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by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright May 2008
This is an essay about the relation of a creator to his/her/its creation. It is about how difficult it is for a creation to know anything meaningful about his/her/its creator. (For the rest of the essay, “his" will take the place of "his/her/its".)
This question came to mind as I thought more about the characteristics a creator must have if they are going to live within the bounds of real-world physics as we know it today.
The question being addressed in this essay is: What relation will a creator have to his creations if he has to live within the bounds of the real-world physics we experience in our day-to-day living?
First, some basic physics about the difference between creator and creation. If a god created this universe we live in and can move freely through it in space and time, then this god is a 4D, 2T being: He lives in four dimensions of space and two dimensions of time.
We, his creation, mankind and the universe we live in, are a 3D, 1T creation. The dimensions I’m talking about here are the basic ones: height, width, depth, and time, not the string theory dimensions; those dimensions are a totally different topic.
A creator of this universe must exist in the three basic linear dimensions, plus an extra one – some dimension we creations cannot experience. We can conceptualize this added dimension, and do so when we talk about objects such as a tesseract, but we don’t experience this dimension directly. This extra dimension lets him move around freely in our space without making changes when he doesn’t want to. Likewise, if a creator is going to see our past, present, and future with equal ease, he must have an additional time dimension to be moving through. This lets him see our universe’s timeline as something like a piece of salami -- something not changing -- and lets him move from place to place freely in time and tweak different times and events as he desires. With these two added dimensions, he can become supernatural in the sense of being able to move anywhere and anywhen and see all things and make changes – omnipotent and omnipresent.
And beyond being mighty convenient, the creator must exist in these additional dimensions. This is one of the odd fallouts of the work of Kurt Gödel, Austrian mathematician of the 1930’s. His Incompleteness Theorems rule out a creator living entirely within a universe he creates.(here is a less technical explanation)
So, if the creator can’t live inside his own universe, what is he going to be like? What is his relation to his creations going to be like?
Warning: What follows is not going to be a description of a loving, fatherly-like entity. What I will be pointing out is that while such an entity fits nicely with human emotional thinking, it’s a difficult match with real-world physics. What follows is describing the kind of creator that real-world physics allows. Such an entity is quite different, so please bear with me on this.
This business of difference in dimensionality is not a “Ho-hum, so what? God still loves me." issue. It's big. It makes a big difference. It means that what God is thinking when he says something is quite different from what humans are thinking when they hear what he is saying.
To see how big a difference this makes, let’s look at an earthly analogy of a creator with different dimensions than his creation. Let’s look at ... Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse cartoons.
Walt Disney was a 3D, 1T being who created a 2D, 1T universe which contains a being called Mickey Mouse. Notice that how Mickey exists and how Walt Disney exists are different. They have different properties and one of those differences in properties is how they think. 2D Mickey does not think in the same sense that 3D Walt does. Likewise a 4D creator is not going to think in the same way a 3D creation does.
Keeping this enormous gulf in properties in mind, let’s explore how these two relate to each other.
First off, did Walt Disney love and care for Mickey Mouse? He most certainly did!
Second, did Walt Disney care if Mickey Mouse went to church and praised Walt Disney as his creator? Not in the least. If he did care, he would have drawn cartoons with Mickey Mouse doing that.
Notice that Walt Disney could easily have done this, but he would have considered it meaningless.
Notice also that this level of control means that Mickey Mouse has no free will. Mickey Mouse is not going to surprise Walt Disney in that way.
Mickey will surprise Walt Disney in how Walt feels about the way a cartoon turns out, but he's not going to surprise him with any spontaneous action in the cartoon.
Third, how does Walt Disney communicate with Mickey Mouse? Well ... he draws a cartoon, that's how he communicates. If he discourses with Mickey, he does it by drawing himself in a cartoon talking with Mickey.
Is Walt really in the cartoon? No.
