A ton of my family has gone and seen What the Bleep Do We Know!?, not just once in most cases, but multiple times… They of course are interested in sharing their excitement and generally want to know what I think of the movie. Well I haven’t seen it, and based on all the reviews I’ve read I’m not interested in seeing it. The reason?: Based on everything I’ve heard it’s a New Age movie trying to explain and prove mysticism in terms of science. As Tom Huston of What is Enlightenment? magazine describes the issue:
it is the matter of what exactly “science has been saying” that many reviewers, myself included, find questionably represented by the film. And this seems indicative of a larger confusion in our culture regarding the actual connections between science and spirituality—a confusion that has been rampant within the domain of pop spirituality for over two decades. – [WIE - Taking the Quantum Leap... Too Far?]
This confustion tends to lend itself to the notion that “We create our own reality” and that quantum science proves that. There is of course nothing wrong with this, and this move has been pulled many times before, AND I ain’t having none of it! Why?, because they are distinguishably different domains, and if anything Spirit brings about material reality through involution not the other way around, BUT we don’t even need to go there. Let’s start @ square one. The point of mysticism.
Mysticism aims at unconvering the Ultimate reality (God, the Tao, the Unborn, the true Self, etc.), and in none of the great wisdom traditions is the experience of Ultimate reality explainable through words or material reality. It IS the backdrop of reality itself, or as Consciousness researcher Allan Combs describes: “Consciousness is the perfect transparent subjectivity through which the phenomenal world shines.” It is therefore not the phenomenal world itself, which is always changing and always in flux, but the ground out of which that phenomenal world arises. So what does the New Age movement tend to convey?
In a mixed and confused way it seems to be attempting to point to this Ultimate reality, but in almost all cases it fails miserably at actually disclosing this reality. Instead the New Age movement tends to elevate your finite self, your ego, your separate sense of identification with the phenomenal world, to a point where it is the Master of the Universe. Now, obviously to a certain extent this is a very empowering notion, and can be a much stronger and healthier stance then everything is controlling me…, BUT what tends to happen through adopting beliefs, such as the one’s laid out in What the Bleep!? is that the ego is strengthened tremendously. Your ego is at the center of the universe, and your thoughts are creating your entire reality! This IS the definition of narcissism, and I believe it can be quite unhelpful…. In fact I’ve seen how unhealthy it is, because for a time I had adopted that very view.
It’s one thing to say that because all things are interconnected it makes sense to interact more wisely and compassionately so that I can bring about happiness for myself and others. It’s another to say: “I create my reality, and can have anything I desire.” You notice the differences between these stances? In any case I think this movie is still a noble attempt at trying to integrate modern science and post-modern beliefs. However, if in the process you don’t look back to what all the pre-modern masters had to say and you confuse mysticism with science, that is NOT the integrative answer.
May we find a way of looking at the world which honors all truths…, and from this point drop our identificaiton with the world altogether.