Why can’t we see in more than three dimensions?

imagesWe know we live in a space of at least five dimensions.  I wonder why we can’t see it that way?

We easily have the capability of modeling multi-dimensional space mathematically.  With enough computer power, you can plug and chug all day.  11, 12 dimensions — knock yourself right on out.  Seems like five should be easy.  I can kind of wrap my head around four; in other words, I know when I look up at the night sky, I know I’m looking back into the past as well as distance.  So how come I can’t figure out what a tesseract looks like?

Keep in mind we are talking about visual imagination, not retinal bandwidth.

Couple of possibilities.

The brain isn’t wired for it.  And what we see and assume to be the default world is just a projection artifact.  Certainly possible, and this offers an appealing explanation for our subjective perception of time.   But the math part of the brain isn’t having any trouble with it.  The philosophy part isn’t either, people have been speculating about additional dimensions for years.  The biblical description of heaven being “a house of many mansions” sounds like a good description of  a hypercube.  So this would be a limit isolated to perceptual systems.

Eyeballs are stuck to the brane.  Here,”brane” refers to a modern concept of the structure of reality, which holds that there are chunks of three-dimensional space floating around with matter and energy stuck to it.  So the brane is sort of like The Matrix in that regard. We live in a local 3-d environment (3+1, where the fourth dimension is time) floating around in whatever else is out there.  Discussion here.   So in other words, we really are living in 3+1 and our eyes are seeing everything that can sling photons at them.  The brain is stuck to the brane, too.  Maybe that affects the way we think about things.   I doubt it though.  The tangible part of the brain is stuck in the matrix.  But what about the intangibles, like intelligence?  I think that’s a different matter.

We see what we want to see.  I realize I stole this from the “I see dead people” movie, and maybe that’s the point.  Maybe we could if we really tried.  People see all kinds of crazy stuff.  They see auras, they get visions.  They get near-death phenomena. Maybe if I really concentrate and cross my eyes just the right way.  Maybe if I could question all my assumptions, shake up all my pre-conceived notions, really free myself from the heuristic…

Whether we would really want to try is another issue.  I imagine it would be hard to drive a car that way.  “Honey, the light’s changing.”  “I see that light as the thing in itself, as everything it has been, and everything it could be.  To say that it is ‘red’ or ‘green,’ in the so-called ‘now,’ is meaningless.”  “I’m walking.”

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