Disquieting the Dream

I just watched the movie, Inception–begged to do so by my teenage son who can’t get enough of its twisty, complex plot.

Despite its gratuitous violence, I agree, simply because its inspired my son to be more curious about dreams.  Unfortunately, it takes this romantic-comedy Mama three separate sittings to make it through the action.

My nights are troubled afterward–and I regret not plowing through it all at once.

It’s not only the destruction and chaos that disturb by sleep, but the expanding themes of reality and dreaming. I’ve long sought to understand the dynamic nature of dreams, and I explored them myself during my son’s early years when I found myself drifting back and forth across the cusp of consciousness in sleep deprived delirium.

Even as a young child, I knew when I was dreaming, and I acted on that knowledge:  Dreaming of my grandparents’ house two-thousand miles away, I decide to hold onto their bedpost so that when I woke, I’d be there with them.

It never worked.  Or did it?  I spent many nights with Nana and Poppop in my “dreams” and I continue to dream of their house regularly.

Inception dynamically explores these layers of reality and imagination. What it most creatively mirrors for me is this~ Life, like our dreams, is a series of our own “projections.”

How then does one distinguish between what is real and what is imagined?  And how important is that distinction?

I have to give credit to my imagination for shaping and guiding me toward the reality that I desired. I’ve also had to learn the difference between the illuminating power of my imagination and the destructive power of my subconscious–which often hijacks the course of my imagination for its own purposes.

In this way, the subconscious presents a very real (though imaginary) threat–as dramatically portrayed in  Inception.  Like the main character’s subconscious, mine repeatedly works to sabotage what I want by feeding my fears.

In heightened times of realization, we have to hold on to our visioin with everything we’ve got so that our defenses don’t destroy them.

Knowing how to identify one from the other is a vital skill though it doesn’t make it less frightening. Like the hero in the movie, we each have to face the demons that arise on the path of claiming what we want from life while staying alert to the cues that distinguish our fear from our future.

(I hope my son picked that up too.)

Kelly Salasin, January 2011

For the previous post on the life purpose path, click here: The Immaculate Conception, Part II; or for the follow up post: That Was Easy

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