Function Order: Ne-Ti-Fe-Si
Cobb is a talented “Extractor” who can go into people’s heads, plant thoughts in their minds, and has managed to turn it into a successful and lucrative business venture. He cautions Ariadne, when she is building dreams, to avoid the common pitfalls of too much familiarity or using real places, because it can tip off the subconscious mind and turn it against them. He believes it’s hard to tell the difference between the real world and a dream state, so he believes in carrying around totems and relying on them to tell him whether he is in the real world or not—all because he spent 50 years in a dream state once, where he and his wife grew old together, until he missed the real world and tricked her into coming back to reality. He is a talented innovator and logical genius, who never once questions the morals or ethics of his decisions—to him, you do this for money, and never mind the violation of privacy. Cobb keeps information from his friends from them if he thinks it would cause them to change their mind about coming with him; he is willing to lie and manipulate people to get what he wants, including not informing his friends that under such deep sedation, if they die in the dream state, they will get lost in “limbo” and never wake up. He lures people into dream-scapes to show them what they can do rather than considering their boundaries, and is prone to reactivity when he feels judged from others. One man’s scorn for his poor dream-scape ability causes him to become increasingly more reckless in his environment to prove him wrong. He doesn’t want Ariadne or his children to think of him as a murderer, or responsible for his wife’s death, and is struggling to accept his feelings of guilt and anger toward her for her suicide. Once an ambitious man and one of the cleverest creators of mental landscapes, Cobb has since fallen severely into a Si-driven grip—where he envisions his wife inaccurately, not as her true self, but as a negative and frightening manifestation of his subconscious, out to get him. He has translated her naïve actions born of her losing touch with reality into a malevolent force that intends to sabotage him, torment him, and draw him back into a false reality, so he cannot escape her projection following him into their dream-scapes; since he doesn’t want her to know the layout of his latest venture, he hires someone else to “surprise him.” Cobb spends an enormous amount of time reliving his former experiences, revisiting the places that were important to himself and his wife, and tormenting himself with memories of their happiness together—instead of moving on, he has chosen to dwell, ruminate, and become obsessed with his past. It’s only when he recognizes that the wife he has created in his mind isn’t remotely like the real one, just a pale imitation, that he can move on from his grip and return to the real world (or is it?).
Enneagram: 7w8 so/sp
Cobb pursues whatever interests him the most, on an intellectual level, but is also inconsistent, irresponsible, and refuses to take responsibility for his own actions without deep shame involved. He has turned the disaster of his life into a situation in which he was “wronged,” by blaming his wife for his inability to return to their kids because she framed him for murder, in her assumption that they were living in a dream state and needed to return to the real world. It takes him a long time to admit to all the facets of his responsibility in this area, including how his invention of Inception caused her to lose all sense of reality. He eventually bored of their life together lived in their minds, because “nothing can beat the real world,” and all it has to offer. He can be impulsive and erratic, a show-off, egocentric, convinced he has a right to take whatever he wants (even if it means misleading his closest friends and coworkers) and aggressive. The incident with his wife has caused him to grow toward 5 introspection, but also self-doubt; he no longer can trust himself to create dream worlds (out of fear his wife will show up and kill them), so he has another person do it; but he still is somewhat irresponsible in that he doesn’t warn his friends of the dangers involved in allowing his subconscious to fill their dream states.