I recently saw the movie Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio and I highly recommend it and I’d also suggest you go see it with a clear head since it can easily play mental kung fu with you. It is movies like this and Avatar that are subtlety exposing the general public to the possibilities of other realities beside what we consider to be our reality right here on this big blue planet. In the spiritual science of anthroposophy as taught by Rudolf Steiner, he lectures about “higher worlds” which are the Soul and Spirit worlds that are beyond what the physical senses can perceive. What we are accustomed to in our everyday lives is what is visible and these higher worlds are considered the invisible. In Inception, the story involves the concept of lucid dreaming where DiCaprio’s character, Cob, is an “extractor” who gets into people’s dreams and steals information from them. Cob is then involved in a situation where rather than stealing info he gets to actually implant an idea, like a seed, into a person’s psyche which has such great implications that he is initially hesitant because of the possible dangers.
When we dream, our Soul goes off into these higher worlds and through dreaming our Soul has an opportunity to communicate to us anything important that we may be missing in our awakened, conscious state. Some of the greatest minds in Human history came up with their greatest achievements while dreaming. The dream state can be considered a parallel universe, or reality, that is invisible. The higher worlds are invisible to us for good reason and that would be because it would most likely scare the living shit out of you if the veil was removed and you had no preparation or training to be aware of the expansiveness and power that’s hidden beneath. Other cases, such as with psychedelic drug use, these higher worlds can be so alluring and blissful that a person can begin confusing realities and become lost. There are countless stories where the dangers of a misguided journey to the higher worlds can lead to physical death or even demonic possession (yes, this does exist). The good news is that our ignorance to these worlds is sort of like our protection until we earn our “wings” and break through the veil with our own will. And it is also through our pain and suffering that we are protected until we grow and learn from these experiences that help us become more enlightened to the darkness of the invisible worlds. So be grateful for any pain or suffering you experience because they are the leash that tethers us from flying away before we learn how to fly on our own and they help us make sense of our reality here in this lifetime. If we don’t cope and grow from the pain and suffering, we typically end up over-medicated or sent to the “looney bin” mental institution for more “zombie” medication.
In ancient times, those who felt called to know more about the Soul/Spirit worlds were called “Initiates” and were trained in “Mystery” schools. In modern times, the Mystery schools have disappeared (or at least placed under the radar only for those who have been called to seek them) and have been replaced by materialism. Teachings such as Steiner’s and the works of anthroposophy shed some light for those called on the unmarked path for the Holy Grail. In Inception, Cob’s wife, Ma, believes that the dream world is the real reality and the awakened, conscious state is the dream (or “fake” world) and she chooses the dream world by committing suicide in the awakened, conscious state only to lose her physical body in this lifetime. This reminds me of those old news stories of mass suicides by cult members enticed by a guru to leave this world with promises of salvation into another.
Spoiler Alert – For those who haven’t seen Inception yet and want to, please do not read any further and then come back to this point after you’ve seen it.
There is a bit of controversy at the end of the movie where the audience is left with the question of whether or not Cob was still dreaming when he was reunited with his kids. The scene is where he spins his top (a totem he uses to distinguish between the dreaming state and the conscious, awakened state where if the top continues spinning, he’s dreaming and if it stops spinning, he’s awake) and then is distracted by the greeting of his kids who he hasn’t seen in awhile and the audience is left with the top spinning but suddenly starts to falter as the screen fades to black as the final scene of the movie. Was it real or was it a dream? One can wrap their mind around this several ways or may even watch the movie several times to figure this out. Did the director do this to indicate a possible sequel? We really can not know and only the director knows; but I offer another perspective: maybe it doesn’t really matter whether or not it was real or a dream. Maybe the important thing to understand is that Cob was reunited with his children and is no longer held captive by his feelings of guilt towards his wife’s death and it was his will through choice that this happened. Whether it was real or a dream, it was his choice to be happy and free in that last scene. Any debate of real or not real is an anchor to the world of duality, or opposites, where there is always a separation where one chooses sides and moves away from Unity and Understanding. Maybe the director has planted a seed within the audience, an act of inception, an idea that other realities do exist beyond what we believe to be our current reality and that ultimately we have a choice whether or not to explore the many possibilities. Maybe the seed is to help us understand that it is not about choosing one world over the other but to learn the best of all worlds and grow from there. What’s going on at the surface of the Ocean is no indication of what’s going on at the Ocean floor unless one has the Courage to go deeper and find out for themselves. That, my friend, is the take-Home message.....
cool stuff sir. I also really enjoyed the movie. I visited some of the message boards and it was wild how many different interpretations people are coming up with.
Did you ever read any of the Castaneda books about other realities?
Hey Ian, I actually have never read any of Castaneda's books but my wife has read a few and said after the movie that it reminded her of what she read. I sense I may be reading some of his works soon.....
This was a great morning read for me. Really got me thinking about different states of consciousness. When I am actually dreaming, sometimes it seems so real at the time until I wake up, other times I know I am dreaming because something is so off in the dream as to where I recognize that in reality this would be impossible (like the character in the first scene, when he touches the carpet). Going to ponder more about this topic.
Quote: "In Inception, Cob’s wife, Ma, believes that the dream world is the real reality and the awakened, conscious state is the dream (or “fake” world) and she chooses the dream world by committing suicide in the awakened"
Mal didn't commit suicide in an attempt to return to the dream world. She committed suicide because Cobb had planted the idea in her mind that her reality wasn't real. She committed suicide because she believed she was still in the dream world and wanted to wake up. This is pretty explicit in the film and the entire basis for Cobb's guilt towards her death.
Quote: "but I offer another perspective: maybe it doesn’t really matter whether or not it was real or a dream."
That's neither and interpretation nor "another perspective". It's the basic message/morale of the film. Again, this is very explicit stuff in the film. I'm afraid your "interpretation" seems nothing more than misunderstandings and/or the basic explicit plot as told in the film itself.
Anonymous: Thank you for your comment and I invite you to re-read my post, especially the last paragraph, and please share what ever insights you may have. Sometimes when we get too preoccupied with details we can miss the greater meaning of an experience and your comments reveal your opinions and perspective of the film. Not once did I refer nor offer "my interpretation" of the storyline and what I did offer was another perspective, not necessarily my own, but another not as common perspective to create some awareness of a possible deeper, esoteric message that is different and not-so-obvious to the average viewer. In other words, I was planting seeds of inception, or ideas, of Knowledge of Higher Worlds/Realities, and could care less of the exact "explicit" message of the movie, which btw, only the writer or director of the film could ever really know what their intention behind the story is; anything else is others' opinions which are all based upon their own beliefs and past experiences. We can never truly know what another person is thinking and at best can only guess. Arguing which opinion is right or wrong distracts one from deeper messages/meanings and creates separation rather than unity and Understanding. I do not disagree with your comment and merely intend to point out the narrow focus in which it reveals. In other words, Dude, didn't you read the whole post?
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