In August 2010, right after the movie Inception was released, I was immediately impressed with the symbolism and references to “ACIM concepts” and wrote this article: Inception and Forgiving the Dream We Made Up. I’ve seen the movie Inception at least 5 times now, most recently on the Inception DVD (which has some excellent documentary ‘bonus’ material), and more of the symbolism is evident with each viewing. Like many popular films, while not always offering the ‘solution’ to the tiny mad idea (the belief in separation), it does a superb job of detailing the insane logic of the ego’s thought system and the mechanisms by which we have chosen to deepen our dream identifications. We can use the “George Costanza” opposite method (grin) to use these insights to see our ego’s sabotage in action and undo it by applying the opposite thought system (to reach our true identity which is beyond opposites. 🙂
Yesterday, 28Aug2012, Kenneth Bok of ACIMexplained (who has a superb YouTube series on ACIM including an interview with me) sent me a link to an outstanding article by Michael Murray (which Kenneth helped with) on the movie Inception’s ACIM connections, and I was inspired to add a few more thoughts to complement this very insightful article. I’ve provided references to the video clips and paragraphs in the article by Murray and Bok, in case you want to refer to both at the same time.
Here are my commentary additions to complement the article “Inception and A Course in Miracles” by Michael Murray and Kenneth Bok.
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(From the first trailer): “The mind … is the scene of the crime.”
It’s also where our decision maker decides that the crime was a dream and chooses to wake up from that mis-interpretation by forgiving the deeply buried unconscious guilt, which surfaces as the ‘dream events’ in our seemingly individual lives.
Regarding the connection with Ariadne (the Inception character) and Ariadne (in Greek mythology); check out Ken Wapnick’s excellent audio: “The Golden Thread of Hope” where he uses the metaphor of the labyrinth (not unlike nested dreams) and the Minotaur (the ego’s monster of fear) at the deepest level of the labyrinth, and it’s dark thread that keeps us dreaming deeper, whereas our shared Teacher of Kindness (Ariadne’s golden thread) leads us gently out of our labyrinthine dreams.
dream we always end up in the middle of the dream.” and
ACIM: “… never remembering how the dream began.”
Inception: 29:38 – 30:55 & ACIM: Our upside-down perception usually revolves around reversing cause and effect; making the dream the cause of how we feel, instead of realizing that it is up to us to choose how we feel in every moment, which becomes part of the causal hologram of the dream fabric.
… The ego’s ‘totem’ is the uniquely different and separate ‘hero of the dream’ which maintains divisions and separate interests. Our Shared Totem make take different forms in the dream, but always relates to some aspect of kindness, forgiveness and undoing conflict that doesn’t exist in truth. We play different dream characters, but each seemingly individual script can be re-interpreted by our Shared Teacher of Kindness to reverse the destructive course of the dreams original prodigal purpose. Our ‘part’ is unique in either thought system, but there are 100% sane and 100% insane roles or interpretations each character in the dream may choose.
Self-attack and the folly of a split mind that needs defenses:
All attack is ultimately self-attack, but from within the dream it seems like defenses make sense. Only from outside the dream where all IS one, is attack, anger and blame-thrower vengeance heroics recognized as total insanity, regardless of how enthralling the special (love or hate) effects.
Inception: 47:33- 47:51 & ACIM:
Each of us are responsible for our own minds, and the power of our decision to choose a totally Inclusive thought system, or the insane alternative (which can only exist in dreams.) The impostor ego – which we have bought hook, line and sinker – has convinced us that we are the ‘who’ it has convinced us to believe in as our identity, yet beneath its raucous shrieks waits our peaceful Guide reminding us to ‘choose once again’ – truly our own original and inclusively sovereign thought – that we have never left Oneness. When we are guided from ACIM refers to as Holy Spirit, we are really being prompted by the more Inclusive Reality of our True Self. In either case, the ‘other’ thought system seems like a foreign idea infiltrator; only from Truth is there always eternal calm and lack of coercion.
… The only way we believe we can maintain (ego’s) pseudo-sanity is by projection, yet this is ever the seed of fear, believing that we can shift the responsibility for our experience on ‘outside agents’ that we appear to have no control over.
