Science & Religion #9: Is Moroni A Sphere?

By: Mike S
December 14, 2010
Or is Moroni just STANDING on a sphere?
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To go much further in some of our discussions, we need to talk about multiple dimensions.  There are going to be concepts we talk about that really only make sense if we can get past this 3-dimensional world in which we live (NOTE: Time is often considered a 4th dimension, but for the sake of this discussion, let’s pretend it isn’t).  We’re wired for 3-dimensions and that’s the world in which we live, so do we do it?  We know up and down, left and right, forward and backward, but what about ???  We don’t even have a name for it because we can’t intuitively comprehend it.  This is what we’re going to talk about today.  Hang in there – it’s not too bad and actually makes a lot of sense.

Probably one of the best books to start thinking about multi-dimensions is Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions.  It was written by Edwin Abbott and first published in 1884.  In Flatland, to help see what a higher dimension would be like, we actually picture a LOWER dimension.  So, imagine a world that is 2-D.  It’s basically like an infinitely long and flat piece of paper.  Paper isn’t a perfect analogy, because it actually does have thickness.  So imagine a really, really, really thin piece of paper.  And now imagine it is populated by 2-D beings who are born, who live lives, and who die.

In the book, we are introduced to a Square, who narrates the story.  His entire world is completely inside the piece of “paper”.  Different classes of beings have different shapes – some are pentagons and some are hexagons and higher classes even become close to circles, while women are 1-dimensional lines.  From the point of view in the paper, everything looks like a line, kind of like looking at a penny edge on.  So, how does the Square know which is which?  There is a fine mist that causes things to dim the further they are away.  Because different shapes dim at different rates, they can tell each other apart just like you and I.  They can also use sound and other ways.  The book goes through designs for houses and furniture and doors and everything else.  We are also introduced to Lineland populated by 1-dimensional lines and particles.  It is actually quite fascinating.  It is also a great social commentary on life in Victorian England.

Things get really interesting when A Square is visited by a Sphere from Spaceland, a 3-D world similar to our own.  The Sphere can talk to A Square, but A Square cannot see him at first, because he is just outside Flatland.  As Sphere gradually enters into the closed room where A Square currently is, he gradually appears.  When just the tip of he Sphere is in the plane of Flatland, he appears as a dot.  As he gradually moves into the plane, the dot grows in size until he looks like a circle to A Square.  To A Square, it seems as though the circle just appeared in a closed room.  When the Sphere leaves, he shrinks down to a dot and just disappears.

While he is visiting, the Sphere tries to explain Spaceland to A Square, but it is impossible.  A Square cannot even comprehend what would be outside his 2-D world.  Eventually, the Sphere lifts A Square out of Flatland and lets him see everything from “Above”.  All of Flatland is before him, as far as he can see.  He can see “inside” everyone in Flatland, including their “guts” and vital organs.  He can make things magically appear and disappear.  When A Square eventually goes back to Flatland and tries to explain what he has seen to everyone else, he can’t.  There aren’t words to explain it.  He can’t point in the direction he visited.  It is a mystery.

It’s would take too much time to explain here, but if you think about things for a while, you can start to think of 4-D worlds a bit.  You can think about hypercubes and how things would act.  It’s may cause a brain-cramp at first, but if you hang in there, you’ll get it.

So, what does this have to do with Moroni and religion?  A lot.  Many things that seem mysterious or “magical” in religious experiences make a lot of sense when seen as manifestations of a higher dimension.

Let’s look at some examples:

- Visitations: Joseph Smith describes visitations from God and Christ.  He talks about Moroni appearing out of thin air in his room, multiple times in a single night.  There are many other examples, but they all seem to have similar characteristics.  To us, it is mysterious.  Using the example of the Sphere, however, it is perfectly natural.  If God and others exist on a higher dimension, it is easy to visit us by entering our “limited” 3-D world.  It would appear like they just “appeared”.  They could talk to us.  And just like the Sphere appeared just like a circle to A Square, they could look just like us in a 3-D representation of a “higher” form.

