Fountain Spirits
According to German mystic Jakob Boehme (1575–1624)
there were in nature seven active principles, the ‘‘Fountain
Spirits’’ or ‘‘Mothers of Existence’’ the astringent quality, the
sweet quality, the bitter quality, the quality of fire, the quality
of love, the quality of sound, and the quality of essential substance.
The reciprocal action of these antipathetic qualities resulted
in supreme unity. Each was at once the parent and the
child of all the rest, being generated and generating one another.
They were typified by the seven golden candlesticks of Rev.
Boehme’s mystical visions are detailed in his books, notably
Aurora, first published in 1612, translations of which have been
Boehme, Jacob. The Life and Doctrines of Jacob Boehme. New
York McCoy Publishing, 1929.
Fourth Dimension
A ‘‘higher’’ form of space that mathematicians conceive as
another direction from which a fourth line may be drawn at
right angles to each of the three lines (mutually at right angles)
that three-dimensional space permits to be drawn through any
point in it. A highly speculative form of the theory that such a
higher form of space exists has been employed in the attempt
to solve certain questions concerning psychic phenomena.
For beings living on a flat surface, having no thickness, and
possessing all their nerve endings on the periphery of their bodies,
only two directions could exist. A circle drawn on their
plane with chalk would be a closed space into which they could
not penetrate except through a cut in it. Having no concept of
a third dimension, they could not picture objects passing out
of and into the circle if the objects did not pass through the cut.
From a third dimension, however, both the inside and outside
of the circle are visible and accessible. Similarly, for beings
living in a four-dimensional world, enclosed spaces would appear
open. Persons could make objects mysteriously vanish in
the direction of the fourth dimension and make them reappear
again in an apparent transgression of the law of impenetrability.
A similar explanation is presented for apport phenomena,
the reported materialization of an object in the midst of a séance.
Johann Zöllner made the first attempt at the experimental
demonstration of the fourth dimension in his sittings with
the medium Henry Slade. Cesare Lombroso considered it an
ingenious solution to many perplexing psychic problems. W.
W. Carington, in A Theory of the Mechanism of Survival (1920),
hypothesizes that after physical death the individual consciousness
is embodied in a vehicle made not from physical matter,
but from four-dimensional matter (i.e., that which in fourdimensional
space corresponds to what we call matter in threedimensional
space). The connecting link between the physical
body and the four-dimensional vehicle is the etheric double.
Clairvoyants who see the front, sides, back, and every internal
point of three-dimensional objects simultaneously are thus
believed to employ a four-dimensional organ of sight. Traveling
and medical clairvoyance are better understood by using
this hypothesis.
If the four-dimensional vehicle is so pliable that it is capable
of being molded by the mere power of will, apparitions will
find a ready explanation, provided the percipient is receptive
to supernormal impressions. Another application is the phenomenon
of prevision, bound up with the riddle of time. Its
adoption as a working hypothesis has also been offered as a way
to bridge the gap between religious and scientific thought.
‘‘A. Square’’ [E. A. Abbott]. Flatland A Romance of Many Dimensions.
1884. 6th ed. New York Dover Publications, 1953.
Hinton, C. H. The Fourth Dimension. London G. Allen &
Unwin, 1934.
———. Scientific Romances. London, 1886.
Rucker, Rudy von Bitter. The Fourth Dimension Toward a Geometry
of Higher Reality. Boston Houghton-Mifflin, 1984.

Previous articleFortean Society
Next articleFraud