OWL Magazine Korea

Kim Sang-woon’s “Watching: The Magic Controlled by God”

“Watching: The Magic Controlled by God” is a book published in the 2010s. Upon its release, the book gained considerable popularity and rose to the ranks of bestsellers.

In fact, while reading the book, I couldn’t help but feel that it differed significantly from the scientific knowledge I was familiar with. Upon revisiting the content later, many people concluded that this book contains “pseudoscience.”

“A self-help book that packages non-scientific content as science”

If I were to summarize this book in one word, it would be a “self-help book that packages non-scientific content as science.”

Dr. Wolf, quoted in the book, is introduced as one of the world’s top scientists, but he is actually considered a leading figure in “New Age Science,” a form of pseudoscience.

While one might expect a world-renowned scientist to have significant research achievements, until 1971, he seemed to engage in legitimate scientific research. However, from then until 1987, he is believed to have studied other forms of pseudoscience.

Many experiments quoted in the book and the conclusions drawn in “Watching” often diverge from reality, and there are cases where pseudoscientific experiments are cited.

“The Kirlian Photography and Energy Field Imaging Device”

In “Watching,” it is claimed that with an energy field imaging device, our emotions can be captured in photographs, and the shape and color of the energy field change depending on emotions and health.

However, this phenomenon, discovered by Russian electrician Semyon Davidovich Kirlian in 1939, refers to the faint luminescence observed when high-frequency, high-voltage electricity is applied to a subject. The term refers to the photographic technique developed that year.

“Water Knows the Answer”

In the quoted phrase “Water Knows the Answer,” it is claimed that crystals of water and malt react differently depending on how we speak to them. Water responding to kind words forms beautiful crystals, while malt, when exposed to harsh or negative words, forms irregular shapes and emits a foul odor.

However, this concept is borrowed from the book “Messages from Water” published in Japan in 2001 and translated into Korean in 2002.

“The Double-Slit Experiment and Quantum Mechanics”

The book also introduces experiments on the double-slit and quantum mechanics, arriving at completely different conclusions about the “Observer Effect.” This is used as evidence to make bizarre claims.

The book argues that the observer effect results from a simple difference in perspective on who one perceives oneself to be. Therefore, even if two people were to learn the same instrument, those who envision themselves playing music for a lifetime would exhibit more talent, regardless of the actual practice time.

This phenomenon is claimed to extend beyond humans, as evidenced by an experiment where water was held by individuals with different beliefs, resulting in different plant growth rates.

It is even claimed that communication occurs through letters. In an experiment where glass bottles containing rice were labeled with positive or negative words, after a month, rice in bottles labeled with positive words remained preserved, while rice in bottles labeled with negative words spoiled.

The book attributes these phenomena to “microparticles” involved in the observer effect, suggesting that these particles respond to the observer’s thoughts, manifesting as either particles or waves.

However, these claims do not accurately convey the principles behind the double-slit experiment and the observer effect.

The observer effect suggests that while unobserved, particles exist probabilistically everywhere, appearing as waves. However, upon observation, they behave deterministically, flying in straight lines. The randomness is due to the moment-to-moment overlapping of 100% probabilities of particles, not influenced by the observer’s thoughts.

“A book presenting various pseudoscientific contents as examples”

Continuously, the book uses such content as a basis to argue that “human thoughts are important.”

While the core message of the book is to encourage positive thinking and positivity, it would have been better if the book had presented different examples rather than applying the pseudoscientific concepts it introduces.

Books containing such “pseudoscience” can confuse readers and distort their understanding of science.

Nevertheless, despite its lack of credibility, one can grasp the core message of the book. Ultimately, it aims to emphasize the importance of “the power of positivity” and “the power of thought.” While the core message is commendable, the book’s delivery falls short.

Einstein’s thoughts are mentioned in the book:

  • “The body is merely a shell in which the soul temporarily resides, borrowing it briefly from the earth and returning it.
  • The soul has always existed and will continue to exist forever.”

While the credibility of this message is questionable, one can still discern what the book aims to convey.

Let’s strive to maintain a positive mindset in all situations.


“Watching: The Magic Controlled by God”