Finally, I had some time to sit down and watch the recent docu-fanta-movie, What The Bleep Do We Know. I say docu-fanta-movie, because this film is a unique blend of documentary, movie, and fantasy. But the unique "blending" that this film is comprised of doesn't stop here. The producers of What The Bleep Do We Know have embarked upon a cultural phenomenon that we will no doubt see much more of in the future: the blending of science with New Age spirituality.
The affinity between quantum physics and postmodernity has long been attested to. And the contemporary and widespread interest in spirituality has also been observed as our culture's response to the failure of The Enlightenment project -- of modernity's inability to deliver on its promise to cure the problems of our world and deliver a reliable hope for our future. Science no longer reigns supreme in today's culture as THE guardian of truth. This is likely a disturbing thought, no doubt, to secular scientists, and I'm not all that surprised that, while continuing to discredit organized religion (Christianity in particular), some scientists are becoming bedfellows with New Age religion, in an attempt to integrate the legitimacy of scientific advances with the popular appeal of mystical spirituality. And that is exactly what What The Bleep Do We Know appears to be doing.
Now, the science being presented in the film is very interesting -- quantum mechanics, string theory, and recent advances in neurological studies. The film makers have done a fascinating job of presenting fairly complex concepts in an entertaining and easy-to-grasp manner. But what especially bothered me was the way What The Bleep crosses the line between science and mysticism, presenting everything as equally true. And that is why...
This is a disturbingly misleading film.
I am one of many bloggers who have drawn attention to the syncretism found within the Church -- and the evangelical Church in particular. But here in this film, is a good example of how syncretism is a characteristic of our entire culture paradigm. Ours is a postmodern world, and we should expect to find syncretism (among many other things) in all sectors of our world.
What is especially telling about What The Bleep Do We Know, is how the producers have featured the wisdom of the supposed 35,000 yr. old god of Atlantis -- Ramtha -- as "channeled" through Anerican, J.Z. Knight, AND have done so in a way which places this "ancient wisdom" on equal par with their panel of Ph.D's, M.D.'s, and the like. This is almost beyond belief.
But the most striking thing about What The Bleep Do We Know, is the subtle (or perhaps not so subtle) arrogance which characterizes the film's message: we are our own gods, who can (in ways consistent with various scientific theories) control not only our future destinies, but our present realities.
I strongly suspect that many more films of this type will be produced in the years to come. Hollywood knows that our culture is thirsty for spirituality. Hollywood has also long been known for the way it commonly discredits and criticizes organized religion, especially Christianity. We therefore need a new generation of apologists to arise within the body of Christ to engage this culture in thoughtful and effective ways. Our modern techniques will no longer serve this purpose. We need scientific theologians and theological scientists to help us navigate our way through the times ahead that will continue to challenge our ancient and most holy faith.
If you haven't seen this film, I urge you to. And if you have, I'd enjoy hearing your thoughts regarding what I've shared here.