Saturday, March 31, 2007

Tuning In to Reality

All around the world, a new group of thinkers and dreamers are popping their heads out of their gopher holes and catching sight of each other for the first time. Scientists and philosophers, it would seem, are being drawn towards a common set of central truths as to the nature of reality, and what is really happening behind the scenes when we use words like consciousness, spirit, time, and entropy.

The eleven minute animation that vaulted Imagining the Tenth Dimension to popularity continues to draw new fans on a daily basis. Although I must continually point out that the ideas in this animation originate from a non-scientist (me), and are not what you will be taught today in a physics class, I am also gratified at the number of people who have thanked me for what is most commonly being referred to as a new and mind-blowing experience.

As an inquisitive eight-year-old, I was introduced to some of the basic ideas of dimensions and the folding of spacetime through Madeleine L'Engle's transcendent children's book "A Wrinkle in Time". Did L'Engle get all of her science right? No. Does that matter? To the extent that this wonderful book (as it did for countless other fans, I'm sure) expanded my young mind's perception of the universe to want to know more about these topics, those approximations and tiny liberties she took in creating her work of imagination matter very little. Previous generations to mine might have been drawn to the writing of H.G. Wells, or that granddaddy of creative books about dimensionality, Edwin Abbott's 1884 classic “Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions” (from which came my use of the concept of two-dimensional Flatlanders).

More recently, books by science fiction visionaries like Greg Bear and Stephen Baxter, and movies as diverse as The Matrix or Groundhog Day are really about the same ideas that I have been exploring all my life: that our reality is being created from branching possibilities that already exist across the dimensions. This idea, I believe, finds a useful balance between hard determinism and free will, showing how there are certain outcomes which appear to be inevitable based upon the trajectories and choices already taken within the "sum over histories" that got us to this moment, but how each of us still has a great deal of control over our own version of reality from any particular moment forward.

Last blog I mentioned The Secret. Someone wrote to me and suggested that Imagining the Tenth Dimension is a more well-balanced, less simplistic representation of the same ideas as are advanced by Rhonda Byrne and her team: a fact that I find fascinating since I did not hear about The Secret until well after my book was published. Likewise, I have been contacted by fans of Neale Donald Walsch's "Conversations With God" series of bestselling books, telling me that the ideas I present are completely compatible with Neale's, and perhaps even offer an explanation for how the processes he describes could be manifesting themselves. How do coincidences of thought like this occur when I had never read any of Neale's work? Must be spring, hello all you other gophers!

Right now I'm reading an exciting new book by Gevin Giorbran called "Everything Forever: Learning to See Timelessness". This beautifully illustrated book is a gold mine for anyone interested in a cataloguing of the many ways that science (and philosophy!) have shown us that time can be thought of as much more than the limited one-way-arrow that we experience. Gevin has some remarkable insights into the underlying dynamic tensions that create the reality we are witness to, and I'm sure I will be talking about this book more in upcoming blogs.

One email I received a couple of weeks ago had this to say about Imagining the Tenth Dimension: "this isn't string theory, but it's right!". That feeling of something clicking, of seeing new ideas and having a little "A-ha!" light of recognition come on, is one of the things I have heard most from fans of this project. Is my eleven minute animation the "Wrinkle in Time" for up-and-coming minds of the twenty-first century? To the extent that I believe that my "new way of thinking about time and space" can be a useful step towards a more enlightened view of reality, I would be very proud if that was how this project someday grew to be remembered.

Enjoy the journey,


Thursday, March 29, 2007


Let's talk about death.

Seeing a vision of your own impending death is not something that should be shown to children until they realize that dying young is unusual, and that there are many times in your life when you will almost die but something will save you. Realizing this important fact should help a child to become more well-rounded and less fearful in their interactions with the world.

Still, whether we accept it or not, there is a part of each of us that eventually dies (and perhaps that part dies much too soon!). I’ve been told that in Disney cartoons, the only people who die are parents or predecessors: if this is true, Disney has been around for much too long for this to be an accident. Why would Disney choose this? The death of a loved one is something that everybody has to see eventually. By only showing people other than children dying in entertainment aimed at children, has Disney made a conscious decision to give their audience a way to start considering the possibility of death, without traumatizing them? All kids need to be taught a certain amount of caution, but has Disney deliberately made it their policy not to kill off the characters kids are most likely to personally identify with in a show? It would be interesting to know more about this.

