Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You've Been Living in a Dream World...

"You've been living in a dream world, Neo...."

Those words were spoken by Laurence Fishburne to Keanu Reeves in the 1999 blockbuster "The Matrix." That our reality is something other than it seems is not new; it's a plot line that's been recycled for centuries. Its latest rebirth is in "Inception," a sharp, well-written film about people who enter and manipulate others' dreams as a means either to extract information from or to plant ideas in a dreamer's mind.

"Inception" introduces a mysterious device that allows multiple people to enter someone's dream. Once inside, a dream architect can change the dream, constructing an alternate reality to deceive the dreamer and to allow the other team members to interact with the dreamer's mind. Though skilled at manipulating dreams, the characters are afraid of having their reality similarly altered. To solve this problem, each one always carries a totem. Each totem looks like an ordinary object, but has a physical property that only the bearer knows; a die weighted a certain way, a perpetually spinning top. A hostile architect creating a deceptive alternate reality would be unable to duplicate the hidden properties of the totem; if the bearer were to roll the dice or spin the top and the totem were to behave differently, the bearer would know he was in a dream. In the film, totems are essential to remind the bearer of what is real.

A person who believes in Jehovah faces a similar reality crisis. He observes the reality presented by his senses: a physical world he can touch, taste, feel, see, and hear. However, he believes that reality extends farther, incorporating the supernatural realm: Jehovah is God, man has a soul, the Creator has demands on Creation. These two realities constantly collide; he struggles to live "in the light of eternity" while being blinded by the temporal sun.

Thankfully, he has a totem: the Bible. That book contains God's written words, clearly spelling out the transient nature of the physical world and the permanency of his soul. As Peter wrote,
[T]he day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? . . . [I]n keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.1
Someone's "word" can describe a promise; if a man guarantees he'll do something, he gives his word. Similarly, the Bible is God's word, Jehovah's promise. It describes the reality that He guarantees is true, despite what our senses might tell us is real. If you're drowsy, or have fallen asleep, consult your totem, be reminded where reality lies, and wake up...

Don't waste your life living in a dream world.

1. 2.Pet.3:10-14.

1 comment:

  1. Dude John! This was totally an awesome read! and I'm so glad you got a blog!!!

    and I'm also so glad I have my Totem the Bible!