Fourth Dimensional Awareness
And the Attainment of Higher Knowledge(1)
Part I: Fourth Dimensional Awareness
Jesus, in the Gospels, is recorded as having proclaimed that his kingdom was not of this world. What could he have meant by this? Of course, I don't know for sure. But here's a meaning I derive from what Jesus seems to be saying, a meaning that to me is consistent with other words attributed to him elsewhere in the Gospels and seems also in keeping with the spirit of the Gospels.
We have the capacity to live life according to our knowledge, our understanding. With this in mind, let me suggest to you the possibility that there exists four separate DIMENSIONS OF KNOWLEDGE. By knowledge, let's assume we mean what we know, the range of information held by us. In this respect, knowledge differs from awareness, awareness being what one is conscious of at any given time, what one is experiencing.
Let's further suppose that there is a Power - call it the Spirit of God if you will - which is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient - concerned with the creation of the universe. Let us further suppose that the universe is the creation of this Divine Spirit's contemplation of itself (as related in Genesis).
It's first form of expression was what we now know as the electron, the building blocks by which this Divine Power created all physical things. It entered the electron, so to speak, that is, that electron was formed according to its image, and by its nature being Spirit uses it as a medium of expression.
We find other forms in nature: atoms, molecules, chemicals, minerals, plants. Each so constructed that they will allow the Divine Power residing in them to be aware, or conscious, only of other physical things.
Take the electrons - whirling in space at the speed of light - never getting in the way of one another - all controlled by this Divine Power that directs them, which we call Spirit and others call Nature, World-Soul, Universal Mind, and so forth.
The electron is only a form. Of itself, it is not aware or conscious of anything. What animates the electron is Spirit, and Spirit which in the electron is aware only of other electrons around it. This awareness comes by way of a vibration.
All forms, from the electron up to plant life, are constructed by Spirit, which has entered these forms and is limited in its expression, and awareness, to other THINGS that may be around it, in contact with it.
This limitation of the Divine Power to an awareness of other THINGS we would classify or describe as the FIRST DIMENSION OF KNOWLEDGE. So in the Electronic Kingdom, the Mineral Kingdom, the Plant Kingdom, we have only ONE POWER that expresses itself, the Divine Power or Spirit that constitutes the Life of these forms. And
it is limited in what it can be aware of while in these forms.
This is somewhat like a well-educated, very brilliant person in a sound-proof, padded cell. Though very intelligent, such a person is limited - while confined in the cell - only to things that pass by the door.
So Spirit, having all the knowledge and wisdom that exists in the Universe finds itself incarnated - one might say - in forms known as electrons, minerals and plants - and while in those forms, limited to the awareness only of other THINGS that come near it.
As the First Dimension of Spiritual Awareness, or Spiritual Consciousness, embraces the kingdom of the electrons, the minerals and the plants, so the Second Dimension extends to a few higher more complex forms of plant life and the Animal Kingdom.
In the form of the Second Dimension of Awareness, Spirit is conscious not only of THINGS, but of rudimentary time. The sunflower, for example, is aware of things and also aware of that portion of tim called DAY and NIGHT.
Tie a string so that its face is turned away from the sun, and next morning you will find that the plant will have broken - or tried to break - the string, and will again be pointed towards the sun. Spirit within that sunflower form seems to have awareness of rudimentary time. Such forms seem to be endowed with the gift of an INTERNAL CLOCK. (E.g. the mimosa plant will open and close its leaves over a period of 24 hours even if kept in a darkened room. It seems instinctively to know night from day).
Higher plant life is aware not only of day and night, but also of the seasons, the movement of the planets and other timing factors that affect their daily rhythms.
Timing is important to the Animals too, if not more so. In lower animal forms, Spirit is conscious of other things and rudimentary time, similar to some plant forms, and also of rudimentary DISTANCE, or space. It is able to judge motion. The degree of awareness in higher animal forms is dictated by the needs of the form - the way it catches food, how it evades its enemies, if it swims, crawls or flies, and whether its day begins at dawn or dusk.
The Spiritual Awareness or Spiritual Consciousness that animates the higher animal forms is said to be of the lower Third Dimension - which includes THINGS, RUDIMENTARY TIME, and external SPACE.
For example, take the Arctic Tern which summers in the north pole and winters in Antarctica - an annual migration of 22,000 miles.
The Third Dimension of Awareness also animates the Human Kingdom with a more complex awareness of things, time and space. The human form permits Spirit to be aware of time in terms of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years. It also allows awareness of the measurement of distance - in meters, kilometres. A child can tell you the distance from Toronto to Ottawa or Montreal, but no animal form is capable of having that knowledge.
The human form can allow the Spirit to be aware of other worlds, of the Outer World in which that form lives.
Is there a higher dimension of awareness, a Kingdom not of this Outer World, a Fourth Dimension?
