The Peaksian Book of the Dead

Let me make my path so that I may go in peace into the beautiful Amentet, and let the Lake of Osiris be mine. Let me make my path, and let me enter in, and let me adore Osiris, the Lord of life.

(The Egyptian Book of the Dead, Chapter CXXII).

For the past three decades, audiences worldwide have been reflecting on Twin Peaks, the mysterious and surreal television series created by David Lynch and Mark Frost in the early 1990s. Set in a small Northwestern town[1] where nothing is truly ever what it seems, the series is filled with numerous superimpositions of images and symbolism. It is mythologically syncretic and intertextual to the extreme, as well as permeated with an oneiric atmosphere. The eponymous peaks supposedly refer to the Blue Pine and White Tail mountains at the foot of which lies the imaginary town.

For the past three decades, audiences worldwide have been reflecting on Twin Peaks, the mysterious and surreal television series created by David Lynch and Mark Frost in the early 1990s. Set in a small Northwestern town[1] where nothing is truly ever what it seems, the series is filled with numerous superimpositions of images and symbolism. It is mythologically syncretic and intertextual to the extreme, as well as permeated with an oneiric atmosphere. The eponymous peaks supposedly refer to the Blue Pine and White Tail mountains at the foot of which lies the imaginary town.

In addition to its many nods towards Theosophy, Transcendental Meditation, James Joyce, Carl Jung, Dante, the Bible, Buddhism, the Ramayana and the Odyssey – to cite a few – the third season also hints at the role played by Ancient Egypt in its construction. To begin, one needs to know about two important mountains in Egyptian mythology – Bakhau (or Bakhatet) and Manu. Ancient Egyptians believed that Ra, King of the Gods, was the sun who rode through the sky (a sea of sorts) on two sailing vessels, Sektet and Atet. The recurrence of sky vortices in season 3, akin to sea maelstroms, indicates how this relates to Twin Peaks.

The royal boats (one for the morning, the other for the evening) sailed every day towards the dark underworld kingdom of Osiris where they continued their course in the opposite direction, rising again in the East the next morning in an eternally looped cycle – an eternal “return”, really. The twin mountains of Bakhau in the East (sunrise, linked to Isis) and of Manu in the West (sunset, linked to Nephthys) were found on Ra’s path, marking the spots where the sun enters and exists the Duat, the underworld. They delineated the limits between day and night, as well as between life and death, and were the most eastern and western points of the sun’s course. The idea was that the East symbolized life and that the West was linked to dreams (the night) and death. This explains, for instance, why the pyramids (the pharaohs’ tombs) were built on the West bank of the river Nile, the life-giving stream so central to Egyptian existence. This river is echoed in Twin Peaks via the Wind River – the Nile’s American imaginary equivalent, likely associated with the river Ganges in India as well – that appears in the opening credits. They are intimately connected to the discovery of the dead body of Laura Palmer “wrapped in plastic”. It thus appears that the series refers to what takes place between these twin peaks, during those cosmological days and/or nights. The recurrence of injunctions to “wake up!” during The Return leads to one possible understanding that, mythologically speaking, the season takes place at night.

But who needs to awaken? Dale Cooper, first and foremost, and through him, Gordon Cole/David Lynch. Expelled from the transcendental realm of the Lodges in which he remained trapped for 25 years while his evil doppelgänger Mr. C roamed the world, Cooper “resurrects” as the childish Dougie Jones in Las Vegas, an amnesiac who doesn’t recall his true identity. This leads to the question: who truly is Dale Cooper? According to The Egyptian Book of the Dead[2] – a collection of religious texts meant to guide the souls of the deceased through the afterlife[3] – it can be argued that he is none other than Osiris himself[4].  

Osiris’ story is the central myth of ancient Egypt. Associated with the Moon[5] and the north wind, bringer of agriculture and civilization, Osiris was often represented seated on his otherworldly throne (the throne of the Dweller in the Lake of Double Fire), something reminiscent of Cooper in his Red Room armchair.  

