Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ab Aeterno - Out of Time, at least I'm out of time as I spent all week musing over a 3 second screenshot

Ab Aeterno  = From the beginning of time
Wikipedia "ab aeterno" (latin) from the eternal. Literally, "from the everlasting" or "from eternity".
Thus, "from time immemorial", "since the beginning of time" or "from an infinitely remote time in the past".
In theology, often indicates something, such as the universe, that was created outside of time or that exists outside of time like God, Love or perhaps the Island.

Wow what a great episode! Nester was amazing. One of the best performances ever! And more great scenes with MIB and Jacob, not to mention that heartbreaking scene of redemption at the end with Richard, Isabella and Hurley.

Richard Alpert's King James Version bible opened to Luke 4:24 (King James Version)
24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.

1.) My first thought when I read the screen shot was that the top most passage in the bible (Luke 4:24) had an obvious connection with Ben's quote as Henry Gale from The Brothers Karamazov in "The Whole Truth". If you look to the surrounding text in the Brothers Karamazov, it reflects both John Locke's faith in the Island as the motivation for his actions and Jacob's committment to his plan and his willingness to die in support of that plan.
(Blue is Ben's quote)
"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.

2.) Overview of Luke Chapter 4. Luke Chapter 4 begins with the devil tempting Jesus for 40 days. While Jesus fasts he tempts him with food, the devil offers him dominion over the world if Jesus will worship him, he takes Jesus to Jerusalem, and sets him on a pinnacle of the temple, and mocks Jesus to prove that he is God's son by casting himself off the tower. If he is the son of God then angels will come and save him. Jesus successfully rejects the devil and enters Galilee to preach the word and is very successful, at least until he enters Nazareth where the hometown folk reject him. He goes on to do great miricles (casting out many demons possessing people and curing a woman's fever-in addition to other miricles mentioned) and his teachings bring the people to acknowledge him as Christ (the Messiah.)

I think it possible that the early theme of Luke 4, Jesus' rejection of the devil's temptations is related to Richard's rejection of the Man In Black's offers. He offered to reunite Isabella with him if he would kill Jacob, whom he called the devil.

He also left his offer open in case he 'ever' changed his mind. MIB comes off as a very understanding man. He knows that the Jacob (whom he portrays as the devil) can be very persuasive.

MIB/F-Locke has made similar offers to Sayid (to reunite him with Nadia), Claire (reunite her with Arron) and Sawyer (I personally believe MIB/F-Locke is tempting Sawyer with reuniting with Kate).

I fully expect Sun to be tempted with reuniting with Jin. Will have to await to see how the other Losties will be tempted, or whether MIB/F-Locke has other plans for them.
3.) The passage on this page in Luke is part of the Rejection of Jesus by his hometown of Nazareth. Another strong connection with the The Brothers Karamazov quote ("Men reject their prophets and slay them").

Here Jesus sort of preempts their rejection and tells the Nazareens, yes I know you will reject me, and you will plan harm to me cause you lack faith .
The allusion in 23"And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself" refers to what Jesus knows they intend for him...To cast him down.
But as the following passages (verses 29-30) convey, while the people of Nazareth reject him they do feel the power of his ministry and can not harm him.

So the people of his hometown felt the power of his message and they could not harm Jesus, but because they knew the 'man' Jesus (you know that carpenter's son who built my shed) they refused to take the leap of faith and accept his divine message. Jesus rebukes them ahead of time, knowing they lacked the faith to accept Jesus as a source of a divine message, because they knew him so closely tied to the mortality they they shared and could not bear to see someone no better than they deliver God's word. This is a very powerful statement about the limitations of humanity. We are more easily led to believe and have faith in mysterious and grand rituals which seem greater than ourselves (like John's faith in the Island) and turn our backs on the message when it is delivered where we need it most, in our everyday lives (like when John Locke is bitter and angry at his paraliysis and wants to lash out by scratching Hurley's car). The failure of the Nazareens is in many ways a failure of them to overcome their own egos. To see the divinity of life in the mud and stench and sweat of their daily lives and to find God's divine message coming from the lowest among them.

