Wednesday, October 22, 2014

HURLEY'S HEAD

One of the early LOST theories, and some still suspect one of the "craziest," deals with fan favorite, Hurley.  Hurley was universally the most likeable main character in the series.

But a popular fan theory was that Hurley is still in the mental institution and that each character is a part of his personality.

This is slightly different than Hurley (or some other character) was dreaming this all up (like a real bad Dallas cliffhanger solution).  This theory supposes that it is not a dream, per se, but a multiple personality disorder coming to life.

There is a bridge between the two places. Both at the mental institution and on the island, Hurley's "imaginary friend" Dave appears. In fact, at the mental institution, Dave tries to coax Hurley with food in order to escape the institution. Hurley hesitates, then stays (which is also odd, because Hurley was not committed so he could leave, supposedly, at any time). Then on the island, Dave tells Hurley that everything is all "in his head."  Only a last second intervention by Libby (who is also seen at the mental institution as a whacked out patient) saves Hurley from jumping off a cliff. In Dave's world, this would break the mental cycle in Hurley's head. From the show perspective, we are led to believe that Libby saved Hurley from certain death. For some reason, Libby's coaxing of Hurley off the ledge was not that of a lover, but like a nurse. But we know Libby is not a nurse, but a troubled patient. It is after that that Libby begins to reel Hurley toward her. If Libby was also an imaginary person, with some psychotic self-awareness that a multiple personality could manifest, then stopping "Dave" would be the only way to "save" herself in Hurley's complex mental world.

Libby could represent the caring person missing in Hurley's real life. Libby represents the romantic feelings that he cannot express to real people. On the other extreme, Dave appears to be Hurley's adventurous alter-ego, someone who is willing to take chances, risks, in order to get the nerve endings to tingle. If these two mental institutional characters are two ends of the spectrum, that sets up a linear character development plot line to dissect the series.

If we assume that Hurley is truly a troubled person, then the one event that set him over the edge was the alleged porch collapse incident where two people were killed. Hurley blamed his weight and presence on the porch for its collapse and resulting deaths. (However, we are never told that Hurley was actually injured in the incident. Some say that this may have been the gateway event for Hurley's own personal journey in purgatory; dying as a result of the porch collapse.) If Hurley truly blamed himself for two deaths, what if those two people were Dave and Libby? Since Hurley never acknowledged Libby as a patient when she came out of the jungle, could she also be "imaginary" like Dave? If so, then that squarely puts the island in the realm of mental illness and not a real place.

Then let's explore the some of other main characters in relation to this premise.

If Hurley was on the porch when it collapsed, killing two people, it is highly likely that he would have been injured as a result. We know he had some disdain for his regular psychologist who told him Dave "was not real." Hurley could have conjured a more sympathetic, miracle working alter ego in the form of Jack Shephard, who was similarly affected by serious daddy issues. Jack takes the form of internal healing for Hurley.

Then, we have Kate, who could be the musical persona of Hurley's mental state. As the girl next door character, Kate could function as possible love interest like the record store clerk, but real Hurley knows that he could never have such a girl. While Hurley is introverted, shy and dower on his prospects, Kate is the opposite - - - hard hitting, aggressive, manipulative and can put men on a string and pull them like a yo-yo. Kate takes the form of yearning for an exciting, adventurous personality.

Locke ties in with Jack in more ways than one. Locke could be the embodiment of two things: Hurley's actual porch injuries, and Hurley's internally perceived deficiencies in making friends, keeping a job, a lack of focus - - - the embodiment of all the darkest fears, such as dying alone. While Locke can scream "you can't tell me what to do!" Hurley cannot make such statements because he has repressed that will to stand up (even for himself).

Sawyer can represent luck. Sawyer was the one character who can make things look too easy. He can con money, change tacts, be quick witted and humorous, but also be cunning and strong. He is a
Robert Mitchum style "man's man" something that Hurley knows he could never be in real life. It is why the fire and gasoline combo of Kate and Sawyer would never work, because only opposites attract (or so that is the rules of relationships).

By "solving" his inner personalities with each other, Hurley can find some mental balance on his island. Remember, Hurley is the last man standing - - - in control - - - of the island, which could be symbolic of his mental state. And when the ending church scene is put together, it is another stage in Hurley's mind to come to a cliche "happy ending" for his imaginary friends.

