Journey to the 5th Dimension with Stefan Molyneux - Transcript


0:00 Exploring the Fifth Dimension
2:41 Observing the Effects
4:35 Plato's Forms and Realities
7:16 Embracing the Unreal
12:31 Distinguishing Reality
13:00 Do We Need a New Dimension?
15:54 The Real versus Unreal Perception

Long Summary

The conversation delves into the concept of whether a fifth dimension beyond the traditional x, y, z, and time dimensions is necessary or simply multiplying categories beyond what is required for human survival and understanding. The speaker discusses how entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity, emphasizing the importance of concepts being clear and relevant for human functioning. The discussion revolves around whether a fifth dimension, if not essential for survival, serves a purpose or can be encompassed within the existing dimensions. The speaker questions the need for a new dimension to distinguish between the real and the unreal, as human minds are adept at differentiating between aspirations and achievements. Dreams are cited as examples where individuals emotionally react to unreal scenarios but inherently know they are not real upon waking, showcasing the mind's capability to discern between reality and unreality without requiring an additional dimension. Furthermore, the conversation explores the balance between aspirations towards the unreal achievable and the importance of differentiating between realistic and unrealistic goals. The speaker emphasizes the evolutionary significance of yearning for ideals that are attainable and how emotional reactions to these ideals contribute to progress and achievement in life. Overall, the discussion concludes that the existing dimensions of x, y, z, and time are sufficient to explain the discrepancies between the real and the unreal, as evidenced by the human mind's innate ability to process and distinguish between dreams and waking reality. The speaker asserts that the concept of a fifth dimension may not be necessary to understand the complexities of human cognition and evolution, as the existing dimensions effectively encapsulate the distinctions between the real and the unreal.


Exploring the Fifth Dimension

[0:00] All right. Good morning, everybody. So I have had a fellow who has been asking me to have a look at his paper about his argument that he's been able to make the fifth dimension available to the human senses, right? Not mathematically proven in some abstract fashion, but available to the human senses. And his argument, which I'm going to roughly paraphrase, goes something like this. So we have x, y, z, right? One dimension is x, two dimensions is x and y. I think of a 2D scroller, and then three dimensions is x, y, z, which is height, width, and depth. And then we have time as a dimension.

[0:46] Now, one of the things that's really, really important that comes straight out of scientific philosophy is that entities should not be multiplied applied beyond what is necessary. So you have a category called chair, right? That's a category, and it's four-legged things you sit on, often with armrests and so on. And it's distinct from a stool, which has no backrest, and is often three legs, and distinct from a couch, which is wider and softer, and so on, right? So there are these categories. categories, but you don't multiply categories beyond what is necessary. So, when you say, bring me that chair, if somebody understands what you're talking about, then the concept has succeeded. If somebody doesn't understand what you're talking about, then maybe the concept needs a little bit of refinement.

[1:41] So, the question is, do we need a fifth dimension, right? Does it serve serve the mind and human survival and so on at all? And also, can what is described in the fifth dimension be encapsulated or also described within the previous four dimensions, right? And if it can, then the fifth dimension is not necessary. And if the fifth dimension is not necessary, then it is not a useful concept. In fact, it is multiplying.

[2:17] The dimensions beyond what is necessary. So when I say necessary, I mean, does it serve human survival? That's important. Does it serve human functioning and survival and clarity and explanation?

[2:28] Then that's one important thing. And of course, if it doesn't, then the question is, why would it be perceivable by human consciousness if

Observing the Effects
[2:39] it does not serve the survival of human consciousness? This is not an argument from proof. I mean, human consciousness cannot directly observe atoms. that doesn't mean that they're not real, but we can observe the effects of atoms, which is their aggregate, into matter that is processed by the senses. So, the argument from utility for survival is not proof or disproof. We can't see the dark side of the moon, and knowing whether there is or is not a dark side of the moon is not directly relevant to our survival. That doesn't mean that that disproves that the dark side of the moon exists. this. So, please, we can't directly see planets around distant solar systems. I mean, I think you're seeing some effects of it now, but, you know, the furthest ones away. We can't see the planets, and it does not affect our survival to see or not see the planets around distant star systems.

