I saw Inception (the movie) a couple weeks ago. It was very, very cool.
First of all, it was just a really neat idea for a movie which lent itself to some really creative scenes. The story line does get a bit complex in spots, to the point that I’m not sure some of the minor points made perfect sense. But maybe on a second viewing it will come together more clearly. But even that aside, still a great movie.
And while it’s worth a watch sheerly for its creativity, I liked it most for one of the core truths it demonstrates: That truth and reality matter.
Here’s the trailer (commentary below) for the movie, Inception:
Part of the story involves the main character “sharing a dream” (they can do this in the movie) with his wife. (This paragraph will make more sense if you’ve seen the movie). Him and his wife essentially choose to live an entire lifetime in this shared dream. They literally create their own dream world. In this dream-world they grow old together. They do anything they want. They have everything they desire. They create their dream-life together and live it for decades. In their minds, the perceived experience of this shared dream-reality is every bit as “real” as actual reality. But in the end, that isn’t good enough. They long for something more than a perceived experience. Deep down inside they know their dream is not objectively real at all. They long for more.
Perception is not reality. Reality is reality. And we humans thirst for the real stuff. We were made for it. We are made of it.
This deep longing for objectivity goes unfulfilled in our relativistic culture. These days, it is only your perceived experience that matters. Just do what feels good. Don’t waste your life feeling “guilty” about it. Be tolerant of all others’ perceived experiences because what is real for you may not be real for somebody else. Even recognizing or appealing to any sense of objectivity gets you labeled, quite ironically, as judgmental and intolerant.
Such rules-to-live-by, however, are necessary in order for us to maintain the shared make-believe world we’ve created where there are no consequences and ultimately no responsibility greater than the fulfillment of our own desires. The only problem with all of that is that it isn’t real. We have created a dream-world.
We can all get together and pretend that all one has to do in life is be a “good person” and have good intentions, but that’s a fairy tale. We can all pretend that abortion doesn’t end the life of a human being, but it does. We can all pretend that there is such a thing as homosexual “marriage,” but there isn’t. We can all pretend sex was not made to be had within the security of a permanent, life-long, man-woman relationship, but it was. We can all pretend that strip clubs and pornography are harmless, but they aren’t. We can all pretend that children don’t need a stable family with a mother and a father, but they do. We can all pretend that one belief system is as good as another, but it isn’t. In fact, we can pretend whatever we like! It’s great! The only problem is that it will not bring a lasting peace, because it’s not real. In the end it will never be enough if it’s not rooted in truth.
We humans were made to thrive in the real reality. And the sooner we find it and submit to it, the sooner we’ll find the lasting peace our hearts were made to rest in.