At each moment of time—the Now—you stand at the gateway to an infinite number of possible futures in higher dimensional space. This gateway is the Choice Point.
Some of these futures are more likely to occur than others. If you do nothing, one of these probable futures will play itself out in a fairly predictable, even mechanistic way.
But as a conscious being, you also have the ability to affect how the future unfolds. Your experience of this ability is the sensation of free will.
One of the ways you can exert a force upon this unfolding is to use explicit action. Another way is through the subtle force of Active Consciousness, which allows you to enable unlikely unfoldings to occur.
According to the Columbia Encyclopedia, a field is a “region throughout which a force may be exerted.” Back in the 1800s, chemist and physicist Michael Faraday developed this concept in order to explain the mysterious properties of magnets. People at the time were perplexed by the way magnets could exert instantaneous forces upon metal objects when nothing seemed to be transmitted between them. Faraday hypothesized that magnets are always emanating an influence or force; we just can’t see it. And because a magnet’s sphere of influence—its magnetic field—is ever-present, it seems to exert a force instantaneously, without any form of physical contact or obvious mode of transmission.
…Fields can also be related to one another. For example, the magnetic field is related to the electric field because electricity can be used to create a magnet and a magnet can be used to create electricity. For this reason, the two fields are actually considered to be aspects of the same field—the electromagnetic field. … [One] important question in modern physics is whether all fields are, in fact, interrelated and aspects of a single underlying field—a unified field. If so, this field would form the foundation for all the others. And one interesting thing about the existence of such a field is that, for the various physics equations to work out mathematically, at least ten spatial dimensions would be required.1
So how does consciousness fit into all of this? If you think about it, consciousness might also be viewed as a field—a region in which the force of consciousness is exerted. For example, when we become “conscious” of something—when we feel aware, when thoughts pop into our minds—perhaps we are receiving and processing information arising from the field of consciousness. Just as we perceive the gravitational field as a feeling of weight or as the sensation of falling, perhaps “awareness” is our sensation of the consciousness field.
Things might go in the other direction as well. Not only may we feel the effects of the consciousness field, but we might also be able to exert our own forces upon it. In other words, not only may we be receivers of consciousness, but we may also be generators. Just as a magnet can both create a magnetic field and be influenced by the forces of other magnets, consciousness may be both a field we are affected by and an active force that we can exert. Instead of being puppets buffeted about by the field of consciousness that surrounds us, we may all be active participants in a grand ballet of energy, exerting our own active forces of consciousness into the mix.
Of course, from the standpoint of quantum physics, much of this is old hat. It is already accepted by physicists that, at the subatomic level, everything is a set of probabilities or potentialities affected by awareness. Even a simple act of observation—or, indeed, an intention to observe 2—can cause changes in the subatomic realm. A quantum particle in several simultaneous states of “possibility” becomes jelled into a single reality when we exert the power of our gaze. In fact, if particles behave in a certain way once we decide to measure them, it is almost as if we are creating them or as if they are cooperating with our desires. But few of us believe that the mere act of forming an intention could have an observable effect on our day-to-day lives.
Perhaps we are wrong. …Experiments with random event generators… support the possibility that our thoughts and intentions can cause observable changes in the world.3, 4, 5, 6 Another set of experiments, conducted by researchers on the effects of transcendental meditation, found that if enough meditators work collectively, the amount of violent crime in a city can be lowered for extended periods of time. 7 The truth may be that our beliefs and intentions do affect our collective reality in profound ways all the time; we just don’t realize it. Researchers have found, for example, that when doctors dispense pills that they believe will work, the pills work better; and when they dispense pills that they do not believe will work, they don’t work as well. This is true whether or not the pills are placebo or medicated, whether or not the doctors know what they are actually dispensing or have come into contact with their patients, and even whether or not the patients are human. It’s often the intent or belief of a doctor that matters the most.8
… So if we do accept the possibility of an active force of consciousness, how might it operate? That’s where higher spatial dimensions might come into play.
