Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dimensions (1) Linear Algebra

If you have a warped mind like mine, you might find the next couple of posts interesting. If you are left in the cold, come back in a few days time.

Many years ago when I was studying theoretical econometrics, I had to master linear algebra to make sense of the proofs. I do not remember much of what I learnt, but I was I was struck when we projected an n-dimensional subspace into an m-dimensional subspace, if n was greater than m, any object would be slightly different, but would carry its form through. For example, if a sphere is projected from a three-dimensional subspace into a two-dimensional subspace, it becomes a circle. It is not exactly the same, but it is still a perfect representation of a sphere.

I remembered this bit of maths, because it seemed to have theological application. We live in a three-dimensional world, where things have height, depth and width. If you include time, it is a 4-dimensional world.

God operates in a world with many more dimensions than ours. The spiritual aspect of life can be thought of as another dimension beyond the three core dimensions. The spiritual world is not another world in another place, but an additional dimension to the physical world we observe. We do not know how many dimensions the spiritual world has, so it is an n-dimensional subspace, where n is greater than 4.

Jesus is a perfect representation of God. He said that if we have seen him, we have seen the father. In a mathematical sense, Jesus is a projection from an n-dimensional subspace into a 4-dimensional subspace. He does not look exactly the same as God, because he was confined to the three dimensions of our physical world. However, he is the best representation we can have of a multi-dimensional God, given this necessary constraint.

1 comment:

Steve Scott said...

Ron, if you include time as a fourth dimension, how all of history is projected into our sense of 3 dimensions is a mystery. For some reason, I am somebody who can think of time as a physical dimension, although I cannot see it in reality, a vast majority of the time anyway.

There have been times when I was able to see something in a spiritual sense and was able to project that out to a conclusion in the future, but those things don't happen often.