The Fifth Access

What is the Fifth Access? It is the creative articulation of more dimensions than the four we are familiar with (height, length width and time) as applied to metaphysics, science, ethics, religion, sexuality, politics, and interpersonal social dynamics. As Amit Goswami, PhD., and professor of Physics at the University of Oregon has noted in his book, The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World:

“The centerpiece of the new paradigm is the recognition that modern science validates an ancient idea—the idea that consciousness, not matter is ground of all being.”

At Fifth Access we take this notion of consciousness as “the ground of all being” one step further and concur with the scholastics that Existence is the ground of being, and that Existence can also be thought of as Consciousness. Existence is conscious of Itself in three ways: Existence knows Its own Nature, which is unrelated to anything created in time; Existence knows Itself virtually, as it might be imitated or known in time, and Existence knows Itself as It might be loved. This Trinity of Being is unmanifest as Existence, or the Ipsum Esse Subsistens of Thomas Aquinas.

According to Aquinas, God is that being whose essence is identical to His Existence, and is manifest only in knowing Himself as He might be imitated, or known outside Himself. Peter Totleben, O.P. describes God’s actions as, “formally immanent but virtually transient.” In order to understand what this means, the uncreated energies of God as described by 14th century Greek Orthodox Monk, Gregory Palamas must be invoked. The uncreated energies of God might be thought of as being “formally immanent but virtually transient.” Even though this is not quite what Fr. Totleben intended with this definition, the conclusion is inescapable. Another way of looking at this is to say that “formally immanent” means a kind of Divine non-locality and “virtually transient” means a kind of local action on the part of God. Think about the light on Mount Tabor after Jesus came to visit the apostles or the words of the Holy Spirit during the baptism of Jesus. If we look at these events conventionally there would be a before and after within God but this cannot be the case. The affect/effect of God’s Existence takes place within time but is non-reciprocal within His Nature. In the same way, Jesus’s human nature adds nothing that is not already present in His Divine Nature. The effects are only in time and time is simply a reflection of God’s eternal self-knowledge.

The entire visible universe can be thought of as a virtual creation relative to the Act of Existence, which creates time, space and matter as a consequence of Its eternal self-knowledge. We cannot understand how the uncreated energies might work without an understanding of multi-dimensionality. Dimensions that are not yet visible to us modulate the invisible network constituted by the Divine Ideas as they manifest in the limits we call “essence” within time. The imperfections we see in the world are a result of what I call The Reality Dysfunction, which can be expressed as a ratio of infinite perfection, power and glory to a limited physical universe that cannot fully express the infinity of the Divine Nature. What is the Big Bang but the expression of a universe tortured by a power that it cannot either fully express, distribute or endure?

Goswami cites his countryman, poet and mystic Rabinandrath Tagore, in trying to describe his quest from the perspective of both emotion and science:

“I have listened
And I have looked
With open eyes.
I have poured my soul
Into the world
Seeking the unknown
Within the known.
And I sing out loud
In amazement.”

A God who does not exist in any way we can fully grasp, makes everything else “be” through a network of essences or forms that can be approached via the multi-dimensional language of paradox. Existence, which philosopher Frederick Wilhelmsen described as, “radical extramentality” will, ultimately, be the bridge between metaphysics, multi-dimensionality and quantum physics.

Within science, a quantum wave is thought of as decohering into particulate reality, when it is known or measured by an observer. Within Existence (and this is speaking metaphorically), when Existence knows Itself, as other than Itself or outside Itself in the Reality Dysfunction, time, space and matter are decohered.

God or Existence is the universal observer who decoheres time, space and matter by knowing Himself as he might be known by others.

God Has no need of decoherence, but the rest of the Universe is built on God’s eternal knowledge of Himself, as it manifests in the decohering of the visible universe. How this decohering occurs as “virtual transience” is part of the mystery of the Reality Dysfunction. This mystery can be approached, and partially articulated in the language of multi-dimensional theory, and the specific metaphysics targeted by the Fifth Access. As the great Thomas Aquinas noted in his Summa Theologica, (and here I am paraphrasing), “An idea in the mind of God is identical to His nature and what God knows, He creates through approbation, as His will is not separate from His intellect.” How we see and understand this in time is not how God “sees” it or “understands” it.

Goswami describes this new paradigm of consciousness, which many of the ancients described as Existence, as the ground of all being, and also sees it as a bridge over the chasm between science and religion. “Let there be commerce between the two,” he says. The Fifth Access is just such commerce.