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Introduction

Because I like watching glorified isekai.

As you can all see, this is a new blog on Twin Peaks, a series which I introduced to this wiki towards the end of last year and haven't touched in quite a while: Three months to be exact. I've started all of it by doing a blog with the intention of explaining much of the cosmology and overrarching symbolism present in the series, sticking to the more solid parts of the setting while attempting to steer away from the more subjective and interpretative aspects of it.

However, as time went on, I started to notice more subtle details once I took the time to rewatch the series after a good while and give the books a more thorough reading, and as I started seeing that some things didn't add up, I became increasingly disatisfied with the blog which had been previously made. Until I started to regard it as being quite frankly a clumsily-written mess in some dire need of expansions; it was written and posted prematurely, in my view.

I personally dislike labelling blog posts as works in progress or doing too many uploads to them every time something new is unearthed, and given this one is almost twice as large as the original blog, I figured it was appropriate to make it into a new post altogether, as opposed to a huge update on the old one.

You may also notice that this post in itself is not necessarily attempting to prove the validity of any rating that is present in the profiles, moreso just trying (emphasis on this word) to put together the little we know about the inner workings of the verse into a somewhat coherent picture, and hence it generally avoids talking about Tiers™ and shenanigans involving them. Keeping that in mind is fairly useful if you want to read through this. I am moreso focused on trying to explain what things are, and not what tier they are, if you will.

So, without further addo. Here it is:

The Dichotomy of Worlds

The setting of Twin Peaks is structured pretty simplistically, even if portrayed in a bit of an obtuse manner. In essence, it is centered around a duality of worlds; a physical, spatiotemporal universe which we inhabit, and a spiritual, aspatiotemporal and more fundamental world, that stands beyond the constraints of our own and is more conceptual in nature than anything.

The structure of the physical universe is never really elaborated upon in the main narrative of the series, which focuses more on the astral realms beyond it. However, the statements we do get relating to it are extremely interesting.

For instance, it is described as being akin to a fractal in one occasion:

I’m on the plane now, in the air, forty minutes east of Spokane. The uncanny penumbra I reported hasn’t left me—I barely slept—but it’s fading as I travel farther east. I don’t know what to make of it.
You wanted to know what happened there in that town and region, to these people you knew, whom I feel I’ve come to know now as well. They meant something to you for a reason, I think, beyond just your knowing them, beyond that they were good or interesting people in their own right: because it was all there, in that one town. All of life, cradle to grave, every shade and color of the spectrum, like a fractal, itself made up of infinite parts. The ocean in a drop of water.

This statement may seem a bit random, admitedly, but also fits perfectly with another description given to us in one of the Log Lady's introductions of the original run of the show (The Log Lady herself being someone who has direct contact with the spirit world through her log, and is thus basically the most reliable source of information in the series):

As above, so below. The human being finds himself, or herself, in the middle. There is as much space outside the human, proportionately, as inside.
Stars, moons, and planets remind us of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Is there a bigger being walking with all the stars within? Does our thinking affect what goes on outside us, and what goes on inside us? I think it does.
Where does creamed corn figure into the workings of the universe? What really is creamed corn? Is it a symbol for something else?

We'll go back to these statements comparing the universe to a fractal in a latter session of the blog, but for now just keep them in mind. Now, moving on...

The spiritual world is often represented by otherworldly planes that have been reportedly given many names thoroughout history in the series, but are most prominently called "Lodges." And as originally introduced to the series, they were divided in two parts: The Black Lodge and the White Lodge.

As explained in the series, the Black Lodge acts as a sort of purgatory, inhabited purely by malevolent spirits and governed entirely by chaos and death, whose trials the righteous souls must overcome in order to cast aside their impurities and achieve perfection in the White Lodge, where the spirits who rule over both man and nature reside.

The Black Lodge has been represented most frequently as an infinite series of hallways separated by red curtains (Appropriately called the "Red Room" at certain occasions), which the spirit most prominently shown there describes as being a "waiting room" of sorts, a detail which, again, should be kept in mind for latter. Now, as for the actual nature of these realms:

In another one of the Log Lady's monologues, the spirits that inhabit the Lodge are implied to be merely ideas that take form of men, and come unto lesser beings in the form of dreams, referring most specifically to this scene.

Sometimes ideas, like men, jump up and say, 'Hello!' They introduce themselves, these ideas, with words – are they words? These ideas speak so strangely.

All that we see in this world is based on someone's ideas. Some ideas are destructive, some are constructive. Some ideas can arrive in the form of a dream. I can say it again: Some ideas arrive in the form of a dream.

Further than this, the astral world in which they reside is also described as being "deeper" and more fundamental than our own reality, which would be more appropriately described as an illusion, a membrane or veil hiding what lies beyond.

When I opened my eyes, two things occured: I realized that I was no longer where I thought I had been, and at the same moment no longer knew who "I" was. My vision was both clouded and somehow enhanced, and at some level I registered that what I was "seeing" was not physically in front of me. I also knew that the "veil" of reality had been rent, split or torn away and that I was looking into a different and perhaps "deeper" dimension, one that either underlies ours or that coexists with it side by side, separated by the thinnest margin imaginable, one that our relatively primitive neurology prevents us from perceiving.
As i "looked" deeper--an inadequate description for a kind of seeing that involved all my senses, although not necessarily on the physical level--I realized there were living beings before me in this field of energy. As they drew closer to me, I realized that they could "see" me as well that my presence had drawn their interest. This alarmed me slightly, as I could not discern their intent. They might have been angelic or demonic, or perhaps hybrid creatures, and there were many of them moving towards me, tall and humanoid. I realized that their interest in me felt cold, reptilian, neutral but shading towards malevolence, lacking all compassion

A medicine man in Amazon would take them both at their word, believe the story at face value and treat it accordingly. Possession. An entity. Why is that any less plausible or relevant than the safe, sanitized, pre-packaged bullshit of an armchair diagnosis made solely from the neck up? What is that but a shield hoisted to protect us from the unholy terror of glimpsing ourselves as we truly are: creatures of unknown origin, trapped in time, pinned to a hostile rock through indifferent and infinite space, clueless, inherently violent and condemned to death?

There is more to Laura's story than the facts. More than meets the eye or ear. A third rail lurks here in the shadows that's deadly to the touch. There's only one way to find it. The shamans I've worked with know how to pierce the veil and see beyond the membrane of our poorly perceived and shared "reality." (They'd use the term "illusion.") They've shown me, I've experienced these things with them, I've seen through the veil, and traveled the world in pursuit of that knowledge. Dedicated my life to this search, personally and profesionally.

These testimonies, in turn, relate to several scenes in the movie, Fire Walk With Me, where reality dissolves into TV Static for brief amounts of time and then goes back to normal, something which always happens during scenes involving the Lodge. For instance, we have this scene, where the recording of the film straight up falls apart to reveal the Spirits of the Lodge holding some kind of meeting, with several future scenes flashing among the static.

And they are also complemented by the Log Lady describing the physical world itself as being a "magical smokescreen," with everything in it being nothing but an illusion or "misinterpretation" created by the inability of the human mind to perceive or sense the true reality behind things. That is, physical reality is completely fake and shaped solely by thought and perception, and the true nature of the universe (That being the spiritual world, in this case) that encompasses all things is noumenal and beyond understanding:

There are clues everywhere, all around us. But the puzzle maker is clever. The clues, although surrounding us, are somehow mistaken for something else. And the something else, the wrong interpretation of the clues, we call our world. Our world is a magical smoke screen. How should we interpret the happy song of the meadowlark or the robust flavor of a wild strawberry?

This, in turn, ties back to the Log Lady's other monologue regarding the fractal nature of the universe, where she ponders if thoughts shape reality, and then implies that the fact it does is the reason for why creamed corn acts as a symbol for something far more fundamental to the workings of the universe.

This, in turn, would naturally also be the reason for why the spirits themselves adopt human forms, and needless to say, this is not just a case of incomprehensible entities being processed in ways that the human mind can comprehend, since the physical world itself is a heavily dilluted version of the spirit world built by perception, as said above.

That they aren't literally what they appear to be is pretty much a given, but the series itself does have some visual cues that suggest this, too. For instance, the movie always depicts the spirits as existing in some void of darkness apart from their "physical" locations, and one scene in particular even has one of them dissolving into it, implying they are a part of this void to begin with, and can melt their forms into it at will.

Likewise, those entities are also defined as archetypes of sorts, with their presence and influence "filling more than the skies," and being at the root of all knowledge and discipline throughout history, with every phenomenon ever recorded by humanity (Paranormal, religious, ghostly, angelic, demonic, scientific, philosophical, or otherwise) being a direct result of the two worlds interacting.

Admitedly, the man saying this also brings up the notion that they may be just aliens from another solar system, but he then more or less dismisses this idea entirely by saying that they might also perceive us as just protozoa swimming in tap water, and that any classifications we may come up with are not really applicable, at the end of it all. Likewise, what he says also fits perfectly with how the Log Lady describes them as ideas manifesting in human forms, with everything we see in our world being a product of those ideas being conveyed to someone, through dreams or otherwise.

The spirits being ideas, in turn, also complements their world being described as associated with the deepest parts of the unconscious mind:

Okay, I have found literally dozens of volumes containing theories and speculations about owls as metaphors and symbols —including one for the aforementioned Illuminati—“screen memories” for aliens in abduction cases, guardians of the underworld, messengers of the subconscious and even more outlandish hooey. There’s one whacked conjecture that they show up as harbingers of some weird phenomenon I can’t even figure out called “reverse speech,” which is supposed to offer some sort of window into the deepest parts of the unconscious.

So, combining all of this together brings us to the conclusion that the spirit world is a fundamental, "true" reality underpinning our own, of which the material universe is just a "wrong interpretation" (i.e an illusory, reduced form) created by limited human senses and perception, and also a world of the unconscious inhabited solely by ideas, from which all theories or phenomena are derived, again as incomplete facets of an incomprehensible universe.

The Lodges exist outside of space and time entirely, too, with this being something that is repeatedly implied to be the case during the events of the series, and outright confirmed in the books. For instance, in Fire Walk With Me - a prequel of sorts to the original series - we have Laura interacting with several characters from the future through the Lodge, such as when she dreams of Agent Cooper, trapped in the Red Room with no way out, something that only came to be in the finale of the series' original run.

Furthermore, this was also implied as early as Season 2, where it is revealed that, just before the day she was murdered (February 23), Laura dreamed about Cooper and herself in the Red Room. This dream turned out to have been shared by both of them, in spite of the fact that they were days apart from one another (February 22 - February 24), with Laura being already dead from Cooper's perspective.

Linear time being irrelevant in the Lodge is also further reinforced by a phrase that is repeated quite a bit during Fire Walk With Me and The Return: Is it future... or... is it past?, which once again implies these terms are relative and completely fluid in the spiritual realm.

The Secret History of Twin Peaks then shatters any ambiguity as to the Lodge's relationship to the space-time of the physical universe, and has a character explicitly describing higher orders of existence above our universe in which time does not exist, and the whole timeline can be seen from the outside:

But what was it? What was it trying to show me? Whatever I’d been sent into these woods to find had after all this time found me first, roughing me up like a midnight dockside beatdown. Whatever this presence might be, it possessed nothing benign or benevolent in form or content, only a cold, crushing, calculating pressure. Time itself stood still, as if whatever place they’d brought me stood outside it. Throughout the ordeal I clung to one vague hope: If I survived, did this test hold some promise of revelation? I not only feared for my life; I feared the annihilation of my soul.

I saw many things I don’t remember. I heard other voices I can’t recall. All around me colors constantly phased through the spectrum, blue to green, red to violet, black to white. I felt alternately like a ragged empty doll, then nothing but searing pain that rent my flesh with sadistic ease. I saw eyes, watching, felt pressure in my mind, as if thoughts were being forcibly inserted. I’m fairly certain I journeyed back and forth through time, watching it unspool like some immense, omniscient recording.

However, from what can be gathered throughout the series, it is apparent that the Lodges themselves are structured in a layered manner, and as mentioned previously, the realm of endlessly curtained hallways that is often identified as being "the Black Lodge" is just a waiting room, and the spirits often imply that they don't actually come from it.

For instance, the Arm refers to his and Laura's birthplace as being different from the Waiting Room, and says it's a place where "the birds sing a pretty song, and there's always music in the air." MIKE also states he and BOB used to live "above a convenience store," and never once mentions the Red Room.

The latter specifically refers to another realm, which seemingly appears as an endless series of dirty, abandoned corridors and can be accessed by climbing a staiway at the side of a certain convenience store, being transported into it by flickering through the static. It is shown as being directly connected to the waiting room.

This realm is explicitly described as being metaphysical in nature, and is referred to as being a "space," in quotation marks:

For the past few years, Hastings and his girlfriend—local librarian Ruth Davenport—had been dabbling in speculative esoteric/occult research. Together they authored an amateur blog about their work, which they posted on the Internet. They titled it The Search for the Zone. According to Hastings’s testimony, at some point during their last year together, they claimed to have made contact with a person or entity that identified itself only as “The Major.” They were eventually told they could make personal contact with this individual by entering into some sort of nonphysical or metaphysical dimension.
~ The Final Dossier
He desperately wanted those coordinates from Briggs. He pursued him across a quarter century, even after an official public finding that the Major had died in that car crash, and he never relented. If Briggs ever came out of hiding—from whatever manner of “space” he was hiding in—prior to appearing in Buckhorn, we have no record of it.
~ The Final Dossier
What if Jeffries, not unlike Major Briggs a few years later, had gained access to the same system of “portals,” holes in dimensional space that allowed him to disappear and reappear, in places far apart in geographical terms, more or less at will? I’ll take it one step further, Chief: What if these same portals also allowed him to come untethered from time? Wouldn’t that help explain why Briggs hadn’t aged a day in twenty-five years? Could it also explain how Ray Monroe believed that he was receiving instructions from Phillip Jeffries?
~ The Final Dossier

As seen in the statements above, this realm seems to be even less connected to the flow of time in the physical world than the Red Room, as Major Briggs was specifically noted to have become "untethered from time" and not have aged a day while hibernating there for 25 years, whereas humans can still physically age in the Red Room, though they're still subject to an extremely convoluted form of time.

The Room Above the Convenience Store itself also connects to another plane of reality, identified as "The Dutchman's Lodge", which can only be accessed by manipulating certain electrical frequencies in order to travel into it. This realm in specific takes the appearance of an old hotel that was demolished in the 30's, and is explicitly referred as "not a real place."

This relates very well to the name which the realm adopts: "I am a dutchman" is often used as a slang to indicate skeptcism, after hearing something that is very obviously false, and further than that, this place apparently directly connects to where Phillip Jeffries' mechanized form (Which is explicitly said to not exist in the normal sense of the word) resides, which Mr. C states is "nowhere."

The Dutchman's also is once again stated to be outside of linear time:

For argument’s sake, let’s assume that, after he killed Monroe and learned about The Dutchman’s, the Double and Jeffries had some sort of contact—outside of linear time—at this no-longer-existing rustic Montana lodge. Now let’s refocus on Jeffries’s alarm at seeing Cooper in 1989—“Who do you think this is there?!”—through this same bizarre lens and this question comes up for me: Did Jeffries think he was seeing not Special Agent Dale Cooper, but the Double?"
~ The Final Dossier

Nonexistence is then explicitly namedropped in the series by the Arm's Doppelgänger as he hurls Cooper out of the Red Room, with it appearing as an infinite expanse of black water resembling outer space, and interestingly enough, it's depicted as standing underneath the Red Room, much like it and the other spiritual realms stand deeper than the physical world.

The Inspirations Behind Twin Peaks

Before continuing to delve into this, it's important we take a step aside and address something of fundamental importance to this blog. As the name of this section states: The sources of its ideas.

Although mostly a really obtuse and seemingly unparsable surrealistic experience, Twin Peaks has a fair share of influences that reflect themselves on its setting, some more subtly than others, but all of them ultimately act as equally important parts of a big puzzle.