- Voices of the Spirit: When the Sphere talked to A Square, just a few mm above Flatland, A Square couldn’t see him, but felt like the voice was coming from “inside” him.  This is how the “voice of the Lord” or the “spirit” is often described as occurring.  It is often not described as an audible voice, but something heard just the same.

- Seeing all Things: Various prophets, including Moses, etc., have been given a vision of all of the earth and other of God’s creations.  They are also told that their “natural eye” can’t comprehend this.  This makes sense if our natural eyes are 3-D, but we are lifted into a “higher” plane like A Square.  If we could see things from a “higher” dimension, everything would be spread out before us.  But as was told to Moses, if we could truly see everything, we couldn’t return (kind of like the end of Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader).

- All Things Before God: Similarly, we are often told that all things are “before God”.  In a recent post about Kolob, people talk about vast computers and planet-sized storage units.  In some of my comments there, I explained how there isn’t enough physical space in a 3-D planet to store that information.  But if God was “above” our dimensions, there isn’t really a problem.  Nothing really needs to be “stored”, but it is all “before God”.

- Light of Christ / Holy Ghost: We often talk about the influence of the Holy Ghost being in all places at once.  How this can occur within our universe is somewhat difficult to comprehend.  But imagine it like a sun lamp shining down on Flatland.  It could be “felt” by everyone that is “in tune”, although no one could point to its source.

- Spirits All Around Us: This will get into even higher dimensions than 4 in a few posts, but prophets have often told us that spirits are all around us.  There are hosts of heaven nearby, and if our eyes could only see them, they would be there.  And just like in Flatland, there could be innumerable spheres around A Square that he just couldn’t see.

- Christ’s Second Coming: We are often told that when Christ comes again, that we will ALL see Him at once.  I’ve often wondered how this could be.  The earth is a sphere.  And just like sunlight, something on one side is obstructed on the opposite side.  Does it mean Christ’s coming would be broadcast on TV?  But what about people who don’t have TV?  When the heavens roll back and we all see Christ, again imagine Flatland.  What if by some power the 2-D constraint was somehow lifted and everyone in Flatland could see the third dimension?  What if Christ was there?  It might be akin to the heavens rolling back.  And ALL the inhabitants of Flatland would see Christ, no matter where they were, inside or out.  Some might try to hide under a rock or somewhere, but there would be nowhere they could go.

I could go on, but those are probably enough examples.  I like thinking about multi-dimensions, and posts like this are where I think the intersection of science and religion is really cool.  There are many things that we read about in the scriptures and perhaps experience in our own lives that seem impossible.  Yet sometimes just “thinking outside the box” (literally), makes everything come together.  It is far easier for me to believe that God is in a higher dimension than some of the convoluted ways people have of constraining God in our physical 3-D universe.

Questions:

  • -How many people have read the book, Flatland?

  • - Has anyone else really tried to think in dimensions greater than 3, or am I just weird?

  • - These examples seem fairly straightforward when seen as involving another dimension.  Do they make sense to you in that regard or are they too convoluted?

  • - Is it instead easier for you to picture God as a 3-dimensional Being within our physical universe?  How do you resolve the conflicts this raises (ie. informational capacity, speed of light constraints, etc)?

  • - There’s no real way of testing this theory.  Does that take it past the realm of “science”?

The next few posts will talk about Time (including as another dimension), Strings and Spirits (get ready for 10 dimensions !), and Kolob (including black holes).  If you’re interested in any of the posts leading up to this one, just click on Mike S in the Authors list to the right, and they’ll all be listed there.

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34 Responses to Science & Religion #9: Is Moroni A Sphere?

