Dante’s Equation

Last year, when I was taking a class on Religion and Film, I had an idea that I wanted to write up, but didn’t get to it. I had an epiphany that 2001: A Space Odyssey. make sense if we think in five dimensions. I was struggling to interpret the final scenes, when the protagonist seemingly goes through a whole life cycle, while at the same time retaining his essence. That was a clear indication for me that I was seeing a 2D representation of a 4D experience with a 3D intermediary. 2D, because the flat movie screen is two dimensional. 4D, because the makers f the film wanted to convey that time is just another dimension where we move through like the 3 dimensions of space. (E.g. the intermediary of the 3D soundstage where the movie was shot.) Except that normally in this 4th dimension (of time) we can move only one direction. This science fiction film (and the book it is based on) took that dimension and turned it into multidirectional dimension. But the question rises then why, what is the meaning of this. That’s when I thought of the 5th dimension. What if moral has an axis, what if good and evil can be put on a scale, on which we humans move along or positions ourselves, similarly to the 4 other dimensions. In that sense 2001’s Dave was on the moral high-ground, opposed to the ship’s computer. That is the real message of the movie, that this fifth dimension is the most important. This is where we have to pay attention where to go, the other 4 will align themselves accordingly then.This Sunday I was tired of reading all the non-fiction I have to for my classes. So I went to the local public library and for the first time I looked around whether they have science fiction books. They had. I picked up four and when I got home started to read the thickest volume: Jane Jensen‘s Dante’s Equation. Here is one of the standard’s description of the book from Amazon:

“In a strange manuscript, physicist and mystic Yosef Kobinski, interned at Auschwitz, claims to have discovered a physical law of good and evil. Half a century later, a young American wave physicist finds something unusual that impels her to search for the manuscript. When her search crosses paths with those of an Orthodox rabbi and a feature writer who are also on Kobinski’s trail, she finds herself on the run from intelligence agents who think the manuscript may contain a code for a powerful weapon.”

There is about 10-15 pages in the book that is dealing directly with Kabbalah, including the inside cover that shows a depiction of the Tree of Life. The fictional Kobinski’s writings are quoted and they are using Kabbalistic lingo and concepts. The character’s actions and speech was also fashioned this way by the author. It is also a page turner thriller that I couldn’t put down till I was done with it. Except at one point I got too excited and had to take a deep breath and relax for a few minutes. From page 102:

“Thus it stands to reason that in the fifth dimension every atom of three-dimensional space in each microsecond of time exists over and over and over again–but repeated in what? What is the fifth axis? According to kabbalists, the fifth dimension is the dimension of good and evil. To me it is the spiritual dimension, the dimension of meaning. The fifth dimension is: every atom of three-dimensional space in each microsecond of time. In other words, the fifth dimension is that living pattern. It is the dimension of interconnection of relationships, a tapestry of cause and effect. If we could read the fifth dimension we would be able to see the pattern that leads up to every action. And if we could trace back every thread of that pattern, back and back, we would be able to identify every cause of that effect, and the causes of the causes, and the causes of the causes of the causes, back and back until all causes merge into a single cause at the start of time. We would be able to answer the question “Why?”–not only for every individual action, but for the start of life itself.”

This is exactly what I was thinking earlier. But having read it in a printed book I got confused. Did I come up with the same thing myself in relation to the 2001 movie? Or did we both read the same Kabbalistic texts? I don’t know and that’s confuses me, because I thought that my thought was original. Anyway, originality is not as important now, that I learned that this idea exist outside of my head. I feel like it got validated, even if only by a science fiction book. Question to the reader: Can somebody point me to the original Kabbalistic text(s) talking about the fifth dimension.

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