4.) The failure of his hometown people to believe also has another possible meaning. Allegorical miricles requiring Faith as opposed to physical miricles. For those who believe that Jesus did not perform physcial miricales but that his miricles were allegorical, the rejection of the Nazareens meant that Jesus could NOT perform miricles because they did not believe. Belief is the miraculous occurence in Jesus' teachings and the actual miricles were when someone who was blind was lifted beyond the physical limits of his affliction to see the power of Jesus' divine message and actually partake in it. To witness and momentarily touch the eternal and the power of life outside of our own selves. Anyway if one follows down this line then it is possible for NON-BELIEVERS to call Jesus' miricles "ILLUSIONS" because they required the faith of those he preached to for them to have an effect (not a physical one). For Lost, this has an allusion (ha ha) to MIB/F-locke's seemingly supernatural powers (getting stabbed to no ill effect; transforming to the smoke monster). I do not say that the smoke monster is fake or not real, but that smokie's appearance as John Locke is more of an apperation than a physcial body. I am content with Daimon and Carlton's explanation that MIB seems locked (ha ha) in John Locke's form following the death of Jacob. I find a corallary between this interpretation of Jesus' miricles, his choice/failure to perform the miricles for his hometown of Nazareth and the possibility that MIB/F-Locke has some capability to perfrom Illusions as well as the physcial destructive power of the smoke monster. The real question is why does MIB/F-Locke not stay in smokie form and just kill everyone? I think it is because MIB/F-Locke needs to coopt the people on the Island in order to achieve his entire purpose. So in essense, MIB/F-Locke is much more dangerous in his illusionary form as John Locke than as Smokie, and his new limit on appearing as only John Locke is a severe limit on his ability to fool and persuade those on the island he needs to help achieve his darker plan.

5.) The proverb in Luke 4:23 "Physician, heal thyself" also has an allusion to the death of Jacob (the healer) as well as the death of the physician in Richard Alpert's tale.
The physician dies because he asks Richard for more than he is able to pay. Is this not similar to Jacob's Faustian bargins. Jacob provided healing, at a price that was very costly (just ask Dogen or Juliet). And in the case of Ben, Jacob asked from him more than he was willing or able to pay (unconditional faith in the face of temptation and suffering--very much like Job was tested). So in the passage in Luke 4:23, Jesus is knowing he is asking for more than the people in his hometown can deliver. And did not Jacob likewise KNOW that he was asing more of Ben than Ben could bear (even as he secretly hoped that he was wrong-according to Miles reading of the ashes).

6.) Luke 4:37 (reference at top of page) Jesus casts out devil, exorcises demons from people. Following his rejection by the people of Nazareth, he performed several miricles, including many prominent exorcisms or casting out of demons. And to my little eye, John Locke definately appears to be possessed. But whether or not John Locke is possessed or an illusion or Smokie made flesh (hope you don't find that blasphemous-appologies if you do) Claire and Sayid can generally be seen to have been possessed or infected by the evil of MIB/F-Locke. Perhaps Luke 4:37 portends the casting out of the demons possessing Claire, Sayid and maybe even F-Locke himself?

7.) Passage immediately following is Luke 4:38, I think the women with fever referenced in the verse has a clear tie in to Isabella dying from a fever. And while Jesus performs a miricle and cures her; while Jacob helps (in the very long term) Richard to be reunited 'in spirit' with his wife and to feel the presense of her love which had never left him-but which he had forgotten. His burying and digging up and wearing his wife's cross is symbolic of his new re-found love. I think the reason why Richard buried his wife's cross is that while he was 'unforgiven' for his sin of murder, he was unworthy to wear it. His doning her cross again was symbolic of his redemption. (Aside: I personally think this is the correct reading of the miricles where Jesus 'raises' the dead to life.)

8.) Gnostic interpretations of this passage led me to review some of the Gnostic interpretations of knowledge and faith which I find have very powerful allegorical refernces to the themes in Lost.

The most powerful theme between Lost and Gnostism, I think is the Gnostic view of knowledge and how it ties in to how our characters on Lost have come to know 'faith'.

..."Unlike modern English, ancient Greek was capable of discerning between several different forms of knowing. These different forms may be described in English as being propositional knowledge, indicative of knowledge acquired indirectly through the reports of others or otherwise by inference

Gnosis (γνῶσις) refers to knowledge of the second kind. Therefore, in a religious context, to be 'Gnostic' should be understood as being reliant not on knowledge in a general sense, but as being specially receptive to mystical or esoteric experiences of direct participation with the divine.
...Within the cultures of the term's provenance (Byzantine and Hellenic) gnosis was a special knowledge or insight into the infinite, divine and uncreated in all and above all,[2] rather than knowledge strictly into the finite, natural or material world which is called Epistemological knowledge.[3] Gnosis is a transcendental as well as mature understanding.[4] It indicates direct spiritual experiential knowledge[5] and intuitive knowledge, mystic rather than that from rational or reasoned thinking. Gnosis itself is obtained through understanding at which one can arrive via inner experience or contemplation such as an internal epiphany of intuition and external epiphany such as the Theophany.

