Re: [Dream Training]
Eames wasn't from a particularly multicultural family. There had been a number of twists and turns since then and he'd lived cheerfully alongside a practical melting pot of people. He knew the genesis of the word, because like most things Eames didn't understand, he was fond of pulling them apart until they did make sense. The questions, darling, Eames understood. He'd a habit of asking them himself. Generally the kind no one wanted to answer.
"A totem is an object. Something only you know the weight of, the feel of it. No one else can imagine it, dream it the way you can. So if you're in a dream, and your totem isn't right, you know it isn't your dream. It's also how you know you're awake," Eames said with equanimity as he looked over her shoulder at the array of misshapen people putting themselves back together the right way.
"It's like suggestion, darling," Eames offered, "If I tell you not to think of elephants, what do you think of?" His smile was crooked. "The architect, it's suggesting the mind goes down a particular path. If you're dreaming, so long as nothing is vastly different to how it ought to be, in your memory, in your internal subconscious, you don't notice. You don't notice the people, either. You follow the dream."
He looked at the people again. "They're not mine. They must be yours. Somewhere in your mind. Your subconscious. That's a doll, isn't it?" The wooden one.