Revelation: The Inception of an idea

Posted on July 30, 2010

WARNING: Spoiler Alert.  Do not read yet if you are going to see the movie “Inception” and do not want to know the story.

I saw the movie “Inception” last week, and enjoyed the cinematic aspects of a cleverly thought out, well depicted story.  It is an amazingly well done movie.  It is the idea at the center of the movie that I would like to discuss a bit.

As simply as I can state it, the movie unfolds a plot to change a significant world circumstance, by hiring an expert to enter into the psyche of the man who had authority over this circumstance.  This expert was assigned to penetrate the mind of the man via his dream states.  The concept is that the “inception” of an idea must be planted so deeply in his mind that he considers the idea his own, and believes it with enough conviction to act on the idea, even when the implanted idea seems contrary to what he may have previously believed.  With the need to generate a “new” belief, the team of experts unfolds a highly complex plot to induce a 10 hour dream state, so that within the dream, another dream state can be induced, and then, within that, yet another. Penetrating three levels of his psyche, they hope to implant the idea in a very deep place of his mind.

The rest of the movie depicts the strategies and interplay of not just three but four layers of dream states, and the various confrontations of deep human mental projections, as they collide, while this team of experts negotiates the mental map of the subject, in order to deeply implant a life-shifting, world-changing idea.

It’s a great story line, and the complexity of it is played out and acted superbly.  Here is my problem with it.

You and I know how a belief changing, new idea can be generated and implanted in a moment while we are wide awake.

It’s called “revelation”.

The word “inception” in this movie refers to the generation and implanting of an idea that did not previously exist.  Obviously such an idea must come from the outside of the mind.  The only thing inside our mind, is…well…already there, hence, it cannot be new. If I make a suggestion to you, or give you information that you did not previously have, all you can really do is receive and integrate this information through channels that are…already there, and you guessed it, (maybe because you already knew?) it is not going to be transformational, only informative.

What if communication from God, was just like the same power that created the cosmos?  What if God speaking is a completely different process than human speech?  The book of Genesis (Genesis meaning the beginning of something that did not exist before…) contains the record of God making everything.  The beauty is, that He makes this everything out of nothing. Even more, He does this simply by speaking. The Genesis or Inception of all things and ideas came from the speech process of God.  You know, the same God who is still speaking today.  Follow this thought.

The same God who spoke all things into existence, breathed over His vocal chords and into the inanimate dirt and Adam became. Literally became a self.  A self that did not exist before.  That same Adam had the breath knocked out of him when he decided and committed to the idea that his knowledge could be sufficient to replace the life giving, Genesis inducing Breath of God.  No knowledge, no matter how good, or evil could reproduce the function of the Breath of Life.

God, seeing the trap that mankind was in, invites the nation of Israel to join him at the top of a mountain in the desert.  He tells Moses that if they will hear Him they will also believe. (Exodus 19:9) This is not simply because God is persuasive, it is because the voice of God generates new realities and can cause the inception of an idea that did not previously exist.  His voice can penetrate multiple layers of our psyche and create a new belief that did not previously exist.  And all of this while we are wide awake.

We read in Deuteronomy 8:3 that man shall live by “everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord”.  This tells us that what comes from God’s mouth is more that data and ideas, it is substance, and it is substantial.  That which comes from God’s mouth is enough to sustain every aspect of our lives.  Any biologist will tell you that this requires something new. Today’s life cannot be sustained by yesterdays oxygen and fuel.  It requires the inception of new fuels.

Finally, we see this most important of ideas in the book of Romans (10:17) .  Faith (the substance of things not seen before) comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ.  Another way to say this is that the kind of ideas that deeply implant, change a belief, and thereby change circumstances are generated anew when God speaks and humans hear.

Be careful how you hear this.  If you hear me meaning that you should always follow the advice given by God’s scriptures, you will have missed the difference between our knowledge of good, (or evil), and hearing afresh the breathed and spoken voice of God in your present moment.  When God speaks, He is always creating.  When you hear Him, you are being created again within.  New things are coming and old things are, well, passing away.

I have seen people walk away free from a history of pain or trauma, and I have seen people receive ideas or strategies that change not only themselves but the world around them.  In fact, I see all of these things on a regular basis.  No complex plots.  No negotiating of the human psyche.  No dream states.  I see this kind of deep and transformational changes every day when people ask a simple question.

God what are you saying to me right now.

