In this section I am going to deal with the rather difficult subject of dimensional awareness. It is necessary to understand this before we can proceed beyond the Tree into the Tao.
For most of mankind's existence, we have been a zero-dimensional being moving within a two-dimensional space. What exactly do I mean by that? Mankind has always been three dimensional! This is true on the microcosmic scale, but expand that to, for example, the scale of the solar system even, and it reduces a person to a barely discernible point (zero dimension). Even the amount of travel that the majority of humans undertook in their lifetimes is reduced to a barely discernible point. A point is, in mathematics, a zero dimension. (A line is one dimension.)
The point has freedom of movement in two dimensions. Two dimensions are what mathematicians call a plane. Since we a dealing with cosmic scale, the Earth's surface can be considered a plane. It is not significant that it is curved (this is Euclidean rather than Cartesian geometry, but irrelevant).
During the time of the great empires, then again beginning with the 16th century, some people stretched themselves into one dimension and greater movement over the plane (i.e. Earth) took place. Gradually the majority of the population began to get the same mobility. Most of humanity, by the beginning of the 20th century, became one dimensional. This is one dimensional rather than two dimensional because of the limitations of communication. It was not possible to consider oneself to be in more than one place at a time. The movement was strictly linear without communication with the starting or ending points until the journey was taken again.
At the beginning of the 20th century there was first powered flight and then space flight. Not only that, but the increase and availability of communication allows us to consider ourselves approaching a two dimensional state. As at the end of 15th century, at first this was limited only to a few intrepid explorers with the rest of the world looking on. Later, with ship travel and later with air travel we have really mastered the second dimension physically. Also with fast letter post, telephones, radio, television, satellite communications and the internet we have widened the world. Now we can be aware of events taking place anywhere on the planet with a minimum of delay. Remember, however, that we this is still only available to some people, and not yet to all people. Nevertheless, the majority of the human race are aware of the possibilities, and, with at least radio, most have experienced part of it. So we can define the race as being two dimensional. We are masters of the plane which is the surface of the earth and its very close environment (again on a cosmic scale this is still the single plane of the earth).
Now we, as a society, are just beginning to explore the third dimension. Remember, I am talking in a cosmic scale, so air travel does not really count as a third dimension, only as an expansion of the second. So far, there have been unmanned probes that have reached far into the solar system. Our vision of the distances of space has been improving greatly with better optical and radio telescopes and the Hubble space telescope. Science is advancing communications with particle physics that may allow us in the future to communicate instantaneously over light-years.
Now let us look at concepts and projections. The travel within the mind. When mankind was zero dimensional, they could imagine the second dimension. As humanity moved out of its limited village and small town life, maps became available of the concept of the world. But note how limited the ideas of "the heavens" were at that time. There was the theory of the crystal spheres. Note how this was an extension, a projection, of the second dimension into the third.
As the second dimension was being explored, so too was astronomy. I do not believe that it was a coincidence that Columbus (1451-1506), Copernicus (1473-1543) and Nostradamus (1503-1566) were (near) contemporaries. At the beginning of the 16th century, explorers were extending that first and second dimensions, scientists were investigating the third, while visionaries were moving into the fourth: time.
By the end of the 16th century, beginning of the 17th, second dimension movement was commonly accepted. Reactionary forces were trying to suppress the understanding of the third dimension (Galileo's trial for example). In the same way they were trying to suppress the movement in, and understanding of, the fourth with the Malleus Mallificarum the Hammer of the Witches and what now is called the burning times.
Four hundred years on, we are ready to move forward again. In those years, mankind has become masters of the second dimension. It is no longer the intrepid explorer that travels over our Earth. There is hardly any place on our planet where we have not been, and could not go to more or less at will.
It is our time now to move into the third dimension, into space. In the last half of the 20th century, this has been happening, slowly. This is quite comparable with what happened at the beginning of the 16th century. We are used to events happening quickly in our modern age. The changing of attitudes and understanding of the majority of mankind are unlikely to get faster, however. Do not expect this third dimensional movement to go any faster, the mind of mankind has to catch up.
So what of the parallels with the next two dimensions? They are certainly there. The decline of the reactionary religions and the growth of alternative religions and philosophies shows how we are investigating the fourth dimension. Einstein showed us in the beginning of the century how time was indeed the fourth dimension. (The equation of relativity: x12 + y12 + z12 + ct1 = x22 + y22 + z22 + ct2 shows time t as the fourth part of the equation, but different from the other three dimensions: x, y and z. The c in the expression is the speed of light in vacuum.)
It is not, however, a matter of science alone to explore the fourth dimension. Perhaps it will not even be the tool of science that handles it. Time has always been a dimension for mystics, magicians and witches. Now is the age for all these to come to the fore, as indeed they are doing. It is not only them, of course. Even in the mind of the general population the concept of time travel and other mystical phenomena are beginning to be accepted, even if only in fictional form.
