The 4th Dimension – a Guest Post

The Northern Wheatear; a tiny songbird, weighing less than an ounce, that flies thousands of miles each year

Elegant Tesseract

by John Sharkey

From my perspective I am conscious that when talking to practitioners who have trained in various therapies or movement modalities the term “4d” can take on different meanings. Simply put, the 4th dimension provides a method for the 3rd dimension to change.

With my anatomy hat on I can tell you that we humans see two overlapping 2-dimensional images provided by our right and left eye and projected onto the 2D planes of our retinas. We don’t actually “see” in 3-d…it is impossible to actually see in 3-d, as no matter what the imaging capability, it will still be 2-d (Stereoscopic vision). It is only by perception that we think we see in 3-d, because we have access to the parallax method of resolving depth. We have two overlapping images, and for objects at close range, they disagree. The angular error between them is what gives that extra piece of information to think that we see in 3-d when at best we only see in 2.5 d (2 and a half or pseudo 3d). Our brain fills in the gaps.

I can therefore appreciate that coming to terms with 4d in living movement will, for many, not come easy. In 1912 when Geologist Alfred Wegener hypothesised that the continents floated around on the surface of the earth and that he was of the opinion that the coast of west Africa and the east coast of South America fitted together like a jigsaw puzzle, he was ridiculed.  Yet by the 1950’s this “fact” was being thought in schools as accepted science.

I propose the BioTensegrity model benefits from the inclusion of 4d as mathematically the full model provides the theoretical basis to work out movement within accepted thermodynamic laws, time and entropy. What does that mean in simple application? Currently biomechanical explanations result in the Kangaroo’s tendon combusting into flames. The Northern Wheatear, (a tiny insect-eating Arctic songbird – see image) travels an enormous 9,000 miles return journey every year, through eastern Russia and Kazakhstan before crossing the Arabian desert to reach countries in east Africa. Current biomechanical explanations “demonstrate” it would be cooking itself to death during the migration. New explanations are called for to make sense of the physical laws of motion in action.

The additional degree of freedom afforded by the 4th dimension allows for a greater number of shapes to exist within it (point–line–plane postulate). BioTensegrity, properly understood and applied, invites us in to this, the 4th dimension.

John Sharkey, BSc.,NMT, MSc.

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