Archive for July, 2013

Inspiring excerpts – David Lynch: Catching the Big Fish – Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity

July 28, 2013

Inspiring excerpts from a book by David Lynch: Catching the Big Fish – Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity

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. Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure. They’re huge and abstract. And they’re beautiful. Everything, anything that is a thing, comes up from the deepest level. Modern physics calls that level the Unified Field. The more your consciousness – your awareness – is expanded, the deeper you go toward this source, and the bigger fish you can catch.

Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity
–David Lynch

David Lynch (b. 1946) – director, visual artist, musician and, most significantly, long-term Transcendental Meditation practitioner – is best known for his surrealist films, having developed his own unique cinematic style, characterized by dream imagery and meticulous sound design. In the course of his career, he has received numerous nominations and awards, including the illustrious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and a Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement at the Venice Film Festival.

His most popular and critically-acclaimed film projects include Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive and INLAND EMPIRE. He has also embraced the internet as a medium, producing several web-based shows, such as the animation, Dumbland, and the surrealist sitcom, Rabbits.

He has also produced a brilliant literary offering, Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity. Written in short chapters on themes as diverse as painting, filmmaking, meditation, consciousness, the texture of a dead body and other such profound matters, it is an absolute treat for any aspiring artist who is also keen to dive deep for the so-called bigger fish and is looking for a truly authentic and honest interpretation of life.

Desire
Desire for an idea is like bait. When you’re fishing, you have to have patience. You bait your hook, and you wait. The desire is the bait that pulls those fish in – those ideas.

The beautiful thing is that when you catch one fish that you love, even if it’s a little fish – a fragment of an idea – that fish will draw in another fish, and they’ll hook onto it. Then you’re on your way. Soon there are more and more and more fragments, and the whole thing emerges. But it starts with desire.

Consciousness
Through meditation one realizes the unbounded. That which is unbounded is happy. There is no happiness in the small.
Upanishads

Little fish swim on the surface, but the big ones swim down below. If you can expand the container you’re fishing in – your consciousness – you can catch bigger fish.

Here’s how it works: Inside every human being is an ocean of pure, vibrant consciousness. When you ‘transcend’ in Transcendental Meditation, you dive down into that ocean of pure consciousness. You splash into it. And it’s bliss. You can vibrate with this bliss. Experiencing pure consciousness enlivens it, expands it. It starts to unfold and grow.

Intuition
Know That by knowing which everything is known.
Upanishads

Life is filled with abstractions, and the only way we make heads or tails of it is through intuition. Intuition is seeing the solution – seeing it, knowing it. It’s emotion and intellect going together. That’s essential for the filmmaker.

How do you get something to feel right? Everybody’s got the same tools: the camera and the tapes and the world and the actors. But in putting those parts together, there are differences. That’s where intuition enters.

Personally, I think intuition can be sharpened and expanded through meditation, diving into the Self. There’s an ocean of consciousness inside each of us, and it’s an ocean of solutions. When you dive into that ocean, that consciousness, you enliven it.

You don’t dive for specific solutions; you dive to enlighten that ocean of consciousness. Then your intuition grows and you have a way of solving those problems – knowing when it’s not right and knowing a way to make it feel correct for you. That capacity grows and things go much more smoothly.

Identity
The thing about meditation is: You become more and more you.

Sound
Sometimes you hear a piece of music, and it marries to a scene in the script. When I’m shooting, I will often play that piece of music in the headphones whilst listening to the dialogue. Hearing the music is just a verification that things are going the right way – for instance, the right pace or lighting. It’s just another tool to ensure that you’re following that original idea and being true to it.

Ask The Idea
The form which embodies that wish appeared in consciousnesses – that is to be held within consciousness.
Upanishads

The idea is the whole thing. If you stay true to the idea, it tells you everything you need to know, really. You just keep working to make it look like that idea looked, feel like it felt, sound like it sounded, and be the way it was. And it’s weird, because when you veer off, you sort of know it. You know when you’re doing something that is not correct because it feels incorrect. It says, ‘No, no; this isn’t like the idea said it.’ And when you’re getting into it the correct way, it feels correct. It’s an intuition: You feel-think your way through.

You start one place, and as you go, it gets more and more finely tuned. But all along it’s the idea talking. At some point, it feels correct to you. And you hope that it feels somewhat correct to others.

Suffering
It’s good for the artist to understand conflict and stress. Those things can give you ideas. But I guarantee you, if you have enough stress, you won’t be able to create. And if you have enough conflict, it will get in the way of your creativity. You can understand conflict, but you don’t have to live in it.

In stories, in the worlds that we can go into, there’s suffering, confusion, darkness, tension and anger. There are murders; there’s all kinds of stuff. But the filmmaker doesn’t have to be suffering to show suffering. You can show it, show the human condition, show conflicts and contrasts, but you don’t have to go through that yourself. You are the orchestrator of it, but you’re not in it. Let your characters do the suffering.

