A lot of people consider time to be another dimension
I do not.
You have to be wholly locked into linear conceptualization to see time as a single dimension.
Matter: the stuff of physicality. Units. Particles. Mass.
Energy: force, inertia, direction and degree of movement.
Space: relativity of position of matter and energy.
Time: relativity of observation of matter, energy, and space.
Does time exist without consciousness? If a tree falls in the forest and there is nobody to hear it, does it make a sound? Shroedinger's Cat. Etc. This is a valid question but I don't want to go down that line today.
Time has as much dimensionality as space. One can view time only as a single dimension in regard to the way we experience it, but that doesn't speak to its true nature or how vast it could be.
My concept of "timeless" is not the absence of time, rather the omnipresence of infinite dimensions of time. Time is only a matter of observation, the point of view at which you glimpse a "frame" of reality. That we experience time linearly is a matter of consciousness. There are links through time, in that energy crosses time and reshapes matter and repositions matter in space. The matter and the space, both, in their substance, hold no relation to time except through energy, and they hold no relation to one another except through time.
Multidimensional time allows for different observation and the possibility of different outcome. However, for time to BE multidimensional, consciousness beyond time would have to exist. That is to say, "choice" would have to be a conscious matter, a force unto itself that is independent of matter, energy, space and time. If a different choice were applied, leading to a different expenditure of energy by way of conscious will and imagination, then a whole other "timeline" could open up.
If time were as infinitely dimensional as space, and consciousness independent of both, there could be an "unplugging" from one sequence into another.
Why is it relevant? Because it's always relevent to seek truth. The more you know, the more ability you have to act, and the more motivation you may find to take specific courses of action.
If your existance as a consciousness endures beyond the life of your body, then the "timeline" from that point on would logically be affected by the course of your choices while here in this life, as befits the notion that through energy there is connection of matter and space across time. If there is an equivalent to "matter" in the realm of consciousness, and also to "energy" and "space" and in some form also to "time", then it MAY way be very important to your "future" as to what you do here in this life.
You can make a case for not caring, in that lacking proof you are unwilling to risk. Ah, but I have an answer for that, too. It's spelled out in the dynamics of domination vs dominion. To be unwilling to risk without certain outcome IS a dominating position. You are free to hold it if you like, and yes, domination can pervert trust into blind faith, leading you down end paths to falsehood. I'm arguing for neither of those polarities. That's the false dilemma of evil, that there are no good choices, only choices it wants to present you. (You've missed a lot, you may need to go back to the previous uberthread and read the whole thing to catch my reference here).
Could dominion result from the bottom-up structure? No. Not truly. It could as an adapatation, an illusion, a gimmick as smoke screen for domination that is more effective, but not in its own right. For dominion to function there must be a divine origin, an all-inclusive reality.
That's where the answer to the next point lies.
The study of such subjects is the study of our existence. Our universe. However, it all becomes irrelevant in the big picture.
Why is that? Because, to the best of my knowledge, none of those subjects necessarily have any bearing OUTSIDE of our universe.
You spelled out two axioms, and I would not disagree with them. I have no proof or reasoning or even any urge to disprove them. What you say makes sense, in that nothing contained within this universe NECESSARILY has bearing on what lies beyond. However, the corollary to your point is that nothing inside this universe necessarily lacks bearing, either. This is not a proof, but it is a possibility.
Logic deals primarily with actualities, somewhat with probabilities, and a smidgeon with possibilities. The actualities are given full weight: "facts". The probabilities are given the weight of theories, the possibilities that of hypothesis. What lies beyond possibility is wholly beyond the reach of logic, but that does not mean it is or must remain wholly beyond the reach of humankind.
With energy, through will and imagination, that which is possible may become probable. That which is probable may become actual. May, meaning "may", not "will" or "must". May. Some possibilities do not bear fruit, and can be eliminated. Possibility can never be mistaken for Actuality, and in this regard logic serves us well. However, Actuality can be shown to be not the end of the cycle, not the only goal or the ultimate value, but a means to a greater "end".
In the actualities we find the truth, but there is a greater truth to be had in extrapolating actuality back out to the level of infinity.