Gnosis as knowledge (or faith) derived from intuitive, mystic or spiritual means versus rational, reasoned thinking sets forth the "Man of Faith" vs "Man of Reason" that was such a powerful theme in the show for many seasons. This dichotomy was the main source of confllict between John Locke and Jack Shephard.
I think John Locke's Faith in the Island and Jack's eventual Faith in his actions leading to the detonation of the Jughead bomb can be clearly seen as examples of Gnosis or Gnostic Faith. And this has been one of the most frustrating aspects of Lost. Because we want to know WHY and WHAT they believe in in order to validate our emotional connection with the characters and justify the actions of those characters. And until this episode we have had little insight into the purpose of the Island. Now it seems, according to Jacob, the purpose of the Island is to encompass and imprison an evil, malevelant force from spreading into the world.

9.) Further expounding on Gnostic Texts - An Ending for Lost?
What is Faith--is it a power to move mountains, or to bring peace, to unite opposing forces?
Canonical View
Regarding the parable of the fig tree and casting the money lenders from the temple. Wikipedia  Simon Peter observes that the tree withered. (an allusion to the lack of faith of the temple priests) Jesus responds that anyone can make a mountain throw itself in the sea, if he truly believes his command will be obeyed. A similar statement is also mentioned in the much earlier Pauline Epistles, where the First Epistle to the Corinthians argues that faith can move mountains.
Gnostic View
However, A different statement is found in the Gospel of Thomas. Instead of referring to a lack of doubt, Jesus advises that mountains can be moved if two people make peace with each other in a "single house."[1] The early Gnostics interpreted this statement as referring to the paths that lead to gnosis [2].

In Lost, the battle between John Locke and Jack Shephard was often portrayed as a conflict of "A Man of Faith" vs "A Man of Reason". Perhaps their 'battle' has a corellary with the conflict between MIB and Jacob.
For Lost, such an interpretation might mean that the intention of Jacob's actions and plans is to make peace with MIB.

(I believe this reference from a gnostic vantage is analagous to the view of miricles as allegorical and would argue against the belief that there is a physical power to faith and belief outside of the power to motivate people through an encounter with the word of God, or more broadly, by momentarily sharing an experience of the eternal, of the wonderous force of life that lies beyond our concepts of 'self' but of which we are a part. I believe it requires 'destroying' or getting past one's ego and rational mind to experience.)

10.) Book of Thomas the Contender - An Bad Twin Corollary
The Book of Thomas the Contender (a Gnostic work), also known more simply as the Book of Thomas (not to be confused with the Gospel of Thomas), is one of the books of the New Testament apocrypha represented in the Nag Hammadi library, a cache of Gnostic gospels secreted in the Egyptian desert.

The dialogue can also be read as an internal conversation between Jesus and his lower self, Judas Thomas, the twin (contender for supremacy of the soul). The New Testament's "doubting" Thomas and Judas "the betrayer" could also be symbolic and descriptive of this internal battle between the Christ Self and ego identity.

The content of this work is quite hyperbolic and gnostic in style, in the sense of imparting a private, arcane knowledge related to good versus evil.

This gnostic interpretation has some clear connections with Lost. The Lost Supper makes special note to portray Sayid as Judas, Jack as doubting Thomas. Perhaps MIB and Jacob are twin contenders for the soul of the Island, perhaps they are twin elements of a single consciousness that need to be reunited and healed in order to find peace.

Basically just thought that there is a common Gnostic theme to the christian theological references in Lost.

11.) Just cause I am on a religous theme I will pass on one more observation of a religious tone. That Jacob dunking Richard 3 times until he proclaimed "I want to Live" seemed like a baptism.