Osiris was the god and judge of the Other World (also known as Amentet, or Duat), conqueror of death, who made men and women to be born again. He was one of the dying and resurrecting gods[6]. Osiris’ evil brother Set, after having trapped him inside a casket, drowned him in the river Nile and later cut him up into pieces, which he spread all over the land of Egypt and in its river. Isis, Osiris’ wife, was nonetheless able to gather all the pieces together – except for his penis that has been eaten by a fish – and conceive a son with him, Horus. But since Osiris was incomplete, he could no longer rule over the living and was consigned to become lord of the underworld (the Duat). His son Horus then waged an endless war against his uncle Set to avenge the murder of Osiris, whose position as king of the world he assumed[7].

The links to what takes place in season 3 are striking. If Cooper is Osiris, he was killed by his brother/doppelgänger Mr C (Set)[8], before being split into several copies of himself (Mr. C, Dougie Jones, Richard). Cooper/Osiris was resurrected as Dougie Jones (Horus). When Cooper finally makes it to Las Vegas, he exits the electric plug in Rancho Rosa straight as a mummified pharaoh in his sarcophagus; note the pattern drawn by the shutters on the floor, that mimics the wheat growing from Osiris’ body in the following vignette.

This new version of Osiris can be associated with Horus fighting his uncle Set, while his wife Diane/Naido (Isis)[9] helps him through his various trials. Naido lives in a strange place by the purple ocean, a dwelling that resembles the interior of a temple – its balcony, with its two pylons, actually looks a bit like the Temple of Isis on the island of Philae.

The Red Room itself hints at Egyptian mythology with its chevron floor pattern, similar to the way water was depicted in hieroglyphics. When Cooper is expelled from the Lodges (“non-exist-ent!”), the floor opens up under his feet to reveal a pool into which he falls. The Book of the Dead asks, ” Who is he whose heaven is of fire [the fiery red drapes of the Lodges?], whose walls are surmounted by living urea, and the floor of whose house is a stream of water? Who is he, I say. It is Osiris”.

The split between a transcendental version of Cooper stuck in the Lodges/the afterlife and copies of himself acting in the “real” world echoes the structure of Finnegans Wake (with HCE as the equivalent of Cooper/Osiris, and Shaun/Shem as doubles of Mr. C and Dougie) and the Ramayana (Vishnu and his various avatars). In Wandering and Return in Finnegans Wake, author Kimberley J. Devlin argues that “HCE identifies throughout the Wake with heroes and leaders that come back after long absence or presumed destruction: The Flying Dutchman, Odysseus, Osiris, King Arthur, Rip van Winkle. These figures return, moreover, not only within their stories and myths, but also in the larger scheme of recorded history: the dreamer’s appropriation of them bespeaks a desire for similarly legendary status, for literary if not bodily immortality”. The Flying Dutchman, Odysseus, Osiris, Arthur… Twin Peaks: The Return much?

Is it possible to find other ancient Egyptian counterparts to the characters of The Return? Both Gordon Cole and Albert Rosenfield work for the FBI, whose logo – as made apparent on the cover of Mark Frost’s The Final Dossier – is a scale. Upon entering the Egyptian Other World, the souls of the deceased[10] were said to be first brought to the Hall of Judgements, where their hearts (the dwelling of their souls[11]) were weighed against a feather of the goddess Maat (truth) by the gods Anubis, guide of the souls, and Thoth, Osiris’ scribe and wise counselor, who helped Isis put her husband back together. Those who were condemned in the judgement were devoured right away by the Eater of the Dead and ceased to exist.

This would make Albert, forensics specialist in the FBI, and Gordon, counselor of Cooper, likely manifestations of Anubis and Thoth alongside Cooper/Osiris, assisting him in his quest to bring justice to his kingdom.

