Saturday, February 27, 2010

C-Lighthouse - The Devil's in the Details, 'or how I learned to stop worrying and love my compulsion for anagrams"

Great episode, creepy axe crazy Claire (and skeletor, her youngest  little cherub), a mystical Lighthouse, Hurley takes charge and sends Dogen packing, and Jack gets a son! Excellent.

I have so far controlled my compulsive obsession with anagrams in this blog, but this episode just knocked by anagram blinders off. David Shephard's Room was full of crazy ass posters with mysterious (read CRAZY) meanings.
First off, does anyone remember "MEAT COAT" (now that's a name for a band that you won't soon forget--try as you might). MEAT COAT was the band mentioned by Charlie, in 'The Moth' when he was trying to convince his brother to reunite Drive Shaft. He had gotten a contract to open for 'Meat Coat'.

And it appears that David Shephard had seen 'Meat Coat' on Dec. 19 (2003, because it was a Friday we can tell the year). Dec. 19 just happens to be Ben Linus' birthday, so I can understand why David Shephard was celebrating with the musical stylings of 'Meat Coat', and it was also the day that Ben took John Locke to Jacob's Cabin when John first heard 'Jacob' call for help. Dec. 19 is also the aniversary of  The Purge of the Dharma Initiative.
I am currently working on some crazy anagrams for this poster (Live=Evil, Electric= e.t. circle, Raw=war, Meat Coat =att. cameo) but haven't quite finalized it yet (Reward Eclectic Evil at Comet Day Fair) (Comet Day Fair at Arctic Deceiver Well) (lots of other possibilities though (claimed, framed, atrocity, twice deceiver, artefact, facade)

One more point about David Shepard's Meat Coat poster. On the Island the name "Shepard" is associated with 23 in the Lighthouse and the cave. But which Shepard is the notation referring to? Jack, Christian or David? The Meat Coat poster has a upside down guitar at an angle that appears to my little eye to be just about 23 degrees?!?!
I always thought a particularly relevant quotation of "Brothers Karamazov" by Ben in "The Whole Truth" helped reveal a large theme in Lost. "And even though your light was shining, yet you see men were not saved by it, hold firm and doubt not the power of the heavenly light. Believe that if they were not saved, they will be saved hereafter. And if they are not saved hereafter, then their sons will be saved, for your light will not die even when you are dead. The righteous man departs, but his light remains. Men are always saved after the death of the deliverer. Men reject their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and honour those whom they have slain. You are working for the whole, are acting for the future. "
It very well might be that the actions of the Losties, who have travelled through time (and perhaps dimensions) and have had others travel in time to affect (or manipulate) their lives to mold them to become the people they are, and to bring them to the Island might be building to a culmination that may be completed by their Children. Perhaps the uniquely detached references to "Geronimo Jackson" might actually refer to Jack's SON.
Crazy anagram for "Geronimo Jackson" is "Jack, go sin no more", or in other words, "Dad, stop being such a f*ck up!" (Now that's more like something a teenage boy might relate to his daddy.)

David is a muscian (both piano and guitar) and there was a guitar or basilet in the Cave of Numbers and the Island seems to have very strong musical underpinnings.

And just one more bit of minutia.
And just why am I trying to work "Comet" into this anagram possibilities for the Meat Coat poster? Well, its because of the poster just to the right of Meat Coat'.
M. Gold. No anagrams yet, just M = latin for 1000
Gold's chemical symbol is AU, so
1000 AU which might stand for 1000 Astronomical Units (1 au = the distance from the Earth to the Sun) which would be a distance from our solar system where comets are the only common astronomical bodies. And hey it looked awfully cold and icy down in the donkey wheel? Maybe the worm hole connects the Island to a cold, ice and stoney Comet, 1000 au from the Earth?

Maybe the place MIB/Flocke has been trapped for so long in, is in fact very far away and he has only been projecting himself through a worm hole tunnel (like the one that runs from the orchid to the donkey wheel chamber) back on the island in order to bring about his release?

Will have another post soon, so if you have another anagram you want to share or just some crazy thoughts, drop me a comment or an e-mail at I will guarantee to send you a response (just can't guarantee it will make any sense).

take it easy
it ain't all half-bad (or "Landfill a Habitat")

mr badd

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

B-Flash Sideways - Dark Tower Multiverse Reality Traveling

What's more unbelievable than a metal hatch leading to solid stone wall turning into a doorway to other realities? Probably this theory, because that is only the beginning. I am going to try and "explain" just about all the crazy comings and goings on the Island, with the equally crazy plot devices expounded in the plot of Stephen King's Dark Tower story.

