IT WAS 10:00 o’clock on a Thursday night and, not so strangely, we were eating breakfast in Seattle’s Best. Movie buddy Jan and I needed a good kick to resurface back to the real world, and we found it – sweet heaven – in the rich selection of ham and cheese omelet, french toast, corned beef, toasted bread and two mugs of steaming café mocha.

Earlier that night, we were plugged (almost like Neo in The Matrix) for more than two hours in a separate world, bodies strapped down securely with jumbo fries to the cinema seat, while we crusaded into the different realities of Christopher Nolan’s latest movie blockbuster – Inception.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

In the film, Leonardo DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a professional thief whose talents involve delving deep into a person’s mind to extract valuable secrets while he or she is in a dream state. The movie has enough layers of complexity that we’re never quite sure what plane of experience we’re standing on exactly. It was quite easy to lose ourselves in the startling visions of a fabricated maze or city, of Paris turning on top of itself, of floating bodies and iced mountains as Leo and his team moved through another person’s multileveled dream.

“Talk about ‘Sleeping on the Job’” Jan quipped. I swallowed quickly and laughed. “Yeah, he’s got to have the best job ever. But is it even possible?”

What strikes me most about the movie is the notion that while we are asleep, we can actually create an alternate world of reality without realizing we’re doing it. That dreams, very much like movies, could bring out laughter, horror, pain, redemption, and even sometimes unlock the key to something we’ve been searching for. It gives us a chance to step outside of the box and create an alternate world for us to play in for awhile. How cool is the human mind?

Curious, I put down my fork and googled about dreams. From Wikipedia, I gathered four interesting types –the False Awakening (a vivid dream about waking up from sleep, also called a “double dream” or a “dream within a dream”); the Lucid Dream (one in which the dreamer has been aware of dreaming); Continuum (the subject falls asleep in real life, but in the dream following, the brain simulates the subject as though they were still awake. Think: Nightmare on Elm Street); and Simulated Reality (what we perceive as reality is an illusion).

Munching on eggs, I had a thought: what if, in truth, we were all just sleeping? Like what the movie Inception seems to suggest, what if our existing reality is just one big dream?

What if the coffee shop I was sitting on was simply a figment of my imagination, born out of my need to prolong the dream of Inception? Absentmindedly, I raised my cup and took a sip. The coffee seared my tongue. Hot, hot.

In Eastern philosophy it is stated that the world we experience and the life we live are the reflections of our thoughts. Thus the world is simply an illusion- “Maya”, they call it. By changing our thoughts, we change the illusion and experience a different reality.

Do we buy it? Knock, knock. Maybe it’s time to rethink about truth, perception and reality as we know it. If reality is defined as the composition of truths, then perception, after all, is what fuels truth.

In the movies, it only takes about 20 minutes to get over a broken heart; another 30 to build an empire or rise from the ashes of pain; less than two hours to recognize true love.

And for those few minutes we sit in the dark, entranced by the power of this reality, we consider these as truth. Just like dreams when we sleep. How

convenient, isn’t it, for it all to be in the mind?

In that brief moment I chewed and swallowed my last piece of toast, I considered letting go of this world, my present, to sleep and live for alternate dreams. What of me to choose immortality like Bella, or to weave magic like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice; or to spar with the Firebender? Would it be the experience of a lifetime, or would I just find myself in limbo and discover I don’t really exist, after all, like that clueless character of Nicole Kidman in the movie “The Others”? If I continue to sleep, will my family and friends still be real or just be mere projections of my need for comfort and love?

I shuddered at these last thoughts. Just then, I felt myself gasping for a sense of the familiar. I had the sudden urge to indulge in pure sensation. Like that hot coffee, I needed truth to bite me on the tongue once more. Better yet, I needed to taste and feel the shifting dreams melt in my mouth. Suddenly I knew – to complement that big breakfast in Seattle’s, I’ve got to have some of Gelatissimo’s pistachio ice cream next door before I sleep.

Still wide awake, we slowly walked home under the blanket of the midnight sky. I swirled my tongue on the melting ice cream just as the wind blew droplets of rain into my face. I looked up. The world was drizzling – both rain and possibilities.

I felt the wings of joy ran through my spine as I recognized then that this world was the reality I’ve chosen. Rich. Full. Crazy.

Beautiful. I realized then, all those dreams and movies, no matter how good they may be (even those in 3D) – are just mere shadows of my reality.

I licked my pistachio ice cream once more. Mmm, yes, something this good couldn’t be a dream. Still I pinched my palm and gave myself a good smack on the head…just in case.

Then for good measure, I punched Jan in the arm, too. Just in case.