[3:37] So, that does not mean that the distant planet's existence or non-existence is proven by utility, but if you're talking about an entire dimension that's available to the human senses, then you are talking about something which we can directly observe. So if you're going to say that this dimension is directly observable by the senses, but we don't have a conception of it, then the question would be why have we not developed a conception of it, since we generally have adapted our senses to further our own survival.

[4:07] So, for instance, we can't see x-rays directly, but x-rays are not essential to our survival. So, I think that's okay, generally okay. So, it's an argument from relevance, which is somewhat important. So, if you're going to say there's a fifth dimension available to the senses that has never been defined before, then you'd have to say, well, why on earth would our senses have developed to see something that has no relevance to our survival? That's an evolutionary argument.

Plato's Forms and Realities
[4:36] So, to me, this is one of the arguments around Plato's forms, right? Which is, if Plato says, well, we have all of these forms that are the essence of reality and the essence of truth and reason and virtue and so on, it's like, well, then why would we not have evolved to perceive these forms since they are the most essential aspect of survival and flourishing and this, that, and the other, right? So, that's an important question. Now, the other question is, is if the four dimensions of x, y, z, and time are sufficient to explain the proposed fifth dimension, then you don't need the fifth dimension. It would just be an aspect of the fourth dimension. So, for instance, if you said, well, the fifth dimension is time that seems to be slowed down, like when you're bored and time's your math class, you know, and you want to go play soccer or something, then the time seems very slow. Or when time seems fast, like you're having a lot of fun, and the time seems to fly by. So then we say, well, there's a fifth dimension called fast and slow time.

[5:41] But that would not be enough to create a fifth dimension, because we could simply say that the subjective perception of time can change, so we don't need a fifth dimension. We can encapsulate that within the fourth dimension of time. So his argument is that there's another dimension called realism.

[6:00] Which is, is something real or not? Nobody goes to look for the magical one ring.

[6:08] Of Lord of the Rings. I mean, you can create replicas with the same inscription, but they don't have the power to make you invisible, and they're not magic, and so on, right? And so, a dimension that we need to process is, is it real or not? Which is perfectly, it's a perfectly valid thing. We absolutely need to know what is real and what is not. We need to have things that are unreal in our lives so that we can have ambitions, and we can create things that don't exist, haven't existed before, and we can have ideals and we can have goals and so on, right? So you tend to picture what it's like to have a family before you have a family. And that's one of the ways in which you get a family is you picture it, right? I mean, when I was a kid, I pictured Y2K when I was 34 and I thought, gee, I'll be wearing nice clothes and working in a nice office, and I was doing that. So you have to picture these things in order to achieve them.

Embracing the Unreal
[7:12] So things that are unreal are goals for us. And sometimes they're not just aspirational goals, they're survival goals. So you have to be able to picture that there's going to be a long winter and your family's going to need food in order to prepare the food necessary for your family to survive. So things that are unreal…

[7:32] Are very important to us, but we need to be able to distinguish the real from the unreal. In other words, if you have the fantasy of a family, that's not the same as having a family. So to have a family, you need to have a goal of having a family, and the family in your goal is unreal, but if the family in your goal remains only a goal, you don't reproduce. So the genes that tend to reproduce in the human mind tend to be those with the capacity for the unreal, a high capacity for the unreal which we emotionally respond to we emotionally respond to the unreal with yearning right you dream of the girl you want to ask out and how great it will be if she goes on a date with you and you dream of a life together and women dream about marriage and so on so you dream little girls dream about marriage so you dream of all of these things and that's aspirational, so the human mind has evolved to be, to have aspirations towards the unreal but the achievable right because if you have aspirations towards the unreal that's not achievable you tend to do very badly right so if you have an aspiration to fly off a bridge by flapping your arms well you're going to fall and and injure yourself or die so human beings have evolved with a great capacity to aspire towards the unreal that is possible and to emotionally respond with yearning to the ideal.

