Just when you thought you had heard it all, something new comes up. Did you know it is possible to hurt the feelings of water? Yes, that water – H20. Well, according to actress Gwyneth Paltrow, that seems to be the case.
Paltrow has a digital media and e-commerce website called GOOP. On it she wrote the following: I am fascinated by the growing science behind the energy of consciousness and its effects on matter. I have long had Dr. Emoto’s coffee table book on how negativity changes the structure of water, how the molecules behave differently depending on the words or music being expressed around it.
Scientists, of course, have looked into Dr. Emoto’s experiments and found them utterly wanting. He does not control for all possible factors which may influence the test results, and he designed his experiments in ways that leave them prone to manipulation or human error. In fact, he has been offered a one million dollar prize if he can reproduce his results under controlled conditions and has so far refused the offer. Seemingly Dr. Emoto’s movement is neither “growing” nor “science.”
Emoto bases his logic on his interpretation of quantum physics. His assertion is that physical matter doesn’t really exist and that everything is just energy in different states of vibration. As such, atoms and other elementary particles are not real. Rather, they express potentialities or possibilities, rather than actually representing things or facts. Thus, he believes that energy vibrates at an infinite number of subtle frequencies that cause it to appear solid when it is actually not.
This plays very nicely with Far Eastern Thought worldview beliefs which assert that ultimate reality is an impersonal life force which expresses itself in different forms. This belief teaches that everything in the material universe is made up of this impersonal life force, but that the personal and material form that humans perceive is an illusion (not that it doesn’t exist, but that it is not what it appears to be).
As for Paltrow, she grew up in the home of a Jewish father and a Pennsylvania Dutch Quaker mom. But as an adult, she has repudiated any kind of traditional religious belief. In fact, in an interview with Woman’s Day Magazine, she said, “I don’t believe in religion. I believe in spirituality. Religion is the cause of all the problems in the world. I don’t believe in organised religion at all. It’s what separates people. One religion just represents fragments, it causes war. More people have died because of religious conflict than any other reason.” Later, she seems to have at least embraced her Jewish ancestry, though not the religious elements of it.
Truth be told, Paltrow is one confused lady. But this is not meant to be hard on her. Honestly, the categories of beliefs she holds are quite common. In fact, I would go so far as to say most people hold some combination of internally contradictory beliefs like she does, and don’t even realize it.
If we, as Christians, want to be able to effectively interact with people like this in order to have the ability to share Christ, we have to understand the worldview foundations their confused beliefs are based upon. It will take some deliberate effort, but is absolutely worth it in order to be more faithful to Christ.
(For insights about how to up your game regarding worldview knowledge, feel free to contact MarketFaith Ministries at firstname.lastname@example.org.)