Monday, January 26, 2015

PROOF

Modern science believes that if one cannot visually find and reproduce the results of an experiment over and over again, then the subject matter does not exist.

Repeatable proof is the standard for scientific study.

But the debate on whether human beings have a spiritual element, a soul, is harder to fathom in the scientific circles. Scientists believe that the "spiritual" connotations of instinct, subconscious, emotional responses, free will, etc. are not a separate being within a person's brain but merely the output of normal human bio-chemical brain activities.

The concepts of love, lust, anger, hate, good, evil have no predetermination or propensity in science, which seeks to find a physical call to mental illness and phobias. Some naturalists believe that human beings survival instincts, which were formed on the deep emotion of fear, were natural selection processes since for a long time man was not the top predator on the planet. As mankind evolved, its larger brain capacity was filled with more knowledge and applied knowledge to increase their survival chances. Knowledge does not equate to divine intervention, according to scientists.

But it is odd that science dismisses the unseen as not being real, when they use formulas, theories and assumptions to confirm the existence of a Higgs-Bosum "the God" particle, an invisible building block in physics.

Spirituals point out to a few studies which state that human beings have a natural spiritual connection to themselves and to the planet. These connections run the gambit of cultures, genetics, environments and history. The idea that ancient man believed that there was something more inside him or her than just flesh and bones had to come from something other than their environment. Many anthropologists believe that ancient man was more "in tune" with their own bodies and mind than modern man, who is overwhelmed with outside information, to have introspective analysis of one's self.

Science states that if you cannot "show me" your conclusion, then it does not exist. Spiritualists state that the premise of the scientific standard does not make the unseen untrue.

A few point to the dead weight studies which physicians have weighed bodies just prior to and just after death. The results have been that the deceased person loses approximately 6 ounces of weight. Now, scientists would counter the argument that that weight loss is the release of a soul as being the muscle tension forces being released, but tension is not the equivalent of actual mass.

People tend to believe what they want to believe about science. Junk science has invaded all elements of the modern academic world, which further clouds the search for the truth. But the truth for many people is that there is a hope that after this life, there would be a continuation into a better one.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

SAD SAYID

He was put on the spot at an early age; the ability to do the dirty work like killing an animal on command. As a result of his upbringing, Sayid had a hardened exterior. He was not easy to know. His military service manipulated his skill set into an emotionless torturer. As such, he had no friends, merely comrades.

The only saving grace for our Iraqi character is that he clung to some form of personal honor to stave off the normal hatred of American eyes upon him. Those who mistrusted him did not know his back story (he never really shared the full extent of his deeds, and his own betrayal of his people by working with the American military). It was probably that guilt that led him into personal martyrdom. He could never be happy and he made it so. That is why he was obsessed with a woman he could never have, Nadia (and some would say that was because she was truly gone - - - tortured to death by his own hand.) That is why Sayid is the saddest character on the show.

He could have set a different path for himself. But he was consumed by his own personal wrought of having been controlled by so many other people that his actions became involuntary and sick. He hated himself for being himself. He knew what he was, and made that fact an excuse to keep other people at bay. When things got tough at the beginning of the castaways survival period, after confrontation, Sayid retreated to the jungle alone. He was captured by Rousseau, another bitter survivor of her own war with the island. The irony is that Rousseau's torture made Sayid realize how sad Rousseau was in clinging to a hope that she could never attain.

It seems fate had dealt Rousseau and Sayid the same conclusion: that if they were reunited with their true love (Alex and Nadia), those precious objects of affection would be cruelly taken away.

So it was his destiny to be a sad, lonely man.

On the island he gained the respect of a few people, including Jack, because Sayid had an unbelievable array of paramilitary talents. But he never really gained a strong friendship among the main characters. His cold demeanor probably influenced his time with the other castaways.

He knew he was a ticking time bomb. In the time flash arc, it was his savage state that burst on the scene when he shot (and presumably) killed young Ben. But that action had the unintended consequences of turning young, island reincarnated Ben into the monster that Sayid loathed and shot.

When Sayid himself was shot in the ironic island circle of life, he was taken to the temple just as Alpert had done with young Ben. In the temple waters, Sayid was reincarnated as an evil being. He struggled with it but knew it was his true self. He followed Flocke on his rampage of candidate murder, until Sayid decided to give up.

Sayid had a sad and useless ending on his island story. For a man with major military intelligence, taking the time bomb down the submarine corridor and NOT sealing the various hatch compartments was a serious lapse in common sense and the cause of his suicide. As a result, the entire ship was lost, including Sun and Jin.

Even in the finale, Sayid comes across with a sad result. He is paired not with Nadia, but with Shannon, a rich bitch manipulator for whom he had only a short island affair. If that was Sayid's only true love with a real woman, than that is very sad indeed. And no man on Earth could stand spending any amount of real time with the selfish and petty Shannon - - - so it is also sad that Sayid was cast to live in eternity with her.

