What is #Reality? #Buddhism, #Quantum #Physics or Colon Cleanser, hmmm…

Okay, so I have my frustrations from time to time, doubts about my direction and misgivings about my methods, wishing I were more successful and feeling powerless to do anything about it. After all, these things do work themselves out, don’t they? Yes, they do. The problem is that I know exactly what to write to make myself more popular, but it just wouldn’t be honest, so I just can’t do it…

I know exactly what people want to hear: that we’re all connected, that you are the center of the universe, that you and I are intimately connected to every living organism that has ever existed on this earth, that this very moment is the eternal now, that this is the eternal wow, that every moment that has ever existed is encapsulated in this very moment without end, that we’re all in this together, that one day there will be a better day and a better place…

…and none of it is a lie, not exactly, sorta kinda maybe somehow sooner or later. So why not just say all that? So why not effuse it? People want it so badly, some connection with each other, some connection with the universe, something spiritual in their lives. Why not use it to brand myself, as a prophet who can turn a profit? If it’s not a lie, after all, then why not? Something about due process, I think, and attention to details. Not being a lie, after all, is not the same as being true…

I know Eckhart Tolle’s rap and I know Deepak Chopra’s rap, and if that’s what makes you feel good, then that’s fine—enjoy. But as scientific and experientially-based treatments and methods and philosophies, they just don’t hold up, especially the Deepak variety. But even Tolle’s Theory of Everything—the ‘Teaching’, I believe he calls it—is so full of holes that all you need are a couple slices of bread and a hot griddle and you’re halfway to a grilled Swiss on rye. The fact that he calls it ‘the Teaching’ confirms the messianic urge…

Still the urge to tell people what they want to hear—even if sugar-coated fluff—gnaws at me. ‘I’m too negative,’ I tell myself, ‘not mystical enough, not magical enough. I’m too skeptical. I’m not creative enough. I’m too demanding. I should be open to more esoteric teachings, with or without scientific proof. People are basically good, we’re all in this together, everybody’s doing their best, so just be open to all the different possibilities that open up. It’s all good’…

And then something happens that just blows my little mind, confirming my worst suspicions, sending me straight back to the drawing board, and the safety of my own gut-level convictions. In this case it’s a video called ‘What is Reality?’ offered on YouTube by an LA outfit called Quantum Gravity Research headed by one Klee Irwin—so far, so good, EXCEPT…

…except that I’ve grown a bit skeptical about anything calling itself, or even worse allying itself, with Quantum Physics, unless their credentials are at least that of Michio Kaku, Neil DeGrasse Tyson or above. Most people simply are not qualified to talk about QP, at any level, because there is only one level—and it’s way up there…

And this has been going on for a long time, at least since Fritjof Capra and his book ‘The Tao of Physics’, then the ‘Dancing Wu Li Masters’ by Gary Zukav, both of which were loved by us the consuming public, and hated by physicists, who read them the riot act, not for bad writing, but for bad physics…

The deal is that all too often QP offers that missing link that gives an otherwise dubious New Age-style fad philosophy some scientific connection, if not actual credibility. Some of the prime aspects of this science are its ‘indeterminacy’, its combination ‘particle/waves’, and its ‘observer effect’, all of which suggest some role for consciousness in the equation, i.e. us, so very attractive…

And so I watched the video—very well made—including all their LA references, which seemed unusual for a sometimes-reluctant sometimes-Angeleno like myself. And I thought that maybe they were playing a little fast and loose with some facts and figures, BUT: I’m not a quantum physicist, or even a classical physicist, for that matter. I don’t like math. It likes me, but I don’t like it…

Then I started reading the comments. The New Agers are going gaga, of course, reduced to tears and crying in beers, while the sandlot physicists are duking it out over the issue of whether the QP definition of ‘observer’ necessitates an actual person or just an instrument. As you can see, it gets nasty. But only one person suggested that there were flaws in the character of the producer. So on a hunch I checked it out…

And not only is Klee Irwin no kind of physicist, but he’s in court over alleged fraud in his former predatory colon-cleansing business, the apparent upshot being that he got out of the butthole business and then went straight into the QP business!

Ironically, of course, the fact that the producer and director of this video and this organization may be a fraud does nothing to diminish the science behind it, or lack thereof. On the other hand, I don’t see any Ph.D.’s in the comments section, either. I guess we ARE all in this together, making it up as we go along. I just wish it were a little bit more polite…

p.s. The scientific opinion of this production is that it’s pseudo-science. And isn’t the Buddhist doctrine of ‘dependent origination’ enough for discerning minds, anyway? Isn’t the fact that we all want to be connected enough to connect us?

Advertisements