The recent movie What the Bleep Do We Know
has caught on with the A.R.E. community as well as with other populations
interested in science and metaphysics.
I was teaching at an ARE event in Texas when I learned that most of
the group had planned on a long distance drive to the theater to see
this movie afterwards, so I accompanied them.
Afterwards, there was a great amount of discussion about the ideas
presented and their relationship to the readings. A lot of time was
spent reviewing the film to make sure we understood what it was saying.
It is of interest to see how Hollywood would present these concepts
to a general audience. Here is the synopsis I developed:
The movie proceeds on at least two levels. One is
the team of on-camera experts whose talking heads provide the non-fiction
Another is the story of Amanda, a photographer who takes medication
for anxiety, and who tries to digest the new ideas being presented
and ultimately tosses away her pills.
The basic storyline of the documentary can be phrased
in three parts. The first part says that quantum physics has discovered
that reality isn't what we assume it to be. There is no reality "out
there" independent of someone experiencing it.
What the person experiences, how they experience it and why they experience
it that way is all open to infinite possibility, in reality. We live
in the realm of consciousness, in the virtual reality interpreted
and presented to us by our brains.
The second part of the story is about how the brain stores experiences
and how that affects the reality it creates or grows for itself over
time. The brain seeks patterns and develops habits of thought. The
brain tends to process today in terms of yesterday.
It uses the chemistry we experience as emotions to help determine
how the brain stores experiences. When we encounter something pleasant,
we store that pleasantness along with various other associations.
The same for when we encounter something unpleasant. Our memories
are tinged with emotions that are linked to other memories and their
Emotional patterns tend to become habits of experience that lay down
physical tracks in the brain. Brain networks that fire together, wire
together. The hypothalamus secrets a different chemical compound for
every different emotional pattern. This chemistry reaches down to
the cellular level.
As cells become adapted to respond to a certain chemical, the offspring
cells become more targeted to those chemicals and less even to nutrient
chemicals. An addiction process is at work here. At the level of experience,
any emotion we can't control is an addiction.
At the cellular level, it is the evolutionary process that develops
specialized cells devoted to that chemical. We tend to set up situations
that bring about the satisfaction of cellular demands.
Thus, the way the brain chemistry works, we are fated to become creatures
of habit, reinforced by a society that runs on habit, and alternative
ideas and alternative forms of living will be frowned upon because
of a fear that these changes will cause us to lose chemical experiences
to which we are addicted. It is a fairly mechanical picture of downward
The third part answers the question, What can cause
a reversal of fortune? A new paradigm. People have to find a way to
get inspiration, which means to think new thoughts. When people think
new thoughts they actually lay down new neuronal networks.
People need to learn how to stop negative thought patterns. Just by
paying attention to the mind, we can detect negative thought patterns.
Observing them interrupts them and allows us to question, to think
of alternatives, to develop new thought patterns. As we cultivate
positive emotions, our bodily cells develop to thrive on such positive
The research is shown of Dr. Emoto, on the effect of the appearance
of water molecules depending upon the quality of thought directed
at them. Just think what happens to us, who are 95% water, as a result
of our thoughts.
We too easily toss off the power of positive thinking, because it
is only a surface belief compared to all our other deep seated beliefs
in other directions. It takes getting inspired by new ideas enough
to take action, to try an experiment, to be the scientist of your
One person sums up how he has pulled himself up
by his belief bootstraps by playing a little synchronicity game with
Each morning as he creates his reality for that day, he asks that
the spiritual side of himself, the observer watching him do his creating,
will do something to let him know that the observer is paying attention,
and bring into his experience something related to his creating in
an unexpected way that will show him some new ability of creating
that he has and in such a way that he will clearly recognize that
this is the response of the observer, leaving no doubt.
Very interesting synchronicities occur under such a plan to help create
a foundation of trust in this new paradigm.
We need to be free to expand the horizons of the
imagination, free of any addictions that would inhibit our thinking
out of fear. We need to realize that we are a part of a larger story.
The movie ends asking us to ponder the possibilities. The new science
of quantum physics is the science of freedom, of possibilities. Who
will choose among the possibilities and on what basis?
I have encountered three responses to the movie.
The first is excitement that a movie addresses topics to a general
audience that are of such vital interest to members of the A.R.E.
community. The second is disappointment that the movie didn't show
anything "new," meaning what the person knew already.
