In the labyrinth of the mind


“What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient… highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed – fully understood – that sticks; right in there somewhere”

.–Dominic Cobb

Last night I had the opportunity to finally see the movie Inception. I had this movie lying around in my, “to view later”, collection on a  flash drive that i ended up losing. So getting the chance to view it, I jumped on that opportunity. Inception is the brain child of Christopher Nolan of the Dark Knight Trilogy who also directed the movie.  According to legend, Nolan was said to have taken 10 years to conceive, write and tinker with before it was finally turned into a movie.  Inception is a slick, piece of storytelling, where you get the feeling of landing in the middle of a story, with no beginning, nor end, and you are half way into it before it all started to make sense. And what a sense it made. As someone intrigued by the workings of the mind, I immediately took a liking to the subject matter of the movie. This is a movie with deep, deep meaning and symbolisms that has to be seen more than once to fully grasp what is being expressed.

The word inception…is pretty banal and simply means, “The establishment or starting point of an institution or activity”. Similar words to inception includes; beginning, commencement, start, birth, dawn, genesis, origin, outset. And it can be used in a sentence thusly. The modern kneegrow has been a continuous victims of a brutal ethnic war with white pathology, ever since the inception of European imperialism and colonialism of Afrika.

The movie is all about the process of fighting our way through enveloping sheets of reality and dream, reality within dreams, dreams without reality.  The movie explains to us that, we can never even be quite sure what the relationship between dream time and real time is. The hero explains that you can never remember the beginning of a dream, and that dreams that seem to cover hours may only last a short time. And you don’t know that when you’re dreaming. Now what if you’re inside another man’s dream? How does your dream time synch with his? What do you really know?  Dominic Cobb , played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is a corporate raider of the highest order. He infiltrates the minds of other men to steal (extract) their ideas. He is hired by a powerful billionaire to do the opposite: To introduce an idea into a rival’s mind, and do it so well he believes it is his own. This has never been done before; our minds are as alert to foreign ideas as our immune system is to pathogens. A rich man, named Saito, played by Ken Watanabe, makes him an offer he can’t refuse, an offer that would end Cobb’s forced exile from home and family.

In the movie, Cobb has to find an architect to create spaces for the dream state, which he will operate in. Why does Cobb need an architect to create spaces in dreams? Dreams have a shifting architecture, as we all know; where we seem to be has a way of shifting. Cobb’s assignment is the “inception” (or birth, or wellspring) of a new idea in the mind of another young billionaire, Robert Fischer Jr. (Cillian Murphy), heir to his father’s empire. Saito wants him to initiate ideas that will lead to the surrender of his rival’s corporation. Cobb finds a female savant, to create a deceptive maze-space in Fischer’s dreams so that new thoughts can slip in unperceived.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”― Sun TzuThe Art of War

Coincidentally, the character of the architect, Ariadne is named for the woman in Greek mythology, who helped Theseus escape from the Minotaur’s labyrinth.  Cobb tutors Ariadne on the world of dream infiltration, the art of controlling dreams and navigating them. Nolan uses this as a device for tutoring us as well. And also as the occasion for some of the movie’s astonishing special effects, which seemed senseless in the trailer but now fit right in. The most impressive to me takes place (or seems to) in Paris, where the city literally rolls back on itself like a roll of linoleum tile.

Inception – Explaining the dream world

Protecting Fischer are any number of gun-wielding bodyguards, who work as the mental equivalent of antibodies; they are both alternatively real and figurative. Like a dream scene .  in the movie, the reason Cobb is motivated to risk the dangers of inception is because of grief and guilt involving his wife Mal (Marion Cotillard), and their two children.  Whether we are seeing Cobb’s memories or his dreams is difficult to say–even, literally, in the last shot. But she makes Mal function as an emotional magnet, and the love between the two provides an emotional constant in Cobb’s world, which is otherwise ceaselessly shifting. The scene with his wife is also a warning that if we don’t have something to anchor us to reality, we become lost in a dream or alternate state. Especially if the anchor is in that alternate state and not anchored in what is supposedly real. Sounds strange? The next time you see a mental health patient, consider how they see the world and in which world are they anchored.

Many of us seem to think that we are always in the Now. We have made some notes while getting Here, but we are not quite sure where Here is. Yet matters of life, death and the heart are involved. As stated previously, Inception is “the time at which something begins”, and insertion, is the action of inserting something. Which is what Cobb is being paid by the Billionaire to do to his rival.  How Dom Cobb goes about infiltrating people’s dream is through dream sharing. Dream sharing is the practice of creating a dream and bringing one or more people into that new dream world. While dream sharing, the dreamer creates and controls the world, while the subject populates it with both people and information. To initiate dream sharing, special medication is needed and is facilitated by the PASIV deviceSomnacin is one of the drugs used for this purpose. When dreaming on only one level, a timer mechanism on the PASIV device can be used to wake up dreamers. Multiple dream levels require a method known as a kick to awaken from a dream on a deeper level.  Opposite to insertion is the term extraction, which is the action of taking out something, especially using effort or force. Extraction;  removal, taking out, drawing out, pulling out, withdrawal

To use the word in a sentence goes something like this… foreign multinationals and governments have been extracting valuable and precious minerals from the continent of Afrika for more than 300 years, to build their empires.Yet Afrika remains the more land wealthy and economically poor, than any other region on the planet.

Before you claim this is just a movie, consider that dream sharing was first utilized by the military to provide a realistic training method for soldiers, in Project Somnacin. It can also be used to commit extraction by stealing information and inception by planting information in the form of an idea into the mind of the subject and making the subject think that the idea is their own. Miles ( the father in law and mentor of Cobb, played by Michael Cain) brought Dominick Cobb and the others into dream sharing to prove to them that their creativity was limitless. Overexposure to dream sharing can cause an individual to be unable to dream naturally. Many people who can no longer dream must use a PASIV device if they wish to dream while they sleep.

The modern kneegrow

 

2 thoughts on “In the labyrinth of the mind

  1. Great breakdown brother. I have to see that film a gain. Haven’t seen it in a few years. It was a bit confusing but your analysis helped clear things up a bit. I know a lot of people found the film kind of confusing. But thanks for this!

    Like

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