Inception; A Course in the Miraculous

there’s a hell of a good universe next door; let’s go —e.e. cummings

The new movie “Inception” is brilliant in several ways. First, the cinematography is gorgeous, the special effects, highly impressive and the plot line, the plot line is wild—a lucid dream within a lucid dream within . . . well, to the 3rd

degree—so that poor Mal, (Marion Cotillard), Cobb’s, (Leonardo DiCaprio) wife— or rather the projection of his deceased wife, doesn’t know anymore which reality is true, and believes an encounter with death will wake her up.  Cobb has a only a slightly stronger  grip on which dream they’re in and for how long, and the cast of characters who elect to participate in the shared dreaming do it splendidly as we admire their acuity to stay on mission. Of course, this seems all too fantabulous to believe, and though the film is breathtaking to watch, and an action fan, I am not . . .

I will yield to a “magical” premise, and this film delivers play for the imagination hook, line and sinker in all that is magical about our minds, our intentions, our wills.  Still, that’s not why it engaged me so intensely. I kept having this vibey thrill that writer/director Christopher Nolan may have downloaded from the collective unconscious of contemporary humanity in this day and age, time and place, the challenge that we’re all facing, that is, to understand that so-called “reality” is indeed not real. That we create it and can change it.

As A Course in Miracles fan-addict (no pun intended), I subscribe to the daily task of looking straight into the face of television, into the tragedies that spread and leak and draw us into instinctual empathy, rage and hand-wringing all over the planet, and remind myself that all this is a shared dream. Yes, even the physical pain may just be a phantom limb. I know, I know . . . I feel it believe me . . . but  . . .

If we are to believe the Course, (and I do) we are still in Eden only we see through the glass darkly. We have put on blinders and loped into the desert thinking ourselves cast out. And lo, that is what we experience, what we see around us. Our collective doom-trained minds heavy with a free-floating guilt we can’t name—do what any non-lucid dreamer does—create from projection.  We see the events of the world as if they were outside of our personal egos, when creating something better is all a matter of a shift in perspective. And for many of us longtime seekers who have found our answers in alchemy and ancient texts, obscure poetry, (Rumi, Lao-Tzu, Blake, Gibran ) as well as occult secrets and quantum science, that shift is occurring.

One of the primary lessons of A Course in Miracles instructs us “There is no world.”  Just as Cobb and Mal experience reality in the deep netherworlds of their subconscious minds, we are alarmed at each turn by our own projections. “Inception” is the nifty trick of implanting an idea in an unconscious dreamer’s mind that the dreamer will carry into reality. In the film the dream-schemers are all well aware that if they don’t lucidly perform the steps of their preconceived agenda, they will be stalked and pummeled by the images their fear and anger have evoked. Indeed Cobb’s shadowy figure, his Jungian dark anima, Mal, seeks to down him in her own black hole and she works as any clever, ego-alien shadow worth her salt, to manipulate him to believe what she believes is real.

So here we are, Don Quixotes all, swaying with our swords out ready to strike at the false extensions of our own repressed emotion. Welcome to the dream world. We have journeyed far from our source, forgotten that life is a game, and have, with our own source-power made this video so real we need an ingenious glitch in the matrix to shake us free.

Yet like The Force Himself or Herself, (most likely Itself) we are geniuses all. We are all different aspects of God. Fallen, deluded, confused, no doubt, but our true Source isn’t concerned that we blame him. We made this messy world when we chose to step out of Eden. Adam fell asleep, it says in Genesis. It doesn’t say he woke up.


Our job is to accept it all, stop judging, stop spinning the projections, and reset the Course (pun intended) aright. I believe we will. It’s time for a contagion of mutual inception—up and down the halls of time—let’s collectively wake up!  Whoever can see through fear will always be safe –Tao Te Ching. The kingdom of God is within you–Jesus.


  • By Richard Ryal, August 6, 2010 @ 11:18 pm

    I gain enormous inspiration, and maybe some helpful insight, from my dreams because no matter what I make of them, they demonstrate the creativity that flows through me. Whether the world is “real” may depend on which scenic overlook we’re using, but the flow of dreams, their process of self-renewal, leads me where the news of the day can’t take me. I say yes, cut me another slice when I shut my eyes for the evening.

  • By Dom Zuccone, August 7, 2010 @ 12:29 pm

    What a great blog! I enjoined your interpretation of “Inception” (which I think is probably the smartest movie made in the US in a longtime). It’s easy to start with a single premise of a dream within a dream within… Much more difficult to keep the dramatic tension believable for an audience for two hours…and with Leonardo DiCaprio at that.
    By ad campaign zietgiest I watched “Memento”, another Christopher Nolan film, the other night. He develops nonlinear plots quite inventively, although he substitutes novelistic tricks in place of narrative.
    Somehow I had a sense that the demographic mix he was appealing to wasn’t lucid dreamers…unless ticket purchasing a ticket at the metroplex qualifies as lucid dreaming. It was like nondenomination spiritualism with lots of random violence…a date movie “Medium meets Bourne” in an expensively well constructed film. It’s what they do best, create a world where anything can happen…which may be your point about consciousness, except that consciousness is of course conscious. when “Inception” comes to my cable I’ll probably be entertaining a bout of insomnia and one of the cats and I will drowse through on our respective paths to dreaming dreaming and I’ll report back then,
    You’re a wonder,Dom

  • By Kathy, August 14, 2010 @ 11:15 am

    Wow! I love your insightful ideas about the movie “Inception”. It does bend the mind and the lines between what is “real” and what isn’t. As I’ve been working with my dreams, I’ve found that line to be blurred…. and I love it. Dreams are one of the worlds untapped resources and so I was so excited to see a movie whose main theme was dreaming. I loved the movie but have to admit I will need to see it a few times to get it all. There was a little too much of the “action” (ie shooting, violence) for me but all in all I was thrilled by it.

  • By Deborah, August 15, 2010 @ 11:33 am

    Thank you all for your feedback! It’s nice to know the blog gets seen. I don’t think Nolan’s intention was for lucid dreamers either; he is more interested in fragmented narratives and weird mind tricks . . . but that said, I couldn’t help but put the Course’s spin on it. It is true that all the mystics have questioned our so-called reality as well.

Other Links to this Post

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

WordPress Themes