It’s common sense: The more the artist is suffering, the less creative he is going to be. It’s less likely that he is going to enjoy his work and less likely that he will be able to do really good work.

Light of the Self
He who sees everything as nothing but the Self,
and the Self in everything he sees,
such a seer withdraws from nothing.
For the enlightened, all that exists is nothing but the Self,
so how could any suffering or delusion continue
for those who know Oneness?
Upanishads

Negativity is like darkness. So what is darkness? You look at darkness, and you see that it’s nothing: It’s the absence of something. You turn on the light, and darkness goes.

But sunlight, for instance, doesn’t get rid of negativity. It gets rid of darkness but not negativity. So what light can you turn on that removes negativity the way sunlight removes darkness? It’s the light of pure consciousness, the Self – the light of unity.

Don’t fight the darkness. Don’t even worry about the darkness. Turn on the light and the darkness goes. Turn up that light of pure consciousness: Negativity goes.

The Box and the Key
I don’t have a clue what those are.

Fire
Sitting in front of a fire is mesmerizing. It’s magical. I feel the same way about electricity. And smoke. And flickering lights.

Advice 
The Truth upholds the fragrant Earth and makes the living
water wet. Truth makes fire burn and the air move,
Makes the sun shine and all life grow. A hidden truth
supports everything. Find it and win.
Ramayana

Stay true to yourself. Let your voice ring out, and don’t let anybody fiddle with it. Never turn down a good idea, but never take a bad idea. And meditate. It’s very important to experience the Self, that pure consciousness. It’s really helped me. I think it would help any filmmaker. So start diving within, enlivening that bliss consciousness. Grow in happiness and intuition. Experience the joy of doing. And you’ll glow in this peaceful way. Your friends will be very, very happy with you. Everyone will want to sit next to you. And people will give you money!

Thanks to StillnessSpeaks.com for compiling this list.

See Fishing For Fallen Light: A Tanka inspired by David Lynch and Pablo Neruda with links to videos of David talking about these ideas.

Documentary film on David Lynch titled “Meditation Creativity Peace”

Since the book, David Lynch made a 16-country tour around the world when he spoke to government leaders, film students, and the press. It was made into a documentary film and premiered in NY. Watch the trailer for a new documentary film on David Lynch titled “Meditation Creativity Peace”.

This was later followed by a premier in Los Angeles: Russell Brand and David Lynch at LA Premiere of ‘Meditation, Creativity, Peace’ Documentary. Also see David Lynch, Russell Brand, Bob Roth Q&A after screening Meditation, Creativity, Peace documentary at Hammer Museum. Links to videos and articles are available at the bottom of each post.

The film continues to be shown in major cities around the world. Check your local TM center and the David Lynch Foundation for more information.

The documentary film was made available online, March 3, 2016. You can watch it here on The Uncarved Blog.

Fishing For Fallen Light: A Tanka inspired by David Lynch and Pablo Neruda

July 28, 2013

I thought of David Lynch and his book, Catching the Big Fish, when I read a particular poem by Pablo Neruda in The Sea and the Bells. Both deal with the search for illumination; finding and clarifying a creative idea.

In this video David answers a question about his creative process, describing where ideas come from and how they coalesce into a finished product: David Lynch: ‘Ideas Are Like Fish.’ He says ideas are like fish and the deeper you go the more powerful, abstract and beautiful they are. Your desire for an idea is like a bait on a hook. When you catch one, others get attracted to it. Lynch sometimes gets a part of an idea and others come along. He writes them down. He advises that you have to stay true to the initial idea as it begins to form, even in ways you may not have anticipated, until it all comes together and you get it right. He describes how a script for a film can come about in this way.

The last line-stanza in Neruda’s poem uses the same idea, described here as sitting on the rim of a well of darkness fishing for fallen light.

Talk about transcending and patiently waiting to catch the big fish, an idea that will illuminate the mind and inform a work of art!

Here is that poem by Pablo Neruda in The Sea and the Bells (pp. 82/83):

Si cada día
dentro de cada noche,
hay un pozo
donde la claridad está encerrada.

Hay que sentarse a la orilla
del pozo de la sombra
y pescar luz caída
con paciencia.

If each day falls
inside each night,
there exists a well
where clarity is imprisoned.

We need to sit on the rim
of the well of darkness
and fish for fallen light
with patience.

Here is my tanka inspired by David Lynch and Pablo Neruda:

Fishing For Fallen Light

Catching the big fish
will illuminate the mind
and inform the work

Look within to find the light
ideas are swimming there

More information on David Lynch and his book:

This audio book review provides a clear synopsis of David’s book and the ideas expressed in it. See Inspiring excerpts – David Lynch: Catching the Big Fish – Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity, which lists quotes by topic posted on StillnessSpeaks.com. You can listen to Catching the Big Fish (FULL AUDIOBOOK) on YouTube. Excerpts by topic can be found on YouTube, for example, the notion of suffering to create.

