Everything in between.. really was just “progress”.
This, dear readers, is my unrehearsed, slightly (okay, incredibly!) rambled take on the LOST finale…
** Disclaimer: As with any post relating to a TV series.. This one is packed with spoilers, so if you’ve not yet seen the finale, or the series, but are planning on watching, please don’t spoil the show for yourself and avoid reading this blog! **
Here are my rambles… They’re not exactly overly coherent, but I will most likely come back to this blog and edit them down once I’m infront of a computer. Mobile blogging can only take me so far… PLEASE feel free to comment with your thoughts!
“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” - St. Thomas Aquinas
Life is a ‘test’. We are all born with a toolkit. That tool kit is called free will. With this tool, some people do good things..some people do bad. At the end of that ‘human’ life, depending on whatever faith you believe in, as religious or simply spiritual as it may be, different things happen. (Some reach nirvana, heaven, etc. )
According to these beliefs, there is an “after” life, which manifests itself in different ways. In order to fully separate your spirit from the human world, let go, and move on… You need to have reached forgiveness, redemption, and closure on many aspects of your human life, before truly moving onto that next stage.
"Limbo" or "purgatory" is that place where you piece together everything that’s happened. Where you close all leftover issues. For some people its a short road, to others, it can take ages. This could explain the time travel and the people who were ‘killed’ off the island. Those were people who were able to finally let go, move on, and be able to carry on to their next life. Aside from being forgiven by others they were finally able to forgive/redeem THEMSELVES. They had reached the spiritual closure they needed to be done with human life for good. For the rest, it was like groundhog day until they figured out what to do to move on… let go…..
All the characters in the island, more specifically, all the protagonists of the island, had personal stories of pain, suffering, and inconclusive results to their lives. Some caused by poor decision making, some by things they had no control over. I feel a lot of these issues ‘manifested’ themselves within the island, to help these people work out the things that were holding them back. (Example: Jack’s son ‘Aaron’ not really existing… but there to help him work out his father issues.)
“Think of time as a river. As we go through it, we enter and exit the river at different points (in time). However, when we die and exit the river of time, we’re all standing on the same shore, and from a vantage point outside of the river, we all get there at once.”
Maybe some of the characters and situations were really just different aspects of Jack’s life portrayed in physical form to help him realize things, work through certain inner battles, and gain closure. (“Where the Wild Things Are” anyone?) Maybe this was all about fighting your inner demons. Maybe, they all had their own separate storylines and each incident that took place was completely designed for each of them to work out their own fate after death!
The focus remains this: LOST was a story about characters living within a crazy mythical island, not about an island that happened to have people in it. The story was always character-driven, and I thought they did a brilliant job at bringing their emotional story to a close in a way that let them all finally ‘rest in peace’.
The ‘numbers’ symbolized Jacob’s candidates. They all add up to 108.
But there’s crucial symbolism that kind of got left behind in all the explanation and demystification of LOST. This might help put everything else into perspective.
The ‘108 Bodhisattva’ Terma is essentially a search for ‘108 Beings of Great Compassion, Virtuous hearts, and Pure Minds’, who will, in this age, be ‘catalysts for change and transformation on the earth’.
A bodhisattva is “someone who should have achieved enlightenment and escaped from the endless cycle of death and rebirth, but chose instead to stay behind to help others on their journeys.”
Sound familiar yet?…. Here’s the kicker:
If the Losties lived a continuous cycle of life and death until they could create a place where they can be together and move on, finding that ‘ultimate truth’ in themselves, where things are ‘as they should be’…what do you call that?
They say when you die, you remember your own death and remember the people who were most instrumental and who lead up to the moment when you died to help you move on to what is next. All those memories, those people, those stories, those relationships, those losses and those triumphs, were all portrayed by life on the island. The result? A group of individuals who had no real ties, yet were made into a family that cared about each other and that we cared about too - no easy feat.