Namely, a big part of what comprises Twin Peaks is western esotericism in general, but more specifically Theosophy, a religious and philosophical movement started by Helena Blavatsky in the late 1800's, which makes up a notably hermetic and universalist body of faith that borrows elements from Platonism to Buddhism and Hinduism, and puts heavy focus on the general region of the Tibet. All of this comes largely from the side of co-writer Mark Frost, who has expressed interest in those subjects, and modelled the mythological side of Twin Peaks using them as a reference:

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/higher-peaks-in-view-the-man-who-wrote-twin-peaks-has-plans-to-get-weirder-mark-frost-talked-to-1541807.html

As the series grew wilder and woolier, it became clear that someone behind the cameras had been nosing around in some pretty strange areas. It wasn't just the business about 'Project Blue Book' and its UFO research, or Native American legends, or the free-floating thing of evil known only as 'Bob': there were also references to obscure folklore concerning Stonehenge, and, most curious of all, to 'Black Lodges'. This last term seemed as if it must have been lifted from a book you don't expect to find next to the bound copies of Variety on a producer's shelves - the minor occult classic Psychic Self-Defence, by Dion Fortune.

'That's right, that's exactly where I got the Black Lodge from', agrees Mark Frost, who not only wrote most of Twin Peaks but co-produced it with David Lynch, directed some episodes and even - 'reverse nepotism, I guess you'd call it' - cast his father, a professional actor, in the role of Doc Hayward. 'The whole mythological side of Twin Peaks was really down to me, and I've always known about the Theosophical writers and that whole group around the Order of the Golden Dawn in the late nineteenth, early twentieth century - W B Yeats, Madame Blavatsky and a woman called Alice Bailey, a very interesting writer.

A golden example of how influential Theosophy is for the setting of Twin Peaks (Even outside of Mark Frost's contributions) is essentially the entirety of this scene from the Missing Pieces, which involves the aforementioned meeting between the Spirits of the Lodge, whose dialogue is almost fully drawn from the Secret Doctrine Vol 2, written in 1888, both of which will be broken down and compared below:

From pure air... We have descended... From pure air

"The Souls (Monads) are pre-existent in the world of Emanations,” (Book of Wisdom viii., 20); and the Zohar teaches that in the “Soul” is the real man, i.e.the Ego and the conscious I am: ‘Manas.’

"They descend from the pure air to be chained to bodies," says Josephus repeating the belief of the Essenes (De Bello Judaeo, 11, 12).

"The air is full of Souls," states Philo, "they descend to be tied to mortal bodies, being desirous to live in them." (De Gignat, 222 c.; De Somniis, p. 455); because through, and in, the human form they will become progressive beings, whereas the nature of the angel is purely intransitive, therefore man has in him the potency of transcending the faculties of the Angels. Hence the Initiates in India say that it is the Brahmin, the twice-born, who rules the gods or devas

~ The Secret Doctrine
Going up and down. Intercourse between... the two worlds...

The Lord Chang-ty (a king of the divine dynasty) saw that his people had lost the last vestiges of virtue. Then he commanded Tehong and Lhy (two lower Dhyan Chohans) to cut away every communication between heaven and earth. Since then, there was no more going up and down!"

** "Going up and down" means an untrammelled communication and intercourse between the two worlds. Not being in a position to give out a full and detailed history of the Third and Fourth Races, as many isolated facts concerning them as are permitted must be now collated together; especially those corroborated by direct as well as by inferential evidence found in ancient literature and history. As the "coats of skin" of men thickened, and they fell more and more into physical sin, the intercourse between physical and ethereal divine man was stopped. The veil of matter between the two planes became too dense for even the inner man to penetrate.

~ The Secret Doctrine
I have the fury of my own momentum

For, to quote from an able article by one who, confusing the planes of existence and consciousness, fell a victim to it:

Satan, or Lucifer, represents the active, or, as M. Jules Baissac calls it, the 'Centrifugal Energy of the Universe' in a cosmic sense. He is Fire, Light, Life, Struggle, Effort, Thought, Consciousness, Progress, Civilization, Liberty, Independence. At the same time he is pain, which is the Re-action of the pleasure of action, and death -- which is the revolution of life -- Satan, burning in his own hell, produced by the fury of his own momentum -- the expansive disintegration of the nebulae which is to concentrate into new worlds.

~ The Secret Doctrine

Furthermore, an important concept in Twin Peaks is "The Dweller on the Threshold", which is explained to be the collection of an individual's negative traits, their Shadow-Self which manifests as a result of entering the Black Lodge and attempting to pass through its trials in order to truly achieve perfection. The entirety of this concept is blatantly taken from Theosophy as well, including the name assigned to it.

Hence, Theosophy is fairly clearly a useful reference point when discussing Twin Peaks, even if merely as a secondary source used to delve into the philosophical points behind the series' concepts, instead of looking at things from a more narrow, surface-level approach; a complement of sorts, if you will.

Of course, this doesn't mean I will randomly throw around theosophical concepts that are never even alluded to in the work itself, visually or otherwise, nor will I start treating any scripture of the religion as the bible of Twin Peaks. The comparisions will be made strictly between concepts that already exist in the context of the series, and nothing further than that: common sense still reigns here.

As mentioned previously, Theosophy also has many overlaps with Buddhism and Hinduism, due to having elements from both, and thus, many of the comparisions to the cosmology of Twin Peaks will inevitably involve those, one way or another. Fairly appropriate, as David Lynch himself is big into hindu topics, so there will be a lot of back-and-forth between the recurring symbols present within his general headspace and Frost's mythological addendums.

To elaborate on said "recurring symbols", it is important to note that David Lynch often reharshes many of the same elements throughout his works, and draws from the same archetypes which are always instantiated in many different forms across his creations, be it in paintings, movies or sculptures, and he tends to stay with the same imagery for several years in his head. Some examples of which can be seen below:

However, as said above, Mark Frost modelled Twin Peaks' mythology not only from Theosophy, but also from concepts present in the belief systems of societies such as the Order of the Golden Dawn, as well as religions such as Thelema, the latter of which is actually the central focus of a good portion of the tie-in book, The Secret History of Twin Peaks, which expands on the lore of the series. And given how the former was essentially a Qabalistic organization, you'll probably see a lot of that in the following sections, too.

The Dream of Time and Space

“Look Balaki,” the king said. “Do you see that spider?”
“Yes,” said Balaki, “I see the spider moving along its web.”
“We are like the spider,” said the king. “We weave our life, and then move along in it. We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives in the dream.
“This is true for the entire universe. That is why it is said, ‘Having created the creation, the Creator entered into it’.
“This is true for us. We create our world, and then enter into that world. We live in the world that we have created. When our hearts are pure, then we create the beautiful, enlightened life we have wished for.”

These verses from the Upanishads are something Lynch has most notably quoted to his actors in 2006 during the making of Inland Empire, when they asked what exactly the film was about. In Twin Peaks, they have quite a heavy impact in the narrative, and the idea that the whole series is taking place within a dream has been briefly alluded to during Phillip Jeffries' short appearance in Fire Walk With Me.

The phrase "We live inside a dream" is repeated once again towards the end of the series, after BOB is seemingly destroyed and Cooper comes to an epiphany, presumably as he achieves spiritual perfection after confronting his own Shadow-Self, Mr. C, with perfect courage. Most notably, his face is superimposed over the screen itself in this sequence.

However, although it has only been explicitly expressed this notion in the form of a "dream", Twin Peaks as a series has always been extremely self-aware as to its own nature as a TV Show, whose events are played out in accordance to a narrative and all possess a focal point from which they are sprung forth, in this case, none other than Laura Palmer herself:

Welcome to Twin Peaks. My name is Margaret Lanterman. I live in Twin Peaks. I am known as the Log Lady. There is a story behind that. There are many stories in Twin Peaks. Some of them are sad, some funny. Some of them are stories of madness, of violence. Some are ordinary. Yet they all have about them a sense of mystery – the mystery of life.
Sometimes, the mystery of death. The mystery of the woods. The woods surrounding Twin Peaks.
To introduce this story, let me just say it encompasses the all – it is beyond the "fire", though few would know that meaning. It is a story of many, but begins with one – and I knew her.
The one leading to the many is Laura Palmer. Laura is the one.

As mentioned previously, Fire Walk With Me also has several scenes where it treats itself as an actual movie being played in the audience's television, as reality itself is distorted and broken down into TV Static in scenes where the influence of the Lodge is especially prominent.

Even the classic series also had its metafictional moments, where reality slowed down and became saturated; it's colors always getting deeper and revealing a spotlight illuminating whatever is most relevant to the scene in question, imagery which is obviously reminescent of a play:

Look at all that’s happened here. One town. The commonplace, familiar, and ordinary—everything we think we know, until you sense the deep, unsettling strangeness informing all of it. How easy it is to quit, give up, lower our eyes. Look at what happens to anyone here who lost the fight, many of whose stories we both now know so well. How recklessly, stupidly we toss away this one chance we have, simply squander it, money down the drain, a thousand different ways. We’re holding the coin of the realm in our hands the whole time and we can’t even see it.

What I’ve learned from this place and about these people terrifies me, I’ll frankly admit that. How much of what I know, what I’ve been culturally attuned to believe, feels like the set of a play on a strange stage I’ve wandered onto without knowing why I’m here. I don’t know the lines, I don’t know what part I’m playing, I don’t even know what the play’s about or what it’s called. I'm just here onstage, stuck in a dream, lights shining in my eyes. Is anyone out there watching?

The play stumbles ahead, feels like artifice, mistakes, frippery, an endless series of false starts, bad assumptions, all the while shadowed with the constant horror that something unforeseen could drop down on me from above or lurch in from the wings at any moment, that the floor could open beneath me and instantly erase even this small, pitiful existence, put out the lights for good.

Then, looping back to the Log Lady's monologue up above:

The stars turn, and a time presents itself.

Hawk, electricity is humming. You hear it in the mountains and rivers. You see it dance among the seas and stars, and glowing around the moon. But in these days, the glow is dying. What will there be in the darkness that remains? The Truman brothers are both 'true men'. They are your brothers, and the others, the good ones who have been with you. Now the circle is almost complete. Watch and listen to the dream of time and space. It all comes out now, flowing like a river. That which is and is not.

Hawk, Laura is the one.

As you can see, this whole monologue is highly similar to the Log Lady's introduction to the very first episode of the series, as both of them identify "the dream of time and space" as a story in which the entire setting is defined, including both that which is and is not, while placing Laura as a centerpoint to its existence.

Having this point established, we can move onto other topics that will inevitably relate to it, in one way or another.

The Fragility of Identity

David Lynch's movies in general always share constants and motifs that relate them, in one way or another, be it the imagery of industrial landscapes or the symbolism involving fire and electricity. One of these motifs is the malleability of an individual's identity.

Much of his filmography, for instance, at one point or another revolves around two intersecting realities, where people morph into different individuals altogether with seemingly no explanation, all of which adds very substantially to the dreamlike atmosphere of the films. Twin Peaks is not exempt from this, and is probably where the symbolism itself was originated, as a matter of fact.

Now, to give more context to this, it is necessary to make a recap of some of the events leading to Part 18. Namely, after BOB is destroyed and Agent Cooper realizes that it is all a dream, he is instantly transported to an endless corridor leading to the boiler room of the Great Northern Hotel, where he finds a door that leads to a black-curtained chamber, where MIKE is waiting for him. He crosses the door, but not before mentioning something called "the curtain call", which he will apparently eventually go through alongside Diane.

After him and Diane meet again in Part 18, they immediately drive exactly 430 miles away from some unknown starting point, and Cooper then mentions that "once we cross, it could all be different", and although Diane is warry of this, both of them cross over into another place, an act which is signalled by a flash of electricity.

They get teleported to another highway at night and eventually stop by a motel, before engaging in what is likely some sort of sex magick ritual, which neither of them really enjoy, but that is nonetheless necessary to fulfill their endgoal. Afterwards, Cooper wakes up in a different motel room (Located in Odessa, Texas), with Diane being gone, and a letter being beside his bed, written by a woman named "Linda" and addressing him as "Richard".

Richard then drives around in this seemingly new universe, and eventually comes around a person who appears to be Laura, but instead answers by a different name: Carrie Page, a waitress working at a dinner called "Eat at Judy's", and interestingly, both of them are credited as different characters portrayed by the same actress in the end credits.

Now, to attempt to explain this sudden change of identity suffered by those taken to the world of Odessa, we need to look back at Cooper's comment regarding a "curtain call". Now, what the hell is this? Well:

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/pt/dicionario/ingles/curtain-call

the part at the end of a performance when actors come to the front of the stage and the people watching clap to show their enjoyment

This detail is really interesting indeed, especially when you consider that Laura still refers to herself as being "Laura Palmer" (?) even when in the Red Room and ascended into a spirit herself, yet, under the universe which Cooper crossed to, she assumed a new identity entirely and the series itself seems to acknowledge Laura Palmer and Carrie Page as being different people.

Furthermore, shortly before Cooper and Diane cross into the new universe, the latter points worriedly to a clock tickling irregularly in the Sheriff Station, with the pointers stuck at 2:53, a number previously noted to add up to 10, which is said to be "the number of completion".

Given this, and what a curtain call is, it is not much of a stretch to say that this other world is, in fact, a higher layer of reality altogether, outside of the narrative of the "base" reality of Twin Peaks, where individuals assume other, more real identities, once their role in the main narrative comes to an end.

This is not the only piece of evidence pointing towards this, though: The motif of shifting identities itself has another instance in the series, and is extremely relevant to essentially all scenes involving a certain character from the original series: Audrey Horne.

Although a relatively important character in the more grounded classic run from the nineties, in The Return, she has no relevant impact in the overarching storyline of the series, and for all intents and purposes may as well not be in it at all. Nothing she does has barely any meaningful effect on the narrative, and only relates to a vaguely-defined sub-plot involving a man she has supposedly been involved with named "Billy."

However, one scene in particular appears to actually bear a relationship to the main narrative, and might shed some light in some particularly obtuse stuff. Specifically, it is in reference to this scene, where she has a particularly heated discussion with her husband, Charlie, that ends in her having an existential crisis of sorts: She starts to question who she is and says she feels as if she is somewhere else, and all of this culminates in this weird exchange, which is particularly noteworthy due to what Audrey (Is it the story of the little girl who lived down the lane?) says being repeated all the way into Part 18, when The Arm meets Cooper once again in the Red Room.

Further than this, in Part 15, the only scene involving Audrey and Charlie is about them arguing right as they are about to leave the house to search for the aforementioned Billy, on the threshold. Audrey then comments that Charlie actually feels like an entirely different person whom she never met before, and then starts to wonder who he is, which just prompts him to stay at home in the end.

Then we come to Audrey's last scene in the series, where her fears about her own identity (being someone else, somewhere else) seem very much confirmed, as reality suddenly shifts into a white chamber where she is looking at herself in a mirror, and then fades to black while sounds of electricity going out play in the background. The reality-fiction shenanigans of the series are more apparent than ever in this scene, too, as the characters namedrop "Audrey's Dance," the official name of her theme song, which is coincidentally also the exact music that's being played there, in-universe, too.

The episode then ends with a credits sequence where said theme song is being played backwards on repeat, with red curtains looming in the background, at that.

A particularly observant person may notice that this whole affair involving Audrey is itself a microcosm of the events of Part 18: Both storylines involve characters going through existential crises of sorts and being baffled as they cross over into another place and morph into different identities altogether, followed by the electricity going out and reality fading to black.

I believe you all can already see the pattern being wrought here: Identities in Twin Peaks appear to be malleable, localized things that largely conform to some specific narratives, and individuals may possess different, more real personas across different planes, superimposed over one another: Audrey both was and was not herself during her appearances in The Return, and Laura (or rather, just "the little girl who lived down the lane", perhaps?) was likewise host to two different identities: Laura Palmer and Carrie Page, so much they are identified as different characters, even.

Granted, these other, more real universes are clearly not outside of the Lodge's influence, as seen with how a familiar utility pole is spotted right outside of Carrie's house, with the same pole having been previously shown as leading directly to the Convenience Store, and how it is also implied to be playing a role in the events involving Audrey, given the aforementioned presence of backwards music and red curtains in the end credits immediately following her final scene.

Likewise, the same dissociative effect that affects people who travel to these other layers also happens when they reach into the spirit world, too, except in an even worse fashion: Instead of starting to feel like they are someone else, or becoming other people, they simply lose all sense of identity, and no longer have any awareness of who they are anymore:

When I opened my eyes, two things occured: I realized that I was no longer where I thought I had been, and at the same moment no longer knew who "I" was. My vision was both clouded and somehow enhanced, and at some level I registered that what I was "seeing" was not physically in front of me. I also knew that the "veil" of reality had been rent, split or torn away and that I was looking into a different and perhaps "deeper" dimension, one that either underlies ours or that coexists with it side by side, separated by the thinnest margin imaginable, one that our relatively primitive neurology prevents us from perceiving.

