The Great Questions in the Hamburger Universe - Vol. 1 of Deep Deceptions by Miceal Ledwith (featured in What the Bleep Do We Know!?)
"The human race today is in a really bad state, mainly because most people do not want to wake up. They want to be told how to behave instead of understanding their own power." -- Miceal Ledwith in The Great Questions in the Hamburger Universe, Vol. 1 of Deep Deceptions

I thoroughly enjoyed the DVD What the BLEEP Do We Know!? mostly for the engaging snippets of dialogue from scientists, theologians, and mystics. I also enjoyed Ramtha's DVD Create Your Day, even though it wasn't quite as good as the BLEEP cameos.

It was with great expectations that I viewed The Great Questions in the Hamburger Universe, Vol. 1 of Deep Deceptions by Miceal Ledwith DVD. Unfortunately, the plodding pace of the 57 minute DVD--as well as the ramblings of Ledwith--was very disappointing.

Ledwith brings up some great points in this DVD, but never goes beyond the surface. He asserts that thinking people have discarded most of the infantile tenants of the "hamburger universe" (i.e. the "vault of the heavens" overhead with the vault of hell underneath). Yet, instead of treating his audience as intelligent folk, he makes nebulous comments without explaining the "what and why".

He mentions string theory (quantum physics) and the "true" nature of the big bang, going on to say that levitation isn't a "miracle" but only a matter of superseding gravity with the "Torsion Field". The problem is that he's tossing about these terms in support of Jesus' words that "ye are all gods" and "greater works than these shall you do" without actually explaining the meaning or *science* of a Torsion Field and just how consciousness supersedes natural laws. (FYI: The Torsion Field is quantum spin waves of empty space. Einstein and Elie Cartan did some preliminary work on this theory in the 1920's. The Einstein-Cartan theory could possibly be used to explain ESP, among other things.)

Ledwith spends a good portion of the DVD highlighting the silliness of traditional Christianity, including the clouds and harps of heaven. He goes on and on about how a cloud is, in reality, damp and would be uncomfortable to sit on (duh) and that if one were to play the harp for eternity, they'd wear down the fingers to the third knuckle. I understand highlighting the damage that traditional Christian thought has caused humanity, especially in terms of evolution. In fact, as a former minister trained in theology myself, I probably "get it" more than most.

But while poking fun at Christian thought is popular these days, you had *better* have some theological and scientific claims to back up your assertions--especially if you want to be a part of the "thinking". Christian apologists know their Bible inside and out, so if Ledwith wants to undermine their fear-based, illogical ideas he needs to do so with his supposed area of expertise...theology. Heck, even at a simplified level, all one has to do is consider that if an individual set a paddle on fire and repeatedly hit a baby with it over and over and over, this act would be considered a barbaric tragedy condemned by Christians (and others, of course).

Yet, God the Father would do much worse by condemning humanity to eternal torment forever and ever? Apologists would say "Well, humans choose to go to hell." The interesting thing is that the Bible says "no man can come to the Father except the Holy Spirit draws him" because his understanding is "darkened".

This is just one of the many points that Ledwith could bring up, but instead, he preaches to the New Age choir by ridiculing monotheistic religions (primarily Christianity) via nebulous assertions. In fairness, Ledwith makes excellent points, but nothing that you couldn't get (much more eloquently) from Marianne Williamson, Gary Zukav, Eckhart Tolle, Neale Donald Walsch, and others. Some of these points are:

"We are pawns tossed about by those people we perceive as more capable and enlightened than us."

"If Jesus were on Earth today, he wouldn't recognize his own teachings."

"Anyone who looks back at our history can only be appalled at the small-mindedness, the hostility, the barbarism that has characterized our whole traverse as a race."

"We don't realize how following another's image of God is spiritually and evolutionarily limiting. We don't even think of it."

"The flat earth mentality still corrupts and completely distorts our fundamental beliefs at the basic level still today."

"We've never gotten rid of the Inquistatorial mind to this day."

"The answers we've been given by religion are bizarre, emotionally charged, and childish."

"Heaven varies according to the broker (Christian denomination), but the basis is pretty much the same: earning credits for good behavior so you can immigrate to heaven."

"God is just a human magnified (in monotheism). We take these categories from the lowest plains of existence and impose them upon the Divine. As a result, we're left with something so sentimental, mawkish, and inaccurate that it bears no relationship to reality."

"Whatever God is has no gender. These childish images are holding us back."

Ledwith makes other interesting comments, but they beg for elaboration. One such comment is:

"(That) Jesus' death was to appease the vengeance of a savage God...this had nothing to do with what Jesus Christ did."

I'd love to hear his explanation of the crucifixion! Spiritual teachers such as Williamson have brilliantly explained the metaphysical aspects of the crucifixion of Christ. Does Ledwith have a clue as to why Jesus died? If he did, why didn't he share it?

He quotes Jesus by saying "greater works (than I) shall you do", attempting to make the case that humans are living far below their potential--mostly due to a flat earth mentality. What he fails to mention, however, is that polemicists and theologians debate the meaning of "greater works" (meizona toutôn in the Greek) in terms of whether "greater" refers to quantity versus quality. (My Greek professor made a case for the former, saying that converts would multiply miracles by sheer numbers.)

Ledwith also perpetuates the biggest misquote circulated in New Age circles, attributing "It's not our weakness that frightens us, it's our power" to Nelson Mandela. The actual quote is "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure...", which was uttered by Marianne Williamson in her book A Return to Love.

One of Ledwith's comments that I found particularly insightful is "As human knowledge grows, the territory of God shrinks. God becomes a refugee." The "God of the gaps", as he called it, are areas that we try to fill with human knowledge in the attempt to explain what we don't yet understand. An example would be ancient paganism attributing lightning to the actions of Zeus. Despite this interesting observation, it's not enough to enliven the rest of the DVD.

What separates the tight, insightful segements in "What the BLEEP Do We Know!?" from this DVD is that the conversations captured in BLEEP were the result of directors Chasse, Arntz and Vincente asking probing questions of the experts...questions borne out of the directors' own curiosity and personal paths. On The Great Questions in the Hamburger Universe, Vol. 1 of Deep Deceptions, however, Ledwith is left to ramble at the camera rather aimlessly, which doesn't make for good viewing and does not offer lucid alternatives to the flat earth mentality of the hamburger universe. Perhaps this is more the fault of "director" JZ Knight.

In the end, I couldn't help but feel like this DVD was thrown together in order to capitalize on BLEEP's popularity. Let's hope the subsequent installments of this series are tighter, deeper, and smarter.

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