And Richard's 3 renunciations of Jacob, are very similar to Peter renouncing Jesus 3 times before the cock crowed. (1. Jacob first renounces Jacob when he tries to get Jack to help blow him up; 2. when Ilana says that Jacob said that Richard would know what to do-great insane laugh Nester, and runs off into the jungle looking for MIB; and 3) at the site of the stone bench where he buried his wife's cross where he shouts out to MIB "I've changed my mind" only to have Hurley save him).

12.) and just one last note, did you think that MIB's stone chair amid the stone circle (where Richard brings him the white rock and rejects his offer and where he buries Isabella's cross) looked alot like a memorial bench you might find at a cemetary? There were lots of stone markers that looked like gravestones. Think MIB's 'mom' might be buried there?
13) A late entry fromScotty Six which I heard Jacob's Cabin podcast (not the spanish one unfortunately) notes the 3 years & 6 months referenced in Luke 4:25 is 42 months, one of the numbers.

Other Great Things About Ab Aeterno:
Found out how the Tawarett Statue got broken.

Found out that Richard was a slave on the Black Rock and who freed him
Found out the Losties have a purpose: to keep MIB/F-Locke from leaving the Island or
they all go to HELL

Found out for sure that MIB and F-Locke is the Smoke Monster (they both admited it-but they are liars)

That was you!
Richard Gets One Wish -- Found out that Jacob can't forgive sins, can't raise the dead,
but he can grant eternal life
Amazing and Beautiful Scenery of the Island (Hawaii)

Found Out the Purpose of the Island: as a 'cork' to contain an evil and malevelent force:
And that force, that darkness, that Man in Black, wants out.
Even if he has to destroy everything and everone, he will be 'free'. What a waste of good wine.

Found out that MIB believes Jacob 'Stole' his body?!? Whatzupwitzat!

Dark Tower themes:
Crimson King trapped in Dark Tower/MIB trapped on Island
The behnind the scenes, ultra bad guy in Stephen King's Dark Tower is the Crimson King who is TRAPPED in the Dark Tower. To escape, he wants to destroy everything in this universe and all others (CK will then be free to reign over the gray netherworld between universes-a very Lovecraft-like, monster filled nightmare reality).

MIB in Lost is definitely TRAPPED and I thought the analogy of the corked wine bottle, and MIB's 'Solution' to escape by breaking the bottle and not removing the cork is a very analogous to this Dark Tower plot.

Another possibility is that MIB and Jacob represent demons and Beam Protectors referenced in the Dark Tower. There are 6 beams uniting the multiverse with 12 focal points. Each focal point has a guardian. There are 12 demons (6 but each have a male and female aspect) that were trapped at various mystical stone circles where the energy of the cosmos align.

Dark Tower reference to the Gnostic religion of Mani (Manichaeism). In the Dark Tower, the Mani sect is instrumental in assisting Roland the Gunslinger to cross over between worlds (universes).

I see a very strong gnostic influence in some of the religious themes in Lost and thought it was worth examing the Gnostic Religion of Manichaeism since it also existed in the Dark Tower Books. I found a religion which seems to define the unfolding story of MIB vs Jacob.

Manichaeism taught an elaborate cosmology describing the struggle between a good, spiritual world of light, and an evil, material world of darkness.

Manichaean theology had a dualistic view of good and evil. A key belief in Manichaeism is that there is no omnipotent good power. There are two opposite powers, one of light (good) and one of darkness (evil). The human person is seen as a battleground for these powers: the good part is the soul, which is composed of light, and the bad part is the body, composed of dark earth. The soul defines the person and is incorruptible, but it is under the domination of a foreign power. There are strong Buhdhist influences in Manichaeism.

--The religion also has a very important role for the Mother of Life (Mother Nature).
--The physical universe was created as a trick to liberate the captive sparks of light in living beings from the realm of darkness
--The bottom line is that light and darkness (good and evil) are co-mingled in the world and finally in man. And man becomes a battleground for the light and darkness within him.
--It appears that the souls of man (the light bits) trapped in their earthly (darkness/matter) forms are integral in the final victory for the light because when we die, our souls (the light) is returned to the realm of the light.

Sounds like a Manichaen battle of light and darkness occuring on the Island between Jacob and
Man In Black.

