Art in the Fourth Dimension

Will the Fourth and Fifth Dimensions be dull? Not at all. I was just speaking with an artistic reader offline who was worried that art in the higher dimensions would be drab. But they are so much more alive and colorful than ours, like the difference between a cloudy and a sunny day.

Actually, I can’t tell you about the Fourth Dimension in the physical realm, such as we’re ascending to. I can only speak about the Fourth Dimension in the spirit realm – that is, the Astral Plane. Here’s what art’s like on the Higher Summerlands of the Astral Plane.

Art in the Astral World

Judge David Hatch communicated back from the Astral Plane on the artists he had met:

“I think the happiest people I have met on this side have been the painters. Our matter is so light and subtle, and so easily handled, that it falls readily into the forms of the imagination. There are beautiful pictures here. Some of our artists try to impress their pictures upon the mental eyes of the artists of earth, and they often succeed in doing so.” (1)

Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson tried to describe the difference between 4D and Earth paintings. Here was his best effort:

“Another great point of dissimilarity [between are on earth and in the spirit world] – and the most important – was the fact that here all these pictures were alive. It is impossible to convey any idea of this paramount difference. These spirit pictures must be seen here to understand it. I can only just suggest an idea. These pictures, then, whether landscape or portrait, were never flat; that is, they did not seem to have been painted upon flat canvas.

“They possessed, on the other hand, all the completeness of relief. The subject stood forth almost as though it were a model – a model whereof one could take hold of all the elements that went to the making up of the subject of the picture. One felt that the shadows were real shadows cast by real objects. The colors glowed with life, even among the very early works before much progress had been made.” (2)

Charlotte Dresser, writing around 1922, could ask questions of her spirit communicators and chose to do so on art:

‘Do you have pictures?’

“Pictures are used to illustrate many different studies; but these are more evanescent thoughts thrown forward pictorially to illustrate something in the lesson.”

‘Do you have no permanent pictures?’

“Pictures are painted by artists here as they are on earth, only with different canvas and color. But once painted, they can remain until replaced by others, or until the artists themselves erase them.” (3)

“Art is a big subject here, for it embraces all beauty, as well as all combinations of beautiful material. The beauty of art is the beauty of production; and you must remember that the natural beauty you love on earth, is here one of the arts of this life. Scenery, mountain, stream, forest, vale, and hill; beautiful homes, beautiful statuary, paintings, libraries; and even the colors and the garments we wear, and the dresses we fashion, are all in the way of art.

“Can you see what art means in this spirit life, when the touch of spirit, like a fairy wand, can create the most marvelous beauty and the finest adornments? We can call them into being and preserve them as we choose, and can scatter them to make way for other beauty.

“This all takes study. Each and every one is a class, a school, a craft by itself, and the students of that craft or school prepare themselves by education in the ways necessary for each work.” (4)

Art Galleries

Here Msgr Benson describes an art gallery. Note that paintings on the Earth Plane have their more perfect correlates on the Astral Plane:

“The first hall Edwin took us into was concerned with the art of painting. The hall was of very great size and contained a long gallery, on the walls of which were hanging every great masterpiece known to man. They were arranged in such a way that every step of earthly progress could be followed in proper order, beginning with the earliest times and so continuing down to the present day. Every style of painting was represented, gathered from all points of the earth. It must not be thought that such a collection as we were now viewing is only of interest and service to people who have a full appreciation and understanding of the painter’s art. Such could not be farther from the case.” (5)

“A number of … pictures I recognized as I had seen their ‘originals’ in the earth’s galleries. Ruth and I were astonished when Edwin told us that what we had seen in those galleries were not the originals at all. We were now seeing the originals for the first time. What we had seen was an earthly counterpart, which was perishable from the usual causes – for example, from fire or the general disintegration through the passage of time. But here we were viewing the direct results of the thoughts of the painter, created in the etheric before he actually transferred those thoughts to his earthly canvas.

“It could be plainly observed, in many cases, where the earthly picture fell short of that which the painter had in his mind. He had endeavored to reproduce his exact conception, but through physical limitations this exact conception had eluded him. In some instances it had been the pigments that had been at fault when, in the early times, the artist had been unable to procure or evolve the particular shade of color he wanted. But though he lacked physically, his mind had known precisely what he wished to do. He had built it up in the spirit – the results of which we were now able to see – while he had failed to do so on the material canvas.” (6)

Art Schools

Wondering what many people do with their time on the Astral Plane? Well, school is very popular. Here is an art school described by Msgr Benson:

In other parts of the same building were rooms wherein students of art could learn all there is to be learned. The joy of these students is great in their freedom from their earthly restrictions and bodily limitations. Here instruction is easy, and the acquisition and application of knowledge equally facile to those who wish to learn. Gone are all the struggles of the student in the surmounting of earthly difficulties both of the mind and of the hands, and progress towards proficiency is consequently smooth and rapid.

The happiness of all the students whom we saw itself spread happiness to all who beheld it, for there is not limits to their endeavours when that bugbear of earthly life – fleeting time – and all the petty vexations of the mundane existence have been abandoned for ever. Is there any wonder that artists within this hall, and, indeed, in every other hall in the city, were enjoying the golden hours of their spiritual reward? (7)

I can say without the shadow of a doubt that one is seldom bored on the Astral Plane. If they do get bored, guess what? They ascend to the Mental Plane and from there upwards as well. Everything is more colorful, more engaging, more alive. More descriptions of 4D life can be found in New Maps of Heaven, here .


(1) Judge David P. Hatch in Elsa Barker, medium, Letters from a Living Dead Man [probably Judge David P. Hutch]. Mitchell Kennerly, 1914, Letter XVI.

(2) Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson through Anthony Borgia, medium, Life in the World Unseen. M.A.P., 1993, 46. (Hereafter LIWU.)

(3) Unnamed spirit communicator in Charlotte E. Dresser, medium, and Fred Rafferty, editor, Spirit World and Spirit Life. Los Angeles: Rafferty, 1922, 60.

(4) Ibid., 68.

(5) Benson, LIWU, 45.

(6) Ibid., 45-6.

(7) Ibid., 47.

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