  1. Chase on December 14, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    This is awesome, I have been using the Flatland reference to explain the Moroni appearance for years. You are not alone

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  2. Chase on December 14, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    Sorry for the abrupt end, hit the tab key and then enter.
    As I was saying I don’t think you are alone in thinking that. I actually was introduced to Flatland by one of my psych professors at BYU and he brought it up in reference to angelic visitation too. I want to say that Hugh Nibley also talked about angels and God existing on higher dimensions and using a tea cup as an example that God sees time like we see a tea cup in space. I wish I could remember which talk that was in, I will see if I can track it down and post it here

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  3. jmb275 on December 14, 2010 at 4:35 PM

    Great thoughts Mike. You’re most certainly not alone. In fact, these ideas are the very ones that keep me having some amount of faith. I like the concepts of dimensions. However, at some point, for me, it becomes not worth worrying about anymore. If Sphere never entered the world of A Square, A Square would have never known about Spaceland. That’s how I feel, and I imagine many others feel similar. Hence, we have to rely on A Square’s testimony. But if A Square says lots of other things, and many of them are just plain wrong, the other inhabitants of Flatland might begin to question the legitimacy of his Spaceland story.

    Has anyone else really tried to think in dimensions greater than 3, or am I just weird?

    Yes, but it hurts a bit ;-) . Any computer scientist has a lot of exercise in thinking in higher dimensions (working with arrays) and I suspect most mathematicians do too (think tensors).

    These examples seem fairly straightforward when seen as involving another dimension. Do they make sense to you in that regard or are they too convoluted?

    No, they’re great examples, albeit highly hypothetical.

    Is it instead easier for you to picture God as a 3-dimensional Being within our physical universe?

    I prefer to think of God as a higher-dimensional being of some kind.

    There’s no real way of testing this theory. Does that take it past the realm of “science”?

    Well, yes, I think it’s out of the realm of our current technology and science. But that may not always be the case. If it is forever outside our ability to test, then I am convinced it profits us the same as any religious concepts – unprovable, unknowable, but influencing us for the better perhaps.

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  4. geoffsn on December 14, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    First of all, when I read the title of the post, I thought “Moroni’s not a sphere, he’s a torus, just like every other human with a GI tract.”

    * -How many people have read the book, Flatland?

    I haven’t actually read the book, but I’ve read so much stuff which referenced and/or quoted large sections of flatland, I feel that I have.

    * – Has anyone else really tried to think in dimensions greater than 3, or am I just weird?

    Yes, I’m also guilty of being a nerd.

    * – These examples seem fairly straightforward when seen as involving another dimension. Do they make sense to you in that regard or are they too convoluted?

    Both, I guess.

    * – Is it instead easier for you to picture God as a 3-dimensional Being within our physical universe? How do you resolve the conflicts this raises (ie. informational capacity, speed of light constraints, etc)?

    No, I find it hard to believe in God being just 3d and just in our universe.

    * – There’s no real way of testing this theory. Does that take it past the realm of “science”?

    Perhaps. There are now theories that the microwave background shows evidence of collisions with other universes: http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/26132/

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  5. FireTag on December 14, 2010 at 5:54 PM

    Although I’ve come to a very different “model” for the physical-spiritual relationship, it IS very common to think of angels as in this post once you become aware of higher dimensions.

    However, as your drawing of the hypercube shows, the shape of the higher dimensional reality doesn’t look much like its lower dimensional projection, so I’m not sure how things like gender get carried over in such a picture. :D

    Like any scientific idea, you don’t prove things are true; you falsify them. It is amazing how many predictions, and how detailed predictions, can be made about the 3-D universe from higher dimensional theories.

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  6. george on December 14, 2010 at 11:07 PM

    The 3D thing is fairly similar to the popular new-agey stuff James Redfield wrote 15 years or so ago in The Celestine Prophecy and a few other books. Can’t remember their names, but at one point in time I read all of them. One of the takeaways was how we could actually access these “higher dimensions.”

    I don’t think it’s nerdy – though some people feel better to view it as such – to think of higher and lower dimensions. Is it possible to have the telestial, terrestrial and celestial be differing dimensions of the same planet? same universe? same whatever your form of measurement?

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  7. Mike S on December 14, 2010 at 11:49 PM

    Thanks for the comments. For many who have studied math, computer science, physics, etc., the idea of angels, etc coming from another dimension isn’t really that novel. I know many have thought the same thing before.

