(Translated from Romanian by Mihaela Alecu. For Romanian click here)
The first meeting occurred, of course, in a dream. It couldn’t have been otherwise, if we consider that Ion Marc had died for a few days. Then, if we analyze the introductory sentence: “The first meeting occurred, of course, in a dream.” we can infer the following:
1. If we used the phrase “first meeting”, it results that a second meeting will also be mentioned.
2. Since the word “meeting” was used before the word “dream” a second consequence results: the reality of the fact; if we would have said: “I dreamed of meeting him”, than the unreality of the fact would have been referred to.
3. The two consequences, 1 and 2 are, in fact, linked by a third one: normally we would have started like this: “I dreamed of meeting him”, if a second meeting with Ion Marc wouldn’t have occurred, event which transformed a dream into reality.
However, let us try and take things methodically and chronologically, although we cannot promise we won’t stray from this course, sometimes, compelled by certain precincts which go beyond our subjectivity, as it will be observed further. That is why, all we ask of the reader is a little patience, necessary for going through these lines which intend to be clarifying, mandatory after the publishing of the counter-article The dream and the paranormal [published in this magazine’s previous number; editor’s note] of our (counter)colleague, George Irian. As it is known, in this article we were stigmatized and prosecuted against an imaginary pillar of shame as being, I quote “suddenly and of an unknown cause, subjected to the ideals of the paranormal <sciences>”.
We want to bring into the open (something we believed was implicit until the apparition of the quoted article), that we never drank from the puddle spring of these so called “sciences” of the paranormal. Far from us any intention to critique those who deal with such domains, difficult to comprehend. But all our work is dedicated to exact sciences (i.e. Superior Mathematics and Physics); as was our life. That is why we hope, our little literary talent will be forgiven, but our background is different.
The fact that we told about the dream meeting, the first one, with the late Ion Marc and we considered it real, we repeat, after the second, does not justify George Irian’s ironical intention to label us as “medium”. And because we don’t want to judge the author mentioned, we will resort to presenting the events, as they occurred.
I met Ion Marc in 1973, at an international congress, held in Poiana Braşov, on the topic “the space-time continuum”. I was then pleasantly impressed by the novel interpretation he had for the General theory of relativity. I told him, and then we engaged in a long discussion. This is how our friendship started. Our connections weren’t strictly scientific in nature, but also affective. Even after he migrated to the United States, in 1980, we kept in touch, even though this brought a lot of nuisances and persecutions upon me from the repressive organ, namely the Secret Police, which culminated with my exclusion from the University and the interdiction to publish (interdiction which wasn’t outspoken, of course, but my manuscripts which remained in the drawers of the Scientific and Encyclopedic Publishing House or in those of scientific journals, until 1990, stand as proof). I remember (how could I forget?!) how much I struggled until I was received as a Mathematics teacher, for secondary school, in a village far away from the civilized world, called Retiş, on the border of Sibiu and Mureş counties. Only after the December Revolution I could return to the Technical University in Cluj (back then still called Polytechnic). Ion Marc was the first scientist who congratulated me, in a visit he paid in January 1990, immediately after my coming back to the university. Then followed our two years cooperation until an older project became a volume, a paper which was published in the United States as Mind Tools for the Fourth Dimension. The book wished to continue – although it was to a certain degree polemic – the volumes of the well-known mathematician Rudy Rucker. As it can be noticed, we combined in the title of our paper his titles, quoted bellow, precisely to point from the start were we were headed.
On the whole, our volume tried to prove that everything, absolutely the entire existence can be translated into a mathematical formula, reported to a reference system which is not our tridimensional world, but can be a four-dimensional one, briefly said space-time, or even one with more dimensions (from a mathematical perspective their number can be unlimited, although physicians stopped at a variable number encompassed between 7 and 11 dimensions of the universe). As it is known, in a four-dimensional reference system, the space-time continuum as Einstein used to call it, time is just another dimension together with all three classical ones of space. In such a world which we can only imagine theoretically and even so with great difficulty, time, we considered, can be encountered in all its expansion in one place, namely at once. A traveler in such a space-time can have, as naturally as we have in the tridimensional world with spaces, access to all temporary events which occurred or will occur. An inhabitant as common as he may be of this world can be perceived by us as a god. The connection with religion is inevitable, and as we were not specialists in the field, we tried to limit our theories strictly to the mathematical-physical domains. And in this common volume we succeeded.
While I continued my studies in our limited scientific world, my friend wasn’t satisfied by these limits. Winning a Fulbright scholarship he started an assiduous study of Philosophy, Phenomenology, Hermeneutics and History of religions, which lasted for a few years and culminated in 1997 with the publishing of his book For a Mathematical View of our Religious World. Unfortunately his heart attack fatally caught him little before the volume was released. Then, a few days after he left us, our first meeting occurred, this time in a dream. As I was saying, then I thought I dreamt of it, but I realized it had really occurred. His spirit, freed from the body through death, met my soul freed from the body through sleep, in a different world. We called it, so far, by different names “the land of dreams”, but today I can state that it is nothing else but a world with other dimensions than ours.
