David Lynch’s Guru and His Art

A lot of people adored Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the leader of the Transcendental Meditation Movement, who died yesterday. Maharishi was … Continued

A lot of people adored Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the leader of the Transcendental Meditation Movement, who died yesterday. Maharishi was known as the giggling guru and he preached world peace and pure consciousness for every man.

Strangely, one of his biggest fans and followers was neo-noir film director David Lynch, who has authored films such as Blue Velvet and Lost Highway that explore something that seems more like subterranean consciousness. David runs a charity that aims to teach children TM and he has given many talks on the benefits of meditation.

I gave him a call at his production office here in Los Angeles and see what he was thinking about the day after the death of his guru.

Me: How are you David? How are you feeling?

David: I’m doing OK, Claire, it is a big day, was a big day yesterday.

Me: Do you feel sad?

David: I felt very sad, but also, very happy. Very happy that I knew Maharishi, that I got his meditation and very happy for the world that Maharishi brought out unbelievable cosmic knowledge and was able to bring enlightenment to the people and peace on earth. Now it is up to the people he left behind to follow through and put the pieces in place, Claire, and it’s going to be a beautiful world.

Me: Are you one of the people?

David: Everyone plays a part, I’ll do what I can do. I’m cutting a documentary that I’m making right now of a fifteen country tour I did in November to establish invincible universities for peace, with Maharishi’s consciousness based education. For me it’s also just telling people what I know about Maharishi.

Me: What does it mean to you that Maharishi is dead?

David: Well, Maharishi dropped his body. It’s like a man is in a car and the car is old and the man gets out of the car and rolls the car into the water into a lake. Do we feel sorry for the man? The car is gone but the man is there. No problems for Maharishi. People are sad because that voice of wisdom is gone.

Me: How do you tell the world what his significance was? In simple terms.

David: Maharishi, you could say, Maharishi is a man of peace. A man of love. A man of wisdom. And if you listen to him, if you take up those teachings, your life will get better and better and better.

Me: How’s your life?

David: Great.Yeah. Sure.

Me: You remember the first time you met Maharishi?

David: I met Maharishi the first time face to face in 1975 in Los Angeles, California. It was at that center of Spiritual Regeneration Movement in LA, where I had started meditating. And Maharishi came to that center and it was his last visit, and I was there that night, along with three or four hundred people.

Me: And what was your first impression?

David: My friend had gotten a bunch of flowers to present to Maharishi and I handed him my flower and for the briefest moment our eyes met and when Maharishi looks into your eyes, and he looks into yours….well…it’s an incredible, incredible moment.

Me: Well, I have to ask, and I know everyone must, but isn’t there a black cloud of negativity in your films?

David: Everyone does ask. I went to to 26 countries, and in each one they say ‘how come if you’re so happy you make these films?’ The answer is films, books, music, all these things reflect the world in which we live. And up to now the world has been a dark and troubling place. Stories have great contrast, through the centuries, they have positive and negative swimming together. But I always end up saying the artist doesn’t have to suffer to show suffering. Have it on the screen but have the people come out of the theater into a world of peace, of a beautiful world. They don’t have to suffer in their lives

Me: Are you suffering?

David: NO!

(lots of giggling….)

Me: Do you consider yourself part of the TM Movement?

David: NO! I’m not in the movement, I’m a TM meditator, and you know, I have done lots of talks since I’ve heard about Maharishi’s peace creating groups and no one seemed to be listening. I’m not technically part of the movement. I’m just a person who knows what meditation has done for himself.

Me: Did you do a puja [a Hindu ceremony] today?

David: No, no. These things are internal things. Like I said there’s nothing to worry about — everything is good. Everyone is sorry that Maharishi’s voice is no longer in the world, but there’s more ways than that to communicate. Everything is very good. I just feel that there’s a connection, and everything is very good.

Me: Well thank you for talking to me.

David: Good deal Claire. Write something beautiful for Maharishi.

Me: Um, OK. Ill try.

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  • Anonymous

    Oooopssssadaisy.It’s ALBERT EINSTEIN [A.E.]pbuh] Important: O.U.R. Father [A.E.] & Prophet of the “Holy Cosmic Feelers Faith” [Ho-Co-Fe-Fa] via O.U.R. “ONE UNIVERSAL RELIGION BOOK OF TRANSFINITY [OUR-BOT] had investigated ‘Buddhism” Philosophy & Practice & found it to be PRE-APOCALYPOTIC & somewhat Primitive, but Better than All the Other Jewish (of which he was of) faith & the Christian Faith & the Islamic Faith & also the Hindu faith Man-Made (zero ECLAT made) “COMPETING” (for Asperants/Money) Systems!