The Fourth Dimension
Let me begin by saying that when I say “higher dimensions,” I’m not talking about figurative realms populated by mysterious beings. I’m literally talking about higher spatial dimensions. Just as a two-dimensional universe can be understood as a flat surface, and just as we ourselves live in three-dimensional space with objects possessing length, width, and height, a four-dimensional universe would actually be a space with one extra spatial dimension. While it’s easy to visualize other ways of adding a “dimension” to our reality—for example, a dimension of time would add a timestamp to each object, and a dimension of color would add a color—getting our brains to wrap around an extra spatial dimension is quite difficult.
…It turns out that a fascination with the fourth dimension was a fad of the late 1800s. This was the era in which mediums, like today’s television medium John Edward, were quite popular. It was also the era in which spiritualism emerged, an American religious movement focused on communicating with the spirits of those who had passed away. Scientists of the time proposed the fourth spatial dimension as a way of explaining spiritist phenomena. Ultimately, however, nearly all the mediums of the 1800s were debunked as frauds and as a consequence, speculation about the fourth dimension fell into disrepute as well. But perhaps we should not have been so hasty to throw the baby out with the bath water.
As mathematician Rudy Rucker points out in his book, The Fourth Dimension, 9 the first philosopher to discuss the possibility of a fourth dimension was Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). The idea of spirits as four-dimensional beings was then popularized by Johann Carl Friederich Zollner (1834-1882), an astronomer at the University of Leipzig. The first true theoretician of the fourth dimension, however, was British mathematician Charles Hinton (1853-1907), known for his work on visualizing the geometry of higher dimensional space. In addition to his mathematical work, Hinton also wrote a series of science fiction books, such as What is the Fourth Dimension? and A Plane World, which focus on realms with different dimensionality than our own. He also believed that higher spatial dimensions could be used to prove the inherently unified nature of the universe.
Hinton came up with a variety of ways to help us understand the fourth dimension and its properties. One was… [examining] the difference between two and three dimensions and then, by analogy, grasping the difference between three and four dimensions. Here’s [an] illustration of this technique.
If you take two flat two-dimensional surfaces and intersect them in the context of three-dimensional space, what do you get? The answer: a line, which is a one-dimensional object. To understand this, just imagine taking two sheets of paper and intersecting them. By analogy, if you take two three-dimensional spaces and intersect them in the context of four-dimensional space, what will you get? The answer: a two-dimensional space—a flat surface. That means, if there were another three-dimensional world floating out there and it happened to overlap and intersect with us, the region of overlap between our two worlds would appear to us like a flat, impossibly thin sheet of paper. Could this be an explanation for the phenomenon of ghosts? Are ghosts simply ephemeral two-dimensional visions of beings in another three-dimensional world? That’s what Zollner proposed in the mid 1800s…
Physics and Higher Dimensions
Of course, speculation about higher dimensions is nothing new to physicists; they have considered the possible existence of four or more spatial dimensions for a long time. For example, between 1907 and 1915, Einstein developed the theory of general relativity, which states that gravity exists because a large mass causes three-dimensional space to bend within the fourth dimension. This is easy to visualize if you drop down into two dimensions. What if the mass of a large Circle caused the flat world of two dimensions to bend around it in three-dimensional space? Just imagine bending a large piece of paper around the edges of the Circle. That would cause everything near the Circle to fall toward it. In the same way, bending three-dimensional space around massive bodies like planets would cause nearby objects to fall toward them. Voila! Gravity.
And what about wormholes? …Physicists believe that three-dimensional space might be bent so heavily by the mass of a black hole that the fabric of the universe folds back on itself, causing one part to intersect with another, thereby creating a portal between them. To see how this could happen, just imagine bending a sheet of paper so much that two distant points on it touch.
…One question that still begs to be answered, though, is: What kind of access can we have to the fourth or higher dimensions? Even if our bodies are stuck here in three-dimensional space, is there a four-dimensional aspect of ourselves that we’re simply not aware of? Ouspensky, Gurdjieff’s student and chronicler, thought so. In fact, he felt that the primary goal of Gurdjieff’s teachings was to help us access our higher dimensional selves. As Rudy Rucker writes, “For Ouspensky, the fourth dimension was not only a spatial concept but a type of consciousness, an awareness of greater complexities and higher unities.” 10 Thus, rather than trying to contact other beings in the fourth dimension, perhaps our real goal should be to tap into our own four dimensionality. Indeed, I believe it is from this higher dimensional perspective that we may be able to exert the deep power of active consciousness—the ability to navigate and influence the unfolding of our three-dimensional lives.
