I just went to see the biggest movie in America, Warner Bros.’ Leonardo DiCaprio summer smash, Inception. Surprisingly it really revived, for me at least, the notion that Hollywood can still make truly interesting, challenging films — one of the first since The Matrix. Lucid Dreaming is generally relegated to New Age backwaters with most people probably unaware even of the term, let alone what it refers to, but director Christopher “Batman” Nolan has changed that in no uncertain terms.
Inception raises many fascinating questions that experienced lucid dreamers (those who become consciously aware of dreaming while in the dream state) have wrestled with for decades:
- If you become consciously aware of dreaming, can you lucidly enter another’s dream, or bring them into your dream?
- If they share unknown information with you, would this provide evidence for a shared or mutual dream?
- And if that information proves to be valid, what does that say about the nature of reality?
- Do dreaming minds have access to an individual or collective unconscious where they share information?
The plot of Inception portrays a talented lucid dreamer, who brings unsuspecting dreamers into a mutual dream environment and then “extracts” information from his or her subconscious. The lucid dreamers in Inception rely on a special machine, PASIV and a special drug, Somnacin, to achieve a stable lucid dream realm and enact their underhanded (or under-minded) deeds.
Inception’s basic premise resonates with many experienced lucid dreamers who have empirically investigated these questions of gathering information and interacting in an apparent shared or mutual dream. Though complex, the simple answer to the above questions appears to be “Yes. Lucid dreamers have provided numerous instances of acquiring unknown information while consciously aware in the dream state.”
In the movie’s dialogue, Cobb (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) explains the three stage approach to ensnaring another’s subconscious information while lucid dreaming. “We create the world of the dream,” Cobb tells his understudy. After creating a stable lucid dream, “We bring the subject into the dream.” Next comes the finale, “And they fill it with their secrets.”…
[continues at Reality Sandwich]