Resurrection, Part 4
For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. Romans 12:4-5
Last week, I reflected on the possibility that those who have passed before us have been resurrected into a new body that is very near to us. I proposed that our inability to see them may be because their new body vibrates in a range that is imperceptible to us. This week, I want to explore a different theory, perhaps a re-imagining of the last one, that of dimensionality. Basically, when we die, our new body and life may exist in a different dimension, one that we cannot perceive from our current three-dimensional existence. Interestingly, some physicists believe there are at least ten dimensions of spatial reality, in addition to the dimension of time.
As embodied human beings, we perceive a three-dimensional world – height, width, and depth. We experience a fourth dimension, the evolving of our three-dimensional reality, as time. When my children were young, we made markings on the wall to show how they grew from time to time. That growth is a dimension we cannot experience in a single, three-dimensional moment, but it is no less real, influential upon, and important to our lives.
In order to illustrate how imperceptible the next dimension is to us, consider the hypothetical world of a two-dimensional being. This being would only experience height and width. It could only experience depth – forward and backward movement – in time, which it would consider the next, or third dimension. The world of a two-dimensional creature might look something like the illustration to the left, where we see five, two-dimensional creatures. They perceive what is up, down, and beside their bodies, but nothing in front of or behind them.
When they die, assuming they enter a three-dimensional reality, their new world might look like the illustration to the left. Their former two-dimensional world is represented by the line across the fingers. When freed from the perceptual limitations of their two-dimensional existence, they are able to understand that what they perceived as five individual lives are actually parts of five fingers connected in one hand. More than that, the hand is connected to a much larger body. What they thought was their individual, independent life was neither individual nor independent, but one part of a larger whole. Only by dying to their two-dimensional nature are they able to see their connectedness to the lives around them. In their new three-dimensional existence, they are still there, but imperceptible to those they left behind.
In a similar way, when we die to our three-dimensional existence and enter a new dimension, we become imperceptible to our former three-dimensional friends and family. Being freed from our three-dimensional body, our soul experiences life and reality in a dimension that is not yet accessible to our loved ones. This next dimension, which we formerly named as time, allows us to see and experience in a new way, as did the two-dimensional circle now perceiving itself as part of a three-dimensional hand. It is fascinating to me that one of the common reports from those who have had near-death experiences is that of their entire life flashing before them, not as a chronological series of events, but as a single image. This collapsing of time into a single moment allows us a glimpse of a new dimension where much is familiar, but the context is entirely new. What was once mysterious is now clear. I am reminded of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13: 12, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully.”
Our soul exists across all dimensions of space and time but is not limited by any of them. When it separates from this three-dimensional body, it resurrects in a new body in a new dimension. We may experience a sense of this freedom in dreams, where the rules of our physical existence often seem not to apply. The life we identify as our current life is but one part of the larger life of our soul. When we die to this life, that larger life reveals itself, perhaps still only in part, and we find ourselves not annihilated, but reborn into a freer and more inclusive existence. We become more of who we know ourselves to be, not less. In our death and resurrection, the life we have in Christ continues.
This, however, is speculation about the afterlife, which will be considered in future Life Notes.
This is the 9th in the series of Life Notes titled, If I Should Die Before I Wake. I invite your thoughts, insights, and feedback via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through my website, www.ContemplatingGrace.com. At the website, you can also sign up to have these reflections delivered to your Inbox every Thursday morning, if you are not receiving them in another manner.
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