a place for space

title page of Flatland by Edwin Abbott published in 1884Every thing has a place/space in which to exist. Some of those places are metaphorical, non-material, abstract and even imaginary (but no less real at that).

Superman has his Fortress of Solitude. Even Jehovah has a place of his own (see below).

Every thing exists where the sole owner is in a plaice of its own. Nothing else can be in that place*. The space of the place fits exactly as if it were custom made.
The space that fits the thing that fills the space has edges that comprise the exact shape of the boundary between "thing" and "not thing", self and non-self, "me" and everything else. The surface of the space that faces the thing delineates the boundary of the thing filling the space, much as matter delineates gravity delineates the geometry of curved spacetime [Wheeler's spacetime tells matter how to move; matter tells spacetime how to curve].

Every thing lives in its place including place itself. There is a place for place; there are places for places. Like a widget on a website every 1-dimensional space is embedded in a 2-dimensional space embedded in a 3-dimensional space embedded in a...

So too the code for this Universe is embedded in the code for a meta universe or multiverse, which in turn is embedded in a meta-metaverse, and so on. Turtles all the way down.

Nor can you have any of them without all of the others. There are no n-dimensional places that are NOT contained within an (n+1)-dimensional space. That's the power of higher dimensions over lower. But in turn lower dimensions have a power over higher dimensions: they require higher dimensions to reveal themselves. Higher dimensional things protrude into lower dimensions --- even if sometimes only by an edge or surface of zero thickness --- or at least are immediately contiguous with lower-dimensional realities.

Maybe those protrusions are portals/gateways to other worlds, other realities, or could be interpreted as such, eg per the "wormhole" idea beloved of science fiction writers and some physicists. Maybe lower dimensional creatures can't perceive or access higher-dimensional realities. Such as the "compactified" ten, eleven, or twenty-six dimensions of the string theorists. Maybe UFOs come from an invisible triangular spaceport above Bermuda. Maybe invisible flying camels built the pyramids. Maybe pigs can fly but only in July. Jus' sayin'.

Imagine that you take a pencil and draw two stick figures (Jack and Jill) on a piece of paper. The surface of the paper is 2-dimensional. You and your pencil are 3-dimensional. The sketches are 2-dimensional (excluding the height of the graphite trails left by the pencil). Jack and Jill would be able to see the trails left by the moving pencil, but they wouldn't be able to see the pencil itself. To them the trails would appear as if by magic. And were you to grab an eraser and rub out Jill, to Jack it would seem as if Jill had mysteriously vanished into thin air (as mysteriously as boats are believed to vanish in parts around Bermuda, and elsewhere).

Certainly these possibilities are not unimaginable: they're imagined in this post. Much less elegantly and much less entertainingly so than by Edwin Abbott in his novella "Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions" published in 1884 (title page pictured above).

Just as reality is embedded in hyper reality embedded in super duper reality, so too must transcendant gods such as Jehovah have a context, a place, a meta-deism in which deism is embedded: God's god, if you like (or if you don't). And yes, incompleteness theorems do apply and are absolutely relevant, but let's not go there right now.

Take Jehovah, please. Let's say Jehovah creates something, the Univrse, say. For the universe to exist it must have a place or context in which to exist, and it can't be the same place or context as that where the creator of the universe lives.

Transcendent creators stand apart from their creations, transcend their creatures. It is that apartheid, that bipartite separation that gives rise to the real or otherwise need for intermediaries, eg priests. As well as the need for instructions/commandments, rewards and punishments, and a whole host of distinctions, differences and separatenesses such as holy vs unholy and good vs evil.

If people and deity are separate, if people are just plain naturally bad (=original sin) well then they will have to be told how to be good. And some of the people will do the telling, and some will do the listening, and never the twain shall meet. Those who obey will be rewarded. Those who don't will be punished. Because, as Jehovah himself admits, God is jealous and wrathful. Not to mention demanding and intolerant. So believers had better listen up good. And just to make sure, let's write it all down in a great big fat book.

All these things arise from the nature of transcendence.

In contrast, the immanent creator is not so much creator as compriser. The immanent creator comprises creation, self-identifies as creation, is identical to creation. Quite simply is Creation.

By virtue of being creation the immanent creator stands inn the same place as creation, obviating the need for intermediaries, instructions, commandments, holy books, rewards or punishments.

There are a number of scenarios featuring immanent creators. Pantheism is one.