Versions

Among other things, The Return also introduced the concept of alternate timelines to the series, which comes up in a particularly relevant scene in Part 17.

Basically, after Cooper meets with MIKE in a chamber accessible through the boiler room of the Great Northern Hotel, he is then guided through the Room Above the Convenience Store and then to the Dutchman's, where both of them take a pathway which leads directly to Phillip Jeffries, who, in the form of a teapot, agrees to send Cooper back in time in order to prevent Laura from ever being murdered in the first place.

He then manifests a few esoteric symbols through the sprout of his machine, which eventually turn into an "8", which he then flips on its reverse side and runs a black dot across, until it stops on a specific point in the symbol.

Just before "finding" the specific moment in time to send Cooper back to through this ritual, Jeffries tells him to "'Say hello to Gordon if you see him, he'll remember the unofficial version". Cooper is then phased back to 1989 through the electricity in order to meet up with Laura.

This allusion to an "unofficial version" is briefly touched upon by the end of The Final Dossier, where the FBI Agent responsible for interviewing the people of Twin Peaks, Tamara Preston, starts to realize that her own memories of the case involving Laura Palmer don't add up: To them and all avaliable records, Laura disappeared in February 23, 1989, and was never seen again, dead or alive, for the next twenty-five years, while she remembered the original chain of events that took place in the series, where Laura is murdered and her body is found near a river. She then gets the hell out of the town once she realizes her own memories were being slowly overwritten by the events of the new timeline.

This would suggest that, for some reason, Cooper's meddling with the past only affected the memories of those living in Twin Peaks, while everything else remained seemingly unchanged. This would explain why Jeffries said Gordon Cole in specific would remember "the unofficial version", the chains of events which were overwritten by Cooper saving Laura from her death at BOB's hands.

One interesting thing to note, as well, is that everything is black and white when Cooper travels back to 1989. However, once he touches Laura's hand and thereby alters the course of events leading to her murder, the scene gains color once again, and we are shown a black and white shot of her corpse (in the original timeline) vanishing amidst TV Static, while a flashback to the same scene in the new timeline is shown in color.

Jeffries having to flip the "8" symbol (Which pretty clearly represents time, or the story itself in this case) on its side before sending Cooper back in time also bears some interesting implications, especially since, in the new timeline which he and Cooper created, a specific scene in the Red Room was quite literally reversed in the opposite direction.

The story of Twin Peaks being represented by an "8" symbol is also an interesting detail, as it implies a sense of cyclicity, an attribute which has been explicitly associated with the dream in which Twin Peaks takes place before:

A poem as lovely as a tree.
As the night wind blows, the boughs move to and fro; the rustling, the magic rustling that brings on the dark dream. The dream of suffering and pain; pain for the victim, pain for the inflicter of pain – a circle of pain, a circle of suffering.
Woe to ones who behold the pale horse

Electricity

As mentioned before, there are many interesting constants and motifs present throughout the works of David Lynch, but one of the most immediately identifiable is without a doubt, the phenomenon of electricity, which in particular always associated with the supernatural and the inexplicable, in one way or another, having been present in it as early as Eraserhead, and like much of his work, the imagery itself stems from his subconscious, and according to Lynch, not even he is exactly sure what it is supposed to mean under a wider context.

However, Twin Peaks is a relatively long-running series, far more so than Lynch's other, far vaguer, works, and given that much of its subconscious mythology and motifs are contextualized and given some form by Mark Frost, there are several clues throughout it that can lead us to a reasonable conclusion as to what exactly this phenomenon is supposed to represent, at least in the context of Twin Peaks, of course.

Firstly, keeping in mind that much of the universe of Twin Peaks is supposed to be taking place within a dream, in which all of existence is contained and formed, it is interesting to take a look at one of the first allusions to the importance of electrical phenomena in the original run of the series, in a scene where Cooper explains the nature of dreams.

The fact that he specifically identifies Dreams as being produced by electrical pulses in one's brain is interesting, to say the least, especially when one considers that electricity is always signalled as a magical phenomenon in the series, with activity related to the Lodge and the entities living therein being always identified by crackling, electrical noises or flashes of light.

An example of which is in The Return, when the curtains of the Red Room begin to superimpose over Mr. C to take him back to the Lodge, with their manifestation being marked by sounds of electricity playing in the background, although there are several other instances of it, which I will elaborate upon soon enough.

Moving on, another interesting statement regarding electricity is in the Log Lady's monologue in Part 10 of The Return (which I already presented here) in which she describes it as pervading the entire cosmos, "glowing around the moon" and "dancing among the seas and stars".

The stars turn, and a time presents itself.

Hawk, electricity is humming. You hear it in the mountains and rivers. You see it dance among the seas and stars, and glowing around the moon. But in these days, the glow is dying. What will be in the darkness that remains? The Truman brothers are both 'true men'. They are your brothers, and the others, the good ones who have been with you. Now the circle is almost complete. Watch and listen to the dream of time and space. It all comes out now, flowing like a river. That which is and is not.

Hawk, Laura is the one.

Going up the alleyway, we enter the in-universe website titled "The Search for the Zone", in which a man named Bill Hastings frequently recorded his musings on a place which he entitled as "The Zone", and left pieces of text and articles which he read as part of his research in order to find the place, many of which have to do with alternate dimensions and parallel universes. However, one that stands out is from an actual, defunct website called "Grant Chronicles":

http://www.grantchronicles.com/astro15.htm

To sum up the opera, this article in particular states that aside from the four dimensions of our regular spacetime continuum, our Universe also possesses an additional element: A field of electromagnetic frequencies which underlies everything down to the smallest levels, and connects together an infinite number of higher and lower planes of existence, here identified as "densities", with our universe being merely the 3rd level out of an infinite hierarchy of universes of increasingly greater qualities of being, which can be accessed by manipulating one's frequency along the vibrations of reality.

This model in particular is extremely relevant to the cosmology of Twin Peaks because the aforementioned man, Bill Hastings, actually managed to gain access to another dimension, which he entitled as "The Zone", through some hidden records of the same ken as Grant Chronicles, and inside he found Major Garland Briggs, a main character in the classic series and the source of many interesting statements regarding the nature of other realms, one of which is:

My memories of the event, to this day, remain a hazy jumble: blinding white light issuing from a suggestion of some object or mass above me, a silent dark-robed figure beckoning. Paralyzed with terror, I seemed to move without volition to some other space. Alone but in the presence of some immense, overwhelming force, as if gravity had increased a thousandfold. A flood of words sliced through my mind, words not my own, nor in any language known to me, a voice metallic, ringing, bitter. This was my knowledge, I sensed through my terror, from some unknown order, of a higher vibrational quality beyond my ability to process, uncanny, perhaps electromagnetic in nature and not in the remotest way human

~ The Secret History of Twin Peaks

For context, here, he is specifically recounting this scene of the original series, where he is abducted by some alien force into some other plane of existence (described as a 'higher vibrational quality' beyond his understanding, a pretty blatant reference to the higher worlds described by Grant Chronicles) that is heavily implied to be some place connected to the Lodge, given how owls are fairly prominent in the scene, and how a dark, hooded figure that later appears alongside one in his dreams is also featured here. He then continues his statement in a paragraph I've already posted in here:

But what was it? What was it trying to show me? Whatever I’d been sent into these woods to find had after all this time found me first, roughing me up like a midnight dockside beatdown. Whatever this presence might be, it possessed nothing benign or benevolent in form or content, only a cold, crushing, calculating pressure. Time itself stood still, as if whatever place they’d brought me stood outside it. Throughout the ordeal I clung to one vague hope: If I survived, did this test hold some promise of revelation? I not only feared for my life; I feared the annihilation of my soul.

I saw many things I don’t remember. I heard other voices I can’t recall. All around me colors constantly phased through the spectrum, blue to green, red to violet, black to white. I felt alternately like a ragged empty doll, then nothing but searing pain that rent my flesh with sadistic ease. I saw eyes, watching, felt pressure in my mind, as if thoughts were being forcibly inserted. I’m fairly certain I journeyed back and forth through time, watching it unspool like some immense, omniscient recording.

Furthermore, manipulating electrical frequencies is also associated with traveling to higher dimensions in the series proper, such as when Cooper and Diane travel through the 430 highway and cross into a higher layer of reality, with their crossing over being preceded by a flash of electricity passing through them. Another example of it is in this scene, where MIKE transports both himself and Cooper into the Room Above the Convenience Store by using the "Fire Walk With Me" poem, through a burst of electricity, of course.

The mention of infinite layers of higher universes also corroborates perfectly with the aforementioned statements that compare the physical universe to a fractal of infinite parts, as well the reference to "bigger beings" that have all stars in the universe as their particles, as I've previously hinted at.

This detail about individuals having to adjust their own frequency in order to travel to higher qualities of existence also explains the seemingly contradictory portrayals of the Lodge Spirits in relation to humans and lesser entities, where they are portrayed in one scene as perceiving them as being just images among TV Static and as being human-sized in others.

As seen above, humans who enter the Lodges would have their electrical frequency adjusted in order to adapt to the greater order of reality in which they reside and thus technically operate in the same level as it. The fact that they even start to act in reversed time much like the Lodge's Spirits pretty much cements this as well.

The mention of "fire" in the poem also relates to another important aspect of the series' universe, and the closest thing we have to a clear-cut explanation of it is during this scene, where Deputy Hawk explains that Fire under his faith is not a literal flame, but a symbol of a metaphysical element that can be used to sow both good and evil, and he then goes on to state that modern-day electricity is "a type of fire." Fire and electricity being directly related is shown again at the end of The Return, where Mr. C's corpse is shown burning on a chair in the Red Room, while electricity noises play in the background.

Looking back to the original run of Twin Peaks, we can see that the motif of fire as a magical element is extremely proeminent. For instance, BOB warping reality is almost always represented by a wave of fire being superimposed over the screen, and The Arm also utilizes the poem to disappear into a wave of fire and explosions during his last appearance in the series itself.

Souls are also represented as flames multiple times throughout the series, such as when BOB takes Windom Earle's soul, and it is shown as being a wave of fire coming out of him, and in this scene, where a dead boy's soul is also shown as a flame leaving his body and going up to the skies.

With all of this in mind, it is fairly clear that both Fire and Electricity are, in fact, symbols for some magical substance whose nature is tied to reality and the universe itself, with the prominence of electrical phenomena as acts of magic also further connecting all the way back to the times where Twin Peaks treats itself as an actual work of fiction being run inside the viewer's television. By controlling electricity, the Spirits are also manipulating the fabric of the TV Show itself, interfering with its plot and the forces that keep it together.

For more evidence complementing this, we have to look back at The Search for the Zone, and we notice that there is an article by Nikola Tesla in it, namely one where he explains his ideas relating to the phenomenon of electricity as well as its impact on the future of humanity, and alludes to a hidden nature behind the element, stating that he is eager to tell the world about what electricity "really is."

To give further context to this, Tesla subscribed to the theory of the Aether, which postulated that there was an additional, invisible substance that permeated throughout the entire cosmos and served as a medium filling up all of space, and in particular, he believed that this element and electricity were fundamentally related, and that by learning to manipulate them in unison, one could achieve absolute mastery over the physical universe. For instance:

http://www.tfcbooks.com/tesla/1908-04-21.htm

According to an adopted theory, every ponderable atom is differentiated from a tenuous fluid, filling all of space merely by spinning motion, as a whirl of water in a calm lake. By being set in movement this fluid, the ether, becomes gross matter. Its movement arrested, the primary substance reverts to its normal state. It appears, then, possible for a man through harnessed energy of the medium and suitable agencies for starting and stopping ether whirls to cause matter to form and disappear. At his command, almost without effort on his part, old worlds would vanish and new ones would spring into being. He could alter the size of this planet, control its seasons, adjust its distance from the sun, guide it on its eternal journey along any path he might choose, through the depths of the universe. He could make planets collide and produce his suns and stars, his heat and light; he could originate matter in all its infinite forms. To cause at will birth and death of matter would be man's grandest deed, which would give him the mastery over physical creation, making him fulfil his ultimate destiny

Most specifically, he believed that while electricity was not the Aether itself, it was the force that was released when some external agent imposed movement over it, causing matter to appear and disappear:

https://anengineersaspect.blogspot.com/2011/07/nikola-tesla-man-of-future-interview-by.html

It is reasonable to suppose that earth's electricity is generated by the atoms of which all things are composed. We and our world are not only whirling through space at terrific speeds, but every little atom in the world is whirling, too. Now there is a good reason to believe that the molecules and their atoms are really little worlds that revolve and move in their orbits like stars, causing the ether about them to spin with them, thus generating electricity, or affording the conditions suitable to its generation.

While electricity could hardly be called the ether itself, it is probable that the effects of dynamic electricity and electro- magnetism are the effects of ether into motion, and the effects of static electricity are the effects of ether under a strain.

However, there is also something else at play here: Namely, the fact that electricity as a manifestation of a cosmic phenomenon is yet another notion that stems from the theosophical movement started by Helena Blavatsky, which I already mentioned as one of the main founts of inspiration for Twin Peaks, largely from Mark Frost's contributions.

Specifically, electricity as a cosmic force is related to the concept of the "Fohat", which, to put simply, is basically supposed to be the cosmic energy that electrifies every aspect of reality into life, being the actualization of the unmanifest thoughts contained within the cosmic, unknowable consciousness from which all things are sprung forth, which bridges the ideas contained therein and engraves them upon the strata of the cosmos in the form of the laws of nature.

A term used to represent the active (male) potency of the Sakti (female reproductive power) in nature. The essence of cosmic electricity. An occult Tibetan term for Daiviprakriti, primordial light: and in the universe of manifestation the ever-present electrical energy and ceaseless destructive and formative power. Esoterically, it is the same, Fohat being the universal propelling Vital Force, at once the propeller and the resultant.

But just as the opposite poles of subject and object, spirit and matter, are but aspects of the One Unity in which they are synthesized, so, in the manifested Universe, there is “that” which links spirit to matter, subject to object.

This something, at present unknown to Western speculation, is called by the occultists Fohat. It is the “bridge” by which the “Ideas” existing in the “Divine Thought” are impressed on Cosmic substance as the “laws of Nature”. Fohat is thus the dynamic energy of Cosmic Ideation; or, regarded from the other side, it is the intelligent medium, the guiding power of all manifestation, the “Thought Divine” transmitted and made manifest through the Dhyan Chohans, the Architects of the visible World. . . . Fohat, in its various manifestations, is the mysterious link between Mind and Matter, the animating principle electrifying every atom into life.

Of course, the Fohat possesses many manifestations throughout the physical universe, and chief among them is, as previously mentioned, Electricity:

Fohat, then, is the personified electric vital power, the transcendental binding Unity of all Cosmic Energies, on the unseen as on the manifested planes, the action of which resembles — on an immense scale — that of a living Force created by will, in those phenomena where the seemingly subjective acts on the seemingly objective and propels it to action. Fohat is not only the living Symbol and Container of that Force, but is looked upon by the Occultists as an Entity — the forces he acts upon being cosmic, human and terrestrial, and exercising their influence on all those planes respectively.

On the earthly plane his influence is felt in the magnetic and active force generated by the strong desire of the magnetizer. On the Cosmic, it is present in the constructive power that carries out, in the formation of things -- from the planetary system down to the glow-worm and simple daisy -- the plan in the mind of nature, or in the Divine Thought, with regard to the development and growth of that special thing. He is, metaphysically, the objectivised thought of the gods; the "Word made flesh," on a lower scale, and the messenger of Cosmic and human ideations: the active force in Universal Life. In his secondary aspect, Fohat is the Solar Energy, the electric vital fluid, and the preserving fourth principle, the animal Soul of Nature, so to say, or -- Electricity.

~ The Secret Doctrine, Vol 1

The Fohat being the link between matter and spirit, object and subject, in particular is something that connects very well to the events of the series proper. For instance, in Fire Walk With Me, the Room Above the Convenience Store is shown to be accessible through a telephone pole marked by the number 6.

