2 Stars – Misleading
In “What the #$*! do we know?” we have the next stage in this evolution of a “hybrid documentary-propaganda” piece, similar to Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Written and directed by William Arntz, Betsy Chasse and Mark Vincente, this film is a hybrid in several ways. Not only is fact woven with fiction, as shown by the film’s combining of science with science fiction, philosophy with new age religion, and psychiatry with occult channeling, but we also have a documentary woven with a drama. The end product is an amalgam that is novel as a film genre but of little value from the perspective of searching for truth. We cannot trust its assertions because its validity is so compromised.
A prime example of this is the juxtaposition of scientists such as Dr. William Tiller, Ph.D. professor emeritus of Stanford, and the channeled assertions of Ramtha, the “35,000 year old warrior” who appeared in the kitchen of JZ Knight in 1977. The musings of Tiller as a scientist who is exploring our understanding of consciousness is woven in such a way that he seems to support the assertions of Ramtha, as channeled by Ms. Knight: that we are all gods, and that there is no such thing as good or bad, right or wrong. This leads to the assertion that it is religion that has harmed humanity with its moral teachings.
But having noted that the film is destructively misleading, it presents some interesting observations by weaving together ancient philosophy, quantum physics and implied spirituality. For example, when it is asserted that the universe and its “matter” really functions more as a “thought,” the film agrees with ancient and Biblical teachings. The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus (535-475 B.C.) said, “The universe is generated not according to time, but according to thought.” Physicist James Jeans (1877-1946) said, “The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a machine.” This observation that all creation resembles a thought agrees with the Biblical explanation that creation was “spoken into existence” by God. It is God’s thought that became physical. The ancient Greeks called this the “Logos” or “word” and it is this concept that the Gospel of John uses to explain that this “Logos” became “Flesh” in Jesus Christ so that we could know God “in the flesh.”
The driving force behind this film is the desire to know the great mystery of our existence: Why are we here? What is our purpose? What is real and how do we know it? Looking at a world that implies a spiritual presence who creates and sustains it, the scientists are left without ultimate answers, and simply say it is a “mystery.” This is a true and humble confession.
But when the filmmakers begin the film by saying, “In the beginning was the void,” that is an assertion that goes beyond scientific evidence or implication. It is also very different from the Bible’s explanation that “In the beginning was the Word [Logos]. And the Word was with God and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) If we begin with nothing, it is easy to end with nothing. But if we begin with God as the Eternal Thought, who spoke everything and everyone into existence, we end in a place of wanting to know this God whose thoughts we inhabit.
- In one example of our inability to see the reality around us, they quote a story of the Caribbean people who could not see the clipper ships that brought Columbus to their shores because they had never seen a clipper ship. Do you believe this story to be true? Are we unable to see things that we’ve never seen before or is this a way to get you to be open to what they are saying? And how do we reconcile this with our own experiences from infancy throughout life of seeing new things and seeking to identify them?
- When JZ Knight speaks, she claims to be a “channel for Ramtha.” Do you believe this? Why or why not?
- When Chiropractor Joe Dispenza claims that he creates the life he desires, he explains that this world and everything that happens is our creation. Do you believe that? If this is true, why does the film go on to explain that our brain can be addicted? How can we be both master and slave in our own lives?
- One of the directors, William Artnz, is a Buddhist. Do you experience this film as a Buddhist teaching? New Age? Religious Science? Spiritualist/Occult? Or merely confusing?