Inception: 49:15 – 49:20 & ACIM:
The more we realize that investing our identity in the dream is not going to make us happy, the more we see the sameness of all aspects of the dream, and that withdrawal of investment in specifics gives us the freedom to see the entirety of the dream with less and less bias, distortion and exclusion. We see the seeming enormity of our own ego’s insanity, yet realize that it is truly a colossal nothing, merely a tiny, mad idea.
Inception: 50:07- 50:19 & ACIM:
The guilt that drives us deeper into the dream of separation is well symbolized by the plot of Inception. As imaginary prodigals, we dream of the intrigue of splitting up what can never be separate, but have made a labyrinth of countless lifetimes and galactic diversions and divisions to maintain that horrific belief … which is really just a nightmare that forgiveness gently awakens us from. We’ve never left our true and happy home together with the Infinitely Inclusive family (as we must perceive it from a dualistic world) that all life here is but a shadow of.
Inception: 50:38-50:56 & ACIM:
Ken Wapnick talks about how the author of ACIM ‘tricks us’ by appealing to our base, selfish nature suggesting that we will feel better (positive) if we practice it’s lessons and learn to generalize it’s concepts. By addressing our minds where we think our identity is (egos), this curriculum works where it is needed, in the dream of the illusion of separate interests, until we realize that only shared interests bring changeless happiness.
Inception: 51:14 – 51:32 & ACIM:
Our authority problem is evident every time we choose to make one individual or group special either by special love or special hate; we believe we are usurping the ‘throne’ of the Whole Mind of God (which incurs guilt automatically) by wanting to have limited ‘love’ (which is the ultimate oxymoron 🙂 apart from our Creator, and even more silly, wage war on our special hates (which is what our special loves become all too quickly under the ego’s tyrannical rule; neither form of specialness can assuage the unconscious guilt the ego dreads is its ultimate demise.
In the (ACIM) LEVELS OF TIME diagram, I’m wondering if the reference in the vesically shaped overlap between “Heaven” and “Christ” refers to the Planck Time Constant? Years ago, a presentation I saw by Robynne McWayne (author of Radical Reality) shared that physics suggests that our (alleged) Universe winks out and reappears from scratch ‘stroboscopically’ about 10^44 times per second (1 with 44 zeroes after it.) Here’s the Wikipedia reference, which gives it more accurately as 5.39106(32) × 10-44 s.
Perhaps this, relative to our surreal dream, is how quickly the Tiny Mad Idea was corrected by our golden thread of forgiveness, and this opportunity to choose again re-presents itself as a choice in our mind 10^44 times per second. I sometimes joke that people who claim to not have enough opportunities to change their thinking squander 10^44 of them every second. 🙂
Presumably there is at least another level of dreaming (not shown in the diagram) to account for our current scientific belief that the universe is about 14 billion years old? (since the TMI = big bang?)
Inception: 1:00:41-1:00:43 & ACIM:
Our special loves (which become special hates and morph back and forth to hide from the scrutiny of a kind and open mind) cannot be held by the ego’s prison of memory. That’s why practicing quantum forgiveness to release ourselves and the images we hold about ‘others’ in our minds is so important to turn our nightmarish mental prisons into happy classrooms where specialness is re-interpreted by HS into inclusion that is not limited by time, space or particulars.
1st sleep & 1st dream:
It would seem that resistance is evidenced on all dualistic (dream) levels. Knowing that the fraudulent identity that we’ve invested everything with is not going to sit still while we pull the plug on it’s deception, we can practice being kind to ourselves – masquerading as others – until we realize there is no difference and the happiness kicks in to the extent that our resistance is no longer tolerable, knowing the painful payoff cannot be compared to the peace that transcends any dream games.
Inception: 1:13:40-1:13:53 & ACIM:
In Ken Wapnick’s “From Futility to Happiness” audio, he uses the analogy of the Greek legend of Sisyphus, forever pushing the boulder up the mountain, only to have it fall back and start over again; this is the limbo of reincarnation, and our daily, yearly, etc. cycles of struggle in a hopeless world that ego wants us to identify with. The instant we shift to the identity of the mind, we realize that we can observe our behavior as the Sisyphus archetype with compassion, and find the solace of shared interests, kindness and an All-Inclusive-Self forgiveness which makes the hopeless world of infinite loop monotony (despite the ego’s countless ‘new and improved’ façades) not only tolerable, but a joy to savor each classroom lesson of undoing the unconscious guilt and freeing all our inner slaves.