    The purpose of this post is several:

    1) Show how many of the things that we get worked into a mental corner about (ie. informational capacity of Kolob) are easily solved with a change in thinking

    2) To introduce the concept of multi-dimensionality to people who haven’t really thought about it before. Because of the readers here, the goal of this series is actually around a Time/Newsweek level of science. I’ve tried not to make it too complex. For some with more background, I really enjoy going into more depth in the comments.

    3) To provide a framework for when we start adding time as a dimension and moving up to string theory :-)

    4) Because I think it’s cool

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  8. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi on December 15, 2010 at 2:32 AM

    I give Radhasoami Faith view of Creation Theory. In Sar Bachan (Poetry) composed by His Holiness Soamiji Maharaj the August Founder of Radhasoami Faith the details of creation and dissolution has been described very scientifically. It is written in this Holy Book: Only He Himself (Supreme Father)and none else was there. There issued forth a great current of spirituality, love and grace (In scientific terminology we may call this current as gravitational wave). This is called His Mauj (Divine Ordainment). This was the first manifestation of Supreme Being. This Divine Ordainment brought into being three regions, viz., Agam, Alakh, and Satnam of eternal bliss. Then a current emerged with a powerful sound. It brought forth the creation of seven Surats or currents of various shades and colours (in scientific terminology we may call it electromagnetic waves). Here the true Jaman or coagulant was given (in scientific terminology this coagulant may be called as weak nuclear force and strong nuclear force). Surats, among themselves, brought the creation into being.

    These currents descended down further and brought the whole universe/multiverse into being i.e. black holes, galaxies etc. were born.
    .

    Newton said the speed of gravity is infinite but according to Einstein (and some nifty interstellar measurements), it most certainly is not.

    But Newton is right.

    We know that even the light cannot escape black holes. Why? There is only one possibility that gravitational force pulls light with greater speed than the speed of light. The speed of gravitational wave is many times higher than the speed of light at black holes. On Earth gravity is subordinate to electromagnetic wave but on black holes electromagnetic wave is subordinate to gravitational force.

    The Universe includes everything that exists. In the Universe there are billions and billions of stars. These stars are distributed in the space in huge clusters. They are held together by gravitation and are known as galaxies. Sun is also a star. Various members of the solar system are bound to it by gravitation force. Gravitation force is the ultimate cause of birth and death of galaxy, star and planets etc. Gravitation can be considered as the cause of various forms of animate and inanimate existence. Human form is superior to all other forms. Withdrawal of gravitational wave from some plane of action is called the death of that form. It can be assumed that gravitation force is ultimate creator. Source of it is ‘God’. Gravitational Field is the supreme soul (consciousness) and its innumerable points of action may be called as individual soul (consciousness). It acts through body and mind. Body is physical entity. Mind can be defined as the function of autonomic nervous system. Electromagnetic waves are its agents through which it works. This can be realized through the practice of meditation and yoga under qualified meditation instruction. This can remove misunderstanding between science and religion and amongst various religions. This is the gist of all religious teachings – past, present and future.

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  9. Rob on December 15, 2010 at 7:33 AM

    My 9th grade science teacher gave us extra credit for reading Flatland. I think I was the only one in the class who took him up on it. I’ve been thinking along the lines of this post ever since, and was really happy to unexpectedly find myself a Dover reprint of Flatland a few years ago in a bookstore in rural Louisiana. Still haven’t been able to persuade my kids to read it :-)

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  10. Val on December 15, 2010 at 8:30 AM

    “There’s no real way of testing this theory. Does that take it past the realm of “science”? ”

    Science is not some catch-all term that simply means “how stuff works”. There are no shades of grey here. If you can’t test it, it’s not science. As such, there is no science in this article.

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  11. AndrewJDavis on December 15, 2010 at 8:49 AM

    I’ve read and loved Flatland. My mom read it at BYU, at the request of some graduate math course she took, and then made me read it in high school. I think you’ve nailed a lot of the spatial issues on the head, so I don’t have comments on that.

