Catching the Big Fish- Thoughts & Comments


Catching the Big Fish is quite short, it’s a 2 hour audio-book, read by David Lynch. He discusses how he directs his movies, the thought processes behind his art, and how he uses transcendental meditation daily. I am not a fan of, nor have I used TM myself, but I think all meditation is useful, and I looked past the technique mentioned here.

I really enjoyed this audio-book, as I think meditation is the most important activity that can change your life. I’m also a big fan of David Lynch and his work. Some of my favorite movies are directed by him: Mulholland Drive, Eraser Head, and Twin Peaks. I was drawn into these worlds, since I first saw the Twin Peaks TV show as a teenager.

These are some of the ideas that stood out to me in this book:

We’re all supposed to get along together

David Lynch talks about how other Hollywood directors, use manipulation, or get really angry at their actors when the scene doesn’t turn out as the they originally pictured it. David Lynch believes that the directors and the cast must all work together when creating art.

Drug usage

“We all want expanded consciousness and bliss. It’s a natural, human desire. And a lot of people look for it in drugs. But the problem is that the body, the physiology, takes a hard hit on drugs. Drugs injure the nervous system, so they just make it harder to get those experiences on your own.” 

I thought this was interesting, he believes that long term meditation can have the same effects as drugs. I have certainly felt weird sensations after meditating for over 20 minutes. There are many other people that also talk about how presence can have a similar effect to psychedelics.

The acid I experienced has almost a violent thing where violently the perceptions, sense perceptions become so magnified that there was no room for thinking any more. But I could see why people say, for some people it’s a glimpse of what it means to perceive the world without this continuous interference of mental noise”- Eckhart Tolle

Expanding consciousness through meditation

“If you have a golf-ball-sized consciousness, when you read a book, you’ll have a golf-ball-sized understanding; when you look out a window, a golf-ball-sized awareness… But if you can expand that consciousness, make it grow, then when you read that book, you’ll have more understanding; when you look out, more awareness; when you wake up, more wakefulness”

Mindfulness and meditation grow your consciousness, which improves your quality of life. You bring that level of awareness with you into other things. For example, sometimes at work, or when reading a book, awareness drifts off, with meditation things like that happen less often and you can stay focused for extended periods of time.

Like attracts like

“The beautiful thing is that when you catch one fish that you love, even if it’s a little fish—a fragment of an idea—that fish will draw in other fish, and they’ll hook onto it. Then you’re on your way. Soon there are more and more and more fragments, and the whole thing emerges. But it starts with desire.”

I believe that this is a perfect example of the upward/downward spirals, we experience in life. If you are happy on the inside, you start attracting happy people, your life situation becomes more positive, and you start seeing and doing things positively: working out more, eating healthy etc. If you are depressed, everything around you goes into a downward spiral, and it becomes increasingly difficult to get out of it.

It takes time to get into the right mental state

“If you want to get one hour of good painting in, you have to have four hours of uninterrupted time.”

This is perfect for game. Running good game, requires getting ‘in state’ which requires mentally getting into a fun state and building a vibe. At least personally I find this to be true. It is much easier to do game, if you’re going out 4 nights a week and you have momentum.

On cinema

“Cinema is a language. It can say things—big, abstract things. And I love that about it. I’m not always good with words. Some people are poets and have a beautiful way of saying things with words. But cinema is its own language. And with it you can say so many things, because you’ve got time and sequences. You’ve got dialogue. You’ve got music. You’ve got sound effects. You have so many tools. And you can express a feeling and a thought that can’t be conveyed any other way. Its a magical medium.

Check out the book on Amazon here:

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