Inception reality

Posted: January 6, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Yesterday I watched the movie Inception again.  A masterful movie on many levels!

I was struck by how little responsibility Cobb takes for the problems he creates. Although deeply wounded, he is talented, driven, confident in his own ability….and so any problems he encounters must be someone else’s fault!  I found myself wondering if people younger than me saw that as a real issue….or if they saw it as normal and appropriate. I started to ask my college kids, but they were not interested in waxing philosophical in the middle of a movie!

Of course, I resonated with the mantra (repeated at least three times) of “taking a leap of faith or becoming an old man, full of regret, waiting to die alone.” Who would ever choose the regrets?!?   I made a few current applications in my head about my own life and remembered with pleasure the mantra my friend David B. and I had in college: “Has this been done before? Let’s do it. College is made of memories!”

But mostly, I got caught on the interplay of what was dream and what was the real world.  And caught by the picture of those who daily escaped the real world to dream…and the one old guy who appears to say that dreams are reality and who are any of them to say differently.

What is real? Where is the “real world?”

I grew up in a very small town. My peers couldn’t wait to get out into the “real world.” I went to a Christian college. Many chafed and complained about being in a bubble and not in the “real world.”  I went to Seminary with professional students while I worked blue collar jobs. I definitely felt many of my classmates were in an ivory tower and not in the “real world.”  And for the last 26 years, I have worked with students and families that are often happy to compartmentalize their faith…to spend an hour a week to get recharged before going back into the “real world.”

But I agree with C.S. Lewis, that we are living (at best) in the shadowlands. That which is real we do not yet fully experience. And I believe living in the Kingdom is reality….the rest is a dream state, or even a voluntary sedation that keeps us from reality.

Do you agree? If you do, how do you keep connected to the real world. How do you help others experience reality?

Comments
  1. becky says:

    Hey Hal, so glad to see you blogging. I am always blessed with your writing and thoughts. I’ll enjoy reading and following along with you. I’ve been blogging more lately too, would love for you to say hi or follow too. :O) Love you! the8dunlaps.blogspot.com

    • halhamilton says:

      Thanks, Becky. I do drop in and read although I need to be better about leaving comments.

      Maybe blogging myself will remind me how much comments are appreciated. 🙂
      Your whole life is a beautiful sacrifice with a lovely aroma for Christ. I admire you!

  2. Timmy B says:

    Such a powerful thought that living out the Kingdom lifestyle is reality and all else is some sort of voluntary dream-state that we succumb to (often subconsciously) as a denial mechanism.

    When I begin to think that way, it motivates me to re-prioritize and seek a newfound sense of boldness and courage when it comes to speaking God’s Word and ministering to those around me.

    Thought provoking…I’ll have to watch Inception again with these glasses on!

    • halhamilton says:

      Tim,

      Thanks for coming by and for commenting. I’m impressed with your passion, your gifts and your effectiveness. Thanks for your investment in some pretty special high school guys! And thanks for your thoughts here

  3. Tanja says:

    I was struck by your first two sentences about the movie. I have been dealing with many problems in life. And your are right, I think most people, including me, tend to live in a reality where we don’t take responsibility for the problems in our lives. It’s a false reality. In psychology terms it would be referred to as “Denial” For me that would be like living in the dark. Because I know Christ, He can be the light in my darkness. So glad he is a humble, gentle and loving God.

  4. annamariehamilton says:

    I totally agree with you about living in a dream. (In my own head I call it “stupor”– the root word of stupid, yes?– and often pray, “Help us not be stupid, Lord!” and, simply, “Help us wake up.”)

    On another note, I see differently than you, Hal, how Cobb reacts when things go awry in the dreams. Late in the movie we hear Cobb tell Mal that his constant experience, no matter what level of reality he’s in, is guilt. So, whereas you describe Cobb as denying responsibility for problems he creates, I see him taking so much responsibility that it’s crushing him. Perhaps you’re right on the surface of it. But I think the underlying guilt is so great–and so inescapable for him–that there’s no way he can address each symptomatic outbreak. Until the guilt itself, at his deepest level, is resolved.

    I think there’s metaphor in that, too.

    And I really, really like the way Cobb’s friend went to that deepest level with him–took him there even–and spoke truth to him about his guilt. Love that. Dream of being that kind of friend, willing to go to the basement; finding Jesus (our Great Lover) there, and His healing.

    Annamarie

    • halhamilton says:

      Good word, Annamarie. No doubt often what is avoidance of responsibility at the surface is a wound hiding. Your read is much more compassionate (what a surprise to those that know you!) and very good for me to keep in mind.

  5. Suzie says:

    You ARE that kind of friend, Annamarie! You have been to the basement with me and I have found Jesus there, and His healing!! Love you!

    • Becky Dunlap says:

      HAVEN’T WATCHED THIS MOVIE YET BUT WILL NOW. 🙂 I ABSOLUTELY LOVE SEEING EVERYONE’S DIFFERENT THOUGHTS, HOW WE ALL SEE THINGS DIFFERENTLY AND CAN ALL LEARN FROM EACH OTHER’S PERSPECTIVES, CONVICTIONS, AND EXPERIENCES. IT IS FUN AND HUMOROUS TO READ YOU AND ANNAMARIE’S DIIFFETEBT PERSPECTIVES, I’VE ALWAYS LOVED HOW YOU GUYS BOTH COME AT DIFFERENT ANGLES. I LOVED YOUR IDEA ANNAMARIE, LOVED YOUR USE OF WORDS “GOING TO THE BASEMENT” YOU SO HAVE AND CONTINUE TO GO THERE WITH me. You are both that kind of friend. (sorry for the caps, I’m on my iPhone and I have no idea how I did that or how to change it. 😉

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