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The Devil's Guard

“Consider this, my son: this earth-life is a little time, of which

a third is spent asleep. What went before it, and what cometh after,

are a long time—verily a time too long for measurement. Shall we

be of the herd who say that dreams are a delusion because waking

we can not interpret them in terms of common speech? Or shall we,

rather than pretend to have more knowledge than the gods, admit

that possibly some dreams may link us with that universe from which

we came into a temporary world, and into which we must inevitably

yield ourselves again? Some dreams are memories, it may be, of

experience gained in the infinity of time before the world was.

And the wisest—aye, the very wisest of us—is he altogether sure

that all earth-life is not a dream.—From The Book Of The Sayings

Of Tsiang Samdup” 

Illustration for article titled iThe Devils Guard/i
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Recently acquired The Devil’s Guard, by Talbot Mundy, specifically because I came across it as referenced on various online posts from Twin Peaks fans. The first was this one: The Obscure Twin Peaks: Theosophy and The Devil’s Guard.

Speaking to the British newspaper, The Independent, Frost explained that Dion Fortune’s Psychic Self-Defense was “exactly where I got the Black Lodge from. The whole mythological side of Twin Peaks was really down to me, and I’ve always known about the Theosophical writers and that whole group around the Order of the Golden Dawn in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century—William Butler Yeats, Madame Blavatsky, and a woman called Alice Bailey, a very interesting writer.”

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And then there’s this from Pop Apostle:

This novel was one of the sources of inspiration for the White and Black Lodges and dugpas of Twin Peaks (along with the 1935 occult book Psychic Self-Defense by Dion Fortune). Quite probably, other elements of the show came from this novel as well, such as:

  • a BOB-like character
  • references to the Dalai Lama
  • the mysticism of Tibet
  • honest protagonists (Jimgrim and Ramsden) facing off against a former partner who searches for the Black Lodge
  • board games that involve manipulating real people
  • the quotes by Tsiang Samdup at the beginning of each chapter are loosely related to the themes of that chapter, similar to the Log Lady Intros written by David Lynch for syndicated airings of Twin Peaks

A great article about the connections between The Devil’s Guard and Twin Peaks can be found in the fanzine Wrapped in Plastic #3 (1993), “The Secret History of the Black and White Lodges.”

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I haven’t started reading it yet, but it’s next in the queue.

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