standing. A few metres to your front, a tidal wave (over a kilometre high!) is cresting and about to break. Six metres behind you (at Ground Zero), a hydrogen bomb test is in its final few seconds of countdown; to your immediate right, the entire Nazi army from World War II is bearing down upon you with distinctly murderous intentions. And finally, coming up fast on the left, a charging herd of ten thousand enraged bull elephants is about to stomp you into the dirt.
Koan: In what direction lies escape? (Hint: it's the only "perpendicular" direction available to you, and given the above circumstances you are about to take it whether you want to or not!)
There are other ways of visualising this: consider the "black hole" or "singularity." A black hole is created when a largeish star (about 50 times bigger than our sun) consumes all its nuclear fuel and implodes into its own intense gravity. Anything, including light, approaching within a given critical distance of a black hole is sucked into its whirlpool, never to be seen again. Physicists postulate that such imploding singularities depart from our own space-time to create new parallel-universe/space-time dimensions. (The connections between them constitute the familiar "worm holes" so necessary for Captain Kirk's navigation of the Starship Enterprise .) What appears to us as a black hole implosion in this universe becomes a "white hole" explosion somewhere else - creating a whole new universe, a whole new dimensional reality:
"Relativists realized that there is nothing to stop the material that falls into a singularity in our three dimensions of space and one of time from being shunted through a kind of space-time warp and emerging as an expanding singularity in another set of dimensions - another space-time. Mathematically, this 'new' space-time is represented by a set of four dimensions, just like our own, but with all the dimensions at right angles to all the familiar dimensions of our own space-time. Every singularity, on this picture, has its own set of space-time dimensions, forming a bubble universe within the framework of some 'super' space-time, which we can refer to simply as 'superspace'." 1
Notice that the rule of perpendicular extension is maintained in the creation of these new universes and that any observers within them would perceive an analogy of our own familiar four-dimensional space-time continuum. (Should they be practitioners of Scientism, let us forgive them for believing that theirs is the only reality that exists!)
Now imagine that you are standing outside on a clear summer's night - all the stars above the horizon are visible to your sight. Assume (for the purpose of illustration) that the hypothetical XYZ-123 galaxy (one-hundred million light years from Earth) is shining brightly. The photons (waves or particles, take your pick) which were emitted from the XYZ-123 galaxy during earth's dinosaur days, are just now arriving on our planet; they implode through the pupils of your eyes to explode within your brain: "Ah-ha - yes, there it is! Just above Orion, the familiar old XYZ-123 galaxy," says your mind-observer.
Koan: Where do these photons (after their exhausting one-hundred million year journey through interstellar space) go upon entering your own personal black holes (eye-pupils)? The radiation from an entire galaxy registers on your brain, is interpreted by your mind, and then what? And then where? Surely those photons can't just "wink out" after going to all that trouble to get here! Can they?
"The matter [falling into a black hole] cannot escape back into the universe we know, yet if it does not disappear at a singularity it must pass into a region of spacetime that we do not know. Sometimes such unknown regions are called other universes, the effect of gravitational collapse being to establish a bridge or tunnel into these enigmatic 'parallel' worlds. The collapsing star, or whatever matter falls in after it, falls on through the tunnel and out into, presumably, a cosmos much like our own." 2
Look at it another way: Imagine a point existing in some kind of pre-spatial "void" - the Tao, perhaps (whatever that is). Mathematically, a point has zero dimensions, but it exists anyway because consciousness defines it that way. A zero-dimensional point existing in "non-space" probably comes as close to "nothing" as we can imagine, but quantum cosmologists say that our universe was created out of just such a "singularity." They also tell us that nothing can take place without an observer:
"The universe is supposed to be everything that there is, and if all is quantized, including spacetime, what can collapse the cosmos into reality without invoking consciousness?" 3
The implications of this concept are astounding! If the zero-dimensional point is all that exists, and if it "decides" to "extend itself" and become the universe, by the rules of quantum physics it can't be anything but Consciousness itself! Some might be tempted to define this Primordial Awareness as "God," but let's not, since Scientism insists (regardless of the implications of quantum theory), that the concept of "God" is unnecessary to explain the Cosmos. (Whether you regard this as a non sequitur or not depends on which belief system you use to define your illusions.)
