Lynch and Frost’s Twin Peaks: The Return has left our screens for months now yet I feel compelled to address what I see as the central question of the entirety of the series: Who are we, innately, truly. Or as Monica Bellucci put it via The Eternal Stories From The Upanishads: (Published Winsome Books India) “Who is the dreamer?”
David Lynch as an avid Transcendental Meditator has commented in various interviews and made perfectly clear from his incredibly short but highly enjoyable book, Catching The Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity his beliefs in this central question. His beliefs seem highly in line with Hindu thought more than Buddhism which is the most mistaken take away from his discourses on unity and the powers of the “diving within,” of TM meditation. Maybe that’s more of a Mark Frost attribute than Lynch himself. The question of “Who is the dreamer?” and how it relates to the show is one thing, but as I believe as it relates to us is what we’re really meant to take from this now much lauded, in some smaller circles, i’m sure, infamous scene.
In the world of The Return we are introduced to the idea of Tulpas. Beings who are brought into existence from the consciousness of another. A living creation literally dreamed into reality. The question after the introduction of the Tulpas from many of the fans I’ve heard who had followed the series is who else in the series could be a Tulpa? Some have even speculated that Sarah Palmer herself was a Tulpa simply because of her spectacular reveal toward the end of Part 14. Honestly, I think as a fan of Lynch more than a fan of Twin Peaks, as great as it is, I think most people watching The Return who are more Twin Peaks fans kept making the same mistake over and over again. The belief that watching all 18 hours as if it were a puzzle would yield results. It doesn’t. It won’t. Yes, some things will be made clear, but more questions will just be raised in it’s stead. That’s the point. Lynch is a surrealist. Surrealism doesn’t solve like a puzzle. You look. You react. You take away what you want and the joy is in being able to look again and maybe come away with something different. This is the gift of surreal art, and of The Return.
So . . . Who is The Dreamer who dreams and lives inside a dream? When Monica Bellucci asks this in Part 14 she does so framed to look into the camera. She is asking us! The audience directly. Lynch wants us to wonder this about ourselves, I believe, more than if it’s Cooper or Cole himself to whom the question is asked in that cafe in France. Whenever I would find myself annoyed, albeit mildly, by speculation that everyone from Cooper, Cole, even Jerry Horne was a Tulpa from other fans I would wonder at where such logic would come from? Of course, it’s just fans desperately grasping at straws. Can’t blame them of course, and in a way they have hit upon something that maybe is the point of the question. In Lynch’s worldview aren’t we all Tulpas? Thought-forms? Dreaming ourselves into this world? One astute reviewer came to the realization that Lynch himself is the answer to the question. Here he is, the creator of the show. One of the men who dreamed it up. . . and then entered into the dream as Gordon Cole! Alan Watts, a famous lecturer primarily based in San Francisco more than once remarked on Brahman, ‘The Godhead,’ of Hindu thought as playing hide and seek with itself. In old amphitheaters actors would wear masks or “Personas” while performing their respective roles. Some smiling and others crying. In The Return Lynch wears his persona as Gordon Cole. Lynch is Brahman. Cole is a stand in for US. The us that the question is raised to. Lynch wants us to consider are place in the universe, and I believe hopefully come to the realization that we, as Alan Watts put it: Are It!
In Vedic thought, which is very ancient, the notion of the world as dream-like, not to say unreal but a perception that is more internal to us than external is becoming more and more the reality. Simulation Theory is nothing new. It’s just a tech era way of expressing a much more ancient thought. The notion in physics of a unified field and the reality of the illusion of separate solid objects one from another when there is a continuous flow of energy and matter that changes like waves rising and dissipating in an ocean just out of our functional ability to witness, give credence to the Vedic thought. That the world, the universe itself and ourselves and others are all just formations in consciousness. We are the dreamer! Thank you, Lynch and Frost for bringing such a question to the world in such a creative and fun way! Maybe even an answer. And of course, thank you Monica Bellucci!