Inside, Seeing From the Fourth Dimension

Kimberly Burnham
3 min readOct 16, 2020

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A community consciousness and brain health essay.

If you draw a four sided square on a piece of paper, it is said to be a two dimensional object. It has length and width but not height. Of course a piece of paper does have height, so it is not truly a two dimensional object but for our purposes we will think of it as such.

Photo by Aditya Chinchure on Unsplash

You can also think of a house with no roof as having walls in only in two dimensions. From above you would be able to see everything inside the house or inside the square on the piece of paper. The contents of the house or square would be vulnerable to the elements and to being seen. You can easily see inside from the third dimension or from above. It is the reason castles were often built on a hill, so that they would not be vulnerable from above. As three dimensional beings we often create protective structures for ourselves, like putting up walls and a roof to protect ourselves from the rain and wind.

There is a wonderful movie, based on the book, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbott. “It describes the journeys of A. Square, a mathematician and resident of the two-dimensional Flatland, where women-thin, straight lines-are the lowliest of shapes, and where men may have any number of sides, depending on their social status. Through strange occurrences that bring him into contact with a host of geometric forms, Square has adventures in Spaceland (three dimensions), Lineland (one dimension) and Pointland (no dimensions) and ultimately entertains thoughts of visiting a land of four dimensions — a revolutionary idea for which he is returned to his two-dimensional world. “

Spoiler Alert: The feminist values in the book written in the early 1900’s are appalling. The movie, which is much more recent, leaves the misogyny of the book behind.

In Lineland, which a one dimensional space where there are only lines which can move forward or backward but have no concept of width (side to side) or height (above and below). A two dimensional creature like a square visiting from two or three dimensional space can see the middle of the line from the side or from above.

So, from the second dimension you can see inside one dimensional space. From the third dimension you can see inside a two dimensional space, which begs the question, “Where do you need to be to see inside of a three dimensional object?”

Some people consider the fourth dimension to be time. If we can follow light and energy through time, perhaps we can see inside — people, buildings, and other three dimensional objects.

Think about it, for a moment, what is needed in order to see inside another person. There is the physical — medical technology can use energy (ultrasound, x-rays, infra-red light) to “see” inside a person’s body. Alternative medicine practitioners use their hands to feel these energies and “see” or feel what is going on inside a person but with time we can also get to know someone, if we really paying attention.

Have you ever spent time with a person who you felt could see inside your soul? What was it like to feel their full attention for a period of time? Are you using time to see the world and community of humanity around you?

Think about where you would have to be to be able to see inside the fourth dimension or time. In a way by engaging in the moment, learning from experiences, and remembering the best of the past you are seeing into time. Imagine what the future could be like if we all could see …

Photo by Naomi Ellsworth on Unsplash

Originally published at http://www.innerchildmagazine.com/the-community-of-humanity.php on October 15, 2015

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Kimberly Burnham

(She/Her) Writer, Poet, currently working on a memoir, Mistaken for a Man, a Story for Anyone Struggling to Feel Comfortable in Their Own Skin, Clothes, & ...