This day seems surrealistic and there is a shift in the space-time continuum which makes it seem like everything is amorphous, even making tea or wandering across the great room to the west windows - to watch the evening hold its breath, like the few milliseconds before an earthquake... This puts me in mind of the dreamlike correspondence I enjoyed with Isaac Asimov many years ago, just before he became so ill.
"As I understand it," I wrote to him, responding to a fairly complex letter I had received from him the week before about time/dimension travel, "relativity creates a dimension irrelative to that of the starting point of travel. And although mathematical formulae are necessary for the journey, once there (wherever "there" is) there are no numbers - not as we define them.
If distance, time and the occupation of space exist in our dimension, then they do not exist as we know them in the final destination you mention. Relativity only applies to the travel itself, not the universe attained by travel. Anything measurable, then stays in our dimension. Only the immeasurable transcends the dimension barrier. Mathematics as we know it serves only as a vehicle to arrive - once there, it will not even get us back since once there, we would no longer occupy space.
In the jump to hyperspace, as your Bailey [a character in one of Asimov's novels] describes it, a traveller to this new dimension is turned "inside out". If he continues moving through measurable space, it is possible that he can jump back. But once he has stopped moving, he no longer exists as an entity to which any mathematical formulae would apply.
I've been thinking that what we need is a true cohesive pattern of how space actually works. Not time. Time is not properly a mathematical concept, anyway - it has merely been borrowed for prediction. we must project human thought into the universe in some suitable vehicle - (tachyons?) so that it exists apart from the finite brain, and then, only then, via some string theory connective can the human experience another dimension without his body having to do so.
These are the sorts of things that occupy my mind. I worry about parallel universes, an eccentricity I have passed on to elder son, Christopher, who must have imbibed it in the womb. When he got to be about 9 or so, I did my best to soothe his nocternal mental wanderings in search of the ultimate limits of the universe and, to keep him calm, never brought up these subjects in the evening, so that he would sleep.
My younger son, on the other hand, sleeps well. His world consists of what he understands with a brief and comradely acknowledgement of the realms beyond - benevolent and entirely without interest. And I am not doing him a disservice - he, like my husband, who as you know brought the Star Trek universe to the world, believes there is no point in worrying about these things.
Christopher and I also believe there is no point to worrying about these things, but we also believe that not everything needs a point.
What do you think?"
Dr. Asimov, as I called him then, wrote back a week or so later with a splendid diagram in the margin of his letter and illegible notes. I wish I still had it.
Causes Harrison Solow Supports
Lupus Foundation of America
Museum of Tolerance