  • Silver Spring

    Maharishi was a beautiful soul who walked the earth to bring the world peace and prosperity by bringing the individual enlightenment. Maharishi’s gift to the world, Transcendental Meditation, allows the mind to settle down, transcend the relative, and experience the absolute. Some might say to find the God within. Once experienced, pure knowledge is gained. Practiced every day, the enlightenment of the saints.I will miss Maharishi’s talks. Maharishi and his gift will always be with me.

  • Raoul Duke, Esq.

    Jeepers. If I had one apolitical, agnostic role model in my life, it was Mr. Lynch. I am surprised he has such devotion to something that I had always considered just another crackpot philosophy that helps people pass the time between drug-induced nervous breakdowns. However, if his beliefs helped Mr. Lynch make films so wonderful and diverse as Eraserhead, Dune, Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire, then who I am to judge? I just wonder whether Maharishi Mahesh Yogi ever saw his films.Keep up the disturbing work, Mr. Lynch. The world is far more disturbed that you could ever portray it.Raoul Duke, Esq.

  • Athena

    Ahhh… JJ’s just havin’ a bad day. His boy Mitt just dropped out of the race. That being said, I’m a proud member of the Lynch Mob and a huge fan of Twin Peaks. Lynch is a strange one, but he’s definitely a man of peace.

  • Who is Jovez

    Who is this person, Jovez and what does he talk about?Thanks!

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    Is Jovez Mormon?

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    Seventh Day Adventist?

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    Hasidic Jew

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    Wahabi or Salafi Muslim?

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    Zen Buddhist?

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    special caste Hindu?

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    Kalahari Bushmen spiritual?

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    Follower of Greek religion?

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    Roman religion?

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    Roman religion?

  • Who is Jovez?


  • Anonymous

    Church of the New Song (CONS)The Church of the New Song emerged in 1970 as an expression of a new rights movement among residents of penitentiaries in the United States. It was begun by Bishop Harry W. Theriault, a convicted bank robber, in the federal prison at Atlanta, Georgia. The name of the church refers to the new song mentioned in Revelation 5:9 and 14:3, which church members believe is the sound of the new era, and also the new song being sung by the youth. Theriault, his co-founder Jerry M. Dorrough, and others began immediately to agitate for recognition within the prison system. In February 1972 a federal court recognized the church as a legitimate body, and ordered prison officials to permit it to meet and hold services. After that decision the church spread rapidly and became the focus of controversy. It was accused of causing a work strike at San Quentin, and its sincerity was questioned because of a claimed specification that porterhouse steak and Harvey’ s Bristol Cream were its communion elements. Theriault was soon transferred to the federal prison at La Tuna, Texas.According to the church, ” Eclat” is the ” new name” of the divinity referred to in Revelation 3:2, thus the church is also termed the Eclatarian Movement. Eclatarianity is the highest fulfillment of Christian prophecy. The end of the Christian era, the era of grace, is the beginning of the Eclat era. The church considers the American governmental and bureaucratic system to be so corrupt that there is no more time for grace. The message of the Church of the New Song is the word of life. The Law of Nature is to act and have power. ” Eclat is the Light and the deed is love; if you seek the Light, do the deed.” Man’ s basic needs are said to be shelter, food, and someone to love. When these have been attained, men should busy themselves helping others attain their basic needs. The teachings of the church are summarized in Holy Mizan, termed a ” para-testament.” The paratestament is a third testament coming after the first, or Old, Testament and the second, or New, Testament.The church is episcopal in polity, operating within the boundaries of prison existence. Theriault, the bishop of Tellus, is assisted by Dr. Stephen S. Fox, S.R.M. (sealed revelation minister), the international chancellor of information. Fox is also a professor of psychology at the University of Iowa. Other officers include Dr. Richard Tanner, S.R.M., prime coadjutor; Dr. Becky Hensley, envoy international; Robert Copeland, redactor international; and Jerry Dorrough, coadjutor of Tellus. Male Eclatarians are referred to as ” Maverites,” and females as ” Sporades.”By 1972 the church had 27 chapters in state prisons and 16 in federal prisons. The church has grown in recent years both inside and outside the prison system, despite Theriault’ s isolation at La Tuna. A militant program concerning religious freedom in the prison system has been pursued. In 1972 Theriault took a Nazarite vow, which included a refusal to cut his hair (a primary requirement in most prisons). He also began to question the government’ s subsidy of religion through its salaries to prison chaplains.Membership: Not reported.Sources:Lightbringer Shiloh [Harry W. Theriault]. Holy Mizan, Supreme Paratestament of the New Song. Bend, OR: Sacred Text Press, 1982.

  • egc52556

    Thank you for your article. But handled under the faith / religion section misses one of the key points, and most misunderstood, of Maharishi’s teaching: TM is not a faith nor a religion; it is a technique. The technique works without faith just as surely as brushing your teeth makes them cleaner. Try it, you’ll like it.