Tamara Preston also finds a rightful place in this Egyptian reading of Twin Peaks, because her first name etymologically means “palm tree”, something immediately associated with the banks of the Nile river (this is also true of the “Palmers”, of course). The vignette to Chapter LVIII of the Book of the Dead is noteworthy, as it depicts palm trees on the edges of a pool of running water, rendered with the usual chevron motif. Her last name also makes sense: Preston means the “priest’s settlement”. The presence of a priest next to Anubis and Thoth is a welcome addition to the duo.

The omnipresence of food in the series, from doughnuts to coffee and cherry pies, also resonates with Ancient Egypt in the sense that Egyptains made food offerings to the dead in order to feed them in the afterlife: “I make to eat of the sweet things which he giveth there the Osiris Nefer-uben-f, triumphant, that is to say, the celestial cakes which are before Ra, and the grain, and drink, and the four terrestrial cakes which are before the god Seb, and the grain brought by the citizens” (Book of the Dead, Chapter CLXIX).

What of the Fireman? The cryptic character is associated with Zeus because due to the floor of his Palace, a reproduction of Jupiter’s atmosphere. The equivalent of the lord of Olympus in Egypt was Ra, the noon sun (fire) King of the Gods[12], the Aged One, creator of life and controller of crops. In his incarnation as Atum (the evening sun), he was supposed to have created himself out of the watery abyss of ocean Nun, the liquid mass out of which all the gods were evolved. At the beginning of time, he existed alone in this ocean which filled the universe. Atum created everything in human form out of the chaos and Ra then began to rule over the earth where humans and divine beings coexisted. This resonates with the fact that the Fireman lives on top of a peak in the middle of an endless purple ocean, the primordial watery mass mentioned above.

Ra was married to Hathor (who was also his mother), with whom he gave birth to goddess Maat. The underworld itself was interpreted as the womb of Hathor, from which the deceased soul would be reborn. Senorita Dido can very easily be associated with Hathor, “mistress of the stars”, the “Golden One”. An afterlife and sky deity, she was originally worshipped in the form of a cow wearing a menat necklace symbolizing rebirth (Menat was one of the names of Hathor). She was linked to maternal care, something she clearly displays with the radiant golden orb of Laura. The milky sap that comes from the sycamore tree was associated with Hathor, as it represented life[13].

As far as Maat is concerned, she was a young woman who symbolized balance, truth, and harmony, and she was meant to guarantee the basic equilibrium of the universe[14]. Arguably, this echoes Laura’s role in The Return (as well as David Lynch’s obsession with balance), sent to earth by the Fireman to restore order after the detonation of the first atomic bomb in 1945. Interestingly, Maat was the wife of Thoth – is this the reason why Laura appears crying at Gordon’s hotel door in The Return, soon eclipsed by Albert? Certainly, David Lynch seems to be married to the idea of Laura, which he has now been following for three decades.

It is worth noting here that Ra is also known as Khepri[15], the morning sun[16], a scarab-faced deity who represents creation and the renewal of life (the scarab was supposed to renew the sun every day before rolling it through the sky with its legs, as its earthly counterparts do with balls of dung[17]). He is the god of matter which is on the point of passing from inertness into life, as well as of the body from which a spiritual envelope bursts forth. Osiris, Atum, Ra, and Khepri are basically the same god at different moments of his journey through the sky and the underworld (when Ra was in the underworld, he merged with Osiris). To put it into Peaks-speak: “one and the same” (when the Arm utters this phrase in season 2, he likely intends to equate Cooper with the Fireman). Chapter XVII of the Book of the Dead states: “The double divine Soul which dwelleth in the divine Twin-Gods is the Soul of Ra and the Soul of Osiris”[18].

