1 The Fourth Dimension



Zen Buddhist masters require novice monks to solve a riddle or ‘koan’. Solving such a riddle is the ultimate objective of Zen training. Even ‘getting a whiff of the right answer’ pleases a Zen Master greatly. It shows that a monk is on the right track to understanding the true nature of the everyday world. Such monks are exhorted to redouble their meditation efforts. What then is the riddle of the everyday world, which we experience as pain, happiness, colours, sounds and a sense of touch etc.? Are these experiences universal and real, as Buddhists believe, or are they illusions created by one’s brain, as scientists believe?

Many people have solved koans, even if they are not Buddhists. But very few of them are scientists. One such person lived in the eighteenth century. Today he is well-known as a philosopher. But his scientific ideas, which closely resemble Buddhist philosophy, have been rejected by the scientific community. For example, when I added a section to Wikipedia called ‘Consciousness and David Hume’, it was rejected on the grounds that my interpretation of his ideas was ‘unacceptable’. My section began with the words: ‘Scientists study the world objectively. But they believe consciousness is a subjective phenomenon. Nearly three centuries ago, David Hume refuted the subjectivity of consciousness.’

Today, theoretical scientists attempt to describe the world using such abstract terms as length, breadth and height, energy, force, sub-atomic particles, lines, points, angles, electromagnetic fields, mass, dark matter etc., which cannot be defined, have no substance and logically cannot exist. In short, scientists have attempted to create an abstract world that mimics the everyday world, which in turn, they believe, mimics an unknowable reality.

This book is an attempt to close the gap between physics and reality. This requires the reader to accept the existence of two forms of the everyday world, which we experience all the time, but which scientists exclude from their deliberations: 1. A fourth dimension, suggested by Albert Einstein as a solution to the problem of gravity and 2, a universal substance or aether, suggested by James Clark Maxwell as a basis for the electromagnetic nature of the universe, which he discovered. Combine them and you get a four-dimensional aether; the everyday world.


Imagine sitting in the kitchen listening to the radio, having just returned from a trip halfway round the world. Your mobile phone rings and you answer it, but the voice you hear is in a language you do not understand. You must have picked this phone up by mistake along the way. A strange thought occurs to you; many phone messages taking place around the world are inside this kitchen. Then you hear the voice emanating from the radio and you think: 'Many radio and TV programs around the world are also inside this kitchen.' You look around you at the surfaces of the kitchen, every square centimetre of which radiates a different shade of colour in every three-dimensional direction. How come none of these colours interferes with any of the other colours? Why don’t any of these billions of waves (or particles behaving like waves, as scientists believe) – colours, phone and radio – distort one another? How are they all perfectly preserved? Even if you open the windows of the kitchen, the billions of air particles flowing through the room do not distort any of these waves.

Could it be that each size of wave or particle travels at a different energy level of a fourth dimension? Could it be that every object in the universe, including us, exists at many different energy levels, only a few of which we can see? Could it be that these energy levels cause all movements in the universe? More


The author, a Zen Buddhist, holds an engineering degree from Imperial College