The aforementioned relationship between the electricity and the Aether is also related to a certain statement regarding the nature of the entities inhabiting the Lodge. To be specific, in this scene, it is described that they have descended "from pure air" by means of an intercourse between their world and the physical plane. The term itself is already an obvious reference to classical mythology, where "Aether" was the upper, fresh and pure air in which the Gods existed and breathed, as opposed to the air of the physical world inhabited by mortals.

Considering that the Spirits of the Lodge are frequently seen travelling through the electricity present within power lines and similar constructions, as well as being fundamentally associated with "fire" (Particularly the black, corrupted fire described by Hawk), it is fairly clear that these creatures pertain to, and share the same nature as the aetherial substance that comprises the universe of Twin Peaks, and are even described as being "singular and energetic, not physical" in nature.

Furthermore, that electricity is shown to be present as a phenomena even in locales of literal nonexistence such as the Room Above the Convenience Store and the Dutchman's Lodge already attests to its nature as a fundamental component of reality, that comprises both what is and is not, on every level.

And then, the very ending of the series actually portrays reality ceasing to exist as electricity going out, and even the Lynch & Frost Productions logo that appears after the credits of each episode changes to reflect that: For comparision, this is the version of the logo that appears after Part 18's credits, and this is the version that appears after every other episode's credits. As you can see, the latter is marked by electricity crackling, while the former is completely silent.

The Purple Sea

We then move on to another subject that is of pretty high importance to the cosmology of Twin Peaks: Nonexistence.

Although a bit hazy within the show alone, this plane of (non)existence is a very important part of the setting, and is in fact the residence of major supernatural figures which preside over it.

It is most often depicted as an endless, purple-colored world consisting solely of an ocean stretching to the horizon, with the only things present in it aside from water being a large mountain with a gigantic palace ontop, inhabited by The Fireman and a woman that is later identified as "Senorita Dido", as well as another place which this blog will talk about later on.

To start with, this place is first shown after Cooper is attacked by The Arm's Doppelgänger, who tears open the floor of the Red Room and throws him into an endless pool of black water, whose interior resembles outer space, all while shouting "NON-EXIS-TENT". After seemingly falling through an infinite expanse of water, Cooper then ends up on the balcony of a large structure by the sea, which is described in behind-the-scenes material as a "Mansion".

We are brought to this place again in Part 8 of The Return, where we see that the first nuclear test in history resulted in a cataclysmic reaction that led to the aforementioned intercourse between the physical world and the world of the Lodges. Once the camera enters the nuclear explosion, we are then presented to a series of trippy, fractal explosions ravaging a cloudy landscape, presumably atomic particles being split by the explosion, with the camera continuing to descend further and further, until we are then taken to the purple sea once again.

To provide a background of sorts for that, we'd need to take a closer look at the contents and overall premise of Part 8 of The Return. As I've previously mentioned, the episode itself is in great part dedicated to giving us an "explanation" as to how the Lodge managed to enter in contact with the physical world (The whole concept of which Frost apparently vouched for in the first place); case in point, they accomplished this after the trinity nuclear test, the first in history, seemingly tore open a hole in the space-time continuum and attracted the attention of the Spirits. These events led to the Woodsmen doing a strange ritual in the Convenience Store and bringing some kind of alien deity into contact with our world, who then proceeds to spew BOB into existence.

The notion that the Trinity Nuclear Test interfered with the forces separating the earth from the outer planes and allowed otherworldy entities to manifest in our world and interact with it is directly provenient from the book Beyond the Mauve Zone, written by the occultist Kenneth Grant.

One of the themes which is explored in The Secret History of Twin Peaks is also the life of occultist and rocket scientist Jack Parsons, whose fieldworks included the "explosive sciences" and their effects on reality, as well as attempts to open forth a portal to the underworld, in the same desert where the Trinity Test was done in the first place. Parsons' importance in occult topics was first noted by the aforementioned Kenneth Grant, likewise.

He, in particular, also believed in the existence of another universe, greater and more fundamental than our own, beyond the illusory constraints of all worlds and dimensions, in which the True Self and essence of all things (The Atman) resided, often taking the form of a purple-colored swamp. This universe was also said to be the farthest reaches of human comprehension and understanding, where our experience encountered absolute nothingness, microcosmically represented by a transitory state of mind, in-between dreams and dreamlessness. It was also through this universe that otherworldly forces could manifest themselves on Earth after the disturbances caused by the Trinity Nuclear Test, according to his beliefs.

Of course, I am talking about the Mauve Zone itself, whose relationship to the purple sea that appears in Twin Peaks is a little more than obvious, considering that Mark Frost himself has interest in occult topics, as mentioned before, and directly utilized Grant's conceptions regarding the Trinity Test in Part 8.

Now that the basic concept of the place itself is already laid out, we can look at its relationship with the other realms of the cosmology from an in-universe perspective. For starters, let's look back at this statement:

Welcome to Twin Peaks. My name is Margaret Lanterman. I live in Twin Peaks. I am known as the Log Lady. There is a story behind that. There are many stories in Twin Peaks. Some of them are sad, some funny. Some of them are stories of madness, of violence. Some are ordinary. Yet they all have about them a sense of mystery – the mystery of life.
Sometimes, the mystery of death. The mystery of the woods. The woods surrounding Twin Peaks.
To introduce this story, let me just say it encompasses the all – it is beyond the "fire", though few would know that meaning. It is a story of many, but begins with one – and I knew her.
The one leading to the many is Laura Palmer. Laura is the one.

As already established, the Fireman's Home has a viewing room containing a cinema screen which seems to showcase the episodes themselves in it, all the way up to specific camera shots, sound effects and visual metaphors for the viewer, and Lynch himself all but confirms that it is indeed outside of "the movie" itself during making-of scenes.

Such a descriptor is interesting and relevant because of how Lynch himself treats Twin Peaks: The Return; instead of a TV Show, he treats it as being a movie instead, and went as far as writing and shooting the entire series in a continuous manner before splitting it into different episodes. He also encourages the viewers to watch the entire thing as a film, continuously and as a single piece.

Important to note here is that he also seems to consider movies and stories as being akin to "dream-worlds" that are under the full control of its creators, as stated in an interview, with the very way he phrases it being highly reminiscent of the above passages from the Upanishads that define the setting of Twin Peaks:

I like to dive into a dream world that I’ve made, a world I chose and that I have complete control over

Thus, given the evidence gathered in the previous sections and how "the movie" in this case seems to refer to the narrative of Twin Peaks itself, it is not too far-fetched to equate this to the dream itself, which as already shown above, is repeatedly alluded as being "the story of the little girl who lived down the lane." A description which most prominently relates to Laura Palmer, with the Log Lady going as far as stating that she is the focal point for the entire story of the setting, or more appropriately, "the one that leads to the many."

Given how that place (or more specifically, the Fireman's Home) is effectively the realm where Laura herself was created as an idea, it is very easy to say it is also the place where the narrative itself was spun into being: The no-thing that resides outside of the "All" encompassed by her story, beyond the fire (Electricity) which gives life to existence.

This realm being outside of the electricity (And by extension, outside of the dream) is supported by the fact it stands beyond the world of Odessa, as well, given the Fireman showed Andy an image of the telephone pole in front of Carrie Page's house, thus indicating that the events of Part 18 were part of the film which he observes, the same events that culminated in the electricity going out and reality ceasing to exist.

As another major piece of evidence for that, we can also look back at the scene where Cooper realizes he is just a character in a dream: As his face is superimposed over the screen to signify his apotheosis, we can hear a distinctive humming that is notable for being heard only during scenes taking place in the Fireman's Home. In the official album for the series' ambient music, it's even named as "Interior Home by the Sea," showing the sound itself is characteristic to this specific place, and thus, its presence in the aforementioned scene definitely indicates a connection. Especially since, according to the original series, the White Lodge is a place of enlightenment, where those who achieved spiritual perfection by defeating their shadow-selves reside.

The Fireman's Home itself was also foreshadowed by Major Briggs all the way back in Season 2 of the original series:

This was a vision, fresh and clear as a mountain stream, the mind revealing itself to itself. In my vision, I was on the veranda of a vast estate, a palazzo of some fantastic proportion. There seemed to emanate from it a light from within, this gleaming, radiant marble. I'd known this place. I had in fact been born and raised here. This was my first return, a reunion with the deepest wellspring of my being.

Wandering about, I noticed happily that the house had been immaculately maintained. There'd been added a number of additional rooms, but in a way that blended so seamlessly with the original construction, one would never detect any difference. Returning to the house's grand foyer, there came a knock at the door. My son was standing there. He was happy and carefree, clearly living a life of deep harmony and joy. We embraced, a warm and loving embrace, nothing withheld. We were, in this moment, one. My vision ended and I awoke with an enormous feeling of optimism and confidence in you and your future. That was my vision of you. I'm so glad to have had this opportunity to share it with you. I wish you nothing but the very best in all things.

As seen above, he describes himself as wandering in "a palazzo of fantastic proportions," and eventually recognizes it as the place in which he was born and raised (Obviously in the sense that it is his spiritual home, rather than the place where he was literally, physically born in). Considering the description, as well as his eventual ascension to the Fireman's residence, it's very reasonable to say that his dream was in fact taking place in it. The fact that he identifies the experience as "a reunion with the deepest wellsprings of [his] being" certainly sheds light on this realm's role in the setting, which we'll also explore a few sections down from this one.

Aside from all of the above, there are other miscellaneous pieces of evidence showcasing the purple sea's status as a plane that resides above the rest of the setting.

More specifically, an object that is depicted relatively prominently in the Fireman's Home is a gramophone, which in the first episode of The Return, starts to emit a scratching sound which the Fireman warns Agent Cooper about.

Later on, we see Senorita Dido listening to a song in the same gramophone, which hasn't started to scratch yet.

Fast-forward to the very end of Part 17, after Cooper travels back in time with the help of Phillip Jeffries and prevents Laura Palmer from ever being murdered by BOB in the first place. At the moment where he is taking Laura to a pool in Blue Pine Mountain, leading directly to the Fireman's Home, we again hear the scratching sound from the gramophone, but this time, it simply drowns out all other background noises, as if it was part of the soundtrack itself, and Cooper doesn't realize anything is wrong until Laura disappears from his hands.

Given how this sound is seemingly the result of the gramophone's record being meddled with and starting to scratch, as well as how it was fully audible within the Fireman's Home, but superimposed over the soundtrack itself when in the physical world, that seems like pretty clear supporting evidence that the sea perceives the rest of the verse as fiction, be it a movie or simply a song.

The record scratch also ties in very neatly with the Log Lady's monologue from Part 10, which implies that the dream itself is ending, and that "the circle is almost complete" as of The Return.

To top it all off, take a look at the following quotes:

Life is but a dream from which we seem able to only rarely awaken. Whatever it means is beyond words. Words lose their meaning when you look at them too long. "God." "Science." "Meaning." Everything melts into silence.
~ The Secret History of Twin Peaks
I believe all these phenomena that our putted-up egos and busy ant minds persist in trying to label, categorize, penetrate and comprehend, all spring from this same uncanny source. This is the mother of all "others", and were we ever able to set our eyes on its ultimate nature we would find it as foreign, incomprehensible and indifferent to us as ours would be to bacterial microbes swimming in a drop of water.
~ The Secret History of Twin Peaks
“Why am I telling you this?” he went on. “A secret’s only a secret as long as you keep it. Once you tell someone it loses all its power--for good or ill--like that, it’s just another piece of information. But a real mystery can’t be solved, not completely. It’s always just out of reach, like a light around the corner; you might catch a glimpse of what it reveals, feel its warmth, but you can’t know the heart of it, not really. That’s what gives it value: It can’t be cracked, it’s bigger than you and me, bigger than everything we know. Those tight-ass suits can keep their secrets, they don’t add up to anything. This deep in the game, pal, I’ll take mystery every time. Ask your second question.”
~ The Secret History of Twin Peaks

Putting those three excerpts in conjunction, we can gather that multiple times, it is stated that beyond the framework of the dream of existence, under the root of all paranormal phenomena, there is only an otherness that is utterly beyond words and comprehension, with our attempts to label and categorize it in any way being futile at best and only resulting in pale derivations of its ultimate nature. As stated above, at such a level, all words cease to have meaning and everything dissolves into pure silence, a mystery incapable of being expressed or cracked.

Mysteries abound. This continent, this country, our own earthly origins are all laden with them, underlying our existence, pre-dating all our childish notions of “history.”

MILFORD: Their real value lies in their ability to create within us wonder and curiosity. That, and only that, spurs us to seek understanding of the ultimate truths.

BRIGGS: I disagree. I see mysteries as the truth itself; that they’re the essence of our existence, and aren’t necessarily meant to be fully apprehended.

MILFORD: So we’re consigned to ignorance, is that it?

BRIGGS: No. But that final barrier can be breached only by faith.

MILFORD: (laughs) That’s just your Catholic slip showing, Briggs.

This tidbit fits perfectly with David Lynch's, and thus Twin Peaks' overall style when it comes to portraying otherworldly entities and phenomena: Very rarely are they given any sort of explanation and justification for their existence or presence within a narrative, and most scenes involving them are drenched with an huge sense of vagueness and unknowability. Likewise, Lynch has been well-known as one to refuse to give proper explanations as to the meaning of his works even when directly asked by others.

According to him, that is because art is expressed in its own form that is so isolated and independent from any kind of language that constructs such as spoken words cannot fully convey it; hence, he considers talking aloud about his work almost a crime, as words only serve to reduce it, and make it smaller and more constrained.

The difference between mysteries and secrets is also a main theme of The Secret History of Twin Peaks, which in fact opens up with statements like these:

Moving forward in time, it is important that we learn to distinguish between mysteries and secrets. Mysteries precede humankind, envelop us and draw us forward into exploration and wonder. Secrets are the work of humankind, a covert and often insidious way to gather, withhold or impose power. Do not confuse the pursuit of one with the manipulation of the other.

A wise man once told me that mystery is the most essential ingredient of life, for the following reason: mystery creates wonder, which leads to curiosity, which in turn provides the ground for our desire to understand who and what we truly are.
The search for meaning at the heart of life brings us to the contemplation of an eternal enigma. Mysteries are the stories we tell ourselves to contend with life’s resistance to our longing for answers. Mysteries abound. This continent, this country, our own earthly origins are all laden with them, underlying our existence, pre-dating all our childish notions of “history.” Mythology precedes our access to historical or scientific fact, and, we know now, fulfilled much the same function for earlier civilizations – providing meaning in the face of a remorseless, indifferent universe – but in the absence of scientifically verifiable fact it is necessary to sometimes view them as one and the same.

The latter statement that mysteries underlie existence itself is also said to be very much literal by the writer of the book, Mark Frost, who also cites Joseph Campbell as the source for this notion in two separate interviews:

https://www.ttbook.org/interview/mysteries-encoded-secret-history-twin-peaks

I would say that the idea of mystery is something that is profoundly inherent in all of reality. It's a Joseph Campbell mystery as opposed to a murder mystery. It's a sense that there's something going on just beneath the surface of what we can perceive. It's really what people talk about I guess when they're talking about a spiritual sense of reality, that there's something evanescent and hard to grasp and very often seems just beyond our reach, but there are times in our lives when we catch glimpses of it.

https://observer.com/2016/11/twin-peaks-co-creator-mark-frost-on-secret-history-of-mysterious-town/

One of the main themes of the book is the difference between mysteries and secrets. Why was that so important?

I never articulated it to myself as fully as I did when telling the story. If we think of mystery or mythology in the Joseph Campbell sense, as something that is nourishing to us, that enriches and enlivens our lives, as opposed to secrets, which are, inevitably, the creation of people who are trying to acquire or horde or withhold power or money or earthly gain from other people. So I think there’s a really stark contrast here and I think it’s a germane one, a lens through which to look at American history. So there was a dual function for me: it helped serve the story, and I think it help serve the overarching themes I wanted to work with in creating this world.