Inception: 1:14:35 – 1:14:50 & ACIM:
The ego’s emissaries in our mind never have a satisfactory answer or alternative to our true inheritance. We intuitively know that nothing in this dream world will every truly satisfy us, yet each moment of compassionate forgiveness that frees the cast in our dream stories liberates us and restores greater glimpses of our truly shared and infinite inheritance as Spirit.
Inception: 1:15:50 & ACIM:
The truth we had once known, but chose to forget was that we are a MIND, not prisoners in a dream of bodies, space and time and that we DO have the power of choice in every moment. The ego insanely drives us deeper into dreams of projection, blame and more labyrinthine levels of deception and scape-goating to avoid the most horrific concept that it can’t even imagine; that we would (and will) choose against it. From the ego’s perspective, this seems like suicide, as the Inception sequence portrays, yet, the only thing we’re really asked to give up is the suffering of interpretations based on the dream of separation! We’re really giving up a non-existent droplet dream in exchange for oceanic Oneness and unshakeable Peace. ACIM hints that our real Creations (as children of God) wait patiently for us; we’re so enthralled with our dream stories that we don’t have a clue as to what this really means, but fortunately we’re given a go-at-your-own-pace curriculum of forgiveness that presses the ‘undo button’ on ego’s script only as we agree to it. We have the free will that Star Trek’s “prime directive” of non-interference held in high esteem.
One of the many brilliant metaphors that the movie Inception conveys, is that it is our (dreamed) guilt which we’re afraid of. We (our separate egos) will go to any lengths to avoid looking at (because we know if we do it will disappear.) The help (of shared interests) to look at ego objectively (so that it vaporizes) is a pivotal concept that relies on our willingness to trust, knowing that we have taught ourselves badly in an isolated dream, divorced from the resources, insights and faculties that an Inclusive Awareness (by joining with our inner teacher of kindness) brings.
2nd Sleep & 2nd Dream:
It is a joyous ‘aha’ revelation to realize that all our special relationships are just dream shadows of the special relationship we’ve made with ego!
The deeper the dream, the more unstable, fearful, insane, and frenetic the diversions are to keep us from looking at our identity as a decision-making mind.
Inception:1:27:47-1:28:28 & ACIM:
Fleeing the mind is the ego’s ‘first line of defense’ by making up an entire dream cosmos, including our own ‘need machine’ bodies, that demand constant attention (distraction) so that the we’re identified with what’s on the dream screen instead of our power to choose which thought system we want to identify with as minds. The ego has us convinced that we need to pay total attention to its outer defense, which it erroneously believes will keep us from ever looking at the ‘inner shield of oblivion’ (the secret dream) of guilt over ‘killing god’ (the ego’s vulnerable and vengeful god, anyway.) The silly and laughable reality, like when Toto pulls back the curtain hiding the Wizard of Oz, is that we’re all truly innocent in reality, but the ‘special effects’ of our potent imaginations make the dream stories quite convincing and terrifying indeed (but only from within the ego’s distorted fantasy smokescreen.)
Inception: 1:42:56-1:43:25 & ACIM:
“The Forgotten Song” comes to mind; a spiritual nostalgia for true communion and homecoming that transcends words and any experience we could possibly have in the dream. This happy reminder (of our Total Oneness) is interpreted as fearful by egos. The ego strategy is often to divert our attention to another ‘false ladder’ home, convincing us that yet one more attempt to make the dream work will somehow succeed, like Tomas Vieira’s used car salesman metaphor that never gives up trying to con us into trying it’s specialness decoy and we keep falling for it… until we decide that there must be a better way.
Inception: 1:59:42-2:00:27 & ACIM:
We all know on even the deepest levels of dreaming, that this world is not real, yet our resistance to this idea goes all the way back to the original inception of dreaming, the original idea to be separate from All that Is.
Both the ego (despite it’s best attempts to convince us the contrary) and Holy Spirit know that this world isn’t real. The difference in their agendas boils down to two completely opposite strategies to dis-invest in this surreal dream; the ego would have us to leave by death (it’s own doom of fear, identified with dream bodies and their attending body-personas), whereas our Teacher of Kindness would have us forgive the dreamer of separation, and happily, gently, and with total lovingkindness, release the imaginary walls of our droplet dream and return to the ocean of Oneness we never left.