In the context of Twin Peaks, though, Khepri’s appearance amounts to an apocalypse of sorts. The new day brought by this deity basically means the end of the night sleep in which the series takes place. This is what takes place in part 18, after Cooper and Diane have had sex – the world awakens to a new reality where nothing is exactly the same anymore. Hawk warned of this danger when he explained his map to Sheriff Truman, pointing at the black spot corresponding to what Mr. C “wants” (it’s the same symbol displayed on the ace of spades card from part 2). Much speculation concerning the meaning of this symbol has accompanied its revelation. I believe it is the face of Khepri, and I think it was designed with the superimposition of images that takes place in part 17, when Cooper’s giant face appears behind the scene in the sheriff’s office. The black spot is the face of Cooper’s version in the office itself, while the “antennae” are the eyebrows of his giant superimposed self. This clearly associates Cooper with Khepri, andwhat Mr. C “wants” – which is the power to take control of the sun and end creation. Cooper unwillingly achieves this by playing with spacetime in parts 17 and 18, trying to save Laura, but actually leading the Twin Peaks universe to the end of times (“what year is this?”). What he achieves is not so much “destruction as creation” than “creation as destruction”[19]. Luckily enough, Laura/Carrie’s shriek – the thunderclap from Finnegans Wake – defeats the electrical powers of Joudy and restores the balance of the universe by creating a closed loop.

From an Egyptian point of view, Joudy might very well be Apep (otherwise known as Apophis, and addressed as a “creature of wax”), the primordial god of chaos, a giant snake that attacks the celestial boat of his archenemy Ra every night, endeavoring to obstruct its passage and that of the souls with him into the kingdom of day. “When Ra came to the mountain (Bakhau, Mountain of Sunrise) in his boat, he attacked the serpent with an iron harpoon and made him vomit” (E. A. Wallis Budge). And in Chapter CVIII: “this serpent which dwelleth on his hill, ‘Dweller in his fire’ is his name… he maketh Suti to depart, having the harpoon of iron in him, and thereby he is caused to throw up everything which he hath eaten, and thereby is Set put into his place of restraint”. The depiction of Mother – the white cosmic Experiment from part 8 that vomits a great number of eggs (including the Frogmoth’s and the rock with BOB’s face in it) inside a gelatinous substance – corresponds to the way amphibians give birth, while the eggs themselves seem closer to those of reptiles. The serpent Apep is believed to have had its arms cut off, which might be the reason why the Experiment’s arms are inverted. Interestingly, in relationship to the various scenes in the Red Room, here is how the fight against Apep is described: “I have driven back Apep, I have made him to walk backwards” (Chapter C).

One could also argue that the Experiment represents the goddess of the sky, Nut, one of the oldest deities in the Egyptian pantheon. She is often depicted as a cow or as a sycamore tree, the same sort of tree found in the Ghostwood Forest by the entrance to the Red Room. Heavenly bodies such as the sun and the moon were said to travel across her body, swallowed at dusk and reborn at dawn. The fact that the Experiment vomits in part 8 immediately following the Trinity Test explosion draws a parallel to Nut. Additionally, she is known as Nuit in Thelema, and described as the ‘Queen of Infinite Space’. But she was understood as a positive deity, which is certainly not the case for Joudy.

As for the Woodsmen, could they somehow be linked to the Seven Spirits, “terrible beings… who cut off the heads of men, and broke their necks and seized their hearts, and performed slaughters at the Lake of Fire”? Or perhaps the eight crocodiles who dwell in the West?

Either way, the forces of evil are fought by the divine trinity constituted of Atum, the sun god of creation, Ra, the sun god who maintains the universe, and Khepri, the sun god who renews the day by destroying the previous night. This division is reminiscent of the one found in Hinduism, where the Trimurti–composed of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiv– performs many of the same tasks as those listed above. In Christianity, God the Son, God the Father, and the Holy Ghost, make a similar triumvirate. In Twin Peaks, finally, it can be argued that Laura (Christlike in her Passion, who suffers and dies for our sins), the Fireman (who restores balance after the Trinity Test explosion), and Cooper (who destroys one timeline in order to create another) resonate with these comparative religious archetypes.