Seeing a vision of an impending death of yourself or a loved one is potentially very useful because if the vision is far enough into the future then you can probably find a way to dodge every bullet and continue on – and continuing to be alive is one of the ways that you can continue to navigate the fifth/sixth dimensional matrix of the multiverse (my reference to dodging bullets and The Matrix is completely intentional here). Stories of near-death experiences are legendary: people in extraordinary moments like this sometimes talk about how time stretched and they were able to see everything crystal clear. As adults now, for each of us there will almost certainly be those crazy moments we can look back upon and see how we narrowly survived death (through luck, skill, the actions of others, doesn't matter what the circumstance might be). But of course, there must also always be the one time when you really do die, and one last time each of us may well see the elastic nature of our perception of time. That same “stretching” of time, I believe, has a lot more to do with the number of important cusps we are passing on our fourth dimensional timeline than most of us realize, but that’s a whole other discussion.

If a time traveler from the future appeared beside you now, and showed you the things you had to do to avoid your own impending death, wouldn't you want to take that person's advice? Again I am reminded of Al Gore's story, "it was like a man from the future came back to tell me about the bad things that were going to happen". Warnings from the future can come in many shapes and sizes. Dogs use well-developed senses like smell and hearing which are better at telling the future than the more immediate senses such as touch or taste - by the time you can touch or taste impending death, it is probably too late. If you can "smell trouble brewing", you stand a better chance of survival. Are dogs from a bit in our own future then? Sure, if you'd like to think of it that way. The early warning system that a dog can provide is not that different from Al Gore's man from the future: because dogs sometimes know when bad stuff is coming before the rest of us do. Being able to smell things or hear things that are further away in time and space than what we humans are capable of gives them that power.

Here is one of the more "out-there" concepts from my book: the miracle that we see as "life" is an interference pattern between the quantum wave function of the physical system and the systems of memes and spirit that occupy the more metaphysical world. Both of those systems can interact with each other to create the spark of life, and that spark of life is readily apparent to us when we look at living things or dead things:

This is a video of an interesting illusion of life that demonstrates in a simple way how such a complex result as life could really be nothing more than a moire pattern, a pattern of constructive interference. We see a bowl of corn starch mixed with a bit of water (which we can think of as the physical world) being vibrated by a specific frequency (which we can think of as the meme-system world). Our brains look at the resulting movement and see something that seems very much like life. Does the corn starch come alive? Of course not! But this demonstration is useful for helping to show us how two systems can have a simple interaction and begin to show us the behaviors that we know of as life.

At the end or the Cornstarch Monster video, when the vibration is removed, the appearance of life goes away. In the version of the ten dimensions I am advancing here, I would propose that the same thing is happening: when a person physically dies, those vibrations that were animating the body in the physical world could continue on (as ghosts, spirit guides, or the voices of the ancestors, or just shared memories and experiences from those left behind) or they could dissipate into a greater realm of memes and beliefs that I am proposing must be part of the tenth-dimensional framework we're imagining here.

Finally, just for fun, here's a new video for my song "Seven Levels". Lyrics to the song were posted in a previous blog.

A link to this video can be found at

Enjoy the journey,


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Remembering the Future

One of the things discussed in the tenth dimension forum a few times in the last half a year has now become a media darling, embraced by Oprah and mentioned on countless talk shows and newscasts: “The Secret”. What is it about "The Secret" that agrees with Imagining the Tenth Dimension? It’s that the multiverse holds all the different possible future “you”s that could spring from this moment in time onwards.

Saying “this moment in time onwards” gets tricky though: if time is an illusion (an idea agreed upon as much by cosmologists as it is by mystics), and the multiverse of all possible pasts and futures for our universe and all other universes really exists, then what are we talking about here? The version of you that from your current circumstances has the best good fortune and makes the best choices to live the best life possible (whatever you perceive that optimistic phrase to mean) must already exist in the web of connected possible universes that we are navigating through in the fifth and sixth dimension, as we are each drawing our fourth dimensional line.

