I was one of the millions of folks glued to the TV last night watching the wrap-up of LOST; the only die-hard in our house to stick with it, season after season. I love to be teased.
Twitter would typically explode on LOST nights as people would “tweet back” to the show as if it could possibly hear them. “NO JACK, you stupid idiot. Don’t go in THERE!” was under 140 characters. I always had my laptop going during the shows and during commercials I’d catch up on what the Twitter LOST Peanut Gallery had to say. If you lived on the West coast, you had to stay off Twitter. It must have been sheer torture out West when Easties cried out on Twitter in agony when Sun and Jin drowned together (in a scene comparable to Titantic’s, “You go, I go” perfection.)
I love books and TV shows that knock down rigid beliefs. I’ve never been able to take anyone’s word for anything, no matter who they are. Because I’m well informed on things many people dismiss as hogwash, I knew the ending of “Who Killed Laura Palmer” before the show let everyone else know. I already knew about “walk-ins”. I thought LOST would be easy to pick apart too. Oh baby, I was SO out of my league.
Against the advice of my Journalism professors, I took as many creative writing and poetry courses as I could possibly take in college. One of the reasons was that I liked to write short stories and poetry anthologies that were fragments woven together and not pulled together until the very end of the piece. At which point, the reader had to go back to find my clues.
Poetry classes were sleepy, boring bleeps in time until we got to the parts where we had to figure out what the poet was trying to say. “Blue” meant what? “Water” meant what? (Birth or rebirth). A poem could be about sex and the casual reader would never know it until they took a poetry class and learned the art of symbolism.
The TV show, LOST, was a six year symbolic story.
I was desperate to understand the finale last night and stayed up to watch the local news coverage of reactions to it. The last poll I saw was 70% approved of the ending and 30% didn’t. At first, I felt exactly the way I always did after an episode. Every week I had my typical “What the hell just happened” moment, then I’d jump online, blow past the Twitter commentary (nearly always ignorant and arrogant) and go to the LOST forums for answers. And, the beauty of this was that nobody else knew what was happening either. Everyone was guessing or figuring out clues. The fun of not knowing for sure made it appealing to me. I didn’t want the usual suspect answers of “heaven and hell”. I believe we have choices and are responsible for the outcomes. That helped me tolerate the flash backs, flash forwards and flash sideways episodes, where one choice made by one character sets the stage for a whole new set of lessons and outcomes.
But that didn’t help me with the Dharma Inititiative and countless things like what happened to Mr. Eko, the holy man. Do I assume he was one of the souls left to become whispers on the island like Michael who was paying for murder?
My niece wrote in Facebook what I thought was an interesting and plausible take on some of the symbols,
The Buddist term “dharma” means “Path of Awakening” and conforms to a universal understanding of dharma. The teachings are means of getting the hearer to question their own cherished beliefs and view of life; when through investigation and insight the door to truth is opened, the teaching can be put aside (perhaps the doors that were opened at the end of the eipisode).
In Hindu society, dharma has denoted a variety of ideas, such as ritual, ethical conduct, caste rules, and civil and criminal law. The common meaning pertains to two principal ideals: that social life should be structured through well-defined and well-regulated classes, and that an individual’s life within a class should be organized into defined stages. (Perhaps explains how the “Others” as well as the passengers live”)
Perhaps time no longer exists when we are deceased. The church was filled with those who had died early on, who had just died (Jack), and those who had died later on (Kate, Claire).
The beautiful wrap up of reuniting lovers at the end and bringing peaceful resolution for Claire and Charlie, Jin and Sun, Sawyer and Juliett and Jack and Kate was worth waiting for. I still don’t understand the whole Charles Widmore and company parts, nor do I understand the last scene when Eloise Hawking seems to ask for mercy for her son, Daniel Faraday, (Charles Widmore’ son), whom in an earlier episode she had killed. (I loved seeing the incredibly gorgeous Charlotte again.)
Were they dead the entire time? We were always told no.
Several of the more common fan theories have been discussed and rejected by the show’s creators, the most common being that the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 are dead and in purgatory. This was specifically denied by J.J. Abrams. — Lost Wiki
A course in LOST is something I think would be a fun class in analyzing symbolism and decoding stories loaded with clues. Much of the fun of the show was in how “Losties” found hints and connected the twists and turns of the storyline. For example:
There are also many allusions in characters’ names to famous historical thinkers and writers, such as John Locke (after the philosopher) and his alias Jeremy Bentham (after the philosopher), Danielle Rousseau (after philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau), Desmond Hume (after philosopher David Hume), Juliet Burke (after philosopher Edmund Burke), Mikhail Bakunin (after the anarchist philosopher), Daniel Faraday (after physicist Michael Faraday), Eloise Hawking (after physicist Stephen Hawking), George Minkowski (after mathematician Hermann Minkowski), Richard Alpert (the birth name of spiritual teacher Ram Dass) and Charlotte Staples Lewis (after author C. S. Lewis). — Lost Wiki
No Such Thing as Time
LOST was more than a TV series. It was an intellectual challenge. It was smart TV for those of us who find mainstream TV boring. I lusted over Sawyer and already miss his hilarious quips and teasing (i.e. “Freckles”). I always rooted for Hugo. It was deliciously painful to be yanked around by the antics of Ben or John Locke. Their kind of acting doesn’t come along that often. LOST was more than the stories it told. We were invited to know its characters at their most devastating moments, as well as their happiest. We were emotionally tortured by the constant confusion , not really knowing what was going on, or why.
As someone who loves physics, I loved the head games they played with Time. I didn’t think the characters were dead. I thought we were seeing different dimensions, the results of what happens when groups of souls make choices together and how these groups impact each other. When approached from that angle, I saw how lessons for humanity are woven throughout the show. We reap what we sow. The will to survive. When you study quantum mechanics or get into string theory, you begin to understand how layers of Time are happening at the same moment but vibrating at different speeds. Some sciences describe what we think of as “heaven” as existing in a dimension that runs parallel to what we call “reality”. We can’t see it because our physical eyes aren’t designed to. Metaphysics describes how the Soul can be in more than one body at a time, like an Over Soul and that this Soul can be in more than one dimension or timeline at the same time. The theory of past lives and karma find a home here, only some theories are that since Time is an illusion and really doesn’t exist, “past” lives don’t exist. It’s all Now.
A course on LOST could be an introduction to a dialog on possibilities and advanced discussions on religious beliefs and ancient teachings, with a nice dose of the sciences. I’m far too curious in nature to have given up when so many lost patience with the show, nor am I done with it. I’ll be reading the abundance of resources on the show, and reviewing episodes.
Like all the research I do on symbolism, ancient histories, far out sciences and the mysteries of our world, LOST leaves me wondering still… what is Truth? The one clear message in the show was a teaching as ancient as humanity.
We are at our best when we love each other and our survival will depend on that.