Major Briggs in the White Lodge

That´s Major Briggs, the spiritually most advanced character from Twin Peaks in the White Lodge. The White Lodge is the place where the constructive spirits of the Earth dwell. There is also the Black Lodge, which you must pass in order to ascent to the White Lodge on your way to perfection. According to legend, in the Black Lodge you will meet your shadow self, and if you meet it with impefect courage, it will „utterly annihilate your soul“. Few are able to get through. The Black Lodge, let us say, symbolises the terror reign of subjectivity disconnected from the Earth and from the universal spirit, i.e. the common condition of man; whereas the White Lodge IS the universal spirit. Love opens the gate to the White Lodge while fear attracts the spirits of the Black Lodge. Being tortured by Windom Earle Major Garland Briggs answers the question about his greatest fear as: „The possibility that love is not enough“. That is not the fear of the ordinary, not even of the extraordinary man, yet of the ethical genius. The Major is, at his innermost core, not concerned about himself but about the world and is afraid that there never is the possibility to take enough care of the world. Therefore the Major has superseded his subjectivity and become objective, transpersonal, a spirit, and does not even encounter a shadow self or negative doppelgänger. (Meditate about that.)

Although the Lodges are out there in the woods, known through an Indian legend, and seem to interfere with most real events in Twin Peaks (maybe even govern them), they are hardly explored in any detail by almost no one. Only a few, „gifted“ individuals have a deeper or conscious connection to the Lodges: Windom Earle, Dale Cooper, the Log Lady, and Garland Briggs. Yet what they all have in common is that they both seem to know „so much and yet so little“ about the Lodges. – Windom Earle, the most malicious character of the series, the evil genius, wants to align with the evil spirits of the Black Lodge in order to attain a „power so vast that its bearer might reorder the Earth itself to his liking“. Yet he finds a meager and pathetic end in the Black Lodge when Killer BOB flat out rejects him and annihilates his soul: Apart from reasons of dramaturgy Windom Earle does not seem to be interesting prey for the evil spirits since he already is completely corrupted so that in possessing his body BOB would not achieve a higher level of completeness (BOB´s endeavour has been to amalgamate with Laura Palmer, the intelligent, originally good-natured, and as we can see at the end of Twin Peaks – Fire Walk With Me: brave Homecoming Queen of Twin Peaks (where she rather lets herself being killed than being possessed by BOB in order not to become a host of evil); since BOB as a force which is completely evil is psychopathic, demented and throughout the series a reduced, therefore parasitic entity). Windom Earle is the bearer of the by far most powerful human intellect of the series but is devoid of all other qualities which make a human, therefore he slips into oblivion; in former times he was a man of the law, of high ideals and a person who loved, yet jealousy and an overly possessive attitude had let him degenerate into madness. One is a bit under the impression that Windom Earle´s monstrous intellect has dried out the rest of his human qualities and that, in this way, he had never been a well-rounded individual at all.

Special Agent Dale Cooper, the former junior partner of Windom Earle, is, despite his young age, a considerably advanced human being, who nevertheless falls prey to the evil spirits of the Black Lodge at the end of the series. He is both eminently rational and a master detective, yet his true mastery derives from his emotional and spiritual qualities working in tandem with his intellect. His emotional and spiritual qualities give him access to the irrational respectively the a-causal and the a-logical, therefore he can successfully maneuver through the Twin Peaks pandemonium respectively through the multiple layers of reality, and he has not only logical but psychological understanding. Despite the many misfortunes he encounters in Twin Peaks – being shot (by Josie), being kidnapped and nearly killed by thugs, being screwed by his own FBI colleagues etc. – he does not seem to lose his generally positive attitude and his faith in humanity (which is why he also is positively rewarded over the series as well). He meets the world with curiosity and wonder and never fails to be delighted by the small things and the little wonders of everyday – the trees, the coffee, the cakes… Despite being instantly a bit irritated by the emanations in the Black Lodge which he confronts in the hitherto last episode of „Twin Peaks“ he never loses courage, not even when he confronts BOB, so that it remains a bit of a mystery why he suddenly becomes afraid when he finally meets his own shadow self which he cannot bear, so that he falls prey to the spirits of the Black Lodge, his „good“ self remains trapped in the Black Lodge and he becomes the new host for Killer BOB. Apart, again, for reasons of dramaturgy (i.e. to give the story an interesting twist), it seems to be dubiuos why a thing like this would happen. Cooper remains practically flawless throughout the whole series. Yet his young age seems to indicate that he cannot be a fully grown and mature individual. And indeed, in „The Autobiography of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes“ which was published alongside the TV series it is somehow revealed that Cooper carries imperfections: he is „an unreliable narrator, obsessive, anal-compulsive, deluded, immune to irony, not very perceptive about himself“. Cooper, in general, is an individual who is on a journey, who wants to explore life. Due to lack of self-awareness, afraid of his own „unconscious“ he experiences and gets lost in his shadow self – traps everywhere, as the condition of life. The third season which was cancelled but will now be aired next year, „25 years later“, would have been about the rescue of Cooper from the destructive forces of the Black Lodge.