Are Mickey's actions affected by what the cartoon Walt says? No, only the real world 3D Walt affects Mickey's actions.
Conversely, how does Mickey communicate with Walt? Well ... Walt thinks about him, and Walt draws a cartoon where Mickey is talking. Mickey never says anything to Walt that Walt doesn't draw him saying.
Fourth, if Walt tells Mickey, “I'm going to bring you into my 3D world”, what does he mean? Does he mean that the soul of the cartoon is going to move out of the cartoon? No, he means that he's going to have an actor put on a Mickey Mouse costume, and perform a 3D caricature of the 2D cartoon character. This action is very real to Walt, but utterly meaningless to the cartoon Mickey.
Did cartoon Mickey's 2D existence prepare him for being a 3D costume? Walt Disney would say, “Oh yes! If I hadn't drawn the cartoon and learned from that, I wouldn't have known how to create the costume, and the actor wouldn't have known how to act while wearing it."
The point being, in the Creator's eyes there is a distinct linkage, but the creation does not experience a thing!!! Mickey Mouse cartoons are not changed one wit by the 3D Mickey costume; the soul of Mickey does not move from one to the other.
It is likely that man's relation to his creating god is similar to this Walt Disney/Mickey Mouse relation. That means that what God plans for man and what man thinks God is planning for man bear almost no relation to each other. It means that preparing to go to an afterlife will have quite a different meaning for the creator than it does for the creation.
It means that the soul that is part of our 3D body may not have any noticeable connection to the perfected body that the creator makes from the inspiration our mortal experience has given him. This is particularly true if the perfected body is 4D, not 3D.
Notice that this god I'm describing is a loving and caring god. He loves and cares, just as Walt Disney loved and cared about Mickey Mouse. If our creating god does his loving and caring in his 4D, 2T universe, we 3D, 1T creations of his mind will likely not feel a thing of it.
I offer this story of Mickey and Walt as an alternative description of a loving, caring creator god to that offered by standard Christianity. This god loves and cares, but the gulf created by existing in different dimensions is so great that what the creator means by loving and caring and what the creation means by loving and caring have almost no relation to each other.
But... but... Mickey Mouse isn't alive!
Some who read this would point out that Mickey Mouse isn't alive to us.
Let me point out that we won't seem alive to any being who can see our past, present and future. We won't seem alive to such a being because we won't move in his dimension. If we did move, he wouldn't see our past, present and future. This is a characteristic of any being living in a higher number of dimensions looking at beings living in a lower dimensions who can see their past, present and future.
If we do move from his point of view, it's because he is intervening and making changes, much as Walt Disney could redraw a Mickey Mouse cartoon.
-- The End --
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Part Two is a discussion of the same issue that I covered in Part One. It's the same story, but told in a different way. This issue is complex enough that telling it in a couple of different ways may make what I'm trying to say clearer.
by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright May 2008
Hi. I'm Roger White, the writer of this story and the creator of Mickey Ratsass. I'm a 3D, 1T being: I live in three dimensions of space and one dimension of time. Mickey Ratsass, my creation, is a 2D, 1T being: He lives in two dimensions of space and one dimension of time.
Mickey is a cartoon character, an animation, and I'm his loving and caring creator.
I love and care for Mickey, and I have created his entire universe.
What I'm exploring in this essay is: How do Mickey and I get along? How do we relate to each other?
I will talk about my relation with Mickey to illustrate how relations between beings of different dimensionality are conducted. The way I relate to Mickey is going to be similar to how a 4D, 2T being who creates 3D, 1T beings is going to relate to them.
What loving and caring 4D, 2T being has created tens of billions of 3D, 1T beings? I will let you figure that out.
First Axiom: First off, Mickey doesn't do a thing unless I put pencil to paper. This means he has no free will. He, in fact, does not think as I understand the meaning of thinking.
But he can act like he is thinking. He does this when I draw him in a way that makes him look like he's thinking.
