Sadly, I don't have all the answers. If i did, I probably wouldn't be here.
But since I am here, I'll try to answer as best as i can.
Try to read all of the following with this idea in mind: "Everything is perspective."
>this would require that the time dimension somehow be
>perceived by this 5-D being as another spatial dimension.
Yes. By definition.
>So for this 5-D being, what replaces time?
First off, let's clarify something. It's not a function of the number
of dimensions perceived. Just like we spoke of "flatlanders"
earlier, and presumed that they experienced a sequential time as we do, there's no reason why there couldn't be yet another creature who took up,
perceived, and functioned in four, five, or however many dimensions you'd like.
Now, that aside, the question is still the same. A five (or however many) dimensional creature which perceives "what we perceive as time"
>what replaces time?
Why does anything need to replace it? Remember, time and space are not fundamental. They're simply ways of describing things. Let's reverse the
question: What about a creature which perceives one of our spatial dimensions, as time?
Well...is that really so odd?
Let's work with a crude example. Let's take a mountain. And, let's say that there is a race of creatures for which the base of the mountain is the
begining of time, and the peak of the mountain is the end of time. And, over the course of their lifetimes, they "experience" each
two-dimensinal-slice up the mountain, in sequence.
Is there not a "relationship" between each frame and the next? Is there not continuity? In one "moment" of mountain, the base is so wide, in the
next it is slightly less so. In one "moment" there is a tree root, and in the next there is where root attaches to trunk.
Does this not resemble your "cause and effect?"
Now let's throw something interesting in to the picture. Let's say one of us humans comes along and digs a hole and pulls out a great big rock. The
hole causes an avalanche and all of the dirt above comes crashing down and settles to fill the hole, amidst much chaos and destruction and noise.
How do our little mountain people experience this change?
They don't. At least, they probably don't. No more than you or I would notice if someone were to go back in time and remove something and cause a
ripple effect throughout our lifetime. We would experience it as one contiguous lifetime, with no observed changes. As would the mountain people. If
you would like to suggest that a vague awareness of this sort of change accounts for deja vue, and the like, well, ok. Could be.
But, that does bring up an interesting idea. the "time" that the mountain people experience is not totally static, is it? It changed. They had no
awareness of it, but we did. and similarly, the five-dimensional creature mentioned above could change, and observe the changes in our "time." But,
it probably wouldn't describe "that" in the same way. Because, what we're describing is a "change" occuring over the course of a fourth
dimension, which a fifth
-dimensional creature would not be perceiving as time, but rather as a static, stationary length.
Now...are there six
-dimensional creatures out there watching the fifth dimensional cretures, seeing them as stationary objects just as they see
us, and as we see trees? Well, maybe. I don't know. Perhaps it does continue on, in an ever ongoing spiral. or perhaps not. Again, I'm proposing
that the fact of space and dimensions at all isn't fundamental in any way, but merely a manner in which our "mind" represents all that is to us. A
way of experiencing / observing / "being aware" of "God," if you will.
Hopefully this is intuitive. Language is not well suited for describing relationships between things which occupy more than four dimensions.
>you need time to flow for processes to happen
Remember, time and space are just ways of describing things. "Time" does not "flow."
So, yes. You're absolutely right. You do need "time" for processes to "happen." But, processes don't
happen. We merely perceive that they
do. The reality is that "Things are
What if there is absolutely no connection between the "you" of "now" and the "you" of five seconds ago?
Can you perceive five seconsd ago? Can you observe it in any way? What if the two "you's" are merely separate, distinct, and unique beings, one of
which happens to have a "memory" of everything the other one does, plus a little bit...sort of like the base of the mountain is everything that
"the base of the mountain minus five inches" is, but plus a little bit?
Kind of creepy, huh?
Now, it may not be as bad as all that. I would suggest that yes, the you of five seconds ago and the you of now are in fact, the "same" in one
sense, but not in the manner you are probably accustomed to thinking in. I would suggest that all those instances of "you" do in fact, constitute a
We're simply not sufficiently aware of ourselves to perceive all of that..."at once" any more than an ant on a table is able to perceive the entire
length of that table all "at once."
In fact, I would even go one step further and say that we do probably have, to some extent, the ability to "change" our selves in four dimensions.
Not via some crude form of "time travel" but rather, genuinely, the four dimensional creature that we are, probably can, and does "move" and
change itself, albeit poorly and slowly. (Though to be fair, even if it did it extremely well and quickly, us individual instances that are talking to
one another on this board wouldn't neccesarily be aware of it. I'm speculating here.) Think of plants. They seem stationary and static, but they do
in fact move around...lean towards the sun, and so forth. Are they aware that they're doing it? Probably not. Plants may very well be two-dimensional
consciousnesses occupying three-dimensinoal space.
Much to their detriment, I might add.
>( perception is a process ).
Is it? How so? If you want to say that, in one moment something is not perceived, and in the next it is, then sure...there is process there. But i
would say that the fact of awareness
(or perception) is not a process at all. It is simply something that is
. In any "frame" of
existence, it may or may not be present, but there is no change involved.
[edit on 3-10-2005 by LordBucket]