I enjoyed the movie “Inception”.  This is not a criticism of a movie, or a religious rejection of some perceived “evil”.  This movie was an amazing display of multiple talents and ideas, and very well done.  At the core, this movie simply showed us, when cut off from revelation as an option, we are left with the need to amass knowledge and strategy and to work complex levels of thought processes, in order to attempt what God can do with a syllable.  And no matter how many layers deep the characters went, the best they could generate was still death.  The movie was a great portrayal of the inadequacy of man to be his own source.


  • Carl Henderson

    Very well said. Totally agree – revelation is WAY better than the efforts and complications of Inception. Inception represents man at his best state trying to affect change in our own strength – laboring vainly.

  • Carol Schluter

    Freedom is Revelation, Revelation is Freedom. The best part of my day is moments after I ask the Lord, “What do you want me to know now.” I like this blog. You are gifted with words – regardless with which order you put the words in. Haha!

  • This movie has had me on my feet for a few days. I love what you say about revelation and so true … one word spoken by God changes everything!

    When I’ve been thinking about the movie … I’ve thought about lies the enemy tries to get us to believe and his goal trying to be the inception of that lie … that we would believe it as our truth and it would grow like a cancer.

    The movie has had my brain on a treadmill … loved adding this to the run! 🙂

    Always a great post!

    ~Ris

  • Loved inception, but I’ve been mulling it around in my brain for two weeks. Knew there was something that didn’t sit right & I couldn’t figure out what it was? Thanks for helping me Think Differently! Ang

  • Erica L. LeBlanc

    My thoughts were similarily aligned with Marissa’s. That’s to say, to me, the movie reminded me of how the enemy works, not God. The inception of a lie…the enemy many times does this when we’re young, not necessarily through our dreams, but through life events/circumstances/experiences (which were what the dreams elicited in the movie). When we come into agreement with that lie (as you’ve said so many times, Bob), it changes how we see ourselves, how we see God, how we see others; and therefore, it changes the decision we begin to make, which then effectively changes life for us (which was the movie’s mission). The miraculous part is after all the work by the enemy to ruin us, to change us, to kill us, that God can speak in an instant, revealing the lie and imparting His truth (revelation). As we then accept and believe His truth, it then changes the way we see ourselves, the way we see God, the way we see others, and then changes the decisions we make and then our lives. What the enemy spends so much time and effort attempting to accomplish (if nothing else, the movie showed extensive effort), God can undo in an instant. (Though we all know there is always processes with God, many of which are us learning to walk in the freedom that He has just granted us.)

    Anyway, I was totally intrigued by the movie. And, I’ve anticipated hearing what you (and Alan) thought about it. Great stuff, as always!

  • Kelly C.

    I love what you have to say about this! I did have a thought from when I watched it- not in contrary, but in addition!
    I thought it was also a depiction of how Satan can go in and try to destroy people. He tells us lies- and we believe they’re our own. He confirms these lies with circumstances. And believing these lies can change how we live and what kind of person we become.
    I thought it was pretty revealing with how the enemy works. And also how powerful a thing reconciliation with the Father is.
    Not to glorify the enemy in any way. Just to reveal how he works. I also think the Lord is going to use it to make a way from His truth to be made known! Because when we recognize these lies, and then, in turn, get a revelation from God, we are transformed.
    Pretty awesome if you ask me!

    Oh! And as I’m about to hit send, I noticed someone else posted pretty much the same thing. Hopefully it’s not too repetitive.

  • Jackee

    You are a brilliant & insightful man who communicates the truths revealed to you very well. Yet somehow it seems that I now think in new ways…

  • Michelle Taylor

    Love, love this!! Will be chewing on the depth of this one for awhile….

  • Josiah C

    Inception was hands down my favorite movie since The Matrix, so well done and so thought provoking. However, only our omniscient Father fully grasps all of reality, us humans can only attempt to depict a slice of it in cinematic form, or rousing conversation for that matter. I like your handling of the word “Congruence” in your book, I think it exposes another “flaw” in the movie’s thesis. We have a mind, will and emotions and that is what comprises our soul, and as CS Lewis states, “You don’t have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body.” It is only the Holy Spirit who can work in our being, in our soul, to assess and handle all of us in entirety, congruently. He doesn’t just engage our mind, or will or emotions, He engages it all! The movie (imho) puts forth the idea that the mind is the central, foundational point at which “inceptions” take place and thus affect our will and emotions. Connection, revelation, creation, only His Word and Truth can do so in one breath… it’s just so… congruent 😮