[8:54] And we have also evolved with a very deep capacity to know the difference between the real and the unreal, right? So we believe in the unreal, but we know it's unreal. And we are conditioned to focus on the unreal that is possible rather than the unreal that is impossible. So there's all a very interesting and delicate balance in the mind. We have yearning to the unreal that is possible and…

[9:18] We know that it's unreal. We still yearn towards it as if it were real. We know it's unreal, and that's how we work to achieve our goals, right? I dreamed of talking to the world about philosophy for decades, even before there was such a thing as podcasting and so on. So I dreamed of all of these things, and I yearned for it, and I felt very emotional about it. It was not possible. Obviously, I tried in general conversation. I certainly achieved that. talking to philosophy and I tried it in academia and did have some success talking to people about philosophy in academia and so on and I talked about it in the business world so but you know the sort of worldwide audience that I was able to achieve was a dream and the moment the dream became possible I pretty much dropped everything and ran in hot pursuit of that ideal so we We certainly do have a spectrum of thought which goes something like this. Is it real or not? Is it ideal or not? And the ideal, ideally, has to be something that is achievable. I yearn for a woman. I woo a woman. I win a woman. So it has to be a real woman. It has to be something that's possible. It has to be something that objectively has a certain amount of valid desire to it. or, you know, if you yearn for the woman, you get to reproduce, which is good for your genes and so on.

[10:46] So, there is some powerful, deep, and significant mechanisms within the human brain to have ideals, to react emotionally to those ideals as if they are real, to yearn for something that is an ideal. And the ideal could be a spiritual purity, the ideal could be the uniting of disparate kingdoms into an empire, it could be a girl, it could be any number of things. So we yearn for an ideal and the ideal feels extraordinarily real to us, but we know that it's unreal, which is why the yearning has to translate into some kind of achievement or we should really give up the ideal, right? If we want to become an actor, but we never study acting and we never go for any auditions, at some point we're going to have to give up on that ideal because it's not going to manifest for whatever reason. So yes, we do have a slider, and we do perceive things to be real and unreal. We have to emotionally react to the ideals in order to achieve them. So we have to yearn for, I had to yearn for a philosophy show in order to manifest a philosophy show. and I had to do other things until it became possible because prior to podcasting, what was I going to do? Was I going to write to my local newspaper and say, I'd like to write a column on philosophy every week? They would not want to do that because that would not particularly drive advertising, particularly if the philosophy, as all philosophy tends to be in an age of lies, controversial.

[12:16] So yes, we have to have the unreal in our heads. We have to emotionally react to the unreal. We have to yearn for the unreal. We have to work towards to achieve the unreal,

Distinguishing Reality
[12:28] but not the unrealizable, right? So unreal, right? You say, I have a girlfriend. Well… She hasn't agreed to be my girlfriend, so she's not my girlfriend yet. So the category of girlfriend which you're yearning towards is not currently filled by the girl you want.

[12:43] So you have to yearn for that which is unreal, emotionally react to that which is unreal, but you also have to know that it's unreal, and you then also have to know if it's unrealizable, right? So a woman who wants kids, by the time she hits 45, she's not going to have kids, so she has to adjust her expectations.

