When I first heard about String Theory with the “conclusion/assumption” there are more dimensions that the ones we commonly know:
One Dimension; point and where a bunch of points makra line, ” it has length;
Two Dimensions; a plane described by a polygon, an area enclosed or suggested by lines, it has length and width;
Three Dimensions; space enclosed or suggested by height, width and length; and,
Four Dimensions: space-time.
I found myself thinking about shadow.
The first two, point and plane, are obviously not real, Euclid agreed in The Elements, they do not exist in this universe except as human concepts and/or human tools to communicate with others and to make things.
A point and a plane are not real but we commonly use them as tools for communication. For a room 10′ x 9 ‘ no one goes to the store and buys a 12′ x 24’ rug or even a 10’3 x9’3″ rug.
I mention this because often people are think they are talking real things and yet we all are comfortable talking abut not real things.
Cross culturally and through history, people have a word for a common empirical experience we call “shadow.” It is “two dimensional, ” a real two dimensional thing? but if nothing exist in two dimensions, then how can a shadow be a real thing?
Its the absence of light, and maybe like a hole in the ground is the absence of dirt, could the height of the lighted area be higher, or lower than the dark of the shadow, area?
Maybe we want to say three dimensions are a “real” thing”, but we do not live in stopped time, entropy happens whether we want it to or not, — the thing is not the same thing—electrons, photons, etc have changed.
I found myself thinking what is a shadow?
If one dimension and two dimension are not real—by not real I mean do not naturally exist— but are, concepts created and meaning-reinforced by people every day normally using them for communication, then how can there be more dimensions when they do not exist in the first place?
Dimensions are concepts people created to communicate with others and obviously they are “real,” at least real for people, as we have been using them for thousands of years for successful communication, design and production. I assume the universe could care less about concepts, it does not need them to understand anlything, perhaps it understands everything.
Shadow of a shadow? this was a corner of a store window in Burlingame where shadow was projected onto shadow. Do two layers of shadow weigh more than one layer? Does it have more height?
The universe —a space full of electrons, molecules, all kinds of small particles—a place where people using our empirical biological tools for knowing— and for some they are tools for noing—interact with these small particles. Least we forget, science informs us we cannot really know what a particle is and where it is at the same time.
Why not push the shadow of my thigh with the shadow of my thumb?
Most people do not have any problem with that, they are satisfied just to have a name to call it— the human condition of differentiating and defining is great for dealing with today’s problem, but tomorrow when the things has changed we are stuck with a name which is no longer definitive, its out dated, but as people some have power and when its to their personal benefit, can force others to their will.
I would reach for knowthing less.
and use the hand of my shadow to hold dear something not here or there.
and contemplate my navel,
and fill my head with wonder.
Those who have read Flatland easily, or humorously, understand the difficulties for humans to live in a two dimensional world, but for us there are as many dimensions as we have biology for experiencing.
Knowthing can not hide, where ever it goes it is found . . .
“. . . in emptiness there is no form, no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue,
no body, no mind.”
“. . . with nothing to be attained, Bodhisattvas rely on Prajnaparamita and dwell without mind barriers.”
from The Great Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra
Of what use then is scientific empirical methodology but to keep us in this world? or from that one.