A Wrinkle in Heaven (CT article)

(Brad Kramer) #1

“As L’Engle suggests, the physics of higher dimensions can enlarge our vision, enabling us to see through our physical world—this broken layer of a much larger reality—and to imagine that the physical and spiritual worlds are not separate and disconnected but rather that they are a single cohesive creation that waits in eager anticipation for the restoration of all things.”

Haven’t seen the movie (and don’t want to), but I love these sorts of speculative discussions on the edge of the faith and science conversation. I have some thoughts on the quote above, but out of time for today. I want to hear everyone else’s thoughts.

(Christy Hemphill) #2

Did you read this article? It kind of goes into those ideas we were talking about God’s other dimension.

(Phil) #3

Grandkids are here this weekend, suspect we will see the movie, but only after reading the book though sort of disappointed with the reviews. My 5th grade teacher read it to our class one chapter at a time after lunch each day, so sorta special.

Regarding the article, God being infinite and all definitely exists in whatever other dimensions there may be, so maybe heaven is there.

(George Brooks) #4

Unless you are a crypto-Mormon, @jpm, I think we can safely assume that Heaven (as we think of it) is not in the sky … or in deep galactic space.

The only place it can be is in another operational dimension.

Think about the pre-Persian mystics for a moment. Before this Indo-European sponsored concept of Paradise put ideation of the afterlife “up above” … the only thing “up there” were a few deities trying to get away from the noise of all the humans!

With humans being buried in terra firma, the afterlife seemed logically “quite under” rather than over. So if the ancients ever entertained the idea of a collision of worlds… if something smashed the earth to smithereens… all your grandparents, aunts and uncles were gone in an instant. The afterlife was could be lost , conceivably.

Mithraism took the “upper dimensionality” of the Persian mystics and really made a picture out of it. You’ve seen the pictures of the lion-headed god associated with the Mithraeum , yes? Interestingly, so many history fans that are interested in Mithraism really resist the idea that the lion-headed God is Mithra himself… even though he has the keys to the doors of another “sphere” or “vault” of reality!

Here’s the link with narrative - -

Some great images …

(Matthew Pevarnik) #5

That’s a fair statement I’d say George. From a more skeptical position I think one might further argue that at first we as humans argued that god was everywhere and all around in living things. Then the sky gods took over sometime in the first millenia BC and heaven was ‘up there.’ I.e. why could Yahweh smell burnt offerings and the tower of babel reach to him? Perhaps because he was literally just up in the sky not too far away. And then god moved even higher to the outer sphere in Aristotle’s system of spheres as the ‘prime mover.’ And then god became transcendant outside of our universe. But then god can go in and out of such through now extra dimensions? Where are we going to argue god really is and is hiding at next?

For reference Hugh Ross with RTB wrote a whole book on some of the possible spiritual implications of the physics of extradimensions and even how it possibly could resolve some theological paradoxes if you will. (https://shop.reasons.org/product/425/beyond-the-cosmos-3rd-edition-hugh-ross for reference). It’s an interesting book from my skim through and I think some people might really like it, but it’s much to pseudosciencey for me to recommend it as a scientific book on the physics of extra dimensions.

A side question. Does anybody know what the author is talking about when he says:
What exactly do we mean by five dimensions? Well, there are the three dimensions of space we are accustomed to (depth, width, and height), one dimension of time, and at least one additional dimension of space

That’s news to me as I am only aware of there being four dimensions as established by modern physics.

(George Brooks) #6


Wow… to think a true science geek skeptic is updating me on the more mystical literature about Heaven and where it could be operational. Thanks for the link! I think I’m honor-bound to check it out!

https://shop.reasons.org/product/425/beyond-the-cosmos-3rd-edition-hugh-ross for ref

Now, as to this 5 dimension problem you are having …

I have been flatly told, full stop, that to make some aspects of string theory work, we literally have to model our mathematics on the assumption of 10 spatial dimensions and 1 temporal one (assuming the temporal dimension is not just another kind of spatial dimension)!

So… I suppose someone could assert that all these undetectable dimensions could be summarized, for convenience sake, into one rolled up single additional dimension of space!

You tube has this very clever popularizer of physics who is all about the ten dimensions (sometimes he says 11 when he wants to be sure to include the time dimension): Rob Bryanton

Have a listen sometime …
Funny Coincidence?: In his promotional email to me of January 2018, he specifically mentions the movie’s title that is the title of this very thread. I had forgotten all about it… and only now just noticed it!
I think we’re all on the right track!

His Youtube channel has 4 videos I highly recommend:

Imagining the Tenth Dimension in 2 Minutes

Not the 10 Dimensions of String Theory?

Imagining the Tenth Dimension (annotated 2012 version)

Imagining 10 Dimensions - the Movie (105 minutes!)

January 2018

Here’s a new video featuring Simon Whistler of the popular YouTube channel TopTenz describing my approach to visualizing ten dimensions. Thanks for your support, Simon!

