By Tom Hansen
“Use Flatland,” a voice said 11/3/15
It was 1993 and I was beginning to write a short book about spiritual experiences. As I sat at my computer, pondering how to start the book, an audible voice in my head said, “Use Flatland.” I wasn’t sure at that moment what was happening and from where the voice originated. Then I heard this voice again say, “Use Flatland.” So I decided to use Flatland ideas as I started to write my new book.
The book Flatland was written by Edwin A. Abbott in 1884. Abbott describes Flatland as a 2-dimensional world inhabited by 2-dimensional squares, pentagons, and circles. This world is impacted by “beings,” such as spheres, who live in a 3-dimensional reality. As a geometry teacher in the 1960’s, I was intrigued by this concept because I thought it showed students how our vision of reality is limited by our experience. I asked students to explore the Flatland model in several of my classes. We would look at a model of a sphere intersecting a plane. When the sphere first touched the plane, the intersection would be a point. As the sphere passed through the plane, the intersection became a series of circles that became larger and then smaller again. We imagined “living” in that plane. Most of the students would then speculate about whether there was another dimension that we in 3-D do not perceive. I have used the idea of a sphere intersecting a plane in a number of spiritual workshops and lectures I have given over the years, as just one way to direct our consciousness to our soul, or True Self, level of existence.
Other authors have used this sphere idea too, of course. For example, in Ken Graydon’s 2014 book (Healing: The Handbook, pp.58-9), he writes that, “For the purpose of this conversation (about meeting your soul), you visualize your soul as a sphere which is your connection to
oneness with the Creator and with all other consciousness. This is where you may access all knowledge and possibilities. Visit your soul in order to be in the presence of the Creator for your work as a co-creator, and to
bring yourself back to the amazing path of your spiritual purpose.”
In Meg Blackburn Losey’s 2010 book (The Secret History of Consciousness, pp.34-5), she writes that, “One of the first experiences I had when working from a state of higher consciousness was the realization that consciousness, in its truest form, is spherical in shape. When one is in an enlightened state, the consciousness expands and
literally radiates outward from the body. As it does, other people are attracted to the energy, but often mistakenly believe that the person who is radiating the expanded energy is special in some way.” She adds on page 61 that, “You, your imaginings, and your perceptions are the root of
I believe that, because energy follows thought, we have the opportunity to re-direct our unlimited energy toward Spirit, rather than only toward materiality. In order to achieve this re-direction, it is helpful to use
techniques, or “tricks,” to form new pathways upon which our energy can flow. One trick I use is to visualize “me” as being more than the circle that is formed by the intersection of my sphere of consciousness and a plane.
The “me” that I understand and identify with most of the time is just the flat circle in the plane. I then visualize the whole intersecting sphere as the real “Me.” I create a mental picture of that sphere which glows with light, and with love, and that interconnects with all other light-spheres. I think to myself, “This perfect light-sphere is the real Me. I am not just the limited flat shape that I identify with in the physical world.”
By using this simple patterning exercise, I am trying to turn my mind away from the limitations of ego, and thereby re-direct my mind to the unbounded divinity of my True Self. I try to use this exercise whenever I feel I am not acting from Love. You might have a different visualization with more meaning for you than my sphere and plane. Nevertheless, the purpose is to use our creative abilities to construct new pathways for our energy of awareness to travel, whatever “trick” we choose. I believe that if we state our intention to find the Love that is us, for the highest good of all, then this Love will become more and more real to us.
We sometimes say, “practice makes perfect.” I think a more accurate statement would be, “practice reveals perfection.” Try some experimenting yourself. When you start getting angry with someone, stop and visualize yourself as your light-sphere, not just a flat circle. Or, when someone is angry with you, visualize them as their light-sphere, not the flat shape that berates your flat shape. Or, just walk down the street and visualize each person you meet as a sphere of light, not just the body your eyes see. Then observe what happens.
I think we need another sort of “Declaration of Independence.” We need to firmly declare that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience, and that our True Self is not dependent on the physical world. We can
declare our independence from the idea that our consciousness derives from materiality. We can declare that materiality derives from our consciousness. Our consciousness made this physical universe. Our rational, logical minds have a hard time accepting that we are the source of materiality. Thus, we must simply declare that it is so and then attempt to see our bodies and the material world as dependent on our consciousness.
Most of us have been living again and again in a sort of Flatland that is not our true state of being. I don’t think that it is sufficient for us to just accept the ideas that we each have lived many lifetimes, that between lifetimes we review what we have learned and then come back again to learn more, and that we graduate to higher levels of dimension as we “evolve” to higher consciousness. True, all of that happens to most of us, but that is not who we really are. We are the consciousness that creates the dimensions and creates the material universe, and that creates the experiences we have. We also create all of the between-lifetime experiences. We need to remember who we really are. We are one with Source, and collectively, we are Source.
Tom Hansen, PhD, lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Author of the books Trying To Remember (1995) and Remembering Our Oneness (2013).