A multiple personality disorder also erases all the plot line and continuity errors in the series because the events are not real but all in Hurley's head.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

THE ONE

Kate was The One.

Kate was the first character with a complex back story.
She was the first character guys immediately attached to: the cute, girl next door.
Kate was the most troubled character.
She had done horrific things in her past; she was a classic woman on the run.

And Kate was the One who really got everything she wanted, on her own terms.

For those looking for an alternative solution to the many tangled plots, Kate may be your answer.

She was in the center of most of the action, but she never got hurt.
If she wanted something, men jumped to her aid (no matter the consequences, which ran the gambit to sex to death). She was never accountable for her desperate actions. Other people took the brunt of the punishment that should have been directed toward her way.

Women envied her freedom. Men adored her spunky tomboy appeal.

If there was a series puppet master, it would be Kate.

We were told that Jacob was the island guardian, whose "touch" brought the candidates to the island. Jacob was manipulating people to replace him. Kate was a candidate, but somehow conveniently taken out of the equation because she became "a mother." But that was not true. She took Aaron off the island, and "pretended" to be his mother, but gave him back to his grandmother to return to the island. Jacob should have known that - - - but maybe he was also being manipulated by Kate.

Since it is best to be hidden in plain sight, Kate walked among all the interests and conflict groups. She got the adrenaline rush of the missions, but none of the dire consequences of being killed by the Others or the smoke monster. Everything seemed to fall her way. She was the luckiest person ever, or her thoughts and dreams manipulated and controlled island events.

The dream is the only way to explain the laughable, implausible and totally wrong legal resolution of her murder case. The whole O6 story arc was fraught with childish story lines and illogical conclusions. Why would Sun abandon her daughter to go back to find Jin, who everyone believed is already dead? Why would Jack turn into a madman after leaving Kate alone with Aaron? Why did not her Florida husband come to her side when her trial-of-the-century was being broadcast to the nation?  None of those items makes any common sense. They are more the delusional thoughts of a classic spoiled adult who turns away responsibility for personal adventure.

LOST was an adventure story, but it was Kate's adventure. She was used to gathering "red shirts" like the bank robbery gang who would die for her. She gathered up enough "red shirt" survivors to keep the blood pumping and tension high. She was an adrenaline junkie. That is why she volunteered for all the dangerous missions, knowing that she would get the rush but not bad consequences. The island was her own haunted house, a dirty trick she made for her new friends to experience.

Who is not to say Kate was not a supernatural being like Jacob or MIB? If past island history was true, then the real guardian of supernatural world would have been a woman. The gods who ruled life and the bounty of life were women, like Taweret, the goddess of Birth, Rebirth and the Sky. Sound familiar? That was close to the definition of the "life force." The island was the creation and re-creation of a woman-god. Kate is the only character who meets the criteria of being able to rule the island in plain sight. She is the one who gets off the island, but returns to re-connect her bonds to Jack - - - her only hope is that they can overcome the greatest obstacle, together, which would be defeating MIB. Once that happens, Kate does not stay - - - she leaves the island and Jack dies alone. A normal caring person in love with Jack would have stayed by his side to the bitter end. But this moment was a trap, set by Kate, to capture Jack's soul in the after life. For what is a few more moments on Earth compared to an eternity together in the stars.

A highly charged, highly complex series of events that one can consider one long blind date?

If a smoke monster can manipulate both matter and energy, why can it manipulate human emotions such as love?

When Christian states that everyone in the afterlife church is there because the island was the most important thing in their collective lives, one still has to question that viewpoint. Under normal circumstances, the most important things in one's life is family (parents) and loved ones (children and spouse). Is this the lonely losers club?

Kate was the most estranged from her loved ones: she killed her father, dismissed her mother, abandoned her Florida husband (and as a runaway committed various acts of adultery). Her character would have been the most likely to have been "alone" at the pearly gates (or the opening of hell's fire pit).

For example, Hurley was extremely close to his mother. As a momma's boy, don't you think she'd be in the final scene to comfort Hurley in the afterlife? Jack had his estranged father, but not his mother. He got along with her fine, so there is another disconnect to the church ending.