Joseph Campbell himself defined "mystery" in very cosmic terms: To him, it indicated a transcendental state which lay behind the world of phenomena and constantly nourished it with its energies, whose utmost nature was beyond any categories in which statements could framed, hence being unrepresentable using words or images, and thus expressed through mythical metaphors and tropes, all of which were just symbolic realizations of the same unknown, pointing at something much greater than themselves. The concept of God is one such metaphor, for instance:

God is a metaphor for a mystery that absolutely transcends all human categories of thought, even the categories of being and non-being. Those are categories of thought. I mean it's as simple as that. So it depends on how much you want to think about it. Whether it's doing you any good. Whether it is putting you in touch with the mystery that's the ground of your own being. If it isn't, well, it's a lie. So half the people in the world are religious people who think that their metaphors are facts. Those are what we call theists. The other half are people who know that the metaphors are not facts. And so, they're lies. Those are the atheists.
~ The Hero's Journey, 2000

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: The experience of life. The mind has to do with meaning; in here, what’s the meaning of a flower? That Zen story of the sermon of the Buddha when his whole company was gathered, and he simply lifted a flower. And there’s only one man, Kashyapa, who gave him a sign with his eye that he understood what was said.

What’s the meaning of the universe? What’s the meaning of a flea? It’s just there, that’s it, and your own meaning is that you’re there. Now we are so engaged in doing things, to achieve purposes of outer value, that we forget that the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it’s all about.

Now, we want to think about God. God is a thought, God is a name, God is an idea, but its reference is to something that transcends all thinking. The ultimate mystery of being is beyond all categories of thought. My friend Heinrich Zimmer of years ago used to say, “The best things can’t be told.” Because they transcend thought. The second best are misunderstood, because those are the thoughts that are supposed to refer to that which can’t be thought about, you know. And one gets stuck with the thoughts. The third best are what we talk about, you see. And myth is that field of reference, metaphors referring to what is absolutely transcendent.

The images of God are many. Joseph Campbell called them “the masks of eternity,” and said they both cover and reveal the face of glory. All our names and images for God are masks, Campbell said, they signify that ultimate reality, which by definition transcends language and art.

A myth is a mask of God, too, a metaphor for what lies behind the visible world. As teacher, scholar and writer, Joseph Campbell spent his life in the study of comparative religion. He wanted to know what it means that God assumes such different masks in different cultures. We go east of Suez and see people dancing before a bewildering array of fantastic gods. When those people come here, well, Campbell told the story of the young Hindu who called on him in New York and said, “When I visit a foreign country, I like to acquaint myself with its religion. So I bought myself a Bible and for some months now have been reading it from the beginning. But, you know, I can’t find any religion in it.”

All of these mentions of an unfathomable, ultimate mystery underlying the dream of life that stands outside of all words and descriptions can be of course assigned to the purple sea itself, given it's already established status as a plane deeper than nonexistence, that stands at the basis of the entire cosmology of Twin Peaks, as the only point outside of the cosmic dream in the "nowhere" from which the entire movie emerges and can be seen from outside.

Some interesting (somewhat minor, but noteworthy) pieces of evidence that can further support this can be observed in Part 8, when the camera delves beyond matter and into the sea, then proceeding to enter the Home of the Fireman and Senorita Dido. The two entities only briefly acknowledge each other's presence with a few glances and otherwise exchange no words whatsoever, yet both of them are perfectly aware of the situation and ready to undergo a ritual.

Although this may seem a bit silly at first glance, it is somewhat important to acknowledge because of the fact that even the spirits of the Lodge are shown communicating with one another in several instances even when alone between themselves, though obviously on a level beyond our understanding, such as in these scenes. The Fireman in specific, however, only ever communicates with words when in the presence of a lesser entity; when addressing an equal, he never says a thing.

JUDY

And then, finally, we come to the point where we'll have to explore what is likely the most mysterious character in the series: JUDY.

Generally speaking, JUDY is mentioned only in passing throughout Twin Peaks, and her presence itself is extremely intangible, to the point where she comes off as being more of a force or a very abstract phenomenon than a solid character, and in many ways, that's probably an accurate way to describe her. But nevertheless, let's first establish the order of her relevant mentions.

JUDY is first alluded to by name during Phillip Jeffries' appearance during Fire Walk With Me, where he randomly appears in the FBI's Headquarters in Philadelphia after being missing for two years and starts nervously rambling about several disconnected things, and among those ramblings, he mentions a person named "Judy", and insists that they should not talk about her.

After that, she largely vanishes from the series as an idea, until she is brought up yet again, in Part 15 of The Return, where Mr. C goes to the Dutchman's in order to interrogate Phillip Jeffries on some unsolved topics. After asking him about JUDY's identity, he receives a set of coordinates from the teapot that supposedly lead to her location, although Jeffries himself refuses to answer his questions and simply says that he has already met her.

After that, we go to Part 17, where, after agreeing to send Cooper back in time and "finding" the specific date which he requested, Phillip Jeffries says something curious about his destination, namely: "This is where you'll find JUDY".

Now that the foundations have been laid, we'll now attempt to make sense of it by parts:

The Experiment

An interesting character which has been featured in The Return, but not talked about too much, is the Experiment, a malevolent entity that made its first appearance in Part 1, where it doesn't do much aside from manifesting within a certain glass box and mauling a couple. However, its appearance in the first episode of The Return certainly implies it plays a bigger role in the narrative.

The Experiment appears once again in Part 8, following the montage portraying the Trinity Nuclear Test, where it is seen in the inception of BOB, vomiting him out in the form of an Orb alongside a huge stream of white liquid with several dozens of eggs amidst it.

One of the eggs spewed by the entity is eventually shown hatching, with an insect that resembles an hybrid between a frog and a moth coming out of it, before making its way into the house of a little girl and entering her mouth as she sleeps. The end credits then show a montage of her afterwards, with electricity rumbling in the background.

Now, to get a hint of what is going on, we must then jump back to earlier in the episode, where a full concert by "the" Nine-Inch Nails takes place in the Roadhouse, right before we are shown the flashback sequence leading to the explosion of the nuke. The song they are playing is called "She's Gone Away", and its lyrics have some interesting tidbits that actually foreshadow later scenes in the episode:

You dig in places til your fingers bleed
Spread the infection where you spill your seed
I can't remember what she came here for
I can't remember much of anything anymore

Yeah, this has some obvious relationship to the scene involving the Experiment, given how the sequence consists of it "spilling" seeds unto our world, or more specifically: Eggs containing frogmoths. Hence, it is obvious that this entity implanted its influence in our world, in some way.

Then, in the Final Dossier, the little girl who swallowed the frogmoth is then revealed to be Laura's mother, Sarah Palmer, whose full name is also revealed to be Sarah Judith (!) Novack Palmer.

Sarah herself is shown to be actively influenced by some negative force throughout all of her appearances in The Return, which causes her to have mental breakdowns over seemingly minor things. Then, in Part 14, it is shown that she is possessed by none other than the Experiment itself, as you can see the gaping hole it has for a mouth once she removes her own face to reveal it.

Notice also the spiked proboscis coming out of the Experiment's mouth in this scene, which it also displays in all of its other appearances, pretty much identical to the one possessed by the frogmoth seen in Part 8.

Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that the frogmoth is an infant form of the Experiment, and the alien abomination which we see in the series itself is its matured form, presumably one out of many entities that mimic the form of the one who originally spewed their eggs.

Now, what exactly does this have to do with JUDY? Well, as some of you might've picked up, Sarah's full name is "Sarah Judith Novack Palmer," a detail which already sets off some alarms in itself, but gets more interesting when put alongside a similar case, namely, one involving the spirit named MIKE.

In the original run of the series, MIKE possessed an apparently innocuous shoes salesman named Phillip Gerard, who seemingly kept him repressed using a drug normally used to treat schizophrenia called Haloperidol. Shortly before the case of Laura's murder is fully solved, Gerard seemingly dies and MIKE as a character disappears from the series.

Then, he comes back in The Return, in a fully spiritual form and having assumed Gerard's appearance completely, while also being credited as "Phillip Gerard" in the end credits of every episode, and never as "MIKE." This close connection between a spirit and its host is clearly taken a step further when we then find out Gerard's full name: "Phillip Michael Gerard".

Given the parallels visible here, it is not much of a stretch to assume that the frogmoth that was swallowed by that little girl also assumed her identity, the same way MIKE assumed Gerard's form after possessing his body, and seemingly shares a name with him as well. Hence, it is fairly obvious that the Experiment inside Sarah is indeed supposed to be JUDY.

However, it is very likely that the Experiment is merely a manifestation of the overarching abstract force which we identify as JUDY. For evidence of that, we have to go all the way back to that scratching sound which was first heard coming from the Fireman's gramophone, and is later briefly heard again when Laura is snatched away from Cooper's hands as he leads her to the entrance to the Fireman's Home.

Now, what connects JUDY to the latter scene is what comes right before it:

This scene, combined with how Carrie Page hears Sarah's voice calling her name in the distance right at the end of Part 18, before that entire reality fades to black, would heavily suggest that JUDY was the one who captured Laura and brought her to this new reality under her new identity in the first place. Now, notice how the Experiment is completely absent in the scene itself, and we only hear the aforementioned sound from the gramophone before Laura disappears.

It's also very noteworthy that the symbol representing JUDY's horned form is shown hovering over the very same mountain where Laura was taken in an ancient indigenous map (Blue Pine Mountain, more specifically, left peak in the map), and the Log Lady warns Deputy Hawk about this force shortly before her death.

Thus, it's not really hard to come to the conclusion, then, that JUDY is the scratching sound itself, which would indicate that she is more of a phenomenon that can act independently from the Experiment.

This is demonstrated by how she also manifests through several other symbols and entities, such as the pale horse, a visage apparently to be taken as an omen of death and a sign of woe, which manifests behind the curtains of the Red Room immediately after Laura is pulled away by some unseen force, and as a symbol is present everywhere in the "Eat at Judy's" dinner which Carrie Page apparently works at.

The whining of a horse also comes up in the background at the very end of Part 8, after a Woodsman kills the workers of a radio station and put everyone in a New Mexico town to sleep, allowing the aforementioned Frogmoth to enter the young Sarah Palmer's mouth.

JUDY and Laura

The connections and parallels between JUDY and Laura Palmer as characters are relatively subtle, but still quite noticeable if one pays attention to the motifs surrounding the two.

Firstly, there is the line which Phillip Jeffries utters shortly before he sends Cooper back in time, saying that this specific date (February 23, 1989) is where he will find JUDY. An extremely interesting remark, considering that Cooper is led straight to Laura after being teleported through the electricity.

Furthermore, both in the original series and in The Return, Laura in the Lodge responds to Cooper asking if she really is Laura Palmer by saying "I feel like I know her, but sometimes my arms bend back." This brief and confusing comment was thrown in a new light in The Return, where the Experiment's arms are shown to be literally bent backwards.

This odd characteristic in specific is shown to be shared with the frogmoths that it spewed into reality as well, as seen in the aforementioned scene where Sarah Palmer removes her face to show the Experiment behind it, who then proceeds to remove its face to show something else behind it. It visibly does so with the right arm, but its hand is reversed so that it looks like a left hand instead, and its spiritual finger looks like a middle finger.

The scene itself also has a very clear parallel to Laura, who also removes her face earlier in The Return to show a formless mass of light behind it, in opposition to the Experiment inside Sarah, who reveals a dark background with a chesire smile appearing within.

Hence, it is fairly obvious that JUDY and Laura are connected in some way, and are very likely to be part of the same overall force. Two sides of the same coin, if you will.

The Mother of all Others

Now that we've established all of this, we must then head to another topic: Namely, the fact that there seems to be a difference between the Experiment that is identified as being "JUDY", who resides within Sarah Palmer, and the Original Experiment who spewed the eggs that led to the former's creation in the first place.

Although the two are generally considered to be the same character, there are some obvious holes in this interpretation, such as the fact that the frogmoth which exists inside Sarah was just one out of dozens of eggs that were vomited into the real world after the explosion of the nuke. It may have been at the center of the phenomenon, but there is no evidence that it shares an identity with the original being who kickstarted all of it in the first place, and there is evidence supporting the contrary, in fact:

Joudy, as it turns out, is the name of an ancient entity from Sumerian mythology. (This dates back to at least 3000 B.C) The name was used to describe a species of wandering demon--Also generically known as an utukku--that had "escaped from the underworld" and roamed freely around the earth, where they feasted on human flesh and, allegedly, ripped the souls from their victims, which provided even more meaningful nourishment. They particularly thrived while feeding--and I quote--"on human suffering". These beings were said to appear in both male and female forms--"Joudy" indicated the female, and the male was known as "Ba'al"--and, while they were considered beyond dangerous individually, if a male and a female ever united while on the earth, the ancient texts claimed, the resulting "marriage" would create something far more perilous. As in; the end of the world as we know it. A few centuries later, Ba'al becomes better known, in both christian and islamic sources, as "Beelzebub", a false god, or, as he's known more generally and generically today, the devil.

Essentially, in old times, "Joudy" and "Ba'al" (An obvious reference to JUDY and BOB) were names assigned to species of ancient demons, female and male counterparts to one another, respectively, who had escaped from the underworld and wandered the Earth, thriving on human flesh and suffering. It is then said that, should they ever unite while on Earth, the result would be a cataclysm that would lead to the end of the world.

The latter tidbit specifically refers to a central plot-point in The Return, which centers around Mr. C and his search for some unindentified entity which he needs a specific set ot coordinates to gain access to. As the season progresses, it becomes increasingly obvious that he is, in fact, searching for the Experiment, and he was the one behind the Glass Box, seemingly designed with the intent to capture it.

The “glass box” operation in New York, which we now know the Double set up through a series of cutouts, suggests he was after something else as well. Some kind of entity that moved, as Briggs appeared to be able to do, free of the constraints of time and space as we used to think we understood them. Something monstrous and murderous that appeared in that box and slaughtered those two kids who had the horrible misfortune of being there when it appeared. From the evidence we’ve seen, the only familiar word that comes to mind to properly describe this entity is “demonic.” And the glass box appears to have been installed there as a trap to catch it.

It is then explicitly confirmed that Mr. C was searching for JUDY when he gets his hands on the coordinates he was looking for, which specifically led to a gateway to the Fireman's Home. He is abducted by the vortex to it and trapped inside a flat-looking cage, and the Fireman's movie screen then shows the Palmer House as the location which Mr. C was supposed to be directed to, before he changes it to Twin Peaks' Sheriff Station.

Add that to the fact Mr. C himself had BOB hiding inside his body throughout the entirety of The Return, and it becomes pretty obvious that he was looking to bring about the world-ending cataclysm that would result from the latter's union with JUDY, and likely benefit from it in some way.

What is interesting about this is that it outright paints JUDY and BOB as being equivalents and counterparts to one another that will eventually unite in marriage, which differs quite a bit from what we see of the Experiment that appears in Part 8, who birthed both BOB and the frogmoth egg which was the vehicle for JUDY to be formed in the first place.

Furthermore, when one takes into account how both Laura and JUDY are depicted as being effectively counterparts to one another and explicitly referred to as being the same entity in one occasion, it would naturally follow that much like Laura, JUDY would be a created entity, especially when one remembers that "JUDY" is just an abbreviation of the name that originally belonged to Sarah: Judith, and how the entity itself speaks using her voice.

Following all the narrative parallels, she would essentially be to the Original Experiment what Laura is to the Fireman and Senorita Dido. Its spawn that acts in the physical world.

Since the two Experiments seem to be fundamentally different entities, what's the deal with the original one, then? Well, to attempt to find an explanation for that, we have to take a closer look at Secret History, or more specifically the parts of the book that revolve around the occultist Jack Parsons, which have a few interesting things to say:

They call this spot the Devil's Gate, named for a rock outcropping at its base that many believe resembles the face of a devil.

I can confirm that it does. But the name goes back farther than the Army Cops of Engineers. The Tongva Indians, who lived in this area for years, called this spot the Hell Gate because they believed it was literally a portal to the underworld.

His colleague told me that Parsons used this area [Jornada del Muerto, White Sands] for his personal exploration of what he called "the explosive sciences, of both the literal and metaphorical varieties"--because he believed they could "open up the gate".

So this is also where, after founding JPL, Parsons first began enacting his bizarre "Thelema" rituals. His associate told me--strictly off the record--those rituals were "an attempt to summon into human form the spirit of a figure central to the Thelema pantheon, the goddess Babalon, also known as the Mother of Abominations."

