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Book Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

Catching the Big Fish
Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity
David Lynch
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin 12/07 Paperback $12.95
ISBN: 9781585426126


"Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you've got to go deeper," says David Lynch the idiosyncratic filmmaker whose creations include Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, Inland Empire, and the cult TV classic, Twin Peaks. He claims that he has savored the pleasures of diving deep thanks to a 33-year practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM).

TM was brought to the United States by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as a way of tapping into the "Unified Field" within; it involves sitting 20 minutes a day and repeating a mantra. Lynch is a great believer in meditation and its benefits for all creative people: "Transcendental Meditation is a simple, easy, effortless technique that allows any human being to dive within, to experience subtler levels of mind and intellect, and to enter this ocean of pure consciousness, the Unified Field — the Self."

The author grew up interested in drawing. He went to art school but fell in love with movie-making: "It's so magical — I don't know why — to go into a theatre and have the lights go down. It's very quiet, and then the curtains start to open. Maybe they're red. And you go into a world." Lynch writes movies that hold abstractions and when people see them they immediately try to make intellectual sense of the story. But Lynch wants us to take another path:

"I love going into another world, and I love mysteries. So I don't really like to know very much ahead of time. I like the feeling of discovery. I think that's one of the great things about a continuing story: that you can go in, and go deeper and deeper and deeper. You begin to feel the mystery, and things start coming."

Lynch likes the bright lights in Los Angeles, discusses the spiritual dimensions of Eraserhead, talks about being drawn to the faces of yogis in India, and ponders the pleasures of thinking in a diner. He describes the fun of gathering what he calls "firewood" (all kinds of ideas and things for a film), the joy he takes in seeing an aging building or a rusted bridge, and the respect he has for Fellini and Kubrick. Lynch loves making movies and diving deep, and this testament bears witness to both loves.

 

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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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