This Dimension could be said to be attained when the form has become a medium in which the individualized human consciousness, along with the Spiritual Consciousness within the form, can be aware of something that no other form of Life is capable - that is the INNER DIMENSION OR KINGDOM WITHIN.
Such a form that has attained to this awareness is said to have greater life - to have life and to have it more abundantly. Is it with this understanding that Jesus - definitely a FOURTH DIMENSION PERSON - said: "I have come to bring you life and bring it more abundantly."
What does it mean to say that one brings us life? Does Jesus mean to imply that we are dead?
Perhaps, in this context, we would be justified in taking the word life to mean awareness. The Life in the individual is the awareness. He came to bring us spiritual awareness. Once we understand the difference between knowledge and awareness, we have an understanding which can be very helpful indeed - an understanding of the expression of Divine Life through form.
Go out in the woods - notice the grass, trees, animals - all material forms activated by Spirit, which is their life. You can easily get into such an environment and be said to be communicating with the Divine. Everything in harmony, until third-dimensional man starts mucking around with it. From order comes disorder, chaos.
But within our form we have a Soul - an offshoot of the Divine Power. The spiritual path is one where the Soul learns to allow the Greater Consciousness, which we call God, to express more fully through our human form. Then we can have life (awareness) and have it more abundantly.
The child, to become fully human, has to become de-animalized. He has to be taught. He has to learn how to act as a human being. Becoming human is not simply a matter of instinct like the birds and the other animals.
In all his education, learning, however little if anything is taught to the child about the Inner World, the INNER PERSON, the real person which is the SOUL.
First, the human form acknowledges that there is a Divine Being or Power that controls all forms except the human form. The human form is controlled by two parts - that which is controlled by the Spirit, and that is controlled by the Soul.
If so, then, naturally with such an awareness we might expect such a Soul to want to know if he or she is properly doing his or her part.
The challenge with this awareness is to change our expression so that it is more in harmony with God's will or the way Spirit would operate the form if it alone had all control.
This change-over is the initiation process each Soul must experience to become One with the Divinity that is within. Even though we may consider that the human being is, in reality, a part of the Divine Spirit and that the Soul, being immortal, has aeons of time to make this transition, from the third to the fourth dimension, even though all this be true, there will still be some persons who want to make the transition quicker than they would in the normal course of events. to these, we owe much because it is those Souls who pave the way for others (as Jesus said: I am the Way). They show us how to overcome our animal nature and enter into that other world - the Fourth Dimension - the Kingdom of God.
When we begin to act in tune and in harmony with the Infinite, when we return, like the Prodigal Son in the Parable, to the Father's house; and such a Soul begins to appreciate the truth of the words found in the V.O.T.S.L.: Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is yours.
This surely is an invitation to work with the Father and become like the Son, Jesus, one who works for the Kingdom of Heaven, to help restore mankind to its birthright - working in partnership with the Divine - achieving therein a peace and happiness that surpass all present understanding - where there is life in abundance - in its fullest sense.
Part II: The Attainment of Higher Knowledge
We have two kinds of senses - or faculties - those which are physical and those which are spiritual. Our spiritual faculties operate in this world but are not of it. They are of the other world that Jesus spoke of when he said "my kingdom is not of this world." How can we enter that other world? How can we gain its knowledge? How can we acquire those supernatural gifts which are our Divine inheritance? How can we, as the Prodigal Child, return to our Father's House.
How can the uninitiated - is it possible for them - acquire any interest in the so-called higher (or spiritual) knowledge, what has been metaphorically called "food for the soul." In John 4 (32-34) Jesus is reputed to have said "I have food to eat that you do not know about." How or why are we to search for something, the nature of which we can form no idea? The truth is that there is no difference between higher knowledge and the rest of our knowledge. Just as anyone who chooses can learn to read and write, so anyone who chooses can become a disciple, or teacher, of this so-called higher knowledge. There is no obstacle for the one who sincerely desires this knowledge. It's not a matter of education, wealth, social status, environmental opportunities. Some believe a MASTER, an enlightened one is needed. But that is not the way.
Then, what is the way?
The way is to cultivate in oneself a special attitude - an attitude of devotion, of veneration. We might call this way the Path of Devotion. Only the one who maintains this attitude can become a students of the higher knowledge. an initiate of this "other world."
If we do not develop within ourselves a deeply rooted feeling that there is something higher than ourselves, we shall never acquire the strength, the courage to evolve to something higher. The heart of such a one must be inspired by the spirit of veneration and devotion. That spirit is available only when one passes through the doorway of humilities - he lets go of arrogance. The opposite of humility is arrogance, not pride, for the opposite of pride is shame. We can gain this higher knowledge, then, only when we are ready to esteem it.
There are laws governing the spiritual life, just as there are laws governing this physical world or life - we call them the laws of nature, not all of which we yet know, or may ever know.
