CORRECTION: “Mind Over Grey Matter,” which ran in Friday’s edition of the Daily, misidentified the time of the David Lynch event. It actually began at 7 p.m. Sunday, not at 5 p.m. as the article stated.
As one of the most revered figures in cult cinema, filmmaker David Lynch has fascinated audiences for decades. With his surreal and haunting portraits of the various facets of everyday American life in movies such as “Blue Velvet,” “Mulholland Drive” and the famed TV series “Twin Peaks,” Lynch is one of the most unique and daring narrative artists working today. The Montana-born visionary continues to test the boundaries of film, but he is currently devoting much of his time to a new project – the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace. Lynch will speak at the Power Center on Sunday as part of the University’s Program in Creativity and Consciousness Studies, a cross-disciplinary group dedicated to creative expression as it relates to consciousness.
One of the goals of Lynch’s foundation is to help students discover and learn about transcendental meditation (TM), which was developed by famed spiritual educator Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Lynch, who has been practicing the mental technique for 32 years, is eager to spread Maharishi’s powerful teachings.
“(TM) turns the mind within,” Lynch said. “It allows any human being to dive within and experience the unified field. All positive values of that field get better and better.”
Based on the passion in his voice, it’s clear just how much of an impact TM has had on Lynch’s life and how it affects his work.
“Negative things like anger and anxiety and fear started receding,” he said. “I enjoy doing things so much more now and have had more energy and more fun in life. I also feel intuition, which is a super-valuable tool in filmmaking or any part of life. Creativity grows and the ability to catch ideas grows. All avenues of life start improving.”
Another goal of Lynch’s foundation is to “create a wave of peace across the country.” In order to accomplish this, Lynch is currently raising money for scholarships so that 10,000 students can learn how to mediate.
“Schools are in a great deal of trouble,” he explained. “Consciousness-based education has shown huge success in reducing stress and anxiety while raising positive values. The world is full of problems, and we’re wallowing in the mud. (TM) lifts you out of the mud. Education should develop the human being.”
Recently, Lynch’s foundation gave grants to eight different middle schools to teach both inner-city students and students with learning disabilities about TM. According to Bob Roth, a spokesman for the David Lynch Foundation, research has shown that this mediation practice is more effective than medication, and students have improved their learning skills and grade point averages after practicing TM.
In addition to getting his foundation off the ground, Lynch is currently in the midst of shooting his next film, “Inland Empire,” due for release in 2006. Lynch was mum on plot details for the film, but he did reveal that he – like fellow filmmakers George Lucas and Robert Rodriguez – has made the jump from film to digital video.
“DV is the way to go,” Lynch said. While he did admit that “the quality is not as good as film,” he said there are many advantages to shooting in the digital format as well.
As with his foray into digital video, Lynch believes that new technologies are the future. “I think everything is going to merge,” he said. “The Internet is the thing. Music is on the ‘Net. Films are on the ‘Net. Everything is going to be digital.”
Lynch also made it clear that despite the huge popularity of “Twin Peaks” and the fact that his film “Mulholland Drive” was originally intended as an episodic TV series for ABC, he has no plans to return to television.
At this point, Lynch seems focused on ridding the world of stress. He believes it’s vital that people discover the power of TM and hopes to find plenty of “eager helpers” in the future.
“It’s a quick way to end suffering. It’s a huge stress reliever. When the mind settles down to the deepest level, the physiology also settles down and things start unwinding,” he said.