Manachean "Creation Myth" (It's pretty crazy)
In the beginning...the two "natures" or "substances", light and obscurity, good and evil, God and matter, coexisted, separated by a frontier. In the North reigned the Father of the South, the Prince of Darkness...the "disorderly motion" of matter drove the Prince of Darkness toward the upper frontier of his kingdom. Seeing the splendor of light, he is fired by the desire to conquer it. It is then that the Father decides that he will himself repulse the adversary. He...projects from himself, the Mother of Life, who...projects a new hypostasis, the Primordial Man...With his five sons, who are...his "soul" and "armor" made from five lights, the Primordial Man descends to the frontier. He challenges the darkness, but he is conquered, and his sons are devoured by the demons...This defeat marks the beginning of the cosmic "mixture", but at the same time it insures the final triumph of God. For obscurity (matter) now possesses a portion of light...and the Father, preparing its deliverance, at the same time arranges for his definitive victory against darkness. In a second Creation, the Father "evokes" the Living Spirit, which, descending toward obscurity, grasps the hand of the Primordial Man and raises him to his celestial homeland, the Paradise of Lights. Overwhelming the demonic Archontes, the Living Spirit fashions the heavens from their skins, the mountains from their bones, the earth from their flesh and their excretments...In addition, he achieves a first deliverance of light by creating the sun, the moon, and the stars from portions of it that had not suffered too much from contact with obscurity. Finally, the Father proceeds to a last evocation and projects by emanation the Third Messenger. The latter organizes the cosmos into a kind of machine to collect - deliver - the still-captive particles of light. During the first two weeks of the month, the particles rise to the moon, which becomes a full moon; during the second two weeks, light is transferred from the moon to the sun and, finally, to its celestial homeland. But there were still the particles that had been swallowed by the demons. Then the messenger displays himself to the male demons in the form of a dazzling naked virgin, while the female demons see him as a handsome naked young man...fired by desire, the male demons...give forth their semen, and, with it, the light that they had swallowed. Fallen to the ground, their semen gives birth to all the vegetable species. As for the female devils who were already pregnant, at the sight of the handsome young man they give birth to fallen angels, which, cast onto the ground, eat the buds of trees, thus assimilating the light that they contained. Alarmed by the Third Messenger's tactics, matter, personified as Concupiscence, decides to create a stronger prison around the still-captive particles of light. Two demons, one male, the other female, devour all the fallen angels in order to absorb the totality of light, and they then couple. Thus Adam and Eve were engendered.

More to follow
take it easy,
it ain't all half-badd
mr badd
p.s. leave me a comment or e-mail me at -- I guarantee you'll get a response, just can't guarantee it will make sense.


  1. OPEN LETTER TO Damon Laurence Lindelof & Carlton Cuse

    Well, as any fan of Lost knows YOU,
    Dameon and Carlton, are the Man!

    So it is no surprise that LOST is secretly expounding the teachings of the prophet Mani.

    As you both know Manichaeism (an ancient religion which mysterously disappeared 1500 years ago) taught a dualistic view of good and evil.
    It has an elaborate cosmology describing the struggle between a good, spiritual world of light, and an evil, material world of darkness.

    In Manichaeism there is no omnipotent good power. There are two opposite powers, one of light (good) and one of darkness (evil). The human person is seen as a battleground for these powers: the good part is the soul, which is composed of light, and the bad part is the body, composed of dark earth.

    So fess up,
    --Dameon you are the King of Darkness
    melech kheshokha;
    --and Carlton is the Father of Greatness
    Abbā dəRabbūṯā

    and we, the fans of Lost are the battleground for your struggle to gain control over all of reality.

    Your dualistic natures are clear from your early work:
    --Abba deRabbua, or as you are known in your present incarnation, Carlton, clearly made a spiritually pure vision of the good when he created "The Adventures of Brisco County Junior."

    --And you, melech kheshokha; or Dameon as your dark cronies refer to you, made your essense perfectly clear when you spawned "Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk"
    nuff said.

    Consider yourselves on notice, YOUR PLANS HAVE BEEN UNVEILED!

    Thanks, and as a sincere fan I eagerly await the outcome of this apocolyptic struggle which concludes on May 23, 2010
    Don't kill Hurley!!!

    'mr badd'
    Fairfax, VA

  2. And no Mani, is not the guy from Manny, Moe and Jack from the Pep Boys, beloved benefactors of all things Automotive.

    It's Mani, born in 216 AD in Persia. His religion spread to Great Britain and China.

  3. Just a finale note: one of the best episodes of Lost: EVER! Clearly a contender for best Lost episode.
    Rating from mr badd: A+