The third is an expression of curiosity about how these topics, long
a part of the Edgar Cayce material, are being presented to a general
audience. What does the movie offer to audiences? What does it ask
them to believe, or to think about? What would Edgar Cayce think about
the message the movie makes about spirituality and how the movie expresses
To the first response, I would say, that the movie
exists shows that there's a lot more people out there than the some
tens of thousands of A.R.E. members that exist, so let's celebrate
that we are a part of a wider spiritual community and learn how to
To the second response, I would say that although
no single idea may have been "new," the juxtaposition of
the ideas and their interlinking gives a lot to think about. Some
of the cartoons seemed silly on first watching until I could realize
how they were often more dramatically expressed metaphors for the
abstract ideas presented in the narrative.
The third response invites the most exploration.
How does it speak to spirituality? What does it say about God? The
movie almost says that God is reality is as big as you can allow yourself
to imagine it, but you'll have to get control of your emotions in
order to cultivate enough peace of mind and freedom from addictive
patterns of thought to be able to conceive of a God that includes
yourself as infinite as your imagination.
I am reminded here of Cayce's admonition that the greatest service
we can render to one another is to share our concept, our experience,
of the Creator. By the various voices in the movie expressing their
various attempts to imagine the supreme being behind the great mystery,
it was clearly implied, if not exactly stated, that we needed to expand
our vocabulary and concepts about God.
I think the part of the movie that would disappoint
Cayce the most is the lack of information portrayed about the role
of relationships, of how being of service puts us into healthy relationships
with the world, allowing us to take advantage of the quantum possibilities
almost as much, if not more, than simply cultivating positive emotions.
It is interesting that the movie never mentions meditation, but makes
clear that unless you can get control over your thought processes
and the attitudes and emotions they are entangled with, you are not
going to get very far into enjoying the quantum freedom that underlies
Instead you will be caught in a purgatory of judgments, learning by
experience just how vicious downward cycles can be.
There could have been as much evidence brought
to bear on how volunteering raises positive emotions. How serving
is a great way to achieve a stated goal in the movie, that is, to
move beyond the focus on the self. Service is a great way to get beyond
self. Some of the same changes of neural nets can accompany a shift
in one's attitudes towards one's relationships.
If I were to serve the population walking out of
the theater with what I, as an A.R.E. member, as a student of Cayce,
could offer to these people to help them take the awakening of new
ideas, or the stimulation or inspiration provided by the aesthetic
qualities of the movie, then here is what I think it would be:
First I would want to listen to the person to get an understanding
of what they took away from the movie. Where is there inspiration
to build upon? Where is there doubt to be soothed or educated? To
build upon inspiration, I would share about how application in the
smallest step of what I have realized is a powerful medicine that
will build great things.
Take a small step. Don't underestimate the power of being able to
associate with like minded people. But don't accept anything as true
until you test it for yourself. Others might think of specific hypotheses
in the readings that they might like to offer, for example, as corroborating
evidence. As to doubts, my response would be much the same, except
first to honor them and be gentle, encouraging gentle testing of small
I can teach basic meditation without mentioning the word, and demonstrate
to the person what it might be like to observe one's thinking and
question one's assumptions. Or simply to learn to sit still for a
minute a day as getting one's foot in the door on breaking old habits.
One has to begin somewhere and the have the faith to allow it to build
to the evidence that it is real.
The Bleep Do We Know?
A Summary of the Ideas Presented in the Movie
What is reality? Is it what we see in front of us? Where do we come
from? What is our role in reality? Basic questions. Some startling
first premises are presented by what appear to be educated authorities
(identified at the end of the movie), premises based upon undisputed,
if bizarre sounding, scientific research.
One is that quantum physics has determined that "no thing"
exists, in that when looked at closely, atoms disappear into clouds
of possibility. The second is that our experience is brain experience,
not experience of the "out there" but something of its own
These two facts present us with the notion that reality is not what
it seems. If not, then what is it? Could we be living a mistake? It
is suspicious that people keep having the same types of relationships,
same jobs, the same problems.
Are we such creatures of habit that we have allowed ourselves to fall
into the illusion that we have no control over our lives?
A rock seems real and solid, but only when we actually
encounter it. Before it is encountered, it is more of a possibility
than a rock solid fact. Reality comes into being when it is observed,
but not before. Thus we have some options as we begin to observe and
Research with brain scans shows that the brain can not distinguish,
it behaves in the same way, when it is actually looking at something
or when it is imagining that same something. Actually seeing and using
memory to imagine seeing are both the same and indistinguishable to
the brain. So, do we see with our brains or with our eyes?