The role of the Freemasons in Mark Frost’s The Secret History of Twin Peaks constitutes one last hint at the centrality of ancient Egyptian mythology in the context of the series. In his book The House of the Hidden Places, published at the end of the 19th Century, W. Marsham Adams connects the maze of various passages and chambers inside the Pyramid of Cheops (or Khufu) to The Book of the Dead, arguing that the masonic design of the structure was meant to mimic the path of the soul towards the afterlife, “the various stages traversed, according to the creed of that ancient nation, by the holy dead in passing from the light of earth to the light of eternal day”. He  writes, “in dealing with the ideas thus masonified, so to speak, in that mysterious structure, I have been led, or rather compelled, to employ phrases and symbols current among the Masonic brotherhood of the present day”, and he suggests that “vestiges of this secret doctrine of the Light may survive in the esoteric doctrine of… those subject to Masonic rules”.

Some of the descriptions he provides are quite reminiscent of the Woodsman’s radio litany from part 8: “At the bottom of the Well… Into that chamber of the Deep Waters the postulant descends on the Western side, as the sun at the close of day goes down into the Western waters”. A little further he adds: “the ladder which has been made for Osiris descends into the well”. When he arrives at a description of the VIIIth Chapter of the book, he notes that “the catechumen is instructed how, when that serpent (Apep) shall be passed, the Gate of the West, the aperture of the western wall, will conduct him into the Well, or Chamber of the deep Waters”. The synchronicity between Chapter VIII and part 8 of The Return in their depiction of Apep/the Experiment, the Well and the Waters, is striking. The fact that Chapter XVII explains that “the ‘Gates of the Earth’ are passed… the Catechumen of Wisdom has been accepted as the Postulant of Immortality” (while in part 17 Cooper defeats BOB and travels back in time) and that “with the eighteenth chapter begins… the period of preparation for Initiation and Ordeal, the due performance of which entitles him to pass ‘the road above the earth’” (in part 18 Cooper leaves the universe of Twin Peaks to enter a new reality) only confirms the parallels between what is described in the Book of the Dead and what takes place in the various parts of The Return.

The upper portion of the Hall of Judgement was known as “the Grand Lodge”. Interestingly, “the King’s Chamber, in the most secluded portion of the building… is not a chamber of the dead, but of the living, the place of ‘the Orient’, where, in the Ritual, Osiris is awakened from his slumbers”. Similarly, it is in Odessa, the most eastern part of his journey, that Cooper truly wakes up to the daylight reality of the world. Eons mix with each other, and the time is always the present.

Twin Peaks additionally being replete with references to Norse mythology (remember the presence of the Norwegians in the first season, followed by the Icelandics), it is worth listening to Adams who argues that “there is scarcely a feature in the strange mythology of Scandinavia which does not reflect an image more or less distorted of some portion of the Egyptian Ritual”. He also takes the time to write about the Ankh “or Sacred Mirror, symbol for created life, wherein every great deity contemplates perpetually his own image”. Mirrors were made in their shape and were commonly held in the hands of ancient Egyptian deities to represent their power to revive human souls in the afterlife. One wonders: is this the kind of mirror held by Audrey when she wakes up from her dream at the end of part 16?

What is certain is that the following quote gives us a clue about what takes place in The Return: “According to the teachings of Aquinas, the universe exists in a twofold manner, first ideally in the mind of God, and secondly materially externally to him, so that in creation the Almighty contemplates His own mind as in a mirror”. He continues: “in the theosophy of Egypt did the entire cosmos, embracing all space, all time, and all orders of created beings, reflect a single thought in the mind of the creator”.