Anyway, the rules of dimensional extension tell us that movement in any direction from a point is perpendicular, so one dimension (a line) is created if the point moves at all. Should it turn from there, two dimensional space is defined; and of course all it has to do next is make one more right- angle turn and we have three spatial dimensions. Should all of these movements happen simultaneously, we have a passable description of an explosion:
"The evidence suggests that the Universe was born out of a singularity - a point of infinite density occupying zero volume - and that in the first split second the tiny seed containing all the mass and energy in the observable Universe went through a period of exponential expansion, known as inflation." 4
This "inflation" is the Big Bang that became our universe - a point of infinite density occupying zero volume (a mind-numbing concept!) "explodes," creating space, time, matter, energy, and anything else we haven't discovered yet. Unfortunately, when most people imagine the Big Bang they visualise it as a three-dimensional event, forgetting that all other possible dimensions must also be factored into the equation. Which is to say: the primordial point explodes (the Big Bang), but because this is a multi-dimensional affair, it is also imploding (the Big Whimper, perhaps), creating all of multidimensional space in one event. If our point is indeed conscious, as quantum theory demands, it follows that consciousness is a priori to any and all phenomena, and anything created by it is by definition part of it: hence everything that exists is in some way conscious, just as the Theosophists tell us. (More about them later.)
Our point's simultaneous explosion/implosion would create a bare minimum of six spatial dimensions: three of space and three of hyperspace, and certainly many more than that. What would they look like "objectively?" Wouldn't dimensions created out of Consciousness have to be "Mind Stuff" - perhaps a Super Collective Unconscious at least as infinite as the physical universe? Out-of-body shamans do indeed describe Locale-II (hyperspace; see previous parts of this article) as a kind of Supermind, a realm where thought (consciousness) creates mass and energy out of itself:
"Superseding all appears to be one prime law. Locale-II is a state of being where that which we label thought is the wellspring of existence. It is the vital creative force that produces energy, assembles 'matter' into form, and provides channels of perception and communication. I suspect that the very self or soul in Locale-II is no more than an organized vortex or warp in this fundamental. As you think, so you are." 5
This empirical out-of-body observation is echoed in quantum theory, which of course is based upon solid, self-consistent, repeatable, scientific experimentation:
"To the naive realist the universe is a collection of objects. To the quantum physicist it is an inseparable web of vibrating energy patterns in which no one component has reality independently of the entirety; and included in the entirety is the observer... In the absence of an observation a quantum system will evolve in a certain way. When an observation is made, an entirely different type of change occurs. Just what produces this different behavior is not clear, but at least some physicists insist that it is explicitly caused by the mind itself." 6
Physicists describe matter at the subatomic level as a "wave function," and tell us that it is more "idea-like" (i.e. related to awareness) than it is "matter-like." In fact, at the subatomic level, there is no substantive physical world at all - it's just a vibrating dance of energy, or Consciousness, which must in some sense be the same thing! We can deduce this as follows:
Einstein's famous E = MC squared equation demonstrates that matter and energy are two versions of a single phenomenon. Unfortunately, Einstein left himself (as observer) out of his equation. It might more accurately be written as: E = MC squared, divided by X - "X" symbolising consciousness (i.e., an observer) which is demanded by quantum theory for anything to exist. If this is at all accurate (and the implications of quantum physics seem to require it), then the lowest common denominator to which reality can be reduced is Consciousness itself.
If Consciousness (what else?) created an infinity of four-dimensional space-time "bubble" universes, each of which is perpendicular to (i.e. "perceived by") that Consciousness, then Consciousness has to be the "Super-Space" surrounding and permeating them all. Since time and consciousness can't be separated from each other without logical absurdity, time could be thought of as a one-dimensional function of Consciousness projected into three-dimensional space. (Thus, the four-dimensional space-time continuum, since without duration, space would be, if not unperceivable, at least very boring.)
