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 the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone (Rod Serling).
That’s right, you’ve heard those words many times before; Rod Serling, in his unique way, providing one of the opening monologues for The Twilight Zone. It never struck me before, but these words are a wonderful description of Soul. Perhaps Mr. Serling had this in mind when he penned these words. I don’t know, but there is a lot of truth packed into them.
First of all, we are quite familiar with the three dimensions of tangibility. The fourth dimension is time, and all four together are usually taken to be what physicists call “spacetime.” What would a fifth dimension be like? Rod Serling tells us it is “beyond that which is known to man.” This is no different than Heraclitus’ attempted description of Soul:
You could not discover the
limits of Soul even if you traveled by every path in order to do so; such is
the depth of its meaning (qtd. in The Presocratics, by Philip Wheelwright, p. 72).
Soul is “as vast as space and as timeless as infinity.” Same idea. Soul is limitless. It is the most important idea that has ever arisen in the human imagination. In this fifth dimension, time and space are totally meaningless. They are mere creations of the human mind that facilitate the framing of our experience of the three dimensions. In other words, time and space mitigate the vastness and infinite nature of Soul in order that we might live day-to-day lives and interact with this world. In this way, we see our lives as having some semblance of “normality.” But, all the while, we have this churning, infinitely powerful Maelstrom at the very core of our being.
The Twilight Zone is not a physical location we can travel to via spacetime. “It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition.” This is a perfect description of what Plato called The Metaxy, which I have discussed before in this forum many times, especially in my article, On The Wings Of A Dream. It is also the same as Henry Corbin’s idea of Mundus Imaginalis. The Twilight Zone is Soul.
Serling’s usage of the word, “twilight,” in naming his show was probably not an accident. Serling was a very learned man. Undoubtedly, he knew the implications of the word. “Twilight” is half-light, half-darkness, the dusk of the day. Is it the “in-between” state, or The Metaxy. Soul is the middle-ground between light and darkness, Spirit and Matter.
He names it as “the dimension of imagination.” That is Soul in a nutshell, if one could describe Soul in a nutshell.
Image is the irreducible element in experience. Conversely, the essence of experience is condensed and carried within images. According to Omer, images “both mediate and constitute experience” (2008). Images are the glue image (Soul And Soullessness, by Karen Jaenke).
Soul is imagination, a cavernous treasury—to
use an image from St. Augustine—a confusion and richness, both. (James
Hillman, Revisioning Psychology, 1975).
Serling says “it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge.” These are excellent metaphors for light and darkness, the light of knowledge and the blackness of fear in the depths of human being. Soul is that whirling Vortex that pulls everything down into the depths and, simultaneously, raises everything up into the heavens. Soul is a metaxical tourbillion
that primarily exhibits a rhizomal motion. It simultaneously expands consciousness outward and inward, away from and toward one’s fellow humans.
Watch a few episodes sometimes. When you do, think about these words and see if you agree with my assessment of this wonderful emanation of the Soul of Rod Serling.
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