Feeling the limits of this world

is the door into another.

The Juggler II       2008           27" x 35.5"         mixed media on canvas

This painting is a visual metaphor for juggling the things of one's life in this dimension while keeping the focus on a larger, more dynamic dimension beyond.


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Have you ever felt yourself existing within a dimension? Can you imagine how different that would be, how incredibly fascinating? We will take a huge step in perception as we attempt to do just that.


First, I would like to point out the distinction between sensing this world in a dimension and experiencing it in a dimension. Sensing is often the essential first step, yet, there are also limitations to it. With sensing one still holds on to the distinct, limited self observing this change in perception. But in the experience of this world in a dimension, one's being literally becomes part of the transformation process and the sense of self is altered along with the perception of the world. Most likely you will begin with sensing, but the sooner one can move to the experience of this world in a dimension, the deeper and more rewarding it will be.









New Mexico Mesa I       1999           37" x 56"            mixed media on canvas

212 Flat Rock-Dimension III J Birchard F




In order to perceive the world in a dimension, there needs to be a true desire to see it. And once there is a willingness to let go of the old, limited interpretations of reality, the reinterpretation of your sense impressions can begin.



Flat Rock – Dimension III       2009           43" x 62"    mixed media on canvas


My first experiences of this world in a dimension arose inadvertently out of a technique I had “stumbled across” one day when I was out landscape painting and a thought came that said,, "Imagine nothingness.” So, I took a moment to relax and I started to sense a dark, stillness—a “nothingness.” It came more and more into focus in my mind. After a few moments, my attention returned to the landscape. I was startled at how more alive everything now appeared. I saw the landscape in a direct, fresh way, as if for the first time. I felt the deep mystery of existence.


The effect of nothingness as a backdrop to form started to occur more and more often, whether I was looking at a tree, a person, birds flying, a coffee cup, towering rock formations, or a horse in a meadow. And after a while, I started noticing something very peculiar happening. The sensation of a void or nothingness, as it grew in clarity, was becoming alive and huge beyond any perceived boundaries and a sense of the world existing in a dimension began to dawn in my consciousness.

To capture this sensation in paint, I started my paintings with a dark background representing the void. Then I would portray the landscape “floating” within that field, transparent here and there, the way it actually felt. (Notice the dark edges in many of the paintings.) 




The lines at the top of many of my paintings also became a part of my painting vocabulary when I was out painting a landscape one day and suddenly that now familiar sensation occurred of the scene existing in a dimension. It instantly triggered a memory of when I was a child and I would set toy figures and objects in a cardboard box—a shadow box or diorama. My toy world had distinct boundaries and its own unique sense of space and time that even as a child I could feel, beyond which existed my bedroom—a whole different reality, mirroring this “dimension experience” I was having painting a landscape in a curious way, except now, instead of toys, the “box” was filled with mountains, clouds, and streams. And my physical existence, too, was in the “box”—a box with real boundaries or limitations, though imperceptible—a dimension too with its own sense of time and space and a reality beyond. And then the exciting question came, “How do I paint that; and can it even be done?” A strong impulse arose and I boldly brushed on these lines at the top of my painting, representing the partially visible opened top of the box, where, as a child, I would look down into the toy dimension below. Since then, whenever I am painting and have that realization of this world existing in a dimension, I depict this partially visible opening at the top of my paintings.













Dimension Bar and Painting for Exhibit S

How the lines would appear if the box opening extended beyond the painting.



At first, you may have difficulty sensing the world in a dimension. It’s like trying to feel the essence of what a room is when the inside of the room is all you have ever known, having only felt with your hands and seen with your eyes the two-dimensional surfaces of the walls and ceiling from the inside. But once you do go beyond the room and look back at it and see it from the outside and above, you will perceive the room in a more objective and complete light, taking on a new added dimension. You will also perceive how it relates to a larger outside reality. Your experience of the room will be forever changed. And you will wonder why you had accepted such a limited interpretation of reality and why you never suspected such an obvious perspective existed.