This is Rule Number One of Mickey's universe: Nothing happens in it until I put pencil to paper.
First question: Am I a loving and caring creator?
Oh yes! I thought long and hard to create Mickey, and each time I create a new episode, I think more about him, and I care about how each episode comes out.
Second question: Can Mickey surprise me?
Well ... yes, and no. Mickey's actions can't surprise me. I draw him. I know exactly what he does.
What can surprise me is how I feel about what he does. I can be happy about how his animation turns out, or I can be disappointed. I can be surprised at how other 3D, 1T beings feel about Mickey when they watch him.
Will Mickey sense that surprise? Only if I draw him doing so. Well ... not really. He can be drawn to show surprise, but he can't really think surprise in any 3D sense.
Third question: How do I talk to Mickey?
Well ... I talk to him in many ways. The most common way is that I mutter while I draw him ... but that way doesn't show up in any of Mickey's actions.
If I want Mickey to act like he is talking to me, I draw a picture of myself next to Mickey. Then I draw Mickey talking to that picture and the picture of me talking to Mickey.
Is the picture of me, me? No. Does Mickey think that the picture of me is me? He does if I draw him that way. And I can draw him as if he understands what I'm saying.
Fourth question: How does Mickey talk to me?
Well ... he doesn't, he's just a drawing.
But when I think about him, I think about him talking to me. I think about his motivations, and then I draw them in him. This is where Mickey gets surprising: Sometimes I can draw his motivations clearly, and sometimes they just don't seem to come out right.
Fifth question: Do I care if Mickey worships me?
I smile at this question. The only way Mickey is going to worship me is if I draw him doing so. To actually draw him going into a church and getting down on his knees to pray that he serves me well ... and have him do this a lot ... hmm ... sounds pretty narcissistic for my taste, but maybe some animators would enjoy it.
Sixth question: Can Mickey sin?
He can if I draw him doing so! Watch this!
... Well, not really, he's not doing it -- I'm doing it.
Can he become habitually or irredeemably sinful? Only if I draw him that way. His audience may demand it of him, but his actions are really my habit, my will, not his. Note that he will change when I change, not when he changes.
Seventh question: Can my children learn from Mickey?
Oh yes! My children can watch and learn. Is Mickey the same as a child of mine? No way! He's a creation of mine, not a child of mine. There's a big difference.
Eighth question: Can Mickey live in 3D?
Yes! I can make a Mickey Ratsass costume and have an actor get inside and perform.
Is 2D Mickey aware of what I've done when I make a 3D Mickey costume? Not really, because he's not really aware in the 3D sense at all ... but I can sure draw him admiring the 2D image of the 3D costume! So, he can be quite aware of it in his world. And, ironically, the actor doing a 3D performance of Mickey is just as real as the 2D animation!
Ninth question: Is it necessary for me to draw a picture of my only begotten son living in Mickey's world so Mickey can be redeemed for his sins and the sins of his fathers? Is it necessary that this drawing of my son suffer a humiliating and painful death so that he can take on the sins of Mickey, and then Mickey can join me?
... Eh? ... What a strange question! I drew Mickey. The sins, if there are any, are mine!
What difference is the painful death of a drawing going to make to me? This is all so strange. ... Where did this question come from?
Tenth question: Is Mickey created in my image?
He is ... but it's a pale, pale image. He can't think like I do. He can't act like I do. He doesn't face the same world I do. Calling him an image of me is fun, but he sure can't act in my place in any meaningful way.
And making a 3D, 1T version of Mickey, a Mickey costume, doesn't really bring him any closer to being like me, or being part of me.
But... but... What about free will?
Free will is something we 3D, 1T creatures possess. That doesn't guarantee that our creator has it. It may be an endearing trait that our creator admires, but there is no creator/creation relation logic that axiomatically supports the creator having it.
Look at the relation of Roger and Mickey Ratsass.