The brain processes 400 billion bits of information
every second. Most of it is discarded. The brain is very selective
in which information will reach consciousness. It selects only about
2000 bits to bring into awareness, selected with an agenda. We become
aware of only a tiny minuscule of the information surrounding us.
The brain processes information that it cannot bring into awareness.
Our beliefs have something to do with this selectivity, as it seems
we can bring into awareness only that which we believe is possible
to exist in reality. The story is told, said to be true, that the
Caribbean natives could not see Columbus' ships off shore, because
they had never encountered such things.
It took awhile for the chief to finally see what was causing the strange
waves out there. Once the chief could see the ships, he could help
his people see them. It is as if we live in our own hologram, rather
than in the external world itself. We live in a virtual reality governed
by our beliefs.
The brain matches the information coming to it with patterns it remembers
and its conclusions become our reality. One physicist says, "there
is no 'out there' out there separate from what we experience 'in here.'"
So there are choice points concerning how a life might go.
Physicists are trying to come up with a reasonable
explanation for all this. Most of reality is empty space. Matter takes
up little. Why is it that time seems to flow forward? That is, it
seems we can remember the past, but not the future. We can affect
the future, but, it seems, not the past. Why is that? Quantum physics
shows that these assumptions are false.
Electrons are going in and out of existence all
the time. The same goes for the nucleus, which we once thought was
more real. What are "things" anyway? It seems that they
are made up more of possibilities, ideas, information, concepts, thoughts,
than actual things.
When you are not looking, there are waves of possibility. When you
are looking, there are particles of experience. Quantum physics has
shown that particles can be in two different places simultaneously,
or in two different states of being simultaneously.
It is only when an observation is made that these
possibilities collapse into a single, observed experience. Everyone
is constantly "collapsing" reality by their observation
of it, constantly creating the reality they experience. Heroes consciously
choose the reality they want to experience.
Everything that exists are actually possible movements in consciousness,
and we each choose, moment to moment, one of those possibilities to
Our tendency is to think that reality exists already out there, independent
of our experience of it. Instead of thinking of things, think in terms
of possibilities. It takes a lot of creative thinking to make sense
Physics knows what the observer does in terms of
creating reality, but we have not been able to discover WHO this observer
We have all had the experience of being an observer, yet anyone who
looks in the brain, or elsewhere, no one has ever observed an observer-the
observer being that "it" that can collapse quantum possibilities.
Is the observer the spirit "inside"? the "ghost in
When 4000 meditators converged on Washington DC
and meditated, the crime rate went down. Is people's consciousness
affecting the world we see? Yes. We see photographs of water molecules
taken by Dr. Masuro Emoto, water before and after blessings were said
The molecule of the blessed water was more symmetrical and beautiful
than the plain water. On other bottles of water, he pasted on printed
words, such as love, thank you, hate, etc. and you can see that the
water molecules look more beautiful when words of positive emotions
were pasted on their bottles.
Although the mechanism by which this non-material influence operates
is unknown, Dr. Emoto claims it is the intent that is the driving
force in the effect. Ninety per cent of our bodies is water, so it
"makes you wonder what our thoughts could do to us."
Thoughts can affect the body. Most people don't
consistently create their effects because they don't really believe
it is really possible. Positive thinking usually means that we have
a little bit of positivity covering over much greater amount of negative
We become stuck in the sameness of reality because we give it too
much power, but if consciousness can change reality, we can ask how
we can make it better. If in our old thinking, we can change nothing
because reality is already there, then we can do nothing, but if reality
is waiting for us to observe it, then we can set an agenda for improvement.
Reality comes down to our experience. What are
thoughts made of? Do thoughts have a substance that can affect things?
There are so many worlds, worlds of our thoughts, of our actions,
the world of our bodies, of the atoms.
There are so many different worlds of possibilities, levels of truth.
The most fundamental truth, affirmed by science and mystics, is the
underlying unity. You and I are literally one. One, one, one….
One man speaks of how he creates his day every
morning. He says that he often has so much on his plate that it takes
him awhile to settle down into his meditative process where he creates
He says that when he creates his day, he encounters little things
during the day that he knows are a response to his creative intentions.
It gives him the reinforcement, the incentive, the confidence, to
continue with his creative efforts. He believes he is shaping his
brain to become more receptive and responsive to these efforts.