I asked the man if he knew anything about Parsons conducting a ritual in the New Mexico desert. He looked at me sharply, and asked how I knew that. I said that Parsons had told me about it himself that morning at the coffee shop; something called “The Working.” The man paused to collect himself and said that Parsons had also told him something like that had taken place. An effort to open a second gate that they’d found in the desert in order to bring across an entity he called “the Moonchild."
He seems to be suggesting that Parsons’s ritual somehow “opened a gate” that resulted in aliens showing up in Roswell. I’m not endorsing this jibber-jabber as fact, but I have done my own research now into the Arroyo Seco. The Native Americans who lived here were in fact wary of the place, and did call it the Hell Gate, claiming they could “hear the devil’s laughter in the waterfall.”

As seen above, these parts allude to a specific figure central to the beliefs of the Law of Thelema: Babalon, Great Mother of Abominations, a figure highly patterned after Babylon the Great, a biblical mystery which is featured prominently in the Book of Revelation, symbolized as a woman arrayed in scarlet and purple, and riding a seven-headed beast, with this woman being extensively alluded as the source of all sin, carrying a chalice containing the blood of saints and the fruit of her fornication.

The moniker of "Mother of Abominations" also relates to another statement from Secret History which I've already posted here, namely:

I believe all these phenomena that our putted-up egos and busy ant minds persist in trying to label, categorize, penetrate and comprehend, all spring from this same uncanny source. This is the mother of all "others", and were we ever able to set our eyes on its ultimate nature we would find it as foreign, incomprehensible and indifferent to us as ours would be to bacterial microbes swimming in a drop of water.
~ The Secret History of Twin Peaks

Of course, all of this calls to mind the imagery of the Experiment in Part 8, spewing horrors into reality, which would cement its status as a "mother" of sorts. Coupled with the fact Jack Parsons attempted to bring forth an human incarnation of Babalon in the same desert where the Trinity Test took place and where one of the frogmoth eggs hatched, this certainly brings some interesting details to the table.

It is also worth to note that Babylon herself is identified in Secret History with the image of an old sumerian statue depicting a goddess surrounded by owls, which could he seen as a fairly on-the-nose allusion to the entity responsible for the inception of BOB, who is himself heavily associated with owls.

Interestingly enough, the goddess which this statue depicts is most often associated Inanna, sumerian deity of war and fertility, later worshipped by the Babylonians under the name of Ishtar and then hellenized by the phoenicians into "Astarte". Inanna's sacred number was said to be 15, and one of her statues in particular bears a pretty glaring resemblance to the Experiment, being a pale, naked woman with no prominent features wearing a horned headress.

Inanna's sacred number being 15 is a detail that also nicely relates to the aforementioned sequence revolving around the Mansion in nonexistence which Cooper passed through in his way out of the Lodge. Basically, after getting inside of one of its rooms through a window in the balcony, he finds an eyeless woman (which the credits identify as "Naido") which attempts to communicate with him, and the scene then puts focus on a giant electrical socket on the wall, numbered "15".

Some unseen entity then starts banging on the door, and the electrical socket immediately lights up and starts emitting a humming sound. Cooper is then stopped from getting near the socket by Naido, who makes a "slit throat" handsign indicating 15 means danger, and her hands then start making a high-pitched static noise, same static sound which the Experiment's proboscis makes when coming out of its mouth in multiple scenes. All of which suggests some association between the Experiment (at least the one in the void in Part 8), the number "15" and whatever is pounding at the door to Naido's room.

The entity which pursues Cooper is also identified by an unnamed spirit as being her "mother", which, once again, fits with the whole "Mother of Abominations" theme which Secret History briefly explores.

Given how these wall-sockets are later shown to be conduits through which people can travel to different planes through electricity, it wouldn't be too absurd to say that the socket number 15 would lead Cooper directly to the "mother" pounding at the door in the Mansion, and Naido's hands making the same sound as the Experiment's proboscis when she tries to tell him what would happen if he went through it certainly suggests as much. At the very least, it's reasonable to say this suggests a connection, as mentioned previously.

This, in turn, would suggest that the Mansion which Cooper landed into is her house, similar to the Fireman and Senorita Dido's own palace in nonexistence; her own domain which stands in opposition to theirs. This idea isn't too far-fetched, considering how the entire place is very clearly depicted as a negative environment, and its architecture is completely different from anything we see in the Fireman's Home, added to the fact it seems to be largely covered in an intense purple aura, while the latter is monochromatic.

Furthermore, the chamber where Phillip Jeffries resides also has the exact same minimalistic architecture seen in the Mansion, and we do know for a fact that it is directly connected to the Dutchman's (and by extension, to the Convenience Store and the Red Room, all of which are places associated with the "Black Lodge") through a secret pathway which MIKE can access.

This fits perfectly with how Deputy Hawk described the Black Lodge as being the Shadow-Self of the White Lodge itself back in the original series, and The Return does seem to go with this idea as well, given a prominently featured symbol in the Fireman's Home is an oval shape with protrusions on its sides reminiscent of wings, or stylized horns, which definitely bears more than a passing resemblance to the symbol drawn in Mr. C's Ace of Spades card, representing the Experiment's head.

There are other implications regarding Mother's Mansion and the Fireman's Home being the Black and White Lodges, as well, or at least archetypal, more fundamental forms through which those concepts were derived. For instance, the gateway leading to the latter is a vortex in space filled with white light, while the one leading to the Convenience Store (a realm directly connected to the Mansion) has an empty, lightless void inside of it instead, making the connotations all the more obvious.

The very scene depicting Laura's divine birth also establishes a pretty clear contrast between The Fireman and Dido and the "Mother" Experiment who gave birth to BOB and JUDY. The former two being a man and a woman conceiving a child together through their love, and the latter being an alien, vaguely female aberration asexually reproducing by vomitting a stream of liquid (Yeah) containing her "seeds", symbolism that is pretty obviously hermaphroditic in nature.

However, there does seem to be some more profound level that is beyond both Experiments (The Frogmoth and the Original), as seen in this scene which I've mentioned in the section above, where Sarah Palmer removes her face to reveal the Experiment within her, who then removes its face to reveal a second layer behind it, which appears to be just a chesire smile in a dark background.

As mentioned before, Laura does the same thing in the Lodge as well, and it is heavily implied that the Fireman also has something behind his face, as he creates Laura by unleashing a cloud of golden light from within his head.

This would imply that even the metaphysical entities which we see below nonexistence are merely "physical" forms for greater essences which are housed within them, which fits nicely with how JUDY herself appears independent from the Experiment it uses to directly act in the physical world, and is more of an abstract phenomenon with no definite shape that most often manifests as a scratching sound.

Whatever the nature of the overarching forces behind the inhabitants of the Mauve Zone is, it certainly seems to be tied to the medium through which we observe the events in the series proper. An "audience" being acknowledged as an actual element in the show happens most notably in Part 8, where the Fireman stares in the direction of the camera for a while after an alarm bell is set off in his Home, before he goes to the cinema room to see the events that just unfolded in the physical world.

This seemingly minor scene goes hand-in-hand with pretty much every scene involving Sarah Palmer (a host of JUDY, and by proxy, of the "Mother" entity who birthed the former) in The Return, which all basically consist of her watching TV Shows, and are apparently disconnected from the rest of the show, until Part 13 comes around, and we see her watching a boxing match, where a boxer with black shorts knocks out one with white shorts, with the scene being repeated over and over as sounds of static sputtering are emitted from the television.

It doesn't exactly take too much brainpower to figure that this scene is supposed to represent the conflict between the "Black" and "White" Lodges, which in the context of The Return are instantiated in the form of Mother's Mansion and the Fireman's Home, respectively, being watched by some external observer. The fact that it keeps being cycled in the television by Sarah's interference is also pretty blatantly meant to put emphasis in the scene, and that something of note is going on there.

"As above, so below", as the Log Lady states, which fits nicely with how the universe of Twin Peaks is described as being akin to a fractal in nature: Self-repeating and always constant, with motifs from higher worlds reflecting themselves into lower ones and vice-versa. Hence, going by these scenes, Mother's true, overarching nature would presumably exist as a stand-in for the audience itself, being in a state which lower beings cannot perceive, or interact with, watching all events unfolding in the narrative.

God

The figure of a supreme god that exists above everything else in Twin Peaks is something that's brought up quite sparsely, though the instances where it is are all quite important and often come from the mouth of major characters in the setting.

For example, MIKE claims that he once was an evil spirit much like BOB, having been touched by an unknown figure which he calls "the devilish one," until he "saw the face of God" and was purified from his dark side, causing him to cut off his left arm.

Another instance is when Laurence Jacoby witnesses the presence of an entity (Heavily implied to be related to the Fireman) who protects him from several malevolent spirits, and which he instinctively refers to as "god" energy, though he notes that this term is a wholly inadequate way to describe it:

A shining figure, much taller than the others, suddenly appeared in their midst and it gave off a violet light so bright and powerful it washed away everything else in my field of vision, nearly “blinding” me. I cannot honestly remember anything else about its appearance, which may or may not have been humanoid—my memory holds it closer in shape to a sphere that emanated a powerful impression of “beauty,” but in an almost purely abstract sense. The other figures seemed to either defer to this figure or recoil from it in fear; it occurred to me that the figure might have been drawn to me by some protective instinct.

As the other figures withdrew or receded, the new figure moved closer, and as it neared, all my own fears subsided and I felt a benevolent calm wash over me, an energetically soothing rush of peace and then a sense of joy that swelled up in my chest until I thought it might burst. A wholly inadequate phrase arose in my mind at that precise moment to fully describe this experience, and it was this: I am in the presence of “god” energy.

~ The Secret History of Twin Peaks

So, what exactly is the "God" of the setting? Well, to formulate answer for that, we should look into The Secret History of Twin Peaks again:

The word of the LAW is Thelema. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the LAW. Love is the LAW. love under will.

Do you see? The power of the will is all. But without eros, or agape—love and sex, joined together—"will" is nothing but hollow, patriarchal power without direction or force.

What he taught us is that both forces must exist in balance. In order to stand beside God you have to first reject the idea of "God." Then, and only then, will you come to realize that you are God. Every man and every woman is a star.

Rockets and magick: Ask yourself, what do they have in common? They're about transcending all limits. Acts of rebellion against the limits of gravity and inertia, and the limits of human existence. We will only be hold down, earthbound, for so long. Two sides of the same coin.

[He takes what looks like an ancient silver coin from his pocket and performs some kind of sleight of hand with it; suddenly there are two coins.]

Alchemy isn't only about "chemistry" or turning base metal to gold. The medieval philosophers and alchemists knew this—even Isaac Newton knew it—but their knowledge was lost until Crowley brought it back. You see, alchemy actually speaks to internal processes, and a radical evolution in our spiritual development: transforming the "base metal" of primitive man to the "gold" of an enlightened soul. Rockets and magick are both about breaking through the animal boundaries of space and time that hold us back from realizing our potential. Either, maybe both, will someday take us to the moon and the stars beyond. I truly believe that. Magick is just the name we've always given to things we don't yet understand...

[He stares at me for a moment with his dark brown eyes, then turns gaze to the statue of Pan, gets a faraway look and mutters something under his breath.]

The magician longs to see...

So, let's dissect this.

To properly explain the parts in bold, I'll have to explain the concept of "God" as visualized by Thelema, a religion which I've already mentioned in this blog as a main theme in the tie-in book, and a fairly prominent component of the series' mythology.

In essence, Thelema conceptualizes the Godhead as being a boundless space which exists as the sum of all possible experience, being the infinite circle that encompasses everything and is above everything, containing all possibility and all contradiction within itself. This is the Macrocosm, represented by the Egyptian Goddess "Nuit", and is contrasted by her counterpart Hadit, who in turn represents the Microcosm, the infinitesimal point residing at the core of every being, also often alluded to as a coiled snake.

However, as the circumference of the circle is infinite, then its boundary is nowhere to be found, and the center resides everywhere; thus, all points within it are equally infinite and equatable to the Ultimate God at the core of their being, partaking in the wholeness which it constitutes, hence the old saying: "Every man and every woman is a star. Every number is infinite, there is no difference."

What Jack Parsons is saying in the quote above is basically that, in order to truly understand God, one must reject the notion of it as a particular, individual entity apart from them, and instead recognize that they are themselves God, who is then as much above them as it is in them: Microcosm and Macrocosm (Hadit and Nuit) are one and the same, in the end. To quote some commentaries on the Book of the Law itself:

This is a great and holy mystery. Although each star has its own number, each number is equal and supreme. Every man and every woman is not only a part of God, but the Ultimate God. "The Centre is everywhere and the circumference nowhere". The old definition of God takes new meaning for us. Each one of us is the One God. This can only be understood by the initiate; one must acquire certain high states of consciousness to appreciate it.

I have tried to put it simply in the note to the last verse. I may add that in the Trance called by me the "Star-Sponge" -- see note to v. 59 -- this apprehension of the Universe is seen as an astral Vision. It began as "Nothingness with Sparkles" in 1916 E.V. by Lake Pasquaney in New Hampshire, U.S.A. and developed into fullness on various subsequent occasions. Each 'Star' is connected directly with every other star, and the Space being Without Limit (Ain Soph) the Body of Nuith, any one star is as much the Centre as any other. Each man instinctively feels that he is the Centre of the Cosmos, and philosophers have jeered at his presumption. But it was he that was precisely right. The yokel is no more 'petty' than the King, nor the earth than the Sun. Each simple elemental Self is supreme, Very God of Very God.

~ Commentaries on the Book of the Law

Now, you may ask: Is this idea of God actually alluded to anywhere else in the series? Yes, it is. Look back to the very second quote I've shown in the blog, for instance:

As above, so below. The human being finds himself, or herself, in the middle. There is as much space outside the human, proportionately, as inside.
Stars, moons, and planets remind us of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Is there a bigger being walking with all the stars within? Does our thinking affect what goes on outside us, and what goes on inside us? I think it does.
Where does creamed corn figure into the workings of the universe? What really is creamed corn? Is it a symbol for something else?

As well as this one:

Leland, the time has come for you to seek the path. Your soul has set you face-to-face with the clear light, and you are now about to experience it in all its reality, wherein all things are like the void and cloudless sky, and the naked, spotless intellect is like a transparent vacuum, without circumference or center. Leland, in this moment, know yourself, and abide in that state… Look to the light, Leland. Find the light.

For context, this quote is a passage from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, meant to be recited to those who are about to pass away in order to assist them on their way to the next world:

O nobly—born (so and so by name), the time hath now come for
thee to seek the Path [in reality]. Thy breathing is about to cease. Thy
guru hath set thee face to face before with the Clear Light; and now
thou art about to experience it in its Reality in the Bardo state,
wherein all things are like the void and cloudless sky, and the naked,
spotless intellect is like unto a transparent vacuum without
circumference or centre. At this moment, know thou thyself; and
abide in that state. I, too, at this time, am setting thee face to face.

The "Clear Light" mentioned in both passages, by the way, is essentially what an individual's consciousness is to experience as they pass away: Being in the process of shedding away their own selves, they begin to partake into the primordial, unmodified state of pure being which underlies everything and from which everything is originated, perceiving the true "Reality" of the Void, which precedes form and attributes entirely; hence "all things are like the void and cloudless sky, and the naked, spotless intellect is like unto a transparent vacuum without circumference or centre." We'll come back to this later on.

If the deceased is able to aprehend this state and recognize it as reality, then they will be freed from the cycle of death and rebirth, partaking in the state of "Nirvana." Though they will continue to be trapped in the illusion if they fail to do so, which seems to be very much what happened with Leland Palmer after his death, as his soul appears in the Red Room two decades later.

The use of the alchemical/hermetic motto "As above, so below" in the above quote also brings us to the concept of the transmutation into gold, mentioned by Parsons in the excerpt above: As he explains it, Alchemy and Hermeticism often use the transmutation of lesser, base metals into gold as a metaphor for an individual's own spiritual evolution, as gold was seen as the purest and most perfect of all metals, and thus served as a symbol for a soul that became enlightened about its relationship to God, having broken through the imperfect, animal restrictions of space and time.

This explanation has several pretty massive consequences to the setting, since gold is itself a fairly prominent motif in The Return, and often appears in scenes dealing with souls and ascension. For instance, a dead boy's soul is shown as a golden flame flowing out of his body in one occasion, as shown previously, and the Log Lady herself says that "her log is turning gold" as she's in her deathbed, and implied to be undergoing some spiritual change post-mortem.

Further than that, MIKE creating an artificial human (a "tulpa") is followed by a burst of golden light flowing out of the latter's body as he's born, and even the seeds which are used to create them are golden in color. This makes an interesting contrast with the tulpas created by BOB and Mr. C, which had black fire within them.

