Our Collective Transcendence Through the Dream of Twin Peaks

What did you think, what did you feel the first time you watched Laura Palmer as she lifts from the Red Room, shaking and screaming as though wrenched upward by an otherworldly force?

I thought of The Wizard of Oz. There’s a moment where Laura’s shoes blend into the red curtains, as though she is suddenly wearing the famous ruby slippers.

Laura lifting from the Red Room with blurred red shoes, and the wicked witch from Wizard of Oz with blurred ruby slippers.

I felt elated, bewildered, thrilled. What is going on? Where did she go? Were those red shoes? Why? The agony and ecstasy of these questions is something Twin Peaks viewers are very familiar with.

Ideas about Twin Peaks usually form while I’m on the precipice of sleep. That moment bordering on the unconscious is where the Frost-Lynch masterpiece fully connects, sometimes making me gasp in horror. Often we are so in awe of Lynch’s imagery, the darkness of the story he wrote with Frost is suspended, descending to engulf us when our defences are down.

Bob's hand emerging from darkness in woods, and Leland's face held by Laura's hands in Fire Walk With Me
Pure terror

For me, Twin Peaks has always been about the search for balance though for years I didn’t even know why I thought that. Many fans of Lynch’s work often feel like on some level we understand what we watched, but we can’t explain it to you, or even to ourselves. No matter how I tried to dig into my own emotional understanding, I could never grasp hold of what the search for balance exactly meant, and it remained a feeling. Now and then though, concrete ideas would form.

My first revelation about Season 3 was that when Laura ascends from the Red Room, it happens simultaneously with when she ascends in the woods. As Cooper walks Laura away from her death in Part 17, again she disappears. Listen to the sounds: you can hear the whooshing of the curtains in the Red Room and the same scream. Did it happen at the same time? But how? What does it mean if it happened at the same time? What does it mean! I shot up in bed and wrote it all down.

Cooper looking upwards in Red Room in Part 2, and Cooper looking upwards in woods in Part 17.
It is happening again or one and the same?

The Puzzle Maker Is Clever

In January 2020, after a dozen re-watches of individual episodes, and a third viewing of the entire series, I decided decades of thinking about Twin Peaks was enough. It was time to find out what other people were talking about and let my thoughts mingle.

I discovered Tim Kreider’s essay, an exceptionally well-written piece positing Cooper as the dreamer. I was envious of Kreider’s insight and devastated by the idea that our beloved Special Agent was the projection of a madman named Richard. In fact, I hated it and cried. Despite my resistance, this theory kept flitting back into my mind. It was thematically aligned with Lynch’s other films, it made sense. Lynch himself described Fred in Lost Highway as a man lost in a psychogenic fugue and Diane’s dream of Betty constituted most of Mulholland Drive. Inland Empire and arguably Blue Velvet are both fever dreams of the protagonists, and Kreider’s idea underscored one of Frost’s most famous lines “the owls are not what they seem.”

Owl decals on Laura's dresser in her bedroom, and Bob's face superimposed with an owl.
Is anything what it seems in Twin Peaks?

As much as I despised the notion that a person as good as Cooper likely did not exist, even if only in this fictional world, Kreider’s beast of a theory kept rearing its beautiful head. But in my borderline dream state, it didn’t fully connect. So I kept searching.

I found this article by theone3 and another by David Auerbach which unbroke my heart a little. Ah, Cooper is real again! Yet as much as these wonderful ideas resonated with me, they felt like pieces of a larger puzzle.

A few months later, I found the Twin Perfect Actually Explained video. Over 4 hours of a Twin Peaks theory and there’s a Part 2? Get the donuts and coffee ready. I loved it, the idea that the show was a commentary on itself, the passion of the theorist, it is unfairly maligned in the TP fandom. It was well-researched and thought-provoking but, for me, something was still missing.

Inspired by Twin Perfect, I decided to watch Twin Peaks again and I noticed something in line with his thesis—the kids outside the high school in Fire Walk With Me, they seemed to be dancing to the score of the film! And one of them was looking upward, as if to see where the music was coming from.

Bobby Briggs moving toward high school, students dancing and looking upward.

Like the night my girl went away
Gone off in a world filled with stuff
Lights start changin’
And there’s wires in the air
And the asphalt man,
is all around me
And I look down
and my shoes are so far away from me, man
I can’t believe it
I got a real indication
of a laugh comin’ on

Excited, I shared my observation with others, as well as an idea I had about Part 10, where Gordon Cole is drawing a picture of an animal. Could Gordon drawing the animal and the camera zooming forward somehow be connected to the night Leland smashed Maddie’s head into the picture frame? Are the spots Cole draws psychically influenced by the spray of Maddie’s blood? When her head hits the glass does it smash through the metaphysical barriers to Cole’s world?!

Gordon Cole drawing an animal, Missoula Montana picture in Palmer home, Leland smashing Maddie's head into picture.
It is happening again or one and the same?

I posted the Gordon Cole idea on Reddit to see if it resonated with anyone. Someone responded:

Reddit conversation between BumbleWeee and ImNotMeImNotMe, agreeing about Gordon Cole's drawing in Part 10.

My initial thought was “sure you are, buddy” and I ignored him. This tulpa is trying to steal my idea! Despite feeling suddenly protective of my interpretation, I continued to occasionally read and post on Reddit because the Twin Peaks sub was full of people sharing insights, and they were as obsessed as I was.

In my personal life, I had been searching for a way out of a particularly dark time, and just under a year later started meditating again. In 2021, still thinking about Twin Peaks, and learning more about Lynch’s transcendental meditation, I decided to listen to mantras while I meditated. As I began to emerge from the dark night of my soul, the light at the end of the tunnel led the way not only to the missing pieces I was looking for in myself, but also in Twin Peaks.

Part 18 in Red Room where Leland tells Cooper to "Find Laura."

Michael Chatham aka Redditor ImNotMeImNotMe aka Lou Ming’s Find Laura does something no other comprehensive Twin Peaks theory has ever done. It literally finds Laura. In the same way that Lynch brought Laura back to life in Fire Walk With Me, so does Lou Ming draw attention to the true heart of the story. So often overlooked, so often made a side note, so often relegated to the role of female victim providing the mystery for the male protagonists to solve, the minimization of Laura is sexist at worst and unimaginative at best, and at times I was guilty of it myself. It’s confounding how often this happens because we are told directly:

Margaret Lanterman saying "Laura is the One."

Lynch capitalizing “One” in the subtitles suggests Laura is akin to a god. According to Lou Ming, Laura’s beautiful, broken brain is the creator of the Twin Peaks universe. Overwhelmed by the horrors of her nightmarish life, Laura begins disassociating and creates in her mind the idea of a “good father,” Dale Cooper, a Special Agent who looks over her like an angel and listens to all her secrets. The night Laura was murdered in the train car was a death fantasy fuelled by a drug-addled and traumatized mind reaching it’s breaking point, the cumulative effect of years of violence forcibly splitting Laura’s psyche in two. One half rage incarnate, burdened with the memory of her abuse, the other half blissfully unaware.

In the Red Room: Laura's screaming doppelganger and Laura's "meanwhile" pose.
“I feel like I know her but sometimes my arms bend back.”
Laura's bloody face, and Ronette breaking free of the ropes, in the train car in Fire Walk With Me.
“I always thought you knew it was me.”

Laura didn’t die that night, she ran away. Perhaps Fire Walk With Me is also a dream and Laura, who Lynch says is based on Marilyn Monroe, is really a brunette just like Norma Jeane Mortensen.

Marilyn Monroe smoking next to Laura Palmer smoking. Norma Jeane Mortensen smiling next to Ronette Pulaski smiling.
It is happening again or one and the same?

Was Laura’s escape an Unrecorded Night? Lou thinks Laura stole the $10,000 she was hiding for Bobby and skipped town. She buried her trauma deep inside herself and has been living with some kind of disassociative disorder for the last 25 years. Through all of Season 3, we are observing her inner world, her “dream,” as she both suppresses her trauma and seeks to understand it. Dale Cooper’s journey to find Laura is actually Laura’s attempt to find Laura.

Room to Dream

I always say the filmmaker has to understand the thing for himself or herself but when things get abstract or a little bit abstract, there’s room for many interpretations and each person should be able to make up his or her mind to see, to feel what the things mean.” – David Lynch

BOB is an abstraction in human form.” – David Lynch

Abstractions. Of course. Who else is an abstraction in human form in Twin Peaks? Lou Ming thinks everyone is. We are watching the world through the lens of Laura’s psyche, her trauma and struggle manifested as the spaces and characters. Cooper moving toward integration is the external odyssey reflecting Laura’s internal journey. It is a mind blowing idea shaping not only how you view Season 3 but how you think of the entire series.

When I first read Find Laura, something shifted inside me. Patterns emerged, parallels and repetitions tap danced in my brain, clicking their heels together with glee. The feeling finally transformed to thought and I could see it, interact with it. It was epiphanic. I guess that guy ImNotMeImNotMe wasn’t trying to steal my idea, he had much bigger things in mind. While I was looking at puzzle pieces, he had already arranged most of the jigsaw into a cohesive image.

Maharishi often said: the world is as you are. The world is what it is, like a film is what it is. Every picture is the same. But everyone perceives it in their own way. The world is as you are. -David Lynch, Cahiers du Cinema interview, 2017.

Twin Peaks is a litmus test, a mirror reflecting back your own nature. Frost and Lynch have repeatedly said every viewer’s personal interpretation is as meaningful as their own understanding and both have indicated even they don’t see the show in the same way. I often think not only is Laura the dreamer but so, too, does Cooper have his own internal FBI trying to solve the mysterious forces of his existence. Do we exist inside a bigger being? At the very least we have entered the mind meld of Frost-Lynch and every new insight by every viewer is a light creating a path for us to follow. We travel this illuminated highway to understand not only Twin Peaks, but ourselves and the world. In this way, Twin Perfect’s theory fits together with Tim Kreider’s theory which fits inside Lou Ming’s theory. A thought-puzzle electrified by the ideas in David Titterington articles, syncing with Reddit deep dives and film analyses, coloured by the mosaic in books and fan art, sparkling with the energy of every thought shared in every forum, refracting and changing as we contemplate; a light prism Russian doll rebus, a web of dreams.

Spider in web reflecting light and colour, by photographer Teo Chin Leong.
Photo courtesy of Teo Chin Leong. Instagram: @teochinleong78

We are like the spider.
We weave our life and then move along in it.
We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives in the dream.

But Who Is the Dreamer?

The answer to the question “But who is the dreamer?” is “Laura is the One.”  Lou Ming believes Lynch re-imagined the series when he made Fire Walk With Me, turning the pretty blue corpse into a real person, transforming the mystery of Laura’s murder into the dream of her life. Laura’s body is the first blue rose, the first “unreal,” in the dream of Twin Peaks.

Laura's body wrapped in plastic in the shape of a rose next to Laura's blue face surrounded by plastic.

This dream concept was there from the beginning of season 1, as Robert Engels makes clear:

The healthiest way to look at it is that it’s all a dream. When you have a dream, time is almost irrelevant. It bounces all over. It was all dreamlike and you can bounce around so easily because that’s how the series was designed.

The characters are likely people Laura knew in her life, appearing in her “dream” as aspects of her own psyche, similar to the concept everyone in your dream is really you. Sounds crazy, right?  Initially, I agreed. Before I read Find Laura, I dismissed its premise as implausible. I have been watching Twin Peaks since I was a child, and Laura dies, I watched her die. You can’t erase decades of my experiencing Laura’s death with your crazy ideas; I thought it was silly. But it’s not so far-fetched. In Frost’s The Final Dossier, we learn Laura did not die, she disappeared. Leland becomes distraught when he can’t find Laura, and kills himself. In Part 17 we watch Laura un-die. In one of the most staggering moments of the series, the indelible image of her body wrapped in plastic is erased from the shoreline.

Laura Palmer's body dissapears from the shoreline in Part 17.

