Chris Castig Co-founder of Adjunct Prof at Columbia University Business School.

Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch | A Book Chat with Kevin Allison

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Catching the Big Fish

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This week I discuss Catching the Big Fish with Kevin Allison (RISK!; MTV’s The State, and Reno 911). In our interview we chat about the book, as well as: finding creativity, Transcendental Meditation, self-help books,  and Kevin’s exploration into the world of erotic hypnosis workshops.

Who is David Lynch?

David Lynch (born January 20, 1946) is an American director, screenwriter, visual artist, musician, actor, and author.

He’s known best for his surrealist films. Movies such as: Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Dune, Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway, etc. As well as the popular murder mystery TV series Twin Peaks. Lynch is a well known advocate of Transcendental Meditation and in 2005, he launched the David Lynch Foundation For Consciousness-Based Education and Peace.

What is Catching the Big Fish book about?

Catching the Big Fish is made up of 84 short chapters surrounding director David Lynch’s thoughts on meditation, creativity,  and film. Each chapter is short (roughly 1-3 pages long).

The title refers to Lynch’s idea that “ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper”

On Consciousness

” Little fish swim on the surface, but the big ones swim down below. If you can expand the container you’re fishing in – your consciousness – you can catch bigger fish”   [27]

On Meditation

“Inside every human being is an ocean of pure, vibrant consciousness. When you “transcend” into Transcendental Meditation, you dive down into that ocean of pure consciousness. You splash into it. And it’s bliss.”  [27]

On Fear

“When people are in fear, they don’t want to go to work. So many people have that feeling. Then the fear starts turning into hate, and they being to hate going to work. Then the hate can turn into anger and people can become angry at their boss and their work.” [73]

On The Art Life

“Really, the art life means freedom. ” [11]

On Beauty

“When you see an aging building or a rusted bridge, you are seeing nature and man working together. If you paint over a building, there is no more magic to that building. But if it is allowed to age, then man has built it and nature has added into it – it’s so organic. But often people wouldn’t think to permit that, expect for scenic designers.” [119]

Blue Velvet Trailer


  • Blue Velvet“, by Bobby Vinton
  • In Dreams“, by Roy Orbison
  • “Push”, by Birdstar
  • Taylor Bense’s Knife + Joanna Newsom Remix


Title: Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity
Author: David Lynch
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Tarcher (December 27, 2007)

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Listen to Catching the Big Fish on Audible (free trial)

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Chris Castig Co-founder of Adjunct Prof at Columbia University Business School.