Quantum Spirituality

Reality is plastic and yours to make what you will. Nothing is true, everything is permitted. Subvert the dominant paradigm and shame upon those who think evil of it!

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Monday, January 29, 2007

What the #&*! DO We Know?

What the #$*! Do We Know?

I have a great many personal influences in regards to my "out there" way of thinking. While the film, What the #$*! Do We Know?, is by no means the greatest influence to my way of thinking, it IS a fairly popular and well-known film and therefore makes a good waypoint for the discussion I am hoping to engage in throughout the entirety of this blog.

Basically, this film suggests that we each of us create our own reality every second of every day based upon our thoughts, emotions, actions and even beliefs. It follows up with the notion, then, that what we call "reality" is, in fact, the multiplicity of points where these individual realities intersect with no real instance of a "singular, collective reality" at all. Obviously, such a position is very difficult, perhaps even impossible, to provide evidence for, however I find the idea intriguing. It is certainly quite empowering to think that we are directly responsible for everything in our lives as well as helping to quell those dangerous tendencies to just scapegoat anything and everything around us for all our ills and failures. By owning responsibility for all aspects of our lives, good AND bad, we are more easily enabled to determine what we do that makes things go well or ill for ourselves and are thusly able to "accentuate the positive" and "eliminate the negative", as it were. An opposing viewpoint is that we are all connected and part of a singular great consciousness experiencing the mass delusion of individuality and separateness. However, regardless to whichever of these viewpoints you care to subscribe the end result is still the same, YOU are responsible for YOUR reality. And really, until we can all get a handle on this idea of supreme personal responsibility, isn't that enough?

Now, before you get the impression that I fully advocate this film exactly as it is, let me just say that it does have its flaws. For a fairly concise rundown of all the arguments against this film, you can always check out its Wikipedia entry. Unfortunately, the Wikipedia article is every bit as biased and prejudicial as it claims the film to be so you won't get a fair counterpoint to those grievances whatsoever. Of course, it IS Wikipedia and as much as some of us would like for it to maintain scholarly standards and achieve as close to an unbiased stance as possible in all of its articles, it does not. (Any Wikipedia authors and editors who venture here, be assured that I do not completely hate you nor do I mean to be overly derogatory here. However, y'all do have some bias issues which, I am sure, are a likely contributing factor to the universal roasting you often receive from "real" scholars. Something to think about, perhaps.) Allow me to make some attempt to broach a couple of the loudest arguments against the film as well as try to offer some sort of balanced counterpoint.

Probably the biggest grievance of most of the film's detractors is the prevalence of so-called pseudoscience. That is to say, the film appears to take certain theories and ideas completely out of context and apply them in wholly incorrect ways. For instance, and perhaps most notably, is impact of the observer. Quantum physicists have repeatedly found that observation of phenomena on the quantum level actually affects those phenomena. This is probably one of the more frustrating aspects of being a quantum researcher (however, not being one, I can only offer a guess on that) as this must make experimental repetition and replication of findings insanely difficult. Going from there, the film suggests that such observational affectation must then occur on the macroscopic level giving us all the power to alter our reality merely by looking at it! Of course, such notions tend to piss off scientists to no end as they claim to find no evidence of any such whatsoever. For that promised counterbalance, however, let me just suggest that anyone who has spent any amount of time really studying, and experimenting with, the "occult" and "arcane" and really trying to apply the ideas found therein has all the evidence they need that macroscopic reality is every bit as plastic and malleable as quantum reality suggests. Before any readers decide to attempt to flame me off the internet with instant denunciations of anything "mystical", let me first ask why you are here other than trolling out of boredom? Secondly, I DO have an entire discussion of Religion of Science and its rations vs. mystical attitude, but that's a whole 'nother article for another week. For now, suffice it to say that the label of "crap pseudoscientist" seems to be thrown about by mainstream academia with every bit as much vim and vigor as was once shown by the Catholic Churh in labeling "heretic" such wacky and out there ideas as put forth by Galileo and Copernicus in their time. Hmmmm...

The other really major objection to the film is the fact that all three of the main filmmakers are dedicated followers to the Ramtha teachings of one J. Z. Knight. Rather scathing criticism has been offered suggesting that the film is nothing more than a recruitment tool for Knight's Ramtha School of Enlightenment. Now, I personally have to seriously doubt that the film is truly intended as such as I had to go digging to find out about this J. Z. Knight / Ramtha character myself and only after noticing this venomous accusation. In retrospect, and extra viewings of the film, she does appear in the movie as one of the interviewed experts. However, her presence is no more or less than any of the other interviewees and in now way did I feel during any of my viewings that I was being pushed to look into her further. Frankly, when she is listed at the end of the film as a "channeler" is where I personally felt no further need to delve into what she has to say. See, all of us have our biases no matter how hard we try to be open. My particular bias falls against the field of channeling. The subject of channeling, again, is its own subject that may be explored another week, however I will say that the subjectivity of the phenomena combined with my own lack of direct experience has much to do with my difficulty in looking at it with too much seriousness. Having said that, if one can successfully separate the subject rom the source then I think one would find some very interesting and potentially worthy ideas emanating from Ms. Knight, or Ramtha, whichever the case truly be. So there, I really do try to be as open minded as I can and not throw the baby out with the bathwater even where it concerns subjects that stretches thin my rather wide bounds of plausibility. ;-)

There are plenty more objections and criticisms of the film, but most seem to relate back to these two issues I have already put forth so I'll go ahead and step off the critic bus here. In all, I would say that while the film does seem to stretch plausibility on many points, it still has many ideas worth considering and well worth at least a watch. But don't take my word for it. See the film for yourself and make up your own damn mind. :-)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the film yet, but hope to sometime this week. One comment I'd like to make with regard to the heretic/pseudo-scientist remark is simply a quote from Carl Sagan:

But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

It's not a refutation of your comment, just something to think about.

1/29/2007 8:02 PM  
Blogger DarkWood said...

Matt: Actually, I concur with you wholeheartedly. :)

1/29/2007 10:28 PM  

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