What’s the difference between good planning/eye of the tiger/good luck/good choices/holding on to your dreams and The Secret? Clearly, if someone is saying to themselves “all good things are going to come my way” while they are drinking themselves to death, the choices for a “best life possible” coming to that person are limited: the available paths will not open up until they stop destroying their health with whatever bad choices they are making. Does repeating “all good things are going to come my way” cause this person to stop hurting themselves? No guarantees there, I’m afraid. But if it does, we are back to good planning/eye of the tiger being the reason for the person’s future success. The secret of The Secret, then, is that it gives us all a way to believe that our future success is a possibility. This is one of the conclusions reached in Imagining the Tenth Dimension as well.

When the Tenth Dimension forum was launched, one of the very first questions asked was from a person who said they understood the animation, but they didn’t see how this knowledge was going to improve their own crappy life. Here’s part of the answer I provided at the time:

That's a tough one to answer, all right. I deal with this topic several times in the book: the idea that attitude affects outcome is certainly relevant, but it is too easy to toss around, and often easy to dismiss because there are so many other factors to consider. The starving child in Africa would not suddenly flourish if only they would let a smile be their umbrella. The person dying of cancer will tell you they did not actively choose a fifth dimensional path that is resulting in their untimely death. And the person killed without warning in an act of senseless violence may have been able to avoid that event if only they had been in a different place at that moment, but since there was no way for them to see the event coming, how could they have chosen the better path other than by dumb luck?

Critics of The Secret dismiss it as more empty-headed new age nonsense, the latest cash grab to take money from unhappy people looking for a quick fix to their unhappy lives. I think there is something at the core of The Secret though, and it is something most of us can remember from our childhood: there are certain things about your future that are easy to predict, and if you continue to believe they are going to happen they eventually will.

The Secret teaches that positive thoughts about the future are what create your own best future, and negative thoughts create bad outcomes. It also teaches that thought expressed with negative prefixes will get misinterpreted: if you think “I don’t want to be poor”, the universe hears that as “I want to be poor”. This must also mean that if you think “I am not a bad person” the universe hears “I am a bad person”, so it appears we must all be careful with how we mentally voice our goals (in fact, this is sometimes raised as a criticism of The Secret, since it seems to make the Universe rather perverse in its deliberate misinterpretation of our wishes).

The simplicity and purity that a child approaches life with is often underlined as being an admirable trait towards which we should all aspire. But what if you happen to be a child in some war-torn or strife-ridden part of the world who is about to die in some violent and uncontrollable way? You are going to be good at predicting the short term future: unfortunately, the prediction you are making is merely “this is where my life ends”. In that situation, The Secret appears to be useless. A child in that situation feels voiceless, and helpless to change the future.

If you live in times of peace, on the other hand, chances are good that you as a child have every confidence that you're going to live forever. This is not just the illusion of immortality imparted from the inability to imagine one's own death that we're talking about here: most children seem to innately believe that they are going to live on forever, at least in some form. They also believe that the part that lives forever has a voice. Julian Jaynes suggests that the voices we human beings have traditionally heard in our heads were what we used to (and sometimes still do) hear as a god or a spirit or a ghost or an explainable disembodied presence... the voices of the ancestors.

So. Perhaps predicting the future successfully can also be thought of as Remembering the Future. The topic of predicting the end of the world comes up regularly in this discussion – perhaps that is the same thing, that there were those in the past who predicted catastrophe, and on some of those other timelines our own consensual reality didn’t share, those people were right. In An Inconvenient Truth Al Gore says (I’m paraphrasing here) “it was as if a man from the future came back and showed me the bad things that were going to happen unless we did something about it”. That, to my way of thinking, aligns perfectly with the worldview of Imagining the Tenth Dimension.

Enjoy the journey,


Next: Death?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Controversy Over Imagining the Tenth Dimension

Suppose that twenty years ago you had come up with a new framework for imagining how reality is constructed, which appeared to be so simple that you knew others must have already thought of it, and it was just a matter of time before you came across those people. What if you felt that the more you read about leading edge theories of physics and consciousness, the more you saw ways of applying your own framework to what you were reading, but still you could find no one else talking about your unique approach? That was the position I found myself in 2005 when I began writing “Imagining the Tenth Dimension”.

