WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As director of such dark films as “Blue Velvet” and “Mulholland Drive” and the television series “Twin Peaks,” David Lynch seems an unlikely leader for a world peace campaign based on mass meditation.
But for Lynch, life is bliss, and he says he wants to spread it around.
So he has joined a Washington real estate developer and a former magazine executive to try to raise $1 billion to bankroll a foundation meant to supply instructors in Transcendental Meditation to ease the planet’s stress.
“There’s a ton of skeptics out there,” Lynch said in a Reuters interview on Tuesday, acknowledging a certain giggle factor attendant to this project.
“On the surface there’s the giggle,” he said. “I would just encourage people to look more deeply into this, and the giggles go away, unless it’s just a giggle of pure happiness at the beauty of this — because this plan has been tested. … Every time it’s been tested it’s reduced crime and violence. It’s a real thing and it could be put in place this year and bring peace to Earth.”
Lynch, whose creations have featured twisted visions of small-town American life, said he has been meditating for 34 years, and that it has not dulled his artistic edge.
“When I started meditating, I had an anger in me and some people might say, well, that would give you an edge, you’d have a cutting edge,” Lynch said. “But really, in truth, anger is a poison. … Two weeks after I started meditating, that anger disappeared and it doesn’t mean you can’t get angry, it just means you can’t hold onto it, it doesn’t poison you.”
Lynch, along with local real estate developer Jeffrey Abramson and Robert Brown, a former executive with Ziff-Davis, Inc., is promoting the establishment of a University of World Peace in the United States.
They have already raised $88 million, but Brown said more would be needed to endow 8,000 scholarships to teach the Transcendental Meditation techniques of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Lynch and others have said that when large numbers of people use these meditation techniques, violent crime, warfare and terrorism have decreased.
Brown said they are looking for large donors using the typical lists of wealthy people, including the Forbes 400, but also hope for smaller donations.
Further information is available online at www.permanentpeace.org.