Saturday, May 7, 2011

Movie Review: Inception

by Kim McCaul



The blockbuster movie Inception combines breathtaking and highly innovative action with a complex psychological plot.  Its focus is a team of ‘oneiric mercenaries’ who specialise in entering people’s subconscious through ‘joint dreaming’ for the purpose of stealing valuable information – an advanced form of industrial espionage. This mental theft is called ‘extraction.’  Soon they are given a task most think is impossible. Rather than extract information from a subject’s mind, they are to ‘plant’ an idea that will lead to a particular business decision. This form of mental manipulation is what’s called ‘inception.’ 

The movie does not seek to make a particular psychological or spiritual point, but it touches on many issues relevant to both psychology and spirituality.  At one level, the approach of the film is purely materialistic.  Dreams are the creations of people’s subconscious, and the many people who inhabit the places visited on dream journeys are merely ‘projections’ of the dreamers mind.  In other words, they are not real, independent consciousnesses. This is good because they get slaughtered in large numbers.  As the inceptors try and crack their target’s subconscious, the ‘projections’ function as a form of mental self-defence.  As they sense the intrusive presence of the inceptors they seek to defend their mental space by the fairly mundane means of weapons, guns and fists.  Where the movie does move into the metaphysical arena, is the manner in which dreamers increasingly question the essential nature of the real world. Is it the waking state that is real or is it the dream state with all its creative potential? 

The film does not really explore or explain the technical manner in which it is possible for people to share each other’s dreams. From a conscientiological perspective a ‘shared dream’ is never a dream, but a shared projection by 2 or more consciousnesses.  Projection here of course, does not have the psychological meaning it has in Inception, but refers to consciousness projecting out of the physical body in another, more subtle body (also known as astral projection, or out-of-body experience).  Dreams are inter-neural events, and while we might be able to track the cerebral activity they produce on CT-scans, we cannot share them the same way we share going for a walk together. Projections of the consciousness can be shared in just that way.  They are extracorporeal events that take to us to non-physical dimensions, populated by real, non-physical people. Interestingly, there are numerous parallels between the dream experiences of the characters in Inception and the extraphysical experiences of consciousness. 

Just like the people representing subconscious ‘projections’ in the movie, the real non-physical people in extraphysical dimensions may sense the difference of the person who is having an out-of-body experience and become curious about them.  And just as the dreamers in the movie have the ability to create the dreamscape, and sometimes involuntarily introduce unresolved psychological issues, so when we are projected outside the body our thoughts can turn into tangible creations (morphothosenes also known as ‘thought forms’) and our conditionings, beliefs and fantasies can influence our experience and distort our perception of the extraphysical reality in which we may be manifesting.  Just as some of the dreamers in Inception don’t realise that they are dreaming, most people, most of the time, don’t realise when they are projected. 

A key premise of the movie is that inception, the planting of an idea in someone’s mind, is a highly difficult undertaking.  Yet, in our everyday reality this actually takes place more often than we realise.  From a purely physical and psychological perspective there is an extensive literature on propaganda, advertising and brain-washing.  Many of the ideas we might most closely identify with as our own, may in fact have been planted there by others: our parents, our peer-group, our culture.  From a multidimensional perspective it goes even further. It is possible, and indeed common, for non-physical people (extraphysical consciousnesses) to give us ideas that then appear to us to be our own.  This can happen while we are projected at night; we may wake up with new insights without realising where they come from (this may be why people often like to ‘sleep on things’).  It can also happen while we are awake; most of us are unaware of the non-physical consciousnesses who surround us at all times and may ‘whisper something into our ear’ (telepathically). Such implanted ideas can be negative and intrusive; but they can also be positive and assistential, such as when a depressed person suddenly glimpses a new mental vista of possibility and future that removes the haze of depression and instils new hope and optimism. ‘Helpers’ (serene, mature, developed, lucid non-physical people) can sow great seeds of inspiration and evolutionary productivity.

I thoroughly enjoyed Inception, but the real world of multidimensional consciousness is much more elaborate and complex than that of the dreamscapes portrayed in the movie and yet awaits a film maker to truly tackle it in depth.  

Kim McCaul is a volunteer instructor with the IAC based in Adelaide, Australia. He has been studying conscientiology since 1997.  Kim is an anthropologist who works in the applied area of Australian Aboriginal affairs.