Monday, March 28, 2005

What the Bleep Do We Know?

Well Easter went well. It was nice to be with my parents, sisters and their families. I enjoyed spending time with my wife’s family also. Good food, good company makes for some serious investigation into why we set these social paradigms and why they feel so good to do.

I watched the movie "What the Bleep Do We Know?" by William Arntz, Betsy Chasse, and Mark Vicente last night. This movie starring Marlee Matlin is a pseudo documentary, story and visual effects movie, which discusses reality using quantum physics. The principle theme being to unravel the uncertain world of the quantum field hidden behind what we consider to be our normal, waking reality and the structure of the universe itself or our perceptions of it. It most definitely is a provocative film, which makes us question the existence of God.

I want to talk about this film in length but I have a lot of work to do over the next few days thus I just don’t have the time now, but I will get back to this.

What I can say is that the film is deeply entrenched in “critical historical thinking” or the “scientific method”. I’ve never been much of an admirer of Rene Descartes. Therefore, when I hear a number of Cartesian thinkers gathered under one platform to persuade me that our common notion of a god -- as a higher power who created us in his image, and whose approval we must seek in order gain entry into heaven -- is preposterous, I really pay attention. I’ll get back to this some other time in the days to come. I would like to say that it has always astonished me that finite human beings have the vanity to assume to understand the infinite. I’m not saying we shouldn’t study it because I strongly believe the questions need to be asked. What I am saying is that sometimes the answers might be beyond our ability to understand them. Secondly, I’m forever astonished at the hubris of person kind and these Cartesian thinkers in not admitting that their postulations require as much faith as mine in a god. Big Bang = from nothing comes something = leap of faith. Nothing must remain nothing: draw a zero call it nothing and then erase the zero meaning nothing at all. Yet there they sit pontificating on the universe and the nature of god starting with their own perceptions of the universe through measurement. I have always held to the position that what makes a frog a frog is not just its muscle and sinew. Thus, when you kill the frog in order to dissect and understand it you’ve already removed or killed a part of the frog and you don’t have the whole picture. Funny really, because they would accuse me of anthropomorphic projection of what I understand god to be while at the same time doing the same thing in terms of understanding the cosmos using their own strict scientific lexicon. More on this later as well.

What this movie did do for me was to strengthen my resolve that there is indeed a God which I’m sure was not the intent. It angered me at times to hear the sheer arrogance that science uses as a series of presets when it comes to both the perception of the data received and the underlying means of how to interpret it. Even Einstein said, “God doesn’t play dice with the universe.” Without going into the cliché of Einstein equations, he also was noted as pointing out that the speed of light in a vacuum is absolute. So why is relativity always used as a benchmark towards understanding God and human perception? I mean if we made a real test of senses without using an arbitrary test we discover that there is enough of an overlap of truth that we can all understand what is trying to be said: pour scalding hot water on any humans skin and it will burn whether they say it hurts or not. It seems odd to me that science would preoccupy itself with proving or disproving God because like the soul it is not something, which fits within the parameters of measurement. Thus, it requires as much faith in tools and human logic as faith does in believing in a living God of love.

I would highly recommend seeing this film as it most certainly cultivates questions. Serious questions which need to be asked and it does it in a very interesting way. I thought some of the information on how the brain works and sends its messages to the body was riveting. The choice of Marlee Matlin, in the acted scenes, was indeed a brilliant piece of casting; it sends a marvelous message in the use of a deaf actor. Matlin truly is stunning and there are some humorous bits for which I was grateful, at least the directors could laugh, which is a good sign. Ramtha, one the interviewed specialists said some very enlightened things although her pantheistic notion of godhead frustrates me, if we’re all god then what bleed’n difference does it make and who takes responsibility for the weakest links such as murders like Adolph sHitler (This is not a typo as he changed his name from Shitler to Hitler. I always liked what Joseph Beuys said about Hitler: they should have let him into to art school, the outcome of history would have been different.)
I liked the movie because anything, which makes people think and ask, is a rare gem in a world where most are trying to be oblivious to any kind of introspection.

What stops the something of the cosmos from pouring into the nothing of emptiness ?

So what did I do after the film? I went on my back deck to look at the moon and stars working perfectly in a structured universe and thanked God that it all has meaning, even my perception of it. This image is of my backyard looking into the night sky in early spring at around 2:00 am EST.

2 Comments:

Blogger hokkaidoabbey said...

Gerard,

I recommend watching "Mindwalk" or reading "Tao of Physics"--both deal (at heart) with limitations in our perceptions of the physical world, but from a decidedly non-Cartesian (maybe I should post-Cartesian) perspective. You might find their ideas more kindred.

Are you sure Einstein used the word "God"?

6:57 p.m.  
Blogger Gerard Pas said...

Firstly, thanks for the titles. I'll be sure to watch them and give some feedback after I do.

Am I sure that Albert used the term "God". Yes, of that I am certain = Did Einstein use the term God? Ask Google.

What the content of his god was I can't tell you - I'd be very interested in knowing it though. If you should know,do me a good turn and inform me.
Again thanks!
G.P.

8:23 p.m.  

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