The Deeper Meaning of The Movie ‘Inception’

From the moment I first saw the movie Inception, I was absolutely riveted.  It struck a cord that seemed to ring true in so many subtle ways, much like the movie The Matrix did.  It has that same premise of reality not really being real.  Reality is portrayed as a kind of dream like state in both movies.  This portrayal of reality as being only a dream resonates with people at such a deep level, because deep down, I think we all suspect this is may actually be the truth.

Truth has a way of banging on our subconscious no matter how deeply we cling to beliefs that run contrary to the truth.  When truth is portrayed as fantasy, it allows us to accept the message without our egos getting in the way.  If I was to tell you a story about a fantasy kingdom where the king didn’t tax his subjects, but rather accepted donations for preforming services such as adjudicating disputes and providing protection, you might say that’s a fine story.  However, if I were to say taxation is theft, the ego, and all the fears associated with it, would block many of you from hearing the same message.

Who would protect us!? What if people couldn’t afford protection!? What if old people didn’t save and have no family, who will take care of them!?  Who will stop the terrorists!?  Who will save us from shoddy meat products!? – and so on and so forth.  As if those things simply couldn’t be managed through voluntary non-violent transactions. Who would pick the cotton if there were no slaves!?

It’s fine to have truth in fantasy, but the ego will not allow for it in reality.  A recent study by Yale law school professor Dan Kahan notes that people become incapable of calculating rational conclusions based on the data provided if those conclusions run counter to their preconceived political beliefs.  This is the same as saying people become incapable of adding 2+2=4 if the conclusion disturbs their ego or raises fears in some way.  This phenomena also pertains to scientists, who theorize about consciousness and climate change, and whose jobs depend upon presupposed outcomes. No one is going to rock the boat if it means getting fired or losing funding.

Here’s a fantasy story about the truth. Let’s say we live in a world made entirely out of blue Lego blocks.  No matter how I ask you to arrange those Lego blocks, would you ever be able to build me a red object?  Of course, the answer is no.  Now here’s the unmitigated truth.  Now let’s say we live in this physical universe of matter.  No matter how I ask you to arrange that inanimate matter, would you ever be able to build me a conscious thinking and feeling machine?  If matter is unconscious, it can never be made conscious through some configuration.  This is called the problem of strong emergence.

It could be argued that matter is itself conscious, which would then allow for the creation of conscious objects.  As in our blue Lego land, if red Legos existed, a red object could then be constructed.  However, in a world made up of unconscious matter, the downward causation necessary to create a conscious entity creates a chicken or the egg paradox of which came first, matter or consciousness?  Of course, if matter is itself conscious, then that is the same as saying matter is made of consciousness.

Quantum mechanics says consciousness either came first (free will) or consciousness is an illusion (there is no free will).  If you don’t think you’re really thinking right now, raise your hand.

Inception is bringing you the unmitigated truth about reality.  Time is illusory, reality isn’t made up of anything more than the energy of conscious thought and when we die, the dream we have created for ourselves will come to an end.  When we die, we wake up to what is real.  The thing is, we must not like reality all that much, otherwise we wouldn’t be here now.

If there is no time, there are no surprises.  All futures that are perfectly known are pasts.  There can be no surprises or excitement.  There is nothing to look forward to without a future that is uncertain. The word hope becomes meaningless in a place without time.  Hope for what?  Something that you already know to be true?

Here’s some more unmitigated truth.  You live for deceiving yourself.  That’s the reason you are alive.

The deception is fear, created by the ego, for a few differing purposes.  In world where everything is white, it is impossible to know what white is.  As the story goes, a fish and a dolphin are talking about the ocean, and the dolphin mentions that he really likes the water today, and the fish asks, “what’s water?”  This universe is a universe of polarities because polarity is necessary for experience.

The other is to entertain, not in the happy sense, but in the distraction from boredom sense. It may be boring to spend years in a jail cell, but try spending eternity in a place without a future, where every thing and every event is already known to you.

And the last is to bring knowledge about the self into existence.  Experience (polarity) must take place for knowledge to be increased.  You are finding out what makes you, you.  And through that, God is finding out what makes God, God.  – Or if you’re an atheist, what makes consciousness, consciousness.

Reality is a game of sorts.  Those of us who are happy and fulfilled are playing the game on easy mode.    Those of us who are unhappy and the least fulfilled are playing the game on hard mode.  Notice I didn’t mention wealth.  I’d take the life of a broke stoner with in an epic relationship who has no worries or cares over the life of a billionaire entrepreneur who works so hard and has so many responsibilities he can’t even enjoy the wealth he’s earned.  The wealth it takes to live a comfortable life is fairly minimal.  Studies suggest people in the middle ages only worked two thirds of the year.

How much worry, fear, happiness and fulfillment you have is a choice.  However, it is the job of the ego to keep you from playing the game on easy mode.  It’s rather difficult to change the playing mode once you’ve committed to the game.  Many of us end up throwing down the controller and walking away in frustration.  We call that suicide – something Inception also portrayed.