Russian Gulch       2017           54" x 54"    mixed media on canvas

I eluded to this experience at the beginning of my book:


The village Sonadora sits on the edge of a world, beyond is "The Great Nothing." Yes, Tobe's world, like ours, exists in a dimension.





Self Portrait and the Edge of the World

Written in Tobe’s sketchbook underneath this drawing are these words: “Standing before the vast Great Nothing, the beauty of this world shines; its mystery deepens.”








 from Chapter One:


       Even when young, Tobe (Tō•bē) did not fear the Great Nothing. He loved its darkness. As he looked about at his world bathed in light, everything stood out more clearly before the vast darkness of the Great Nothing. Everything appeared more alive and even more amazing....




        As he jogged, he glanced to the west at the blue, sparkling lake. A little farther on, the hills and rocks came to an abrupt end before the vast, dark wall of the Great Nothing. The height and width of this darkness extended far beyond what Tobe could see.


       The edge of the world!


       To see the landscape of Soñadora all bathed in sunlight before the blackness of the Great Nothing took Tobe’s breath away.


        What is this mysterious world we live in for a while? He expected no answer and he got none. Being filled with wonder was enough for him. His mind cleared once again, and he could hear his quick, running steps cutting through the sand.

96 Downtown-Dimension J Birchard Full Sc

Downtown - Dimension       2015           44" x 64"    mixed media on canvas


The following quote will appear next to this painting in my traveling exhibit:


“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.”               Albert Einstein     















You will see that in the "dimension experience," objects go through an extraordinary transformation. Objects which were once seen as heavy and solid are now experienced as having more energy and vibration, creating the effect during more heightened states of consciousness of being similar to projected holograms. And there will come moments when the whole of this time/space dimension is perceived to take on a lighter quality as if it were “hovering” as a mere effect, of and in a larger, vast reality—like a dream hovering in an unlimited Mind. From this enhanced perspective, all your previous interpretations of the world would be altered, revealing an amazing new world. And this is not frightening but joyous, for one feels a corresponding sense of freedom in finally perceiving the truth of this world and oneself, as the heaviness of both is lifted with such ease.

San Ildefonso V       2013           53" x 74"      mixed media on canvas




One of the most profound "dimension" experiences that I have had was a near-death experience. I will abbreviate the story. I was driving on the Interstate going about 65 mph when all turned to chaos. An eighteen wheeler jackknifed and another vehicle slammed into my vehicle causing it to careen off the interstate and tumble and roll. There was shortly a rush in the ambulance to the hospital. Immediately I was put on the operating table.


After being put under for the operations, the next conscious experience was of light of the highest vibration. The light had no boundaries—no limits. There was no "me;" no experiencer – just unending light. How much time passed, I have no idea, for there was no time. Then at some point, things began to change. An awareness began to grow of the light projecting into a dimension a body on the hospital bed. Yes, suddenly there was form; there was a world; there was space, and time began to reveal itself as a sequence of events. It literally felt like a hologram of a world—a virtual reality, pure energy with but the appearance of form. Every cell of my body was vibrating with a high frequency as a projection, a direct effect of that light. The light was the Cause and this dimension of form its effect, both worlds existing together for a period of time. There was still no sense of self, only awareness.


But all this came to a sudden end when the feeling of being a distinct, separate being entered, and the complete integration of body sensations with a sense of self occurred. Instantly the “my” body’s and the world’s connection to the light broke off and completely disappeared from awareness. Every cell of the body, which previously was humming from being a direct, creative expression of the light, in a flash the cells condensed, as if into the dense state of concrete! The sensation of awareness, fluid and free, condensing and crystallizing into form was so intense that the body, even though it was badly broken and tied up with wires and tubes bolted upright in bed, gasping at the pain of the constriction at entering the dense state of matter and separation.


It is curious to return to the memory of this experience again and again and hold it up to the present moment. It still creates powerful shifts in how I look on myself and the world.


For me, I begin to feel this world of form and space and time existing in a dimension when, like in the example of the room, I become aware of a higher perspective or dimension. That is where the next section on the "Unified Field" will be a great help as we move into that dimension. So be patient and let the pieces come together with no strain or stress. In the meantime, I will relate this story which may give some added insight.