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!
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