Never underestimate the power of devotion for this is a powerful pathway to higher knowledge, to the supernatural world, to the attainment of spirituality.
Every judgement, every carping criticism, negativism, frustrates the power of the Soul in its desire for the attainment of higher knowledge int eh same measure as all heartfelt devotion develops the powers of the Soul for this attainment.
Judgement and critical faculties are essential and have contributed to the development of civilization - but at a cost., the cost being a corresponding loss of the higher knowledge of the Higher Life - a loss in spirituality.
When life was simpler, spiritual exaltation was easier of the attainment. What needed to be venerated, to be kept holy stood out in better relief from the things which preoccupied man's daily life. The emotions of awe, respect and prayer play a less important part in the life of the average person today. He is emotionally overloaded and jaded.
This higher knowledge must be crated within ourselves. It cannot be done by study alone, but only through study AND living - by cultivating a devotional mood. We must look for that which demands of us admiration and homage - devotion to God and the contemplation of God - the God WITHIN.
Whoever can devote himself or herself to observing Life as it expresses through form - whether it be called animal, plant, or human - must adore this expression, be in awe of it, wonder about it. If we meet ta brother or sister and blame him or her for his or her weakness, we rob ourselves of power to gain this higher knowledge. But try to enter lovingly into his or her merits, and we gather such power.
We who seek this higher knowledge should endeavour to banish from our consciousness all thoughts of disrespect and of criticism - and endeavour instead to direct our energy to cultivate thoughts of devotion.
We rise rapidly in consciousness when we fill our consciousness with thoughts which evoke admiration, respect, and veneration for all forms (of Life). This is the way our spiritual eyes are opened. We begin to see things hitherto we were unable to perceive. Before we say dimly, now we see clearly. We may one day see, with our spiritual eyes, the human aura.
This path of discipleship is followed in silence, unnoticed by the outer world. It is not necessary that anyone observes a change in you as a spiritually oriented person. Life goes on as usual. We perform our duties as in the past. We attend to business as usual. The transformation goes on only in the inner part of the Soul - hidden from outward sight.
At first it's not easy for people to believe that feelings like reverence, respect, and adoration have anything to do with perception. But remember it is the Soul that perceives - not the physical senses.
"Feelings r for the Soul what food is for the body." Feed the body stones, its activity will cease. Veneration, homage, and devotion to the Divine Power which animates all existence are nutrient for the Soul, making it healthy and strong. Disrespect, antipathy, underestimation will starve the Soul and diminish its activity.
The aura will change as the Soul harbours feelings of devotion and reverence. Tints of yellowish red or brownish red will be replaced by tints of bluish red.
One who constantly seeks dissipation in this outer world, who moves continuously form one distraction to another, cannot find the way to the higher worlds. Neither should we disengage ourselves from the outer world, but allow our enriched inner life point out the directions we should take.
Only what we experience within ourselves reveals the beauty of the outer world.
The true disciple will set aside certain moments during which to withdraw into himself quietly an alone - listening in complete silence to the echoes of what he has experienced, of what the outer world has revealed of itself. In these moments of quiet, every flower, every animal, every action will unveil undreamed of secrets. The external world will be viewed with different eyes.
The disciple does not merely enjoy his keen sense of his impression of the outer world. What he values is what this world through these impressions afterwards reveals.
Here there is great danger, great temptation. We must not stop at the enjoyment, the new pleasure we experience in this heightened awareness. We must not live just within ourselves. Other wise we will become dead to the world - which we need for our spiritual advancement.
Pleasure to the disciple is as a scout who informs us concerning the world. After having been taught by pleasure, the disciple passes on to work. We learn not in order to accumulate wisdom as our own treasure, but in order to put our learning at the service of the world. Every branch of knowledge which we pursue only to enrich our own learning, only to accumulate treasure for ourselves (wealth, power, fame, security) will lead us astray from the path of attainment.
This law of the spiritual way must be rigidly observed: seek knowledge only for working in the service of humanity, for the uplifting of the world - this is the guiding principle which moves the genuine disciple for his or her whole life.
What is the Path of Reverence? Only this: to look beyond the form to see that which is expressing itself through the form, and revere that Power.
Rule number one is to provide for yourself moments of inner calm, and in these moments learn to distinguish between the real and the unreal, the real self an the false self, the reality of life and the illusion.
Moments of inward calm can occur simply and easily. You need only be sincere and strict and simple.
Set aside moments of special time - different form all other moments - but not unconnected with daily work. Such moments give one full power to do his daily tasks. Nor should such time substitute for performing one's duties, be an excuse to escape one's responsibilities. If all that is available is 5 minutes, that will do. It's not the length of time, but how that time is spent.
1. I am indebted to Dr. Thurman Fleet, founder of the Concept-Therapy Movement, for most of the ideas contained in this paper.