Saw the new summer movie (sure to be a blockbuster) “Inception” this evening at our local Linway Plaza theater. It was amazing — a movie about dreaming, that leaves you wondering what is real, and what is dream. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that one of the most original ideas in this movie is regarding time. Five minutes in the “real” world is an hour or more in the dream world… and when you have a dream within the dream, it can seem to last 20 hours… and when you have a dream within that dream… it may last 10 years. One more level down and a dream lasts long enough for a lifetime.

The last scene in the movie is of a spinning top. Whether it continues spinning, or it slows and wobbles and falls, is a way of telling whether we’re in a dream or not. In the end, we don’t know what the top does. The movie is over. We’re back in reality as we know it. We’re left wondering: this me sitting here watching the credits roll, here in this movie theater, is this reality? Is all this real, or is it a dream?

What if we follow this time idea backwards. If this reality-as-we-know-it is actually a dream, and we can live an entire lifetime here in this dream always thinking it’s real… then the next level up above is a dream that lasts only about 10 hours or so. And the dream above that is perhaps an hour. And the dream above that is no more than five minutes. And the dream beyond that… is it still a dream? Or is it the reality of our true lives? A true life where this lifetime we experience is but a moment of imaginative reverie, in which we’ve briefly dozed and will soon awake — and know, only then, that this dream within a dream within a dream within a dream, was in fact, only a dream.

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Are you a lucid dreamer? For those of us who are not (and The Bear is not), there’s technology: PASIV MV-235A for Lucid Dreaming.

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