Friday, January 23, 2015

CREATURES

When you rise in the morning, form a resolution to make the day a happy one to a fellow-creature. - - - Sydney Smith

A "creature" is normally defined as an animal, as distinct from a human being, however it can be used for either an animal or person, such "as fellow creatures on this planet, animals deserve respect."

It can also mean a fictional or imaginary being, typically a frightening one like a creature from outer space.


There is a possibility that the characters on LOST were a combination of both definitions. The main characters could be human, animal or imaginary beings from another world.

It goes back to the survival of one coming to the island. It is debatable whether anyone of Flight 815 survived the crash. However, if one looks back on how other people got to the island, there is also a clue about what dimension the island truly occupies. Juliet was given a massive overdose of drugs in order to board the submarine which would take her to the island. There is no reason for a person to be sedated in order to travel the Pacific in a submarine. It was a possible ruse to kill her and take her spirit to the island. Likewise, Desmond came to the island after being adrift on the Pacific Ocean for weeks, which could also have led to his own demise before reaching the island.

The island could be the bridge between the human world and the spirit world (and the after life).

This nexus point between real, unreal and surreal does touch on elements of the series that are unexplained, unexplainable and unknown.

Theology aside, what happens to a person when they nearly die? There are ample studies of the "near death" experience where patients get to a euphoric dream state where there is a white light. There body is still alive, but their mind (or soul) has left it to start another conscious passage to another place.  The question is the place, for people who don't come back cannot tell their doctors what was that new place.

So in chart form, one can imagine:

LIFE   - - - - NEAR DEATH - - -  DEATH - - - - AFTER LIFE

If one believes that man has more than just a biochemical body, a soul which differentiates man from other creatures, then a body's demise does not mean actual "death" in the conventional sense. A person's mind can live on, and possibly be re-created with a new "body" or vessel.

I theorized during the series run that if one ties the show to the ancient Egyptian rituals referenced in the series, the premise of the plots could center around near death and death experiences in a supernatural underworld. In the near death phase, the characters like the 815ers do not realize they are dead (or they don't accept it), therefore their spirits continue to "live" their past lives in a different dimension created by their collective memories. It is when these spirit creatures actually realize and accept their mortality, do they become full spirits in the sideways world, ready for their journey into the after life. This multi-stage process helps clarify the apparent conflicts within the plot about who dies and what happens to them (such as Patchy dying several times but somehow came back to life to torment the castaways).

By viewing the main characters not as continuations of their past selves, but as spiritual creatures trying to reel in their fate (death) by masking it with subconscious and dream state emotions would be a complex resolution to the characters' overall development.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

CYNICAL

A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. - - - Oscar Wilde

The dictionary meaning of cynic is a person who believes that people are motivated purely by self-interest rather than acting for honorable or unselfish reasons, i.e.  some cynics thought that the controversy was all a publicity stunt.

A cynic is a person who questions whether something will happen or whether it is worthwhile.


The main characters of LOST were cynics, in the sense that they were motivated purely by self-interest. Each person fell to the island with a gnawing sense of dread. Each of the main characters felt that they could only control their lives by being true to themselves first and foremost; to the abandonment of friends, hopes and dreams.

As a result, the characters in LOST were deeply flawed from the start. Kate, the selfish runaway. Sawyer, the vengeful child. Jack, the weak son. Locke, the born loser. Sayid, the tortured soul. Claire, the responsibility shirker. Charlie, the troubled loner. Ben, the psychopathic control freak. Shannon, the manipulative, selfish, trust fund baby. Even Frogert, the whiny idiot.

Just as the characters were cynics, a good portion of the LOST fan base became cynical in the direction of the series long before the twisty turns of Season 6. The lifeboats were started to be lowered around the middle of Season 2 when the drama series started to turn toward science fiction-fantasy with more questions than answers.

The sentiment grew more cynical when TPTB told viewers that they had mapped out the complex stories in advance, so expectations were high for a monumental ending to the show. But the grand mysteries were never explained or solved; the show dissolved into what the TPTB claimed at first "a character study," then retreated further into a show about "asking the big question" (but at the same time not answering it).  Some mysteries are left alone, but when the show runners pumped up the mysteries to retain viewership, the bargain should have been honored to give solutions (even if they were not expected or reasonable). This led to many fans after the finale to be critical and cynical that the writers and producers were making the show up "on the fly," that there was no real story plan, and that the sudden mysteries, plot turns were "a con" to retain viewers and to maintain TBTB employment with ABC.

There was a lasting cynicism in television audiences since LOST. Show runners today are well aware of being caught in a LOST-trap - - - promising something to viewers and not delivering it in the end.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

LONERS

If LOST was anything, it was a collective story about loners.

A loner is from parts unknown: a recluse, introvert, lone wolf, hermit, solitary, misanthrope, outsider.

John Locke was such a person. He kept other people from getting too close to himself. He feared that he would be hurt with any new, close relationship - - - still deeply broken from the abandonment by his own parents.

