If quantum mechanics hasn't profoundly shocked you, you haven't understood it yet.
- Niels Bohr
How often is it you find a movie focusing on quantum mechanics playing in a movie theater? Better yet, how often is a movie about quantum mechanics played in a theater that targets an age range from teenagers, to those in their twilight years? Well, the recently released independent film What the BLEEP Do We Know!? (it really is “BLEEP”) is just such a film.
As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of being.
- Carl Jung
As described on the movie’s website, What the BLEEP Do We Know!? is a film released to satisfy the cinematic appetites of the “Cultural Creatives” out there, those who are sick of the mindless violence put forth in the cliché action films, and the impossible, fake romance of “chick flicks,” that have become a mainstay in the American theater going experience. Marketed as “Enlightened Entertainment,” this movie promises to act as a catalyst to new ideas and means of thought, as they pertain to our existence, from a personal perspective, covering emotions as they are controlled by peptides and hormones, to our belief and relationship with God.
To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit.
- Stephen Hawking
The movie starts in a way similar to that of a History Channel, or Discovery Channel documentary segment, with experts and professors qualified to speak about the topic of interest providing snippets of information, to hook the viewers on the subject. This format serves as the bulk of the film. However, to make it a little more interesting, there’s a side plot, complete with characters and conflicts that parallel the content being narrated. The story section of the film follows Amanda, a deaf, professional photographer, as she struggles with recent marital problems, stress at work, and anxiety attacks. Like I said before, to get an idea of how this all meshes together, picture a History Channel program, with experts narrating a dramatized situation. Throughout the movie, Amanda experiences situations that help to explain the concepts that were just mentioned by scientists and professors. For example, to visually illustrate the stripped down, and simplified idea of quantum mechanics, Amanda plays basketball with a young kid. The idea of uncertainty is addressed when Amanda has her back turned to the child bouncing the ball, where she can’t be sure of where the ball is being bounced. That is, until she turns around, and is then “sure” of where to ball is, because she can see it. There’s even a bit of humor thrown into the mix, for while Amanda is playing basketball, the kid is reiterating the quantum mechanics of the scenario, posing Matrix-esque questions like “how far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?” More than anything else, though, this movie focuses on the importance of human consciousness, and the acceptance of certain beliefs or ideas for them to become applicable in everyday life.
The visible world is the invisible organization of energy.
- Physicist Heinz Pagels
As for the content, at times, it is a little on the dense side, with idea after idea being presented in a way that makes it hard to keep track of it all. Among the subjects covered are: what is real, concerning what our eyes see, and what our brain remembers, quantum mechanics, hormones and peptide generation, addictions (both substance and emotional), positive thinking, specifically concerning the consciousness of water, programmed or conditioned responses to specific social situations, self image and self worth, and the existence and belief in God. To aid in the explanation of these ideas, there are many computer generated animation sequences, ranging from the neural pathways of the brain, to little flubber-like blobs that represent hormone controlled emotional responses. For the most part, the information presented, while intimidating on the surface, is prepared and packaged in a very digestible manner that can be comprehended by most people.
- Scientists and Professional Authorities (brief bios summarized from those presented on the What the BLEEP Do We Know!? website):
- William Tiller, PhD – Bachelors of Science, Masters of Science and PhD, and degree in Engineering. He is the founding director of Academy of Parapsychology and Medicine and The Institute of Noetic Sciences.
- Amit Goswami, PhD – PhD from Calcutta University in theoretical nuclear physics. He is a senior scholar at The Institute of Noetic Sciences, and can be found teaching at Holmes Institute, UNIPAZ, and The Theosophical Society in Wheaton, Illinois.
- John Hagelin, PhD – world renowned physicist, educator, author, and public policy expert, with a Masters and PhD from Harvard University. In 2000, he ran for President as the Natural Law Party candidate.
- Fred Alan Wolf – PhD in theoretical physics from UCLA, whose thoughts on quantum mechanics are well known throughout the field. He is the resident physicist on the Discovery Channel program The Know Zone, and lectures at locations around the world.
- Dr. David Albert – a professor and the director of Philosophical Foundations of Physics at Columbia University. He specializes in philosophical problems concerned with quantum physics.
- Stuart Hameroff, MD - Professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychology, and an Associate Director of the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.
- Jeffery Satinover, MD - M.D. (psychiatry), M.S. (physics) from Yale University, where he is currently teaching a doctoral student in physics. From Yale, he also received Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics degree.
- Andrew B. Newberg, MD – currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his degree, and is a staff physician in Nuclear Medicine.
- Dr. Daniel Monti – received his Doctor of Medicine degree from The State University of New York at Buffalo, New York in 1992. He received the NeuroEmotional Technique Doctor of the Year Award, and Tree of Life Award for his work in mind/body healing research.
- Dr. Joseph Dispenza – received his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree at Life University. Currently, he is continuing his education in the fields of neurology, neurophysiology and brain function.
- Dr. Candace Pert – PhD in pharmacology form the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She is currently working on non-toxic pharmaceuticals that block receptor cites for the AIDS virus.
- Ramtha – a renowned mystic, philosopher, teacher and hierophant. He has partnered himself with one JZ Knight, an American woman through which he supposedly channels his own personality. What makes this even more interesting is the fact that Ramtha lived over 35,000 years ago, and is supposedly channeling himself through Ms. Knight from another plane of existence.
- Dr. Miceal Ledwith – previously a professor of Systematic Theology and President of Maynooth College in Ireland. He specializes in theological matters, and has lectured all over the world.
Nearly the whole movie takes place at various locales in or around the Portland, Oregon area, from the light rail station in downtown Hillsboro, Oregon, to the tunnel underneath the Oregon Zoo. There are also many shots of the Portland skyline, taken at different times of the day, placed throughout the movie, that are nothing short of breathtaking. There’s even a section of the movie that takes place in Portland’s Bagdad Theater. This fact is especially cool if you happen to watch the movie in the Bagdad Theater (one of the few locations it is being shown). I saw this movie without really knowing what it was about, or what kind of content to expect, but must say that I was pleasantly surprised. There were just so many interesting ideas brought forth, that I hadn’t taken the least bit of time to explore before watching this. I can’t really say much more without ruining the movie. Take it from me though, see this movie; it is well worth your time and money.
The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced.
- Aart Van Der Leeuw
Watching the Movie