Once upon a time, there was a Circle, named Carl. He lived in a town called Flatland. All of his world was completely FLAT. Yes, there was no moving above, or even looking above. No heights of nothing. F-L-A-T.
In his world, the sun would appear from the left, and set at the right. Whenever he would look at things or people, regardless of their shape, he would only see a part of them as straight lines. The only way to distinguish between a circle, square or any other shape, was to judge from the shade difference in the line. Someone who is a circle like Carl would appear darker along the edges and brighter at the center of his line, when seen by another creature. All the creatures in Flatland cast shadows which were also just lines.
Carl was just 20 years old, and a very curious kid. He used to walk his way to his school. His favorite subjects were physics and mathematics. He however hated to write things down, and read them. That was because creatures in Flatland used Morse code and binary to communicate. Their papers and black-boards were of course flat, and from their perspective, were just straight lines for them. And the only way to write on a line was to plot dots and dashes. Carl found it really time consuming and frustrating.
Carl’s body looked something like this:
[Image of a simple human Cell]
His diamond shaped heart pumped blood through his veins. He was feeling some pain near his bean shaped kidneys, so he consulted a doctor. The doctor said the kidney needed to be operated and removed. So Carl had his kidney removed. The doctor cut the boundary of Carl, and removed that defective kidney. Poor Carl will have to survive on only one kidney from now on.
Creatures in the Flatland could only move front, back, left, and right. Nobody knew, or even had the concept of top or bottom. Nobody even tried looking above or below. He was very sick of his world, and imagined a world, a world beyond Flatland’s perspective… a world with 3 dimensions. He worked late night, and wrote a research paper on 3D, and imagined of all the possibilities that he thought to encounter if he ever was to be in such a world. And guess what, he forgot to fill his cup of coffee! And soon dozed off…
He woke up inside a closed room. He saw to his front, back, left, right, and all the ways around. He was completely trapped. There were walls of lines all around him, and there was no way out. He tried all he could, but all he saw around him were walls surrounding him. Finally giving up, he closed his eyes and tried to wake up. He couldn’t. Suddenly bright white light appeared out of nowhere in that completely closed room. He tried to locate the source of the light, and he looked at it. It was somewhere he had never ever looked before. It was “above” him. For the first time in his life he saw in the third dimension, and realized there is a completely different world out there. The square room was not closed at all. It was completely open from the top. He jumped outside the boundaries of the square, and he was out. He was very excited, it was his first jump after all.
The 3-dimensional world was extraordinary! Carl soon realized that his body was 3D too. Everything was 3D, and it had 2D shadows. Circles became spheres and cylinders, squares became cubes and rectangles were cuboids. His new world was a sphere, and so was the sun which rose from the East and Set at the west; and always stayed somewhere ‘above’ him. “Above”, it felt awkwardly cool… He could move not only front, back and sideways, but also above and below things. Things had heights. Papers and black-boards were not lines but flat 2D shapes, and things could be written with alphabets & numbers that were 2D-symbols. That solved his binary problem indeed.
He then drew a diagram of a Circular organism of his old 2D world. Before, he could only draw lines, and see his friends who were circles and squares as mere lines. Now that he was seeing things as a 3D creature, from the ‘Top’ he could see circles and squares as a whole, including insides of them. If only his doctor was a 3D creature, the doctor could have removed his kidney from the ‘top’, without having the need to cut open his body.
Carl started his research in this new world. Many months passed. He found out that his previous 2D world was nothing but like a sheet of paper which was bent in the third dimension. Places that seemed like miles apart before, were actually so near in the third dimension. If only somehow someone created a hole in that paper, one could emerge on the other side of the page.
[Image of warm hole]
Well, it seemed like months passed out, until Carl woke up. He was back in his 2D world, sadly with no memories of his supernatural dream…
The story doesn’t end here folks. That Carl might have been you! Imagine having a spectacular journey in a 4D world! Who knows you might have seen through people form the “Above of 4th Dimension which we cannot perceive now”. You might have written 3D alphabets, on a 3D black-board/paper. Moved out of a completely closed room just by jumping in the 4th Dimension?
The concept of the 4th Dimension is not new. It takes an extraordinary mind to think out of the box. Scientists and Mathematicians have come up with so many theories about the 4th Dimension, one of the pioneer being Einstein himself. According to him, our 3D universe is made up of an infinite expansion of space & time, which is bent in the 4th dimension.
Taking our Carl’s story in a philosophical way suggests us, that we are confined by our senses. We judge the world around us merely on things like our eyes, ears, and our brain. This world around us, what we can and cannot perceive, everything that we can see and can’t see, all the unsolved mysteries of the world, all the things that we cannot completely understand yet; love, the soul, the concept of life, the universe, and everything… All of it – nothing but an artifact of a greater dimension beyond our scope, out of our perspective.
[Think out of the box image]