Scientific Methods

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


A review of a documentary called 'What the bleep do we know'

How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go? In other words, how much do you want to think about/ realise about the potential that exists in your own life? This documentary, entitled ‘What the bleep do we know?’ deals with the study of quantum mechanics, which calculates possibilities, and for each of us in our daily lives there are millions, with only one being brought to life by our consciousness each time. If so many possibilities exist, why then do we keep recreating the same reality over and over again? The answer to that is conditioning.

We have all been conditioned, whether we like it or not to believe only what we see, and to accept the status quo, which means we may never explore even a fraction of our infinite possibilities. This is one of the most important realisations that I gained from this DVD and it truly is a scary thought. I thought about it for hardly a second when I realised that in the space of about three years, since I started my BSc. Degree, I have narrowed my field of possibilities (in my own mind) down to what I thought was realistic. But what is reality? Reality is merely the harnessing of possibilities by our consciousness, which then brings them into being. So then if you are open to greater possibilities, and free your mind of the confines of being ‘realistic’ many previously ‘unrealistic’ ideas become a real possibility. Strangely this idea frightens me, and that makes me realise just how successfully I’ve been conditioned.

Our brains only make us aware of only a fraction of the information that they perceive, and only that which is self-serving. This is quite an alarming thought and makes you wonder what the other things are that your brain isn’t telling you, or that you don’t want your brain telling you, as they don’t service your immediate need. This is well illustrated in the docu-movie in a scene where the lead character gets so caught up in her painful memories of a failed marriage that she begins drawing parallels to the wedding that she in photographing for an assignment. This is proof also of the fact that our emotions, linked to past experience, influence our perceptions and therefore have a direct impact on what our eyes will see, as there exists a direct correlation between what you expect to see and what your eyes actually see.

This documentary also raises questions about the divide which exists between science, philosophy and mysticism, which has for long been perpetuated by the so called high priests of both disciplines, whose power would be threatened by the acknowledgement of their interactions. Science, which deals in hard facts, in the face of quantum mechanics, will no longer be able to ignore the influence of ones perceptions of the world, and what is classified as the reality. And as facts need to be interpreted to give meaning, which itself is not a scientific notion, the two can no longer sit on opposite sides of the proverbial road. On the other hand, philosophy cannot ignore the fact that scientific discovery and revelation impact on the way people see the world (and therefore what is expected).

The documentary “What the bleep do we know” raises a number of questions about how we perceive ourselves, and how this in turn affects the way we interact with the world around us. If we start to believe that we truly have an influence on our lives then we can effectively become the creators of our own lives. This give us a greater responsibility for exactly how things turn out…hmmm, responsibility? Something that if we think about, modern materialism has totally stripped us of.

Mind boggling and truly thought provoking stuff – a well deserved ****4 stars

Miss Annamarie Martin
Department of Biodiversity and Conservation biology
University of the Western Cape
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