To alone Kate, Jack needed to see, speak and reconcile with his father in order to be with her. So one could argue that the church reunion was only stage dressing for Kate's spirit to get what she wanted: Jack, so you would not be alone forever. In some respects, the island was Kate's best life moment, not anyone else's. She needed friends and lovers in order to create some self-esteem, some self-worth. But at the same time, she was an unaccountable spoiled brat in how she dealt with people and problems. The church ending was her solution to her eternity problems. How interesting that she could have choreographed the events on the island (remember we never got the full beach deal conversation between Ben and Kate) in order to increase her status and control of her own immortality. If she was the puppetmaster, she put herself into the action, in a secondary role, to help guide the character developments and affection for her. She needed friends in order to survive the pit of damnation. The island could have been her cosmic con. She had the most to gain by the final union. Perhaps, this explanation will help smooth out the bitterness of why Kate wound up with Jack.

Monday, October 20, 2014

LIFE

I came across this interesting diagram. In the pyramid of Life, you get two choices.

Applying this to LOST should be a simple mental exercise.

Money was rarely the central motivational factor. It was more a means to an end. Widmore used his wealth to find a way to get back to the island (which led to his death). Hurley used his newfound wealth to find the origin of his Curse, the Numbers (which led him to the island and the unknown).

Children were never treated well in the series. There was one plot about how women died in their third trimester, and that the Others were kidnapping children for some unknown purpose. We were told that Walt was "special." And as a child, Locke was told the same thing. But having a child, even an apparent imaginary one in Jack's case, was fairly irrelevant to the story.

Time was used and abused in island story lines. The use of conflicting time travel theories did nothing to shed light on the understanding of the underlying LOST mythology. Time was a messy contrivance to create a faux sense of danger and drama.

How would a normal purpose balance the choices?

If one had children as a priority, money would give them the comfort and support. But on the other hand, people would want as much time as possible to be with their children.

If one did not care about children, then the focus would be on money and time. Time to make money as a singular goal does not make you a better person. More like an obsessive Scrouge.

What is missing from the chart is one component that everyone wants in their lives: happiness.

And a simple question to LOST viewers: were the characters really happy during the course of the series?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

HEART & SOUL

There is circumstantial evidence that a person's soul weighs approximately 5 ounces. This measurement was done immediately before and after a person passes on. Philosophically, death releases the soul and hence, its weight.

But man has weighed the concept of the soul since the dawn of time. Man's own origin stories, even from days of pre-religion, felt that man was more than an animal; that man had a higher purpose; that looking at the infinite stars at night - - - we had to have a sense of immortality.

It would seem logical that the soul would reside inside a person's heart. The heart is the engine that keeps one's body alive by circulating the blood and plasma to all the various organs. Literary circles have described a person as having a "good heart," or a "black heart" to characterize a personality.

Is the physical heart and the metaphysical soul work concurrently to make us special?

The LOST characters arrived at the island with hearts in various states of disarray. It must have been a burden upon their troubled souls.

One could consider that a person can only mend their heart by using his or her soul (enlightenment).

Purification rituals began from the earliest tribes and civilizations. The act of cleansing was deemed to be an important means of connecting to one's self, family, community and the heavens. To cleanse the burdens of the soul requires soul searching, understanding and change.

For whatever reason, the island was the laboratory for such soul searching. Jack grappled with his feelings and guilt of his relationship with his father. Locke grappled with his feelings of abandonment and loneliness. Kate grappled with her feelings of guilt and responsibility. Coming to terms with these basic but overpowering emotional states was the key to their character development.

LOST may have been an exercise in mending one's heart and soul. One has to look outside one's self to others in order to cure what ails you.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

HIDDEN MIRACLES

There are several important things captured in this image.

First, a pensive to surprised expression on Locke's face. He is looking down at his legs, which we would later learn were not functioning when he boarded Flight 815.

Second, he has facial scar above and below his right eye.

Third, he was ejected from the plane and landed on his back. Such a fall would be worse than the one from the building that caused his paralysis.

If time is not linear, but circular, then this moment in the series is a prime example of reliving the past in the present. But the one difference is that this fall from the sky reversed Locke's paralysis, which in most circles be a true miracle.

