McConaughey, DiCaprio And The Dream Like Nature Of The Mind

Recently I saw Interstellar, the huge sci-fi movie starring Matthew McConaughey, Michael Caine and Anne Hathaway.

Humanity’s survival is on the line (Earth has been devastated by drought and famine) and a team of explorers travel through a wormhole in an attempt to ensure our survival.

Directed by Christopher Nolan, the movie won an Oscar for best visual effects. For good reason, visually the entire movie is incredible. Shot on a single camera.

Nolan would shoot a scene a few times from one perspective, then move the camera and shoot again from another perspective.

Rather than rely on huge CGI effects he deliberately built huge sets of ‘other worlds’ which the actors would then perform in.

Everything had to be ‘Nasa authentic’.

The actors knew it was a fake world, but when dressed like an astronaut and walking around, surrounded by all the sensory elements of another world, it sure felt damn real!

Interestingly you don’t need to have a multi-million-dollar budget to create other worlds or travel to distant places.

We Humans Have The Best ‘Reality’ Making System Known To Man…

It’s Called The Human Mind (Note I Said Mind, Not Imagination).

It all comes down to the operator.

The director behind the camera, who directs and controls what our brains will capture to the image sensor, our mind.

When you get this; tons of issues you previously considered as problems for “personal development” dissolve and disappear.

Rather than asking “Why do I act a specific way?” and creating in to being negative self-identification problems, you change your perspective (picking up the camera of your mind) and shoot your life from another perspective.

Life issues become much easier to solve.

But what is reality?

Albert Einstein once said:

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”

How right he is. But it’s a kind of weird thing to say isn’t it?

It is until you understand that our brains construct our perceptions.

We don’t perceive the entire world “out there” directly but receive a subset of all information available.

Through a series of transforms… our senses receive information about the world, which is passed to our brain to organise and interpret that information for us.

By the time the data about the world is presented to the theatre of our ‘consciousness”, so many details about how the image stream was captured, edited, and which FX elements were added is mostly completely outside our awareness.

The conscious mind unaware that this process is going on largely accepts what it perceives as a statement of ’truth’.

Almost never contemplating that what it perceives is filtered and shaped by many factors, long before the image stream is presented for conscious processing.

We could almost say the process has a dream like quality to it.


Day dreams.

Day dreams that we play over and over again for years.

That reminds me of another Oscar winning movie from Christopher Nolan, called Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

In the movie DiCaprio plays Cobb, a thief who through a dream sharing technology enters people’s minds to steal their secrets.

It’s another visual feast, with some great nested story telling from start to finish, as the viewer is catapulted in to the world of the dreamer.

Cobb (DiCaprio) has a problem; he’s about to do one big job to plant a dangerous idea in a CEO’s mind, but he can’t create the dream space himself (for script spoiler reasons).

He recruits a new team member, Ariadne, on how to architect the perfect dream space.

Early on in her training he warns her:

“Never recreate (the dream space) from memory. Always imagine new places!”

She asks why?

“Because building a dream from your memory is the easiest way to lose your grasp on what’s real and what isn’t real.”

And when you can’t differentiate between what is a figment of your mind and what is actually reality based data, all manner of problems and suffering can ensue.

Now imagine what the effect would be... if billions of people didn’t realise they had this ‘reality’ making machine was working largely autonomously and outside their awareness 24x7?

All kinds of misunderstandings, mental health issues and conflicts amongst others would arise.

Kind of like the world today.

(Of course our minds can be used to create many truly great things. And our imagination is a tremendous asset.)

Could it be that we are each caught in dreams?

Our own specific dream stories and caught within dreams of others dreams?

Never realising we are the dreamer. Or aware of what is creating the dream reality we each inhabit.

Something to reflect on.

How is your dream machine affecting you?

Each of us are experts at creating vast mental worlds which unbeknownst to us we occupy and then act as if the world we’ve generated with our mind is real.

Or blame the feeling of the dream on someone else.

Never realising that our brain constructed imagery, influenced by our environment, culture and biases is shaping our reality.

As a student of NLP it’s very valuable to notice which type of dreams our clients, family and friends occupy.

And of course ourselves; if we want to wake up from the dream!

And change reality.

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I'm Tom.

Everyone has something they’d like to change in their life. I’m here to help you transform the behaviours that get in your way so you can have the life you really want.

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