The Branching Tree
… [It turns out that] from the perspective of the fourth dimension, …a complete human life—every activity of the inner and outer physical body—would simply appear as an eternal shape or object in four-dimensional space. …[But] what determines [its] shape? That’s when things get interesting. At each point in time we make choices. Do we walk left or right? Does our body repair itself or does it descend further into disease? At each instant, we choose one from a potentially infinite number of possible futures that lie before us. And while it may seem that only one future is chosen at each point in time, perhaps all of the other possible choices and futures exist in four-dimensional space too. If so, then our many potential lives—from a four-dimensional perspective—would look like a vast branching tree of possibilities.
Interestingly, this idea was hypothesized by physicist Hugh Everett in 1957.11 In the quantum realm, particles exist in many simultaneous states until they are observed and become “solidified” into a single state. To us, these quantum choices seem random. Everett proposed, however, that there really is no randomness at all. Each and every one of the possible choices for a particle actually exists—in another parallel world. We ourselves perceive only one choice—the one that takes place in our world. But Everett asserted that the others choices exist too—in other worlds. Indeed, parallel versions of ourselves exist in those other worlds too, and they witness the particle resolving into other possible states. Mind boggling! It sounds like science fiction, and indeed, many science fiction stories have been written based on this idea. But what if it’s science fact? I believe that this conception of our universe may also be the basis for how active consciousness might operate.
Let’s begin to consider this mind-bending idea by simply imagining a single point of branching. Consider the world of a three-dimensional ball, depicted in Figure 1. The ball begins, at time t1, at the bottom of a road. When it arrives at point C (which occurs at time t2), the ball must make a choice. Does it move along the branch moving to the right, or does it continue moving upward? In one future reality, the ball has moved up at time t3. In another future reality, it has branched to the right at t3, creating a fork in four-dimensional space.
Let’s call C a choice point—a point in space and time at which the Now splits into two or more possible futures. In order for this split to occur, some force must be exerted. If this does not happen, there may be only one possible future—the one that would play itself out according to the mechanistic laws of nature. For the ball, this might be the future in which it continues moving upward, in a straight line. But if some kind of force, intention, or will is brought to bear at point C, the Now will split into more than one possible future, like a branching tree. And when we humans exert such a force upon our own lives, we experience the sensation of free will.
Of course, people usually make rather mundane choices at choice points. We might choose to move our arm or walk to the grocery store. But at times the actions we take can be much more subtle—like when our thoughts affect the behavior of a random event generator. What I would like to propose is that this more subtle kind of force is what underlies the power of active consciousness. I’ll call it the C-force. And just as the experiments with random event generators showed, a person’s use of the C-force can influence not only his or her own life, but can also affect the unfolding of the greater reality around us. As a result, each and every one of us helps to create a much greater collective reality—an infinitely complex shape in four-dimensional space. Indeed, even if we took into account every tiny mechanism already understood by conventional science, the influence of our collective use of the C-force would be beyond our imaginations! In fact, it might even be possible that our influence extends beyond four dimensions. If so, we humans—seemingly three-dimensional creatures—may have creative potential that we have only just begun to tap into.
The Process of Active Consciousness
…When I chose the term C-force, I used the letter “C” intentionally—because it serves as a reminder of several important aspects of this force: Consciousness, Choice, and Creativity. Using the C-force—the force of active consciousness—you can make beneficial choices that take you down desired paths in life. You can create new and unlikely paths as well. Either way, harnessing the power of active consciousness will enable you to make the improbable much more probable and become an active creator of your own destiny. Let’s examine this process now in more detail.