But beyond that are the visionaries, of which I count myself one, who are looking at what the fifth and higher dimensions might be. One of the purposes of this book is my attempt to explain the fifth and sixth dimensions, and to give a small pointer to what might be in the seventh dimension. But you are not likely to grasp that until you feel comfortable with all the concepts of the fourth dimension, time, fate and the Manifest Tao. So I shall first try to explain some of that.
In the chapter "The Tree of Life", I introduced the four dimensions of the Tao as represented by the manifest sphere, the Crown at the top of the tree, and the three spheres "beyond" the veil. Now is the time to look at those spheres and their meanings in greater depth.
The first sphere on the Manifest Tree is the Crown. For the Manifest Tree: it is the God of the Gods – that Divinity which transcends sex and has no doings with ordinary mortals. It is the current Jewish concept of Jehova, of even the Christian God – the creator, the prime mover.
For the dimensions of the Tao, it is and the zeroeth dimension Being. Looking at the first dimension of the Tao as being the flow of our life, this zeroeth dimension represents the point at which everything is: it is the "eternal present".
It would seem, at first glance, that these are very different concepts trying to overlay each other. Looking deeper, we see that it is not the case. If we have no concept of a flow or the other dimensions of the Tao, then it is little wonder that we might see the affects of the Tao, the Matrix and karma (explained below) as being some form of (static) Divinity. He or she that was before the world, and is still that way. We see it like that, because, unknown to us, we have moved along with the being. The whole tree moves within the Manifest Tao, the flow of time, the direction (vector) of the Will of Heaven.
So, since the Crown is a single point in the Tao dimensions, it is that point through which the Tao and its effects emerge into this dimension.
The first dimension of the Tao is the life that we experience. It is our way through time. The first dimension is a line, and line is the current path that we take. If we are aware, we might dimly see the way ahead, and in using the I Ching, Tarot or other divination tool we can determine what that way will be if we take no steps to alter it. This line in front is fate, also called the Wyrd, behind, it is memory. Fate is only preordained in as much as it is like a fault line though the plane of our existence. It is the natural way that things will run if we do nothing to change them, like a river running over a plane, taking the easiest path. If we or others exert will, that flow can be altered.
I can illustrate this with an example. Many years ago, I did a Tarot reading for a lady. It was a very gloomy reading, saying that she would die in the not very distant future. What I did not know was that she was not feeling very well in general, but was putting off a visit to the doctor – she did not want to know. The Tarot reading, however, showed her fate. That is, what would happen if she did nothing and continued putting off that visit to the doctor. Knowing her fate, though, frightened her sufficiently, that the lesser of two evils was to actually go to see the doctor and get some tests done. She went very soon after that, and was diagnosed to have cancer. However, since she had gone then, it was possible to operate, and her predicted death from it was averted. Thus knowing her fate, she was able to change it by changing her actions and the course of events as they were when I did the reading.
This brings in the second dimension of the Tao and the time lines.
Time and the Tao. How is that to be interpreted? I think Shakespeare gave a very good feel for it in Julius Caesar: "There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to greatness." The tide can be ridden to take us out of our river bed, our rut, and out over the plane of all possibilities. There are other faults in the plane, so there are natural courses for us to take. These are multiple fates, each of which will take us, by a different path, to the sea (continuing the analogy of the river). There are more deeply grooved paths that are more difficult to leave, and shallow paths where anything is possible. This plane of choices is the web of Wyrd, the second dimension of Tao and an idea of what the fifth mundane dimension may be.
Through divination we can see the fate before us, and can apply our will to change that fate. Even without the divination, we can try to take that tide that Shakespeare talks of, and change our lives. And not only our lives, as Cassius and Brutus found to their costs, but the lives of many others. The more we understand how the universe works, the stronger is our Will, the more we can affect the outcome of events. By learning magick, or by forceful and unified prayer: by becoming leaders or experts in our fields, we increase our effect on others. But with that power must come wisdom and, as much, the understanding that to lead also means to serve. Noblesse oblige – those that have the lives of others in their hands must look to caring for those lives. It is this that leads us on the Matrix, the interaction of one person's fate and will with that of others.
So, in the case of the lady for whom I did the Tarot reading: that she lived instead of died will have had many repercussions. Although I only met her the once (she was a friend's mother) my action of doing the Tarot reading may have changed many lives. Some for the better and some perhaps for worse. Because her mother did not die, her daughter was able to go to New Zealand to work, and so would have affected people on the other side of the world. All this, because I was in the position to use my knowledge, skill and spiritual gifts for her. It is this that makes the understanding of our actions, especially where those actions interact with the spiritual world, so important.
The Matrix is the third dimension of the Tao. The time line that we actually take, occurs in this "space". It is the web of all time lines that all people have. In thinking of the Matrix, it is simpler to forget for a moment about the plane of possible choices, and think just about the actual paths that are being taken. The Matrix then is the space where each line of each individual intersects and weaves around each other.
