in•cep•tion: n. The beginning of something, such as an undertaking; a commencement.
Over the weekend, my boyfriend and I saw the movie, Inception. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should. It’s hard to explain what it’s about… other than an adventure into dreams. Leonardo DiCaprio (who gets better with age, in my opinion) and his crew of dream scavengers willingly submerge themselves into the minds of others, to either steal an idea or to plant one. The movie is confusing, but remarkable; it bravely attempts to explore the complexity of our minds through multi-layered dreams.
The reason I bring this up is because I have been having extremely vivid dreams lately. Is this due to the fact that I haven’t been meditating? In meditation, we practice acknowledging our thoughts (no matter how stressful they may be) and letting them go. But without this important practice, it almost seems as it my thoughts are swimming around my head aimlessly, like fish in a fish bowl, waiting to be dealt with. My dreams seem to be the ONLY place where my thoughts are able to “work themselves out.”
During the past couple of weeks, some of my dreams have involved the following: car crashes, hospitals, teeth falling out. After a quick Google search, I’m led to believe that something is wrong, very wrong. Otherwise, why would I be having such morbid, stressful dreams?! Am I dealing with my anxiety through my dreams? Should I be sleeping more/less?
What I’ve realized is this: IT DOESN’T MATTER.
This may come as a shock to you. Sure, it’s great to analyze your dreams to make sense of why you’re pulling gigantic sized molars out of your mouth or why the SUV in which you’re traveling gets broadsided by a tractor-trailer (in ‘Inception,’ this is the “kick” that wakes you up). But rather than worry about the meaning of these dreams, I’ve contemplated a different idea. The moment of my inception is realizing that my dreams don’t necessarily need to alert me to anything other than the fact that my conscious existence is much more peaceful than my unconscious existence.
In ‘Inception,’ Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Dom Cobb, says:
“I can’t imagine you with all your complexity, all your perfection, all your imperfection. Look at you. You are just a shade of my real life. You’re the best I can do; but I’m sorry, you are just not good enough.”
While he’s saying these words to his deceased wife, played by Marion Cotillard, the viewer suddenly realizes that she is a metaphor for becoming trapped (i.e., all-consumed) within one’s own dreams. But the movie’s most pivotal moment comes toward the end of the movie when the crew of dream scavengers opens their eyes. They all look shocked to be alive and safe. They also all look grateful, as if they have a new appreciation for life.
And if dreams have only one purpose in life, then I’ll take that one.