Boone was also a loner. We never saw him in a happy, personal relationship. He was working for the family business, or rescuing his step-sister, Shannon. He was so committed to solving family issues that he allowed his own personal life to atrophy and wither. 

That is why both Locke and Boone were alone at the sideways church.

But society still frowns upon such behavior. Loners are deemed losers in many cultures. It is said that it is better to love and lost, then to never have loved at all. But at the surface, could either Locke or Boone actually be loved?

In order to be loved, a person needs to love themselves first. They need to have inner confidence to allow themselves to expose their deeply secret thoughts and emotions to another human being. For many, this is a difficult task to achieve. They think they can never meet the expectations of others. They think their flaws are magnified to monster status. They fear the unknown consequences of opening their heart, and the possibility that they will be crushed by rejection.

The only true haven for loners is the company of other loners. The series was filled with such characters, drifting through their lives with little purpose or goals. It was the plane crash that forced them to concede the fact that their lives had forever changed; that fate had brought them all together to break down their personal barriers in order to forge something foreign to most of them: solid friendships.

Friends can accomplish many amazing things. And true friendships between men and women can lead to every lasting love, as seen with the coupling of Sawyer-Juliet, Jack-Kate, Charlie-Claire and Rose-Bernard.

Monday, January 19, 2015

A BROTHER?

Evil begets evil.

Without the time travel arc, where tortured soul Sayid kills a still innocent child in young Ben (who is taken to the temple and reborn as "a different" person, "one of the island") we could assume that Ben would have grown up as a bookish, meek man (like in the sideways teacher arc).

But instead, Ben turns into an evil, angry, vengeful tyrant.

But if the island "saved" Ben thorough the temple waters (and water was a means of summoning a smoke monster) one could resume that Ben was transformed into a smoke monster.

When Jacob killed his brother, the smoke monster was released from the light cave. We assume that MIB was the manifestation of Jacob's dead brother as a smoke monster. That is how MIB was created, from the waters of the island. Likewise, we can assume that since Ben was taken to the temple for a water ceremony (such as what happened with Sayid), then Ben would have been created into a smoke monster as well (and perhaps a better representation or brother to Jacob).

Ben was loyal to Jacob like a younger brother would have been under normal circumstances. But like a younger brother, Ben was upset that his younger sibling did not give him the attention, admiration and acknowledgment he thought he deserves. That was the focal point, the weakness, that MIB used to kill Jacob.

It makes some logical sense that only another smoke monster could kill another immortal entity on the island. But since the Crazy Mother's law that Jacob and his brother could not harm each other, that "loophole" was Ben.

MIB would have had to created a vast, complex and long term plan to even reach the loophole stage. He would have have spent centuries trying to find the right people to use, manipulate and sacrifice to get his "loophole." MIB knew about the island's special powers, and what it would take to create a smoke monster. So, by allowing humans to work on the island, try to tap the potential of the island energy, he got the humans to create an inexact time travel machine which the mixed up 815ers go back to encounter there nemesis, Ben, when he was an innocent boy. Already mixed up and confused, a time traveling Sayid was the perfect "assassin" to put MIB's final plan into action: shooting Ben gave the opening to create a smoke monster who would become Jacob's "assassin." It would have been the perfect check mate after a long game of cat and mouse between Jacob and MIB.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

LIGHTER MOMENTS

Some of the best moments on LOST were the relaxed, normal human interaction (without the drama).

Hurley's "golf" course took our minds away from the relentless tension of the attacks, the smoke monster and the mysteries. It also showed a few of the main characters having uncharacteristic flaws, like Jack the Doctor not being able to hit a golf ball (contrary to the stereotypical country club physician).

Hurley's ping pong beat down of Sawyer was also funny. Sawyer had the skills to play people off each other, but when it came to a simple game against a perceived simpleton like Hurley, Sawyer was taken down a few pegs.

Kate and Jack played Sawyer poker for the return of medical supplies.

When Walt wanted to hang out with Locke and learn backgammon, it was a moment when Locke was able to teach Walt valuable life lessons, like the black and white chips. Walt was out of place going back to America with his father who was a stranger, but at the same time he felt his place on the out of place island. The conflict between symbols of black and white would guide many characters down paths of both good and evil.

One of the most shocking game moments in the series was when Kate's party attempted to rescue Jack from the Others, but found Jack playing a friendly game of football with Mr. Friendly on gthe barracks grounds. It was one of those WTH? moments.

The barracks also provided the scene for Hurley beating Sawyer in horse shoes because Hurley was "lucky." In reality, Hurley was quite good at games of chance, including Connect 4, at the mental institution. When Hurley was in deed "lucky," he was cursed (i.e. lottery win with the Numbers).

Games provide relief from the daily routine, boredom and despair of every day living . . . . and at least the LOST writers fit in a few normal moments of relaxation into the drama series. The lighter moments made things a little more believable, and more invested in the characters.