Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mulholland Drive analysis - part 14: Diane is the viriditas


The same screencap as that shown in part 12 of the analysis, showing the hit man, prostitute, and pimp exiting Pink's.

A magnified view of a portion of the above screencap. Note the yellow lettering of the Yellowstone sign on the awning above the store, and a set of decorative green, red, and blue rectangles at the far right-hand side of the store exterior. One purpose of the coloring of the lettering and the rectangles, taken together, is to let us know that yellowing, and thus the alchemical citrinitas stage (and therefore the chemical wedding, between male and female),[a] is being elevated above the other three colors/stages in importance (the awning lettering is higher up than the rectangles). Closer examination of the colors reveals additional symbolism: The colors of the reddish and blueish rectangles are actually magenta and cyan, respectively; therefore, taking the yellow lettering together with the colors of the three rectangles, we have the additive secondary colors (yellow, magenta, and cyan), with the green (of the top rectangle) being the odd one out. It is, in fact, the importance of green that Lynch is stressing in this scene (in addition to yellow), as described below.

As Carl Jung says,

"The unconscious is always the fly in the ointment, the skeleton in the cupboard of perfection, the painful lie given to all idealistic pronouncements, the earthliness that clings to our human nature and sadly clouds the crystal clarity we long for. In the alchemical view rust, like verdigris, is the metal's sickness. But at the same time this leprosy is the vera prima materia, the basis for the preparation of the philosophical gold. The Rosarium says:

Our gold is not the common gold. But thou hast inquired concerning the greenness [viriditas, presumably verdigris], deeming the bronze to be a leprous body on account of the greenness it hath upon it. Therefore I say unto thee that whatever is perfect in the bronze is that greenness only, because that greenness is straightway changed by our magistery into our most true gold.[b]

The paradoxical remark of Thales that the rust alone gives the coin its true value is a kind of alchemical quip,[c] which at bottom only says that there is no light without shadow and no psychic wholeness without imperfection. To round itself out, life calls not for perfection but for completeness; and for this the "thorn in the flesh" is needed, the suffering of defects without which there is no progress and no ascent."[d]

a. That Jung regards the chemical (i.e., chymical) wedding as a union between man and woman, is evident from his Psychology and Alchemy: "Here the supreme opposites, male and female (as in the Chinese yang and yin), are melted into a unity purified of all opposition and therefore incorruptible." (--Jung, C.G., The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Vol. 12, Princeton University Press, 1968, para. 43.)
b. Basileae, Artis Auriferae, Vol. II, p. 220: a quotation from Senior, in Jung, C.G., The Collected Works, Vol. 12, para. 207.
c. "That is indeed what men most seek on earth: 'Tis rust alone that gives the coin its worth!"
d. Jung, C.G., The Collected Works, Vol. 12, paras. 207-208.


1) In certain instances it has been determined that the creators of some of the productions analyzed on this blog, and/or the creators of source material(s) used in the making of these productions, may be making negative statements about certain segments of society in their productions. These statements should be taken as expressing the opinions of no one other than the creators.

2) This blog is not associated with any of the studios, creators, authors, publishers, directors, actors, musicians, writers, editors, crew, staff, agents, or any other persons or entities involved at any stage in the making of any of the media productions or source materials that are analyzed, mentioned, or referenced herein.

3) In keeping with the policies of the filmmakers, authors, studios, writers, publishers, and musicians, that have created the productions (and their source materials) that are analyzed, mentioned, or referenced on this blog, any similarity of the characters in these films or source materials to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.


All images on this blog are used solely for non-commercial purposes of analysis, review, and critique.

All Wikipedia content on this blog, and any edits made to it, are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Marcus Aurelius's Meditations - from Wikisource (except where otherwise noted); portions from Wikisource used on this blog are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Saint Augustine's Confessions and City of God from Wikisource (except where otherwise noted); portions from Wikisource used on this blog are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Saint Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica from the 'Logos Virtual Library' website (except where otherwise noted), compiled and edited by Darren L. Slider; believed to be in public domain.