The Esoteric Symbolism of Twin Peaks – Zora Burden: Writer, Artist, Poet

David Lynch’s Twin Peaks is a multidimensional, metaphysical, neo-noir drama. It’s a surrealist masterpiece, interwoven with darkly comedic moments of absurdity, juxtaposed against the deceptively serene sentimentality of mid-century Americana and infused with esoteric symbolism.  Twin Peaks was a serial drama created by Mark Frost and David Lynch which aired for two seasons during 1990 to 1991. This award winning series resulted in a cult following and film prequel titled Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992).  David Lynch and Mark Frost not only infused an exhaustive amount of arcane knowledge into the script but also obscure news stories and classic film references.  The series is so informed esoterically, it is considered an initiatory process for mystery schools, of which Agent Cooper becomes an unknowing participant.  The show’s protagonist is FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, who travels to Twin Peaks in the rural Pacific Northwest on special assignment when Laura Palmer is found murdered, similar to a previous murder in Washington. The show presents highly complex worlds within worlds, which overlap and collide, containing dichotomies both obvious and subtle, within a constant flux of dualistic themes. Twin Peaks esoteric symbolism is derived from many sources but with a predominant message- the unification of dualities within and finding balance in nature. Creating this non-duality can be achieved through Taoism and spiritual alchemy. In Taoism and alchemy, our bodies are a microcosm of the cosmos, which contain the Ultimate Truth or Oneness. This truth exists in its purest form within the elements and nature, which alchemists applied to discover perfection within. The necessary process of integration and merging of dualities is personified within Agent Cooper and his investigation throughout the series. Agent Cooper’s shaman-like journey to discover Laura Palmer’s killer and the Lodges, initiates his own dark night of the soul, a ritualistic test on the threshold, a psychic and spiritual battle that culminates at the end within the Black Lodge. (Gyamtso, 2003)

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