Inception is a movie that reveals the hidden life of dreams and asks us to examine our own reality and the nature of consciousness. The film is so deep and complex and tries to give us a glimpse of what is possible with lucid dream states and the blending of waking and dream realities. We'll discuss the following:
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Dreams and Symbols in Inception
Debra Maldonado, Robert Maldonado
Welcome to Creative Mind Soul Sessions with Debra Berndt Maldonado and Dr. Rob Maldonado, founders of Creative Mind. Explore personal growth with us through Jungian psychology, Eastern spirituality, and social neuroscience in a deep, but practical way. Let's begin.
Debra Maldonado 00:24
Alright, welcome, everyone. We are talking today in our Soul Session about dreams in the movie Inception and symbols of Jungian psychology. Why are you laughing?
Robert Maldonado 00:36
Close enough. We're gonna talk about dreams, and how they're portrayed in the movie, which is really interesting. And of course, we're going to be talking about lucid dreaming, which is the exciting part of the movie.
Debra Maldonado 00:52
Yes. So we're gonna talk about the story, we're going to talk about the characters and the symbols those characters represent, which is really interesting. And the third part is — wait for it — lucid dreaming, and how they portrayed lucid dreaming and states of consciousness in the movie and how Vedic and research on lucid dreaming has been— what they say about it. So we can—
Robert Maldonado 01:19
We'll see how they match up. Because we know, movies are about entertainment, they don't necessarily have to stay true to what we know in research.
Debra Maldonado 01:31
But we could tell by some of the things that they put in the movie that they had psychologists, and the person that wrote the script did the research on these symbols and understood Jungian psychology. I also think that— we just watched this movie again, I think I've watched it five times. And the last time there were so many pieces that I didn't catch the first four other times. So if you've seen it before, I encourage you after you watch this, to watch it again, because there are so many little details that are so profound, that you missed the first time because there is so much in that movie, don't you think?
Robert Maldonado 02:11
Absolutely. I'd like to see it one more time, or maybe a couple more times. Yeah, but I hope this is not a spoiler alert, or this is not a spoiler for anybody out there. If you haven't seen it, check it out. But the basic storyline, so Leonardo DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, who is a thief with a rare ability to enter people's dreams, and steal their secrets from their subconscious mind. His skills has made him a hot commodity in the world of corporate espionage, but has also cost him everything he loves. Cobb gets a chance at redemption. Well, it costs him his family, essentially. Cobb gets a chance of redemption when he is offered a seemingly impossible task to plant an idea in someone's mind. If he succeeds, it will be the perfect crime, but a dangerous enemy anticipates Cobb’s every move. And we'll talk about that dangerous enemy, of course.
Debra Maldonado 03:24
And when he's talking about the subconscious, I mean, when we talk about Freud and Jung, Freud referred to the personal unconscious, he thought that that's all we had, and Jung said, there's two layers to our unconscious, the personal and then the collective. And so I think in this movie, we really see those elements play out in their— Jung calls that the unconscious, Freud calls it the subconscious, but the dream— what he’s stealing is actually from their personal history. So he's stealing something personal from them, memory or an idea. And then in the movie, he's actually planting an idea into their unconscious, making it feel like it's their idea, so they act upon it. Now if you think about our life, how many times have we been given imprinted ideas that we're acting upon unconsciously? So the concept is very interesting. So let's talk about— anything else you want to talk about the story?
Robert Maldonado 04:22
So if you think about the story, it's about corporate espionage. This stealing of information or in this case, implanting information that gives a certain company an advantage over another one. I read that Christopher Nolan initially thought of this script as a horror movie, you know, it's more kind of a psychological horror feel to it in some parts, but of course, for entertainment purposes it works as an espionage movie as well, that there are these secrets that can be kind of extracted or in this case, planted in somebody's mind that can have an impact on the world. And that's an interesting idea right there, right? That these dreams and this ability that we have to dream does have an impact on the world. It's not separate, because we're used to thinking of dreams as something very private that goes on in the bedroom. But here are the ideas that what's going on in the unconscious mind is having a very real impact on the way we play it out in the everyday world. What about you, any ideas on the story?
Debra Maldonado 06:01
Well, I think this story is— I mean, the one thing that strikes for me is that strive for power and making money, and you get caught up in it, and then it costs you the things that you love. And people getting caught up in, he got caught up in this ability. And then it ended up costing him everything he loved— his family, his wife.