This cycle has been long understood by the wise, and it is codified in both the nature of physicality and in the texts containing the knowledge of man.
Why does the Judeo-Christian creation myth have god taking SEVEN days? There is a reason, it's not an arbitrary number yanked out of the air.
No, the things in this reality don't necessarily have bearing, but where we find patterns and structures that hold total consistency, we can deal in actualities in a way to understand all of existance, for there are not just actualities. There are probabilities, possibilities, and infinities too. And the only difference between them that you can measure is their nearness to you and their relation to you in your actuality.
Sound is another useful model. There are seven major tones, repeating in a cycle through "octaves". There are minor tones and subtones and subtleties, but there are seven major tones. Is there in theory any limit to the octaves of sound? The vibrational frequency, the energy content of the tones varies, but the cycle in its structure sets up not a conceptual model, but a real, actual, physical model for energy. Energy can be shown to exhibit the SAME properties at different octaves. Our hearing can detect the samenesses along with the differences. We recognize the pattern, and it fits well with the notion of "octaves" of dimension. It also fits with the reality we all face of coming round and round in our lives, always seeming to come back to the same issues, the same flaws in our character, the same conflicts in our lives. If such energy also exists in octaves, within consciousness, in cycles, then we might "climb the scale" and make true growth progress yet still SEEM to come back over and over to the same situations.
As good a grasp on science and logic as we might ever have, we can't apply them beyond the things that we can see, hear, smell, touch, or taste. We are limited, trapped in a way.
This is nonsensical. Our limits of possibility are set by not only the tenets of reality, but ALSO our perception of it. Our beliefs set up our own personal tones of actuality, probability, possibility, and it is only by reaching beyond these limits that we can find new possibilities, new probabilities, to generate new actualities.
What defines the difference between possible, probable, actual? It is dimension, and only dimension. In terms of our physical reality, one must have three dimensions to "exist". Dimensions of space, but ALSO OF time. Time is the key to what "exists", or rather to what "exists NOW". Inertia is a measurable force in space, and also in time. If time is seen to be linear, you have a "past" which imparts to you a direction and velocity. If you follow its path it WILL take you to a certain place at each moment of time, and this can be expressed as a line (or a ray, or line segment, depending on the finiteness ["finity"?] of your observation).
The points that lie along your course of momentum are "probable". The points that lie within your reach IF you apply force to change your momentum are "possible" and these are limited by both the inherent ability to apply force of will and imagination as well as the willingness to do so. So what is "possible" absolutely never genuinely coincides with what you believe to be possible, and there may also be false beliefs in that you may believe you have an ability that you truly do not.
Expanding your willingness to act expands your beliefs and that dimension of possibility, while expanding your ability to act opens a different dimension of possibility.
When you cross the timeline of dimension of possibility of ability with that of possibility of willingness, you get probability. When you cross that with the dimension of possibility of consciousness, you get an intersection that comprises an experience, an actuality, a moment that ceases to be "what you are becoming" and turns into "what you are".
This same intersection of dimension applies also to reason, in that possibilities are concepts that your belief structure may consider. Probabilities are concepts that your belief structure not only may consider, but sees some evidence toward. Actualities, the things you believe, are ideas you hold as "actual".
These do not necessarily coincide, BUT... it is highly relevant to the question of set theory. If physicality is a subset of consciousness, then consciousness is the "truer" reality, and there is value in exploring it in its own right, apart from physicality. If all consciousness is a subset of physicality, only then would you be correct in deeming what lies beyond the physical to be of no bearing upon you as a conscious being.
Using mathematical models to describe "All That Is" is inherently flawed.
Of course it is. I'm not using it on a one-to-one "this explains the nature of reality". I'm using it as a metaphor to offer insights, to open doors WITHIN your belief structure to possibilities you don't seem to have been considering, and to probabilities you haven't glimpsed.
The quest for knowledge is to find the actuality of what exists, that is how we in this limited, actual plane of existence, this intersection of consciousness with dimension, that is how we function. But once the actuals are found, there is room left over to expand upon them back toward the infinite.
