Sunday, August 17, 2008

By selling religion... does the media become our religion?

Timothy MacDonald
Two Films Reviewed.

Religion in the media is a complicated discussion, since it involves so many variable factors. What is religion? What is God? What role do we play? Most importantly, however, when the media itself portrays religion are we submitting to the idea of religion presented or are we submitting to the media itself? These questions cannot be fully addressed without understanding people’s perspective and thinking on God and their relationship with him. The two films chosen, offer an interesting explanation as they explore the depths of what makes people, especially in the 21st century, commit to a certain belief, and who really is God?

What the Bleep do we know?

Many worship and believe the almighty is a separate being than ourselves and is beyond almost all understanding thus requiring immense faith and devotion. This kind of thinking has been accepted by people all around the world for thousands of years, even the religious scientific community. A modern film however released in the last several years provides a different interpretation of the idea of “God.” It informs us of a way of interpreting ourselves and God; that is not only innovative but completely different from all that we have really considered. The film proposes God is not separate than us. He is not a distinct being beyond our own consciousness. The movie What the bleep do we know? While it is heavily criticized by some, it remains to stun and inspire audiences all over the world. It tells us that we ourselves are the co-creators of our own universe. The film bases its premise on quantum physics and quantum mysticism. It speaks of the power of thought individually and collectively and how it can and does affect the material and physical world around us. The Movie’s theme proposes: we are our own gods, creating our own reality. What the bleep do we know? divides our minds and bodies down to the flowing of atomic nucleus’s and how our minds perceive what reality we create for them ourselves. The mind cannot tell the difference between a thought and what we actually see. So what we see is a reflection of what we allow our mind to accept. So when we are raised in a society and a culture a certain way that is what we accept as reality and that is what we see and experience. What the bleep do we know? offers this new idea of God for us to follow or believe in. It offers a new way for people to devote themselves to a belief system. Just like many messengers or prophets before it, the movie provides a mean for those with an open mind to become engrossed by the propositions set forth and become involved in practicing and believing in this new “religion”. The idea of quantum mysticism becomes the religion, the movie becomes the prophet or a messenger of some sort, organizing and informing the masses. So not only does the film itself suggest a new form of belief, it itself becomes part of the religion of media.
Here is a small clip from the film, where one of the scientists discusses the old way of seeing god, and why it is blasphemous

Going back to the original question, when people are watching this film and become believers, are they submitting to the films actual proposal, or just the media itself for entertaining and providing all the desired feelings to the individual? The movie does an excellent job of commanding attention and having people believe what it teaches. People are gaining from the lessons provided by the movie, but also they have yet again let themselves become completely directed by a piece of media. So ultimately one must ask is it the film that is God, regardless of what it speaks of, or can we engage and learn from a movie, without submitting to the religion of media? After watching all kinds of individuals become infused by this film, some applying what the film teaches in their lives, others not, I am inclined to say that the film provides both. It does indeed provide a theory on God and ourselves that can be followed religiously. However for those of us who enjoyed the work, it makes us movie-watchers even more committed to the media and the wonderful entertainment it provides.

The Matrix

Other movies that provide an idea of Religion are the widely enjoyed Matrix movies. While some argue that it is more philosophy than religion, there is certainly a religious element. The movie provides us with many beliefs about the truth behind our world. The movie provides an individual who can be comparable to Christ, being made into a savior during the picture. It involves the typical good vs. evil marketing that appeals to religious masses. As far as the media infiltrating our beliefs or becoming our source of understanding and worship, one excellent strategy that The Matrix employed, purposely or not was age demographics. In this time and year, there is much less religious devotion and affiliation among teenagers than ever before. The Matrix, therefore, provided an outlet of belief for an entire generation to hook onto. While the movie entertained and was absorbed by all kinds of audiences, many young men between the age of 12 and 30 watched and loved this film. It became such an enticing story, holding a philosophy or religious belief that whether consciously or subconsciously a lot of young people were inclined to find fascinating and very enjoyable. This in and of itself supports the film, and thus the media. So the movie itself, while providing an interesting look at religion, actually just broadens the mass that follows and worships the media.

On the Movie and what they sell.

What the bleep do we know?


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