Movie Review – What the Bleep – Enlightening But Short on Spiritual Truths

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Overall, we enjoyed the movie “What the Bleep….” Some parts of it we responded with, “Well said!” Other parts, “You forgot some ideas!” And still others, “What the #%*$!”

Some of the movie’s key points that we appreciated the most are as follows: blame and victimization are of no use; self-understanding and taking full responsibility for personal circumstances and behavior is integral to self-actualization; everyone has the power to influence his/her physical, emotional, and mental health through thoughts and feelings; it’s been clinically proven that stress, for example, contributes to illness (not that clinical proof is necessary to acknowledge the effects of stress or positive thinking/feeling); self-actualization relies on the ability to detach from and leave behind addictions, expectations, dramas, and desires of all kinds (all part of the ego-self) so that one can more closely align oneself with the spiritual self.

We especially enjoyed Ramtha’s commentary about romance and the pursuit of romance being a personal addiction for many people.

However, it’s interesting that the financier of “What the Bleep…” is a Buddhist and that there was no mention of reincarnation in this spiritually oriented film. Reincarnation is one of the most important spiritual concepts (in Buddhism especially) and it is intimately tied to free will, karma (what goes around comes around), dharma (what one must do in this life), and fate (predetermined circumstances and events).

One of the experts featured in the movie is Dr Joe Dispenza (a chiropractor), who has authored several scientific articles on the close relationship between brain chemistry, neurophysiology and biology, and their roles in physical health. He has a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from Life University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr Dispenza says “I wake up in the morning, and I consciously create my day the way I want it to happen…When I create my day, and out of nowhere, little things happen that are so unexplainable, I know that they are the process and the result of my creation. And the more I do that, the more I build a neural net, in my brain, that I accept that that’s possible. So if we’re consciously designing our destiny, if we’re consciously, from a spiritual standpoint, throwing in what the idea that our thoughts can affect our reality or affect our life, because reality equals life.”

While we admire many of the movie’s messages and agree with the idea that “Human beings have the potential to shape their own experience for better or worse…” we strongly question the message that “…unlimited possibilities are truly within our grasp (in this lifetime).” This implies that a person can erase karmic circumstances in his/her life and live in a never-ending utopia, fulfilling all ego-self desires and skipping the important, tough lessons in life. To be perfectly candid, our cosmic fu-fu detectors are sounding on high while digesting that last bit.

Jeffery B. Satinover M.D. (a former practicing psychiatrist) is also featured in the movie. He has completed a master’s degree as a member of the Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics group and Yale’s newly-established W. H. Keck Foundation Center for Quantum Information Physics.

In his book “Reflections of the Nature of God,” he says The worldview that modern science has depended on, for the most part, is that if you have 100 percent knowledge of an initial condition, then all subsequent conditions are known as well. If this were true, there would be no such thing as free will, whether human or divine. God himself would be a merely passive observer who not only doesn’t but couldn’t have an effect on the world. And human beings couldn’t have an effect either, because if all physical events are in effect, laid out ahead of time, like a complex play in billiards, then nothing one does can alter the outcome. It’s all completely determined.”

Its great how he suggests that we free will exists, but our position is that he’s too haphazardly blending physical science and spirituality; they are two distinct, separate domains.

We feel Dr Satinover also misunderstands the role of free will while incarnated and how much we have before we incarnate. He also seems to reject the philosophy that fated events are necessary in order to learn specific lessons.

For instance, a person can’t “create” a wonderfully harmonious relationship with his/her father if one of that person’s karmic lessons (that they chose while in spirit form) is to endure an abusive relationship with that parent.

He goes on to say, “This is the fundamental premise of the modern worldview. However, it turns out and what modern physics has now demonstrated is, that’s not true. That actually, at the most fundamental level, all the most important physical processes are, in part, determined by ‘factors’ that have no detectable presence in the physical world. A range of possible outcomes are determined mechanically, but untold numbers of decisions are being made by ‘something’ that from among these possibilities selects every actual outcome…”

He’s alluding to the idea of a higher power, or God and the importance of its influence and we applaud this, but he again carelessly mixes physical science with spirituality. Doing so is like saying that because a circumstance is so in a dream state, that we should expect it to be the same way in waking hours.

Different dimensions have different sets of laws, just as we have mostly probabilities while incarnated on earth and more possibilities while in spirit form planning our next physical existence.

We shape and contribute to those same possibilities every day. We believe that we design our next lifetimes by every thought, intent, and action in this life (and previous ones), yet we also feel that it’s impossible to manifest what one wants (on a personality level) now, in this life, if those desires don’t match one’s current life blueprint.

Both Dr Dispenza and Dr Satinover in “What the Bleep…” imply that the universe is a huge quantum sea of possibilities and that since this is the case that we should be able to create that which we want and leave the rest behind.

This is akin to a drunk believing s/he can manifest absolute sobriety for the night an hour after s/he downs five stiff drinks; it’s too late to “create” something (instant sobriety) after an alternative is set in motion/secured (intoxication).

Most well-respected quantum physicists today (those with PhD’s in quantum physics) along with the founding fathers of quantum physics,who also believed themselves to be mystics (including Erwin Schrodinger, Max Planck, and Niels Bohr), firmly held that it’s erroneous to group physics and mysticism in the same dimension. Planck said that trying to merge physics and mysticism “makes no sense at all,” since spirituality is associated with the source of everything on a soul level and quantum physics relates to the most infinitesimal level of the physical world of matter and energy.

Good spiritual teachers acknowledge that there’s a difference between the ego-self and the spiritual self. The ego-self wants to satisfy all of its earthly desires. The spiritual self is here to learn and grow. Meanwhile, most everyone wants “more” out of life on a personality level. Often, ego-self demands (“perfect love,” “better family relations,” “more money,” etc.) clash with “what is.” Said differently, you can’t always get what you want.

Please understand, we agree that it’s possible to influence our realities and even create as we wish to a certain extent while incarnated (if it’s within the boundaries of personal destiny), but we feel it’s impossible to skip difficult karma. In other words, you can’t cheat fate and you can’t just erase personal challenges because you don’t like them.

On the one hand, the experts in the movie “What the Bleep…” emphasize the idea that everybody is fully able to create their own realities to match the desires of their personalities.

At the same time, one of the more important (and we feel more truthful) messages of the film is about the idea that the ultimate spiritual goal is to leave behind/detach from personal addictions of all kinds, expectations, dramas and desires (the ego-self) so that one’s personality can more closely meld with the spiritual self.

That’s quite a contrast in philosophies! It appears as if the film is promoting the message, “dump the tough lessons and karma and create what you want now in this life, it’s yours!” while saying simultaneously, “free yourself from your desires!” The former is the antithesis of spirituality and the latter is a sacred ancient spiritual concept.

In brief, the movie “What the Bleep…” addresses some key aspects of quantum physics (while ignoring opposing quantum theories such as“hidden variables”) and some important spiritual ideas (while ignoring the concepts of karma, dharma, reincarnation,and fate), and blends them together in a feel-good mixture of cosmic truth and New Age fu-fu. The connection between the provided metaphysical concepts and select laws of quantum physics is questionable at best.

Aside from a few spiritual fallacies and mixed messages in “What the Bleep…,” we really liked it. In striving for spiritual awareness, we must think far outside conventional earthly thinking in order to begin to grasp universal truths. This film is a big step in the right direction.

Copyright © 2005 Scott Petullo, Stephen Petullo

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