  • egc52556

    Thank you for your article. But handled under the faith / religion section misses one of the key points, and most misunderstood, of Maharishi’s teaching: TM is not a faith nor a religion; it is a technique. The technique works without faith just as surely as brushing your teeth makes them cleaner. Try it, you’ll like it.Eddie Caplan

  • Andy

    Thanks for running this piece. its so important for us to get a glimpse, a reminder, of the spiritual reality…

  • Anonymous

    strange cat, the Lynch…

  • khefera

    it’s a shame someone as talented and intelligent as lynch could fall for such ignorant superstition.

  • LD

    Isn’t anything to do with faith, spirituality or “ultimate truth” ignorant superstition?

  • David Thebodo

    Those who dream of world peace and inner peace (even secretly) should visit Fairfield Iowa where several thousand practice Maharishi’s TM Technique twice a day and live along side local midwest natives to create a community rich in the arts and entrepreneurial spirit and a safe environment in which to raise a family. I arrived in 1974 bringing a car load of students on my way to Calif. I had recently learned TM at an east coast Catholic college in an eastern philosophy course taught by a Protestant minister. I became curious of the social experiment which was about to unfold (east meets west), stayed and became a TM teacher, went to grad school, worked in industry, brought my family here in’86, created three businesses and have enjoyed being part of a unique community. Thank you Maharishi

  • B-man

    Hahahahahahahahaha!Yo YO YO!Prophesies, Apocalypse….Your Scientology version of Christianity is so over the top superstitious, I have to laugh at your put downs of other religions as being superstitious.HaHaHaHeyHeyHeyMe O My

  • halozcel

    *Mulholland Drive* was a perfect movie.

  • davequ

    I took my first TM course in 1969. Since then, for me TM has been an excellent, low-maintenance, natural and healthy relaxation TECHNIQUE. It is NOT (for me) a religion, philosophy, cult, explanation for the “meaning of life” or any other cosmic bullsh#. It is simply a mentally and physically healthy & efficient relaxation technique that is likely not much different (in results) than biofeedback, self-hypnosis, yoga, tai chi, etc. Most of my friends, like me, instinctively and immediately rejected any dogma, brainwashing, philosophies, etc. that were sometimes offered as baggage back then with TM. But the short & simple TM meditation exercise twice a day proved enjoyable, healthy and relaxing for everyone, as it still does for me to this day. In that respect, despite any / all of Maharishi’s human faults: “Sexy Sadie (Maharishi), – what have you done … … I am grateful that someone was generous enough to share this simple efficient exercise in relaxation that beats the hell out of drugs, alcohol, etc. when it comes to dealing with and healing stress from this everyday world.Thanks Maharishi. Peace and good luck to you.

  • RH

    It’s a shame. The experiment that Lynch cites as fact in his book and elsewhere, of a gym-full of TM’ers lowering the crime rate, is completely false and was definitively disproven. How can one person be so smart in one place and such a sucker in another?Whatever, my only gripe with it is that it’s getting in the way of his true work as a filmmaker. If you’re functioning as a private individual, David, then function: do what you’re here on earth to do: make INLAND EMPIRE 2: Kingsley’s Revenge!

  • please people

    Take your medication.

  • whattheshotis

    Why are there people like Frank? Why is there so much trouble in this world?

  • Kartika Damon

    I am addressing the comment by Eddie that TM is purely a technique and has nothing to do with faith. Eddie you must have had the 3 days of checking when you were told the meaning of what you experience during meditation. Remember the “knowledge” given, the explanations that require faith in the principals that are underlying the entire meditation practice? Does it not require faith to except that the goal of mediation is the ultimate called Enlightenment – certainly faith enters into this picture somewhere, don’t you think?

  • Sivadas Madhavan

    One of the things many fail to recognize is the distinction between the message and the messenger. Maharishi’s message was a simple one from the depth of Hinduism; Truth, love and compassion. One should note that neither this messenger nor his message advocated anything other than this. He did not ask anyone to abandon his own roots or culture or religion. This is the core of Hinduism, and it stands apart from all of the other dogmas. Maharishi did not ask anyone to regard him as God or worship him as God. A good teacher is the imparter of knowledge and worthy messages selflessly. It is also essential that he practices what he preaches. No one who is born is immune from any of the physical limitations of the human body, never in the past, not now and not in the future. The gurus who know this stand out in a class by themselves. When the disciples expect more than that from their gurus, they will be disillusioned. When a guru fails to teach his disciples this truth, the guru fails.Maharishi was a good man. Neither perfect nor divine. He was a good messenger and did justice to those who understood the role of the guru.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous


  • Franz Richter, Germany

    East and WestWhen East and West uniteWhen East and West combineAnd all will be in sight, But East and West, they willAnd when we ARE the sun

  • One

    God Bless everyone.

  • Covexsidr

    Срочно продаем земельные участки в районе Большой Феодосии (Крым), очень дешево из первых рук.

  • megatrendsZ

    Hello All

  • suzy

    does your religeon shun witchs