This time-consciousness interface is what sets space "in motion" and is the only way a differentiated point-of-view can experience dimensional reality. Outside of the dimensional bubble-universes (i.e. in the superspatial realm of Consciousness-without-an-object), time does not exist, a fact attested to by psychonauts and mystics since "time out of mind." (Pun intended.)
Each differentiated point is a potential "free agent" which may be arbitrarily assigned to any position in any dimension. Being conscious, they become attitudes or points-of-view within multidimensional space ("God's observers," if you will). Your individual human consciousness is essentially the interface of a point-singularity ("you"), linking our particular spacetime bubble with Super-Space, or perhaps more accurately, the Objective Psyche: which is Jung's revised, much better, label for the "Collective Unconscious."
"What Jung calls the objective psyche may then be likened to an encompassing energy stratum from which arise varying field activities discernable to the experienced observer through the patterning of image, emotion and drive configurations. These psychic field expressions Jung has called complexes and archetypes of the objective psyche... The objective psyche exists independently of the ego, but can be experienced and comprehended to a limited extent by the ego." 7
These complexes and archetypes within the Objective Psyche have traditionally been regarded as "gods," but not as "God" (i.e., as the Objective Psyche per se). The difference between you (or any other differentiated point-of-view) and the Objective Psyche, as such, is the difference between man and "God." The purpose of our incarnations as "points-of-view" is to return to the pool from which we emerged with full gnosis of where we've been and what we've done. (We'll examine the traditions informing this concept in our next article.)
Because our unconscious mind is a two-way wormhole connecting subjective perception with the infinite realms of the Objective Psyche, it is not uncommon for profound insights to emerge from those dimensions into human awareness - often before their time. Figure 1 is taken from Rene Descartes' posthumous 1667 work, Traite de l'Homme, which illustrates his theory of perception. He regarded the pineal gland as the "gateway to the soul," and in this drawing he hypothesises how visual perception is concentrated therein. Most of Descartes' theories have been disproved by modern research, but his fundamental intuition in this case is still valid. All that is missing is the concept of the DMT-synthesising pineal gland (discussed in our last article) as a singularity linking spacetime awareness with the Objective Psyche to complete the hypothesis being proposed here.
And I hope my hypothesis is beginning to make sense: Since we experience ourselves as a conscious centre (a "point") inhabiting a physical body, which perceives itself as part of a three-dimensional "outside" reality, it is obvious that all external sensory input is perpendicular to our subjective awareness. Which, if you follow the right-angle rule, is to say that consciousness itself must be in some sense dimensional! The only direction of escape in Koan-1, then is within . The only place that the radiation from the XYZ-123 galaxy can go after entering the black-holes of your eyes is inside . This mandates that both Locale-I and Locale-II are inner dimensions which to varying degrees mirror our familiar, externalised space-time. We have the empirical testimony of out-of-body explorer William Buhlman that this is so:
"For two years I had believed that I was moving laterally from one area to another within the same dimension, but now the startling truth was apparent. I was not moving laterally but inwardly within the universe from one energy environment to another." 8
Buhlman goes on to describe what can only be a kind of singularity of consciousness imploding into itself, into a dimension of many dimensions. Here he is, out-of-body, in the Locale-I version of his bedroom, about to enter a typical Locale-II environment, perhaps one of Robert Monroe's "upper rings":
"Feeling centered, I stand at the foot of my bed and say aloud, 'I move inward.' I feel an immediate sensation of rapid inner motion - I'm being drawn into a vacuum deep within myself. The sensation of motion is so intense that I shout 'Stop!' Instantly I stop moving and realize that I'm in a new environment. I am outdoors in a beautiful parklike setting." 9
Although admittedly rare, this perception is neither new nor unique. The Tibetan Book of the Dead tells us explicitly that all of the bardo realms are "inside of us":
"O nobly-born, these realms are not come from somewhere outside [thyself]. They come from within the four divisions of thy heart, which, including its center, make the five directions. They issue from within there, and shine upon thee. The deities, too, are not come from somewhere else: they exist from eternity within the faculties of thine own intellect." 10