What the Bleep Do We Know? is the world’s first New Age quantum-physics feel-good infomercial. It’s like an order-yours-now collaboration between Stephen Hawking and Dr. Wayne Dyer. Technically, the film, which has become a minor hit, is sort of a documentary, in that it features a handful of weirdly unidentified professors who sit in studies saying things like ”The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery” and ”What I thought was unreal now, for me, seems in some ways to be more real than what I think to be real, which seems now more to be unreal.” (No, I didn’t make that up.)
The movie has a wide-eyed vibe of scientific revelation, but what the trippy blather comes down to is a sound-bite advertisement for cognitive psychology. Since reality, according to the laws of physics, is different from what it appears to be on the surface, this means you – yes, you! – have the power to change the reality of your own destructive thought patterns. Watching ”What the Bleep,” I kept wanting to change channels, so repetitive and stupefying is all the pseudo-mystical psycho-banality. The film treats its audience like fidgety junior-high schoolers, piling on the sub-Koyaanisqatsi cityscapes and cheesy episodes with Marlee Matlin as a lonely photographer, plus bouncy cartoons of human cells who look as if they’d be happier chasing stains in bathroom-cleanser commercials.