Inception: What Are We Allowing Into Our Minds?

Screenshot taken from Official Trailer

Most people would remember Inception, the mind-bending dream-within-a-dream film written, directed and co-produced by Christopher Nolan. Released in 2010 to huge commercial success, it won four Academy Awards in 2011 and grossed over US $828 million in box offices worldwide.

Inception is essentially a film about corporate espionage. It tells the story of a thief called Dom Cobb (Leonardo diCaprio) who extracts corporate secrets through the use of dream-sharing technology. One day, he is offered a job by a Japanese businessman to do the reverse— plant an idea into the mind of a rival CEO to dissolve his dying father’s company and break up a long-standing monopoly.

Cobb assembles a team of six, including an architect to design the dream world, a chemist to administer sedatives for a stable dream state, and an impersonator to manipulate the victim. Apart from the brilliant visual effects and powerful music score, Inception’s storyline sends this important message to audiences—that the mind is powerful and is able to determine a person’s future.


It all begins with the mind

The word “inception” comes from the root word to incept, meaning to begin, to start or to establish something. In the film, Dom Cobb compares an idea to a virus—small, resilient and highly contagious. Once it takes hold in a person’s brain, it’s almost impossible to eradicate. And so the team hatch a four-level strategy to plant these ideas—level by level—into their victim, Robert Fischer Jr (Cillian Murphy)’s mind:

Level 1: “I will not follow in my father’s footsteps”

Level 2: “I will create something for myself”

Level 3: “My father doesn’t want me to be him”

Level 4: “I will dissolve my father’s empire”

The next 90 minutes of the film moves quickly in a complex maze of kidnaps, robberies and shootouts—all cleverly designed to manipulate Fischer, set the scene and provide context for the thoughts to be planted. The job is carried out en-route an 18-hour flight when all are put to sleep to carry out the task in the dream world. The mission is a success and over the coming days and weeks, the thoughts implanted in Fischer’s subconscious will start to take root, grow organically and translate into the desired outcomes.

Our minds determine our future

The inception process is complex, dangerous, and requires much strategy, engineering and physicality. The same way Cobb and his team go to great lengths to plant a seed into their victim’s mind, our enemy the devil uses a similar modus operandi. The Bible calls him a thief (John 10:10), a liar (John 8:44) and very crafty (Genesis 3:1). He “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). But far from being a physical lion waging a physical attack, the enemy assaults us first in the mind.

Before the mission begins, Cobb warns his client on the gravity of his request: “The seed that we plant in this man’s mind will grow into an idea. This idea will come to define him, and it may come to change everything about him.”

Why is this important for us to understand? The Bible also talks about how the enemy wages a spiritual war against us in the mind. To overcome this, we have to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2) and to bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Inception may be a science-fiction thriller, but the movie is based on the solid truth about how our thoughts can affect our actions and shape who we become. Cobb says in the film: “The smallest seed of an idea can grow, and it can grow to define or destroy you.” Towards the end of the film, we realize that it was the idea that “Your world isn’t real” that led his wife to her tragic suicide.

Our thoughts are so powerful that they are able to determine the course of our lives. May we always be alert and sober-minded, guarding our minds vigilantly against any seemingly random or negative thoughts that are not submitted to Christ.

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7

4 replies
  1. Ron Carroll
    Ron Carroll says:

    This is so true and real. I have been struggling my whole life with the evil one putting thoughts in my head and then regretting my actions ( sins of the flesh, sex, drugs, rock and roll mentality) as I pray for forgiveness I know God loves me and forgives me through His son Jesus because I believe in Him but it seems I get attacked all the more by the enemy. Please pray for me that I would be wise enough to surrender my Whole life to HIM, The Living Son of The Living God Jesus Christ.

    • Mary
      Mary says:

      Dear Ron,
      I will pray for you that your faith has deepened and that you continue to surrender yourself to Jesus. He paid the ultimate price for all our sins. You been forgiven. I am on this website because I came out of decades in the New Age and found the Lord during Covid. I used to love this film and watched it countless times with my children. Further entrenching the “deception” not inception. I pray forgiveness that I did not plant the seed of the truth of Jesus in my children. That is my cross to bear. Bless you.

  2. Mary
    Mary says:

    Dear Wan Phing,

    Thank you. I’m not crazy. Only in the last few months have I started to wake up to the grave deception of pop culture, movies, music, and the “new age”. You brilliantly articulated my concerns about this movie. A clever movie – yes but Satan is just that. CS Lewis said: the “greatest trick Satan ever performed was to convince (the world) he did not exist.” He is very much alive, and Hollywood is one of his greatest tools. Leo DiCaprio, a famous protege of the WEF, is perfect for this film. The Anti-Christ has been scattering his godless seeds for millennia. The hearts and minds of unbelievers were ripe for the planting, to believe in the god (small g) of this world, Satan, the master of lies. Praise the Lord I was saved during Covid. The lies became too much and so I went in search of the Truth and found Jesus: The Way, the Truth, and the Life. (Jn 14:6) This movie used to be one of my favourites and I see it completely differently now. We have been deceived by a Godless culture for a very long time. Leo puts a pretty face on the truth of how easily we are fooled. God bless you. I look forward to seeing more of your writing.

    Mary (Canada)

    P.s. If you’re reading this and you don’t know Jesus. He said, “Ask and it will be given. Seek and ye will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 There is only one way to Truth and salvation, through Jesus Christ, our King, and our Lord.


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