The recurrence of the triangular motif[20] in Frost’s book – beyond its links to the divine trinity mentioned above and some geographic patterns connected to the story of The Return that can be drawn on the map of the USA (see my Twitter account for more on the subject) – is reminiscent of the sides of the pharaohs’ tombs. The link becomes all the more evident when one considers that the Great Pyramid was also known as the House of Osiris – i.e. Cooper. When the Fireman tells him “it is in our house now”, at the very beginning of part 1, he probably means the pyramid.

But what is their (Cooper and the Fireman’s) house in Twin Peaks? The equivalent of the Great Pyramid?[21] The cover of The Final Dossier gives us the answer: it represents a giant triangle (pyramid) superimposed on an image of… the Great Northern. No other building in Twin Peaks fits better, located as it is next to the cataract of the river plunging into the lake below[22]. Cooper actually lived in the hotel in the 1990s – room 315 -, and it is from its boiler room, where a strange ringing sound originates, that he leaves on his interdimensional quest to save Laura at the end of part 17.

“Awake, awake, Osiris?”

so sing the mourners to the beloved departed,

now glorious in the House of Light,

and united indissolubly with the divine Being.

(The House of the Hidden Places, W. Marsham Adams)

Before closing this post, one last connection to Egypt can be made. Cooper’s exile in Las Vegas is indeed highly reminiscent of what happens to Moses (Charlton Heston) in Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 The Ten Commandments, when he gets banished from Egypt. The fact that DeMille directed the film and appears in The Return as himself in Sunset Boulevard, mentioning the name of a fictional character who was to become Cooper’s FBI superior, stresses the centrality of this lead.

Get Gordon Cole !” More about Sunset... - David Lynch Archivist - Lynchland  | Facebook

The various plagues that hit the town of Twin Peaks in season 3 (rashes, cancers, drugs, etc.) echo those sent to Egypt by Moses. The evolution of the Arm suddenly makes a lot more sense when viewed in relationship to The Ten Commandments.

How Twin Peaks stretches television into the unknown | Sight & Sound | BFI
Moses Hears God's Voice—Can We?

Finally: “The Ancient Egyptians, Meso-Americans, and the Chinese usually placed jade in the mouths of their departed. They most often used green stones, meant to represent the heart”. Jade, who drives a Sahara car, could well be the equivalent of a Nubian queen in Las Vegas, a city surrounded by deserts…

[1] E. A. Wallis Budge, in his introduction to The Egyptian Book of the Dead, describes the location of the afterworld: “A later belief placed the abode of the departed away in the west or north-west of Egypt, and the souls of the dead made their way thither through a gap in the mountains on the western bank of the Nile near Abydos. A still later belief made out that the abode of the departed was a long, mountainous narrow valley with a river running along it; starting from the east, it made its way back to the east. In this valley there lived all manner of fearful monsters and beasts, and here was the country through which the sun passed during the twelve hours of night.”.

[2] « The Book of the Dead was regarded as the work of the god Thoth, the scribe of the gods, and was thus believed to be of divine origin” (E. A. Wallis Budge).

[3] The purpose of the Bardo Thodol, the Tibetan Book of the Dead, is very similar to that of its Egyptian counterpart.

[4] Otherwise known as “the god at the top of the staircase”, who ascended to heaven on a ladder held by Set and Horus. This might relate to the various staircases and ladders that Dougie draws on the files Bushnell Mullins gives him in part 4. See vignette in Book of the Dead, Chapter XCVIII.

[5] The new moon was the symbol of Osiris risen from the dead.

[6] “It was universally believed that Osiris was of divine origin, that he lived upon earth in a material body, that he was treacherously murdered and cut in pieces, that his sister Isis collected the limbs of his body, and, by means of magical words which had been specially provided by the god Thoth, reconstituted it, that the god came back to life again by these means, that he become immortal, and entered into the underworld, where he became both the judge and the king of the dead” (E. A. Wallis Budge).