And it all begins with a multi-verse reality where uncounted versions of the universe exist. Put simply, a multiverse has some number of alternative realities (somewhere between 2 and infinity) that can closely mimic the universe we know or diverge so much that the laws of time and space do not apply as they do in our observable reality.

Wikipedia cites cosmologist Max Tegmark taxonomy of multiple universes. The levels according to Tegmark's classification are arranged such that subsequent levels can be understood to encompass and expand upon previous levels.
Level I: Beyond our cosmological horizon
Level II: Universes with different physical constants
Level III: Many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics
Level IV: Ultimate Ensemble
What are you talking about!!! The short answer is that the Dark Tower seems to be an example of the Ultimate Ensemble and includes every possibility including the kitchen sink (you know the alternate reality sink where husbands do the dishes).

What is a door, but a threshold that leads to the unknown. And the Island itself has show that it is capable of generating a threshold event horizon that seemed to transport everything inside the radius of that threshold to places unseen and unknown. And people on or close to the Island have suffered 'jumping' consciousness syndrome when they get close to this event horizon (Kahana freighter). Let's start by first reviewing the types of reality traveling displayed in Stephen King's Dark Tower Story.

Different Types of Dark Tower Time and Reality Travel:
1.) Mystical Doorways (Transport Consciousness): The doors used by Roland the gunslinger (the hero) to fulfill his destiny and draw 3 companions to his world in order to join his quest. The threshold of each can transport individuals (and objects in contact with their person) to other realities. These doors appeared to be of a mystical nature and transported the consciousness of the hero Roland to a specific time in another reality. His body was left behind at the door, unconscious and unaware. His mind 'possessed' (or claimed) the body of a person in that other reality.

2.) Mystical Doorways opened by magical artifact (Transport Body): In Wolves of the Calla, a mystical doorway/gateway in a cave is capable of transporting people when powered by a magical artifact. The artifact was capable of opening other gateways and the user could control the destination.
3.) Mystical Doorways opened by psychic/mystical meditation or manipulation at areas linked to other realities (Transport Body): In Wolves of the Calla, the same cave doorway is opened by psychic mystics called Manni. Eddie is also instrumental in opening a doorway in a spot with a mystical (demonic) connection to another mystical (demonic) region in a different reality, using a wooden 'key' that he crafted.
4.) Scientific Doorways (Transport Body): Futuristic science created technology that mirrors the magical/mystical portals. Some of these doors are one way doors that take you to a specific time and a specific world. Others were two way doors and a rare few could take people to destinations they could choose. The evil forces of the Crimson King command a large number of these doors (although they are continually breaking down).
5.) Weak Points in reality where worlds overlap (Transport Body): The nature of the multiverse in the Dark Tower story was one where reality was suffering entropy and erosion both from the passage of time and from targeted destruction by the forces of the Crimson King. One of the results of this entropy and assault is that some individuals with psychic abilities could walk between the weak or overlapping parts of reality. Father Callahan (a cross-over character from Salem's Lot) is one example.
6.) Mystical 'astral' projection. Roland meets a mystical sect called the Manni who have some experience traveling among the many realities (and also the space between the realities-called Todash Space). Sometimes they can project themselves and experience other realities similar to a dream, sometimes by projecting an insubstantial version of themselves, an astral projection, to other worlds. It is intimated that some of the most advanced of these Manni spiritualists can physically transport themselves.

Laws(?) Governing Time and Reality Travel in Dark Tower:
1.) Prime Reality is immutable. The only absolute 'law' that was fashioned is that there is a "Prime" reality where events happened only once with finality. The Prime Reality is the one where all the energy of the multiverse converges into a focal point identified as "The Rose. It appeared that other realities could have their timelines changed by people moving through these doors to specific points in that world's timeline and altering events.