In the future, there was a deep theme of Egyptian mythology. Locke's scar could be a symbol of the connection to those stories. For example, Horus was an ancient sky god usually depicted as a falcon.
His right eye was associated with the sun god, Ra, the most important god. The eye symbol represents the marking around the eye of the falcon, including a teardrop marking sometimes found below the eye. The mirror image, or left eye, sometimes represented the moon and the god Djehuti, Thoth, a god the underworld.

In one myth, Horus and his brother, Set, are fighting for the throne after Osiris' death. Set gouges Horace's left eye. The majority of the eye was restored by another god magically, probably by Thoth. When the eye was restored, Horus offered it to Osiris in the hope of restoring his life. Hence, the eye of Horus was often used a symbol of sacrifice, healing, restoration and protection.

Sacrifice, healing, restoration and protection were all themes tied to Locke's character.

But the scar on Locke's face is on his right eye (the moon or underworld) and not his left (the sun). One could argue that this is reverse symbolism - - - that in the underworld non-sacrifice, infliction of pain, destruction and self-preservation are the goals. In fact, those reverse themes pair well with Sawyer's character, one of the few who got off the island alive.

For some reason, the island "healed" Locke to give him back the ability to walk and run. The purpose of this gift was to allow Locke to disrupt the groups he was associated with: first the survivors camp and then the Others. He did not restore order to these groups, but created conflict. He decided not to protect his friends or fellow castaways, but to protect the island for no apparent reason other than he saw its inner beauty. He took it upon himself to become a guardian of the island, which the island did not need for it had a powerful god named Jacob. So the island decided that Locke would be the anti-symbol of the myth of the eye of Horus.

Which means that the other survivor found waking up on his back in the jungle, Jack, would be symbolic of sun god, Ra. In Egyptian mythology, it was the sun god that took a dangerous, nightly journey through the underworld. If he was able to get through the perils and pitfalls of darkness, the sun would rise the next day. This captured the circle of life.

It was also a miracle that Jack was not severely injured when he fell to the ground. The island also gave him the miracle of life to begin his island journey. The camera focused on Jack's eye opening . . . . . . symbolic of the journey's beginning. Jack's first steps were to heal other injured passengers, to restore order in the group and protect them from the perils of the island, such as the Others attacks. It is questionable whether Jack sacrifices anything to the island (except his own life at the end of the series). As Locke's death was a small catalyst to get the Oceanic 6 back to the island, Jack's death on the island had no closing bargain. When his eye closed for the last time, the journey was over and if Jack was the symbol of the sun god, the sunrise would never happen again. The island would be no more.

When Locke arrives at the sideways church, he is in a wheelchair just as he was as he boarded Flight 815. But he is reminded that he does not need that wheelchair to enter the church. This may be the connection between the sideways world and the island plane crash. Some have argued that Locke's ability to walk on the island meant that he had died; and that Locke's inability to walk in the sideways world was his punishment for being unable to move on from the baggage he left behind during his mortal life. In both places, Locke was looking a miracle cure. But it seems only in death could he achieve that miracle.

Friday, October 17, 2014

THE FOUR

The Four Fates: luck, miracle, chance and shrewd opportunity.

Put them together, LOST's island adventure was serendipity.

Serendipity means an the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. It was originally coined by Horace Walpole, suggested by The Three Princes of Serendip, the title of a fairy tale in which the heroes “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.”

Sounds LOST-like.

The four characters each made strange discoveries, by accident and some shrewd bets, but often their main focus was skewed away from their central quest: rescue.

Hurley's quest was to find the source of his curse, The Numbers. Instead, he found friendship and love of his after life, which is kind of sad when put in that context.

Jack's quest was to get his father's approval. Instead, he had to go collect the remains of his lost father, knowing that he could never reconcile the past until after he died, which is kind of sad when put into that context.

Kate's quest was to run away from her problems and not get caught in being accountable for her actions. Instead, she found the one person, Jack, who could ground her in normal society, but could not be with him until after they were dead, which is kind of sad when you put in that context.

Sawyer's quest was to track down and kill the con man who caused his parents deaths. Sawyer actually fulfilled his quest by killing Cooper on the island. And he was rewarded with three years of time traveling happiness with Juliet in the Others camp. And he was reunited with her in the after life. So things actually worked out for Sawyer. Huh.

