Time on a strange idea of our favorite David.
David Lynch is no stranger to weird confluences. But the U.S. filmmaker, known for such works as Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks, failed to anticipate the reception his latest project got in Germany this week. Lynch, whose new-age beliefs are sometimes as quirky as his movies, is touring Europe to help establish a network of so-called “invincible universities” to teach the philosophy of transcendental meditation. The idea is to engender world peace. But at a meeting this week at a culture center in Berlin, Lynch triggered a less than peaceful exchange with German onlookers when Emanuel Schiffgens, his partner for establishing such a “university” in the German capital, suddenly veered into dangerous waters.
“We want an invincible Germany!” intoned Schiffgens, the self-styled Raja of Germany. The flap those words created, with their echoes of the Third Reich, reveals both the deadly seriousness with which Germans view their wartime past and the gulf separating Lynch’s new-age agenda from that of some hard-bitten Berliners with a more historical mind-set.
The American director, a bit of a cult figure himself in Europe, regretted that the real message of transcendental meditation, which he calls an “ancient eternal knowledge verified by Western science,” was being lost in the furor. “Mankind was not made to suffer,” he said. “We are all one. Bliss is our nature … But somehow tonight this beautiful gift has gotten perverted. Let’s march boldly toward a bright and shining future!”
The Spiegel also has its say
Lynch is working to found a series of “invincible universities” across Europe. The institutions would integrate traditional courses in subjects like science and the humanities with the philosophy of Transcendental Meditation, a meditation technique pioneered in the 1950s by the Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Plans for such institutions are underway in Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, and Scotland. The Scottish project is being co-sponsored by the 1960s folk music icon Donovan.
Teufelsberg (Devil’s Mountain) is a hill in western Berlin made of rubble removed from the city after air raids in World War II. During the Cold War, the American military used it as an observation post to spy on East Germany with audio equipment. The David Lynch Foundation has entered an agreement with the city to purchase the property for an undisclosed sum, a transaction that should be completed by February of 2008.
In the wake of the flubbed presentation, the daily Berliner Zeitung reported Friday that Lynch’s university is under attack from the Protestant church and local politicians.
But Lynch clearly believes in his plans. “Somehow tonight this beautiful gift has gotten perverted,” he said at the forum. “Let’s march boldly toward a bright and shining future.”
Haha. Here’s some hilarious footage on nosedef’s blog of the latest genius to inaugurate a cult (following illustrious genius writers like Jahnn or Mishima. Good company.).
via classless kulla