2.) There are consequences. When Roland interacts with a person from another reality transported to his world (his name is Jake and Roland lets him die in order to pursue his quest) and later, himself travels (his consciousness) to another time in another reality and changes events so the person he interacted with never comes to his world, he suffers a mental breakdown from his remembering events that never occurred. The person he interacted with and whose destiny he changed, also suffers and they are not 'healed' until they are reunited in Roland's reality. (perhaps this mirrors the off-Island suffering of Faraday, his finance/lab assistant, several of the Kahana crew, Desmond till he finds his constant, and perhaps bearded crazy Jack)
3.) Its very hard and very dangerous. Roland meets a mystical sect called the Manni who have some experience traveling the multiverse and Todash Space. They recount those of their sect who have never returned, damaged their minds, or died. The scientific portals were created by futuristic race who have disappeared and the remaining portals are rapidly becoming non-functional. You can never tell with any certainty when one will stop functioning altogether, fail to transport all of you (ouch), or just leave you stranded, literally in the middle of nowhere.

Mundane Operational Laws of Reality Traveling
1.) The mystical doors which exit you into another reality were not visible by others in the destination reality.
2.) The scientifically created doors were visible in each outlet reality (even the one way doors).
3.) You could only carry what was on your person or in contact with you. But you could carry people or objects between worlds as long as you kept hold of them/it or it was in contact with your body.

Examples of Possible Multiverse Traveling/Events in Lost
--Orchid time traveling bunny experiments.
--Desmond's consciousness traveling in time 'after' he turns the Swan fail safe key.
--Desmond's 'jumping' consciousness syndrome when he is in the helicopter traveling to the Kahana and they veer slightly off the bearing that Faraday gave to Lapedus.
--Kahana crew suffering 'jumping' consciousness syndrome.
--Charlotte & Juliet's 'jumping' consciousness syndrome right before their deaths.
--Eko's visions of Yemi.
--Locke's dream of being Eko seeing Yemi.
--Locke's visions after the Swan implosion (fail safe key) where Boone gives him instructions on how to save Eko.
--Charlie's religiously themed visions (Fire and Water)
--Ben turning the wheel
--15 time flashes which occur to the 815 survivors after Ben turns the wheel. (What if these flashes represent all the reality/time traveling of the Island. What if one of these flashes brings everyone who ever got to the island?)
--John Locke turning the wheel.
--815 'crash' onto Island (possible Swan Incident when Desmond didn't enter the numbers)
--Ajira 316 'crash landing' onto Island
--Ajira 316 'teleportation' of Jack, Kate & Hurley from the plane to 1977 Dharma Town.
--Swan Incident/Jughead Explosion
--Submarine 'coming' and 'going' from Island.
--Black Rock sitting in the middle of the jungle.
--Giant statue of Tawawet and big ass pyramid ending up on a tropical Island
--How Dharma Initiative built all those hatches using a submarine that appears every 6 months or so.
--How did the parachuting food find its way to the Island
--All the characters leaving then returning to the Island (Richard Alpert to see John Locke, arrange for Juliet to 'come' to the Island, film Juliet's sister, Mr. Friendly's visit to convince Michael to return to the Island on the freighter, how did all those 1950's young people arrive on the Island when there was no submarine, how did the Black Rock sail to and then 'arrive' on the Island, how did the people who built the ancient temple & hieroglyph laden ruins and monuments get there)

Island as Nexus of All Realities. Perhaps the Island is a place that exists in every reality and which can 'travel' to any time and place in any reality. It's like a merry go round when someone turns the donkey wheel it spins and then 'lands' in a different time and space in a specific reality.

Ok it all gets a little crazy and absolutely hypothetical after this, but future blog posts will try to organize some of the possible reality travel examples in Lost, and even pinpoint cross-reality interference events, and yes even try and build a 'timeline' to explain Bearded, off-Island Jack's mental breakdown as a result of cross-reality changing interference.

Just remember you nay-sayers, the multi-verse concept has been an acceptable plot device in many respected modern stories.

And can explain some of the strangest types of occurences. (like when a finctional pundit and non-althelete gets his picture on the cover of Sports Illustrated).