”You can let go now… it’s okay. You can let go.” - Rose (during the plane turbulence which does land them safely in LAX)…
Metaphorically and literally speaking, this makes much more sense now.. Could this have been the moment Jack died? He wasn’t ready to let go. It is said that ‘ghosts’ are those who do not believe they are dead, or haven’t come to terms with having died… or feel like they haven’t finished with things… or haven’t gotten the resolution/closure/forgiveness/redemption they need to ‘move on’…
Ending the story with him closing his eyes was genius for the purpose of closure. It will be interesting to revisit all seasons and look at the path of Open-Closed eyes.
It is believed that The dog is the first person that meets you in heaven. (In the event you were never a dog person, I’d suppose a cat will greet you just the same!) Just like the in movies like What Dreams May Come… or books like The Five People You Meet in Heaven…and just like in many works of literature over the years… it makes sense why Vincent would be there, sitting with Jack as he finally ‘leaves’ and accepts his version of moving on…. the plane flying over could also be symbolic to finally ‘departing’.
Some people who weren’t ready to ‘move on’…
Ben: A conflicted soul. Ben was shown outside of the temple everyone else was inside of, showing that although he had already redeemed himself in certain ways, from all the things he had done, he still had conflicts to resolve, to truly be at peace with himself.
Eloise: When she asked Desmond ‘are you taking him from me’ and he touched her hand… I think that was her conversation about getting closure/moving on from the fact she shot her own son. He’d been stuck in that limbo with her for a while, by his own set of things he had to deal with, but now that he was ready to move on to that stage of enlightement, she would have to accept the fact his ‘spirit’ would no longer be present…
Michael: Popping up here and there, still on the island, but Walt is gone…
This might not be so hard to explain, as Walt was a child, probably innocent, had no real issues…and so his time in the ‘island’ was short and he reached that moving on stage much quicker….maybe they died at the same time. Or maybe “Walt”, just like Aaron to Jack, represents something within Michael, who continues to roam the land of ‘lost souls’ trying to find his place in the afterlife.
Rose & Bernard: ‘staying’ in the island and wanting to continue to grow old on it is the fact that they refused to accept they were dead,or maybe at least refuse to accept Rose’s death (to Cancer, in the off-island timeline) She may have refused to get closure, as it is common in medical situations like that to go through a huge period of questions and troubles, not being able to forgive, or accept what had happened. Maybe they were afraid one would reach that next stage and the other wouldn’t… and they just couldn’t imagine being separated…. so they were going to stay in that place and ‘time’..
Desmond, being the ‘constant’ to me felt as an aid for people to reach that ‘final’ moment whether he was an angel/guru/etc all depends on the religious/spiritual context you want to look at… But his job was to help you reach that point of letting go, to remember, to move on… for everyone to have that ‘a ha’ moment. A catalyst.
Clearly, all the characters died at different times, Christian even stated that. The flash-sideways was a purgatory, or whatever you want to call it. There was no “here” or “now”. It was simply a place they all created for each other to be able to really move on. Characters like Michael, Eloise and Ben weren’t ready yet…There were so many ‘lost’ souls in the island still whispering about and popping up here and there…. because they weren’t done resolving their personal conflicts yet.
The song Amazing Grace makes so much more sense now after being used in so many of the promos…..
"How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was LOST, but now I’m found. Was blind. But now I see….”
To finish it off…Sure, there were many things that were never explained…. the mythology of the island itself, the numbers, the experiments, the flashes, etc… but half the fun of this show will be maintaining that ‘Mystery Box’ factor J.J Abrams spoke about in his TED Conference. As soon as you know what’s inside the box, it’ll lose its appeal, intrigue, and magic.
Mike on May 24 ‘10 at 11:46am
The way I look at it is, the viewers only knew what the characters knew.
The characters didn’t find out who dropped the Dharma supplies, so we didn’t. They found an answer, we found an answer. The audience isn’t all-knowing.
I’d echo what I heard someone else say, and is completely true…
"If I wanted to watch a show that gave me answers, I’d watched Jeopardy. "