Let me begin with sharing my thoughts on the movie Inception. This is one of the most intelligent psychoanalytical movies I have seen since the Matrix and Existenz. The concept was based on the philosophical work of Carl Jung's areas of the human psyche. The movie is based on awareness of consciousness and beyond.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers. If you have not seen the movie yet, please scroll down to the bottom.
A lot of people who have seen the movie have mixed feelings on whether or not Leo 'woke up' at the end.
I will tell you how both are true.
If you remember clearly, one of the ways Leo's character, Cobbs, knows whether or not he's dreaming is by taking note on how he got there. He tells his apprentice that if you can't retrace your footsteps, more than likely you are still dreaming. 'How did I get here?' is a very important theme we will be expanding on later in this article, but for now let's simply keep that in mind.
One of the most important things to question is if his wife, while in his dream states, was telling the truth which he was unable to face. Can it possibly be that Cobbs and his wife spent so much time in these parallel realities, called dreams, that he became undeniably addicted to being in such a lucid state? Like a drug addict who is unable to face the reality of his addiction, Cobbs is unable to wake up and is therefore in "limbo." He has gone so far deep, for so many years, layers upon layers, that he cannot find the reality in which his consciousness sleeps. Please follow closely.
Cobbs and his wife became expert lucid dreamers to the point that they could die together in one dream and find each other in the next. However, that wasn't the case in one particular dream. The night of their anniversary, Cobbs describes himself as being in a wakeful state. But what if they were both asleep and him, having lost his sense of 'reality,' believed that dream to be reality and so he lived according to the events in this particular reality. Perhaps that is the reason why she would always say in his dreams to 'come back to reality, to her and their children.'
As we know from personal experience, auditory perception always plays a role in our dreams. Is it possible he could have continuously heard her saying such things while in his sleep? Regardless if he physically heard it or not, it was a projection he kept manifesting in his sleep due to guilt he was unable to face, which we will understand in just a bit. We also know from experience, as well as learning about it in the movie, that we wake up from our dreams just before we die. As his wife sat on the ledge, she hoped to 'wake up' from that dream by doing just that, an idea he took responsibility for. Her waking up and him staying in a dream is what caused the separation of worlds and ultimately the regret he was unable to face. In his state of mind, she died. Not only did she die but she became an antagonist in his future dreams, a subconscious manifestation caused by his ego structure's inability to break down.
At the end of the movie, after confronting his projected image of his wife and destroying the fabricated world he had built for so long, he chooses to move on in a separate direction that involves neither his guilt, nor his regret.
His extractor (his young apprentice) kills her off for him. This is a compromise that allows him to create an entirely new reality, one that does not involve a shadow of his wife who has also moved on.
When the Inception project is complete, the crew finds themselves back in the airplane waking up from layers and layers of dreams within dreams. Victory is in the air. He walks through the airport and arrives home. This sequence of events is a clear sign that he is not 'dreaming,' so to speak. When he arrives he finally sees his childrens faces which psychologically accounts for him breaking a karmic cycle. The reason why he was unable to see his childrens faces before was because he was unable to deal with the guilt he had by choosing to live in parallel realities that did not include them. Finally, he realized that all he had to do was choose to, which was a great feat. It marks the end of a cycle. However, we see in the last few seconds of the film that the dradle never fell, making a point that all life is a dream, and our dreams are dreams within dreams; all extending from the superconscious. Cobbs may have awoken from all dreams but stayed dreaming in that particular parallel reality, this life; one that many have yet to realize is yet another dream.
Cobbs, as a lucid dreamer, that is, one who is aware that he is dreaming within the dream, had the role of an extractor. He would move into the consciousness of others and extract information from the highly secured subconscious in order to psychologically help them make different choices in this Now reality, or 'waking life'. The irony is that the lucidity ended once his extractor (his female apprentice) helped him confront his shadow, in effect creating only a sense of liberation. Once he achieved a comfortable state within his psyche, being at home with his children, he entered a new phase of limbo, one with the effects of 'real time,' we call life.
If there is a dream, there is also a dreamer. We are the dreamer and the dream, simultaneously and we can never forget this, for if we do, we begin to see time as linear and fall into the depths of limbo, ourselves.
The only difference between dreams and life is that life takes place on a much slower vibrational impulse, and because we wake up in our beds the next morning, our bodies where we left them, we are forced to believe the waking state as 'reality' and 'all there is'. But this couldn't be farther from the truth.
Inception is very similar to extraction in the sense that they both deal with
sensitive information and our subconscious. Inception is known to many lucid dreamers and astral travelers. It is the awareness upon waking of a new idea that we were not consciously aware of before. I have personally practiced lucid dreaming for many years and have gained a lot of insight by consciously tapping into an unlimited source of information while in my sleep within the last 2 years. All things we dream of are subconscious projections which I believe take place in parallel realities. That means, this information did not come from no where, nor did it come from physical implanting, but it was already stored deep within this superconscious source found beyond the subconscious.
Extraction is the bringing to light of certain information (often about ourselves) that we choose to hide within our subconscious. The subconscious creates a great void between the ego structure and the super conscious if one is unable to face certain fears, perceptions, traumas, etc willingly. This is why it is called extraction, we bring to light which many of us have chosen to forget, including the reality of our reality. We each have our own extractors in our waking lives, many to which we sometimes demonize because it is much easier to do so than to confront truth. But it is important to remember, if you are being asked to look at yourself, it is only because you are asking yourself. All is projection.