Since our first screaming tantrums in the candy aisle to our first night in a dorm room, every pre-teen to twenty-something is fighting for freedom in their life. But what does this freedom entail? Is it just stuffing our bodies with sweets, or is it being able to stay out all night? Filmmaker and author Betsy Chasse argues that it is much more than that. In a “quantum physics meets self-help” event on Tuesday, November 15, ASP Films is bringing Chasse along with her new book and internationally renowned/highly controversial film “What tHe #$*! DΘ ωΣ (k)πow!?” to the PAC for a free screening. A discussion and book signing will follow.
According to Stephen Humphries of The Christian Science Monitor, “’What tHe #$*!’ thrills some moviegoers, alarms others and surprises everyone with its draw.”
Though it’s a great possibility that you haven’t even heard of this film, the draw has indeed been phenomenal. It has grossed over 12 million in the U.S. box office alone, became the third most successful documentary in US history, was on Amazon.com’s top 10 DVD best-seller list for four months, and surpassed Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” in multiple copy DVD purchases worldwide.
The thrills that moviegoers feel after seeing the ideas presented in “What tHe #$*!” are most likely derived from the great shift in paradigm that the movie suggests. “Though it seems like they’re making claims that are a little out there, you have to keep pushing things” said ASP Films Assistant Coordinator Ian Chant. “You have to risk being wrong, because [new scientific thought] doesn’t get started on people doing what they know is right.”
Fourteen of noted physicists, neurochemists, physicians and metaphysicians all chime in with a backbone of very radical sounding ideas. Most of these ideas are rooted in the relatively new science of quantum physics. WAIT! Don’t lose interest yet, I assure you that this film is for everyone, even though its close association with quantum physics may seem like it’s tailor-made for nerdy science majors like me.
I will admit, however, that the explanations can be somewhat complex. Even ASP Films Coordinator and ridiculous movie buff Gabriel Prestella— who admitted to watching approximately “elevendy sevendy” films a week— said that “the movie went a bit over my head.”
Despite the very complex science that the film is based on, the basic ideas that the film pushes come across loud and clear. The core of the film rests on putting “responsibility squarely in your lap,” according to one of the quantum physicists that was interviewed for the film. “Mechanism is not the answer, but I’m not going to tell you what is…you’re old enough to figure it out yourself.”
In other words, instead of being stuck in your “place” by societal conditioning, you should struggle and fight to take control of your own life. The film argues that due to the incredible power of the mind, you should be able to take quite a bit of control.
One of the most compelling arguments about the power of the mind comes from the Japanese researcher, Dr. Masaru Emoto. He found that if water was subjected to different, very focused concepts through written and spoken words, and photographed by a very powerful microscope just as it began to freeze, the water displayed very distinct patterns. When pure spring water was exposed to positive concepts, including love and gratitude, it froze into crystals with brilliant, symmetrical patterns. Water exposed to negative concepts formed asymmetrical, dull crystals.
If you consider that the human body is made up of 90 percent water, and you also believe that this study has discovered the power of the human mind over this element, imagine the implications of what incredible power negative versus positive thoughts would hold over our us.
By proposing new ideas based on a relatively new science, “What tHe #$*!” raises a lot of questions. It also raises a good deal of controversy. According to the website of the film, the controversy lies in the film’s very foundation, because “it suggests a change to the current paradigms and positions of power and that’s what the world does - makes a controversy out of it.”
According to Chant, it contains “very polarizing issues. It’s seems to be one of those things that people have real strong feelings about in one or another.”
Though George Bernard Shaw once said that “all great truths begin with blasphemies,” some people who have very strong faith in established religion strongly disagree with the basis of the film. The official response of the filmmakers is that “it’s not that your religion doesn’t adhere - it’s that what YOU believe in doesn’t adhere. The fact that your set of beliefs includes a particular religion is just one example in your list of beliefs. Everyone has his or her worldview. In our view, there is not One Way, but six billion Ways.”
Prestella hopes that since “the film raises a lot of questions and inspires a great deal of thought, there will be a good chance for a discussion.” Chant agreed: “I like to think that Western is an open and tolerant enough campus so students that should be able to go and watch a movie with open minds and draw their own conclusions, listen to what the filmmakers have to say, have an open and earnest discussion of the ideas presented…this is exactly what we’re supposed to do while we’re in college.”
Though the film itself is sure to spark a good dialogue, Chasse coming to campus to speak after the screening of the film will give Western students and community alike an opportunity to learn about the science that could be the wave of the future. Students are forewarned by Prestella that “she might bring quite a following” and are encouraged to get their free tickets from the PAC box office as soon as possible.
The film, and Chasse herself, urges people to “not surrender and live their life in mediocrity.” Bob Marley perhaps put it best. “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.”
Come free your mind (for free) at the PAC on Tuesday, November 15. Book signing will begin at 6:30 and the movie will start at approximately 7:00, followed by a discussion with Chasse. Community members are welcomed to attend. For more information, contact ASP Films at 650-6130.