When I commissioned the talented folks at OH!Media to create the eleven minute animation explaining the basic concepts from chapter one of my book, I knew that what I was presenting was going to resonate strongly for some, and be considered the work of a crackpot by others, and I was comfortable with that. Sure enough, as soon as the internet discovered the website and the animation, the controversy began: this guy has it all wrong, this guy doesn’t understand basic physics, this guy is a charlatan. Anyone who spent more than a minute on the tenth dimension website and forum knew I was always careful to point out that I was portraying a new idea which was not the position of mainstream science, but by having the gall to even present my new and fanciful way of imagining the dimensions I have always been an easy target for criticism: so be it.

In my book I talk about how, for each of us, consciousness is constructed from an interlocking system of memes and drives which change over time, with different parts of the system rising and falling in dominance, and new parts being acquired while others are discarded. Each of us has a personal “grid” that represents our unique point of view, and there is no question that my way of imagining the ten dimensions falls well outside of some people’s grid, while it aligns very well with others. The strongly divided “I love it/I hate it” response that the animation and the book have triggered is a wonderful demonstration of the nature of consciousness and beliefs, and what connects us all together or pushes some of us apart. In one part of chapter eight, “Dark Matter and Other Mysteries”, I talk about some of the more “out there” concepts such as Rupert Sheldrake’s “morphic resonance” and the movie “What the Bleep Do We Know”:

Many experts would, of course, dismiss examples such as these as “crackpot theories”, or perhaps they would assign them the slightly less derogatory label of “fringe science”.
Terms like “fringe science” will usually make mainstream scientists turn on their blinders. Anything that can be categorized under this label, they would say, is obviously not worthy of any serious research or consideration. Brian Josephson is a famous example of a respected scientist who has been forced to forsake his established position within the mainstream world of physics because of his desire to see more rigorous scientific methods applied to certain kinds of “fringe science”.
Brian is a Nobel Laureate whose “Josephson Junctions” began as a theory which sprang from his profound understanding of superconductivity and quantum tunnelling. These Josephson Junctions have become one of the most powerful tools currently being used for research into the subtle magnetic fields of the brain, of earthquake prediction, and of the gravity waves predicted by modern cosmologists’ theories of the beginning of the universe. His innovative discoveries certainly qualify him as one of the great minds of the twentieth century.
However, somewhat unexpectedly, Mr. Josephson is now a famous advocate for research into the physics behind paranormal phenomena. Here’s what he says on his website: “One of my guiding principles … has been the scientist's motto 'Take nobody's word for it' (nullius in verba), a corollary of which is that if scientists as a whole denounce an idea this should not necessarily be taken as proof that the said idea is absurd: rather, one should examine carefully the alleged grounds for such opinions and judge how well these stand up to detailed scrutiny”. Mr. Josephson also documents on his website some of the efforts he feels the established scientific community has made to ridicule and discredit any research which falls outside the commonly accepted norms, which would certainly include Mr. Josephson’s research into the physics of the paranormal.

Now, Brian Josephson is a genius. I, on the other hand, am just some guy who came up with an interesting new way of imagining ten dimensions, something that most people would have said was impossible prior to working through the exercise. But in the past week or so, a few negative reviews of my book have appeared at from people who portray me as a crackpot pretending to be a physicist. So, I’m probably going to get even more flak for doing this, but I have now posted my own review of my book there:

A note from the author (Rob Bryanton)

This book is called "Imagining" the Tenth Dimension, its subtitle is "a new way of thinking" about time and space, and the book description includes the phrase "not about mainstream physics". If anyone sees all this and somehow concludes that this book is about an established and proven theory of reality currently supported by mainstream physics, then they would be mistaken. The book's website, includes a "Preamble" link which clearly states the intent of the book, and the author's blog also includes a brief biography of his award-winning work as a composer and sound designer. The introductory blog includes important background information about the nature and intent of this project as well.

Most people who buy this book do so because they saw the eleven minute animation which presents the ideas from chapter one of the book. Please, if you are considering buying this book and have not seen that animation, go take a look first at . If you watch this animation and disagree with the conclusions drawn, then you will most certainly disagree with the rest of the book as well. On the other hand, if you find the ideas presented in the animation to have a certain resonance with your own way of imagining reality, then this book might be of interest to you, as it travels through a wide-ranging discussion of science, philosophy, metaphysics, and spirituality.