Well, sure, you might say. Of course this would happen, Cooper went back in time and saved her. And Lynch didn’t show her running away so why should we think she did?

No, he didn’t show us that. But when does what Lynch shows us ever mean exactly what it looks like?

As I followed Lou’s exploration of Laura’s journey toward unification, and as I watched Twin Peaks with this premise in mind, I started to notice one abstraction after another, scenes repeating themselves in different ways, one seeming to be a recreation of another, each a search for the truth, all bound by one continuous thread, and the thread was undeniably Laura. Looking for new meditation mantras lead me to an article about chakras and upon reading a brief synopsis of the root chakra, I was stunned. For me, this was another major piece in the puzzle. Not only was Laura on a psychological journey, she was on a spiritual journey. Not only was she moving toward integration, she was ascending.

Chakra positions on outline of human body.

Chakras are energy wheels that spin inside our subtle bodies, positioned from the base of our spine to above our heads, each chakra representing a specific aspect of our physical body, emotions, intellect, spirituality, and the world. Different cultures have different ideas about chakras, but in Twin Peaks I think we are witnessing a journey through 7 chakras mostly in reference to Hinduism.

Hinduism is a diverse compilation of thought systems and philosophies, closely related to Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism. Hindus believe in the doctrines of Samsara, a continuous cycle of life, death and reincarnation; and Atman, which means soul or self.  Each soul is an individual part of the eternal Brahman. Brahman himself is described as a wheel (Brahma chakram) because he is the source of the infinite cycle of consciousness. In the human body, the spinning chakras maintain and balance the spirit, mind and body. If a person is impacted by trauma, the balance is disrupted and the chakras malfunction.

Consider the overwhelming similarities between the Red Room and the root chakra.

The Root Chakra – Muladhara – The Red Room

The element associated with the root chakra is earth:

Red Room portal in the woods, embedded in the earth.

The Red Room is accessed through a portal situated in the earth, “an opening to a gateway,” as Cooper describes it in Season 2.

The root chakra’s prime functions are survival, safety, grounding:

Sycamore trees surrounding the Red Room portal in the woods.

What’s more grounded than the roots of a tree? Sycamores have always been a physical and spiritual symbol of protection, known as such the world over since the earliest mentions in human history.

The animal guarding the root chakra is a dragon:

Laura's dragon pin on her dress, and Diane-tulpa's dragons on her blue shirt.
One dragon for the One, and two dragons for the tulpa.

It is happening again
or one and the same?

Joseph Campbell associates the root chakra with dragons who hoard jewels and kidnap beautiful women, concerned only with keeping them safe. Both Laura and Diane wear dragons in the Red Room, and Mark Frost mentioned Campbell as a specific influence on the Twin Peaks narrative.

The primary colour of the root chakra is red:

The red curtains in the Red Room.

The root chakra’s mantra is “I am”:

The Arm, Maddy, Laura, and The Evolution of the Arm using the phrase "I am."

“Do you know who I am?” asked The Arm. Red Room occupants use the root chakra mantra by way of introduction, or affirmation. “I am” is one of the most repeated phrases in the Red Room, even when it’s not directly stated, like when the Giant tells Cooper that the old waiter and he are “one and the same.”

The physical sense associated with the root chakra is smell:

Laura touching her nose in the Red Room.

The root chakra’s divine principles are 1. Self preservation:

Laura at her bedroom door watching herself inside the painting given to her by Mrs. Tremond, and Cooper sitting over Laura in the Red Room.

Laura enters the picture given to her by Mrs. Tremond/Chalfont, which leads to the Red Room, a place offering refuge from the abuse, and where she resides after escaping possession by Bob. In the root chakra she is safe, calm, detached from the horrors of her life, protected by angels and a psychic FBI agent she can tell her secrets to.

2. Stability:

The Arm wearing one flat shoe and an elevated shoe to stabilize his body, and The Arm turning Cooper's coffee from solid to liquid.

The Arm’s different height shoes provide stability, making his shorter leg even with his longer leg. The Arm has the ability to manipulate matter, changing the stability of Cooper’s coffee, transforming it from liquid to solid then back to liquid again.

3. Awakening primal instincts:

Laura kissing Cooper in the Red Room in Season 1 and in Season 3.

Why does Laura kiss Cooper both times? In the Red Room the communication is often primal, a physical gesture: kissing, screaming, bleeding, running, dancing. The root chakra is a space very attached to the physical plane of existence, it’s the lowest chakra on the human body, closest to the earth and the space we physically inhabit.


The energy in Laura’s root chakra is dysfunctional, it’s overrun with people who don’t belong there and their doppelgangers, but it’s also the space from which Laura ascends in Season 3, it’s the starting point of both her and Cooper’s journey toward integration. This journey is shaped by a number of concepts, but I think in particular Carl Jung’s idea of the collective unconscious shaped by his thoughts on trauma and dissociation, and Hinduistic ideas regarding energy flow in our bodies and subtle bodies.

The collective unconscious is a universal psychic layer of the human mind, populated by mythological images known as archetypes. These archetypes, or characters, often overlap or combine, and even experience dissociation themselves, interacting with each other according to each person’s individual experiences in life. Frost says Jung shaped his view of the world and Lynch has been talking about ideas related to Hinduism for decades. Not to delineate between the two, as these ideas regularly intersect. I’m going to focus on the spiritual journey almost exclusively, as it relates to Laura.

In Hindu texts, Prana, the word for breath or life force, is an Eee-lec-tri-city permeating reality on all levels, without and within the human body. This vital life force connects our physical and energy bodies and is transported by the chakras and through the Sushumna nadi, the main energy channel within the subtle body.

Man sitting cross-legged, outline of upward and downward facing triangles forming a diamond pattern, the Sushumna channel, and each chakra.

There are 7 chakras in total, two levels connected by the heart chakra. The lower 3 are known as the “lower triangle” pointing downward, connected to our physical existence. The heart chakra is where the energy bends and begins to point upward, where the next 3 chakras are contained within the “upper triangle,” pointing heavenward, connected to our transcendent nature.

Together these triangles form a diamond pattern, like one we see the Fireman wearing:

The Fireman and his jacket covered in the diamond pattern.
The diamond pattern represents unification, balance, transcendence.

In Twin Peaks, the energy of the subtle body is abstracted into real world energy, like electricity. Laura’s inner world appears as a version of her outer world, and our world. An abstraction in utility pole form!

The utility pole with the number six on it.
Going up and down. Intercourse between the two worlds.

The Sushumna channel runs from the root to the crown but the 6 chakras below the crown chakra are part of the human body while the crown chakra is connected to the divine, which is why a vortex appears to Andy summoning him from the sky. There is no access to the 7th chakra, unless the Fireman allows you to enter. When The Arm speaks of “going up and down between the two worlds,” he’s referring to the lower three chakras and the 3 chakras above, which is why there is a “6” on the utility pole.

This is why the Electrician-Woodsman pulls a lever sitting at the bottom of the stairs in Part 15, when Mr. C asks to see Phillip Jeffries. It gives him access to a different chakra or a specific part of Laura’s psyche.

A real world utility pole with a switch handle, and the Electrician in Fire Walk With Me and Season 3 pulling the switch handle on the box.

The lever the Electrician pulls is an Air Break Switch. On a real world utility pole, the Air Break Switch disconnects and isolates specific sections so that the repair-person can go up the pole and work on the overhead line.

Pulling the lever is an abstraction of isolating a specific part. Climbing the stairs is an abstraction of going up the utility pole.

Sarah's face superimposed over the Jumping Man in Part 15, and Mr. C and Woodsmen walking up the stairs.

In response to the change in frequency, the Jumping Man appears each time, kind of fritzing out. Lou Ming thinks the Jumping Man is an abstraction of Sarah, he squawks and jumps around just like Sarah did when Leland was picking on Laura at the dinner table. This is supported by the fact that Sarah’s face superimposes over the Jumping Man in Parts 15 and 17. I think Jumping Man/Sarah also personify the change in frequency, the jumps and squawks also representing the shifting currents.

Mr. C wants to see Jeffries, who is an isolated part of Laura’s psyche, the part that contains all the secrets. This is why Jeffries isn’t connected to anything, unlike the similarly-shaped machines we see in the Fireman’s palace, which are all part of Laura’s neural and spiritual network.

Machines in Fireman's room working as network, and the Jeffries machine disconnected.
Jeffries is buried deep in Laura’s unconscious, disconnected.

Season 3 is about reconnecting Laura’s parts, a psychological integration and a spiritual ascension.

Kundalini Rising

Lynch often quotes Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a Hindu yoga guru known for creating and popularizing Transcendental Meditation (TM). Lynch started practicing TM in 1973 and in 2005 created the David Lynch Foundation with the goal of establishing TM in the mainstream. Through TM, Lynch hopes to help “prevent and eradicate the all-pervasive epidemic of trauma and toxic stress” in individuals and societies, all over the world.

While TM doesn’t focus on chakras, this meditation practice is thought to unlock energy flow through them, as well as balance all the energies in the subtle body.

Inside Laura, three energies (gunas) have been commandeered:

1. the tendency to darkness, lethargy, disorder (tamas)

2. the tendency to light, activity, passion (rajas)

3. both of the above in harmonious balance (sattva)

The relationship between the gunas transform over time, depending on one’s experiences. In Laura, the abuse of Leland-Bob is tempered by Cooper, but because Laura is overwhelmed by her trauma, Cooper is locked away in the Red Room and his doppelganger, Mr. C possessed by Bob, takes over. Mr. C-Bob is the newest iteration of Leland-Bob, the abstraction in human form of tamas, who has corrupted the rajas and runs her inner world, her unconscious and subconscious realms, throwing her sattva out of balance. This originates in Laura’s root chakra.

Seems pretty hopeless but also located in the root is Kundalini, a form of feminine energy (Shakti) associated with the divine goddess Parvati.

Shakti is another form of eee-lec-tri-city stored in stasis, a coiled serpent unravelling and rising upward from the root chakra producing profound, and sometimes violent, painful transformation. She rises with the goal of uniting with her male counterpart in the crown chakra.

At the opposite end of the root, the 1st chakra, is the 7th chakra, the crown, where Shiva, the male essence, exists as pure consciousness. He is the individual Brahman inside each of us, the unlimited and unswayable observer. Shiva has no desires whatsoever, he is the empty screen onto which Shakti projects her film.

The Fireman looking at his movie screen.

Shiva is concerned only with keeping balance in his universe, in this case the universe is Laura. Of the Jungian archetypes, the Fireman represents the Self. The Self is the unified unconsciousness and consciousness of an individual, often depicted symbolically as a circle where all is one.

The crown chakra mantra is “I understand”:

Cooper telling the Fireman "I understand" in Part 1.

The crown chakra is also known as Sahasrara:

Sahasrara symbol with a triangle at the center, and the Fireman's palace with a triangle entryway.

Sahasrara’s symbol is a thousand-petalled lotus with a triangle in the centre. We see a triangle forming an entryway to the Fireman’s palace in Part 8.

A Kundalini rising can happen whether intentional or unintentional. I think the mind and the soul will naturally try to heal whether Laura is trying or not, and it’s clear that her Shiva, the Fireman, is intent on balancing Laura’s inner world. The Fireman represents Laura’s higher mind in a psychological sense, is an actual god/father in the spiritual sense, and is one and the same in the Twin Peaks sense. He made a plan with Cooper, Gordon, and Diane to unite Laura’s broken parts as Shakti awakens. We first observed this joining of forces in Episode 8, when the Giant told Cooper:

The Giant in Season 2 Episode 1 telling Cooper "We want to help you."

The planet associated with the Crown chakra is Uranus. In Greek mythology Uranus is a deity of the sky known as “Father Sky.”  When Uranus’ son Cronos castrated his father, the blood that splattered upon the earth created a race of… Giants! We could think of the Giant as one of the Fireman’s progeny, or perhaps he’s just how the Fireman appears when he travels anywhere below the crown chakra. Even more interesting, Uranus is also the father of Saturn…

The planet associated with the root chakra is Saturn:

Cooper sitting next to the Saturn lamp in the Red Room in Season 2 and 3.