* In theory two things can occupy the same space at the same time. Most of matter is empty space, so if you got the molecules of one piece of matter to fit into the spaces between the molecules of another piece of matter, then the two pieces would occupy the same space at the same time.


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Karen said...

I hope I haven't misunderstood your larger point but yes, every thing has its place regardless of wormholes.

Shubhajit said...


I believe whatever a man can imagine and zillion other things that one can't imagine also exist. at the first place we only see things in a one plane with our five senses...suppose if we would have another sense perception, say magnetic sense then we could perceive other things in this universe.
at the second place, where all those imaginations come? where is the source? if that doesn't exist then how it comes to our mind? it is not possible something comes out of nothing...

Shubhajit said...

there was 19th century philosopher Schopenhauer who understood the things with will. i think that was a mistake. when we take account of transcendental reality, we have to take account beyond the time, space and cause and the will is something that is changeable but absolute can't be. will is changing as an external and internal motion, therefore, will can't be the cause of this universe. i'm typing, my will is the cause of the movement,and this will becomes manifested as muscular motion at the other end. but the same power that moves the keyboard is moving the heart, the lungs, and so on, but not through will. given that the power is the same, it only becomes will when it rises to the plane of consciousness, and to call it will before it has risen to this plane is misnomer.

Faycin A Croud said...

I've always enjoyed contemplating these sorts of things. This seems to be one of the few places that actually invites such contemplation. Sad to say, most minds are very closed.

Nessa said...

Turtles Rule!

You always pack so much in your posts. I love to wallow in the ideas.

masterymistery said...

Karen, every thing has its space even space itself. The whole discussion of the geometry of space / spacetime is there as context for the larger point about two different styles of deity. Which I think is relevant to some of the pathologies of human behaviour.

Shubhajit, agree with your first point, about what we can see/perceive, eg the recent discoveries or theories about "dark energy" and "dark matter".

About your second point, several different arguments here especially around "dualism". I agree with you that there must be non-material domains for non-material things to live in. But many other people would disagree.

But just to take you up on your last sentence, which somewhere along the way became a saying "ex nihilo nihil fit" (Latin --- "from nothing comes nothing"). The whole universe is a free lunch -- a clear example of something emerging from nothing.

According to physicists, sub atomic particles are emerging and falling back into the underlying vacuum all the time. A vacuum = nothing. Yet some things come from it. cf Casimir Effect. Matter itself per the above comes from the nothing of the vacuum.

Faycin, Sadly it's true that most minds are closed, or relatively so, and the whole story seems these days to be taking on an accelerating dynamic --- the dumbing down of human culture, such as it is. Where it will end is unclear, but for sure there'll be tears at some point.

Hi Nessa, thanks for the compliment. Evocative metaphor -- makes me think of a water buffalo: a noble creature but dangerous when angry! Not quite strong enough to support a universe on its back!

Thanks all for your comments.


mgeorge said...

To paraphrase a cartoon called Robotman, can an omniscient being "create a stone so heavy not even he can lift it"? The witness is cautioned not to commit a cardinal sin when replying.

masterymistery said...

mgeorge, being omniscient, the being would know how to make anything --- there would be nothing an omniscient being would not know how to make. So he would simply make a stone so heavy he would not be able to lift it, but one that he would be able to lift! And being omnipotent there would be nothing beyond his power to make.

Thanks for your comments. Robotman sounds like a cartoon I should be watching...

weirsdo said...

That is all interesting; however Levinas presents another possibility: a psychic immanence, if you will, in which transcendence (redefined only inheres in our own ethical natures.

masterymistery said...

Hi weirsdo, yes, good point, never thought of it that way before, that immanence and transcendence may be present in varying proportions, may be conflicting aspects of a being human or otherwise, and that those proportions change over time, so the nature of the being changes over time. My head hurts!
Thanks for your comments.

masterymistery said...

and weirsdo, who or what is Levinas?

masterymistery said...

Shubhajit, I'm not sure I understand your point about Will correctly --- I tend to think there is nothing other than Will, everything is Will, or consciousness, if you prefer. The "creative will". Then there's the "agency will" comprising pure intentionality, ie forcing the adoption of a position. much like the observer collapsing the wave function in quantum physics. Huh?

weirsdo said...

Tried to leave this Levinas link before: hope it takes better this time.

masterymistery said...

weirsdo, that link seems to be working. Interesting post, Thanks very much.