I say "back toward" quite intentionally. My axioms presuppose that actualities are but focused intersections of dimension, a matter of observation and not necessarily of absoluteness. For if it is the intersection that creates actuality, then if the intersections were to be fit together differently, we'd have a whole "universe".
Imagine that "each timeline" could be a universe in its own right. What if there is not one solid universe, but an infinite number of possible and probable universes. What if the only thing that makes them "actual" is YOUR intersection with them as consciousness. You choose this, YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS flows down this line of inertia and into the universe that fits those intersections. If you had chosen something else, a whole other universe, similar but not identical.
So then the question IS relevant: is your choice, your free will, a force unto itself, exterior to the physical reality? Or is it not? Put another way: if you have a soul, it DOES matter. It does have direct implications onto the true nature of the physical reality. If you have a soul, there IS a purpose to the physical reality. If you do not, it's a random event and you as a being hold no significance.
Put yet another way: is your consciousness a CAUSE, or is it an EFFECT?
Pride, you might think, would lead men to presume their consciousness is a cause, in that specialness is conveyed onto them if their consciousness is a cause and not an effect of physical reality. Yet... this is not the case. There is in comprehension of awareness as a superset the inherent and inescapable implication not of specialness, but of oneness. If consciousness is a superset, the infinite set, the all-that-is, then there is in truth but one consciousness, dividing itself for some unstated purpose, to focus on the bits in a quest for... Something. For actuality, for the stuff to be able to grasp on to. In this axiom there is no room for pride, there is only one, the same One in different forms. You cannot be more special than an other when there is no Other, when the other is also you.
It is only the bottom-up structure that recognizes not a pan-determined oneness, which views separation as the Natural State and integration as illusion or evolution. There are all kinds of presumptions and logical conclusions from the bottom-up structure which are taken wholly for granted, on faith, yet which claim superiority. Domination and heirarchy are the way of this kind of reasoning in all its forms. The top-down structure views all separation as conceptual, as fleeting, temporary, illusory -- not what IS, but what we have put there in order to explore subsets, to play the games not just to theorize about them. To live, to experience, because being is not enough, there is also doing. There is matter, yes, but also energy. There is space, yes, but also time. All four, and more, in infinite dimension, none of able to be destroyed or eradicated, only to be reshaped. Yet the reshaping takes on meaning only when observed relatively, this compared to that, this contrasted to that. To grasp the meanings, we must limit our consciousness, to create division and limitation where none exists.
Yet limits are not evil. When we as people set limits on ourselves, called principles, we provide a structure, a form, we create a context, within which our content may flourish. We make space by defining that space. We make time by defining that time. We put context to the form and content through the limits.
Yet... once the context is in place, shall we stop? Shall we sit and go farther? Or shall we expand our limits as we expand our awareness and ability?
One of the most beautiful paradoxes you can ever come to grasp is that of love. In love, there is something greater even than infinity, that can bring two together in a way that creates a whole greater than the sum of the parts. Even infinity itself can be expanded. The metaphors for this are present in every infinite model you care to engage: the expanding (and contracting) physical universe, the functions of matter energy space and time. "All That Is" is not, even in a timeless sense, a finite quantity. What there is, is, but there can also be more. Not created from nothingness, but expanded from within by creating Something More out of Something. Even the concept of abiogenesis meets this model, in accepting the notion that life at some point came into being. There is even in that paradigm the concept of Something More emerging from Something.
The only question of true relevance in deciding the course of your explanation is that of my third axiom. Was there awareness "in the beginning"? Was there some force of consciousness aware of its awareness, enough to reach my fourth axiom? For the question "Why?" is sufficient force of consciousness to explain the Big Bang not just physically but also metaphysically: the creation of limits, of forms, of structure, within which consciousness might pursue its question about the meaning of its own existance.
Even there, I like the evidence for my postulates. The very "big bang" of consciousness I envision matches with the big bang of physicality in a violent explosion of energy so massive it puts form to all.
If you don't care or you see the question as irrelevent, that's fine with me, but just because you choose to set that limit on your own reach for knowledge does not mean I accept it. I most emphatically reject it. I do care, and I very much see relevance to myself.