For the people who have posted positive reviews of my book at and, thanks so much for your support. You are the people I was hoping to share these ideas with, and I’m very glad that you got some enjoyment and inspiration from what I have created.

Enjoy the journey,


Monday, March 5, 2007

The End of the World 1

I’d be curious to know how many cultures there are in the world where it’s appropriate to yell “shit!!” when one sees impending death approaching. The phrase might also have been “dirt!!”, or “dust!!”, or the more florid “oh no, the impending doom I see potentially laid before me is going to remove me from this life and return me to the eco-system as my component parts!!”… in other words, I am about to become shit.

Throughout history, there are always doomsayers who are predicting that we are all about to become shit. The end of the world is upon us! The end is nigh! Here’s what I say in the book about this idea:

Usually it’s some conveniently distant amount of time away from the present to be a cause for concern, but not so close as to immediately leave the person spreading the news with egg on their face (as I write this in 2006, the Mayan calendar’s December 21 2012 looks like a good upcoming contender for an end-of-the world focal point some portion of the public are likely to become caught up with).
But eventually the deadline for all good predictions of the end has to arrive, and like the celebrated Y2K scenario, its promoters are then left looking a little foolish. In the anthropic viewpoint, we can imagine how those people also exist on different timelines where their predictions did come true. The reason we’re here on our current timeline to question what went wrong with their predictions is because on the timeline where they were right, we would no longer be here. Perhaps there were also people in Atlantis, or Mu/Lemuria, or in the ancient sunken ruins off of Cuba or south of Okinawa, who issued dire warnings of impending disaster, and who got to say one last “I told you so” before the end of their civilizations really did come to pass?
From the anthropic viewpoint, then, it seems we become like Schrödinger’s Cat, simultaneously alive and dead. The fact that we don’t actually perceive ourselves as being dead is because if we were dead we wouldn’t be here to ask the question.

Which brings us back to one of the reasons I first conceived of this model for Imagining the Tenth Dimension – as a child, I was trying to explain to myself why some moments in our lives seem so heavily significant, so deeply ingrained in our memories, while other moments quickly fade. I came to the conclusion that it was because those moments were when important “cusps” occurred: moments when our possible future paths diverged significantly. My friend Ron Scott told me of a moment he once had where he stood on an empty street, and absolutely nothing significant happened, but the moment seared itself into his memory. Perhaps, I would suggest, that was the moment where, in a number of the fifth-dimensional branches available to him at that instant, something bad happened… a drunk driver careened around the corner and mowed him down, or a nearby building exploded, or a satellite fell from the sky and took him out (a trivia moment for my fellow Northern Exposure fans).

Sure, everybody remembers where they were when they first heard about the planes striking the towers in New York. No question, on that day everyone on the planet had their fourth-dimensional timeline wrenched into a new direction from the available fifth-dimensional paths, and as a significant cusp moment each of us will remember that day for the rest of their lives. But each individual life has such moments, and important branches need not be nearly as devastating as that one. Why do so many of us like to look at the picture of the latest lottery or big game show winner? It’s not that different from craning your neck to see the car crash as we drive by - we recognize and are drawn to the cusp moments in other people’s lives. And perhaps some of our most cherished memories are ingrained because of the bad cusps which our fifth-and sixth-dimensional selves recognize that we managed to avoid in this particular version of reality.

This takes us back to the anthropic principle and the multiverse, as my version of the tenth dimension portrays these concepts. So now, here, for your viewing pleasure, is another video for my song “The Anthropic Viewpoint.”

A link to this video can be found at

On a side note, the Google Books listing for Imagining the Tenth Dimension has now become active. Clicking on this link allows you to search for any word or phrase that interests you within this book, or within all books participating in the Google Books program. Since the index for my book is also listed there, this gives people an easy way to browse. Finally, for anyone who is confused about my background or my intentions with this project, I would invite you to read the introduction to my blog, linked here, as well as the "About Me" over to the right of this blog.

Enjoy the journey!


Tenth Dimension Vlog playlist