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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Flatland has only two dimensions, and they have no idea there are more dimensions which exist. Because of this, there are many elaborate rules and societal parameters (like any society), which help to make the setting believable. Very interesting connections to be made with our lives and dimensions that we are unaware of.

I have been trying to read this book for a few years, and finally realized that it is a story and then it became interesting enough to get through the first half of the book, which is largely explanation. Flatlanders see only lines, but have ways of feeling angles and seeing angles as well (due to fog helping so lines look like they are receding). The narrator receives a visit from a 3 dimensional sphere, but can only perceive him as a circle which can diminish and increase in size. The visitor can see hidden things and enter closed areas, and knows things he shouldn't know because of his multi-dimensionality. Finally, since the 2d narrator will not believe him, the visitor takes him into 3d spaceland.

The narrator grasps a large amount of truth, and takes it beyond what his teacher did – saying there must be many more dimensions if there are 1d and 0d places. (1d people have good hearing but cannot imagine life as more than sounds, while there is a being in 0d who loves himself and can imagine nothing outside himself, and worships himself because he knows nothing else.) There are some very interesting connections to be made with Christ entering our world and teaching us things we can't imagine possible. This is a wonderful book – worth ingesting slowly and processing well.

Title: Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
Author: Abbot, Edwin A.
Date published: 1992 (originally published 1884)
Genre: Science Fiction
Number of pages: 96


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