In some sense, Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity by David Lynch is an autobiographical journey.
It starts with a young movie director full of anger and anxiety taking a plunge into Transcendental Meditation on a summer day in Los Angeles in 1973. It ends more than three decades later, still in Hollywood, but with the author grown into one of the most celebrated and evocative artists in the whole movie industry.
During all those years, he has not missed a single daily session of meditation, 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the afternoon.
Moreover, he has set up a foundation for spreading Transcendental Meditation practice. His dream now is nothing less than a peaceful, caring and happy humankind.
The vast ocean of life, the peaceful waters of meditation
On another level, this book has no beginning and no end. In short independent sections — a few pages each — David Lynch jots down his thoughts, mostly on cinema.
But not only. The timeless ocean includes all of life and art and meditation.
The book flows from the same source as his famously imaginative film-making – the writing is simple yet strikingly fresh. Vast abstract ideas are effortlessly moulded into memorable images.
In order to reach the true depths of consciousness one first needs to clean up one’s Empire State Building.
Imagine, says Lynch in a section titled Golden Tower, that you are that famous skyscraper in New York. You have hundreds upon hundreds of rooms crammed full of all kind of useless, dusty and irritating stuff. Then you step into an elevator which takes you down. Deep down, into the field of pure consciousness lying underneath you.
This golden field activates tiny cleaning robots emptying all the nooks and crannies of the skyscraper. You get cleaner, finally free of obstacles, your rooms’ surfaces starting to glimmer in golden clarity… – Surreal, weird, and spot on.
The good news is that, according to the author who was born and raised as a protestant Christian, this cleaning service called Transcendental Meditation is available to absolutely everyone. It does not fight against anything or anyone. It is not a set of heavy rules and dogmas and per-requisites.
It is just a simple, powerful technique which helps us to experience the Ocean, and catch a few big Fish along the way.
LISTEN to David Lynch reading an excerpt from his book, “Catching the Big Fish”: