Fourth Dimension

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H. P. Blavatsky did not believe that the idea of a fourth dimension of space was quite correct, and talked the "absurdity of assuming that Space itself is measurable in any direction". In her view, "the familiar phrase can only be an abbreviation of the fuller form—the 'Fourth dimension of MATTER in Space'."[1]

She states that the characteristics of matter that we know depend on our senses, and that at this point of evolution we perceive matter in "three dimensions":

The three dimensions belong really but to one attribute or characteristic of matter—extension; and popular common sense justly rebels against the idea that under any condition of things there can be more than three of such dimensions as length, breadth, and thickness. These terms, and the term “dimension” itself, all belong to one plane of thought, to one stage of evolution, to one characteristic of matter. So long as there are foot-rules within the resources of Kosmos, to apply to matter, so long will they be able to measure it three ways and no more; and from the time the idea of measurement first occupied a place in the human understanding, it has been possible to apply measurement in three directions and no more. But these considerations do not militate in any way against the certainty that in the progress of time—as the faculties of humanity are multiplied—so will the characteristics of matter be multiplied also. Meanwhile, the expression is far more incorrect than even the familiar one of the “Sun rising or setting.”[2]

This perception of matter will change with the development of new senses as evolution proceeds:

The characteristics of matter, must clearly bear a direct relation always to the senses of man. Matter has extension, colour, motion (molecular motion), taste, and smell, corresponding to the existing senses of man, and by the time that it fully develops the next characteristic—let us call it for the moment PERMEABILITY—this will correspond to the next [the sixth] sense of man—let us call it “NORMAL CLAIRVOYANCE;” thus, when some bold thinkers have been thirsting for a fourth dimension to explain the passage of matter through matter, and the production of knots upon an endless cord, what they were really in want of, was a sixth characteristic of matter.[3]

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Notes

  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 251.
  2. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 251-252.
  3. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 251.