    I do, however, want to comment on your simple statment, “It is also a great social commentary on life in Victorian England.” This is where I think the real power of the book lies — showing that a true paradigm shift will change nearly every aspect of our lives. So much of our own culture and religious practices will surely change as we gain more understanding of God and His purposes. It will do us well to not get too attached to them in this life.

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  12. FireTag on December 15, 2010 at 11:53 AM

    Mike S.:

    I don’t think I said this well in my earlier comment(#5) and may have sounded flippant. You can invert the process of entering a lower dimensional space and view the higher dimensional space as built by “stacking up” lower dimensional spaces. For example, you can build spheres or cylinders by stacking circles in a third dimension.

    Clearly a sphere and a cylinder are different things, which illustrates that the single lower dimensional cross section, by itself isn’t all that important in understanding the higher dimensional object.

    So, if we are to use this model seriously, we are suggesting that Moroni, the living human or the angel appearing, is a “cross-section” of a higher dimensional reality.

    So I invite people interested in this model to think seriously about the following: what corresponds to the OTHER “cross sections” of the higher dimensional “Moroni”?

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  13. James on December 15, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    I recently came across this YouTube video (in two parts):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkxieS-6WuA

    I thought it could spread some illumination on this discussion as I personally thought it did a good job of explaining how the dimensions interact with each other.

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  14. Jettboy on December 15, 2010 at 3:51 PM

    I just want to mention that, minor though it might be to the larger discussion, The First Vision and the Moroni Visit don’t just appear. My interpretation of the descriptions is a quick emergence from a portal of light. Relatively speaking they might “suddenly appear,” but its still isn’t instantaneous.

    First Vision:

    “I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. . .

    . . . When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air.”

    Moroni’s Visit:

    “While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a alight appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor.”

    To me it seems a portal opens up that allows for travel between worlds. Perhaps they are inter-dimensional, but they have some consistency in methods of showing themselves. In fact, other scriptures indicate there must be some kind of physical transformation of the viewer in order to see the visions; perhaps bringing us there and not them coming here? Moses and Paul, for instance, saw things while those around them only sensed a difference. I don’t mind the idea of other realms of existence outside of our own, long as it isn’t assumed the one we live in is more “physical” and “real” than the abode of the Angels and Divine. In fact, the Scriptures and other religious traditions interpret this plain of existence as the less real and tangible.

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  15. Stephen Marsh on December 15, 2010 at 9:15 PM

    Hmm, my prior post seems to have been eaten, somewhere.

    A sphere just happens to have an infinite amount of planar space in it. To a flatlander, a sphere is infinite.

    A sphere is also transfinite vis a vis a plane.

    Which gives a multi-dimensional object a frame of leverage as to our dimension.

    Anyway, always enjoyed flat land.

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  16. Mike S on December 15, 2010 at 9:18 PM

    #8 Anirudh Kumar Satsangi:

    Thank you for your comments. There is much I need to learn, but my personal opinion is that there are some deep truths about the universe and God in many of these teachings. I’ve also learned much about this in the writings of Paramahansa Yogananda, including “The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of Christ Within You”

    Interestingly enough, a young Mormon girl listened to him speak when he came through Salt Lake City back in 1931. She had a profound spiritual experience, including a miraculous healing. She ended up following him to California and eventually became president of a group he established. She just passed away. More about her in the Salt Lake Tribune.

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  17. Mike S on December 15, 2010 at 9:21 PM

    Val: Things are untestable now, but that doesn’t mean they will always be so. At the same time, there are many physical processes that higher dimensions model. There are also hopes that the LHC might be able to help “unravel” some of these higher dimensions.

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  18. Mike S on December 15, 2010 at 9:25 PM

    AndrewJDavis:

    Our paradigms certainly do change. Science taught now is quite different from that found in textbooks from 100 years ago (although I just got a new copy of Euclid, a 2500 year old work that is still amazing). Fortunately, science accepts change. Some people do get attached to ideas and cling to them, but evidence ultimately sorts out valid ideas from invalid ideas (hopefully, and most of the time)

    These same paradigms also change in religion. Things that were eternal and essential in our Church 120 years ago will now get you excommunicated from the Church. And back in the 1970′s you wouldn’t see a black person conducting Sacrament meeting or a woman giving the opening prayer. These change too.