The world of the creator and the creation are different. It is really hard to "map" processes, such as thinking and sin, from beings of one set of dimensions to beings of another set.
What insight does the Mickey-Roger relation offer into the man-god relation?
Explaining issues such as these is something I've never seen done well by anyone who tells me he or she believes in a loving and caring creator.
A story of mine that has a loving and caring 4D/2T angel entering our universe is “Searching for Angels” in Tips for Tailoring Spacetime Fabric Vol.-2. A story with humans and their new cyberlife creation thinking about things in entirely different ways is “The Failure”, also in Tips Vol.-2.
-- The End --
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Don Mache Aponte asked some questions about this essay, here are the answers.
"Mr. White, you have left me with more questions than answers. For one, what is two dimensional time(2T)? As you are the sole controller of your creation, where then is free will? If your creation doesn't move or feel without you, then has he reached a state of perfection?"
First, some background: The relation of a creator to his creation is a topic that I have been fascinated with for years. My fascination comes about because I find Christianity so illogical, yet so many people are deeply impressed by it.
Being of a science fictiony nature, and loving to describe really alien aliens, I have worked on explaining what characteristics a creator of our universe would have to have. This essay is one of a couple written based on those insights. (See the end for a couple more links.)
Here is some more description of the insights I have come up with.
First, an axiom: If a creator creates our universe, he must live... exist... outside of it. This was first pointed out by a French philosopher as part of a paradox. (but sadly I can't locate which one).
Conclusion from that axiom: If he exists outside of our 3D universe, he must be a 4D entity.
Second, an observation from the Bible: God knows us inside and out, and throughout our history.
Conclusion from that observation: God must move freely through 3D space and time. To do this he must have an additional time dimension. Therefore he exists in a 4D 2T environment.
Observation from this conclusion: The entity that is "God" is going to be very different from a 3D 1T entity such as ourselves. I wrote this essay to give an analogy. If we look at our relation to 2D creations we can see an enormous gulf between what 2D creations are capable of experiencing and what 3D creations are capable of experiencing. I'm proposing that a similar enormous gulf exists between us and our creator.
The essay goes into some pragmatic details of what the gulfs between 2D, 3D and 4D are like.
"As you are the sole controller of your creation, where then is free will?"
Does this relation preclude free will? Not necessarily. Free will can be a feature of 3D existence. But, the 4D creator is going to look upon free will as being "cute", just as we look upon 2D animation as being cute. Sure, free will is fun, but it's not very important to 4D existence. But... again... if this creator can see our entire existence at one time (due to his 2nd time dimension) it's not going to look much like free will to him.
Here is another insight that I have had based on God with 2T. Imagine this:
God is making our existence. We're late into Day Six. God has cooked up the Garden of Eden, and he heads in with the Tree of Knowledge in his hand, and with Jesus at this side. He is ready to plant it. As he starts doing the spade work... <chuck>, <chuck>, <chuck>... Jesus gets ugly premonitions! He starts feeling at that same time (2T) the <knock>, <knock>, <knock> as his 3D image centuries later (1T) is getting nailed to the cross!
Whoa! This is one of the differences between us and our creator.
This is why it's really hard for me to accept that anyone on earth can claim to understand what our creator has on his mind. If you think a while about it, it just doesn't make any logical sense to make that claim.
...But, as you can tell, I find it fun to think about. <grin>
"If your creation doesn't move or feel without you, then has he reached a state of perfection?"
...Eh? I think that perfection is an irrelevant state when dimensionality is being considered. That said, if the 4D being looks upon the 3D universe has some kind of artwork, then the emotion of perfection may enter his thinking about the universe.
--The End --
PS Some links:
o Here is a link to an essay discussing the size of the universe and how that relates to intelligent design How Small Can Mankind's Universe Be?
o Here is a link to a blog I had with my brother, Toby, on this topic Roger's Blog and Essay section
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