Well its T minus 2 minutes to the next Lost episode. Sorry, I had hoped to flush this out a little more but did a little travelling within my own dimension to Chicago. Had some great Chicago style hot dogs and a wonderful time celebrating a friend's 50th birthday. Looking forward to another fantastic Lost episode. Please leave a comment trashing any or all of these ponderings or let me know what you think.

take it easy
it ain't all half bad
mr badd

ps sorry about the spelling errors, will immediately implement the global economy's highest rated quality control procedures, the tried and true Toyota quality control implementation plan. We at Badd Lost Theories are committed to making quality our number one concern. Well our number one concern is watching Lost, a close 2nd is talking about Lost, comming in for a tie for 3rd is theorizing about Lost and rewatching Lost. But we'll work quality control in there somewhere. We may play it pretty loose and fancy free with the facts but we will try extra hard to get the letters all lined up in order to allow these demented ramblings to make sense. Now if we could only figure out how to make the numbers make sense we might get some friggen answers.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A-Flash Sideways Theories - Thinking through the mechanics of traveling in time and space and between realities on Lost

Do the Flash Sideways in Lost Season 6 represent an aknowledgement of alternative realities, a multiverse, a convoluted (perhaps loopy) time theory or simply a new story telling technique. This is my first of several blog posting to try and uncover what evidence there is for alternative realities and how such a connection might work in Lost.

Alternative Realities / Multiverse with a twist of Dark Tower
When is a door not a door? When it is ajar to an alternative reality.
A multiverse or multiple reality world theory needs one indespensible element, a way to get from one reality to another. The possibilities are magic, sci-fi natural phenomona (like black holes, worm holes, natural ability of certain races aka Dr. Who) and technological explanations.

The simplist is a door.
The Dark Tower series had doors of both a magical and technological basis. Quite often the doors from one side looked exactly like a regular door. Sometimes they needed a 'key', magical artifact or in other word, some kind of device, power or enchantment for the door to open to another reality.

On Lost there are several possible methods for traveling in time and space and possibly between realities.

Within the Orchid is a chamber reputed to allow travel in time and space (but don't put in any metal trash cans). Ben talked about a 'magic box', the Medical Station appeared to have a 'escape hatch', there are several 'secret' doors with heiroglyphs whose destinations are unknown.

The Island itself has show the capacity to create a 'effect zone' that caused the Losties (or the Island) to travel in time. This effect appears to be controlled by the 'Donkey Wheel'. But, if individuals were brought to and from the Island, then the Donkey Wheel is not a very good explanation. Richard Alpert left and returned to the Island many times more than could be explained by someone turning the 'Donkey Wheel', which seemed to have some very observable and serious side effects.

And just how does the submarine work anyway? And why do you need to be unconscious? Another point deserving of some reflection is Faraday's statement "either we are moving in time or the Island is". Just how might this difference affect the Losties on the Island?

The Swan supposedly is a source of nearly unlimited energy that the Orchid Station used on a more limited capacity for their experiments. Is there an artifact or station to use this energy? Is there a yet undiscovered station? (If there is my money is beneath the "Black Rock"). Are there artifacts or stations which can be powered to open doors in time, space and between realities. Perhaps the beacon on the Looking Glass allowed the sub to travel over or through just such an artifact.

But the simplest answer is the one that has already been dismissed:

The Door Hatch.

What's to say that the Door Hatch is just such a gateway, when it's turned on that is? Of course it still needs a power source, some kind of atunement, activation code (know any more Beach Boy songs?) or a key to get it to work. If the Swan powered the Door Hatch perhaps the pushing of the button focused the energy to a controlled release opening a doorway in time, space and between worlds. Given that the button had to be pushed every 108 minutes and could only be pushed in the last 4 minutes of the cycle, the other disregarded station, The Pearl, might have been a key way of monitoring and communicating when the button would activate the Door.

If the Door Hatch is a portal to other realities and into time and space, it certainly would be a marvelous feat of misdirection. The other time/reality changing stations (The Swan & The Orchid) were built underground and were supposedly top secret. The Orchid even had a fake green house built as 'cover'. And the Door Hatch is right out in the open amid a 'decoy village', meant to draw your attention away other more 'hidden' secrets. What better way to hide such a secret on the Island (other than hiding it beneath an 19th century sailing ship in the middle of a mountain top jungle).
Well, 13 minutes to a new episode. But I will be following up on this thread to review the mechanics of various explanations for the flash sideways and just how our Losties might move through reality itself.

take it easy, it ain't all half bad
mr badd

Monday, February 15, 2010

Childe Roland To The Dark Tower Came by Robert Browning - Stephen King's inspiration for the Dark Tower

Childe Roland To The Dark Tower Came
by Robert Browning (1812-1889)


My first thought was, he lied in every word,
That hoary cripple, with malicious eye
Askance to watch the working of his lie
On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford
Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored
Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby.


