I was quite disappointed in the end of LOST. While I’m happy to leave some questions left unanswered (like “what is the island anyway?”), there were some things that were either unanswered or glazed over that detract from my enjoyment of the overall series and leave me wondering what message the series put forward. Reason vs. faith, fate vs. free will, loyalty, and the problems of secrecy were recurring themes throughout the series, and the themes seem somewhat unresolved.
The characters are of course rewarded with heaven in the end, but was this because of their faith, loyalty, etc. or was that irrelevant? Did the characters who died serving Jacob die for a just cause? Could all of this have been avoided if just a few people had been more forthcoming about what was going on on the island? I don’t know.
I do have a few speculative answers for some of the nagging questions remaining after the finale.
According to Scifi Wire Michael Emerson, the actor who plays Ben, revealed on Attack of the Show! that a 12 or 14 minute Hurley and Ben epilogue will appear on the complete LOST DVD box set. The Scifi Wire is skeptical.
One person who has thought about this quite a bit is blogger Klint “Klintron” Finley, who has written about the concept of “real-life Dharma initiatives” extensively at Hatch23.com. “I think it stems from various trends and movements from the ’60s and ’70s,” he said. “More specifically, anywhere that two or more of the following intersected: Eastern spirituality, fringe science, defense spending, disturbing psychological research, experiments in utopian/communal living and experiments social control.”
He points to many possible influences for the Dharma concept but thinks there is one in particular that shares a lot with Dharma: the Esalen Institute. Made famous in a 1967 New York Times article, the institute began as a place where one could, as its website says, have “the intellectual freedom to consider systems of thought and feeling that lie beyond the current constraints of mainstream academia.”
It still serves as a retreat center at the beautiful Big Sur mountains to this day and, according to the website, has been devoted to the exploration of human potential since the 1960s. It’s here that the “Physics Consciousness Research Group” was allegedly co-founded in 1975 by theoretical physicist Jack Sarfatti. Sarfatti is the author of such works as “Progress in Post-Quantum Physics and Unified Field Theory” and “Super Cosmos: Through Studies Through the Stars.”
And what about Dharma’s benefactor, Hanso? Aside from maybe Richard Alpert and Charles Widmore, no one character has fascinated and mystified fans more. … In fact, much of the online “Lost Experience” a few years ago revolved around him. (According to Finley, Hanso may have been modeled after people like inventor Charles F. Kettering, who died in 1958.) In ABC’s game “The Lost Experience,” players found out that a main reason for his interest in the Dharma Initiative was the “Valenzetti Equation.” In “Lost” lore, this is a calculation of the exact date on which humankind would wipe itself out, consisting of the familiar “numbers” from the hatch, Hurley’s lottery ticket and, we now know, Jacob’s candidates. Dharma was trying to change these numbers in order to save the world.
My articles on real life DHARMA initiatives are here.
One project from my occult days that I’ve actually hoped to one day finish is a tarot deck using understandable modern archetypes – “The Engingeer,” “The Teacher,” “The Athlete,” “The Cop,” etc. But even if you don’t watch the show LOST, you can understand and appreciate the archetypes here. (Reminds me of Jorn Barger’s ideas about the need for an archetypal family such as the Earwickers or the Simpsons in artificial intelligence.)
Was Alan Moore on Oceanic flight 815? It was either him, or someone deliberately meant to look like him (note the rings!). I noticed this guy and commented on him while watching the season premiere (“LA X”), but didn’t think much of it. That is, until I was the above screencap from Bleeding Cool.
What are the chances it was actually him? Well, Moore appeared on The Simpsons and recently name dropped the Sopranos in an interview, so we know he’s not totally adverse averse to American television.
There do 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.
Technocracy Incorporated is one of the great vanishing acts of history. At the peak of its existence, Technocracy Inc. had half a million members in California alone and received extensive press. Today, they are virtually forgotten.
To over simplify: the goal of Technocracy Inc. was to create a socio-economic system run entirely by engineers. It was founded by Howard Scott, an engineer with dubious credentials.