"If we accept the idea that we create our
experience," he says, "and experience is our reality is
our life, then I have this little pact with myself as I go about creating
my day, and I say, OK, I'm taking this time to create my day and I'm
infecting the quantum field with this intention, If the observer is
watching me as I do this, and there is a spiritual aspect to myself,
then show your watching me the whole time that I'm doing this.
There is a spiritual aspect to myself then show me a sign that you
are paying attention to what I'm creating and throw something in my
path that shows me a sign that you are aware of me, something that
relates to what I'm trying to create but in an unexpected way, so
I'll be surprised by my ability to create, but in such a way that
I will have no doubt that it came from you." [not exact quote]
In addictions, we have a wonderful opportunity
to observe the interplay between our potential in consciousness and
how we play out that potential during the day in our physical, three
dimensional world. Addiction is the feeling of a chemical rush passing
through the body with its glands, ductless glands, spinal fluid, etc.
It requires only a single thought to create an arousal that will release
chemicals into the body.
God and us are one, but over the ages, religions
separated us from God, so it becomes a source of rewards and punishments.
That is not what God is. Our consciousness is not fully aware enough
to be able to comprehend God.
Science has grown to the point that it is capable of explaining Jesus'
interpretation of the mustard seed and the kingdom of heaven, and
it is only the science of quantum physics that can do that. We have
such profound new concepts in science yet such backwater concepts
of God. When you begin to question the images or caricatures of God,
we become suspected of being an atheist or subverting the social order.
There needs to be more emphasis placed upon expanding our imagination
when trying to conceive of God. God must be greater than the greatest
of human weaknesses and the greatest of human skills. Feeling we are
in control of creation is arrogance. How can we encourage one another
to try on expanded visions of God?
When the brain thinks a thought, there is an electric
storm over its entirety. No one sees a thought, but does see the brain
activity. Brain neurons have many connectors and they are networked
throughout the brain to other neurons. The brain learns by associative
memory, patterns of networking making its concepts.
The brain tends to respond to events the way it has in the past, as
it cannot distinguish between what it sees and what it remembers,
as it does both through the same, patterned neural firing. How we
respond emotionally when we experience an event, the chemistry of
the emotion fixes upon the brain the pattern of firing, the pattern
Our concepts are built up gradually, and each of us develops different
conceptual patterns, so one person may associate the emotion of love
with the fear of abandonment while another person may associate love
with the pleasures of eating. Our emotions to current events are remembered,
carried over and repeated the next time we encounter those events.
We begin to make up a story for ourselves about the outside world,
what it is, how it works, and how we can engage it. Nerve cells that
fire together wire together. Habits of experience become "hard-wired."
The thoughts and feelings we have on a daily basis become a physical
aspect of the brain.
Yet the brain is plastic, ever changing. When we don't respond automatically,
but instead pay attention to our responses, interrupt a thought process
with its associated emotional component, it tends to disrupt the neural
firing, loosening those connections.
When we do so, we are no longer the emotional, body-mind person that
is responding automatically to the environment. Emotions are neither
good nor bad, but are designed to create chemical effects to help
bond long-term memories. Emotions are holographically imprinted chemicals.
The most sophisticated pharmacy is in the brain,
the hypothalamus, which assembles chemical concoctions that match
the emotions we experience. These chemicals called peptides, are small
chains of various amino acids.
The hypothalamus assembles these short chains into conglomerates known
as neuropeptides or neurohormones, each different combination matching
a unique emotional nuance.
When the brain interprets an event using a particular emotional pattern,
the hypothalamus assembles the corresponding neuropeptide and very
soon that mood chemical is traveling through the body where it communicates
with various organs, potentially reaching every cell in the body.
Every cell has thousands of receptors, places where the cell is receptive
to the outside world. When a peptide connects with a receptor on a
cell, it communicates with the cell, sending its special message.
Most of us operate as if today were yesterday,
often in either an emotionally disconnected manner or in an emotionally
When a peptide is connected to a cell, its communications
begin to change the structure of the nucleus of the cell. Each cell
has consciousness if we define consciousness as the point of view
of an observer. The cell is the smallest unit of consciousness in
An addiction is something we cannot stop. We bring
to ourselves situations that will fulfill the biochemical cravings
of the cells of our body by creating situations that will meet our
needs [meanwhile, the visuals show a woman "accidentally"
bumping into a waiter, having food spilled on her dress, "accidentally"
stopping the overeating she was engaged in].
The addict will always need a little bit more to
get a rush or high of what they're looking for chemically. If you
can't control your emotional state, it means you are addicted to it.
