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Wednesday
Mar092011

multi-dimensional living

Why live in one dimension when you can flip between many, choosing the right dimension at any particular time for what you want to do? 

I don't mean a spatial dimension, I mean something like a sci-fi 'other dimension'. Something experiential, where, because of altering your sense of time or priority, all your experiences are altered. With multi-dimensional living you actively seek to alter the way you experience things.

Multi-dimensional living is a new way to think about things you have probably intuited right at the edge of existence, in the shadows so to speak. It’s time to bring them out into the full glare of the spotlight.

Multidimensional living starts by attacking the prevailing accepted myth that we live in one dimension, that time passes at an even rate, that human energy, coincidence, alignment are all pretty irrelevant. When in fact they are key.

In a subjective sense time passes slowly when we are bored and quickly when we are interested. But it’s more complicated than that. When we are LEARNING time slows down-when we are consuming pleasurable experiences we may not really notice time passing- but probably sense it as going past rather quickly. The first two days of a holiday seem to last forever. The last two rush by. Everything is new on the first two and we are keen to enjoy ourselves to the full. We’re in another dimension.

One dimension is the ‘flow state’ you are in when doing something you enjoy, well. Cooking, climbing, playing bridge- you are carried along and ‘outside time’.

Another dimension is when you are learning something demanding. It takes all your attention- and though it is satisfying it is ‘like fun only different’. Time can pass very slowly in this dimension.

A third dimension is when you lying in bed and letting everything fall away. You are content just to lie there almost thinking nothing. Maybe you are observing yourself, the contents of your mind.

Is a dimension just another name for a mental state?

No. I think a life dimension is a combination of doing something, some activity, and the mental state that is generated by that activity or required by it.

Is there a ‘worry dimension’? A shallow dimension? What about talking about the past, remembering good times? That’s a kind of dimension.

Then there is making plans- the future dimension. Can be a blast.

Then there is the creative dimension. Making something new, maybe with others. A surge of energy as you set free the creative spirit.

The play dimension, when it just isn’t serious, when you can say anything, nothing is stiff, nothing cannot be bent to accommodate a different shape.

People at work inhabit the ‘professional dimension’. Is there are ‘friends dimension’? One for old friends?

We shift between dimensions accidentally. Some of us, of course, contrive to stay in one dimension all the time. The alcoholic uses booze to maintain the play dimension long after he should have quit trying so hard. The workaholic seeks to extend the sense of flow into every crevice of his life. Or hers of course.

When we are exhausted our bodies flip dimension without warning. You get depressed which is another dimension.

People in one dimension may not even notice those in another. Students out enjoying themselves may not even SEE another person quietly walking along the street observing them with a cautious or even envious eye.

Multi-dimensional living, which remains a project, a fantasy of sorts, nevertheless has its roots in the achievable- which is- the ability to identify other dimensions and like Captain Kirk and Spock- zap right into them. Flip into a new dimension to GET THE MOST out of life AT THAT MOMENT.

No, that isn't quite right. What I really mean is: being able to inhabit a new dimension where the unexpected can occur. It's not about repetition of tried and tested experiences. It's not about setting up a consumption experience, its about creating a sense of travel in the very moment of living. 

I mean that feeling when you arrive at a party, maybe there are some strangers there and perhaps a few friends- probably the party is in a strange place maybe abroad and suddenly all kinds of things are happening and being said which DON’T USUALLY HAPPEN. Rimbaud wrote that he sought ‘the systematic disorganisation of the senses’ in order to write fresh poetry. Surely he was trying to broach another dimension.

It’s about the vibe you give out. Because we mostly live in the same dimension we feel we give out 'no vibe' when in fact we are giving out the 'same vibe all the time'. Sometimes we realise this in seemingly trivial ways. I came back from a week long trip around Europe and sat in a coffee shop and people just started talking to me. This never usually happens- in England at least. I had a different vibe. Multi-dimensional living is about being able to alter the vibe you give out in order to experience a different reality.

Multi-dimensional living hides from us because it's evidence seems to lie in the flippant and 'unimportant'. I have found that wearing a loud crazy shirt to a party ensures that people are happier talking to me and more laid back than when I wear a black shirt…and yet giving a public speech in a black shirt works better than wearing a loud shirt. Clothes are a significant way to change dimension. Hence the attraction of fancy dress and cross-dressing parties. Who could be more important to the sanity of the court than the jester?

The biggest obstacle is when we are in a rush. Then we focus on our objective and send out a vibe that signals ‘don’t try and make contact with me’.

A party can create another dimension- not just through drink- through the shared experience of being there, perhaps in a strange place.

I have recently been reading about people who go ‘skipping’- finding stuff at night in supermarket skips. The writer compared the excitement and fun of it with the tedium of forking over cash at the till for the same goods (often they are in the skip because of being a day past the sell by date or the packaging is damaged). I remember the thrill of ‘getting a book for free’ from a publisher- by offering to review it- compared to the boring ease of buying the same book.

Could it be that making something that is usually easy, into something hard, is a way of slipping into a different dimension? The thrill of making fire with a bow drill compared to using a match is extraordinary. But sometimes you’re in a rush…rushing again.

When we are in a different dimension we have the kind of experiences that only usually happen to ‘other people’. Often we have amazing luck- good and bad. Naturally we prefer the dimensions that seem to supply good luck.

To be a master of multi-dimensional living one must primarily NOT be in a hurry. This is increasingly hard in our high-speed world. I suspect that many of the best dimensions exist in the realm of ‘unexpected downtime’- finding yourself in a situation which is unusual, where no one has to rush off. I find that literary festivals- especially those far away, can be like that.

Going on a trip helps- a friend of mine, I discover, is going to make a week long dogsled journey- now that will be entering a new dimension for sure.

Aren’t I just saying travel is a way to get into new dimension? well, maybe. But when you travel and know someone in the place you are visiting it seems easier to enter the new dimension then if you know nobody and you are in that old familiar me-alone dimension.

Multi-dimensional living is about being able to leave the old luggage behind. It is about sending out a new vibe- maybe having the ability to shift any occasion into something NOT BORING.

Drugs are the obvious way to enter a new dimension- but I don't want to be beholden to drugs. For it to be real you have to be able to do it without power assistance, so to speak.

I think the first task is to simply start observing yourself as you move through your daily life: ask yourself- what dimension am I in right now?

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