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Living in Eleven Dimensions

Did you know the universe has eleven dimensions?!

Over a hundred years ago Albert Einstein proposed that matter and energy were related. Ever since, scientists have explored the boundaries between matter and energy. We have pictured the universe as having four space-time dimensions that curve and twist with gravity. We know that matter is made of complex processes of energy. That the speed of light is the fastest speed in space-time.

With the development of quantum physics, we discovered more and more about matter and energy. We learned that particles and waves are two different ways of seeing the same energy process. That past the depth of particles and waves lies a quantum foam of probabilities.

How did we get here?

Science progresses by describing the world as accurately as possible, and then looking for where the description does not fit. For example, if Newton’s Law of Gravity describes 99% of what we observe, and Einstein’s Laws of Relativity describe 99.5% of what we observe, there is still something left unexplained. What is left over might be the unexplained relationship of gravity and electromagnetism, or a set of quantum circumstances in which the mathematics goes crazy and yields nonsensical results called quantum anomalies.

In the case of gravity and electromagnetism, Kaluza-Klein theory shows that Einstein’s gravity and Maxwell’s electromagnetism are better explained and are unified if you work in five dimensions rather than four. Klein proposed that we cannot see the fifth dimension because it is curled up very small around every point in three-dimensional space.

To show this in a two-dimensional drawing, we shall have to imagine that the grid representing space-time is actually four dimensions.

While this may seem fanciful, remember that even electricity seemed fanciful only a few hundred years ago. Maxwell’s equations of electromagnetism came in 1854, roughly five million years after humans got started!

The more closely physics looked at points in space, the more quantum particles they found, and the more complicated the picture became. To account for all the variations of quantum particles, physicists proposed that the points vibrated like strings sticking out of space-time.

In fact, to get all the possibilities for all of the particles that may exist, strings must have ten dimensions of space and one of time. It is precisely at eleven dimensions that quantum anomalies (problems in the math) disappear. That would suggest strongly that eleven dimensions is the right number of dimensions for describing the behavior of quantum particles. And quantum particles make up everything else.

Quantum physics even knows the shape of the interaction between the other seven dimensions and the four dimensions of space-time. The shape is known as a Calabi-Yau manifold, a six-dimensional folded shape with twisting, multi-dimensional holes in it.*

There is a Calabi-Yau shape for every point of space-time.

As Shing-Tung Yau puts it in The Shape of Inner Space,

Denizens of the four dimensional realm like us can’t ever see this six-dimensional realm, but it’s always there, attached to every point in our space. We’re just too big to go inside and look around.

This is a very interesting idea! We can imagine that for every point of space-time inside and outside us, there is a six-dimensional knot of energy that gives shape to the four dimensions we can see.

To put it another way, the picture that quantum physics has discovered is of space-time being woven by seven other dimensions.

Oddly enough, this is in perfect accord with the spiritual traditions of humans. Buddhism sees space-time as a veil of illusion. Hinduism sees a pure atman beyond space-time. Plato saw a world of ideal forms beyond the mundane appearance of daily life. The Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition sees space-time as the unfolding of a Creator.

Tantra sees a universe weaving itself.

Let’s explore that weave a little.

We know that humans are the most complex, unpredictable, and sophisticated energy patterns on our planet. Science has discovered mathematical laws about almost everything except humans. Humans have so many variables and so many complex interactions that to develop equations about humans has proven impossible.

We also know that humans have experienced for their entire history a set of energies that science has never been able to identify in space-time: emotion, desire, intellect. And that we associate these different energies with different parts of the body: heart, loins, head.

Tantric Yogi Tells All led us on an exploration of the seven energy centers, or chakras. If quantum physics tells us that seven dimensions of energy are creating space-time**, the correspondence between the seven dimensions and the seven chakras is hard to miss. It seems unlikely that humans would have evolved in such a way as to ignore seven dimensions of the universe’s energy! And, in fact, we haven’t.

Quantum physics shows us that the basic elements of human nature arise from an eleven-dimension waveform. Human experience has always told us that there are energies and dimensions to the world that we do not see. There’s a good possibility that sex and quantum physics have a great deal to say to each other!


*Calabi-Yau manifolds have six dimensions, which when combined with space-time, adds up to ten dimensions. The mathematics for eleven dimensions is so complex that it is largely undeveloped, so physicists reduce the eleven dimensions to ten, and then use Calabi-Yau manifolds in the description.

** This doesn’t necessarily violate either the Law of Conservation of Energy or the calculations of total entropy/information in the universe. Some physicists have proposed that the other seven dimensions absorb energy from space-time, weakening the effects of the gravitational force. This would, indeed, make space-time the open, dissipative energy structure suggested by Erich Jantsch, one with energy/information balanced between streaming into, and streaming out of, space-time.

Good Reading...

Brian Greene

The Fabric of the Cosmos

The Hidden Reality

Greene enthusiastically explains the frontiers of quantum physics as well as anyone.

Shing-Tung Yau and Steve Nadis

The Shape of Inner Space

A terrific exploration of string theory and geometry from the perspective of the man who proved the existence of Calabi-Yau manifolds.


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