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Real Life DHARMA Initiative # 9: The First Earth Battalion

first earth battalion manual

Danger Room has an article posted fact checking the claims made in the new The Men Who Stare at Goats movie. They write about The First Earth Battalion, which is yet another Real Life Dharma Initiative:

Hippie Army? True. Lt. Col. Jim Channon dove deep into the New Age movement, and came back to the military with a most alternative view of warfare — one in which troops would carry flowers and symbolic animals into battle. In the movie, Channon is played by Jeff Bridges. His First Earth Battalion is renamed the “New Earth Army.” But the ideas are the same. Much of the artwork from the New Earth manual is lifted straight from the Channon original.

Channon has been taking advantage of the publicity for his cause; this week he has a column in the Guardian newspaper, suggesting (among other things) that armies should be used for reforestation and navies to control over-fishing.

The military’s interest in Eastern and alternative practices is once again on the rise. “Warrior mind training“, apparently based on ancient Samurai techniques, is being taught at Camp Lejeune as a possible treatment for PTSD. Elsewhere the Army has a $4 million initiative exploring other approaches including Reiki, transcendental meditation and “bioenergy.” The Air Force is looking into acupuncture for battlefield pain relief.

Danger Room: Psychic Spies, Acid Guinea Pigs, New Age Soldiers: the True Men Who Stare at Goats

As pointed out at Danger Room, you can download the original First Earth Battalion Manual from Jim Channon’s web site

Lost and the Supercontext – Guest Post

Lost and the Supercontext
by Edward Wilson

There does seem to be different rules involved when it comes to death and the island. It reminds me of both Donnie Darko and The Invisibles. In Donnie Darko dying in the time loop allowed someone to step out of regular time as Frank the Bunny does. From this new position he is able to effect events. Similar effects are in play in The Invisibles comic series by Grant Morrison.

Many characters in Lost seem to stick around and influence events even after death. For the most part they are not shown as physically interacting with the world but guiding people’s actions and it is
implied there is manipulation of probability.

Christian Sheppard, Jack’s father, is the clearest example of afterlife hijinks. He was dead when he arrived on the island but has been influencing events ever since. He was the first mysterious apparition and lead Jack to the fresh water source. He’s never been shown physically interacting with anyone or directly effecting the environment. It is implied that Christian also has a probability
manipulation ability that was being used to Keep Michael alive until he completed his usefulness to the island.

There is also the tendency of the smoke monster to appear to people in the forms of, and with the knowledge of, people who are deceased, such as Eko’s brother or Ben’s daughter Alex. Whether these are truly examples of people existing past their death or just trickery on the part of the smoke monster needs further examples to determine.

Then there are the various deceased characters who interact with Hurley. While the show leaves us the option of believing that his just crazy I think that these apparitions are more like the various forms the smoke monster takes or Christian’s on going actions. Hurley is just more sensitive than normal, this is why he was able to see Jacob’s cabin. The island itself seems to be outside of normal time, as evidenced by the time differential involved in traveling to the boat.

This is to say nothing of John Locke’s return from the dead, which may be a completely different matter. Suffice to say Ben is a little mistaken when he says “Dead is dead.”

Perhaps anyone encountering the island imprints their awareness and form on it along the lines of a back-up drive. That the island functions as a kind of afterlife computer and the smoke monster
screens the bad souls out? An ancient egyptian virus scanner.

Last minute LOST theory: Locke is Jacob

The season finale is already on in some parts of the country, but thanks to the time dysfunction I have to wait a couple more hours before it starts.

Here’s a current favorite from the ever insightful Wadester23:

Has anybody directly interacted w/ themselves from another timeline? If Locke is Jacob.. google “The Circle” from ‘Land of the Lost’

Anyone have a good link for a summary of “The Circle”? I didn’t find one during my first initial quick search.

Lost Fathers and the Issac Complex – Guest Post

Guest Post: Lost Fathers and the Issac Complex
by Edward Wilson

Lost is exploring, or perhaps creating, a non-freudian father issue which I’m going to call the Issac complex. Rather than a sexual trine involving the mother, this father issue centers around the father’s betrayal and abandoning of the child. Psychologically this is very similar territory to that explored by Fight Club. The biblical story of Issac and Abraham is that god asks Abraham to sacrifice or murder his son Issac as an act of faith and that just as he is about to kill his son, God relents in this demand. This story is recounted in Lost.