Of these main characters, Sawyer got it. Only a shrewd opportunist like Sawyer got what he was after on the island. He conned, manipulated, badgered, stole, and fought just about everyone around him. He was his own island on the island. Perhaps his narrow focus was his actual strength of powerful will, stronger than the other characters. Something that the island could not break through and seize control over.

And Sawyer was one who left the island on the Ajira plane without any lingering baggage. One could say of all the main characters, except for Rose and Bernard, Sawyer got the best island deal.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

THE THREE STOOGIES

Ben, Hurley and Locke had the deepest connections to the island. Yet, they all played the fool as their personal stories unfolded over the six seasons.

Ben had a Napoleon complex: he wanted power, control and respect as many small minded leaders throughout history have come to grasp.

Hurley had an inferiority complex: he wanted love, respect and a purpose in life but he had no drive or ambition to live his own life.

Locke had grandeur issues: he believed he had a higher calling than what society and authority targeted him for; he was a dreamer who had no skills to make his dreams come true. He had a self-destructive personality.

So why was the island's connection to these three men so strong?

The island made fools of them.

Ben worked his way up from a lonely school boy with an abusive, drunken father to a mass murderer psychopathic leader of the Others. But in the end, his loyalty to Jacob, his perceived father figure, was a farce. This led to Ben becoming a broken man.

Hurley was a lonely boy who put himself in a shell because he blamed himself for his father's abandonment. He had only one true friend, who betrayed him after Hurley kept his lottery winnings a secret. Hurley believed he was cursed by the Numbers, and that led to his growing psychological problems, including the ability to speak to the dead.

Locke was a lonely man who could not find acceptance and a real family. He bounced from odd job to odd job, to being an outcast in a commune, to a pigeon taken advantage of by others, including his own father. His desire to be a part of a traditional family structure literally crippled him, making him a bitter man who could not see the hope that Helen could have given him.

If the island was an intelligent being as many have suggested, then it used its magical resources to build up and tear down these three men. It raised up the inferiority complex Ben into a limitless, powerful tyrant, only to pull the rug from underneath his reign and give it to a real monster, MIB. Hurley's mental problems were enhanced while on the island - - - the reoccurring Numbers sounded like bullhorns in his head of his Curse. The ability to talk to dead people. And the new friends around him started to die - - - including the one woman who found him interesting. It was like he was a mental punching bag. Locke seemingly was given the greatest second chance of all time. The plane crash allowed him to walk again. He could become the outback hero on the island. He could find the respect, admiration, loyalty and affection from the castaways. He could lead them to his promised land. But Locke was merely a prop in other people's plans. When things did not go well, Locke tried to rationalize his failures as new opportunities, even though it cost him colleague's lives such as Boone. He was told that he had to sacrifice himself for the island. Martyrdom was not the goal for a young John Locke, so he balked at the notion - - - but was killed anyway. He was barely a footnote to other people because he had lived a measly, stupid life.

The island must have had a cruel sense of humor.

It gave Ben, Hurley and Locke a glimpse of what they most wanted, then tore it from their grasp.

So why would the island intelligence be so childish, so cruel?

Because it is probably a childlike intelligence. It connected to Ben, Hurley and Locke because it too was an outcast from its own society. It had the same deep, dark emotional issues of Ben, Hurley and Locke. The island could not express or vent its anger so it had to act through visitors and its smoke monsters. The island was the puppeteer who smashed its playthings together to release some of its own repressed abandonment feelings.

The island as a lonely, supernatural child lost in space, trapped in the Earth's gravitational pull, is an intriguing side story. Could it be the last of its kind? Could it have been abandoned by its parents or world much like the origin story of Superman? How could such a being with immense power want to hide in plain sight instead of ruling an entire planet? It may have never been instructed on what to do - - - or it was told about certain rules to follow. Or, worse, it was trapped in island form and unable to make a physical transition to our world. That could be just as frustrating as what was going through the minds of Ben, Hurley and Locke.

And this can explain why many aspects of LOST have a theme of cruelty. Unsupervised children often can be cruel, in their play and their outlook on life. A magnifying glass to burn ants may have been a human curiosity, but an island superbeing doing the same to human adults is another thing.