I was thrilled to be able to interview David Lynch for Time Out recently. Here’s the interview in its entirety.
At 70-years-old, iconoclastic filmmaker David Lynch is more popular than ever. A much-publicized BBC poll of film critics around the world recently named his 2001 masterpiece Mulholland Drive the best film of the 21st century and anticipation for the much-hyped third season of Twin Peaks, which is scheduled to premiere on Showtime next year, has reached a fever pitch.
On September 25, Yoga Gives Back, a non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating poverty in India, will present Lynch with the “Namaste Award” at its fifth annual “Thank You Mother India” gala fundraiser. Yoga Gives Back is honoring Lynch for his humanitarian efforts through the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace, which helps children and adults in various areas of the world through the teaching and practice of Transcendental Meditation.
Lynch has said that he is honored to receive the award “on behalf of the thousands of teachers of Transcendental Meditation in India, the United States and all over the world who are working with great energy, wisdom and devotion in order create a more peaceful, progressive, and healthier world.” I recently had the chance to interview Lynch about his relationship to both meditation and creativity.
MGS: When you feel creatively blocked, how do you work through the problem?
DL: I desire an idea and after two-and-a-half minutes the idea comes.
MGS: Gun violence has reached epidemic proportions in my hometown of Chicago. How might Transcendental Meditation be used to combat this epidemic and increase peace at the local level?
DL: Sometimes violence can be done with fists. Sometimes with rocks. Sometimes with knives. Sometimes with baseball bats. Sometimes with hand grenades. Sometime with bombs. The whole idea is to get rid of the desire to create violence, or the need to make violence. If people are happy and blissful within, if they’re filled with universal love within, they don’t have any desire to hurt anyone or make violence. They just enjoy life and enjoy all the diversity in life. Every human being has a treasury of love and bliss within, and to access that treasure and infuse it we need a technique. Transcendental Meditation as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi allows any human being to access that treasury within each of us, and utilize that treasury to enjoy a peaceful and blissful life. There are Vedic techniques that Maharishi brought out that eliminate the enmity in any enemy, these techniques raise collective consciousness and can be powerful enough to raise collective consciousness in whole nations and even in the whole world. These techniques bring real peace. Not just the absence of war, or the desire for violence, but the absence of all negativity. We could all very easily enjoy peace on earth, heaven on earth, if these technologies are utilized everyday on a permanent basis. Mankind was not made to suffer. Bliss is our nature. The individual is cosmic.
MGS: How do Transcendental Meditation and coffee relate to each other?
DL: Both are very enjoyable.
MGS: What’s something new you want to try that you’ve never done before?
DL: Making gold from lead.
MGS: The current cultural climate doesn’t seem conducive to filmmakers with personal visions. Do you feel optimistic about the future of the feature film?
DL: The feature film and the form of the feature film is not so pleasing to people these days. A continuing story seems to be what is interesting for people nowadays. Cable television is the new art-house.
MGS: “Binge watching” has become fashionable. Why is it important to you that Twin Peaks airs in weekly installments, rather than being released all at once?
DL: I’m not allowed to talk about Twin Peaks.
MGS: If the 70-year-old David Lynch could impart a word of advice to the 35-year-old David Lynch, what would it be?
DL: Don’t throw out your B negative!