The planet associated with the third eye chakra, the 6th chakra, is Jupiter. Cooper is another abstraction in human form, a part of Laura’s third eye. She has broken into pieces at every level of her being, no chakra is unified. The most active and positive part of Laura’s psyche is Cooper, who displays third eye qualities from the beginning of Twin Peaks to the end.

Cooper showing psychic ability in Fire Walk With Me and Season 1.

Cooper epitomizes the power of the third eye chakra. In FWWM, he uses his intuitive powers to predict Laura’s actions, then in Season 1 uses a Tibetan deductive method he learned in a dream to determine which “J” is relevant to the case. He also has the ability to experience other people’s dreams, which is one of the primary functions of the third eye—the ability to enter dreams and different worlds.

In the Red Room Cooper and Laura are Jupiter and Saturn in conjunction.

As Cooper tells Harry:

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.

Explosive change then occurs when Cooper meets Laura, The Arm, and various other characters in the root chakra. Through his quest to help Laura he embarks on his own spiritual journey, which would require a whole other analysis. Insofar as far as Laura is concerned, Cooper is banished to the root chakra because Laura is in denial about what happened to her. The third eye is associated with truth, and in 1989 Laura is understandably avoiding the truth.

The element associated with the third eye is light:

Cooper bathed in otherwordly light in Seasons 1, 2 and 3.

This light represents the light of vision, clairvoyance, and insight related to the third eye, which shines on Cooper on a regular basis through the series. Psychologically, Cooper is representative of a few Jungian archetypes, he is the Animus, the Magician and the Hero. The Animus is the male part of a woman’s psyche that serves as the primary source of communication with the collective unconscious. As part of Laura’s third eye, he possesses the prophetic and transformative qualities of the Magician, who Joseph Campbell described as “a mentor with supernatural aid.” He has access to every part of Laura’s inner world, her collective unconscious, from the root to the crown, and is guided by the Fireman as he travels the Hero’s journey.

The metal associated with the third eye is silver:

The Silver Mustang in Casino where Cooper experiences cascades of silver from the slot machines.

At the Silver Mustang Casino, Cooper-Dougie carries a cup of silver coins that leads to a repeated cascade of silver from the slot machines. The slot machines themselves are an abstraction of the chakras, an attempt to align Laura’s inner world with every pull of the lever.

Lou Ming began to explore the idea of chakras and quickly realized Mrs. Tremond’s grandson, Pierre, is also Laura’s third eye.

Pierre wearing mask with stick extending from forehead and Mrs. Tremond giving Laura the painting.

Note the stick protruding from the forehead on the mask, around the location where the third eye is located, something also noted by Franck Boulègue in his book, Unwrapping the Plastic. This is clearly Laura’s third eye, her intuition, warning her that her diary is unsafe and she needs to go home. Another abstraction in human form.

Every part of Laura’s psyche has been upset and displaced, there are disconnected pieces everywhere. The other pieces of Laura’s third eye are Margaret Lanterman and Mrs. Tremond, both of whom demonstrate great intuition or psychic powers at different points in the series. Mrs. Tremond seems to be able to harness the power of the third eye easily. She can change her identity at whim and feels as at home in the lunch room with Bob and the gang as she is walking the streets in daytime.

Mrs. Tremond is neither good nor evil. Cooper got all the conscience of the third eye, Mrs. Tremond seems a little mischievous. I think she gives Laura the painting to help her, thinking the Red Room is a sanctuary, but also because she wants to see what happens. She’s a rascal, the “Trickster” of the Jungian archetypes. The Trickster is fond of sly jokes, can shape-shift, and is a psychic structure of extreme antiquity, corresponding with a psyche that has barely left the “animal level.”

The Arm and Bob sitting at the formica table, surrounded by the Jumping Man, the Woodsmen, Mrs. Tremond and her grandson, and the Electrician.
Chillin’ in the break room, eating junk food.

Kundalini rising is a cleaning process which uncovers hidden knowledge within the self. As it rises, it moves the loiterers out and replaces the junk food with health food, the garmonbozia with love.

Dougie vomitting on the carpet, and Mr. C vomitting in his car.
Kundalini’s coming through, boys.

Until Season 3, Laura’s Kundalini has been locked in the Red Room with her, oppressed by the trauma she experienced. This trauma is her shadow, which Laura faces in Season 3.

The Dweller on the Threshold

The Dweller on the Threshold is the sum total of a person’s dark, negative, unresolved qualities. At the moment of a person’s death or enlightenment, the dweller appears as a challenge to overcome, a concept Hawk explains to Cooper in Episode 18.

Laura's homecoming portrait as it appears in the opening credits of Season 3.

Lou Ming points out that in Season 3 from Part 2 onward, we enter Laura’s head at the beginning of each episode. Perhaps this is a clue that everything we’re watching is taking place inside Laura.

Laura’s head appears through a multi-coloured ring of light. This is a naturally occurring phenomenon that often happens when a “Brocken spectre” appears. A Brocken spectre is the magnified shadow of an observer cast upon clouds opposite the sun’s direction. The figure’s head is often surrounded by concentric rings of coloured light, known as a “glory.”

Brocken spectre and glory next to Laura's head with glory in opening credits Season 3.
On the left, a real life Brocken spectre and glory; on the right, opening credits Season 3.

Since it’s Laura’s image that appears through the glory, it stands to reason it is Laura who is looking from the opposite direction. This particular photograph of Laura is one of the most iconic images of her within and without the show. It’s the first still image we see of Laura in Part 1, inside the glass case in the high school. It’s also the picture we see sitting in the evidence room that moves Bobby Briggs to tears in Part 4, and it’s the picture Sarah futilely tries to destroy in Part 17. The picture represents two more of the Jungian archetypes, Laura’s Persona and the Shadow behind it, representing the dualistic nature of her life—homecoming queen to the world at large and victim of repeated sexual abuse in private. This is the darkness that hangs over Twin Peaks, compelling every action within. It is still, stasis, part of the negative energy that has led to Laura’s dissociation and blocked energy flow.

Glories are also known as “Buddha’s light” and signify the observer’s enlightenment. When Laura’s head appears through the glory in Part 2, we are watching Laura face the image masking her shadow and then moving past the mask to the inner chaos. It is the beginning of Laura’s ascent. Her Kundalini rising is in opposition to the tamas force inside her, struggling to overcome it through all of Season 3. Or thinking of it in a different way, the Kundalini rising is inevitable and Mr. C is struggling to stop it.

This would also position Laura on the same side as the sun which corresponds with the wave pattern we keep seeing. Lou Ming’s analysis pauses at Part 4 but he was tracking the appearance of the wave through all of Season 3.

The wave pattern in season 3 outside and inside Carrie Page's home, before the Lincoln-Woodsmen in Part 8, and outside Dougie Jone's front door.

Lou thinks these are sine waves, abstract renderings of action over time. He connects the sine wave to the intermittent rotation of the chevron floor in the Red Room as it turns 90 degrees, eventually rotating a full 360 degrees, each turning point corresponding with action in the narrative, creating a circular movement indicating a repeating cycle. I think the rotating chevron floor is the lethargic cycling of Laura’s root chakra, barely moving when tamas is in control. Redditor SonNeedsGym sees the wave as connected to The Long and Winding Road by The Beatles, who Frost says influenced Lynch and himself when writing Season 3.

Two more waves:

The wave pattern of the Fireman's transportation chute, and the wave of the shoreline where Laura's body disappears.

I think the wave pattern also represents the rising force of Laura’s Kundalini, another abstraction, this time in non-human form.

A serpent waving upwards through the human body from the root to crown chakra.

Kundalini is often depicted as a single serpent travelling upward through the chakras in each attempt to reach the crown. In effect, it is both a sine wave and a long winding road.

In the Find Laura subreddit, Slowky11 suggested the wave looks like a yin-yang curve. Yin and yang is a Chinese philosophical concept describing interconnected opposing forces. If Laura is on the same side as the sun standing in opposition to her shadow, the wave also represents the cohesive pattern of this symbol.

Yin-yang symbol depicted as sun and moon, next to wave pattern of shoreline.

The yang portion of the symbol represents the sun, positivity, light, ascension. The yin part of the symbol represents the moon, negativity, darkness, descent. Ideally these opposing forces are in balance and complement each other, similar to how the aforementioned gunas should operate. There is no light without darkness and vice-versa. Laura’s dead body lies on the yin side, giving weight to the negative. We watch through Laura’s positive side, the light, as her corpse disappears from the shoreline, indicating her darkness, tamas, is decreasing in potency, which begins to restore balance.

The wave pattern in Season 3 is sometimes a mirror image of itself. Kundalini rising is usually preceded by or coincides with the balancing of two more energy channels known as Ida and Pingala. While the exact route Ida and Pingala follow is debated, these energy routes are usually depicted as two serpents, crossing over or through each chakra, meeting in the third eye.

Man with two serpents waving upwards through body from root to third eye chakra.

Pingala is the energy channel associated with the masculine, sun, action, future. Ida is feminine, moon, rest, past, similar to the yin-yang concept. Ida can sometimes fall prey to tamas because of its inward nature. Pingala and Ida ascend and descend in a spiral pattern, which is why we sometimes see the wave pattern curving to the left, and other times to the right:

The wave pattern of the shore line curving to the left, and the wave curving to the right in Part 8.

These waves are an abstraction of Laura and Cooper’s spiritual journey through Season 3, not always in sync.

Consider also that if the camera enters Laura’s head at the beginning of each episode, then this is not only Laura’s perspective, but our perspective as the audience. The wave pattern is also representative of our journey in our world.

This is why the Fireman looks directly into the camera, out at us, when the alarm sounds inside his home:

The Fireman looking directly into the camera in Part 8.
What have you buggers done now?

Ideally, we live with each energy and chakra balanced and aligned, all working together in harmony but this is largely dependant on our life experiences and how we deal with them. Often our traumas lock us at one level, which is the space we mostly operate from. We watch how trauma displaced Laura in Part 8.

The Origin Story

In Part 8 the nuclear bomb explosion is symbolic not only of the destruction and resulting darkness in our world, but also the implosion of Laura’s nuclear family: trinity bomb/family of three.

Cooper-Dougie and Janey-E eating sandwiches at the dinner table, the lamp between them superimposed with the exploding trinity bomb.
Lou Ming visualizes the lamp positioned between Cooper-Dougie and Janey-E as symbolic of the dynamics in the Palmer home, now immobilized as Laura begins integrating.

I’m going to focus on the imagery in Part 8 only as it relates to Laura. Take a look at what happens on screen:

Black substance filling screen, next to colour orange, next to orange turning black.

In the Secret Diary, we learn the abuse began when Laura was very young, way before 12 years old. Ever since she can remember, Bob has been terrorizing her. How might violent sexual abuse feel to a young girl? I think a nuclear explosion is an appropriate metaphor. We first see an almost liquid smoke subsumed by a black inky substance, this is tamas devouring everything in its wake. Then orange fills the screen, struggling against an encroaching darkness. Orange is the colour of the sacral chakra, which is connected to sex and sexual trauma. It turns black because it’s being thrown out of balance.

Black space filled with nails, next to image of semen, next to fire and water explosion.

After the sacral chakra turns black we see a sequence illustrating the damage to Laura’s doshas. Doshas are specific combinations of the five elements: space, air, water, earth, and fire; they are internal energies governing our physical and mental health. In the first shot, stars have morphed into the pain of nails infinitum being stabbed into her body and mind, representing the disruption to Laura’s vata dosha, the primary dosha associated with space and air, governing vitality and movement. It is the first time Leland hurt Laura and the continual abuse she suffered. The middle image is kapha dosha, earth and water, that when imbalanced can result in an excess of semen, affecting compassion and empathy. The last image is fire and water crashing against one another, it is the pitta dosha, an energy that circulates in us and is responsible for how we mentally digest our life experiences. Laura’s ability to perceive her world correctly is thrown completely out of whack. Fire walk with me is in part this fire that runs rampant through Laura.