Beyond even that, I have reason to trust. Logic serves well, but it is only one avenue of trust. Those who cling to pure logic see emotion as despicable, as wholly fallible and inferior, but I see their dismissal as foolish. Emotion, like thought, is a force of consciousness. Trusting emotion in the absence of clear thought IS foolish, but so is trusting thought in the absence of emotion. There are four sources: Body, Mind, Heart, Soul. Where ANY of these supply you reason for doubt, grounds on which to distrust, you should not trust. Not ever.
Those who say it is foolish to trust Soul, to trust in the texts of ancient wisdom that claim divine inspiration, WHERE these conflict with physical and mental evidence, they have a point. Yet I would also point out that it is equally foolish to trust the observations and theorems of Body and Mind WHERE they conflict in screaming fashion with Heart and Soul. You have emotions for a reason, and that reason is NOT to cloud your thinking or drag you down. Thinkers blame emotion for poor thinking, when in fact emotion has nothing to do with poor thinking. Poor thinking is what creates poor thought. Emotion is a seperate realm, and it too has its corruptions. Those who believe they can come and display noble thoughts, in the total absence of any regard for emotion, show themselves up as emotional simpletons, as less than whole human beings lacking perspective and context in which to put their thoughts to good use.
Thought and emotion are not at odds. One does not exhibit less thought or less precise thought in relation to emotion. One does not experience misemotion in relation to clearer thought. To confuse the two is a fundamental error at the BEGINNING of any exploration. This does not necessarily imply anything of the one from the other, in either direction. However, wisdom can never arise from thought alone, no matter how clear.
Trust is a synergy, a Something More created out of the convergence of Body, Mind, Heart, Soul. When all these resources reverberate in harmony, you have an avenue for trust. You need to pursue each with the greatest rigor: a strong, healthy body (as befits your age and build); a clear, sharp mind; a deep well of rich emotion untainted by corruptions; a spiritual path of some kind, in relationship to your view of the truth of What Exists.
Trust is fragile, but it is extremely powerful. Trust is the eye of the needle, the narrow actuality through which all your consciousness must pass. Only to the degree that you have clarity and have shed the dead weight of anxiety, of false or misplaced trust, of blind faiths, can you become stuck and fall off the path.
That which tells you not to trust, to ignore the evidence of any of these sources of doubt, is corrupt. For what exists, exists, and there is in existance a form, a structure, to all the material. That form has a shape, it does not bend to whims. To the degree that we may not yet fully understand the form, "miracles" may be possible in that some things may occur that defy our current understanding of the forms. Men have walked on the moon and that was once something ascribed as possible only to god. Yet there is some kind of form, even if that form is wholly subject to change by the choices of consciousness (including those of any god). That which tells you to distrust the forms of the body, the mind, the heart, to place faith only in spirit, denies the spirit as well. Only corrupt spirit claims superiority. That which tells you to place faith only in the body and mind, to distrust the heart and soul, is corrupt. All of these admonishments to distrust are dividing your house against itself, are informing you that you are broken and inherently unworthy, but these claims fit only with the bottom-up belief structure, portraying god or spirit as superior, or portraying the individual as disconnected and therefore able to become superior. Yet love does not happen in its purest forms in this way: can you love a wife you despise as your inferior? If you lord over your child, elevating yourself or suppressing them (same thing), is this in any way loving? Or is it instead loving to boost that child, to put them on an even plane even though you recognize their ignorance? It is loving to teach if what is taught enables, but it is most unloving if what is taught disables. Is this not clear? Can you love a superior god, or only worship him? To love is to identify the Self in the Other, and to bring them together.
No one source is trustworthy by itself. All can become corrupted. Yet you can use each to purify all the others, without need for external anybody to come and "save" you. With clear thought, you can purge corrupted emotion. With clear emotion, you can purge corrupted spirit. That which tells you to ignore any of these sources IS aiming at cutting you off from your own self, to subjugate you by removing the mechanisms with which you can for yourself determine what is or is not true. You can choose to be enslaved in this manner if you wish. I'm only here to say that there's another option.