[7] When he recounts his Parisian dream, Cole mentions the fact that Cooper was there, but that he could not see his head: “Osiris himself suffered dismemberment…the goddess Mut gave him back his head… The reconstituting of the body of Osiris was commemorated annually… The crowning scene was the erection of the backbone of Osiris (the Tet) and the placing of the head of the god upon it” (E. A. Wallis Budge).

[8] Similar to Cooper’s turn towards darkness as Mr. C, Set was originally portrayed as a positive deity: “By the time of Rameses II, the Osiris myth was well known and Set had been transformed from a god of love, protector, and hero into the villain who stood for everything the Egyptians feared and hated: disorder, chaos, waste, drought, famine, destruction, hunger, and foreign invasion/influence » (Ancient History Encyclopedia).

[9] Perhaps Janey-E, Diane’s half-sister, is Nephtys, Isis’ sister, the one who nursed Horus, Dougie’s equivalent. However, Nephtys could also be Diane’s tulpa, since the goddess was supposed to be Set’s wife.

[10] « The deceased identifies himself with the hawk of Horus and the Bennu bird, which later Greek tradition pronounced to be the fabulous bird the Phoenix” (E. A. Wallis Budge).

[11] Including, besides the Ba and the Khaibit (the Shadow), the Ka, translated as the « Double”, which possessed the form and attributes of the person to whom it belonged.

[12] « O thou who art in thine egg, who shinest from thy Disk and risest in thy horizon, and dost shine like gold above the sky” (Book of the Dead, Chapter XVII). In part 8, it is shown that the abode of the Fireman is inside a golden egg floating in space. There are other mentions of eggs in The Book of the Dead, especially in relationship with Geb, the God of the Earth, the Great Cackler. Geb is often represented as a man with a goose on his head. He was believed to have fathered the primordial egg from which the sun hatched.

[13] Book of the Dead, Chapter LII: “Let me eat my food under the sycamore tree of my lady, the goddess Hathor, and let my times be among the divine beings who have alighted thereon”. See vignette to Chapter LXIII.A.

[14] Meanwhile, the Sun King, Ra, was the upholder of ma’at, and his greatest enemy was Apep, “the Lord of Chaos” (see below).

[15] The Book of the Dead of Nesi-Khonsu: “the god Khepera who is unknown and who is more hidden than the other gods”.

[16]  “I know the two sycamore trees of turquoise, from between which the god Ra doth emerge when he setteth out upon his journey over the pillars of Shu towards the door of the lord of the East, wherefrom Ra cometh forth” (Book of the Dead, Chapter CXLIX).

[17] “Dung beetles roll dung into a ball as food and as a brood chamber in which to lay eggs; this way, the larvae hatch and are immediately surrounded by food. For these reasons the scarab was seen as a symbol of this heavenly cycle in ancient Egypt, and of the idea of rebirth or regeneration » (Wikipedia).

[18] This likely explains why the prologue to The Return features the Fireman and Cooper face to face.

[19] While he had driven towards the East up to that point, from Las Vegas to Odessa, he suddenly goes back West to Twin Peaks, bringing Carrie back to the kingdom of the dead. Cooper had not understood that he had exited the Other World when he left the motel in part 18, and this western regression brought him towards disaster.

[20] The triangular hieroglyph used to depict pyramids is described by Adams as “the structure which represented to the Egyptian mind the Eternal Light, apart from its earthly support”.

[21] Of interest in relationship to Twin Peaks, which original title was Northwest Passage, one of the main festivals dedicated to the Pyramid of Light was the festival of the “Northern Passage”.

[22] « Far towards the South, beyond the alternate reaches of stream and desert, lay the patriarchal land of Poont, like Amenti, the distant home of the unseen Father. At the tropical extremity of Egypt… was the cataract or ‘Gate of the Nile’, though which the ancestors of the race entered the country… the gate of the Nile leads beyond the cataract to the Southern land of Poont and the long-hidden source of the river… imaged the celestial land of Khent… the Interior Habitation of God in the supreme heaven” (Adams).

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