Travelling through a tunnel as colours explode and burn, purple orange green purple yellow orange yellow.

This is followed by numerous explosions of colour. We travel through a tunnel, the main energy channel, Sushumna, and the waving channels of Ida and Pingala. We are witnessing the disruption of Laura’s chakras, and the energy of the gunas and doshas being disturbed. This is her inner world exploding, all sense of balance, safety and security almost completely destroyed by Leland’s abuse.

Smoke against blackness, next to gas station-Convenience store with Woodsmen, next to black hole.

The screen turns black with billowing smoke and then the gas station appears, patronized by the woodsmen. I think the woodsmen represent all the men Laura has sex with while she prostituted herself, to get money for drugs. Men who were willing to pay a teenage girl for sex, so they could “fuck the homecoming queen,” as Laura put it. Look at the men inside the bar in Fire Walk With Me, they all wear the same kind of flannel shirts and they’re probably all the same to Laura, just one after another, not a single one stopping to consider her, in and out of her as if quickly running into a Convenience Store to buy something, then out again. The effect of the sexual trauma leads to a black hole, which appears after the woodsmen sequence.

Woodsmen bringing Mr. C back to life after Ray shot him, next to Bob orb protruding from Mr. C's stomach.

When the woodsmen bring Mr. C back to life at the beginning of Part 8, it symbolizes how these men using Laura perpetuated her trauma, empowered the fire and tamas. We move from the current iteration of tamas to its origin, we are watching the cycle of trauma from beginning to end to beginning, over and over again, as it plays inside Laura. Listen to the sounds that follow this scene:

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

She’s gone, she’s gone, she’s gone away
She’s gone, she’s gone, she’s gone away

A little mouth opened up inside
Yeah, I was watching on the day she died
We keep licking while the skin turns black
Cut along the length, but you can’t get the feeling back

Lynch said the bomb “created a hole.” In her Secret Diary, at the age of 13, Laura describes how a “new hole and a new mouth” are forming inside her, which explains all the black dots we see through Season 3, and the darkness of tamas embodied in the black abyss eyes of Mr. C.

Entering the black hole, we encounter the “Experiment,” an eyeless monstrosity with horns and backward arms. In attempting to rationalize the dynamics in her family, Laura writes in her diary that she thinks her parents have made a deal with Bob. He can come into the house and hurt her as long as he doesn’t hurt them. That’s obviously a child’s mind trying to make sense of the horror she is enduring. Lou Ming thinks the Experiment, which seems to be both male and female, is a metaphor for how this twisted arrangement, this experiment in Laura’s family, lead to her disassociation.

The Experiment in black hole, vomitting long stream of goo.

Lou suggests the peek-a-boo game Leland played with Teresa Banks, where he places his hands over her eyes and asks “who am I?” was a game he also played with young Laura, teaching her to pretend and finally believe that it wasn’t Leland abusing her but someone else. Laura was likely taught to never, ever tell anyone what Leland was doing, and Sarah was pretending nothing was happening, so as a child Laura made up a completely new identity for the sadistic madman her father turned into. This mind fuckery gave birth to Bob in Laura’s psyche hence Lynch’s statement “Bob is an abstraction in human form,” which is something Frost more or less confirms when he said he thinks Leland, not Bob, is responsible for Laura’s abuse.

The Cycling Loop of Trauma

In Part 1, we watch the Experiment kill Sam and Tracey, triggered by their sexual activity.

The Experiment inside the glass box in Part 1.

Gaping mouth, breasts, no eyes, no discernible sex organs. It’s a combination of Sarah (eyeless, refusing to acknowledge what Leland was doing), Laura (the doubling effect, pretending it was someone else), Leland (the violence), and Laura’s confusion/terror (no genitals). It’s both the trauma and the repression of the trauma personified. An abstraction in monster form.

If you look closely at each frame of this attack, the actions of the Experiment invoke a horrifying scenario:

The Experiment attacks Tracey and Sam, appearing as a penis next to their bloodied heads.
What does this remind you of?

Bob inside the Experiment's projectile goo, next to emerging eggs, next to a yellow-orange fiery explosion.

In Part 8, the Experiment ejacuvomits Bob and a number of other eggs. This is the sexual trauma as leading to the potential births, doppelgangers, tulpas, whole damn towns inside Laura who, as the Log Lady said, is “the One leading to the many.” The last shot is the fire associated with the solar plexus chakra, even more fire for Laura to navigate, which seems to burn eternal and continues through the rest of the sequence.

From the depths of the burning fire, a golden seed is propelled, beating like a heart as it comes closer.

Redditor Kolkrabe616 noticed this heart-shaped light at the centre of the fire from which a golden heart is propelled. In Upanishads, the heart is described as a golden sheath. If you listen carefully you can hear it beating as it moves nearer. This is Laura’s heart breaking and displacing.

Red flecks of light scattering across the purple ocean under the Fireman's palace.

The last shot in the explosion sequence dissolves to a great expanse of purple sea with red flecks of light scattering from the previous scene. I don’t think this is the typical dissolve transition between scenes but rather is purposely showing these red sparks to illustrate “It is in our house now.” If this is all happening inside Laura, this represents the baser parts of her psyche affecting her higher self, her lower chakra conflicts causing distress in the higher realm. When negative forces gain entry to a sacred space, Shiva takes action to restore balance. The Fireman starts to put out the fires.

Womb to Dream

Orange-gold throught womb emitted by Fireman as he levitates, next to picture of female reproductive system.

In Hindu mythology, all male gods have a female form so Shiva, the Fireman, is in essence part female. The Fireman ‘births’ Laura from what could be described as a thought-womb. It has a very similar shape to the female reproductive system but in the crown chakra, creation takes place through thought.

There are two chakras associated with creation: the sacral and the crown. The sacral chakra is orange and the metal associated with the crown chakra is gold. Laura’s orb is orange-gold. Is she being born or reborn?

Pic of the orange-gold orb containing Laura's face, held by Senorita Dido's hands.The Fireman belongs to Laura, but he did not originate within her, he exists beyond her, he is her personal Lord Shiva. I think when we watch him birth Laura, he is rebirthing her in response to the abuse she suffers. It’s a spiritual armour to help her navigate the world, the life we observe when we watch Laura in Fire Walk With Me.

Before the night in the train car, Laura lived at the level of her sacral chakra.

The 2nd chakra is the sacral chakra, also known as Svadhisthana.

The Sacral chakra is orange, the predominant colour in Laura’s highschool, around which her life largely revolved:

The colour orange as it appears in Laura's highschool, her face superimposed over the colour twice.

Orange is the colour of the wave frequency painted along the walls and the colour of the school sports teams. In Fire Walk with Me the display case containing Laura’s picture is a light wood but in Season 3 when we view it in retrospect, the frame is orange. We even see the upper and lower halves of Laura’s face superimposed over the colour orange, the first time we see her in the school, and the last time.

The sacral chakra’s prime functions are sexuality, intimacy, emotions, and creativity. When the sacral chakra is imbalanced it results in sex addiction, emotional upheavals and isolation, intimacy issues, and obsessive behaviours.

Laura being hypersexual, screaming, crying, snorting cocaine and giving James the finger.

Laura is having sex with Jacques, Leo, James, Bobby, Buck, and various other men (and women as per her diary) for money, drugs, and pleasure. She is usually in a hyper-emotional state and uses cocaine to numb herself. She is unable to commit emotionally to the men who love her, instead pacifying and ridiculing them.

Laura bathed in red light at the Bang Bang and Power and Glory bars, and wearing a red sweater.

We also see Laura bathed in red light at the Bang Bang bar, as she screams through the Pink Room, and then wearing a red sweater toward the end of her story in Fire Walk With Me. As she deteriorates, the colour red replaces the colour orange as she heads from the sacral chakra toward the root chakra, which is where we find her in Seasons 1 and 2, and the beginning of Season 3.

Animal Life

The Woodsman saying "animal life," next to pic of The Arm saying "we have descended from pure air."

In The Missing Pieces the Woodsman taps his stick and says “animal life.” The three lowest chakras are considered the chakras closest to our base desires, physically they are related to security, sex, and food, which is essentially “animal life.”

Laura never moved beyond animal life before she died/disappeared. Lou Ming thinks this is why we see angel wing feathers and a monkey at the end of Fire Walk With Me, he points out that the monkey whispers “Judy,” signifying that which keeps Laura locked within her baser self. Who or what is Judy? I think Judy is the trauma as it exists as energy, which makes it a mystical negative force to those who live within Laura’s inner realm.

In Frost’s The Final Dossier we learn Sarah’s middle name is Judith. Jowday-Joudy-Judy-Judith. Leland/Bob is the abuse, and Sarah/Judy is the repression. The Experiment is both together, combined with Laura’s rage, fear, and confusion. The horror inflicted upon Laura is internalized, which leads to Laura’s spiral downward to and imprisonment inside her root chakra.

I am dead… yet I live

Laura with hands raised as she lifts from the Red Room, next to Cooper falling through Red Room floor.

In Part 2 of Season 3 Laura, for the first time in the series, states who she is. In my opinion, “I am Laura Palmer” is the most monumental line in the series. It indicates Laura has integrated her doppelganger, her shadow self, at the most fundamental level (note we never see her doppelganger in Season 3) and is moving toward unification. This is the beginning of her Kundalini rising.

As we again witness the explosive change resulting from another Saturn-Jupiter conjunction, Laura ascends from the root chakra while Cooper descends through the floor.

While there are different ideas about how chakras rotate, it’s generally thought the direction of a female’s chakra rotation is the opposite of a male. If a female’s root chakra rotates clockwise the male root chakra rotates anti-clockwise and vice-versa.

Diagram of opposite chakra rotations in a male and a female.

This is why Laura moves upward from the root chakra while Cooper moves downward. As Kundalini awakens and the chakra begins spinning, Laura rises and Cooper will fall, an opportunity seized by The Evolution of the Arm’s doppelganger.

A person who has been through the kind of abuse Laura suffered is not going to ascend easily. Laura screams as she leaves her root chakra because it is painful. Like most people, Laura has found comfort in what she knows, so leaving the root, where she felt safe and has resided for the last 25 years, is difficult. Kundalini awakenings often are.

Laura ascends from the Red Room screaming, as Cooper watches.

In order to successfully reach and enter the crown, each chakra must be whole and aligned, to unite with one’s higher self and enter divine consciousness. Because Laura is so broken, the journey through her chakras is difficult and the Kundalini rises then stops, then tries again, repeatedly. Ida and Pingala are also not always in sync. Mr. C has been running things for a while and he’s not going to give up that power easily.

Cooper descends through Laura’s root and then eventually lands not at a lower point but the highest point, landing just below the crown. I think this is for two reasons: 1. For Cooper, entering the crown area is easy. He is naturally close to the crown chakra, which is just above the third eye.

2. The cyclical nature of this journey is evident through all of Twin Peaks. The circular motif is apparent from the turning blades of the fan outside Laura’s bedroom to the ring, donuts and coffee cup rims. From the whirling vortexes that appear in the sky, to the portals in the ground, to the circle of trauma, we are watching a repeating cycle. Cooper has no choice but to fall from the lowest to the highest point, and as Redditor Kolkrabe616 noted, that’s an inevitable part of a hero’s journey.

The fan in the Palmer house turning, the whirling vortex in the sky in Season 3, Laura's face inside a coffee cup in Season 2 credit sequence.

When Laura leaves the root chakra, she returns to the 2nd chakra, the sacral, which is where Cooper meets her in the woods, in Part 17 when Laura is 17 years old. When she screams and disappears yet again, does she rise to her 3rd chakra, the solar plexus?

The solar plexus chakra, also known as Manipura, is yellow. Leland also lived at the level of his dysfunctional sacral chakra but the power he exerted over Laura was part of his solar plexus chakra. The negative side of the solar plexus sometimes manifests as dominance and manipulation.

Yellow figures prominently in the Palmer household. The living room walls are painted yellow and the phone, a line of electricity to the outside world, is a striking yellow.

Sarah speaking into yellow phone, next to Leland lifing Maddie inside living room with yellow walls.

The element associated with Manipura is fire, fire walk with me is Leland-Bob’s attempts to corrupt Laura, his invitation to join the cycle of depravity.

It’s suggested that both Sarah and Leland experienced similar forms of abuse when they were young. We see the wave pattern again, descending into darkness as Sarah walks home in Part 8:

Young Sarah Palmer and male friend walking down the wave pattern in Part 8.

This is another part of the circular motif: the repeating cycle of abuse. When the frog-moth enters young Sarah, it’s likely an abstraction of Sarah suffering sexual assault, on the way home or at home, and burying the experience. In Frost’s The Final Dossier we learn Sarah’s parents found her unconscious in her bedroom and rushed her to the hospital that night. On the way there, she woke up and had no memory of what had happened to her.

Sarah sitting on bed with cuts on her knees, next to frog-moth entering Sarah's mouth.
Those look like fresh cuts on Sarah’s knees.

The woodsman’s poem is broadcast on the radio, one of the mediums through which the mores of that era were communicated. The fainting townspeople are abstractions of the time period Sarah grew up in, where things like rape and incest were swept under the rug.

Townspeople fainting in Part 8, next to Sarah drinking drugged milk as Leland watches.

The fainting is similar to Sarah falling into a drugged sleep while Leland rapes Laura. It is people looking away, the ‘white of the eyes’ as they fall unconscious, their eyes rolling back in their head. It’s a learned, deeply ingrained behaviour resulting from her own trauma. In her diary, Laura talks about how she intuits her mother could understand what she’s going through but people of Sarah’s generation don’t like to talk about things like that. Sarah ignores Laura’s abuse because acknowledging it would open the floodgates to her own repressed memories. Part 8 is also about Sarah’s trauma and how she passed it on to Laura.

Leland crying and describing how he was violated when he was a boy in Season 2 Episode 9.

In Episode 16, Leland describes how a man named Robertson was “inside” him.  Leland being “entered” is referring to how he was molested. The idea of possession is a metaphor for both the violation and the way it sometimes turns victims into abusers themselves. Unfortunately, humans tend to inflict their trauma on others, which is why Laura suffers the same.

During a Kundalini awakening, the energy often gets stuck at Manipura, and in Laura’s case it’s a massive obstacle to overcome.

I think this struggle at Manipura is abstractly presented through the Dougie tulpa’s story. Dougie-tulpa, the original Dougie, first appears in Part 3. He epitomizes the other negative aspects of the solar plexus, which are specifically: excessive weight (he’s fat), not being able to control yourself (he cheats and gambles), and having digestive distress (part of the reason we see him with a stomach ache and vomiting).

Dougie-tulpa wearing yellow jacket, next to Dougie-tulpa wearing jacket with orange hue in Red Room.

Look carefully at Dougie’s jacket. It’s distinctively yellow when we first see him but when he appears in the Red Room, it has an orange hue. Dougie is a corrupted version of the “good father” so he is a version of Leland. Because of this connection to Leland, Laura is having trouble ascending from her solar plexus chakra, which is why we watch Dougie-tulpa devolve from solar plexus to sacral to root (yellow to orange to red).

Still not buying it? The sacral chakra mantra is “I feel”:

Dougie-tulpa in the Red Room saying "I feel... funny."

So how does Laura continue ascending, how do we move from here if she’s struggling at number three?

I think the other parts of Laura’s psyche and chakras are working hard to help her overcome this hurdle.

Look at Monica Belluci’s hands in Gordon’s dream in Part 14. First she moves her fingers around the rim of her coffee cup as if nodding to the concept that the journey we’re watching is cyclical. A metallic groove plays on loop as if something is stuck, and Bellucci looks into the camera, another character looking directly at us, a tear falling from her right eye, with her hands positioned in what seems to be a Mudra.

Monica Bellucci looking into camera as she holds her hands in a mudra, Part 14.

A Mudra is a symbolic gesture or pose in Hinduism, most often performed with the hands and fingers.

At the Welcome to Twin Peaks forum, user Joni Kelly shared that Bellucci is holding her hands in a position very similar to a Surabhi Mudra.

Hands held in a Surabhi Mudra, showing similarity to Monica Bellucci's hand position.

Funnily enough, practising the Surabhi Mudra strengthens the Manipura chakra so that it can accept and release upward the rising force of Kundalini.

Remember, Robert Engels said the series was designed as a dream and in a dream time bounces around all over the place. So while for us viewers there are 11 episodes, 11 weeks and 11 hours between Dougie-tulpa and Monica Bellucci, inside Laura, the Surabhi Mudra is happening perhaps only seconds after the devolution of Dougie-tulpa. This is also not the first time Gordon has dreamed of Bellucci.

The beautiful Monica Bellucci elevates Laura from the 3rd chakra to the 4th. A dream within a dream is willing Laura’s ascent. And because she’s also looking at us from inside Gordon, inside Lynch, she may very well be willing our ascent.

For those less spiritually inclined, Monica Bellucci is like an untapped reserve of emotional strength.

The next chakra above is the 4th chakra, the heart, also known as Anahata.

When Dougie-tulpa devolves and disappears, Cooper appears. Cooper-Dougie represents the 4th chakra in the fourth episode.

The heart chakra is green:

Cooper-Dougie walking into kitchen in big green jacket, and drinking coffee with a tie around his head.

Note the orange and yellow colour scheme dominating the kitchen. The cabinets have an orange hue and yellow is sprinkled throughout. These colours represent the Dougie-tulpa of yore. As Laura moves from her solar plexus to heart chakra, so does Cooper-Dougie shuffle into the frame, taking over the space in his big green jacket. See the owl in the background on the counter behind Dougie? Save for one overhead shot of an owl flying over the Jones house, every owl in Season 3 is powerless, appearing only as decorative objects.

Ideally, all the chakras work in harmony and we see this start to happen with the appearance of the heart chakra. The heart connects the three lower chakras with the three upper chakras and this scene is a pivotal moment in the series.

Anhata means “unhurt, unstruck, unbeaten.” Its prime functions are love and positivity. Is there a better example of this than Cooper-Dougie? He brings so much joy into everyone’s lives, especially for Janey-E and Sonny Jim. Is there a better description of how he improves their family life together than he “unhurts” them?

I think we also see a glimpse of Laura’s journey toward healing when we observe how the Venus statue in the Red Room evolves, the inverse of the owls becoming stationary.

The planet associated with the heart chakra is Venus.

In the Red Room, Venus is immobilized, inert. But in Part 4, Venus is alive and kicking:

Venus statue holding an apple, next to Janey-E holding a green apple.

The pic on the left is the famous Thorvaldsen sculpture of Venus holding an apple. On the right is Janey-E in a similar pose, and the apple is the heart chakra colour green!

In Roman mythology, Venus absorbs and tempers the male essence, uniting male and female in mutual affection. She aids in military victory, good fortune, sexual success and prosperity. This sounds like Janey-E to me, the way she deals with the loan sharks and police (a kind of military victory), Cooper-Dougie bringing home $425,000 (good fortune), enjoying a screaming orgasm (sexual success), and experiencing happiness and love again (prosperity).

But Cooper-Dougie is not the first appearance of Laura’s heart chakra.

The Man From Another Place

Consider the following similarities between Phillip Gerard/Mike and Laura/Bob. Whether you think evil spirits are real or not, both Phillip and Laura believe they are warding off entities who want to possess them. They both use drugs to temper their perceived connection to these beings, Phillip takes an anti-psychotic called haloperidol (without chemicals he points) and Laura uses cocaine. After “seeing the face of God,” Phillip cut off his left arm, the arm connected to the heart, and at Laura’s crime scene Cooper found a broken heart atop a mound of earth.

Broken heart pendant being buried, next to broken heart pendant atop mound of earth in train car, next to ring on mound of earth.
It is happening again or one and the same?

In her diary, Laura writes about parts of herself being hidden away. Remember in Part 8 when the beating heart encased in gold propelled through the fire then descended? That was Laura’s heart being displaced. Phillip cutting off his arm, and James and Donna burying Laura’s necklace in the earth is symbolic of Laura hiding her broken heart in her root chakra. The mound of earth in the train car reminds me of the ring Chet Desmond finds under the trailer in Fire Walk With Me, and there’s that diamond pattern again.

The ring appears to her in a dream, before she enters the painting given to her by Mrs. Tremond. Green is its colour, just like the heart chakra. Her broken heart is already in the root chakra and beckoning her to join it there. It’s safe here, you should come too. The ring is her heart’s invitation.

The Arm holding out the ring to Laura, next to The Arm saying "With this ring... I thee wed."

How might a piece of your broken heart behave if it were abstracted into human form? It would probably be very red, very small, very expressive, a little silly, and wonderfully strange. And why does he consume the garmonbozia produced by Laura’s suffering? Simply put, because it belongs to him. It’s what he’s been feeding on and what led him to the the Red Room in the first place. Like Laura, he developed a taste for the dark side. That’s why he’s also referred to as The Man From Another Place, because he originated in Laura’s heart chakra, was corrupted by trauma, then set up base in the root. He feels at home there. Because he’s displaced he thinks of Laura as his cousin.

Laura watches The Arm dance in the Red Room.

The Arm dances because like a heart, he’s pumping the beat. He moves to the beat of the music in the same way a heart beats to the electrical impulses that flow through it.

The Arm making electricity noises, next to The Evolution of the Arm doing the same.

The heart is a pump made up of muscle tissue. Like all muscle, the heart needs a source of energy and oxygen to function. The pumping action is regulated by an electrical conduction system that coordinates the contraction of the various chambers of the heart.

Human heart with arteries next to The Evolution of the Arm with branches.

Watch The Evolution of The Arm as he speaks, his head pumps in and out like an irregular heart beat. He is returning to form! And if you’re still not convinced, watch this 3D animation of a human heart beating, and specifically look at the tricuspid and mitral valves’ mouth-like sucking motions. An abstraction in heart form.

The Arm moves his hands over the green formica table.

Formica is an electrical insulator. The formica table is Laura’s heart chakra as it exists disconnected, used as a feeding ground for big bowls of garmonbozia. That hole in the table is the piece cut out by The Arm to make the ring.

Close-up of the ring.

The diamond pattern in the ring represents the unified Self, it’s the original mind-womb from which Laura’s doppelganger is born. The extra piece that extends from the top forms a lambda symbol. In radiology, the lambda symbol is known as the “twin peaks sign” denoting a dichorionic twin pregnancy. In this kind of pregnancy, the fetus grows in its own amniotic sac with its own feeding tube. Laura’s twin feeds on trauma, she is born from the abuse Laura suffered. The two peaks on either side are Laura’s Persona, the face we see in the homecoming queen photograph, and her Shadow, her doppelganger.

Cooper telling Laura "Don't take the ring."

Cooper tells Laura not to take the ring because wearing the ring ensures dissociation (which is why Chet Desmond disappears when he touches it). When Laura puts the ring on in the train car, it is the moment her psyche definitively splits in two. She has wedded herself to her root chakra, and from this moment on until we see her again in Season 3, she is effectively locked away in the Red Room.

You are here… now there is… no place… to… go… BUT HOME!

“There is no place to go home but home” sends The Arm into hysterics because he knows where he is but Cooper doesn’t. Home is Laura and they are already there. How very Wizard of Oz.

Fix Your Hearts or Die

Though Laura’s heart has spent all these years in the root chakra, it has still evolved, as all hearts do, hence The Evolution of the Arm. The energy of the wakened Kundalini helps to transform him. When we see Cooper-Dougie emerge as the heart chakra in Season 3, he’s disconnected from every chakra except the root, and that makes sense given Laura’s heart has been in the Red Room for 25 years.

The Red Room appears as a beacon to Cooper-Dougie above a slot machine in the Silver Mustang Casino.

Cooper-Dougie embodies the gentle goodness of the heart chakra and transforms lives from his first moment on screen to his last. He is realigning the heart chakra into its natural position.

The heart chakra mantra is “I love”:

Pictures of hearts on the Jones' fridge, Janey-E saying "I love you" to Cooper-Dougie, co-worker happily drinking green tea latte, Ben horne declaring love next to a green light, Mitchum brothers declaring love, Cooper telling family he loves them.

“I love” is said more often to or about Cooper-Dougie than in all three seasons and the film. There are pictures by Sonny Jim on their fridge with the words “I love;” Cooper-Dougie’s co-worker falls in love with a green tea latte; even Ben Horne reminiscing about his childhood bike has a glowing green light accompanying his declaration. So much love! So much heart chakra green love.

Lou Ming noticed it’s also completely missing in Mr. C:

Diane holding fist to her chest, and telling Gordon that Mr. C-Cooper is missing his heart.

The 4th chakra takes up most of Season 3 because it’s the most important and difficult chakra to align. But now Laura and Cooper move to the 5th chakra, the throat.

When Cooper travels through the electrical socket he loses his self-awareness and ability to communicate. What a coincidence! The throat chakra, also known as Vishuddha, is the chakra governing communication and self-awareness, where Cooper-Dougie travels next.

The throat chakra, like everything else inside Laura, is in pieces and no single piece works at full capacity. Consider Albert Rosenfield and Gordon Cole. People who exist at the level of the throat chakra love to communicate. Throat chakra dysfunction manifests as poor communication (see Albert in Season 1) and also manifests as… hearing problems!

The colour of the throat chakra is sky blue:

Within a blue-saturated frame, Albert and Gordon converse outside prison.

In Part 4, after visiting Mr. C in prison, Albert relays critical information to Gordon. During this scene the blue of the sky permeates every pixel. A Blue Rose Task Force meeting, Laura’s internal FBI as Lou Ming calls them, and a meeting of two components of Laura’s throat chakra.

The throat chakra is especially difficult for Laura, which is another reason why it takes Cooper so long to get there. Lou Ming writes about a pivotal moment in the series where Laura was on the verge of telling her secret to Doc Hayward. In The Missing Pieces, she is interrupted by a phone call from Leland, telling her to come home.

Doc Hayward holds Laura's hand as phone rings, next to Laura deliberating whether to take the phone call.

When Cooper tells Laura “don’t take the ring” it also symbolizes Laura accepting the phone call from Leland, interrupting the telling of the secret. It’s a moment gone forever when Doc Hayward answers the ring of the phone. I think this is another reason why Chet Desmond disappears when he touches the ring. The ring leads to disocciation because the ring of the phone sends Laura in the wrong direction, downward, where she splits in two. There were rumours that Chet Desmond was supposed to appear in the Red Room, but maybe that was too obvious for Lynch.

Albert and Gordon have been looking for Cooper for 25 years and they are exactly what Cooper needs to regain his faculties. And what prompts Cooper to restore the throat chakra? The name “Gordon Cole” spoken by DeMille in Sunset Boulevard.

Sunset Boulevard character saying "Get Gordon Cole" inspires Cooper-Dougie to stick his knife in an electrical socket.

When Cooper travelled through the electrical socket, moving from one part of Laura to another, some aspects of himself didn’t complete the journey. Hearing Gordon’s name sparks awareness in Cooper. In Part 15 he recovers his throat chakra by jolting it back into himself.

This also explains why Naido made sure he went through the #3 socket and not the #15 socket. If he went through 15, he would move straight to the throat chakra. In Part 3, he replaces the 3rd chakra and then in Part 4, he becomes the 4th chakra. One step at a time, or Mr. C’s tamas can wreak havoc.

After Cooper-Dougie becomes Special Agent Dale Cooper again in Part 16, we then see a new iteration of the heart in Part 17, something we’ve been watching grow from earlier in the season.

The heart chakra now appears as Freddie Syke’s all-powerful green glove, it’s stronger now because it’s been mostly aligned through Cooper-Dougie. This is also the Fireman helping to restore balance, as he chose Freddie to wear the glove.  A little out of order again but so is Laura out of order.

Freddie Sykes wields his powerful green glove, bloodied from the battle with Bob.

The glorious corniness of this scene is an abstraction of how Laura overcomes part of her trauma using, well, the power of love; the power of (a heart chakra green) (g)love! Kundalini moved Cooper-Dougie upwards, where he unbroke her heart, and this newfound strength is used to destroy Bob, who represents the lie that has plagued Laura for most of her life.

The gathering of characters at the Sheriff's Station, the green chair off centre, with Cooper's face superimposed over the scene.

The Sheriff’s station is where many pieces of Laura unite. The green chair in the middle of the room is another clue that the focus of this scene lies in the power of the heart, which connects the three lower chakras with the three above. The chair is off centre to show it’s still a little out of alignment. The pieces come together but they don’t merge, there is still much to overcome.

There’s another piece of Laura’s heart here, too. Within the heart chakra exists a threefold-flame, a divine spark, its colours are pink, gold and blue.

Threefold flame in pink gold and blue next to picture of Candie, Mandie and Sandie.

Pink, gold, blue. Candie, Mandie, and Sandie are the three-fold flame of the heart chakra, another abstraction in human form. The three flames represent love (pink) wisdom (gold) and power (blue). The colour pink dominates because they are imbalanced. Their dresses are pink with gold ribboning, their shoes are gold, their hair is golden. The blue appears in details, like the colour of Candie’s eyes and Mandie’s eyeshadow.  Look at the feathers in their fascinators, like flames rising from the top of their beautiful, befuddled heads.

Candie, Mandie, and Sandie dressed in pink with feather fascinators.

Candy, Mandie, and Sandie are mostly pink because they are out of balance and have been disconnected, which explains why they’re so air-headed and flustered.

The pink flame is also associated with physical nourishment of the body, which is why we so often see them pouring drinks and serving food.

Candie, Mandie and Sandie holding baskets of sandwiches in the Sheriff's office.

At the Sheriff’s station I think we also witness Cooper rising to his third eye when his head appears over the entire scene. As Laura rises, so does everyone within. We saw this happen earlier in Part 10 when Laura’s enormous head framed Gordon at his hotel room door.

Gordon opens his hotel room door and we see him framed within Laura's head.

In Part 17, we see it again as Cooper, Laura’s third eye, having previously reached the 5th chakra, the throat, now experiences the 6th chakra, his own third eye, and so he realizes:

Diane holding Cooper's arm in Sheriff's office as Cooper's superimposed head says "We live inside a dream."

He now has some awareness of who he is within Laura as the third eye, which is why he has such purpose from this moment on. The plan he made with the Fireman, Diane, Gordon and Briggs is kicking into full gear.

“Your Laura is long gone”

After the Sheriff’s station, in Part 17, Cooper meets Mike and then goes to see Jeffries.

Jeffrie's machine emitting the ring symbol which turns into a diamond patterned 8 symbol.

Note the steam and the circle of coloured light next to the machine, similar to the mist and glory we see in the opening credit sequence, connecting the idea of entering Laura’s head at the beginning of every episode with where Cooper travels next. First Jeffries emits the ring symbol. The diamond is the balanced self, the two branches are Laura’s Persona and her Shadow/doppelganger. The pieces reconstruct themselves because we are moving backwards from the final moment of disassociation in 1989 to just before it occurred.

Owl cave markings look like the diamond-patterned 8 symbol emitted by Jeffries.

The etchings in the owl cave are the three lowest chakras, with the fire of the solar plexus atop, the same shape as the reconstituted ring symbol.

The 8 looks like the wave pattern of Ida and Pingala within the subtle body.

It then morphs into an “8,” which is the pattern of Ida and Pingala around the solar plexus and sacral chakras, it is the energy locked by trauma where Laura struggled before she died/disappeared. The “8” rotates and the ball moves to a specific part of the sacral chakra, which is where Cooper goes to find Laura with James.

Dutchman's Lodge door with number 8, and the Bosomy woman offering to unlock the door for Mr. C.

This is also why there is a number 8 on the locked door at The Dutchman’s Lodge. Lou Ming thinks the woods are Laura’s subconscious. Based on this idea, we can determine that when we see Mr. C and the Woodsman walking together through the room superimposed with the woods, they are travelling through Laura’s subconscious to her unconscious. The 8 on the door represents the part of Laura kept under lock and key, hidden and missing, much like the Secret Diary pages. The “Bosomy Woman” who offers to unlock the door is played by a male actor, here again we have the combining of genders we saw with the Experiment. Both represent the Hermaphrodite archetype, similar to how Shiva is both male and female. They are an aspect of Laura’s Self as they exist in darkness, warped by abuse. Laura’s trauma is guarded because it’s valuable to those running her inner world, it is the energy used to fuel tamas, to keep the fire burning, and it’s only potent if it feeds on itself in an eternal loop. Kundalini breaks through this and pushes the energy of Ida and Pingala upward.

When Mr. C visits Jeffries the circle is higher than when Cooper goes to see Jeffries.
Also of note, when Mr. C visits Jeffries in Part 15, the ring of light is higher than when Cooper visits in Part 17. If you superimposed these images, the two rings of light would form the “8.”

Which brings us to where Cooper goes next. Lou Ming noticed that the flickering when Cooper leaves the Fireman in Part 1 is the same flickering as when he appears in the woods in Part 17:

Cooper flickers away from the Fireman's palace then flickers into the woods.

This particular room in the Fireman’s home is the crown chakra as it connects to this part of Laura’s mind, note the foliage pattern on the chair and the surrounding wood walls. From there the Fireman sends Cooper to that crucial memory locked away, to just before Laura split in two and descended to the root chakra. So the meeting with the Fireman actually happens, or happens again, in Part 17, which begs the question: how many times has Cooper been on this journey and in what order are things actually happening?

The scene in the woods is where Cooper retrieves the memory of what really happened at the end of Fire Walk With Me.

Laura telling James "your Laura disappeared."

“It’s just me now,” she tells James. Remember when Cooper went through the electrical socket in Part 2 and not all of him made it through to Las Vegas? The same thing is happening to Laura as she moves from one chakra to the next. Because her Kundalini energy was blocked by Mr. C’s shenanigans, and because parts of her are so rooted and repressed by trauma, there are missing pieces that have to be collected. This is multi-layered, it’s also because at this point in her life at 17 years old, she was already disassociating. We should note here too, when Cooper begins walking Laura through the woods, the camera pans upward, suggesting the journey is an ascension.

Before I read Find Laura, while I never once thought Laura didn’t die, I always found the sequence where Cooper leads her through the woods a little strange. There are moments when Laura steps into the light and looks her current age. Why de-age Sheryl Lee using CGI if you’re going to allow her to look older at certain points? And the wig doesn’t match, it has no layers along the sides of her face and that could have so easily been cut into the wig.

On the left is Laura in Fire Walk With Me just before she leaves to meet James. On the right is Laura when Cooper meets her in the woods in Part 17. She looks like her young self here but there is a striking difference between the hair; there are no layers cut into the sides of her wig.

Laura with layered haircut in Fire Walk With Me next to Laura with no layers in her hair in Part 17.

After I read Find Laura, and was convinced she never died, the mismatching wig and more mature face coming into focus finally made sense.

Laura looks her current age when she steps into the light in Part 17.

If you’re 42 years old and your inner world is a dissociated fugue, trying to remember what happened on a night 25 years ago, you’re going to see yourself as you were at that age but it’s not going to be exactly as you looked then because you’re also aware of your appearance now. You are recovering the memory as you currently exist, so it’s not only your younger self walking through the woods with Cooper, it’s also your mature self.

This is merging young Laura with present Laura, which also explains why it starts in black and white but becomes colour just before she starts to follow Cooper.

Laura in black and white then in colour in the woods with Cooper.
Moving from past to present inside Laura’s memory, at the level of her second chakra.

Then Laura screams and disappears again, does she continue to ascend? Cooper briefly looks upward then around the woods to try and find her. Which chakra is upward but also outward? The 6th chakra, the third eye, which has the ability to see into and enter other worlds.

But then suddenly Cooper is back in the Red Room, the root chakra, where Mike asks him a question:

Mike asking Cooper "Is it future or is it past?" in the Red Room.

Pingala is the energy channel associated with the future and Ida with the past. Cooper is being asked “where are you really in this journey?” He just left the past and now has to orient himself to the present. He looks at Laura’s chair waiting for her to appear again but she is nowhere to be found. Again he follows Mike to meet The Evolution of the Arm who this times asks “is this the story of the little girl who lived down the lane?” a reference to the wave, the winding road that had Laura living down the lane. Then we watch Laura telling Cooper her secret and rise screaming again but this time, Laura telling the secret and ascending plays at what seems double the speed. And listen to the sounds: the scream repeats over itself 3 times. It’s Cooper remembering what already happened, and possibly remembering this has happened at least 3 times before. From this moment, he appears to navigate the Red Room with ease.

Cooper opening the Red Room drapes with telekinesis.
Cooper’s newfound confidence indicates he realizes he’s already been through this part of the journey once, or many times, before. He is starting to realize the extent of his Magician powers.

Because Laura’s ascension is difficult, we rise and fall, stop and start again.

Ideally the journey would be:

1. root
2. sacral
3. solar plexus
4. heart
5. throat
6. third eye
7. crown

but for Laura it has been:

1. root
2. sacral
3. solar plexus
4. sacral
5. root
6. heart
7. throat
8. heart
9. sacral
(so far)

This time in the Red Room, Cooper seems to figure it out. He meets Diane outside the entrance to the root chakra, from where they travel 430 miles to the third eye chakra.

Before we go there, let’s consider a few more things.

Listen to the Sounds

Wave pattern of chevron floor in Red Room, inside high school bathroom, on Fireman's floor match the wave patterns of colours on the electromagnetic spectrum.

The frequency intervals of the colours match the wave patterns we see through the series, which exactly match the ascension of the chakra colours.

Light, colour, and sound are all connected.  When the Fireman says “listen to the sounds,” it’s Lynch-Frost telling us to pay attention not only to the dialogue, lyrics and sounds, but also to the colours.

Listen to the colours!

It’s interesting that the first band to play at the Roadhouse in season three is The Chromatics.

Chromatics is the scientific study of colour.

The Chromatics sing at the Roadhouse in Part 2.
Shadow, take me down with you. For the last time.

The Chromatics are singing about Laura’s shadow, her darkness, tamas, the absence of colour, finally losing its grip on Laura.

The Fireman's palace above the purple sea, next to the Fireman and Senorita Dido in black and white.

Beyond the purple/violet part of the colour spectrum associated with the crown chakra, the human eye can’t see colour, which may explain why we see the Fireman and Senorita Dido in black and white.

The metal associated with the crown chakra is gold. The root chakra portal is a white-brown, embedded in the earth and filled with what most people think is scorched engine oil. The crown chakra portal is tinted gold, and sits slightly above ground.

The brown Red Room portal next to the gold Fireman portal.

The Red Room portal is where Cooper meets Diane in Part 18. Let’s follow them as they try to get from one to the other.

Travelling past 430 miles

Light flashes as Cooper and Diane travel past 430 miles into darkness.

The frequency intervals of the visible light spectrum range from approximately 750 THz (violet) to approximately 430 THz (red). Colour is a form of visible light, it is electromagnetic energy. Cooper and Diane travel past 430 THz from the root chakra, which is abstracted into miles in their world. They leave the entire colour energy system belonging to Laura. Note the flashing light as they cross and then they are in darkness.

It’s worth noting too, at 417 Hz, a Solfeggio sound frequency alleviates the conscious and subconscious mind from traumatic past experiences. The Solfeggio frequencies are commonly associated with the healing of the 7 chakras. We are on a journey toward healing through sound and colour.

If Cooper and Diane leave Laura’s inner world, where do they go?

I’m not me… I’m not me

Many viewers have noted the similarities between Homer’s The Odyssey and Twin Peaks Season 3, drawing parallels between Odysseus and Cooper’s hubris. Frost more or less confirmed this when he said Cooper is messing in the playground of the gods.

However, Frost also revealed in another interview that Lynch added the concept of Richard and Linda but never explained it to him. So what does Richard and Linda mean? How do Richard and Linda change the story, if at all?

Lou Ming thinks Diane is an iteration of Laura, another avatar used to navigate her inner world. Because Laura has been lost in her trauma, Diane experiences the same abuse in Laura’s “dream,” she is raped by Cooper’s doppelganger and then she dissociates. Instead of a doppelganger we get a Diane-tulpa, with the real Diane locked away inside a blind, mute Naido. Naido is a person who can’t see and who can’t tell her secrets. Who does that remind you of? It reminds me of Sarah, Laura, and Carrie. One and the same, the trauma passed down through generations and iterations.

We see Diane disassociating again while she waits in the car outside the motel. While she anticipates having sex with Cooper, it reminds her of the rape she suffered.

Diane watches herself appear outside the hotel as she sits in the car.
Diane splits in two, just like Laura.

The theories I linked at the beginning of this piece by theone3 and David Auerbach posit that this is our world and a pocket dimension created by the Fireman to lure Judy through the traumatic act of Diane having sex with who is essentially her rapist. I agree with both of these ideas and I think the Odessa and Twin Peaks we travel to is not exactly our world, but a version of it connected to the show. It’s the space between Laura’s inner and outer world, her subconscious/unconscious and conscious, as close as we get to the reality of her life. Because Laura also represents the viewer, it’s the space between our world and the fictional world, it’s the “between two worlds” in the poem.

Entering this realm also forces a reincarnation of sorts. During the highly awkward sex scene, two pieces of music play at once, one is My Prayer which we heard earlier in Part 8, the other is Dean Hurley’s Birth.

Diane looks heavenward while having sex with Cooper.

Extrapolating based on the premise in Find Laura, I think what we’re watching here is Laura having sex with Leland. But, not exactly. Diane represents Laura and Cooper represents Leland, so this is Laura facing the truth by proxy. We’re watching Laura-Diane having sex with Leland-Cooper, which is part of the reason why we hear two songs playing simultaneously. My Prayer is the song calling Sarah-Judy, the repressed rage of Laura’s trauma; and Birth is playing because, well, sex leads to pregnancy which leads to birth. This process is accelerated through the power of the third eye and Cooper and Diane are “born” as Richard and Linda the next day.

While we squirm in our seats watching the awkward sex scene, it’s actually a part of their plan, and successful. Diane accepts her new identity easily, I think because Laura-Carrie exists as a person in this “dream” and Linda is no longer needed as an avatar, so she is easily absorbed back into the psyche.

It also appears to fully integrate Cooper with his doppelganger, Mr. C, which explains Richard’s trigger-happy jaunt through Judy’s diner the following morning. So the act of copulation produces successful results except someone seems to have forgotten something.

The negative qualities of the third eye are illusion, disorientation, inability to see the truth:

Cooper confused by the name Richard and wondering what year it is.
What year is this?

The way Diane so easily turned into Linda and disappeared is what was supposed to happen with Cooper. He should have become Richard so Laura can let go of her “good father” and he can became an integrated part of her third eye chakra. But the trauma is still overwhelming so it’s likely Laura’s mind clings to the idea of Cooper, which fuels Cooper’s hubris as the Hero, the FBI Special Agent intent on saving the girl. Perhaps “what year is this?” refers to Cooper thinking only a few weeks have passed since he first entered the Red Room. In the behind-the-scenes footage in the Red Room we hear Lynch telling Kyle MacLachlan “it’s been no time at all for you.” Is it still somehow 1989 in his mind? Richard is stuck in the past, intent on saving Laura and bringing her home.

There is no place to go but home

Richard driving Carrie to Twin Peaks.

The ultimate goal of one travelling through their chakras is to ascend to the crown chakra and become one with every aspect of oneself, and everything beyond. It is home in the spiritual sense, the purest state of being a human can achieve. But in order to ascend to the crown one must properly balance every prior chakra. I think Laura and Cooper are doing a good job so far but there have been hiccups, not the least of which is Cooper still being Cooper.

I have to wonder if another reason he can’t let go and become Richard is because he’s in a version of our world and we can’t let go of Cooper. As much as we love Cooper-Dougie, we waited all season for Cooper to return. Cooper is also Frost’s favourite character, and is modelled in part after Lynch, so maybe the Executive Board of Dreamers struggled with letting him go!

Cooper looks around Carrie Page's living room.

Carrie Page’s home contains abstractions of prior occurrences through the series. There is a lottery ticket with a “5” on it, a thimble shaped like the Jeffries machine, even what looks like cracked glass in the window, similar to the crack Cooper made when Bob smashed his head into the mirror at the end of Season 2.

Carrie Page's living room and cracked glass in her window, and Cooper smashing his head into the mirror at the end of Season 2.

Perhaps those empty food containers represent the way we watched Laura’s suffering, consuming her garmonbozia like it was a TV-dinner, another nod to the idea that we’re in a version of our world.

Not to mention the rotting corpse in the flannel shirt. He has a protrusion in his stomach located where the Bob-orb was expelled from Mr. C, and is covered in a variation of vomit-garmonbozia. Rigor mortis seems to have locked his arms in the same position as various characters we saw earlier in the series.

Ronette Pulaski, Sick Girl in car, Woodsmen in jail, and corpse in living room all hold their hands in similar position.
It is happening again or one and the same?

Laura faced the trauma caused by Leland-Bob but she’s still lugging this corpse around, the dead guy in the living room is emotional baggage. Because Cooper is the good version of Leland, it’s also Cooper dead in this world, having been reborn as Richard. But Cooper doesn’t recognize this, because in his mind it’s still 1989 and he’s trying to solve the mystery of Laura.

There are so many things to explore inside Carrie’s living room related to what got us here but I think it also holds clues to where we are and where we’re going. For instance, the corpse has a head wound in the location of the third eye, and look at the fireplace mantel:

Carrie's fireplace mantel with the white horse and blue plate.

If the horse is the white of the eyes might the blue plate behind it be representative of an iris? Another abstraction. The third eye chakra is indigo-blue, and the horse is in the way, indicating it’s currently closed, and something is blocking Carrie’s vision.

If the horse is the white of the eyes, the part of the eye that doesn’t see, then it’s likely, as many people think, that the horse is connected to Sarah. I think that’s why we see see the white horse in Part 2:

The white horse appears in the Red Room against a backdrop of darkness.

It’s bizzare, I think it’s so much a matter of subjectivity, of interiority, that if you see [the White Lodge], it wouldn’t work. It’s different for everyone. It’s more of an inner feeling, something suggested in an impressionist way, I don’t know, it’s very abstract.
– David Lynch, Cahiers du Cinema, 2017

Lynch said we never see the White Lodge in Season 3 and both Lynch and Frost have confirmed we never see the Black Lodge in the series either. The Red Room is an antechamber, a waiting room adjacent to it, similar to how a dysfunctional root chakra would be adjacent to hell. But when the curtains blow up, I think the darkness behind the white horse is a glimpse of the Black Lodge. Since the only other place we’ve seen the horse is in the Palmer house, appearing when Sarah falls unconscious at the beginning of the abuse ritual, I think the Black Lodge, for Laura, is the Palmer home. The horse appearing to Cooper is a sign indicating where he’s headed, and in another way, where he already is.

If the Black Lodge is the Palmer home, it’s likely the White Lodge, for Laura, this ‘subjective interior space that’s different for everyone,’ is a safe, abuse-free home with a loving family. The one Sarah could have provided if she confronted Leland and protected Laura.

Phillip Jeffries in Fire Walk With Me saying "In fact, we're not going to talk about Judy at all."

“We’re not going to talk about Judy” is a line speaking to the fact that no one ever speaks of the role Sarah played in Laura’s abuse. This is part of the trauma Laura must face in order to ascend.

And we’re making progress because this time, Laura doesn’t answer the ring of the phone.

Carrie closes door as phone continues to ring.

The Third Eye

Other clues that point to us being in the third eye are the low-angle shot of the utility pole we saw outside Carrie Page’s house with the number 6, and the total of all numbers in the Palmer house address: 7+0+8 = 15, 1+5 = 6 (if you think that’s too tinfoil hat, read about Lynch’s interest in numerology and check this out).

The top of the number 6 utility pole next to the top of the Fireman's machines.

The electrical wiring is similar to the machines in the crown chakra, but the crown remains inaccessible to those not personally invited. The only thing missing from the shot of the utility pole is the Fireman peeking out at us from behind a cloud. And good old Mrs. Tremond is here, which is the biggest clue that we’re in the third eye.

Mrs. Tremond has appeared as three different people through the series:

Mrs. Tremond appearing as the old woman, the middle-aged woman, and Alice Tremond.
It is happening again or one and the same?

And was mentioned in dialogue as a fourth person:

Alice Tremond telling Cooper that a Mrs. Chalfont previously owned her house.

The Chalfont-occupied trailer next to the mound of earth with the ring in Fire Walk With Me.

Taking a moment to connect the dots, if a Chalfont used to live at the Palmer house, then the trailer previously occupied by Chalfonts in Fire Walk With Me is likely an abstraction of the Palmer house, and the Black Lodge. Those red curtains certainly look familiar. The Palmer house is where Laura began disconnecting, where her heart broke and she hid it away. This is why the mound of earth with the ring is under the trailer, it’s one and the same, playing out as a mystery in Laura’s “dream.”

The black holes, the trauma, the displacement, the dissociation all began at the Palmer house and almost everything in the series is an abstraction of what was set in motion at this location. We’re right back at the beginning of Laura’s story, another repeating cycle.

The biggest clue that we’re in the third eye is literally in the heart of this scene. Inside the heart of Alice’s Tremond’s necklace, there is a third eye symbol:

Lord Shiva with a third eye matching the third eye we see in the centre of Alice Tremond's necklace.
Lord Shiva’s third eye is always depicted in a vertical position, much like the third eye we see in the centre of Alice Tremond’s heart pendant.

In the third eye, we have Carrie, Richard, and Alice, who are the last 3 parts of Laura to be absorbed back into the psyche/chakras before full integration at the crown. And Carrie is wearing a necklace with a horseshoe pendant, suggesting we’re playing the same kind of game we were playing at the Silver Mustang Casino.

Carrie stands at Alice Tremond's door, wearing a horsehoe necklace, with her eyes closed.
Often when people try to open their third eye, they repeatedly close their real eyes. Carrie slow blinks through this entire scene.

7 chakras, 3 Lauras

The slot machine in the Silver Mustang Casino with three 7's.

Jackpot, only 3 aspects of Laura to unite. All 3 must unite for Shakti to reach Shiva, and here we all are standing on the precipice of unification at Alice Tremond’s door. But the last time we saw the wave pattern was in Carrie’s front yard, so it doesn’t look like Ida and Pingala have reached their meeting place.

The wave appears in Carrie's front yard as Richard walks to her door, and the dark highway Carrie and Richard travel to Twin Peaks.

Richard and Carrie travel a dark highway, so it’s possible Ida is descending into the past again.

And let’s go back and look at Carrie’s house for a minute.

The exterior colour scheme of Carrie Page's house.

Listen to the colours… what are they saying to us? Pink and green are the colours associated with the heart chakra, and the numbers of Carrie’s address add up to 4. Inside, we see a version of Mr. C dead in the sheriff’s station, abstracted into the corpse in her living room. Carrie is still at the 4th chakra. “Two birds with one stone” likely means the 5th and 6th chakras combined.

Richard, Carrie and Alice stand in a triangle formation at Alice Tremond's front door.

If 3 of the same wins the jackpot then as soon as these last 3 aspects of Laura see each other, they should merge. Why doesn’t this happen right away? Well, to start, it’s really 4 – Carrie, Richard, Alice and Laura. Carrie is repressing Laura but she’s still there. So, though it appears to be on the surface, it’s not actually a jackpot scenario. Laura has 4 selves to merge and is trying to open both her throat and third eye chakras.

This brings to mind another concept which overlaps with the spiritual journey.

The Squaring of the Circle

Jung explains the idea as such: “Squaring the circle… breaks down the original chaotic unity into the four elements and then combines them again in a higher unity.” Franck Boulègue writes about this idea in his book Squaring the Circle, relating it to a number of ideas, but let’s look at it from the perspective of Laura’s journey and this formation in the doorway.

A circle within a square within a triangle within a larger circle.

The inner circle is the “chaotic unity” of Laura’s inner world. After some balance is restored, we travel 430 miles and should eventually reach the square. There should be four selves that then turn into 3 when Richard and Alice merge as the third eye. This allows for integration with Carrie, so there’s only 2—Carrie and Laura. Then when Carrie and Laura become one we reach the outer circle, the crown chakra where all is unified.

On the surface, while Richard and Carrie face Alice, the three of them form the triangle:

Richard and Carrie and Alice standing in a triangle formation at the front door of the Palmer house..

But because there are actually four of them, it’s really a square.

The square is the four selves at Alice’s door. From there we should move to the triangle but there’s another problem. It’s not 4, it’s 5! Cooper is not fully Richard. It’s Carrie, Laura, Richard, Cooper, and Alice, and who knows who else Alice is. We know she’s also Mrs. Chalfont, just to start. The Trickster strikes again.

So nothing happens at Alice Tremond’s door.

Or does it? It certainly feels like something is happening, and we know Cooper never gives up.

In Find Laura, Lou Ming wrote what I think is one of the the most incredible observations ever made about Twin Peaks.

While Laura and Cooper stand bewildered at Alice Tremond’s door, we see an attempt at unification happen.

The reflections in the glass of Alice Tremond's door turning from Carrie to Cooper to young Laura.

Look closely at each image, specifically the reflection in the glass on the door. The reflection changes from Carrie to Cooper to young Laura.

It is undeniable that the reflection changes from Carrie to Cooper and in the last picture on the right, the faintest of impressions, barely a whisper—Laura is young again. Lou thinks it’s Laura as she exists in this picture, a framed portrait of Laura that we saw earlier in the series inside the Palmer house:

Young Laura in a framed picture next to the image of young Laura reflected in the glass in Alice Tremond's door.

An attempt to integrate Richard, Cooper, Carrie and Laura happens only on the surface, literally a surface, the glass in the door.

Everyone remains attached to their fractured identities so the Kundalini rising is blocked, and we never reach the outer circle of divine consciousness, the crown chakra. We don’t even square the circle.

Carrie and Cooper walk down the stairs, they descend. Behind them is a dead-end sign.

A dead end sign in the distance as Cooper looks at the Palmer house from the street.
Is this the end of the road?

Sarah’s voice calls out.

Carrie looks at the Palmer house as the stands in the street.

And Carrie recognizes it. How is this possible if this is still Laura’s “dream”? The sound of Sarah calling Laura’s name is lifted from the Pilot, and if Laura ran away the night before she would never have heard this exact sound, and it would be impossible for her to hear it now.

But remember, she is in a version of our world and that exact sound exists here.

Carrie and Laura scream together.

Sarah’s voice triggers Carrie, awakening Laura. All of Laura’s memories come flooding back in. Listen to the sounds, the scream is not only Carrie’s, it’s double-layered, it’s Carrie and Laura screaming at the same time. Though Carrie has not integrated Cooper and Alice, she has merged with Laura and has definitely opened her throat chakra.

Is the Kundalini rising a success then?




A black screen next to Laura whispering her secret to Cooper in the Red Room.

Carrie-Laura’s shriek blows out the lights and the Palmer house goes dark. The screen turns black, and as noted by Twin Perfect, we are left facing our own reflections in the TV screen.

Then we see Cooper and Laura back in the Red Room as Badalamenti’s Dark Space Low fills us with despair. She is back in the root chakra, in what Lou Ming calls the “starting position” where Laura tells Cooper her secret.

The unification of Carrie and Laura is too traumatic for Laura to ascend further. She couldn’t open her third eye, and they never reach the 7th chakra. Even worse, the telling of the secret plays in reverse, suggesting everything is going backwards, descending.


Yet, the ending is not as dark as most people think.

Most people never reach the crown chakra at any point in their lives. Most don’t come close to the third eye. So for Laura to have come this far, as broken as she is, is astonishing. I think it speaks to the strength of the human heart, the will to endure and survive, even thrive after the most horrific experiences. There is hope.

They will try again, time and time again, they will try.

Laura opens her face and shines her light on Cooper.
Perhaps this light exists inside Laura from a previous attempt to reach the crown.

As Above, So Below

The Palmer house in Part 18 when the lights blow out.

If we lived today in the golden age, we would be there at the end of Twin Peaks… But we don’t live there, so we are in front of the Palmer house.
– David Lynch, Cahiers du Cinema interview, 2017

Laura begins each episode facing her shadow. Her perspective is the same as the camera, which makes each of us watching One and the same. This is why Season 3 ends in a version of our world, with Mary Reber, the real life owner of the Palmer house, playing Mrs. Tremond. Most significantly, it’s why we are left staring at ourselves after Laura’s scream ends the dream. We haven’t progressed to the golden age because so many of us are stuck at “animal life,” struggling to overcome our own traumas and causing darkness in others. The black holes inside us and around us make it difficult for each person to integrate and balance, hindering our group efforts to move beyond.

But Laura won’t stop trying, and neither should we. If we can unite to try and fit all the Twin Peaks puzzle pieces together, we can find common ground from which we can collectively ascend.

Dorothy and friends moving from the red and orange poppies down the yellow brick road to the Emerald City.

Let’s meet in the middle, at the heart, down the long winding road.

We are such stuff as dreams are made on.

This article is dedicated to the memory of Michael Chatham
and his tulpas Lou Ming and ImNotMeImNotMe
who continue to inspire our
of Twin Peaks.
You can read
Find Laura

The beautiful image of the spider weaving its web of dreams is a photograph by
the supremely talented Teo Chin Leong instagram: @teochinleong78

Written by Kristina Spencer


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  1. Yes! That was one of the best synopses I’ve ever read about TP, and blends well with some of the other theories out there — talk about an absolute mental juggernaut of a piece of art pulled off by Lynch & Frost — you can make the argument that there are multiple complete arcs happening simultaneously with different plots/themes/outcomes — i.e., this one, with rising kundalini, the John Thorne Ominous Whoosh (Cooper is the Dreamer), the “Laura Bomb.” There is so much in there that merges perceptions. Great work!

    • Thank you! I completely agree re multiple arcs, Cooper’s journey is a whole other analysis. I’d give anything to hear Frost talk about the writing in detail, of course Lynch too but that’s unlikely.

  2. This is awesome, thank you. I love how you end the piece too – there’s a big temptation to think of the mission in the Return as complete success or (more commonly) a total failure. Feels more like a journey with stops and detours that didn’t make it much closer or any closer to the destination but is still hopeful about the stubborn human spirit that makes us keep trying.

    • Thank you for reading it. I think that too, it’s about how we have to keep moving forward against everything pushing us back, whether it’s us ourselves or others.

    But seriously, this is one of the most in-depth and fascinating breakdowns of Twin Peaks I’ve ever read. Truly inspiring. An interesting little thought occurred to me while reading the heart chakra section: Ben Horne talks about how much he loved his bike next to his green lamp. Not only was his bike green as well, but he describes it as a two-tone green, both light and dark. Perhaps this symbolizes his own change of heart in trying to become a better person? I don’t know, I’m no expert, but a fun little idea I suppose.

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