This can play out in relationships, where we can confuse being in
love with the anticipation of the enjoyment of the chemical states
we will experience in that relationship. Addiction to certain chemicals/emotional
patterns could be behind having the same story play out in our intimate
relationships, over and over again, like obsessions.
We are our emotions, as they motivate the cells
to take in things and to move out and relate to other cells. Emotions
are not bad, nor good, but they are the life force expressing itself,
our biochemical story. We have emotional responses to everything we
The problem is that the emotional patterns repeat themselves in a
positive feedback loop. We can become obsessive as we search for or
interpret experiences in such as way as to feed these patterns. Can
you have a Polish wedding without a polka? That's the metaphorical
question the bandleader asks at the wedding, expressing how our obsessions
affect our experience.
As our "Dante," Amanda confronts herself
in the mirror, looking at what appears to her as her too fat legs,
she is reminded that our minds create our bodies. Candace Pert explains
how cells develop addictions. If a given receptor for a given chemical
is overstimulated with that chemical, the cell will begin to desensitize
itself such that a given amount of the chemical will produce less
of a response in the cell.
The attitude we adopt is equivalent to the chemicals attaching to
the cells. When we've consistently adopted that attitude, then as
the cell divides, its offspring cells will have even more receptor
sites for that chemical and less receptor sites for other chemicals,
including nutrients, vitamins, minerals or the chemicals that help
the cell expel waste products or toxins.
Aging is the result of losing elasticity, ability to assimilate, digest,
etc. the body becomes less flexible, less constructive proteins. It
matters less over time what we eat, and more important that we are
in the right mental framework for our cells to continue to evolve
healthy appetites and abilities to absorb the nutrients in what we
In effect, the cells begin to evolve to be responsive to only one
type of chemical, of attitude, or emotion. Our habitual mental attitude
has a lot to do with the quality of subsequent generations of our
So what are we going to do about this? It's time
for a new paradigm. Life is larger than we think it is. There's a
We need to realize that there are other dreams.
That is our first step out of the box. Too much of clinical opinion
gives people mental or physical labels of malfunction, and we need
to instead look at it as bad choices and help people make better choices.
There's nothing wrong with the people, it's their choices, based upon
faulty information, that is what's wrong. People need to seek inspiration.
Inspiration is required to develop motivation to seek and live out
answers to questions like the purpose of life, the mission of one's
particular life, what will happen after death? People can begin to
flirt with new ideas, and watch as old ideas fall away, over time,
As we try out new ideas, try thinking new ideas,
we are literally rewiring the brain, creating new neural networks,
ultimately changing us from the inside out. If I change my mind, will
I change my choices? If I change my choices, will my life change?
Why can't I change? What am I addicted to?
What will I lose that I'm chemically attached to and what person place
or time or event that I'm chemically attached to that I don't want
to lose because I don't want to experience a chemical withdrawal from
Is the earth the only planet that is steeped in religious subjugation,
responding to the expectations of the rewards and punishments based
upon judgments of good and bad. Doesn't mean one is in favor of depravity,
but to act consciously, there are things that will evolve me and things
that will not evolve me.
God, a placeholder name for the transcendent, the
sublime. I can have an experience that God is without being able to
know what or who God is. God can be seen as All That Is.
However you wish to imagine it, you have to love that God more than
you love the addictions. In the long run, the real concern will not
be how am I treating my body, but how am I treating my mind?
People need to learn how powerful their mind is,
and that it can help better ourselves, even to help us transcend ourselves,
so that we might come to a higher level of consciousness where we
could understand ourselves even better and live even better with each
Understanding that we are interconnected and acting
accordingly seems to be the best definition of spirituality. Our purpose
here is to develop our gifts of intentionality, to become effective
creators, we are here to infiltrate space with ideas and mansions
of thought, to make something of this life, to acknowledge the place
we have, the ability to make choice, when that shift happens, they
Quantum mechanics allows for the intangible reality
of freedom. It is the physics of possibilities, it opens up the question
of who chooses among these possibilities what events will we experience.
We must open our minds without the interference of any addictions
that inhibit considering possibilities. We need to manifest reality
in our bodies, in new ways. One day we will all be avatars. Welcome
to the kingdom of heaven.
How we can tell if any of this is true? We can
wait and see if something in our lives change? If we pay attention,
then we can become the scientist of our lives. Don't take it at face
value, check it out and see if it is true.
To find out more about the Bleep, go to http://www.whatthebleep.com/