…One way in which the C-force might be used is through the process of manifestation. In this case, you enable an unlikely combination of otherwise mundane events to occur so that a desired goal comes about. For example, let’s say that you would like to get a desirable parking spot near a restaurant. The restaurant might be in the middle of a busy city where parking spots are hard to find, but finding the perfect spot at just the right time could definitely happen. Everything just needs to be coordinated correctly: the choices made by the person who parked in the spot before you, the route you choose to drive, the timing of the lights as you are driving, and so on. By invoking the power of active consciousness… , these fortuitous choices and events could be enabled.
Or let’s say that you would like to find a new job with better pay. You’ve been stuck in a rut for a long time and can’t figure out how to leave your current job situation. Through the process of manifestation, however, it may be quite possible that a sequence of events could occur that leads you to your goal. Perhaps a bout with the flu forces you to take a couple of weeks off from work. As a result, your quirky boss decides to lay you off. Now you’ve been forced to leave your job. The following week, a long-lost friend calls you unexpectedly. She tells you about an acquaintance who needs to hire someone with your exact qualifications—the dream job. With this connection, you get the new job with ease.
Another way the C-force might operate is through the process of creation. In this case, a bit more magic is involved because much more unlikely (but still possible) unfoldings occur. Whereas manifestation is about enabling an unlikely combination of events to occur, creation is more about enabling more unlikely choices and events to appear in the first place.
For example, let’s say that you suffer from chronic eczema. Given the natural tendency of the body to recreate itself in the same way, it is most likely that your skin will continue to suffer from this condition. You might apply some cortisone cream, which chemically forces the body to suppress the eczema, but the innate tendency for your skin to develop eczema has not gone away. The next time you experience a period of anxiety or come into contact with an allergen, the eczema flares up.
But remember this: your skin is always sloughing off and regenerating. The outer layer of your skin (the epidermis) is replaced every month. There is a possibility that your skin could regenerate without this problem and that it would never return again. It’s not very probable, but it is possible. Similarly, it is possible that a cancerous tumor could be broken down by the natural defenses of the body without the use of poisonous chemotherapy or toxic radiation. It’s not very probable, but it is possible.
I believe that the C-force—the force of active consciousness—can be used to create such improbable but possible choices for the body. For example, a patient could use the power of active consciousness to enable their skin to regenerate without eczema or their cancerous tumor to be broken down and absorbed. Such medical cases of “spontaneous remission” do occur. Because doctors cannot understand or explain them, they sweep them under the rug by saying that their original diagnosis was mistaken or that the cure was an unexplainable fluke. But what if more of us could tap into this kind of healing through the C-force—the Cure force? It would be wonderful! We could be spared many toxic medicines and expensive medical bills too.
In fact, “energy” medicines like homeopathy, acupuncture, and hands-on healing may make this particular application of the C-force substantially easier to achieve. That’s because they operate not only on the physical body, but also on a subtler aspect of our selves—what is often called the “energy body”…. By helping to dislodge problems within this invisible realm—a realm that most alternative medical systems view as the true origin of disease—such treatments vastly increase the probability that the physical body will be able to create a healthier future. As a result, they also make healing applications of the C-force easier to achieve.
…So how does this fit within with the four-dimensional model described earlier? … In Figure 2, I use circles to represent choice points and arrows to indicate possible futures that emanate from them. Let’s say that you are currently at NOW. The circle labeled GOAL is a future that you’d like to reach—say, one in which you have a new job. The circle labeled MOST LIKELY FUTURE is the most likely or probable outcome—the one in which you stay at your current job. As the diagram illustrates, you can reach your goal in at least two ways—either by choosing or creating a new path right now (branching upward immediately), or by doing so a little later on. For instance, right NOW, you might decide to quit your job. Or you might create an improbable future—through creation—where a freak accident or illness ultimately leads to you being laid off. By using active consciousness to enable new choices to appear and to help you make the correct choices over time, you may find that you are ultimately led to your goal of a new and better job.
…In many ways, it’s all about possibilities and probabilities. Even if something is improbable, it can still be possible. And if it’s possible, the force of active consciousness—the C-force—can play a part in making it happen. Using manifestation, you can make the right choices at the right time and, through an unlikely combination of such choices, you are led to your goal. Using creation, an unlikely choice [may unexpectedly appear] before you; you just need to take it.
[To find out more about Active Consciousness12, visit www.activeconsciousness.com]
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