17 July 2010

Do you know where Hell is?

In one of my favorite musicals of all time "Paint Your Wagon", Lee Marvin sings a song called "A Wandering Star":

Do you know where Hell is?
Hell is in HELLO!
Heaven is in good-bye
Whenever it's time for me to go.

I sing that same song sometimes after attending a wedding, two baptisms, a baby shower, and a saint's day party all in the same week. Seriously though, where do you suppose Heaven and Hell are located? I am pretty well convinced that Hell must be located right here on Earth because the Devil always seems to be close at hand. I think that Heaven is close by too but for a different reason and in another way. I am proposing that Heaven is in another dimension where the people in Heaven can see us and hear us but we can't hear or see them...except when we are dreaming or when we are troubled and praying. The concept is not as far fetched as you might think.

A long time ago I read a book about dimensions called "Flatland, A romance of many dimensions" written by Edwin A. Abbott in 1884. I highly recommend this simple little book as a starting point for anyone wanting to think some more about dimensions. I recently went back to read it again and you can find a copy on the Internet at http://www.geom.uiuc.edu/~banchoff/Flatland/. The narrator of the story is a square who lives in a two dimensional world named "Flatland" that is populated by various geometric shapes whose castes are determined by the number of sides they have and all aspiring to be a true circle but never quite achieving it.

One day square has a dream about visiting a one dimensional world named "Lineland" where everything is in a straight line. The people of Lineland are straight lines of various lengths according to their caste and the longest line is the King who is exactly 6.457 inches long. Obviously the people cannot reproduce through touching because their positions in line are fixed and so conception is accomplished through sound. The people have openings at each end of their bodies that emit sounds. For the males one end admits a tenor sound and the other emits a bass sound. I personally find this to be reasonable because I too have openings at both ends, one of which emits a tenor sound and the other a bass. The women of Lineland emit a soprano sound from one end and a contralto end from the other. Thus males and females mate through harmony, frequency, and amplitude. In his dream the square tried without success to make the king of Lineland see anything that is outside the realm of Lineland.

In his dream the narrator is then visited by a sphere from three dimensional "Spaceland", which he cannot comprehend until he sees Spaceland for himself. After the square's mind is opened to new dimensions, he wonders about the theoretical possibility of the existence of a fourth (and a fifth, and a sixth) spatial dimension. He also dreams about a place with one dimension called "Pointland". He discovers that Pointland has only one inhabitant who is the King and who perceives any attempt at communicating with him as simply being a thought originating in his own mind. The square recognizes the connection between the ignorance of the populace of Pointland and Lineland and his own Flatland regarding higher dimensions.

In traditional mathematics and physics, the dimension of a space or object is more or less defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify each point within it. However, there is an emerging theory of physics called "String Theory" that has opened up the possibility that extra dimensions, and parallel universes actually exist. So, now you see what I'm getting at. I think that Heaven is around here somewhere and when we "die" we pass from this dimension to the next just like walking through a door. I believe that some animals like dogs, cats, elephants, and dolphins are aware of at least one other dimension that they can see and we can't. I'll bet that someday we are in for a big surprise. You don't believe me? Don't be such a square!


Gloria said...

That is very intense Bob, but somewhat believable. What you said about dogs, cats, etc. knowing about this other dimension I agree with also. Are you saying Heaven is not up above (in the sky way up there) like we've been told? You know, the more I think of this, the more I'll have to think of this, because what you said about "hell" being "right here" and "heaven" being here as well....like walking through a door. I kinda like that. "Walking through a door." How sweet it is if we could just walk through that door, the right door of course. My doggie Chorizo, when she walked through that door was very happy at the end. She died in my arms you know, I felt her stop breathing, but guess what? She was no longer breathing and somehow managed to "wag" her tail 3 times, would you believe, 3 times to let us know that she was all right. How beautiful, huh? Thanks Bob, great post and someday we will all walk through that door into that next dimension. Viva La Vida!! y el next dimension. :)) My Spanish is bad, tee hee. :D seeya.

Calypso said...

We could get into some of Einstein's quantum theory and really confuse those flatlanders ;-)

Leah Flinn said...

The Mayans also believed in multiple dimensions of the underworld/heavens, as did the Gnostic followers of Christ. I love reading about this stuff and believe there are other dimensions we have not experienced/conquered. I feel too uninformed to have formed an opinion about the specifics on all of it, but it is fascinating!

Oh and I am certain hell on earth can be found at baby showers.

Ray Clifton said...

To baby showers I would like to add weddings, funerals, waiting rooms, and any Walmart.

Bob Mrotek said...

Just think about how happy you and Chorizo will be when you are reunited on the other side of the door!

I think Einstein's Theory was "Relativity" and he really didn't take to the "Quantum" stuff very well. Just like me :)

I'm with you!

I hated Walmart when I lived in the States. I was more of a K-Mart fan. However, down here in Mexico we depend upon Walmart for a bunch of stuff that we might not otherwise have so as much as I hate to admit it I am now thankful for Walmart, at least Walmart de México.

Don Cuevas said...

I've started reading a small but very well crafted novel, "Einstein's Dreams".

Maybe it would be more accurate to say that I've started looking at the words on the pages, but I do understand some of the author's concepts.

When I know for sure, I'll let you know.

Don Cuevas

Laurie said...

Leah has my vote! On a more serious note, I think garbage dumps in cities where people dig for food and to make a living are places where Hell on earth is living. The evil is in the air in those places.
On an even more serious note, I believe in a literal hell and heaven. I am planning a post soon on supernatural experiences. Paranormal if you will. Are they other dimensions? I don't know. Good stuff here Bob!

Calypso said...

I think Einstein's Theory was "Relativity" and he really didn't take to the "Quantum" stuff very well. Just like me :)

Quantum mechanics, also known as quantum physics or quantum theory, is a branch of physics that provides a mathematical description of much of the particle-like and wave-like behavior and interactions of energy and matter departing from classical mechanics at the atomic and subatomic scales.

Being a sound wave man I am in harmony with QM. ;-)

Actually Einstein had many theories and supported his friend Max Plank,
considered to be the founder of the quantum theory."

Further interpretation of the implications of Planck's work was advanced by Albert Einstein in 1905 in connection with his work on the photoelectric effect—for this reason, the philosopher and historian of science Thomas Kuhn argued that Einstein should be given credit for quantum theory more so than Planck, since Planck did not understand in a deep sense that he was "introducing the quantum" as a real physical entity. Be that as it may, it was in recognition of Planck's monumental accomplishment that he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918."

The foundations of quantum mechanics were established during the first half of the twentieth century by Werner Heisenberg, Max Planck, Louis de Broglie, ,Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Erwin Schrödinger, Max Born, John von Neumann, Paul Dirac, Wolfgang Pauli, David Hilbert, and others.

Seldom disagree with you Bob - you being the man - but I am a QM fan ;-)

Bob Mrotek said...

Thanks for the lecture Calypso. I need to remember to call upon you when my Quantum breaks down and I need a mechanic :)

Calypso said...

Sorry - didn't mean to lecture. Quantum Mechanics is not an easy subject to understand or explain. It is a subject I am interested in.


Tom said...

I enjoyed reading your post, Bob. I'd recently been thinking about "Flatland," trying to remember where I'd heard the idea. The context was trying to describe the different consciousness I experience living here in a hilly city with mountain views all around, and the flat mid-west of my youth...I find it a little disturbing, however, that I can sometimes relate to the King of Pointland's egomania.

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.