Robert Maldonado 06:26
Yeah. And of course, at the heart of it is his ex or his wife's suicide. And there's a hint or this insinuation in the movie that he caused her to go down that path. Because he introduced her to the idea that this world is unreal.
Debra Maldonado 06:50
Yes. So he planted the idea like he was going to do with this person that he was hired to do, that the physical material world is not real. And that the dream world is actually more real. And then, when she woke up from the dream, she didn't know which was real. And that's kind of that idea that we have to think about in our lives is— when I realized that, especially studying dreams, that when you see that the waking world is just as illusory as the dream world, it's just as light, and it's made of images, it feels more solid. But when you're in the dream, everything feels solid in the dream. And then when you wake up, you realize “Oh, that was just a dream.” So when we die eventually, no one knows because we've never met someone who actually, you know, came back, except for, you know, what they talk about this near death experiences and things like that. But we don't know if it's going to feel like that when we wake up. But that's sort of what the assumption is, that we're living in this dreamlike world. And it does ask the question “What is real and what is not real?”
Robert Maldonado 08:13
Very much so.
Debra Maldonado 08:14
And our fears, like running away from a bear in the forest or someone chasing us, and then we wake up, and it's not real. Are we running from things in life that we think are fearful, and we've had that experience where things seem so impossible or it's so threatening to us, and then we look at it and we face it, and then it's not as scary. So it's almost like that quality of our mind is making us afraid of things that maybe aren't as scary. And that's sort of what the dream is in the story. They talk about the projections that are attacking the heroes going through the dream, and it's that idea that there's this— and when they recognize “Oh, those are just projections, those aren't real people”, right, they're less afraid of them. They know they're a threat, but they're not as feeling— they're understanding their nature. And I think that's one of the other things about the story that I love is it reveals what is the nature of reality.
Robert Maldonado 09:22
Yeah, and then there's a few scenes that I really like, where they're sitting in the cafe where Cobb— DiCaprio— and the architect.
Debra Maldonado 09:35
Robert Maldonado 09:38
Yes. They're sitting in the cafe and they're talking about the nature of dreams. And DiCaprio says something like, you notice in the dream, you just kind of appear in the middle of the action without worrying about where do I come from or what was going on just the moment before this. And you never question it. In a typical dream, you don't question it. But in lucid dreaming you do question it, or that's what wakes you up. Now you ask the question “Am I in a dream right now?” And as soon as he starts considering that, the scene starts breaking up, right, everything starts exploding and falling apart. That's kind of how our mind creates that virtual reality of the dream, where everything seems to be normal. But it's because we're not asking the question.
Debra Maldonado 10:40
And even it's interesting in dreams too that there's some impossible things like how she bent the city upside down. And those things happen in a dream. And we're still assuming it's normal. We're not awake. So it's okay that we walk through walls, so that we could fly. And we're never realizing we're actually dreaming when these impossible things show up, and shapes, and images, and creatures. And why is this all showing up? We don't wake up and say— in the dream and say “Hey, this is odd. This is not a normal physical world.” And so yeah, I think there's so much that we don’t— when we're dreaming we don't realize we are.
Robert Maldonado 11:26
One of the most complicated features of the story of course is his dream within a dream within a dream within a dream. I think there's four levels they’re talking about at once. So that's very complicated. But there's actually some aspect of Vedic knowledge in there about consciousness. In the Vedas it says there are four states of consciousness. So it kind of corresponds to four levels of it. First one, of course, is the waking state. And we're used to thinking of the waking state as real. But again, it's not as real as we think. And even from the scientific perspective, neuroscience teaches us that our brain really constructs this movie-like experience of reality, based on kind of a lot of information that is taken in through the senses, and then it puts it together, kind of in a personalized way for us. So we're really experiencing our own movie production when we look at the world. So that's the first level, the second level is the dream state, the rapid eye movement state, where we see that quality of mind or that ability of the mind to generate whole scenarios for us — cities, streets, people, extras, drama of course, in the dream sensations feel real. Color, sound, there's almost nothing that is not replicated in the dream model that we can experience out here. And then it goes over the top. It gives us like, extra sensory experiences,
Debra Maldonado 13:31
Like we could read other people's minds. And there's a character and we know kind of what they're thinking, we know their backstory, we know everything about them, we know why they're upset with us.
