What an incredible movie! It’s gotten to the point that I discuss it as a matter of course with just about anybody who might care and a lot of people who don’t care at all.
I think what makes it so irresistable to me is the idea of dream versus reality and how one tells the difference between the two. Without giving too much away, the movie is all about the concept that someone can plant ideas in another person’s mind while they are asleep. Basically, the person performing inception must share a dream with the subject, and become the architect of the subject’s dream. In the process of perfecting this technique, one of the main characters appears to lose the ability to distinguish the real world from the dream world, and that is where the movie finds much of its intrigue and its emotional core.
This is an idea that really excites me, and it has proven to be really fertile imaginative ground for me. Lately, I’ve been on a philosophy kick for the sake of my own faith and for the sake of the philosophy discussion group I have joined with another man from my church at College of DuPage. I’ve read deeply and done much thinking on my own. I just finished a review of a book by Peter Hitchens (The Rage Against God) about how societies draw their morality from God, written in response to the new wave of atheists who are vocally anti-God.
So much of our lives hinge on being able to distinguish what is real and true from what is imaginary and false. And so often we are hopelessly blind. Often times we actively suppress the truth (Romans 1) and other times, we quite innocently build our houses on sand that spills out from under the foundations we’ve built.
Inception gave me an incredibly entertaining look into my own mind and its ability to fool itself. Another book I picked up recently called Blink by Malcolm Gladwell was all about the premise that perhaps our subconscious is actually better at making some kinds of decisions than our conscious mind is.
I am naturally an emotional guy, but that impulse has not served me well in the past, so I have very meticulously striven to rein in my emotions with a hardy dose of reason. I’m starting to believe that emotions have their place in discovering truth. Logic only goes so far before it runs into the barrier of the numinous, mystical, or miraculous. How do humans seem to be able to think about thinking with an organ called the brain that somehow doesn’t fully explain the mind?
In the end, truth is relational.