by Jaye Beldo
Packaging quantum physics for the masses inevitably draws forth many a paradox. In the independent film What the Bleep Do We Know these paradoxes become difficult to dismiss and beg scrutiny by anyone who wants to gain a deeper, unbiased understanding of the science it attempts to explain. Having viewed the film, I found it nearly impossible not to regard it other than as a clever bit of New Age propaganda aimed at aging boomers looking for another optimism fix to carry them through what remains of Bush's second term. The intermittent cameos of noted physicists such as Gomit Aswami, anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff, and philosopher David Albert, amongst others, spliced in with computer animations reminiscent of toe fungus medication commercials, and a pathetic sub-plot involving a deaf woman who carries a cell phone around with her during her photo assignments left me hardly inspired to delve further into the wondrous realm of cutting-edge physics, a physics that could very well assist us in the full realization of free energy and perhaps even world peace.
Yet, one must admire the wild success the film has enjoyed. The producers obviously had enough promotional savvy to deliver a product that continues to sell well in spite of the utter ire it has evoked from such heavy science hitters as Richard Dawkins. Much of the controversy the film has generated seems to have been deliberately intended as well. Many of the physics luminaries that appeared in Bleep complain of how they were edited into the final product to make it look like they were promoters of the Ramtha cult, which has made millions of dollars in the process. Apparently F.A. Wolf, the esteemed quantum physicist who has written such books as The Spiritual Universe and Taking the Quantum Leap actually endorses the Ramtha's School of Enlightenment and often appears there to lecture along with many of the other physicists who appeared in Bleep.
Fortunately, in Alexandra Bruce's much welcome book Beyond the Bleep, the hit film is addressed from a middle-ground standpoint, enabling the reader to get a much better grasp on the science the film ultimately fails to adequately describe. Quantum physics is given greater elaboration in Beyond the Bleep, enabling the reader to grasp some of the more arcane and difficult aspects of quantum phenomena. Bruce's depiction of John Hagelin, presidential hopeful and member of Transcendental Meditation founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Natural Law party is not quite as neutral however. Hagelin has actually lobbied the U.S. Government in the past to funnel money into his patently whacked project of creating a “Vedic defense shield” in which eight thousand meditators, “one square root of one percent of the planetary population” would be deployed to create “world peace.” Apparently, each “shield meditator” would have to invest in over $100,000 worth of TM products in order to qualify. The TM cult, the author informs, is apparently bent on world domination.
Beyond the Bleep is recommended for anyone left perplexed, dismayed, or downright disgusted by the film. It will assist you in gaining a much clearer understanding of everything from Dr. Emoto's water molecules, to Candice Pert's discoveries of the molecular origin of our emotions, as well as the tribulations of scientists like her who have dared to challenge the orthodoxy and the materialist repercussions they have suffered. The book will assist anyone who desires to delve into the convoluted worlds of quantum physics, the Create Your Own Reality paradigm so beloved by New Agers and neurology alike, allowing them to emerge from such a wondrous trip enlightened and, more importantly, unscathed by the underhanded indoctrination the film tends to induce in many of its followers.
Rain Taxi Online Edition, Fall 2005 | © Rain Taxi, Inc. 2005