David Lynch says meditation has allowed him to remove stress and access deeper more beautiful ideas he falls in love with and translates into film, painting, sculpture or music. In this talk filmmaker David Lynch describes his experience of the creative process in the light of his practice of Transcendental Meditation at the Majestic Theater in Boston. He says, “It’s a great thing for the filmmaker.”

See Inspiring excerpts – David Lynch: Catching the Big Fish – Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity.

Les Crane interviews Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

July 6, 2013

This is a delightful find—early vintage Maharishi—interviewed by a popular LA television talk show host. Les Crane interviewed Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in September 1967 about a month after The Beatles had met and learned Transcendental Meditation from him. They go over the basics of what Transcendental Meditation is and is not. Maharishi is delightful, laughing and quipping throughout the interview. The one-hour show, minus commercials, is 49:30 minutes long.

67_beatles_maharishi-mahesh_yogi_002-580x389

Les asks Maharishi when he first heard of the Beatles and when they first met him. He then quotes the Beatles from the current (Sept 22, 1967) Time magazine cover story, THE BEATLES / Their New Incarnation, where they favorably describe Maharishi and how TM fulfilled their search for a genuine spiritual experience.

Les asked some good questions. He was an intelligent man. Halfway into the program Les opens up questions from the audience. He also introduces Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and mentions his association with Maharishi. Les then introduces Jerry Jarvis, national director of SIMS, and asks him to explain the Five Year Plan. Maharishi mentions Charles Lutes and his plan to build an Academy of Meditation in the US. Les asks what the world would look like if many people practiced Transcendental Meditation, and Maharishi gives him a very practical description.

At the end of the program Les apologetically prefaces what he’s about to say when he announces who his guests will be on the next show. “We have been talking about Transcendental Meditation and spiritual enrichment and fulfillment tonight. Tomorrow night we’re going to have a group of people on the program who believe that the way to find inner peace and happiness is an entirely different way. We’re gonna have a few representatives of the Sexual Freedom League on the program.” [laughter, a few more comments, then adds] “I had to say that because that’s what we do here, we look at everything.”

Maharishi: “To search is good.” Les, smiling: “To search is good.” Maharishi adds: “And to find fulfillment is really great.” [loud applause] Les: “Maharishi, thank you very much.” Maharishi: “Good luck to the whole nation through you.” Les: “Good bye. Bless you all.”

See this recent post of The Telegraph reporting on a recent TM study improving graduation rates saying the Beatles may have been on to something after all during their fabled journey to India.

Also see Maharishi interviewed on the BBC in 1967.

The BBC World Service program Witness, will air an interview with Theresa Olson, Monday March 3, 2014, 8:50 GMT. In the spring of 1959, Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi set off around the world to spread the teachings of Transcendental Meditation. Witness speaks to Theresa Olson, who was ten years old when the Maharishi came to stay in her parents’ house. A photo is shown of Maharishi taken from BBC1, Sunday July 5, 1964, to promote the upcoming interview on The Maharishi’s World Tour.

Another program worth watching from those early days is the 1968 CBC documentary of Maharishi at Lake Louise.

The most recent biography on Maharishi aired on A&E’s History Channel, 40 years after the BBC and Les Crane interviews.

Maharishi explains the reason for TM’s worldwide popularity

Maharishi always had an interesting take on world events. In this recently posted 1968 video, he discusses where the worldwide popularity for Transcendental Meditation started. During his visit to England in the summer of 1967, he describes the countrywide concern that was being expressed over the previous 8 months about the deplorable drug problem among the youth. Thanks to Patti Harrison, The Beatles heard Maharishi was going to speak at the London Hilton and got front row seats. They wanted to meet him afterwards and it was arranged. Maharishi inspired them to want to do something good for the youth and they agreed. They wanted to learn how to meditate from Maharishi and he invited them to join him on the long train ride to Wales where he was going to lead a 3-day meditation course. Some reporters overheard their plans. When The Beatles met Maharishi at the train station, they were surrounded by over 50 press. The video contains footage from that time as well as photos taken at the lecture and on the train. There is also actual footage taken privately of their discussion, but it has yet to be made public.

Maharishi explains it was not the Beatles that created the worldwide publicity about TM, but the English press who reported on their wanting to learn to meditate, which, they felt would inspire the British youth to give up drugs in favor of meditation. An example of one of the English headlines was the report from the Archbishop of Canterbury congratulating The Beatles for starting Transcendental Meditation. Then the world press picked up this Beatles story and it spread globally. Maharishi emphasized it was not The Beatles, but the tense situation in the country at the time that brought about the news headlines. He said they wanted “to change the psychology of the children, and they succeeded, greatly. So this phase was behind the worldwide publicity.”

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