Based on his own struggles with bipolar disorder, Paul Dalio wrote and directed Touched with Fire, a film exploring the passionate romance of two poets living with the condition.
“I wanted for people sitting in the hospital chair to hear how Van Gogh conceived the most beloved image of the sky, which humanity holds dear, because of what he experienced when he was looking outside his sanitarium window,” he says. “If he gave humanity its most beloved sky, this cannot simply be defined as a human defect, human illness, human disorder.”
How TM helps
At a David Lynch Foundation screening of the film, Paul opened up about his own struggles with the illness and how pivotal the practice of Transcendental Meditation® (TM®) has proved to be in living a happy, healthy, and creatively rich life. He says, “TM is the difference between surviving with bipolar and thriving with bipolar.”
Paul shed light on the difficulty people living with bipolar endure to stay on medication. “If you could imagine feeling nothing—feeling numb—imagine missing feeling sad. It’s the only thing worse than pain. Imagine a relative who you love so much dies, and you can’t even feel it, which is what happened to me because of the medication,” he says. “And this is why people can’t fathom why so many people go off the medication and fall into the one-in-four suicide statistic. Or, they can’t fathom that these people, who are by nature meant to feel life deeply, are left to give up life and wait for death.”
“I never stopped meditating”
“I never stopped meditating, without fail,” he says. “That’s when my doctor, Norman Rosenthal, witnessed the power of TM and was so blown away, he decided to do a study on the effects of TM.”