Robert Maldonado 13:43
That's right. And then of course we get into mythological beings and creatures that we meet in the dream world. So that's the second state, we have the waking and the dreaming, then there's a deep sleep state, where it's almost like the limbo state that they were talking about.
Debra Maldonado 13:58
Where you get stuck there and you can’t—
Robert Maldonado 14:00
Yeah, but in the Vedic literature, it says that it's more of a restorative state. Deep sleep is where you get recharged, because you're so close to the source of consciousness, that it's energizing. That's why you feel refreshed after deep sleep.
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Robert Maldonado 15:12
Then the fourth state is the true self. It's like that pure awareness, pure consciousness, there are no thoughts, no sense of self anymore. And that state can only be reached, basically, in deep meditation, where you're consciously going in there to pass the restorative state.
Debra Maldonado 15:36
But of course, the dream talks about just really a lot of personal layers in the dream, not really the basic.
Robert Maldonado 15:42
That's right. And of course, we're talking about entertainment. They take liberty with the information that they know from psychology and from the Vedic knowledge, to make entertainment. But there's something interesting there too, because if you think about what is the purpose of our dreams, they seem to entertain us at night as well, right? They're giving us big clues as to what the nature of our consciousness is but they're also entertaining, though, because they're funny sometimes, there's jokes in there, there's humor. So it's not an accident that we as humans spend a lot of time talking about entertainment, talking about movies and plays.
Debra Maldonado 16:38
Life is drama, it's all the characters that we meet in waking life or ourself in different forms. According to Jung. So let's go back to the characters, speaking of. I think, you know, Cobb plays sort of the hero and the villain at the same time. He's the thief, but also the hero. I think Elliott Page, Ariadne. I love her name is about the goddess, the Greek myth of the daughter Minos who put the thread through—
Robert Maldonado 17:19
Yeah, the myth is that the labyrinth— the Minoan King sequesters Theseus, and Theseus is then thrown into the labyrinth. And everyone has seen these pictures of the labyrinth, that's where it comes from, or one of the myths that it comes from. In the center of the labyrinth is the Minotaur, who is this half-man and half-bull son of the king who was born this way as a curse or something like that, and now terrorizes people. But let's say the hero's trial is to face this Minotaur. And in the myth Ariadne gives the hero, Theseus, the string, so that he can find his way out of the labyrinth.
Debra Maldonado 18:19
After he kills the Minotaur, he doesn't get stuck there. And that's really what her job was in the dream — to create the architecture of the dream and create the labyrinth for him, and so I thought that was interesting. I also love the rich son, the poor Eternus, the eternal boy, where he— basically in our life, there’s people — and there's women like this too, but men who are still trying to get their father's approval. So he was like this father, he's a grown man, and he was still acting like a little boy, like, Daddy, please love me, please approve of me. And so that kind of idea that he just didn't make a decision for himself. And in a way, the way the movie played out, it was like he ended up— that the seed that Leonardo planted in his subconscious actually freed him in a way too. So it was like, even though it was corporate espionage, it actually freed him personally to become his own man. And I think every person needs to break away from their parents to become their own person. And we tend to cling to our parents — some of us. Either we reject them, which is still tied to them because we're now just actively pushing them away — so we're still saying you screwed me up, or we're winning their love still. We're still craving for their love. And so I think all of us can relate to this idea of becoming a grown-up. Individuation is about that mid-life where you become your true self, where you're defining who you are not by if your parents give you approval or other people give you approval, but you're your own woman, your own man. And I thought that was a beautiful symbol. I also like the symbol of the ocean, and he talked about it as the edge of consciousness. And in dreams we often talk about that when people tell us they're always walking along the ocean, or at the edge of the ocean, or there's a cliff and they're about to dive into the ocean, or they're in the ocean. And the ocean of consciousness is symbolic of that collective unconscious. And the beach is very symbolic of the edge of the material and going into the spiritual. And so when you have that dream, that is showing you that you need to go into the unconscious, whatever the context of that dream is. But I love that they showed that the beginning of the movie was him on the beach, and the end of the movie brought him full circle to that edge of consciousness to reclaim what he needed to reclaim. The other images, the Anima, the wife— She’s interesting.
