I wanted to go ahead and start this thread for folks who might have some input on interpreting Mulholland Drive as Diane Selwyn's Bardo Thodol.
Here is, from the main site, a link to this theory, http://www.mulholland-drive.net/theories/13.htm
Although I think this theory only scrapes at the surface of this interpretation, and doesn't take into account some of the almost subconscious poetry of the movie.
Just to start off this thread, here are two very subtle but I think very important images from the movie. Lynch takes a certain amount of care to make sure the first limo ride with Camilla is echoed with the second with Diane. It is implied they stop at the same place, they both say "we don't stop here."
Here is Camilla's view when they stop.
Here is Diane's view when they stop.
Camilla is going towards a light. Diane is not.
Because this theory has probably been thoroughly discussed on many boards over the years, I don't want to go over the entire movie bit by bit, what I want to do is put this thread here so that some blanks can be filled in.
One of the greatest mysteries is The Cowboy. In the Bardo Thodol Interpretation The Cowboy represents the idea that in this Purgatory, a soul travelling toward the light may be asked to do things that could determine their fate. Adam Kesher is asked to let go of control of the movie in one way, but really it's not a small thing, The Cowboy is saying Adam Kesher has no control over who will play the lead in his movie. Kind of a big deal. So while I tend to think The Cowboy is a spiritual buggy driver for Adam, I am never quite convinced in my mind if The Cowboy is, well..
If you look at how he talks to Adam it's like The Cowboy is good. Adam is a smart aleck, and Adam is probably also a control freak. The whole tone of the scene is basically, "Adam, you have a bad attitude and you need to fix your attitude," and it appears to be true because Lynch shows us that, well, Adam (while not a wildly evil guy) does have smart aleck attitude. For instance, The Cowboy thanks Adam for showing up at the corral. Adam does not thank The Cowboy likewise. The Cowboy notices little things like that.
But if you look at what he asks Adam to do, The Cowboy is bad.
So basically, if there is something in the movie that seems to clearly indicate if The Cowboy is good or bad, or if there is something from another of Lynch's movies that would help with this. Pruitt Taylor Vince has a cowboy hat on in WILD AT HEART but I don't remember him saying anything.