If you think in terms of the planes – " the webs of Wyrd" then you must think in terms of curved space, in as much that the concept of intersecting planes is too static and limiting to really express the Matrix. This is the Matrix of all people's Webs of Wyrd. It is the Web of Webs.
Although it would seem, by just looking at our own plane of choices, that any path that we took would be just as good as any other, this ignores its effects in this third dimension and how we interact with other people. In particular how each change of course in our path can have ripple effects throughout the Matrix. the whole is not just a static geological plane, but a flexible, dynamic tapestry like that the Norns weave in Northern legends.
Each person has their own optimum path through the Matrix. This is their (Manifest) Tao - it is the "easy" option, and that path that will allow the person to obtain those lessons and "enlightenment" through their current life. Aleister Crowley (in "Magick without Tears") calls it "True Will". I say "easy" there, not in the meaning that is going to be an easy life, but in the sense that it is the path that, as long as we understand where we are going, will allow us the most effective incarnation in this life and subsequent ones.
Note that this does not mean that there is no free will. There would be no way of learning our lessons if there were none, and we would all be automatons following some, unspecified, God's will.
To tune to one's own True Will I would recommend studying and using the I Ching as a divination tool. If you can learn to divine from this, it will help you find what your True Will is. After some exposure to this, perhaps one or two years doing regular readings, you should be attuned so well that you no longer need it.
So a change in path, an application of our Will, sets up change patterns throughout the Matrix, and creates a tension such that one of two things tends to happen. Either there is pressure on us to return to the original path. If this does not happen, then there is a situation set up in the Matrix for the tension to be neutralised and equilibrium returned. Depending on how great the deviation from the path the person has made, so the greater or lesser tension on the matrix. Also the greater or lesser effect it will have on the people with neighbouring and entwining paths.
The Matrix has its own natural laws that are very similar to the laws of physics on the material plane. So when tension is applied to the Matrix, it will naturally try to lessen that tension. Either by returning to the original state or by creating an affect to offset the tension in an equal and opposite way. These effects, the actions resulting from the creation of a tension have a name that is much misunderstood and that is karma.
Simply put, karma is the effect of the Matrix trying to relieve tension. The reason for karma is the disruption of the Matrix. It is the laws of nature redressing a balance in the Matrix, just as would happen in the ordinary world under Newtonian Physics: "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction."
Karma may try to return you to your original path or to a course that reduces and corrects those tensions in the matrix. This may happen over days, years or lifetimes, depending on the amount of tension that the person's choices have set up. Alternatively karma will set up some other action that evens out the effect of your deviation from the path.
It would seem from this, that any positive action would create as much tension as a negative one. Well, actually they very often do, but there is a reason that they do not always. That is purpose of the gods and goddesses. Some people rather call these guardian spirits, angels or saints. It is the reason and purpose behind our worship of, belief in and respect for these "celestial beings", which I shall call gods. By worshipping the gods, we give them power to act on our behalf. These beings are not subject to the laws of the matrix, but live within it and affect it. Their actions are then to remove those tensions in the Matrix that are done in their name, i.e. for good. Conversely, the worshipping of demons and devils will give them power to act to remove the karma of those working for evil.
My personal view is that much of what we see as the work of demons are just the ignorant affects of humans' actions and unaware peoples' reaction to karma. However, it may be another affect of the Matrix, that of energy levels. The concept of the gods moving at will through the Matrix and this idea of Matrix energy levels gives us an idea of what may be the next higher dimension of the Tao.
Energy levels are like those within atoms: electrons go round the atom at a specific distance. If you "energise" the substance, the electrons jump to the next higher orbit. Remove the energy and the electrons jump to the next lower orbit. They cannot exist in a state between the orbits. This is related to "quanta" and quantum physics. The matrix is a similar structure. If one or more people put a directed energy into the matrix, the matrix (and thus all human life) can jump to a higher or lower energy (i.e. spiritual) level. Such people are "saints" or "demons" depending on the general direction of the energy. Buddha, Genghis Khan, Attilla the Hun, Nero, Jesus Christ, Saul of Tarsus (St. Paul), Mohammed, and their followers and the Nazi movement have all been such agents. Many people have argued about the direction some of these people or groups have sent the matrix. On the whole, it is generally agreed that they have all had a major effect on the spiritual level of mankind.
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the Matrix has "energy levels". Not only that, but the gods and goddess as I mentioned before, exist in some way within, but independent of the Matrix. It is these two things that lead us to get some sort of idea of what the next dimension of the Tao might be. However, as I explained earlier, this dimension would be the seventh dimension of the mundane world. For a three dimensional being such as I am, mystic or not, to conceptualise a seventh dimension is stretching the imagination beyond what is capable at this time. I leave this to future generations who can obtain the fourth dimension and see beyond my limited vision at this time.