Robert Maldonado 21:11
Can I just mention something about this character, Robert Fisher, who is the guy they're implanting the idea in. And so in a way he does represent the persona, right, because he's the corporate guy who's out there, doing the work, and kind of very sure of himself and spoiled in many ways. He's gotten everything he needs materially. Except emotionally, he's stunted in a sense, he hasn't really found himself. So symbolically he represents the persona and all of us, because we're all that way.
Debra Maldonado 21:58
Material— tie to the material success, and then needing the parents’ approval.
Robert Maldonado 22:04
Very much tied to our early experiences with our parents.
Debra Maldonado 22:09
Yeah, he carried that picture of the child, a picture of the father-son.
Robert Maldonado 22:13
That's right. And it is buried deep in our subconscious mind. That initial imprint that we had with our parents, it's buried deep at the core of the psyche, and it does require kind of a thief to get in there. We need to kind of break in, because it's under lock and key. And so that metaphor works really well for individuation, that we need like a whole team of thieves to get there and undo that because otherwise it remains in place. And we think we're acting out of free will but we're really acting out of compensating for lack of love that we feel, or, you know, whatever—
Debra Maldonado 23:13
We're never measuring up, not good enough. I'm a disappointment. Remember, he told her. And also why we need so many people. There's so many obstacles to get to that safe. You know, we have that— little later they talk about the safe that they lock in. So like that stuff we're locking in under lock and key. And there's a lot of defenses that come in to protect it. Those projections, they're really the defenses of the ego that kept that safe lock. The imprints need to stay in place because if I don't keep these in place, I'll lose my sense of self and that’s a terrible thing. So when we are doing our own personal growth work, we're always facing those— it feels like external threats or distractions or our own defenses in order to get that change and transformation.
Robert Maldonado 24:11
Yeah, so anyway, this Mal who is Cobb’s deceased wife, she's really at the heart of the whole story. Because she's the enemy in a sense who is obstructing his journey. Everywhere he goes, she shows up, and is always kind of spoiling, sabotaging the situation. In cinematic or literary terms, she's the femme fatale, right, the dangerous woman. But from the Jungian perspective, she's really the Anima, the soul in Cobb’s psyche, which he hasn't really come to terms with because of the personal experience of losing her to suicide, which is kind of a very dramatic situation. Anybody who experienced in their families or with friends that kind of exiting of someone through suicide, we know it's a very jarring way of experiencing death and loss.
Debra Maldonado 25:37
And I don't think she intentionally wanted to create suicide, but he planted the seed in her mind that this world isn't real. So in essence, she thought she was just going back waking up to another dream, you know. She was— in her defense, she wasn't really trying to commit suicide. The key is, I love that, she represented his guilt about that idea. Because, in essence, she really didn't commit suicide, she was just doing what he implanted, that idea. And he had to bear the effects of that.
Robert Maldonado 26:19
Well, I would say both and more, right? That's the thing with human relationships is that they're working on so many levels, right? There's the biological, physical level, there's the psychological, emotional level, and then there are deeper spiritual connections that we're not even conscious of. So there you see that relationship. And when Jung mentions the Anima, that’s what he's talking about. He's mentioning, or he's talking about the soul in us, how we connect to it, and how deeply it's buried in our unconscious mind. And that when we let the personal projections dictate to us how we relate to it, it messes us up because then we're pouring all that incredible energy of the soul into these personal projections.
Debra Maldonado 27:22
It's like, when people get infatuated, when they fall in love, they're pouring all that spiritual power onto that person, or even material things. So people can have that projection of “Oh, this money is going to help me, or this fame is going to help me. When I make you know, a million dollars, or when I get that beautiful house, or that soulmate.” They pour that energy into— And then it confuses us as to where the source of power is.
Robert Maldonado 27:54
We've all seen incredibly brilliant people flush their lives down the toilet, because a relationship went wrong in their life. And because of this projection, their whole life is spent thinking that because they lost that relationship, they're doomed to be unhappy, to be a failure, whatever it is, or to drink their life away, to do drugs for the rest of— whatever it is, because of that powerful projection of the Anima onto an individual experience, they believe that because that didn't work out, they've lost that connection with the soul. But it's the misinterpretation again. Because projection, what it means is that you're thinking that this soul is in an individual. That's the projection. You're thinking that— in Cobb’s situation, he's thinking that soul, the Anima in him is in his wife. And when she died—
Debra Maldonado 29:09
That animal died, his soul died.