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  19. Mike S on December 15, 2010 at 9:31 PM

    James:

    Cool video

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  20. Mike S on December 15, 2010 at 9:32 PM

    Regarding a few of the comments, I actually do think (although obviously can’t “prove”) that we are 3-D representations of higher-dimensional beings. Entering mortality is essentially being “forced” or “constrained” into a 3-D universe.

    Much more on this in next week’s post.

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  21. Val on December 16, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    @Mike S.

    “Things are untestable now, but that doesn’t mean they will always be so.”

    It may be science some day, but it’s not science now. Still no grey area there.

    “At the same time, there are many physical processes that higher dimensions model. ”

    I do not understand this sentence. Are you referring to things like Higgs boson? That is, gaps in our understanding of physics that might be explained by a higher dimension? (As an aside, why is the dimension “higher”?)

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  22. FireTag on December 16, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    Val:

    “higher dimension” is just shorthand for higher number of dimensions”.

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  23. Mike S on December 16, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    As FireTag mentioned, higher dimension just means some dimension other than the normal 3 we encounter. It’s not technically “higher” as that’s just movement in one of the 3 dimensions we live in.

    Some use for higher dimensions is modeling. We do this in other areas as well. Imaginary numbers obviously don’t “exist” in the real world, but for many engineering and other applications, they are essential.

    There are also “real” things that we can’t directly see. An example: We can’t directly “see” a black hole. But we CAN make predictions about what we should see if black holes exist and test those theories. We can’t directly “see” electrons, but we CAN make predictions about what electrons should do. While we still can’t SEE electrons, they are intimately involved in everything around us.

    It’s the same with higher dimensions. For whatever reason (God-driven, anthropomorphic, etc.) the universe we perceive is 3-dimensional (& time as a possible 4th). While we, at this point in time, can’t directly measure any higher dimensions, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist. And people are looking for them, using science.

    There are predictions as to the influence of higher dimensions around the time of the Big Bang, and scientists are looking for relics of this in the CMB. There are also questions as to whether the LHC can generate high enough energies to let us confirm or dispute predictions of these higher dimensions as well. So, it is all within the realm of science, although the theories are untested at this time.

    Perhaps the biggest thing that other dimensions solve in my mind are many of the examples given above. If not from a higher dimension, how do we explain the examples. How does God see ALL of his creations before Him? For visitations by God and/or angels, are these portals instantaneously transporting a 3D physical being from one area of our universe to another? Can we ignore the constraints that light places on speed? How does the influence of the Holy Ghost work?

    We are physical beings. All of these spiritual experiences necessarily interact with our physical beings. While no one (including me) can prove that all of these experiences are the result of interactions with a higher dimension, this theory works in many regards. And it is simple. One thing – accepting a higher dimension – answers a lot of questions.

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  24. Val on December 16, 2010 at 3:39 PM

    Well, we know that most people are receptive to spiritual experiences, but autistic people are typically not. I would suggest that studying the difference between the two would be more likely to answer your questions about the Holy Ghost than idle conjecture(and has the side benefit of being unambiguously science!)

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  25. Mike S on December 16, 2010 at 10:40 PM

    Val:

    I do think that studying autistic people and spiritual experiences is a very interesting topic, actually. It would be interesting to look at the spectrum of types and see how they relate to spirituality. I’ll add that in my queue of topics.

    I suppose this post can be seen as “idle conjecture”. At the same time, there are a great many areas of overlap between science and religion. I’m mostly covering basic topics now (including universe, stars, etc). The next big grouping of topics will include “earth” things (ie. Adam and Eve, flood, etc). There will be another big group on health / psychological / etc issues (ie. WofW, faith, etc). So far I have enough topics for at least 40-50 posts, and am continually adding to them.

