Inception: Who’s Controlling Your Mind?
By Laurel Clark
What is this movie about, anyway? Dreams? Thought projection? Resolving unfinished business? Control?
All of this, and more!
It is a complex portrayal of what happens when a group decides to dream together. It is definitely a movie, and many of its plot lines and visuals seem to be pure entertainment (for those who are entertained by explosions and gunfire!) At the same time, I was intrigued to see the writers depict some truths about the mind.
In my view, this movie is more about thought form projection than about dreams. The dream is the place, the scene. The subject matter, the plot itself, seemed to be about mind control. Who controls whose mind? What happens when our own thoughts and emotions are out of control? Is it possible to manipulate someone else’s mind or is it only our own unconscious stuff that manipulates us?
The dream space and experience, for many of us who pay attention to dreams, was too harsh … not dreamy enough! Nevertheless, some of the details were interesting… the “kick” to indicate the jolt of falling awake, incorporating sensations in physical waking reality into the dream, like the water in the bathtub producing a flood in the dream. Most of us have had these experiences in the dreamtime.
More intriguing to me was the story about how one person can suggest a thought in a way that another person will receive it. Dom, who has experience with “inception” teaches us the principles:
The seed thought has to be fully formed for it to “take” in the mind of the receiver. Once one receives it, he or she can’t get it out, and it grows, both while the person is dreaming and once awake. It has to harmonize with his own thinking; in other words, the receiver needs to be inspired. It must seem to him that he originated the idea or else it will seem like a foreign idea and he’ll resist or get defensive. In the dream world, his “projections” start to stare, and then become hostile because they know that something or someone is intruding.
I’ve heard people discuss their fears after seeing this movie. They are afraid that someone might be able to plant an idea in another person’s mind. But, don’t we experience that every day, with advertising? Don’t many people listen to music with lyrics that “they can’t get out of their head”? The key to alleviating the fear in all of this comes when Dom counsels the dream inceptors to choose a positive thought form. The idea has to strike the dreamer’s emotions, and, he says, “Positive emotion always trumps negative.”
Perhaps it doesn’t make for great entertainment, but think of the potential for humanity if we could harness this ability to implant positive and desirable thought forms that are stronger and more resilient than negative ones. Thoughts like living in a peaceful world, everyone on the planet practicing the Golden Rule, harmonizing with nature. What if we chose to dream together to live according to common values? Is this a waking dream or something we can dream into physical, waking reality?
Upon seeing the film a second time, I am of the opinion that the movie’s primary theme is reality. What is reality? Is physical, waking reality the true reality or is the dream world the true reality? What happens when we have unresolved emotional business? It becomes our reality … breaking into our dreams, our present relationships, and our state of mind whether awake or asleep. It interferes with our own and other people’s existence.
Learning how to understand and learn from our dreams can aid us to understand our waking reality, and vice versa. So in which world are we the most awake?
These are questions that stimulate people to explore the dream world. At one point, the dream architect Ariadne describes forming the landscape of the dream world as “pure creation.” Once she has a taste, she can’t stay away from it. Dom and Mal got addicted to the “high” of pure creation, and became lost there. Is this possible? Can we really get lost in this world of the subconscious?
Yes, we can … but we don’t have to. Just as the Ariadne of mythology led Theseus to the opening of the maze once he had defeated the Minotaur, so Inception’s Ariadne helps Dom face and defeat the monsters in his unconscious, so that he can open the door to embrace physical, waking reality. He can be more lucid when awake because he has become more lucid in his dreams!
Myth? Entertainment? Yes, and also one of the ways that our dreams can aid us to live in light.
Laurel Clark, D.M., D.D. is the President of the School of Metaphysics. She has been studying and teaching metaphysics since 1979, including visualization, intuitive development, telepathy, and dreams. She is the author of The Law of Attraction and Other Secrets of Visualization, Dharma: Your Soul’s Purpose, and Karmic Healing.