Robert Maldonado 29:10
That Anima died, and that he's to blame for it. And often people do this, they blame themselves for the things that happen in their personal experiences through projection. They misinterpret the whole scene. And they think that their whole life is a tragic story.
Debra Maldonado 29:34
The sad story.
Robert Maldonado 29:36
Sad tragic story that they push away obviously, because if you don't push it away, then you can't live with it. But if you push it away, it's buried in the unconscious. And then it simply plays out externally over and over. So it's a really interesting part of the story that if we look from the Jungian perspective, it's talking about how people experience these very deep projections of the Anima. And in women, the Animus, it could simply be reversed.
Debra Maldonado 30:13
Yeah, the knight in shining armor left me and now I'm powerless and alone. And I know, when I was single, it was really hard to be alone in the world. I felt like I didn't have any power. And my friends that were married, I felt like they had something, a piece of— they had extra, like, they had something extra that I didn't have, they had this source of financial security, they would, you know, have a nice house and their husbands worked, it was a two-income family, and, you know, all this sort of structure of family and I don't know, living like an ordinary person having the family structure. And then, like a woman, single woman, I felt like I was flailing in the middle of nowhere, like in the middle of the ocean, waiting for someone to rescue me. And then what I realized, it was rescuing myself, that I had to find that source within myself and that my power, then I got to see it and experience it fully with someone who wasn't going to be just a projection, it would be someone who also found his power, and his Anima. So it's like finding that partner who's not going to just pull in, suck your energy away and put all this expectation on you that you're not, you're the source of their happiness, and that's a big burden to put on someone. And then they end up being the reason why we feel guilty, or we feel alone, or feel angry. And that person is responsible for our feelings. But it's really our projection of the situation that is responsible for how we feel, it's a story that we spin.
Robert Maldonado 32:01
Yeah. And so Jung, he spent a lot of time developing this idea of individuation, to give us, let’s say, the tools, the psychological tools to free ourselves from those projective mechanisms. That we can understand the projection first, and then understand “Oh, those elements, those symbols, those deep, powerful energies are really arising from my unconscious mind. They're part of me, not out there. They're not those external people and situations that I've experienced in my life.” There's another character that's not really a character, but an object, which is the totem. That little top that he spins at the very end, the last scene. It is asking that question. In other words, if you think, what was the purpose of using that little top? It was to answer the question “Is this a dream or is this waking life?” And it fit, if you spin and it falls, or it runs out of energy and falls, like you would expect in the waking world, means you're awake. But if it stays spinning for very long or longer than expected, then you can surmise that you were in a dream. Now these kind of techniques are very common in lucid dreaming, when you practice lucid dreaming, and the research indicates that about over 50% of people have had one or two lucid dreams in their life. So this is fairly common. But not a lot of people have control over them. They seem to arise during those kind of very emotional, kind of key points in your life when you're facing big decisions. But anyway, some of the techniques for inducing lucid dreaming has to do with answering that question “Am I dreaming?” and making it a habit. So you might pinch yourself, you know, that whole idea of pinching yourself “Am I in a dream or am I—
Debra Maldonado 34:36
Am I awake or am I dreaming? And that would be even just asking the question “Am I awake or am I dreaming?” I find also this technique that works really well for me to start inducing is to look at the back of your hands and just turn them and say “Am I dreaming?” And then that's kind of an imprint that you're placing. So when you're in a dream, you'll naturally look at the back of your hands. And then your brain will connect to that idea of asking that question. So when you have the question attached to something that you can experience in a dream, then—
Robert Maldonado 35:15
And for those of you not familiar with lucid dreaming, it simply is being awake, meaning having this awareness that you have right now but in a dream state, meaning your body is asleep in the bed, and your mind is in rapid eye movement, meaning you're having a dream. But you wake up inside the dream. So technically you're still asleep and dreaming. But your conscious level is this right now. Then, within lucid dreaming, there are different states of mastery. The most basic one is you wake up in the dream and you're still observing the dream, meaning the scene that the unconscious mind is creating for you. But you yourself, meaning who is playing you in the dream, is aware that you are in a dream.
Debra Maldonado 36:17
And sometimes it happens just in a split second for newbies, right, when you first started, you wake up in the dream, and then you physically wake up really quickly.