  • Semi-Aquatic Anthropoids

    Have you ever considered that maybe the reason we are understanding the world(I.E. Science, Religion, Politics, Philosophy) as consciousness is because our perception of the “Truth” “Real Reality” “Outside” is confined to a consciousness,thus the only way we can interpret the worlds happenings is through consciousness. The mind is confined to the mind, if you will. This maybe the reason we are calculating in our magics that there is no difference between matter and consciousness, for simply the reason that the only thing we can really see is the self-within the self, not the actual exterior world. If our minds may only interpret 1% of all light, then who is to say that the complexity of all those different waves doesn’t create a figure entirely different from the one we Semi-Aquatic Anthropoids have seen(I.E. Experienced). I suppose then there is no real objective way to calculate the happenings of the objective reality, since we are consciousness(or experience as a Mr. Jimi Hendrix likes to put it) we(as in you I and everybody else) are truly subjective, then there is no way to experience objectivity unless! You know the truth. Then what is the truth? Well, the truth is very simple and it is a list of occurrences, stretching from the beginning of time to the end of it and whom ever has this list, may do with it is as they please I suppose.

  • Scott Gaff

    Yes, we re all part of Vishnu’s dream. Or is it Sophia’s? Maybe Ain Sof?

  • Mike Ellis

    Reality, as we experience it, is momentary. Only the present moment is real, as far as perception goes. What most people think of as ‘Reality’ is our memories of the past and our expectation of the future, neither of which exist, except in our imaginations. This is why so many people resonate with the belief that reality is a dream or dreamlike, because in truth most people pay little attention to the present moment of awareness and are either thinking about the past or the future, which as I said before are imaginary and hence very dream-like.

    Now, some say that even our sensory based awareness of the present is an illusion and strictly speaking that is a correct statement. Because of how our brains create our perception of the world, there is no way for us to directly experience physical reality. Our brains create a simulation based on the data coming in from our sensory organs. So the truth is that even when our awareness is focused on what is most genuinely ‘real’, it is still an awareness of a reality that is constructed by our brains. But as least when we focus our attention on the present moment, be are less likely to suffer the negative emotions that tend to be the byproduct of focusing on the imaginary projections of past and future.

    • Dave Cochrane

      Brilliant, Einstein. Yawn. Why not check out the physics of space-time. You might be surprised how fascinating and weird physical reality, as opposed to Hollywood, really is. And quit spouting obvious ramblings such as the fact that we experience everything through our brains. (Well I never.)

      By the way, there are indeed people who always focus their attention on the “present moment” – or at least just the last few seconds or minutes – (after all, you didn’t quantify it; did you mean the current nanosecond?). These people are severely brain damaged. I hear it’s actually not a good emotional state to be in.

      • ozlanthos

        It’s all well and good to have that perception now, but at the time Alan Watts gave that talk, the internet was little more than a direct telecommunications network between military bases, a few companies, and a few colleges. Back then these memes, and concepts as these were things spoken of by academics, and philosophers. As I have a stong suspicion you are neither in a classical or vocational sense, for you to be able to gloss over it, and kind of shake it off as a casual “so-what” now, gives you an idea of how far the human race has in fact traveled conceptually within the last 30 or so years…


  • binra

    There is a movement of thought that sees our times as the re-wakening of Consciousness to its nature – in terms of consciousness rather than in terms of a segregated physical mentality. “One that faces all aspects of itself. One that does not function with the idea of outer aware consciousness, unconsciousness, and subconsciousness; but is simply one consciousness”. (Bashar – The New Metaphysics). Bashar also reflects that out refusal to own and integrate our fears reflects as our government, religion, society etc.

    Note that the splitting of consciousness is a tool of the practice of ‘mind-control’. Not least because such ‘split consciousness’ is already operating as the manipulators negatively aligned sense of power-hunger.

    Original Spirituality was/is simply innate – we are simply integral. But the mentality of a negatively defined fearful imagination is perhaps part of the power to ‘forget’.

    The re-dawning of Unified integrated Consciousness to the de-constructed mentality of ‘forgetting’ has long had periodic exemplars (who are inevitably persecuted or made special so as not to serve as example). But there is a global disintegration of the power to ‘forget’ occurring – such as to be come more and more aware of the consciousness beneath appearances, on every aspect of every level of what we identify and to some extend share as human existence.

    To consider Eternity as timeless and Infinite – allows no less infinite consciousness to experience Itself via the free appreciation of a selection or focus of ‘creation’ of its own extensions of Consciousness.

    The ‘physical’ experience is a facet of such exploration. But to the mentality that such experience gives rise to, It can seem that there is nothing else – hence the human conditioning.

  • PacificSage

    Hey Michael:

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    What a ‘libertarian’ tool. Didn’t bother to read the article. Couldn’t resist to point out the obvious, though. Back to Google search results….

    • OK? I’m not sure what that has to do with anything?

      If my friends and I get together and draw up a document that says we have the authority to rob you because there are more of us in favor of it, does that make it legitimate?

      • Max

        Thank you sir, for possibly the most inspiring serve i’ve seen to date. Sarcasm to the sheep will prevail.