There is a New Dimension When You Die</h4>
Where do you go when you die? Is there an afterlife? Will you remember this life? These are questions as old as humankind itself but, in recent years, we’ve discovered an all new approach toward finding the answers.
This is Unveiled, and today we’re taking a closer look at an extraordinary theory which could show that there’s a new dimension when you die.
Death comes to us all, but is it really the end? Some philosophers, scientists and academics are beginning to think that no, it isn’t. One of the most prominent voices in the debate for-and-against some kind of continuation after you die is the British mathematician and cosmologist, Bernard Carr. Alongside his more conventional physics background - including a reputation for black hole research - Carr is also interested in psychic phenomena, the nature of consciousness, and of reality and death. In numerous papers, articles and interviews, he has set out his ideas on how a multi-dimensional space could be the key element to understanding the lot.
Perhaps the most famous quote attributed to Carr is; “if you don’t want God, you better have a multiverse”. As a response to the so-called fine-tuning problem, it underpins so much of what he has to say. The suggestion being that for life, the universe and everything to exist… there either has to be a God creating it all so that it works, or there has to be a multiverse to host all of the endless variations including this one that works. In this way, we all exist in a multi-dimensional space, even if we’re only aware of the three-dimensional planes we can see.
For Carr, though, that doesn’t mean that we’re limited to only 3D-ness all the time. For example, he has spoken before about the nature of dreams; about how while they don’t exist in our physical reality, they clearly do exist. In a way, we might say that while dreams aren’t three dimensional, not exactly, they are something dimensional… so where and how do they happen? They also unfold alongside what we do understand as 3D physical reality; the two things are happening at the same time. So, how is that explainable? Carr has also spoken at length more generally about the nature of consciousness and the mind. Of course, this has been an urgent problem for science for hundreds of years. And we still haven’t properly solved it. But, again, for Carr, the key to understanding consciousness could lie with unlocking the truth of our reality; that there are more (perhaps many more) hyperspatial dimensions. That is, dimensions beyond the height, width and depth (combined with time) that we understand.
When it comes to death, much of what we do know (and have theorized) starts with the testimonies of those who have had near death experiences, or NDEs. And perhaps there are elements to NDEs that are very similar to how we’d otherwise describe dreams. There are seeming physical impossibilities, out-of-body visions, a sense of heightened or distorted emotion. In papers and interviews, Bernard Carr frequently mentions a mysticism. It’s not exactly a traditionally scientific term. But, one interpretation of Carr’s approach is that during an NDE we perhaps enter (or get very close to entering) a different dimension, higher than what’s physically possible for us now. And, for those hoping for an afterlife, that could be extremely good news.
But how exactly would it work? Carr himself never promises to know exactly what might happen. However, he has repeatedly highlighted that not everything is explainable through the laws and frameworks of physics as we currently have them - i.e., through general relativity and quantum mechanics. With things like NDEs, out-of-body-experiences, and hallucinations… it can be as though physical reality breaks. For Carr, though, perhaps it isn’t broken during these times, even if it is unknowable. And the existence of extra dimensions could be an inevitable truth, in order to allow for these otherwise impossible phenomena. And, therefore, readers of Carr might justifiably ask that if it’s true of near death moments, then why not of the moment of death, as well?
In 2021, Carr published a paper titled; “Making Space And Time For Consciousness In Physics”. In it he proposes that, in order to reach a true theory of everything, we need a model that provides “some form of unification of matter, mind, space and time”. He suggests that we require a new paradigm of physics to accommodate consciousness. And he discusses the current distinction in scientific thought between physical time (i.e., as it plays out in the outer world) and mental time (i.e., as it happens in the inner world; in our consciousness, through experience). The paper, in itself, is something of a culmination of all Carr’s thoughts and theories on the subject, to date.
What’s seemingly key for the potential of life (or something) after death, however, is the possibility for what Carr calls “psycho-physical space-time” - proposed as an explanation for the relationship between physical and perceptual space. Carr writes, “The prime feature of our proposal is that perceptual space exists in its own right rather than just inside our heads”. Perceptual space is then a major, independent and fundamental facet of reality as a whole. More broadly, for those who support Carr’s model, the perceptual space is where anything that apparently isn’t physically possible would be allowed to unfold. In the context of today’s question, could it be where the afterlife is waiting?
It’s tied up with another key concept called the specious present, which (in short) relates to the timescale through which we experience reality. For humans, it’s typically predictable enough to be unnoticeable in our everyday lives, but every so often it can speed up or slow down - for example, in a near death experience you might live your entire life in a second; or if you’re ill with a fever, it might feel as though reality moves faster or slower. Our perceptual space becomes significantly blurred during these times… but it’s difficult to explain why using just the physics we have. Carr builds on this by suggesting - toward the end of his paper - that consciousness may not even be only an individual thing; that it might not be confined only to any one person, independent of everyone else. He posits that after human consciousness, there could be a terrestrial (or planet-wide) level of consciousness, and then galactic, and then cosmic. In the paper, he doesn’t reveal exactly how these levels might be linked, but he later describes them as a “hierarchy of compactified extra dimensions”.
In his conclusion, Carr writes that his proposed model regards “physical space and perceptual space as slices of a 5-dimensional space, with the 5th dimension being associated with mental time, as distinct from physical time”. Throughout the essay, he suggests that there could be more than five dimensions, though; that the fifth dimension is really only the minimum that would be required, if we ever wanted to incorporate mental, perceptual phenomena into a unified theory of everything.
Carr doesn’t specifically mention life after death in the 2021 paper, although he has spoken about it at length in various past interviews and pieces. More broadly, though, his insistence in a fifth dimension at least - a plane to host mental time - implies that suddenly we aren’t bound by just the 3D (or 4D) physicality of our bodies. And so, when we die in the third and fourth dimensions, could it be that we continue in the fifth? There’s no doubt that the 3D matter that makes us is finite; it will decay, fail and disappear. There’s only so long that the human brain can last, despite its incredible complexity. But, and again as Carr writes, the prime feature of this new proposal “is that perceptual space exists in its own right rather than just inside our heads”.
So, when the brain is no more, could consciousness just move on? Has it always existed in a higher dimension, so is death actually not that important to it… at all? What’s your opinion on the wider implications of Carr’s alternate model of reality? Do you believe that it is possible that some part of us will remain after our bodies have perished? Let us know in the comments!
For now, these are intricate, at times speculative, but potentially radical ideas. Carr himself concedes that his extra-dimensional theories certainly don’t represent mainstream physics, and that most physicists will be very skeptical. But, nevertheless, if what he has proposed is right, and if it could offer an explanation for not just known phenomena like dreaming and NDEs, but also for what will ultimately happen at the end of our lives… then that’s why there really could be another dimension after you die.