Robert Maldonado 36:29
Yeah, there's a scene in the movie where Cobb and the architect are walking around, and they're talking about how they're creating the city scenes. They're basically in a lucid dream right there together, and they're discussing what they're experiencing. That's very similar to kind of hype you start to experience lucid dreaming that—
Debra Maldonado 36:56
Now can ask you a question. According to research, is it possible? I've heard reports of people experiencing a lucid dream together, to be in the same dream. Is that possible?
Robert Maldonado 37:09
Yes, because if you notice in dreams, none of the physical limitations of the waking world apply. Meaning you can fly, you can walk through walls, you can create different scenery. And so yeah, why not be with somebody else that is also in a lucid dream.
Debra Maldonado 37:31
Like create a space for you? Well, I've had experiences where I feel I've spoken to people who have passed on, where I've spoken to people that are alive, and I've had conversations, and then the next day or a couple days later, we'd have— it was like a weirdness, like something weird and odd would happen that was related to what happened in the dream. So in a way, since we are all connected on the collective level, that we can access other people's consciousness through our dream life. Not to steal their secrets, but to really connect and maybe find other ways to communicate with someone beyond their persona.
Robert Maldonado 38:14
Yeah, we definitely are. So definitely recommend consensual lucid dreaming. Definitely possible. There's a whole science of this in the East, it's called dream yoga. In Tibetan Buddhism, they kind of kept some of that work going till today. And they continue to teach dream yoga in a very spiritual way. In the West, of course, we use— you know, people that talk about lucid dreaming, they were either very interested in research type of work, as to understand what the mind can do. Or they're into entertainment, using lucid dreaming to experience rollercoasters, or sex, or travel, or flying. Nothing wrong with those things, because they do show you kind of the different abilities of the mind. But it's really meant to take you deeper into the nature of consciousness.
Debra Maldonado 39:26
I find that even dream state alone, just studying my dreams and seeing the symbolic power that they bring, the messages, the information, I feel like it made me understand my own consciousness and my own awareness much more than just reading it in a book. It's like a direct experience of your divine nature and consciousness. Even just regular ordinary dreams, precognitive dreams, shadow dreams, they all show us an aspect. I feel as if someone is saying “There's someone else in me that's wiser, that's showing me the way, almost like a teacher basically, a guide that's within me that's saying “Here's the way, here’s what to do.” So, a beautiful concept, it's hard to explain. That's why I'm lost for words, because it's hard to explain. Having a direct experience of something versus an intellectual experience.
Robert Maldonado 40:30
Many traditional cultures have these shamanic traditions where people would practice some of skills for healing, for divination, for communicating with spirits and gods that would then guide them on their, you know, hunting or fishing or moving the village from different places or building pyramids. So all these traditions are not new to humans. I mean, we have these abilities for some reason, and we've kept them because they've served us somehow. It's only in modern times that we kind of overemphasize the materialistic nature of reality and focus so much on the external that we've neglected some of this work.
Debra Maldonado 41:25
Yeah, you're right. I mean, we don't even grow up thinking about dreams. And you said, when you were younger your grandmother used to talk to you about dreams and what dreams you had. And I find that so amazing. I wish I had that experience as a kid, because I had amazing dreams that I had no one else to tell me what they meant. But I just remember really having wonderful, amazing dreams as a kid. So that must have been interesting. And I think maybe, culturally, you were more close to nature and mysticism. I was growing up in New Jersey.
Robert Maldonado 42:05
Yeah, but now we have access to the Vedic literature. And as far as the sophistication of knowledge and understanding of what consciousness is and what dreams are, there's no higher authority than the Vedic knowledge. If you're interested, that's the source. The Upanishads, the Gita, some of that literature is just incredibly detailed as to how the mind works, what's going on when you're dreaming, what are the different levels of consciousness. So in light of that knowledge, some of the things in the movie are right on, they’re spot on. And then others, we see that, okay, it's more artistic liberty that they're taking for entertainment purposes. But we see the value of these movies in that they're bringing these ideas to the mass awareness, by people becoming more aware of these functions of the mind.
