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Garth Rattray | Death in five dimensions

Published:Friday | July 21, 2017 | 12:00 AM

We exist in a four-dimensional world of time and space. Most people don't realise that 'time' is the fourth dimension. If I ask someone to meet me at a specific spot that can be defined by length, height and width, they will ask me, "when?"

Our impression of eternity is flawed. Most people think that eternity is a very long time, perhaps an indeterminate amount of time. However, I've come to realise that time is a physical dimension that is foreign to 'eternity'. Therefore, eternity is devoid of time. It exists outside of time and space.

Our mortal minds cannot begin to comprehend any other dimension outside of time and space. It's way beyond our capabilities, but that doesn't stop us from speculating about the constituent of the fifth dimension. Could it be something that science will discover one day far into the future? Is it purely spiritual and, therefore, outside of this realm? Or could it be something that we are already familiar with but do not recognise it as a dimension?

Could the fifth dimension be 'love' - could this be the dimension that forms the bridge between this world and the next? Is 'love' something that we think we know and understand but, in fact, know almost nothing about? Is it that we can only hate the people and things that we wish we could love or wish that they could love us? Is the lack of love, hate or is it just an emotional void? Is love a good or a bad thing?

Some people love to hate; is that still considered 'love'. And some people hate to love; is that considered 'hate'. Is hate the opposite of love or is fear the opposite of love? Can we thrive and grow without the giving and receiving of love? Or is it that we are empty shells without love and, therefore, receptive to hate and fear?




I recall a primary schoolmate who was considered 'dunce' and disruptive. He always looked as if his clothes were two sizes too big and his shoes were so oversized that he looked like Rumpelstiltskin. As the dreaded Common Entrance approached, we realised that we would not be seeing many or any of the children that we grew up with ever again. The sharing of hitherto private thoughts often interrupted our play. This little boy was renowned for his aggressiveness and fights, but he told us something that made all of us fall silent and it still haunts me to this very day. He said that his mother told him that the only time that his name will come into the papers is when he is dead. In those days, the Common Entrance results were published in The Gleaner, so she was telling him that she did not expect him to pass in any way. But what a thing for a mother to say and what a way to say it! He was devastated.

I often wonder what became of him. Did he survive such psychological abuse? Did he become a professional, a tradesman or a criminal? I never found out. That led me to ponder murderers - were they ever truly loved? I don't mean amorous love, and I don't mean the pseudo-love showered on them by doting relatives and family members who can never find them wrong about anything and always protect them in their wrongdoings. I mean the kind of love that will instill discipline with kindness and not anger; the kind of love that will correct the wrongs that they do and not cover them up with lies; the kind of love that will rather see them in prison than out on the streets committing crimes (even murders) and keep silent about it; the kind of love that will save them from themselves. Anything else is not true love.

So, when these individuals get killed, they die in five dimensions because they die outside of love. Is that what those who facilitate their heinous acts want for them ... damnation? Those who know of their crimes but hide them for personal gain, fear or under the umbrella of misplaced 'love' are condemning their 'loved' ones to death in five dimensions. Some might say that it serves them right, but that would be hateful.

- Garth A. Rattray is a medical doctor with a family practice. Email feedback to and