What else should he be set for, with his staff?
What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare
All travellers who might find him posted there,
And ask the road? I guessed what skull-like laugh
Would break, what crutch 'gin write my epitaph
For pastime in the dusty thoroughfare,


If at his counsel I should turn aside
Into that ominous tract which, all agree,
Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly
I did turn as he pointed: neither pride
Nor hope rekindling at the end descried,
So much as gladness that some end might be.


For, what with my whole world-wide wandering,
What with my search drawn out thro' years, my hope
Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope
With that obstreperous joy success would bring,
I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring
My heart made, finding failure in its scope.


As when a sick man very near to death
Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and end
The tears and takes the farewell of each friend,
And hears one bid the other go, draw breath
Freelier outside, (``since all is o'er,'' he saith,
``And the blow falIen no grieving can amend;'')


While some discuss if near the other graves
Be room enough for this, and when a day
Suits best for carrying the corpse away,
With care about the banners, scarves and staves:
And still the man hears all, and only craves
He may not shame such tender love and stay.


Thus, I had so long suffered in this quest,
Heard failure prophesied so oft, been writ
So many times among ``The Band''---to wit,
The knights who to the Dark Tower's search addressed
Their steps---that just to fail as they, seemed best,
And all the doubt was now---should I be fit?


So, quiet as despair, I turned from him,
That hateful cripple, out of his highway
Into the path he pointed. All the day
Had been a dreary one at best, and dim
Was settling to its close, yet shot one grim
Red leer to see the plain catch its estray.


For mark! no sooner was I fairly found
Pledged to the plain, after a pace or two,
Than, pausing to throw backward a last view
O'er the safe road, 'twas gone; grey plain all round:
Nothing but plain to the horizon's bound.
I might go on; nought else remained to do.


So, on I went. I think I never saw
Such starved ignoble nature; nothing throve:
For flowers---as well expect a cedar grove!
But cockle, spurge, according to their law
Might propagate their kind, with none to awe,
You'd think; a burr had been a treasure-trove.


No! penury, inertness and grimace,
In some strange sort, were the land's portion. ``See
``Or shut your eyes,'' said nature peevishly,
``It nothing skills: I cannot help my case:
``'Tis the Last judgment's fire must cure this place,
``Calcine its clods and set my prisoners free.''


If there pushed any ragged thistle-stalk
Above its mates, the head was chopped; the bents
Were jealous else. What made those holes and rents
In the dock's harsh swarth leaves, bruised as to baulk
All hope of greenness?'tis a brute must walk
Pashing their life out, with a brute's intents.


As for the grass, it grew as scant as hair
In leprosy; thin dry blades pricked the mud
Which underneath looked kneaded up with blood.
One stiff blind horse, his every bone a-stare,
Stood stupefied, however he came there:
Thrust out past service from the devil's stud!


Alive? he might be dead for aught I know,
With that red gaunt and colloped neck a-strain,
And shut eyes underneath the rusty mane;
Seldom went such grotesqueness with such woe;
I never saw a brute I hated so;
He must be wicked to deserve such pain.


I shut my eyes and turned them on my heart.
As a man calls for wine before he fights,
I asked one draught of earlier, happier sights,
Ere fitly I could hope to play my part.
Think first, fight afterwards---the soldier's art:
One taste of the old time sets all to rights.


Not it! I fancied Cuthbert's reddening face
Beneath its garniture of curly gold,
Dear fellow, till I almost felt him fold
An arm in mine to fix me to the place,
That way he used. Alas, one night's disgrace!
Out went my heart's new fire and left it cold.


Giles then, the soul of honour---there he stands
Frank as ten years ago when knighted first.
What honest man should dare (he said) he durst.
Good---but the scene shifts---faugh! what hangman hands
Pin to his breast a parchment? His own bands
Read it. Poor traitor, spit upon and curst!


Better this present than a past like that;
Back therefore to my darkening path again!
No sound, no sight as far as eye could strain.
Will the night send a howlet or a bat?
I asked: when something on the dismal flat
Came to arrest my thoughts and change their train.


A sudden little river crossed my path
As unexpected as a serpent comes.
No sluggish tide congenial to the glooms;
This, as it frothed by, might have been a bath
For the fiend's glowing hoof---to see the wrath
Of its black eddy bespate with flakes and spumes.