There are two characters in the series who seem to have been in the White Lodge: The Log Lady and Major Briggs. Both did not seem to have been in any way affected by the Black Lodge and the shadow self. Yet both also don´t know very much about the White Lodge either. They seem to be under amnesia of what happened to them in the White Lodge, all they can remember is an overwhelming white light and some owls (and „the owls are not what they seem“). They are spiritually connected to the White Lodge and bearer of messages which, however, ultimately remain cryptic also to them. – That the Log Lady does not fully understand (she rather „feels“) the White Lodge seems evident, since the Log Lady has spirit, but no intellect. She is an eccentric who lives outside of society. The Major, like Cooper, is both spiritually and intellectually gifted – but he is not a philosopher i.e. he has no unified knowledge and is not operating at the highest level of consciousness. Like Cooper he works in a profession whose duty is to guarantee order, safety and protection, yet as a military man inside a hierarchy he is – even more than Cooper – likely to fall prey to serve as a puppet for the execution of evil intent in higher places (without possibly knowing it, not being aware of the intentions from above nor of the causal chain of reactions the operations he is involved in are likely to produce; it seems to carry a double meaning that all the operations he is involveld in are classified and that he cannot really talk about them with anyone: they seem to be out of his knowledge and intellectual reach as well). He is able to „heal“ his stupid, hilariously unsympathetic and immature teenager son Bobby by telling him about a beautiful dream of a palace „where fathers and sons are united“ (under the obvious protection of a guiding maternal spirit), yet his overly soft, overly stoic and also seemingly a bit detached parenting style seems to have provoked the acting out of Bobby´s idiotic masculinity in the first place. Bobby however is a young human being, overly immature but set on the course for reaching higher levels of maturity; Cooper as a man in his mid-thirties is overly mature and falls back into regression, Major Briggs as an elderly person seems to be a future projection of Cooper, respectively a possible future for Cooper if he had not entered the Black Lodge. It was revealed that in the third season the Major would have played the key role in saving Cooper from the Black Lodge. Within this duty, it can be assumed, that both Cooper and the Major reach a higher level of human perfection and therefore a better understanding of the White Lodge.


In an allusion to Twin Peaks I have, a while ago, described the White Lodge as a state of ultraperception and omniscience. When you live such a state of mind you experience yourself as an unlocated focal point within a region of white light where the objects of the world appear and pass by, and they are all equal to you. Nothing hinders you from grasping and understanding them at an infinitely deep level (which means: fractal-like since infinity cannot be seen itself), and this is the case because the subject which grasps them has also been dissoluted into the white light, the seeing eye has become unlocated and omnipresent, the dismantlement of ego allows free navigation through the all. This cannot be learned by intellect alone but by personality which, in accordance to how Scientology calls it, has to reach a „clear“ and become free of fabricated ideological or unfathomable emotional attachment to itself or to the object. As Nietzsche or Otto Weininger have already noticed the person who tries to purely objectively relate to reality (via dissolution of the „subjective“ distortive element) will also be the ethically most conscious person, therefore, if you go further down the White Lodge you will become the White Lodge yourself.

The transcendent (ethical) genius lives in a world full of people with whom, more or less, no authentic communication is possible (hence also the disfigurement of language in the Black Lodge), so that the ultimate ethical genius will have to cut off his arm or, like Mansur or Christ, get executed to teach people ethics in the only language they seem to be able to understand, partially it is nevertheless in vain; yet understand, mate, that this is in accordance to God´s plan, apart from that, in earthly terms, only a dead genius is a good genius quod erat demonstrandum etc. bla bla

Philip Hautmann

This was a vision, fresh and clear as a mountain stream, The mind revealing itself…