Character names are very significant in Lost and the ultimate authority on the island is named Jacob, who biblically the son of Issac. Interestingly Jacob seems to have a tendency to turn on and banish his representative leaders. Additionally, Jack’s father, Christian Sheppard is taking over as his spokesperson.

Whereas Fight Club locates the solution to this issue in the creation and assumption of a new image of masculinity, the aggressive trickster figure of Tyler Durden, Lost has thus far shown us two solutions. We
are shown forgiveness and acceptance of the bad dad in Hurley’s story and violent rejection of the betraying father in John Locke and Sawyer’s murder of John’s father.

Given the Gnostic themes of the show it behooves me to point out that the ultimate example of the bad dad theme would be the Gnostic Demiurge or the bad creator god. In Demiurgic Gnosticism the creator god is an evil entity that has trapped us in this creation. The Gnostic Christ, or son, would be expressed in those same two modes, rejection of the Father’s world or forgiveness and redemption of it.

Time Loop Theory

lost time loop theory timeline

(Bigger illustration at site)

I came across this for the first time a while back, but was reminded of it during the Barcamp PDX LOST session. It’s sounding more and more likely.

LOST has presented us with various themes of fate vs. destiny; however, by the end of the series, we will all be back at the same universal question: Are we completely controlled by fate, or do we have the ability to change what’s already happened in the future?

The LOST series revolves around the use of a quasi-conventional time machine. All of the “mysteries” that the show presents can be explained through an understanding of how this time machine is used. While many think that a time machine is a “cheap” answer to the show, I can assure you that once LOST makes the “big reveal,” there will be much to think about and reflect upon.

I’d like the reader to note that this is an extensive theory that “stretches” many events to the point that the entire theory may not seem believable. The purpose of the theory is to take a concept of time travel and apply it to all elements of the show – in an attempt to answer almost every question that is presented by LOST. Will all the answers make complete sense? No. Is there any theory out there that is proven to be 100% true? No. With that said, it should also be noted that most of this theory is complete conjecture and I make no claim that this theory is the definitive “answer” to the show it should be read for entertainment purposes only.

In this theory, I will walk you through the linear progression of events in LOST; however, this progression is very different than the ordering of the episodes of LOST – so I will simply provide estimated timestamps for each event. This is a very long theory, and may be confusing to readers who are not well-versed in the world of LOST. Make sure you have time to at least read through the “timeline” section of this theory that is where I lay out all of the events of the show. Thanks, and enjoy reading the theory!

Time Loop Theory.

Real Life DHARMA Initiative # 8: Oneida Community

dharma initiative brand food

oneida

The Oneida Community was a utopian commune that existed from 1848 until 1881.

Like the DHARMA Initiative, members of the Oneida Community were assigned jobs by the community. And like DHARMA, they produced their own line of products. In fact, although the commune has ceased to exist, their silverware business Oneida Limited continues today.

Wikipedia: Oneida Community

No episode tonight – smoke monster theories instead

Getting back to the more occult roots of this blog:

lost smoke monster egyptian

Popular Mechanics has an Egyptologist weigh in on the hieroglyphics from “Dead is Dead

Allen agrees that the animal-headed human in the hieroglyphic Ben is fixated on is probably based on Anubis, though he says in actuality, no Egyptian scene looks like what’s shown on Lost. “I suspect that the colossus is also meant to be Anubis, too,” he says. But he points out, it’s actually more of a hybrid of Anubis and Taweret, the demon-wife of the Apep, the Egyptian’s original god of evil. (It’s said that Apep was only present at night, and therefore any evil happenings during the daytime were attributed to Taweret). “The thing on the head definitely looks like Taweret’s, but she never wears a kilt, which is clearly there in the back shot of the colossus. The colossus is probably holding two ankh-signs, like the one Anubis holds in this image, but he’s holding them like Taweret holds the two signs she holds, which are ‘protection’ signs, not ankhs.” Allen also notes that “the four toes on the statue fragment are more Taweret than Anubis, who has a human body and therefore five toes.”