So petty yet so spiteful! All along,
Low scrubby alders kneeled down over it;
Drenched willows flung them headlong in a fit
Of route despair, a suicidal throng:
The river which had done them all the wrong,
Whate'er that was, rolled by, deterred no whit.


Which, while I forded,---good saints, how I feared
To set my foot upon a dead man's cheek,
Each step, or feel the spear I thrust to seek
For hollows, tangled in his hair or beard!
---It may have been a water-rat I speared,
But, ugh! it sounded like a baby's shriek.


Glad was I when I reached the other bank.
Now for a better country. Vain presage!
Who were the strugglers, what war did they wage,
Whose savage trample thus could pad the dank
Soil to a plash? Toads in a poisoned tank,
Or wild cats in a red-hot iron cage---


The fight must so have seemed in that fell cirque.
What penned them there, with all the plain to choose?
No foot-print leading to that horrid mews,
None out of it. Mad brewage set to work
Their brains, no doubt, like galley-slaves the Turk
Pits for his pastime, Christians against Jews.


And more than that---a furlong on---why, there!
What bad use was that engine for, that wheel,
Or brake, not wheel---that harrow fit to reel
Men's bodies out like silk? with all the air
Of Tophet's tool, on earth left unaware,
Or brought to sharpen its rusty teeth of steel.


Then came a bit of stubbed ground, once a wood,
Next a marsh, it would seem, and now mere earth
Desperate and done with; (so a fool finds mirth,
Makes a thing and then mars it, till his mood
Changes and off he goes!) within a rood---
Bog, clay and rubble, sand and stark black dearth.


Now blotches rankling, coloured gay and grim,
Now patches where some leanness of the soil's
Broke into moss or substances like boils;
Then came some palsied oak, a cleft in him
Like a distorted mouth that splits its rim
Gaping at death, and dies while it recoils.


And just as far as ever from the end!
Nought in the distance but the evening, nought
To point my footstep further! At the thought,
great black bird, Apollyon's bosom-friend,
Sailed past, nor beat his wide wing dragon-penned
That brushed my cap---perchance the guide I sought.


For, looking up, aware I somehow grew,
'Spite of the dusk, the plain had given place
All round to mountains---with such name to grace
Mere ugly heights and heaps now stolen in view.
How thus they had surprised me,---solve it, you!
How to get from them was no clearer case.


Yet half I seemed to recognize some trick
Of mischief happened to me, God knows when---
In a bad dream perhaps. Here ended, then,
Progress this way. When, in the very nick
Of giving up, one time more, came a click
As when a trap shuts---you're inside the den!


Burningly it came on me all at once,
This was the place! those two hills on the right,
Crouched like two bulls locked horn in horn in fight;
While to the left, a tall scalped mountain... Dunce,
Dotard, a-dozing at the very nonce,
After a life spent training for the sight!


What in the midst lay but the Tower itself?
The round squat turret, blind as the fool's heart,
Built of brown stone, without a counter-part
In the whole world. The tempest's mocking elf
Points to the shipman thus the unseen shelf
He strikes on, only when the timbers start.


Not see? because of night perhaps?---why, day
Came back again for that! before it left,
The dying sunset kindled through a cleft:
The hills, like giants at a hunting, lay,
Chin upon hand, to see the game at bay,---
``Now stab and end the creature---to the heft!''


Not hear? when noise was everywhere! it tolled
Increasing like a bell. Names in my ears
Of all the lost adventurers my peers,---
How such a one was strong, and such was bold,
And such was fortunate, yet, each of old
Lost, lost! one moment knelled the woe of years.


There they stood, ranged along the hill-sides, met
To view the last of me, a living frame
For one more picture! in a sheet of flame
I saw them and I knew them all. And yet
Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set,
And blew. ``Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came.'

8 - An Ending for Lost? Transcendence & Epiphany, The Journey is the Destination

My blog has attempted to think about the symbols, plot and characters of Lost by comparing them to the themes of Stephen King's Dark Tower series. I have tried to uncover the underlying mythological core of each story. I did this because I thought there might be some similarities that might point to a better understanding of the mysteries of Lost and where the story might take us (and maybe give us some friggin answers;-). But there have been many literary, movie and pop culture methaphors linking Lost to other stories, and whether the Dark Tower series is just one more thread in a rich tapestry of linked and overlaping themes and related myths, time will tell.

