The movie does not seek to make a particular psychological or spiritual point, but the subject matter is fascinating and the movie 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. 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 sense their intrusive presence and seek to defend their mental space by the fairly mundane means of guns and fists. Where the movie does move into the metaphysical is the way that dreamers increasingly question the nature of the real world. Is the waking state real or is it the dream state with all its creative potential?
The way in which it is possible for people to share each other’s dreams is not really explored. From a conscientiological perspective a ‘shared dream’ is never a dream, but a shared projection of consciousness. 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, out-of-body experience). Dreams are inter-neural events, and while we might be able to track them on CT-scans we cannot share them the same way we share going for a walk together. Projections of 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, so the real non-physical people in the 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 and our conditionings, beliefs and fantasies can influence our experience and distort our perception of the extraphysical reality in which we manifest. Just as some of the dreamers in Inception don’t realise that they are dreaming, so many of us don’t realise when we 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 we know that this is not really the case. 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 were planted there by others: our parents, our peer-group, our culture. From a multidimensional perspective it goes further. It is possible, and indeed common for non-physical consciousnesses to give us ideas that then appear to us to be ours. This can happen while we are projected at night; we may wake up with new insights without realising where they come from (this is why people often like to sleep on things). It can also happen while we are awake, as most of us are unaware of the non-physical people who surround us at all times and may “whisper something into our ear” (telepathically). Such implanted ideas can be negative, or intrusive. But they can also be positive or 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 can sow great seeds of inspiration.
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.