This Popular Mechanics article on “debunking” the science of Lost does little debunking and much fawning and speculating.
Michio Kaku, author of Physics of the Impossible, thinks the Lost creators are using cutting-edge science to lay the groundwork for a transversible wormhole to another point in space and timeâ€”a trip foreshadowed in an off-season video about the so-called Orchid station, which Lindelhof and Cuse promised would be a key to the next few episodes. “They’re amping up the energy to the point where space and time begin to tear, and the fabric begins to rip,” Kaku tells PM. “When the fabric of space and time begin to rip, things that we consider impossible become possible again.”
Apparently, the way time travel works on Lost is movement of consciousness through time and space to experience “retrocognition of the past and occasions of precognition of the future.” The breathtaking occult art of Paul Laffoley has dealt with this subject for years, most notably in his painting The Time Machine : GEOCHRONMECHANE : From The Earth – the plans to build a working time machine. More info can be found on Paul Laffoley here. He can also be heard explaining his time travel plans in his lecture at Esozone 2007.
I’m also reminded of the occult action comic The Invisibles, which I reviewed here. Characters in the Invisibles use a consciousness projection technique to travel through space and time. The source for the time travel techniques of the Invisibles is the book The Voudon Gnostic Workbook, a collection of materials Michael Bertiaux used to instruct his cult in Chicago.
However, Michael Szul of Key 64 points out that the Invisibles can travel to places in time that they haven’t been and don’t need a “host body.” He suggests that the time travel in this episode is more reminiscent of Slaughterhouse Five. Lostpedia has this to say on the subject:
Desmond, during one of his flashbacks/time travels, speaks to someone else in the military with him. His friend’s name is Billy. Billy Pilgrim is the main character in Slaughterhouse Five. The narration of the story of Billy Pilgrim begins: “Listen. Billy Pilgrim has become unstuck in time.” When Desmond is with Daniel in 1996 and Daniel is about to experiment on Eloise, he says that he is going to unstick her in time. Also, the narrator of Slaughterhouse Five, Vonnegut, says that he likes to call old girlfriends late at night. Desmond calls Penelope at night. When Desmond spoke with Mrs. Hawking, she said that events are structured and that the universe will course correct. In Slaughterhouse Five, Billy Pilgrim explains that , according to the Tralfamadorians, aliens who can see the fourth dimension, time is structured and events cannot be changed (we are like bugs in amber). When asked about the end of the universe, the Tralfamadorians explain that one of their test pilots presses a button that destroys the universe. Billy asks why they cannot stop the pilot from pressing the button, and they reply that the pilot always has and always will press the button. The moment is structured that way. Desmond’s purpose, according to Mrs. Hawking, is to turn the key and he cannot avoid it. The moment is structured that way. Billy Pilgrim sees the future, and even predicts his own death. Desmond predicted Charlie’s death and other events on the island.
(The whole landscape becomes indistinct. A forest ebbs out and a wall of rough rock ebbs in, through which can be seen a gateway. The two men pass through the gateway. What happened to the forest? The two men did not really move; they did not really go anywhere, and yet they are not now where they originally were. Here time turns into space. Wagner began Parsifal in 1845. He died in 1873, long before Hermann Minkowski postulated four-dimensional space-time (1908). The source-basis for Parsifal consisted of Celtic legends, and Wagner’s research into Buddhism for his never-written opera about the Buddha to be called “The Victors” (Die Sieger). Where did Richard Wagner get the notion that time could turn into space?)
And if time can turn into space, can space turn into time? (40-41)
PKD/HLF came to believe that Thomas was also Elijah, John the Baptist, Dionysos, the Buddha, and many others, all at once. They were, according the HLF, homoplasmatesâ€”living human embodiments of the Logos, the Logos being not simply the word of God through Christ, but living information, which was also a secret to transcend time. HLF called the Logos plasmate, and believed this secret was a technology for eternal life that the early Christians understood, as well as the Rosicrucian Order, the Renaissance alchemists, Apollonius of Tyana, Elijah, Dionysos, the Dogon of western Sudan, the Gnostics as recorded in the Nag Hammadi library, and others. The fish symbol, as well as being a representation of the age of Pisces, was a geometrical symbol of two circles with the same radius that each have their centers intersecting with the other circle’s circumference. The center of that intersection is the fish symbol. Take just that central intersection image and twist it, and you get the double helix of DNA.
In “Confirmed Dead” we learn that John would have died when Ben shot him in the back if he’d still had his kidney. This sounds a lot like “retroactive magic.” Retroactive magic is either the most cutting edge arena of modern magical practice or the most self-delusional (or both). According to Edward Wilson: “Retroactivity is the idea that actions taken in the present or the future can affect the past and therefore the affect can proceed the cause… It creates of causation an Ouroborus or Mobius strip.” In other words an occulist can alter the past as well as the future.
There’s some interesting possible uses of these concepts earlier in the series as well. Reversing the audio played while Karl is in Room 23, you can hear the mantra “only fools are enslaved by time and space.” Author and occultist Taylor Ellwood, author of Space/Time Magic once wrote an article on the use of “mind machines” for retroactive magic:
Mind Machines are technologies that can be used to induce altered states of mind. The mind machine uses audio strobe technologies to do this. The goggles have strobe lights in them, which a person looks into with his/her eyes closed. The audio part is the music or sounds, which are translated into light pulses, which are then beamed into your closed eyes. The different frequencies of sound shape the light frequencies, although you can also adjust the light intensity of the strobe lights, dimming them or brightening them as needed. This is especially useful if you want to overload your senses and put yourself into an excitatory state.
Is it possible that the Others were not just trying to brainwash Karl, but also to cause some sort of retroactive change? This idea is supported by Desmond’s experience in “Ms. Hawking. However, another possibility is that his past is being engineered by himself or by the Others or Dharma. It could be that in his original life, he DID buy the ring and ask Penny to marry him but he or someone else decided it would be better to end up at the island pushing the button.