With over 850,000 subscribers to TopTenz, I suspect there are a number of people reading this blog entry who are not previously familiar with my Imagining the Tenth Dimension project. The videos I’m posting below are useful as a step by step introduction to how I am using the logic of the point-line-plane postulate (the accepted methodology for visualizing any number of spatial dimensions) to creatively explore what these dimensions could mean all the way up to ten. As I’ve noted from the beginning, I’m not a physicist and I’m not pretending to be one, but the interesting connections between this approach and string theory, cosmology, spirituality, ancient mysticism and much more are what have continued to make this project the subject of much discussion since I first launched it in 2006. Online sites for Discovery and Scientific American have, over the years, written articles praising this project, and author and research scientist David Jay Brown, who has written extensively about modern psychedelics research, called the book this project is based upon “one of the most brilliantly-conceived and mind-stretching books I have ever encountered”.

As a boy back in 1963, I was first introduced to the idea of spacetime as a structure that could be bent and folded through Madeleine L’Engle’s marvelous novel A Wrinkle in Time, which I’m excited to see is soon to be a major film release from Disney. Within the last decade we’ve seen a number of films and TV shows that explore the ideas behind extra dimensions: I’ve particularly enjoyed seeing the rise of Rick and Morty, created by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland, which plays with many of the same concepts I’ve explored, most importantly Everett’s Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, a key to my approach.

Interstellar, the amazing Christopher Nolan movie, has a unique pedigree in the world of science fiction: Kip Thorne, winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics, acted as an executive producer and scientific advisor on that film. I’ve written in this blog about the connections between that film and my portrayal of the fifth dimension as being our Probability Space: it’s great to see one of the world’s most respected physicists advancing ideas I’ve been pushing for over a decade!

His Active Blog

There was also in 2017 the news that the brain itself may be using extra dimensional topological mapping to encode memories and process information. To quote Aberdeen University’s Ran Levi, one of the mathematicians who contributed to these findings:
It is as if the brain reacts to a stimulus by building then razing a tower of multi-dimensional blocks, starting with rods (1D), then planks (2D), then cubes (3D), and then more complex geometries with 4D, 5D, etc. The progression of activity through the brain resembles a multi-dimensional sandcastle that materializes out of the sand and then disintegrates.

Is our observed reality constructed from extra dimensional patterns? And is Elon Musk correct when he says there’s a billion to one chance that we are all not in a computer simulation right now? I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I’ve been having a wonderful time exploring ideas such as these, and am particularly grateful for the continuing support of my youtube channel (currently approaching 18 million views!), where I have daily conversations with people in the comments sections to the over 400 videos I’ve posted there. If you are new to this project I hope you appreciate the passion and sense of wonder I feel for my little hobby project dedicated to the ten spatial dimensions from which the amazing universe we find ourselves within is derived. Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton
January 2018

(Andrew M. Wolfe) #7

If you’ve seen a few episodes of Stranger Things, I kind of like toying with the idea that the relationship between heaven and reality is sort of like the relationship between the real world and the Upside Down. :slight_smile:

(Hey, you asked.)

(Christy Hemphill) #8

I remember thinking that Stranger Things was like the horror version of NT Wright’s overlapping kingdoms.

(Luca) #9

Thanks Christy!

(Jennifer Thomas) #10

Human beings have had a long and complicated history of trying to use human metaphors to explain where God is hiding. We’re always so tempted to think of dimensions as a bunch of layers, one on top of the other, with God hiding somewhere up in the highest layer, far away from the everyday concerns of humans in the 3D earthly layer. It’s not just authors of theological texts and mythological paradigms who have imagined it this way – many modern writers of speculative fiction can’t seem to resist the layer-cake model.

For myself, as a practising (if heretical) Christian mystic, the dimensions might be better explored and explained using an origami model. A simple sheet of paper holds written forms of data that convey important information. But as soon as you start folding the piece of paper, you get new geometries and new points of “contact” for the bits of data recorded on the original piece of paper. As we know from origami, there are an incredible number of ways a single sheet can be folded to create original and beautiful and complex shapes, though the more times you fold the paper, the smaller the shape seems to become from a visual perspective.

Maybe God’s Creation is like this – and it would certainly tie in with our understanding of the quantum universe, where it’s the really small things that govern how the big things work. So it’s all related and interconnected. But at a certain point, the paper folds over so many times we can no longer see it with our human eyes (metaphorically speaking, of course).

The “packaging” and geometries of DNA molecules seem to be good example of an enfoldment process at a fairly early stage (i.e. at a 3D stage). But enfoldments within a DNA molecule might be an example of quantum biology (perhaps at a 4D stage). And further enfoldments might very well lead to mysteries such as Divine Love.

I have no doubt that Heaven exists. I just don’t think it’s “out there” or “up there.” Instead, I think it’s “in there,” as Jesus tried to explain to us through his Kingdom teachings.


Oh yes, string theory does not become mathematically internally coherent unless you posit 10 spatial dimensions and the time dimension. The other 6/7 spaces, I think, are thought to be Calabi-Yau spaces by string theory physicists.