Do We Need a New Dimension?
[13:01] But the question is, do we need a new dimension for this? I don't think we do. There are things in the mind, and there are things in the world. And there are lots of overlaps, and there's lots of differences. There are things in the world that are not in our minds. Think of great underground caves miles below the earth that have never been seen or mapped. There are things in the earth that are not in the mind. There are things in the mind that are not on the earth. The dragons and unicorns and square circles and honest politicians and so on, right? So there are things in the mind that are not in the world, and we are very good at processing that. So do we need another dimension called unreality when we already know aspiration versus achievement? I mean, we are trained in unreality and the difference between the unreal and the real every night when we dream. When we dream, we have things that are unreal in our minds, and we react to them emotionally as if we're real. I'm sure everybody's had a sad dream, you wake up in sorrow, you've had a happy dream, you wake up happy, you've had a scary dream, you wake up frightened. Sometimes you wake up gasping with fear. And so we are trained, oh, thank goodness, it was only a dream, right? So we are trained to distinguish the real from the unreal.

[14:15] Every night in our dreams. So do we need another dimension called reality versus unreality when we can compare the contents of our mind to what is actually in the world and see the discrepancy? And if we see what is in our mind and what is in the world, can we achieve that discrepancy without a fifth dimension? Can we achieve an understanding of that discrepancy without a fifth dimension? Well, of course we can, because we do that. And if this guy's proving that there's a new dimension, he has to explain why we're not aware of it before, which is important.

[14:46] So when I wake up from a dream, I know that it was a dream because I wake up in my bed, and that's where I sleep and have dreams. When I wake up from a dream, I know that it was a dream because I was dancing on the rings of Saturn, and then I wake up in my bed. So I clearly cannot have have been dancing on the rings of Saturn and then wake up in my bed because of causality and reality. And of course, in the dreams, I'm able to do things that are impossible in reality. I can jump a mile into the air and land unharmed and all these kinds of things. I can fly in the dreams, so I know that the dreams contradict every aspect of waking reality. So I am trained in the unreal every night in my dreams, because we need that for aspirations. But I'm also trained that my dreams are unreal because they contradict most of the major properties that I experience in my waking life through the direct evidence of my senses.

[15:46] So I don't think we need another dimension called reality versus unreality because

The Real versus Unreal Perception
[15:51] we already get that, quote, dimension. We can already tell the real from the unreal because people who believe in dreams when they're awake are called psychotic. They're having visual and auditory hallucinations. They believe the unreal is real. They're psychotic, so we already have a term for people who fail to make that distinction. People without any kind of dreams are kind of boring and inert and wasting their lives, so we already have that category. category, people who have unrealistic dreams and aspirations are delusional. And, you know, the woman who's 50 who wants a baby is sadly delusional. Or the guy who's, you know, short, cold and ugly tends to want some supermodel and he's broke, right? Then maybe that's not the most realistic goal. Somebody who's a bad singer who wants to be a famous singer, probably not a very realistic goal. So we already have this continuum within our mind to determine the real from the unreal. And all of that is judged by comparing the unreal to all of the attributes of the XYZ time continuum. So time breaks occur often in dreams. You flip from young to old or from here to there. So time and place, you change without transition, and you…

[17:12] Go to bed in your shorts and then you are in a full tuxedo at a ball and then you wake up in your shorts right so comparing what goes on in the mind with what goes on in reality we are trained to do and you know most people can do that very well absent propaganda where the unreal becomes real again we work in a fever dream nightmare of some bureaucrat but we can already distinguish the real from the unreal by comparing the XYZ time chaos of our dreams to the stable XYZ reality of our waking lives where things don't transition, we don't wake up in random places, we don't wear clothes that we're not wearing, we don't meet people long dead, we don't defy the laws of physics in reality. So we already have a real versus unreal perception, a realism perception, We already know that because we can compare the contents of our chaotic nightly dreams to the absolute stability of our waking lives.

[18:11] So, given that we already have that process, and that process is essential for our evolution, to have ideals and to yearn for them as if they're real, and in order to make them real, that's foundational to progress. Progress and so I don't think we need another dimension to explain what can already be explained within our existing four dimensions so I hope that helps and I appreciate the paper it was very interesting to read and stimulating so I hope that you have a wonderful day I look forward to more feedback on this and every other topic free slash donate bye.

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June 2024

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