CTK Insights

22 Jul

It Fills All Space

Who is it that fills the space? The space itself, of course - whatever that space is.

In 1984 Dr. Edwin Abbott published a book Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. The main portion of the title "Flatland" reflects on the structure of the book - the story is narrated by a Square, a citizen of a 2-dimensional world and is chiefly a description of the Flatland society. However, other spaces (Spaceland, Lineland, Pointland) of other dimensions also appear in the book. All spaces have room to support intelligent life. The spaces with some dimensions are inhabited by various creaturers - with as much variation as the number of dimensions would allow. The King of Lineland is a segment with mouths at both ends, and two Queens to talk to.

Only a 0-dimensional space - "the Abyss of No dimensions," in the words of Abbott - has enough room for a single individual. It's this fellow who fills its space in Flatland and keeps broadcasting the news:

“It fills all Space,” continued the little soliloquizing Creature, “and what It fills, It is. What It thinks, that It utters; and what It utters, that It hears; and It itself is Thinker, Utterer, Hearer, Thought, Word, Audition; it is the One, and yet the All in All. Ah, the happiness ah, the happiness of Being!”

Not for nothing the worldly wisdom has it that to entertain a point of view means to have one's horizons contracted to a point.

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