"Dr Quantum versus traditional thought?"
Matt Adcock Meets Fred Alan Wolf, Ph.D
What the Bleep Do We Know!? is a documentary film that opened across the UK this week to very mixed reactions. It asks the audience to consider fundamental questions like: What am I doing here? What are thoughts made of? What is reality? It approaches these questions from the arena of Quantum Physics. And because - to quote Stephen Hawkings: “To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit,” I decided to interview one of the main ‘experts’ from the film, Quantum Physicist Fred Alan Wolf.
Fred Alan Wolf is a physicist, writer, and lecturer who earned his Ph.D. in theoretical physics at UCLA in 1963. His work in quantum physics and consciousness is well known through his popular and scientific writing. He is the author of eleven books including ‘Taking the Quantum Leap’.
What The Bleep!? has just become the 3rd largest grossing documentary film ever, why do you think it is proving so popular?
“What seems to have occurred is a recycling of something which began in the 1960s, when a new kind of spirituality began to emerge. People got fed up with the old way of thinking. The audience for What the Bleep!? consists of some of those folks, who are now in their 50s and 60s, and also a lot of young people, who see something very promising in this movie, that are fed up with the old religious ways and teachings, and they see something new here. The idea that quantum physicists are saying these things is for this new audience startling. We always thought that physicists never talked about such things as this, that spirituality and god were out of the equation. That combination of things hit a marketplace that had probably been there but has largely been ignored. I think there is this is a great silent majority interested in spiritual issues.”
Spiritual issues such as: ‘is there a God?’
“It seems to me, depending on how you want to define god (which is by nature indefinable) that there is god – there is no question about it in my mind. I can answer this question in the affirmative because the mind plays such a roll in the way the development of the universe proceeds. If there was no god / no mind consciousness then the question of god would be moot – who would want to know? What difference would it make if there is or isn’t… But if there is a god, then he has to play a role in the universe.”
What are your thoughts on religion?
“Organised religions are bound to occur, it is part of nature to want to organise itself and it’s part of consciousness to define structures. So both the positive and negative of all organisations must manifest. Religion does us a great disservice when it professes to be ‘the answer’ rather than ‘an answer with truth’.”
What would you say is ‘ultimate reality’?
“Everything is relative and human perception is always subject to error or ‘misperception’. Our thinking is never perfect and so it is only the foolish that entertain the idea that they have it ‘right’ and everyone else have it ‘wrong’…”
How did you become involved in What the Bleep!?
“The film-makers William Arntz, Betsy Chasse and Mark Vicente, came to me because they’d read my books and they later asked me if I would be in the movie. At that time they didn’t know they were going to be using actors like Marlee Matlin and Armin Shimerman. That was a side-thought. At the beginning they were going to be doing a documentary about quantum physics. Their ingenuity and imagination put this film together. To me it’s one of the most ingenious films made in the last century. It became a movie, which is a feeling experience for the audience, and that’s what all movies should be.”
What are you working on next?
“I have a number of projects that I’ve put on the back burner, because I’m so busy doing public appearances for What the Bleep? I’ve created a character called Dr Quantum, and I have a new set of audio CDs called ‘Dr Quantum presents a user’s guide to your universe’, and a set in the autumn called ‘Dr Quantum presents a little book of big ideas’. “
Would you say that ‘The Force’ of Star Wars fame is really quantum physics in action?
“To me ‘The Force’ is the quantum fuel of possibilities, the great field that bathes us - the mind of god is another metaphor for it… It’s what Jesus Christ referred to as ‘my Father’s house of many mansions’.“
You mentioned Jesus there – who do you think he was?
“My thoughts are that there probably have been and will continue to be a lot of ‘Jesus types’ arising. The thing is that Christianity has a political interest in maintaining a single one ‘who died for our sins’ – but I believe there are other ways of thinking that we must be open to. I believe that every human being knows something of spiritual value without being told, we can sense it and to be told that there is only one individual who has that quality and that the rest of us don’t is a disservice to the amazing journey we are on called humanity. It’s not so much that I object to Christianity but I think it needs to expand itself.”
Finally, if you were about to die, what would be your last thought?
“Well, the way I see it is that the ‘I’ never dies. Consciousness will always be present and I don’t think that will ever ‘fade away’. I see my job as continual, to repeat again and again to help free people who are chained by their thinking process.”
Thank you for your time
My review of What The Bleep Do We Know!?