Debra Maldonado 43:08
Well, you know, I was just thinking of another scene of the man who pretended— Tom, what's his name, the actor — he played the father's attorney, and how he created his mannerisms in such a way that the boy, the son, basically projected the image of that person on. So we tend to do that in life, we tend to have an expectation of someone, and then we project it onto them, and then they become different to us. And we're not really seeing them for who they are. So I thought that was actually an interesting aspect of showing how we see the world and how we see people. Especially, you know, growing up, we all know how we have our male amago and female amago, and the mother projections, and things like that, that someone who has the same mannerisms, that represents that same symbol, we tend to project our own personal history into that person, and we don't really see them for who they are. So that's the beauty of Shadow Work and understanding projections and understanding consciousness. So yeah, it's a great movie. If you get to see it again, I encourage you to watch it again, now taking all these concepts in mind. And then I think, if you haven't had an experience of lucid dreaming or want more, play around with it, ask yourself the question a couple times a day. Is this real? Or am I dreaming? Or am I awake? Or am I dreaming? And if you get into a habit of asking yourself that every day, when you actually have a dream, you're going to ask that in the dream because it's just a pattern and a behavior that you're used to doing that it will actually begin to wake you up.
Robert Maldonado 44:57
Yeah, recently, I've been playing with these visualizations on YouTube, you hear them as you're going to sleep. And they're very effective, they help you remember or wake up in your dreams and have a lucid experience.
Debra Maldonado 45:17
And set the intention before you go to sleep that you're going to wake up. We often don't set intentions in our life we just live and react. So setting intentions and directing your will toward having those experiences and you want to do it with the the idea— not just to have fun, which is fun and entertainment— but you want to use it actually as a way to understand yourself and live a better life, live a more awake life. The name of the movie is Inception. Someone's just asking. With Leonardo DiCaprio. It's probably maybe 10 years old now. It's been around for a while. Yeah, very cool movie, it’s probably on Netflix. I think one of those streaming session, you could probably find it.
Robert Maldonado 46:08
Yeah, we saw Tenant also recently, which iwas considered the kind of the follow up to Inception.
Debra Maldonado 46:17
Same director, Nolan.
Robert Maldonado 46:19
Maybe we'll do a briefing on that one.
Debra Maldonado 46:21
That one is weird. I think we might have to watch it again, too. But it's about time, it's about moving, going backwards— be able to go backwards in time and change reality.
Robert Maldonado 46:37
Change the past?
Debra Maldonado 46:37
Yes, yes. So anyway, astro travel, I don't know about lucid. Do you know anything about astro travel? Is that the same thing?
Robert Maldonado 46:47
Yeah, per my experience, it's on the same spectrum. Lucid dreaming would be kind of the beginning of the detaching your point of view, your conscious point of view from your body, so that then you're able to travel in different spaces. So that would be kind of higher, advanced, or more a mastery of that skill.
Debra Maldonado 47:20
And then to do that is to understand the intention for it, like what's the intention around it?
Robert Maldonado 47:28
Very much so. The Vedic literature is very clear that you don't want to use these things just for their own sake, like, you know, not to use them as powers. The objective is not to have these powers. The objective is to use these skills to further your spiritual development.
Debra Maldonado 47:53
Beautiful. Well, thank you for joining us day after Christmas, for our Soul Sessions. We'll be here next week. For our next, we're going to talk about— this is a series we've been doing on for December, we were pulling out pop culture, movies, series, and talking about the archetypes. And so we're going to talk about Wonder Woman which got mixed reviews. We're going to talk about the wise woman, the goddess archetypes. The Super Woman archetype and also the other archetypes in both movies, the first one and the sequel. So if you haven't seen it yet, we'll make sure we don't give you any spoilers. But we will talk about those wonderful patterns that we see in movies is very fascinating. If you want to understand Jungian psychology, it's hard to watch a movie the same way again.
Robert Maldonado 48:52
Yeah, it's been fun for us. So thanks for tuning in. And let us know if you have any suggestions for movies that you'd like us to talk about.
Debra Maldonado 49:04
Yes. “I knew I traveled because how it felt to come back into my body. And it only happened once.” Yeah, yeah, it's interesting. Consciousness doesn't end at the physical level. A lot of people think the mind is local, that it's in the brain. But it's a non-local mind. We're connected. It doesn't have an ending to it. It's not just in us. Our focus here in this body helps us have an individual experience. But ultimately, we're having multiple experiences on multiple dimensions all at the same time, which is mind blowing. So thank you for your question. And it was nice to see you. And we'll see you next week.
Robert Maldonado 49:50
Awesome. Stay well.
Debra Maldonado 49:51
Take care, everyone.
Robert Maldonado 49:52
We'll see you next time.
Debra Maldonado 49:53
Yes. Bye bye.
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