Most of all, Laura Palmer is also created by the Fireman and Senorita Dido in the form of a golden orb, spun from a golden cloud of thoughts emanating from the former's face. It's also appropriate to point out that gold is the only thing that has color in their Home, while everything else is monochromatic, even themselves. The entrance point to it is also marked by a pool filled with a golden-white substance, which contrasts with the entrance to the Red Room, which is marked by a pool full of black engine oil.

As said before, the Fireman himself is also heavily associated with a "god" figure in the context of the series' lore, as seen by how the god energy which Laurence Jacoby stood in the presence of was described as emanating from an extremely tall, vaguely humanoid entity, whose authority was greater than the other spirits in his presence, as they were described as all deferring to it in fear.

Secret History also makes mention of a supreme deity worshipped by the Nez Perce tribe, named as the "Great Spirit Chief," who was believed to be the ruler and father of all creation, responsible for the making of the world and every being living upon it: This entity is most certainly identifiable with the Fireman, given how people who searched for his counsel had to go to a sacred site described as "a place of smoke by the mountains," which is a perfect description of the entrance to the Fireman's Home as shown in The Return.

By the way, note that, while most mentions of the Great Spirit Chief come from the book quoting speeches that happened in real life, the specific part stating that one could gain an audience with him by going to the "place of smoke" is a fictional addition written by Mark Frost, so the similarities between it and the entrance to the Fireman's realm are certainly intentional.

All of this, of course, ties in with how the Fireman's Home is itself described as "the deepest wellspring" of a human's being, and pretty much perfectly fits together with the Log Lady making several allusions to the figure of a "maker" who is responsible for the world's creation. For instance, we can look back at how she compares existence itself to a riddle, with the transcendental spiritual reality being in turn compared to "clues" set up by a puzzle maker, and the physical world itself being just an illusion created as a result of human minds misinterpreting their meaning:

"There are clues everywhere, all around us. But the puzzle maker is clever. The clues, although surrounding us, are somehow mistaken for something else. And the something else, the wrong interpretation of the clues, we call our world. Our world is a magical smoke screen. How should we interpret the happy song of the meadowlark or the robust flavor of a wild strawberry?"

A dying letter of hers also compares the life of a human being to a gift given to them by a close friend, with it being something that they should cherish and take care of, but that doesn't necessarily belong to them:

Every meeting between friends must end with a parting, and so, my friends, today we take our leave. This is life. None of us profits from ignoring or hiding from the facts, so why should we bother? Life is what it is, a gift that is given to us for a time—like a library book—that must eventually be returned. How should we treat this book? If we are able to remember that it is not ours to begin with—one that we’re entrusted with, to care for, to study and learn from—perhaps it would change the way we treat it while it’s in our possession. How do you treat a precious gift from a dear friend? This is a good question to ask, and today is a good time to ask it.
~ The Final Dossier

The written testimony of a man (Meriwether Lewis, more specifically) who pilgrimaged to the sacred place of the Great Spirit Chief in the books also pretty closely mirrors what Deputy Andy sees right before he is summoned to the Fireman's Home, and most importantly, Lewis also describes seeing shining gold flowing out of everything during his experience, alongside colors unseen in the physical world, all right before he has an encounter with "a silent man."

It [a letter from Lewis] begins with a more or less direct account of traveling three days due north from the main body of the Corps to a "certain location" that Lewis says was revealed to him on a recently drawn native map. At which point I am then treated to a disjointed assortment of passages that defy categorization, i.e.:

"Lights from the sky, the silvery spheres...music, like some heavenly choir...fire that burns but does not consume...colors unseen or unimagined, flowing from all things...gold, all gold, bright and shining..."

All of it written in a rapid scrawl. Many of the words illegible. Nearly a page of lunatic ranting about "the secret deep within the color red." Puzzling references to classical statuary, black lines and a throughly incoherent discourse on the "mysterious force B. Franklin had stumbled upon." Finally, the fragmented and feverish mention of an uncanny encounter with a "silent man."

His last words in this vein, at which point L. appears to have altered course and sailed back toward reason:

"I should have heeded his warning."

~ The Secret History of Twin Peaks

This connection which the Fireman and Senorita Dido have with the golden "god" described by Jack Parsons ties them to another part of his speech, most specifically this one:

The word of the LAW is Thelema. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the LAW. Love is the LAW. love under will.

Do you see? The power of the will is all. But without eros, or agape—love and sex, joined together—"will" is nothing but hollow, patriarchal power without direction or force.

What he taught us is that both forces must exist in balance. In order to stand beside God you have to first reject the idea of "God." Then, and only then, will you come to realize that you are God. Every man and every woman is a star.

Rockets and magick: Ask yourself, what do they have in common? They're about transcending all limits. Acts of rebellion against the limits of gravity and inertia, and the limits of human existence. We will only be hold down, earthbound, for so long. Two sides of the same coin.

Now, to give a quick rundown on what all that's supposed to mean:

In essence, one of the core concepts of Thelema is that each and every individual has a true calling and purpose that they must fulfill in life, which supersedes all other needs or desires which they may have, that being known as their "True Will." This "Will" is inherent to one's own self and is fundamentally aligned to their inner divine essence; if an individual self is a Star, then its Will is simply the natural orbit which it traverses in its lifetime, unhindered by anything.

This concept is already expressed by the very word 'Thelema', or Θελημα, which is Ancient Greek for 'will' or 'intention', and thus, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" simply means that one must strive to follow their appointed path without diverging from it in any way. Doing so means acting towards accomplishing one's "Great Work," as it was called.

As every being is identical to the Godhead at their core, then every person's Will is absolute and ultimate; that is, their Will and the Will of the All-in-One are one and the same, and so, following one's holy right and duty in the grand scheme of all things is the same as following the Will of God. By doing that, they can unite with their godly self and attain detachment from all limitations, which, in this case, is the "transmutation into gold" which I've explained above. Crowley specifically uses the indian aphorism "Tat tvam asi" ("Thou art That") to express this idea, and the Book of the Law also describes this as Hadit uncoiling himself and connecting with the infinity of Nuit:

"The Great Work is the uniting of opposites. It may mean the uniting of the soul with God, of the microcosm with the macrocosm, of the female with the male, of the ego with the non-ego."
AL II,26: “I am the secret Serpent coiled about to spring: in my coiling there is joy. If I lift up my head, I and my Nuit are one. If I droop down mine head, and shoot forth venom, then is rapture of the earth, and I and the earth are one.”

Will, however, is complemented by another concept that is just as important: Love, or "Agape," also mentioned in the books in the quote I posted above.

To clarify, Thelemic Love doesn't have anything to do with the emotion itself. To put it simply, it is basically a term that designates any act of union and integration, where two separate things are united and a third thing is created from their individual essences, holding characteristics of both and yet being greater than either. This principle is reflected throughout the entire universe, down to even the interaction between atomic particles such as Hydrogen and Oxygen.

These two concepts are essentially the two aspects of the individual self, and by extension of all creation: Will being the dynamic, masculine principle and Love being the passive, feminine one, with their interplay governing all of nature. Likewise, they are also the two halves of the androgyne Godhead in the Qabbalistic Tree of Life: Will being represented by Chokmah, the primordial All-Father, and Love by Binah, the All-Mother, basically the receptive "womb" that sculpts and shapes the former into focus, giving life to the unformed energies emitted by it before directing them to the lower spheres so it may eventually end up in the physical world.

However, as noted above, Will and Love are ultimately complementary and are meaningless by themselves. Will, for instance, is nothing but raw, unformed power with no purpose or direction on its own, and Love is nothing but an empty vehicle whose purpose is to act as a way for the Will to express itself, and this is what "Love under Will" means: An act of union, performed in accordance with one's own nature. In order for an individual to actualize their inner divinity and "stand beside God", those two forces must exist in balance, and Secret History reiterates all of the above a few pages after Jack Parsons details these concepts in his monologue.

We must further distinguish in this magical sense from the sexual formula, symbol and type though that be thereof. For the pure essence of Magick is a function of ultimate atomic consciousness, and its operations must be refined from all confusion and contamination. The truly magical operations of Love are therefore the Trances, more especially those of Understanding; as will readily have been appreciated by those who have made a careful Qabalistic study of the nature of Binah. For she is omniform as Love and as Death, the Great Sea whence all Life springs, and whose black womb reabsorbs all. She thus resumes in herself the duplex process of the Formula of Love under Will; for is not Pan the All-Begetter in the heart of the Groves at high noon, and is not Her “hair the trees of Eternity” the filaments of All-Devouring Godhead “under the Night of Pan?”

Yet let it not be forgotten that though She be love, her function is but passive; she is the vehicle of the Word, of Chokmah, Wisdom, the All-Father, who is the Will of the All-One. And thus they err with grievous error and dire who prate of Love as the Formula of Magick; Love is unbalanced, void, vague, undirected, sterile, nay, more, a very Shell, the prey of abject orts demonic: Love must be “under will.”

~ Little Essays Towards Truth: Love

The idea of formless, patriarchal energy being given shape and focus by a nurturing female principle is clearly reminiscent of the whole process behind The Fireman and Senorita Dido's ritual that resulted in Laura's creation: The Fireman first unleashes a cloud of golden light from which an orb emerges, which is then directed to Dido, who gives it life (As seen when Laura's image only appears on the surface of the sphere when she touches it, and becomes more solid as she looks at it) and blesses it with her love, before sending it to the material world so it can take a physical, human form.

The act itself also becomes a little more abstract when taking into account side-material, which implies that the golden light emanating from behind the Fireman's face was a manifestation of his thoughts, or rather, his "vision":

https://buf.com/films/twin-peaks/

The​ main​ ​challenge​ ​in​ ​this​ scene​ ​was​ ​creating​ ​a dreamy “vision”​ ​coming​ ​from​ ​Fireman’s​ ​face.​ ​Based​ ​on​ a ​drawing received​ ​from​ ​Lynch,​ we​ ​had​ to​ ​create​ a moving image composes of​ golden​ particles,​ forming​ ​little​ ​by​ ​little​ ​and finally​ creating​ ​the​ ​desired​ ​pattern.​ ​We​ ​had​ ​a lot​ ​of exchanges​ ​with​ ​Lynch​ ​to​ ​finalize​ ​the​ ​look​ and ​movement of​ ​the​ particles.

Furthermore, their very role in the story and setting also obviously calls to mind the archetypes of the divine father and mother: The Fireman assuming the form of an elderly man and taking the more proactive role in the conflict against Mother, essentially standing in the frontlines, while Dido is a younger-looking, more passive entity whose sole appearance was during Laura's creation. That they are Laura's divine parents also has some pretty big implications, considering she is repeatedly alluded as being a Messianic figure whose nature is heavily tied to the dream (She was created as a direct response and counterpart to BOB and JUDY, for instance, the former of which is explicitly said to be the Devil / Satan, and the Fireman himself shows Deputy Andy an image of Laura being surrounded by Angels)

The connections become even stronger when we hark back and see that Will in the context of Thelema is strictly associated with the element of Fire: It is Chokmah, the fundamental vital energy that suffuses and directs all of reality. Also interesting to note is that this energy and the path which it traces throughout the Tree of Life is also always compared to a lightning bolt, or in other words: Electricity.

Now look back at the sections above and remember how fundamental both Fire and Electricity are to the setting of Twin Peaks, as well as how all of this relates to the entity calling itself "The Fireman."

Of course, the first thing that comes to mind when reading this title is the role of a Firefighter, and this is thematically appropriate for the series, as the Fireman's role in the narrative indeed seems to be an entity who puts out uncontrolled fires (As seen by his opposition towards BOB, as well as his concern over the atomic explosion.) However, it definitely does not represent the whole picture, given how "Fire" as a concept is explained as something that is not inherently good or evil, but which can be used for both depending on the intention of who invokes it, as well as the fact that the Fireman himself harnesses this spiritual fire / electricity much like the other Spirits do.

His characterization as the Great Spirit Chief who presides over the "Sky People" as the father of all also complements several pieces of imagery associating him with a "Skyfather" type of figure. For instance, Laura's "template" being born out of his face is imagery that reminisces Athena being born out of Zeus' forehead, something which the series itself certainly is well aware of, given how "Dido" is herself named after a legendary queen of Greek Mythology, as well as how The Arm (Who is said to be Laura's "cousin" earlier in the series) has a doppelgänger which disguises itself as a Venus statue in the Red Room (Venus herself being Minerva / Athena's cousin in classical mythology)

The Secret History of Twin Peaks also contrasts the Great Spirit Chief with the Earth itself, with the two apparently forming a divine pair as the Father and Mother of All, respectively, the latter of which pretty obviously relates to Senorita Dido's relation to the Fireman. The duality of Father Sky and Mother Earth is also one of the symbols which represents the divine masculine and feminine, alongside every other complementary pair.

To complement the above, Mark Frost himself also talked about how The Return is full of mythological symbolism in interviews. For instance, he compared Cooper traveling through time to save Laura to Orpheus going to the Underworld to save Eurydice:

It’s Orpheus descending into the Underworld. You are playing with deep, profound, mysterious forces that will have unintended consequences. In the old mythology, as a mortal, to cross into the realm of what was thought of as the gods’, meant you risked everything. That’s what we’re seeing happen here.

Furthermore, the idea of expansive and contractive forces was already explicitly brought up near the finale of the original series, where a direct gateway to the Lodge was opened due to the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, with the reason behind this being that:

Andy, take a look at this. What you mistook for the Four-H Club, the four and the H, are actually astrological symbols.
You mean, like planets?
Why, yes, Andy. They stand for Jupiter and Saturn. Some of the others represent planets as well, but this particular part of the puzzle pertains to a precise planetary position. Jupiter and Saturn in conjunction.
What’s that supposed to mean?
Well, historically, Harry, when Jupiter and Saturn are conjunct, there are enormous shifts in power and fortune. Jupiter being expansive in its influence, Saturn, contractive. Conjunction suggests a state of intensification, concentration. What this indicates to me is the potential for explosive change, good and bad.

Of course, this is directly related to what was outlined above: Saturn is itself associated with Binah, being the planetary symbol of the primordial womb of form, and Jupiter, while not really directly linked with Chokmah, still represents a sphere of expansion on the two pillars of the Tree of Life (Chesed, specifically), and is an echo of the primordial masculine nonetheless, so much that it takes its name from the Roman God of Thunder and the Heavens, himself a skyfather figure which certainly bears relation to the Fireman's portrayal as the "Great Spirit Chief" who rules over the world as the greatest of the Sky People worshipped by the Nez Perce.

So, given all of the above, it's pretty obvious that the Fireman and Senorita Dido are just that: Personifications of Will and Love, respectively the Masculine and Feminine attributes of God made manifest, whose interaction governs nature, and which nonetheless are still forces subordinate to the supreme being, as seen when the golden essence (Which we already established as being representative of "God") emanates from behind the Fireman's face, most certainly from some level deeper than his "physical" form, given the aforementioned motif of spirits removing their faces like masks to reveal something more profound underneath.

As an addendum, it is also noteworthy that Parsons does his whole rant about God and its relationship to mortal existence while focusing intently on a statue of the Greek God Pan, and he is noted to recite a poem called "Hymn to Pan" as a good luck charm during test launches for rockets (An act which he himself associates with humanity ascending to divinity and transcending all limits in the context of Secret History)

To clarify on that: This is because Pan himself (Much like Nuit) is a symbol used to represent the Godhead in Thelema (And western esoterism in general, in fact), as his name (Πάν) means "All", and so, his image is used to symbolize The Three Veils of Negative Existence that precede the "manifested" reality embodied by the Tree of Life, the absolute "0" from which all else unfolds, and in which everything is encompassed.

So, as a recap:

Golden Color = God (Transcendence of all limitations) = Transmutation into Gold = Union of Nuit and Hadit = Culmination of the Great Work

More Thelemic Associations

As a complement to the explanations above and a good example of how influential Thelema is to Twin Peaks as a whole, we then take a step aside for a minute and address a very important doctrine in Crowley's philosophy: The Abyss.

To lay out the groundwork for that, we have to expand on this:

Treeoflife0.gif

As I've already mentioned before, this diagram up here is the Qabalistic Tree of Life: Basically a diagram that is meant to express and encapsulate all of reality, as well as the process of the universe's formation by means of successive emanations of the Godhead, in a single all-encompassing glyph, expressing Macrocosm and Microcosm alike.