But my main effort has been to compare Lost to the Dark Tower (and the Grail Quest) in order to uncover how these stories present heroes and myths in order to discover the mythological purpose of the story itself. I had a crazy idea that I might get more information looking at the forest than studying the trees. I hoped that by trying to understand general mythological patters I might understand where the details fit in. (To see the universe in a blade of grass, or uncounted universes in a single rose).

I have grounded my rambling ponderings in Joseph Cambell's research into the power of the imagination and story telling to convey common mythic symbols. Joseph Cambell believed this goal was NOT to find the meaning of life (or of Lost), but to share in the experience of being alive as communicated through the stories we partake of. And through these stories to find not only compassion for the individual struggles of the heroes but to also experience the universal and ongoing experience of being alive. It's all about the power of the story to unfold a hero's journey along mythic quests which lead us to share in the experience of eternity in the life that is right before each of us.

The point is not to discover the 'meaning of life' but to share in the experience of being truely and fully alive. I can attest to this personally, in the joy I have have found sharing my thoughts and partaking in others mad ramblings in the community of Lost fans who enjoy theorizing, blogging and podcasting.

To share in the transcendence of the hero and to find a personal epiphany in the sorrows and triumphs of your own life that 'completes' the experience of the myth's hero. To see yourself as the hero of your own journey and to use this awareness to create, for yourself, the inspiration to create a meaningful life.

Joseph Campbell believed that the ancient mysteries and religions have lost their force, and that their symbols no longer resonates in our psyche. But this does not mean that myths are no longer important. Indeed he thought they were more important than ever.

For our Losties, their journey on the island has been to first discover themselves.
JACK: [smiling] ... I don't trust myself. How am I supposed to trust you?

JACK: Let's see where trust gets us. [Jack swallows pill]
There are no external sybmols that they can use to measure themselves or the path they should follow. Blindly following Science or Faith will not work. Where there was darkness now there is light, but where there was light, there is now darkness. The light of reason disipated ignorance, but it also disipated faith in a social framework of ordered roles and symbols. Reason has not given individuals something to believe in. You have to trust in something. We are compelled to believe and give meaning to the chaotic circumstances of our existence.

The Island of Lost is awash in dead symbolism that our Losties can not deceipher but which would be useless to them if they could. There are ancient egyptian gods and hieroglyphs,

tokens of budha, karma and hippie counter culture,

supernatural forces

 incomprehensible scientific theories,

social roles based on science and reason,

an ordered society based on unquestioning faith in a leader of supernatural ability,

Our Losties are adrift in myths and symbolism and our search for answers; whether aliens, supernatural forces, science fiction theories to somehow give meaning to the unfolding story mirrors their true give meaning to their lives and their choices.

Joseph Campbell thought that the modern hero is one who does not wait to be shown the path of his destiny and atonement. Indeed, society and the old myths no longer have the capacity to guide today's modern individual. "It is not society that is to guide and save the creative hero, but precisely the reverse. And so everone of us shares the supreme ordeal--carries the cross of the redeemer--not in the bright moments of his tribe's great victories, but in the silences of his personal despair."

The focal point of human wonder has passed from the boundaries of science to come back to rest on the crucial mystery of man himself. "Man is that alien presence with whom the forces of egoism must come to terms, through whom  the ego is to be cruicified and resurrected, and in whose image society is to be reformed." Man, understood in a mythic sense is a divine being capable of compassion and atonement, transformation and transcendence. And it is within the individuall, and not societal roles and obligations, nor religions or taboos, that the individual will find guidance to journey the hero's path and partake of "the measure of the inexhaustible and multifariously wonderful divine existence that is the life in all of us."

We contain our own eternity which we can touch in compassion, suffering and love. This is the message which we all can bring back from the hero's journey told in mythic stories and which we can use as a lampost to guide our actions in an uncertain world. We are not Lost if we can but find ourselves in compassion with those around us. The true mysteries of Lost need to be discovered in the metaphors and symbols which define "the destiny of man, man's hope, man's faith, as well as man's dark mystery."

We will not discover a white knight conquering an evil force, we will find ourselves confronting the light and darkness within each of us. The true quest is discovering that the journey is our destination and our destiny.