    So, some of these are more “idle conjecture”. Some of these are more “hard science”. But, at least to me, they are all interesting and eventually all tie together in various ways.

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  26. Thomas on December 17, 2010 at 11:46 AM

    “Well, we know that most people are receptive to spiritual experiences, but autistic people are typically not.”

    That’s very interesting. I’ve wondered about myself sometimes.

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  27. El Greco on December 20, 2010 at 10:09 AM

    Mike,

    I read Flatland in high school and similar books dealing with higher dimensions around the same time. I agree, I’ve always thought angelic visitations and other “miraculous” events could be better explained using the fourth (or even higher) dimensions.

    Also, the directions in the fourth dimension are called “ana” and “kata” by Charles Howard Hinton. I think they used these words in “A Wrinkle in Time” (could be another book I’m thinking of).

    One thing that I always thought interesting, though, is that if the 2D projection of a sphere is a circle, and the 3D projection of a celestial being looks like a person, what does a celestial being look like in higher dimensions? The part that we see (Moroni visiting Joseph, etc) is just a cross-section of the more complete person. What would they look like as they moved ana and kata through our world?

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  28. [...] seem a bit daunting, but it will all make sense.  To start with, though, if you haven’t read the last post in this series (or Flatland itself), it will be easier to start there.  Go ahead – we’ll [...]

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  29. [...] it as another dimension.  To understand this, go back to the Flatland example we covered in a previous post.  Imagine a circle moving around in Flatland, going here and there as he chose.  Now imagine that [...]

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  30. [...] Religion #12: Uncertain Why We’re Here? By: Mike S February 22, 2011 We’ve talked about Flatland and strings with 10-dimensions.  We’ve talked about God outside time.  But now it’s going to [...]

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  31. jeff henderson on October 26, 2011 at 6:28 AM

    Hello all!

    While I was on my mission in 1987-89, I ran across a talk (tape) given by some mormon scientists or G.A. I don’t know who it was – and I “THINK” the name of the talk was The divine calling of the Prophet Joseph Smith –
    In the talk he talks about the visits of moroni, the differences in light in the room, around moroni and then that which illuminated moroni himself. He talked about the new science with the speed of light – the Stanford reactor and things taking on a “glow” at the speed of light, etc.

    I’ve tried to find this talk – or the transcript – for YEARS. Can anyone help me??? Thanks!

    Jeff

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  32. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi on October 26, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    Reference Mr. Jug Suraiya’s very thought provoking article ‘Einstein Won’t Mind’ (Speaking Tree, Oct. 9, 2011, pg. 7). Einstein is great, but Newton is all time great. I would like to quote his few excellent lines from this article before I come to main theme of this article: “Faith and religious beliefs are destinations reached; science and skepticism are journeys without end”. But it’s to be modified. In Veda it is written, ‘Neti, Neti’, ‘not the end, not the end’. So in Vedic religion journeys never end. I consider Vedas the most honest scriptures which do not limit the scope of further exploration of truth. Now I come to the speed of light. This has long been proved since the time of discovery of black holes that the speed of light is not the fastest. Black holes do not allow even light to escape. It means the escape velocity at the black holes is much higher than the speed of light. Black holes are the infinitely dense ball of gravitation force. All creational forces of the universe have originated from the gravitational force field and will end up in it. The speed of light is no doubt fastest in our solar system. The source of light is Sun in our solar system. But how this light is originated? We should study the various stages involved in the formation of a star. Our Sun is also a star.

    The starting material for the formation of a star is mainly hydrogen gas and helium gas. If the hydrogen cloud contains a very large number of atoms, each atom feels the gravitational pull of all the atoms in the hydrogen cloud. (Here is NO LIGHT)

    The gas cloud becomes a permanent entity, held together by the mutual attraction of all the atoms present in it. The cloud then begins to contract under its own gravity setting off the process which will convert this huge condensed gas cloud into a star. Such a tight contracting cluster of atoms held in the grip of its own gravity, is called a protostar. The protostar is not yet a star and does NOT emit LIGHT. The temperature of this star is as low as -173 degree C.