The setting in which our meeting occurred can be described as a milky-white void, an empty space where it was only the two of us. We were stepping, or maybe floating both on some sort of nothing, although consistent, as we didn’t fall. Nothing seemed strange except for something I only realized when I wanted to shake my friend’s hand: my body was somehow twisted, meaning that everything I had known while being awake as being on the right side was now on the left, and the other way around. Ion Marc talked to me about his book. I hadn’t received it yet, but his description was then confirmed by the reading. Ion told me that now he will be able to experiment in a concrete manner his hypotheses and to find out if they were true. It is extraordinary, he kept repeating, absolutely incredible.
Then I woke up from my dream which seemed at least strange and I noted it in a diary, not to forget it. A few days later, I received in the mail his book. I read it immediately. I cannot say I fully understood it, given the mix of religion and exact sciences. And if these latter ones I knew, I cannot say the same about the former. All my life I was a common Orthodox Christian and, I admit, not even a practicing one, therefore I never had doubts or religious crises. That is why; I was never on their land. However, my abstract background helped me to understand almost all of my friend’s ideas. I will not try to summarize here neither the hypotheses, nor the demonstrations: their richness renders it almost impossible: it would mean to transcribe almost entire chapters, which is absurd. But I can summarize the main idea. Ion Marc tried to explain religions as mathematically provable systems in our tridimensional world through a four-dimensional filter. Religion, he wrote, is nothing but an ideal system, created by man based on his perceptions of or on the signals of a four-dimensional world, a world which for the archaic religious man is as real as the world we live in and to which man can only accede after death or sometimes, in older times, through initiation. It is what it is called “the world beyond” or, and this was his favorite term, “the other land”. Today, he concluded, we know that it is actually a world just like ours, no more special, just more rich in dimensions, with one extra, of the same kind for its inhabitants, firstly because we cannot travel through it: it is what we call time. And nothing said Ion Marc, doesn’t prevent us from believing in the existence of a world with five dimensions, which compared to the four-dimensions one has the same advantages as this one has for us or as we would have compared with a two dimensional one (otherwise put, plane).
I couldn’t agree with many of Ion Marc’s ideas. I knew of the existence of worlds with other dimensions, but worlds as for example the microscopically one. I was quite skeptic and sufficiently proud not to believe in the existence of parallel worlds to ours, with beings superior to us. Moreover, the idea to reduce religions to only this seemed – without the possibility to deny it – un-dignifying to humanity’s intelligence and exaggerated. That is why I wrote a review for my late friend’s book, where I told the story of our meeting as well as my opinion of the volume. As I said, in the beginning, when I was accused by Mr. George Irian, otherwise a well-documented and down-to-earth analyst. I cannot understand what could have deviated him from the straight road he had kept so far, since form my entire article he only considered that detail, otherwise insignificant in the economy of the review. Never mind, we will leave history and even more so, our readers, to judge more objectively than me this situation.
Then a second meeting occurred! There had been a few months since that incident. As unbelievable as it may seem, my word as a scientist, for whom only the concrete facts are convenient and for whom only these are convincing, are a token that things happened as such. First I received a phone call from him. We established a meeting, in daylight, in a public space. If it is necessary, I am convinced that many honest men who were there that November day, around 10 AM, can attest that they saw us. We sat at a table in the corner of the café. I didn’t touch him the entire time, in order not to offend him, but I saw him picking up the cup of coffee and drinking out of it, so a ghost-like apparition is excluded. I told you it is true, he told me. What is true, I asked him. It is difficult to communicate to it, to understand it and even to imagine it, but a fourth degree world exists, he told me. It was the first time he used this expression otherwise successful. I looked at him inquiring. He made a pause and sipped his coffee. Only time is different that we both imagined in our first book, and myself in my second one. However I didn’t expect you to doubt, especially you, he told me. On the contrary, I told him. You should have known I would be the one, you know me. Anyway, you were right about one thing, he confessed. And what is that I asked. You need to find out for yourself, he told me. Suddenly, as if he had never been there, he disappeared. He simply vanished. It was probably his friendly “revenge” for my having written that critical review. Then, he certainly wanted to direct me to the right path which he had only discovered through to the tragic accident we call death, and him, a gate to “the fourth degree world”. I cannot say his plan wasn’t successful, since I decided to confess here all deeds, no matter the consequences, which will not be late to occur, I’m sure. However I cannot do otherwise in the search I’ve started to find out where I was right and where I was wrong. If it is only one, then in all the others. If it is one which encompasses all the others, then in neither one of them. I don’t know the answer. For now I’m searching…
 Rudy Rucker, The Fourth Dimension: A Guided tour of the Higher Universes, Houghton and Mifflin, Boston, 1984; Mind Tools, Houghton and Mifflin, Boston, 1987.