Although it originated in Jewish Mysticism, the Tree of Life has been incorporated in several other philosophical currents and school of thought by several different societies over the years, being syncretized with elements from several religions until it became an instrumental tool for all of western occultism. Needless to say, its applications in this context are vast, and as much as 190 associations were made using it as a basis, and even that is still an incomplete view of it.

As above, one of the most notable functions of the Tree of Life is to depict the process which led to the creation of the physical universe from the outflow of divine energy emanating from the unknowable, unmanifest Godhead. This outflow, as I've already mentioned, is strictly associated with the element of Fire, and occultists always compare it to a bolt of electricity due to the zig-zagging pattern which it traverses throughout the spheres of the Tree.

But, we're not going to be focusing on explaining this whole-ass process here. Instead, this is going to focus solely on the three highest spheres of the Tree: Kether, Chokmah and Binah.

In essence, the three are representative of the loftiest and most elevated aspects of God, whose interaction gives rise to all of dualistic existence, while they themselves reside in Atziluth, the noumenal world of emanations, where the boundaries between "Self" and "Other" become increasingly vague, and all things experience oneness with the Godhead: They are the Three-In-One, pretty much.

Kether is the highest of the Triad and represents the non-dual singularity, the primordial dimensionless point where all polarities are unified and overshadowed by the Light of God, containing within itself all possibilities which still exist merely as idealizations, not yet instantiated in the universe below; it is the seed from which the whole Tree sprouts, though what exactly planted is impossible to know about. It is often described as the great ocean of being from which all else first emerged.

We then have Chokmah and Binah, which represent the Divine Father and Mother respectively, and symbolize the conceptual expansion stirred by the first movements occuring within Kether: They are as we already discussed; Chokmah provides the unformed, limitless energy whose potential suffuses all of existence with the vital force, and Binah acts as the proverbial womb in which those energies are sculpted and given life, direction and purpose, before being sent on their way to the physical sphere.

The words "Chokmah" and "Binah" themselves translate to "Wisdom" and "Understanding" respectively, because their relationship is often compared to the process by which an idea is born in the human mind. Chokmah represents the initial flash of inspiration, the unformed thoughts that have no concise form yet, but are brimming with infinite possibilities, and Binah represents the succeeding phase, where this flash is compressed and organized into a solid idea, which is only a few steps away from being actualized in the world.

This relates pretty neatly to the aforementioned ritual which the Fireman and Dido engaged in to create Laura, where the Fireman calls forth his blank, unformed "vision" and transmits it to Dido, who then gives it an actual identity and fills it with life. The fact that these two spheres are already mentioned in Secret History (Under their other names, Will and Love) serves as a nice complement to this as well.

In any case, this Supernal Triad is separated from the lower emanations by a region known as "The Abyss", which is the subject of this (sub)section.

Now, what the fuck is the Abyss? Well:

This triune principle being wholly spiritual, all that can be said about it is really negative. And it is complete in itself. Beyond it stretches what is called The Abyss. This doctrine is extremely difficult to explain; but it corresponds more or less to the gap in thought between the Real, which is ideal, and the Unreal, which is actual. In the Abyss all things exist, indeed, at least in posse, but are without any possible meaning; for they lack the substratum of spiritual Reality. They are appearances without Law. They are thus Insane Delusions.

Now the Abyss being thus the great storehouse of Phenomena, it is the source of all impressions. And the Triune Principle has intended a machine for investigating the Universe; and this machine is the fourth Principle of Man.

~ Little Essays Towards Truth: Man

Basically, it is a gulf of nothingness that separates the phenomenal, dualistic world from the noumenal source from which it is sprung forth. It is often represented more as a state or phase of consciousness than a realm of existence per se; namely, it is a representation of the path which one walks through in order to access the unknowable plane of the divine, while simultaneously letting go of the illusory, false world, and thus is symbolized in different forms always: Be it as a vast desert or a yawning void.

In terms of the Tree of Life, the Abyss corresponds to Daath, a space which is not necessarily a sphere on its own, but more akin to an empty slot or hole, in which all ten of them are connected and harmonized. As a concept, it corresponds to "Knowledge", and is heavily associated with a fall from divinity, but that is merely allegorical and serves to illustrate how the energies of God transitioned from the pure nonduality of Atziluth and into the "denser" levels of existence. Hence, Daath can be seen as the phase in which concepts that are more familiar with the lower universe are originated; it's the root of the knowing that permeates throughout the whole Tree, basically a synthesis of Chokmah (Wisdom) and Binah (Understanding) that gives way for phenomenal existence to exist.

From a bottom-to-top perspective on the Tree of Life (One of ascension), Daath can be also thought of as the state where all knowledge is laid bare, and breaks down completely as one continues the ascend to the Supernal Triangle of God, which lies completely inaccessible to mundane concepts, as a level which no intellect can penetrate. This is why it is often said that "There is nothing beyond the Abyss," as even our conceptions of things further than it are still framed within our scope of conceptualization, and thus, the entire Tree of Life as formulated by us is also paradoxically contained within it.

The greatest task of a Magician, then, is to cross over through this gap and access the fundamental world of Atziluth, where the Triad resides; through this, they achieve the state known as "Mastery" and attain full understanding of the universe, becoming a "Master of the Temple", as Crowley called it, and starting to inhabit a realm called "The City of Pyramids," in full harmony with the All.

This is no easy task, however, as the Abyss is infested with malignant delusions and illusions that attempt to assert themselves as part of the Magician's identity, and try to stop him from crossing over into Atziluth at all costs, as doing so means the total dissolution of one's ego into the boundless expanse of the universe, causing it to leave the human perspective behind and elevate itself to the divine level.

The conglomeration of all of these delusions is a demon known as "Choronzon", who is not really an individual entity, but merely a personification of the dark, ugly and uninitiated parts of one's consciousness that refuse to partake in the Divine, and instead vehemently try to assert themselves as one stands in the brink of enlightenment: If they don't face Choronzon with perfect understanding, then they will be annihilated and dispersed into the Abyss. Because of that, Choronzon is often called "The Guardian of the Threshold" or "The Dweller of the Abyss."

This whole process pretty blatantly mirrors Agent Cooper's journey towards enlightenment, which I've already described way up above, but what solidifies the connection here is the fact that Choronzon's symbol, the three-fold triangle, actually appeared all the way back in the original series as a very prominent symbol with some deep connections to the Lodge, tattooed in the necks of people who were abducted by it or some strongly related alien force.

The symbol itself is meant to be a representation of Choronzon's number: 333, which obviously calls to mind the name of the nuclear test which resulted in the spirits of the Lodge entering our world for the first time (As well as in the birth of BOB): Trinity. Interestingly enough, these three triangles are also clearly reminiscent of the Trefoil, the symbol for radiation.

Bearing in mind the aforementioned explanation of the crossing of the Abyss, Cooper's journey and eventual enlightenment at the end of the series is cast in an entirely new light: In fact, much of The Return's plotline followed Cooper's (indirect) conflicts with his doppelgänger, Mr. C, the latter of which was entirely motivated by his desire to stay out of the Lodge.

Then, after BOB and Mr. C are both destroyed, Cooper achieves a state of soulful enlightenment as he realizes that he is a character within a dream/film and directly faces the camera, all while the characteristic sound of the Fireman's Home plays in the background.

Given everything we've already established, this is a pretty obvious adaptation of the concept of a magician (A title by which Cooper is referred as afterwards, by the way) crossing the Abyss and attaining the Mastery. BOB and Mr. C being both representations of Choronzon, in this context:

I want to take a step back for a moment: Let’s consider the very existence of the Double. You’ll recall the mythological location I mentioned earlier—the Black Lodge, a hellish place of origin for people, entities, or creatures walking the “dark path,” posthumously referenced by Margaret Coulson in her funeral remarks. Deputy Chief Hawk also once spoke of another spiritual concept that may be related, called the Dweller on the Threshold. (Agent Cooper mentioned hearing about it from Hawk in one of his tapes to Diane.) This “Dweller” is said to represent the sum total of all the dark, negative, unresolved qualities that reside in every human being. (There are also esoteric theories that the same idea can apply to the fate of nations, but let’s confine this to the more personal concept for now.)
The Dweller legend states that when a person on the spiritual path consciously approaches a place or state of soulful enlightenment, at the very moment they’re about to enter into its full embrace—on the “threshold,” as it were—this Dweller allegedly appears and must be confronted and defeated in order for the person to successfully pass through. As with most mythology, my presumption had been that this figure is allegorical, a metaphor for a struggle that takes place in the realm of the intrapersonal and psychological. Not a literal concept.

~ The Final Dossier

But, in spite of all this, it should be noted that all of these things ultimately exist outside the reach of labels and categorization, and are thus beyond even the Crowleyan / Thelemic interpretation of them; it's as said previously: The ultimate mystery behind life is the source of all thought and inspiration throughout all of time, but even what it imparts to humans is just an incomplete glimpse of what its nature is, the core of which can never be truly known, as everything ultimately dissolves into silence at this stage, even the concepts of "God" and "Meaning."

So, it'd be appropriate to say that all of the above is just an incomplete view of these "entities", basically a reduction of the truth, more akin to metaphors or symbols masking something deeper than the actual thing. As has already been said:

"Where does creamed corn figure into the workings of the universe? What really is creamed corn? Is it a symbol for something else?":

The Shadow-Self

"And now, an ending. Where there was once one, there are now two. Or were there always two?
What is a reflection? A chance to see two? When there are chances for reflections, there can always be two--or more. Only when we are everywhere will there be just one.
It has been a pleasure speaking to you."

Duality is an extremely central theme to Twin Peaks as a whole, and one could even argue that the whole story revolves primarily around it. For instance, much of Season 3 is about the conflict between Agent Cooper and his doppelganger originated from the Red Room, and the occult narrative behind it also establishes a fairly clear parallel between JUDY and Laura.

The more mundane parts of the series are also pretty laden with this, as well, and go to great lengths to explore the distinction between Laura as she presents herself to the world and Laura as she was internally: The former being the ideal, happy and successful girl living with a perfect family, and the latter being a broken and hopelessly nihilistic individual who delves into sex and drugs while doing all she can to numb herself from the pain.

Furthermore, there is also the whole dichotomy involving the White Lodge and the Black Lodge, the latter being described as the "Shadow-Self" of the former, and even the spirits inhabiting them are marked by some form of duality too, as exemplified by MIKE and the Arm, both of which are two aspects of the same entity, the Arm being the chaotic part which was severed from the whole after MIKE was "purified" by the face of god.

MIKE's whole testimony regarding his purification also makes it pretty clear there is some conflict between dualities even in relation to the "god" he talks about. More specifically, he states that he and BOB were once touched by an entity which he identifies only as "the devilish one," whom he explicitly contrasts with "God" in his monologue, and the mark which they both received from it was a tattoo on their left arms.

BOB's tattoo in specific was an engraving of the phrase "Fire walk with me," which we already know as a magical chant that channels the power of the Lodge, so we can naturally assume MIKE's tattoo used to say the same. However, things become interesting when we hark back to the original series, where his host/human identity, Phillip Gerard, remembered the tattoo in his lost arm as saying the word "MOM."

This is... pretty huge, given how the main antagonistic force in Season 3 is the "Mother of Abominations" from which all dark spirits originated, with MIKE himself being one of them, so we can pretty safely say that she is the "devilish one" who he claims to have been touched by. Taking into account the fact that every mention of "God" in the series leads back to the Fireman or an entity related to him in some way, this fits very well with the duality between him and Mother which we briefly looked over in the previous section.

MIKE and BOB's tattoos being placed on their left arms specifically also raises some serious red flags, especially when we fast-forward to The Return and are introduced to Freddie Sykes, a man who came into direct contact with The Fireman and was empowered by him through a green glove which granted him superhuman strength, all towards the goal of eventually killing BOB. The connection here coming from the fact that he was specifically instructed to place the glove on his right hand.

Likewise, the owl cave ring, an artifact that is directly connected to the Black Lodge, can act as a way to transport the corpses of recently diseased people to it, but for that to happen in the first place, it must be put on the ring finger of the left hand.

All of this is a reference to the occult notion of left-hand and right-hand paths, which are essentially the two opposing ways through which magick can be approached, the right hand representing the orderly, restrained "white" magic and the left hand representing the "black" variation, which is more chaotic, unrestrained and self-centered (Though these definitions are not universal, I should note.) This gets a reference in one of the books, where the only thing connecting the inhabitants of the Black Lodge together is said to be the fact that they all walk through "the dark path."

You’ll recall the mythological location I mentioned earlier—the Black Lodge, a hellish place of origin for people, entities, or creatures walking the “dark path,” posthumously referenced by Margaret Coulson in her funeral remarks. Deputy Chief Hawk also once spoke of another spiritual concept that may be related, called the Dweller on the Threshold. (Agent Cooper mentioned hearing about it from Hawk in one of his tapes to Diane.)
~ The Final Dossier

The aforementioned "gold" that represents God is also shown to have a counterpart: As mentioned before, the tulpa which MIKE created per Cooper's request at the end of the series was filled with golden light, while the ones which Mr. C and BOB created as part of their plan to stay out of the Lodge and trick the FBI were filled with black fire. The sequence in Part 8 showing the atomic bomb tearing through reality also has dark flames washing over the screen, shortly before we see an abstract, golden world filled with black particles and then delve into the purple sea.

This "black fire" is then explained in Part 11 to be an image of death and decay, or more specifically, the neutral element of "fire" being used to sow corruption, as Deputy Hawk describes it as a combination of the fire symbol with the symbol of blackened, unnatural corn, overtaken by disease, corn itself being representative of life and fertility in this context, as well as yet another instantiation of the "gold" motif that's so prominent in The Return.

And then we have this statement by the Log Lady, which seemingly confirms all of the above:

We are born into this world, not another one. It’s not perfect, but it is what it is. This world presents some simple, certain truths. It helps us grow if we accept them, but many of these truths seem to trouble or frighten us. For instance, there is no light without darkness—and this troubles many of us—but without it, how else would we tell one from the other? We spend half of every day in darkness; surely we should make our peace with this. You may decide to see this as a metaphor. Many people do. I see it as a fact. Metaphors are beautiful ways of speaking about the truth. So are facts. Both tell us that time—and light, and darkness—moves in cycles. We move through them, too, often as passengers, but if our eyes are open, there is much to be learned along the way. A traveler learns more than a passenger. When darkness comes, a traveler learns to be brave, for they know the light will return. Anyone who’s spent a night alone in the woods learns this.

Considering what we've already established, it's very easy to say that "Mother" is the black fire (Or rather, the blackness itself, with the black fire being a manifestation of her intention and influence), which forms a dichotomy with the "God" symbolized by the golden color which we've talked about. Their very roles in the verse's cosmology also seem functionally opposite, as well: God having created humanity and presiding over it in the form of the Great Spirit Chief, and Mother having given birth to eldritch abominations completely opposed to anything natural as the "Mother of all Others" described in Secret History.

However, all of these dichotomies are just mirrors and reflections, and there is ultimately always a singular force behind them. For instance, Mr. C and Cooper are both two versions of the same person, and MIKE and the Arm are likewise two aspects of the same entity, to the point the latter is directly identified as "MIKE" in the original script of the film, and the same applies to Laura and JUDY, who are also referred to as being the same entity, or two sides of the same coin. The concept of an all-encompassing oneness is even touched upon in the quote above: "When there are chances for reflections, there can always be two--or more. Only when we are everywhere will there be just one."

Given that, we can say that this applies even to the dichotomy between God and Mother, which ties back into them being represented by the right and left-hand paths respectively: Two opposite forces, who exist as mirror-images of one another, yet are ultimately part of the same master and stand subservient to it. The same being, seen from two different (illusory) perspectives, showcasing multiple aspects of itself. Fitting with how Cooper describes the Clear Light as a perfect, transparent vacuum with no form or color, neither gold, white or black.

Another fun detail relating God and Mother is the fact that The Arm identifies Laura as being his cousin in their first appearance as spirits in the series: Given how Laura herself is the child of The Fireman and Dido, as well as how The Arm is one of the dark spirits originated from Mother, it wouldn't be too much of a reach to say that this means The Fireman and Mother are "siblings" of sorts.,

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