    The force of gravity acting on different atoms in the protostar draws every atom towards centre. As a result, the protostar shrinks in size and its density increases. As the atoms in the protostar fall towards the centre, they pick up speed. Because of the high speed and greater density of atoms, the atoms in the gas cloud collide with one another more frequently, thereby raising its temperature from -173 degree C to about 10 ^7 degree C. At these extremely high temperatures the proton (hydrogen nuclei) at the centre of the protostar collide together and undergo a nuclear fusion to form helium nuclei. In this reaction a tremendous amount of energy is released. This further raises the temperature and pressure. The release of nuclear energy marks the birth of the star. The protostar now beings to GLOW and becomes a STAR. Here at this stage LIGHT is ORIGINATED. Thus light is NOT ETERNAL. It has a beginning and an end. So LIGHT cannot be claimed as Cosmic Constant. However, Gravitation Force is eternal.

    It is evident from the above description that light is latent before the birth of star. Light originates and become kinetic only after the action of gravitation force. So the speed of light can never exceed the speed of gravitation force. It cannot be ruled out that the speed of gravitation force is infinitely greater than the speed of light at black holes.

    Consciousness, Radhasoami Faith and Gravitation Wave

    According to Radhasoami Faith there appears a remarkable similarity between gravitation wave (prime current) and current of consciousness (adi dhara)

    Uthi soami charnon se ik adi dhar, wohi kull rachna ki kartar yaar;
    Usi adi dhara ka radha hai nam, usi se saren sabke karaj tamam.
    (Prem Bani, Part IV, Shabd

    Translation:

    In the beginning a primary current emerged from the feet of Al Mighty Lord,
    That current is the creator of the entire universe;
    ‘Radha’ is the name of that primary current,
    This sustains all the functions of the entire existence.

    Attributes of Gravitational Wave and Consciousness are identical.
    1. Gravitational Wave cannot be seen by any manner and Current of Consciousness can also not be seen by any manner (His Holiness Huzur Maharaj, Prem Patra Part II).
    2. Gravitation Force is the weakest force on the Earth of all four fundamental forces but is the strongest at black holes. Likewise current of consciousness is also the weakest in the Pind Desh (gross material region). According to terminology of Saints our Solar System is Pind Desh. But it’s strongest in pure spiritual region (His Holiness Huzur Maharaj Pilgrims Path).
    3. The tendency of gravitation force is towards centre (inward tendency). The tendency of consciousness is also towards source or centre (inward tendency).
    4. Both Gravitation Force and Force of Consciousness are imperishable. All other forces are perishable

    This is the most comprehensive scientific description of consciousness (prime spiritual current (adi dhara). The name of this spiritual current, according to Radhasoami Faith, is ‘Radha’. It is mentioned in Discourses on Radhasoami Faith by His Holiness Maharaj Sahab: “The letter-sounds ‘Radha’ are accordingly the nearest approach in articulate speech of the subtle sound accompanying the action of a spirit current”.
    From the description above I have drawn a conclusion as below:

    3. Gravitation Force is the Ultimate Creator
    4. In Scientific Terminology Source of Gravitational Wave is God

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  33. Mike S on October 27, 2011 at 8:06 AM

    #32 Anirudh Kumar Satsang

    This is a great comment. It has taken me a bit to respond, because I don’t know exactly how to articulate what I think I think.

    I’ve read your comment several times, and something is tickling my mind that there is a profound truth deep inside it. I’m just glimpsing echoes of a shadow of it, but am very curious to study it more to see what comes of it.

    Do you have any additional references you suggest to investigate this further?

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  34. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi on October 27, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    Dear Mike S. thank you very much for your very kind words. You may visit ResearchGate topic Astronomy and Astrophysics. I posted there a question “was there light before the formation of star?” This discussion has entered into a very interesting phase. Almost everyone agrees on this point that light is not eternal. It has a beginning and an end. If it is universally accepted it would be a great breakthrough in cosmological research. God Willing I am very much hopeful. Thanks and regards. Anirudh

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