In a world where God is dead (or at least silent), what dimension should you live in? In other words, should you live in “reality” (whatever that really is) or might you skip the reality quest and spend your life mostly in the realm of imagination? Here’s Rod Serling in the Twilight Zone:
There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination.
And here’s the Fifth Dimension’s glorious song (from the musical, Hair) where a straight-laced Apollonian young man stumbles out of New York City proper and finds himself in Central Park—and another world (a Dionysian one):
And here’s the last sentence of Nietzsche’s Ecce Homo:
Have I been understood? Dionysus against the Crucified.
My translation: imagination and will against the shoulds of external proscription. Or, to put it another way: if you choose, your wild inner eagle can soar beyond the sensibilities—and outside the council—of the ethicist, the scientist, and the religionist (“the same old, same old”: the ground-dwelling scavengers that pick at dead carrion).
As William Blake once said (anticipating Nietzsche):
Roll your cart over the bones of the dead.
Or, to put it yet another way, but a bit less harshly than Nietzsche and Blake:
Peter Pan against the Crucified.
In other words, like Peter Pan you can fly, you can fly, you can fly!
And here’s that old caterpillar, St Paul (Romans 1:21-22), eating on the leaves of imagination and leaving his psychologically icky eggs of prohibition there, making imagination something bad, bad, bad:
21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, . . .
And here’s Paul again in 2 Corinthians 10:5:
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; . . .
In other words, Paul is saying, “Buy into my trippy imaginative dream, or don’t dream at all.”
Nietzsche’s response to Paul’s restrictions: “Dionysus against the Crucified.” Blake’s response to Paul: “The eagle (a predator) need not take advice from the crow (the scavenger).”
I’m with Nietzsche and Blake. And the Fifth Dimension: