Black Lodge spirits

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Nighthawk
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Black Lodge spirits

Postby Nighthawk » Sat Jul 04, 2015 3:55 am

The following gibberish is a collection of thoughts on the complicated, mystical realm of the Black Lodge (further abbreviated as BL). I am particularly interested in the intentions, motivations, hierarchical positions, and possible future developments in regards to the BL spirits imagined by Lynch. The Black Lodge was only fleetingly explored until the final episodes of the TV series and it wasn't until the events shown in Fire Walk With Me (FWWM) movie that further hints were dropped regarding the happenings in the spirit realm. And there are plenty...

The series and the movie gradually introduce supernatural characters that all turn out to be connected with the BL or at least with its waiting room. These characters include: Mike, Bob, MFAP, The Giant, Old Lady, The Grandson, The Electrician, Woodsman 1, Woodsman 2, and Jumping Man. In order to make sense of the current mess in the BL, it may be helpful to go back to the time prior to the anarchy caused by Mike's defection. The BL was essentially helmed by the red/blue duality of Mike and Bob. Per Mike's account to Cooper, the symbiosis between him and Bob effected a perfect relationship, a golden circle, as well as a machine bent on raping/killing women and, presumably, harvesting Garmonbozia.

At some point in time, if BL can be said to have a concept of time, Mike had a revelation of some sorts, and decided to cut off the malevolent part of his consciousness. Hence MFAP was born, as confirmed by MFAP's own words about him being "the arm". The rest of Mike's consciousness prevailed, but it was effectively cut off from the BL and limited to manifesting itself only while inhabiting the body of Phillip Gerrard. There are several bits of evidence confirming this hypothesis and one bit of evidence from FWWM that is just completely out of place, though not contradicting per se. More on that in a later post.

Phillip Gerrard is aware of being possessed by a spirit and takes drugs that suppress halucinogenic aspects of consciousness. This could mean that he does not want to be possessed, period. It could mean that he resents possession because Mike is an evil spirit or he thinks that Mike is still an evil spirit as Gerrard need not necessarily be privy to Mike's conversion. Generally it seems that Mike indeed had a major personality split, and the consciousness that resides outside the lodge is more akin to an ambiguously good human consciousness than the one-track evil exhibited by Bob or the former Mike persona.

Now it is time for even more esoteric speculation. It can be surmised that there is a connection between MFAP and Jumping Man. They both wear an identical red suit. The implication is that since MFAP is the malevolent part of Mike's consciousness remaining in the lodge, then Jumping Man is Mike's "body". Of course it is difficult to talk about spirits having a physical body, but there is some residue of the original Mike that still remains in the BL, probably because it wields two symbols of power: the red suit and the wooden sceptre. This "body" is of course just an empty shell, jumping around like a headless chicken, performing some distant approximation of a ritual dance that Mike (as the BL Magician) used to perform.

It appears that Mike is now in fact split into three entities. The spirit inhabiting Philip Gerrard, MFAP, and Jumping Man. MFAP fills an interim position as Yin to Bob's Yang, effectively co-heading the lodge. It is notable that MFAP, despite being just a part of former Mike, is still arguably the most powerful spirit in the lodge. Mike must have been a truly formidable entity. For some reason though, MFAP cannot wield the sceptre despite inheriting the red suit. He is not powerful enough to be the full fledged Magician. Also notice that the chair he sits on, at the green formica table, is way too big for him. One would think that the spirits would have the ability to adjust the chair size if it was meant to be permanently his.

The question then is: if MFAP is not the permanent new co-head of the lodge, then who is? The answer seems to be fairly obvious. It is The Grandson. I am not going to say Pierre Tremond or Chalfont because I believe he is neither. More detail on that later - just a short scoop now. He is the grandson of the old lady in as much as spirits can be said to have human-like familial connections. The reason for assuming this is that the old lady spirit refers to him as her grandson while neither she nor the boy ever refer to themselves as Tremonds or Chalfonts.

The Grandson wears a suit, albeit a black one, and wields a sceptre. Like MFAP, the Grandson is one step away from having both insignia of power requisite to be one half of the circle of power in the BL. He is in fact ahead of MFAP as his suit just needs to change colour, which seems contextually easier to achieve than to conjure a magical sceptre (or pry it out of the Jumping Man's cold dead hands). According to his grandmother's words, the Grandson is studying magic. It can be assumed then that the Grandson is heir apparent to Mike. Whether MFAP resents this state of affairs is unclear. A reasonable assumption is that the Grandson will eventually "earn" his red suit and ascend to fill the position left vacant by Mike.

Bob, with his coolness factor and general creepiness, is the easiest to pigeonhole. He is a power player in the BL, but he does not have the chops or the desire to take it over. He is an animalistic spirit that is bent on pursuing pleasure on the back of human pain/sorrow. He seems to be generally content with the state of affairs as long as he gets his Garmonbozia from human victims - usually female victims. By the way, Garmonbozia seems to be a rough approximation of cocaine that humans use and become addicted to. There are further parallels between the spirit world and the human world in Twin Peaks that shall be explored at another time.

There is not enough information to dwell extensively on the nature of the Electrician and both Woodsmen. So far they have not played any major part of the story. A hypothesis about one of the woodsmen being the late husband of the log lady seems plausible and that might have some interesting implications, but that too is a story for a different post.

The last character to look at is, of course, the Giant. He may or may not be a BL spirit though there is little doubt that he is a real presence and powerful one too, as even Mike seems apprehensive of him. One question that could be posed is whether the Giant ever attends the meetings "above a convenience store". In the iconic FWWM scene showing a lodge spirit meeting, there is one oblique reason to think that he might - notice the huge gap on the couch between the Grandson and Woodsman 1. The Giant's mythology is a whole separate topic though so it is best left for another time as well.

That's all for today. Hopefully the above ramblings were entertaining enough to read all the way through :)
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LostInTheMovies
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Re: Black Lodge spirits

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:09 pm

Nighthawk wrote:The following gibberish is a collection of thoughts on the complicated, mystical realm of the Black Lodge (further abbreviated as BL). I am particularly interested in the intentions, motivations, hierarchical positions, and possible future developments in regards to the BL spirits imagined by Lynch. The Black Lodge was only fleetingly explored until the final episodes of the TV series and it wasn't until the events shown in Fire Walk With Me (FWWM) movie that further hints were dropped regarding the happenings in the spirit realm. And there are plenty...


Lots of interesting food for thought. I have to ponder a lot of it and can't come down either way on certain things (like the identity of the Jumping Man or the Grandson's place in the hierarchy) until - hopefully - the new season provides more info.

Here are some of my half-connected responses:

I find the Little Man's and Phillip Gerard's actions in the film VERY hard to reconcile with Mike's explanation of events in the show. (There's another thread discussing it but the borders between discussions are very porous on dugpa, sort of like the membrane between two worlds in Twin Peaks ;) ). For one thing the Little Man does not seem to be allied with Bob in the film, as we might except Mike's evil side to be. There is also the weird fact that Mike doesn't know who Bob's host is on the show but knows in the movie. Furthermore, and this is more a general point about Lynch, division is almost never a positive thing in his world. In fact, more often than not, it is the very root of trouble and connotes denial, an inability to deal with reality. So it's hard to imagine why just this once, Mike's decision to lop of his "evil" arm, would be a good thing when it is so philosophically inconsistent with duality as Lynch usually presents it to us (including in Twin Peaks and particularly Fire Walk With Me).

Also, I increasingly think "Black Lodge" may be a misleading term to use when discussing these spirits. The Lodge terminology of the show is spoken only by human characters, based (ostensibly) on local Native American lore. It is their framework to make sense of what they face when they cross over into "another place." But how useful is it, really? I would argue that while Bob is clearly evil, and the giant seems to be clearly good, the other spirits are much more ambiguous. At times the Little Man is quite helpful to both Laura and Cooper. The Tremonds, creepy as hell, are also helpful. That their help simultaneously has a destructive quality only confuses matter further (especially since what they are destroying arguably needs to be destroyed). If anything, the power relations of these figures suggest something inhuman and amoral rather than downright "evil." Sort of like the old Greek gods.

That's the in-world explanation for why "Black Lodge" may be a misnomer. The out-world explanation is that Lynch himself clearly had nothing to do with the term's origination in the back half of the show, that he subverts it in the finale by incorporating previously "good" figures like the giant and Little Man, and that in Fire Walk With me he disposes with it altogether. No reference to a Black Lodge, and the only "Lodge" reference is Annie's statement, necessary because it refers directly to the events of the finale.

My argument would be that the human conception of a "Black and White Lodge" - opposed and cleanly delineated fields of good and evil - do not actually describe the "composition" (if that's the right word for a non-physical space) of the "other place". They describe the experiences humans may have when entering them because of their own conceptions of good vs. evil, but that is essentially an inner struggle being imposed upon the outer reality, which deals with much broader, indifferent, and harder-to-define energies and forces.

I will be most interested to see how the whole concept of a "Black Lodge" is toyed with in 2016 - who mentions it, how they mention it, if it's even mentioned at all.
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Re: Black Lodge spirits

Postby Nighthawk » Tue Jul 07, 2015 2:47 pm

LostInTheMovies wrote:I find the Little Man's and Phillip Gerard's actions in the film VERY hard to reconcile with Mike's explanation of events in the show. (There's another thread discussing it but the borders between discussions are very porous on dugpa, sort of like the membrane between two worlds in Twin Peaks ;) ). For one thing the Little Man does not seem to be allied with Bob in the film, as we might expect Mike's evil side to be.


That's true. The "present" relationship of MFAP and Bob is rather ambiguous. MFAP doesn't seem to be directly interested in killing like Bob is, though he does want his Garmonbozia.

LostInTheMovies wrote:There is also the weird fact that Mike doesn't know who Bob's host is on the show but knows in the movie.


Yes, that's what I had in mind when I mentioned things that do not fit. Mike, in the skin of Phillip Gerrard, screams at Leland (Bob) with first hand knowledge of the convenience store meeting, pissed off about stolen Garmonbozia, and point-blank tells Laura that her father is her tormentor. In the series he is completely disconnected from Bob and MFAP. He does not point Cooper towards Leland (or doesn't want to). There is a possible discontinuity in the narrative and it may very well be due to Lynch trying to get the story more along the lines of his personal philosophy.

LostInTheMovies wrote:Furthermore, and this is more a general point about Lynch, division is almost never a positive thing in his world. In fact, more often than not, it is the very root of trouble and connotes denial, an inability to deal with reality. So it's hard to imagine why just this once, Mike's decision to lop of his "evil" arm, would be a good thing when it is so philosophically inconsistent with duality as Lynch usually presents it to us (including in Twin Peaks and particularly Fire Walk With Me).


Mike may have had good intentions in trying to purge himself, but he didn't succeed. FWWM makes it quite clear that Mike is still an ambiguous character. The lack of clearly delineated "good" and "evil" is a great strength of Twin Peaks.

LostInTheMovies wrote:Also, I increasingly think "Black Lodge" may be a misleading term to use when discussing these spirits. The Lodge terminology of the show is spoken only by human characters, based (ostensibly) on local Native American lore. It is their framework to make sense of what they face when they cross over into "another place." But how useful is it, really?


Great points. A particularly telling factor is that we have never seen the "White" Lodge. Major Briggs believes he has visited it, but his memories are jumbled, inaccessible. Perhaps there is just one supernatural realm and there is no clear distinction between the "good" and "evil" aspects of it.

LostInTheMovies wrote:I would argue that while Bob is clearly evil, and the giant seems to be clearly good, the other spirits are much more ambiguous. At times the Little Man is quite helpful to both Laura and Cooper. The Tremonds, creepy as hell, are also helpful. That their help simultaneously has a destructive quality only confuses matter further (especially since what they are destroying arguably needs to be destroyed). If anything, the power relations of these figures suggest something inhuman and amoral rather than downright "evil." Sort of like the old Greek gods.


I think the spirits are largely like human beings. I already mentioned the relation between Garmonbozia and cocaine being comparable vices, but there is more. Both humans and spirits have fringe characters that engage in "risky" behaviors. Humans have a red curtained cabin where they engage is rough sex and drugs, while spirits have a red curtained Lodge where they engage in killing humans and harvesting Garmonbozia. These fringe characters of both worlds are the ones most likely to cross over and mingle with each other. There are paragons of goodness on both sides (Cooper, Giant, Briggs), but whether they are ultimately positive forces is unclear.

LostInTheMovies wrote:That's the in-world explanation for why "Black Lodge" may be a misnomer. The out-world explanation is that Lynch himself clearly had nothing to do with the term's origination in the back half of the show, that he subverts it in the finale by incorporating previously "good" figures like the giant and Little Man, and that in Fire Walk With me he disposes with it altogether. No reference to a Black Lodge, and the only "Lodge" reference is Annie's statement, necessary because it refers directly to the events of the finale.


Certainly the good/evil duality seems to be a misnomer. It would make sense that "another place" is just as convoluted and multi-faceted as our world.

LostInTheMovies wrote:My argument would be that the human conception of a "Black and White Lodge" - opposed and cleanly delineated fields of good and evil - do not actually describe the "composition" (if that's the right word for a non-physical space) of the "other place". They describe the experiences humans may have when entering them because of their own conceptions of good vs. evil, but that is essentially an inner struggle being imposed upon the outer reality, which deals with much broader, indifferent, and harder-to-define energies and forces.

I will be most interested to see how the whole concept of a "Black Lodge" is toyed with in 2016 - who mentions it, how they mention it, if it's even mentioned at all.


I think it's less important whether they call it a Black Lodge, perhaps we can call it Spirit Realm in the meantime. It's still just as interesting :)
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Re: Black Lodge spirits

Postby lilyofthevalley » Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:32 pm

I wanted to ask...are all black lodge spirits "evil" or? I just wanted to ask because the Tremonds...the young boy and the older woman...why did they give Laura the portrait to have Dale warn her about what was going to happen with the ring? And, the Giant...why did he seemingly help Dale? What with warning him about Maddy dying,etc...? I was always confused by these actions from them? Can someone clarify this stuff for me?
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Re: Black Lodge spirits

Postby Nighthawk » Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:59 pm

lilyofthevalley wrote:I wanted to ask...are all black lodge spirits "evil" or? I just wanted to ask because the Tremonds...the young boy and the older woman...why did they give Laura the portrait to have Dale warn her about what was going to happen with the ring? And, the Giant...why did he seemingly help Dale? What with warning him about Maddy dying,etc...? I was always confused by these actions from them? Can someone clarify this stuff for me?


The "Tremonds" likely don't have any association with the Tremond family. They simply squatted in the Tremond house to make contact with Donna. When Donna came back to the house later, with agent Cooper, the actual Mrs. Tremond informed her that her mother has died (three years prior) and that she had no grandson. They also squatted in the Chalfont trailer. Chalfont is a distinctly unusual name in an American trailer park, or anywhere in America, and the keeper seems surprised upon recalling that two families of Chalfonts have occupied it consecutively. It's likely that Lodge spirits simply took on a name of the last occupant, just like they did later with the Tremonds, in order to seem plausible to other humans. They might not have any extensive knowledge about human society after all.

lilyofthevalley wrote:why did they give Laura the portrait to have Dale warn her about what was going to happen with the ring?


Probably because they are not distinctly evil. They have their own motivations that sometimes align and sometimes contradict the interests of good humans.

lilyofthevalley wrote:And, the Giant...why did he seemingly help Dale? What with warning him about Maddy dying,etc...? I was always confused by these actions from them? Can someone clarify this stuff for me?


No clarification pending, I am afraid :) :) The Giant is ambiguous. He is thought to be entirely good, but his motivations are unknown. It's interesting that Mike did not want to reveal the Giant's origin while questioned in the Police Department.
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Re: Black Lodge spirits

Postby anarchangelic » Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:58 pm

I have found myself thinking (and especially with what was newly shown in The Missing Pieces) that there may be some direct correlation to be made with the spirits in the lodge and the planets of our solar system, including the gods which they already reflect.

The first to mention is "Mrs. Tremond", as she (as the only represented "female" is obviously Venus/Aphrodite. Now the first glaring inconsistency seems to be that she looks old and unattractive (in any traditional sense of beauty-desire), but I see this as indicative of the fact that she no longer chooses to consume Garbonzia (soma,ambrosia). So she has risen above the ego portion of her old existence, and no longer thinks it is fair to feed off of humans in order to give her prideful "strength" (beauty).
Another clue to this may be the statue of Venus which is present in the lodge, as sort of a permanent reminder of what she once was, being reflected either as her own sub-alter-ego, or by the lodge processes.
The last clue ties into the next, for her closest relationship is with her "grandson", which I would suggest to be Hermes/Mercury. Aphrodite had a relationship with Hermes (specifically post-Ares, meaning this "old" form of her would certainly not be with Ares anymore).

The boy's depiction shares some clue to Hermes. Most notable would be the small sceptre he carries. As mentioned in above posts, I agree that this seems to indicate that he is in place to rise into a high position. This works for Hermes, because some other occult clues might point to Hermes Trismegistus as becoming or being the same reference to Odin/Wotan. So this "next" All-father which is set to replace the current rulers (of whom I will get to next) fits in line with the "timeline" of Norse mythology supplanting Greek/Roman.

So this leaves us with MIke and Bob being Chronos/Saturn and Zeus/Jupiter. The first big clue is that the lodge can be opened when these two planets align (which is apparently called The Great Conjunction in some traditions). Mike is clearly able to manipulate the perception of time, as Chronos is said the be the god of time. Mike's "ring" of contract could be seen to be a reflection of the powerful rings of Saturn, binding others into his rulership. In one form, Mike is a giant, which could represent his nature as a Titan in mythology, more prime compared to the next stage gods like Zeus, Hermes, and Aphrodite. Yet within the mythology, the "greater" Titans do get supplanted, and we might be witnessing the reflection of Jupiter ascending due to Mike/Chronus losing some of his power due to the severance. (In fact, I have seen someone link TMFAP and the Giant as the twin stars of Sirius . . . so what if this indicates that the severance was so powerful that the residence of his spirit was pushed outwards into the deeper galaxy?)

So going along with this, I am also suggesting that not only are they reflections of the concepts of these planets, but that in some way they might represent some waveform emanating directly from these celestial spheres . . . going up and down, descending from pure air, to connect (via electricity or nature) with animal life on this planet.

Since there is so little info on the other ones, I could not really place them. Perhaps the one with the reddish beard would be Ares/Mars. The one who gives sort of a hand raising motion would be Uranus because he was a Titan as well rather than a god, so perhaps has a slightly higher level of authority. This would mean that the other Woodsman and the Electrician would have to be Neptune and Pluto, but any reasoning falls apart there. And I cannot come to terms with what exactly the Jumping Man is in the first place — whether a completely separate entity, some alternate reflection of Mike, or a vaguer over-arching presence which facilitates things — so I certainly can't fit him into this musing.
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Re: Black Lodge spirits

Postby Ygdrasel » Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:43 pm

lilyofthevalley wrote:I wanted to ask...are all black lodge spirits "evil" or? I just wanted to ask because the Tremonds...the young boy and the older woman...why did they give Laura the portrait to have Dale warn her about what was going to happen with the ring? And, the Giant...why did he seemingly help Dale? What with warning him about Maddy dying,etc...? I was always confused by these actions from them? Can someone clarify this stuff for me?


"Evil" in human terms, arguably. They feed on 'pain and sorrow' after all. Sounds super evil.

But it is for survival. And there is no evil in survival.
They transcend short-sighted human morality in any case.


As for the actions of the Spirits, I believe it is all in an effort to thwart BOB.
Not because he is evil and they are good but because he violates the rules of their realm.
Twin Peaks has layers, man. Twin Peaks is an onion. 8)

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