Popular Mechanics: Lost Channels Ancient Egyptian Legend to Explain Smoke Monster (via Electric Children)

Pretty interesting, no? Danny Chaoflux was actually the first person who suggested to me that the Monster might be Apep:

apep

So perhaps the Others are a Taweret & Apep
cult. This is supported by the possibility that the four toed statue is Taweret:

Taweret lost four toed statue

(Image from Lostpedia)

From the Monster theories page of Lostpedia comes an alternate theory:

In Egyptian mythology, Ammit was the personification of divine retribution for all the wrongs one had committed in life. She dwelt in the Hall of Ma’at, who was the personification of the concept of truth, balance, and order.The hearts of the dead were weighed by Anubis against a feather from Ma’at’s headdress. The hearts of those who were heavy with wrongdoing failed the test were given to Ammit for her to devour. Those whose souls were devoured were not permitted to enter Aaru, having to be restless forever—effectively dying a second time. If the heart was lighter than a feather then the soul was judged by the god of the underworld, Osiris. With the strong Egyptian undertones, especially this season, the monster could be a personification of Ammit. When the monster poses as Yemi, it asks Eko if he is sorry for the wrongdoings in his life. When Eko says no, the monster kills him. We saw in “This Place is Death” that the monster lives in the Temple with the hieroglyphics on it. This temple, which goes underground, could represent the Hall of Ma’at where souls are judged.

I have another idea: the creators of LOST might be creating its own set of Egyptian deities.

Until “Dead is Dead” I was thinking that the Dharma Initiative might have been using Egyptian hieroglyphs as a code (the way the Others use Latin). But the hieroglyphs in the temple in “Dead is Dead” seem to rule that out.

It might also be worth noting that in “Some Like it Hoth,” the lesson Jack erases from the chalk board is on Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Obscure possible Lost influence: Odd John by Olaf Stapledon

Odd John by Olaf Stapledon

Here’s an, *ahem*, odd possible influence on Lost: Odd John by Olaf Stapledon, first published in 1935. I came across it while researching this timeline. I haven’t read the novel yet.

It’s the story of John Wainwright, a child prodigy of extreme intelligence who eventually develops telepathy. John eventually discovers some other mutant superhumans like himself, and founds a colony on an island. Here’s a summary of this last segment of the book from Wikipedia (includes book spoilers):
Continue reading

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and LOST

Wired: The League is interesting because of its dependence on that vast canon. Everything from pulp up through every novel that’s been written gets hologrammed.

Moore: In the first two volumes we were dealing mainly with characters from literature, because characters from literature were all that were around up until roughly the end of the 19th century. With this one, the first one set in 1910, we’re using characters from the stage as well as literature. We’re using the whole Threepenny Opera storyline. With the second one, set in 1969, we’ve got access to all of the films and television that were around then. The third part, set in the present day – 2008, 2009 – we have characters from all of the new media that have evolved over the past 30 years.

It is interesting – it is an expanding cast of characters, and I suppose we’re attempting to come up with a kind of unified field theory of culture that actually links up all of these various works, whether they’re high culture or low culture or no culture.

From: Wired interview with Alan Moore.

Interesting to me because of my theory that LOST is “every story.”

Also remember that Watchmen, written by Moore, was a huge influence on LOST.

Last minute LOST theory round-up

  • ‘Lost’ is the opposite of ‘won’ Wadester23 suggests that the title LOST doesn’t mean the opposite of found, but the opposite of ‘won’ – as in the game Ben, Widmore, and possibly others are playing. Desmond might know about it via Penny now (“These people–they’re just usin’ us. They’re playing some kind of game, and we are just the pieces.” – Desmond in 316).
  • Ben tried to kill Penny, got beat up by Desmond (Lostpedia)
  • Charlie convinced Hurley to take flight 316. That’s why he has a guitar case. (Lostpedia)
  • Claire died in the explosion, it’s her ‘Island ghost’ self that people have been seeing since. (Lostpedia)What are your theories? Any ideas about what happened to Aaron, why Sayid was in custody, or how Lupitus has been able to fly commercial jets without being abducted and questioned by Widmore?
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