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May 25, 2010

The End

Let's talk about LOST! The End.

I can't believe I just wrote that title here. I am having a hard time coming around to facing the end of this wonderful journey, but alas I know that every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end. What can I say? That's a line that sticks with me after my many years of playing the club circuit but its proper nonetheless.
Once upon a time:
Jack's eye opened to signify the start of this journey.
It has always seemed to me that he and the other castaways were placed on the "Island" as if they were placed pieces on a game board.

I played back in my mind's eye Christian Shepherd's coffin arriving at LAX in the LA  X sideways and Jack on the "Island" washing his hands and face in the stream in preparation for his new "Island" job, Ben going through the mundane motions in his one armed existence in the sideways and then him loading a gun on the "Island" to continue on his quest as he currently sides with (MIB)/Locke,  Locke looking back at his empty black wheelchair as he is wheeled on a gurney into surgery,  Lonely James in the locker room at the police station putting his badge over his head and glimpsing at himself in the mirror he broke in frustration, then he tends to Kate's bullet wound on the "Island", and Kate waits in Hugo's Camaro in the church parking lot of The Lamppost station while the Oceanic Air Cargo van delivers "Christian".
Interestingly Desmond signs for the cargo from the currier Bocklin, claiming he works there.  Kate nonchalantly asks Des "Who died?" and he blandly replies "A man named Christian Shephard."
Kate won't let him turn the key to start the car until he tells her why he made her put on that dress and busted her out of jail to go to a "Fusion" concert, "You won't even tell me why we're here."
Desmond-"No one can tell you why you're here, Kate."
I remember Kate having similar dialogue with Ben in A Tale of Two Cities.
Desmond confesses that he wants to "leave".
Curious Kate wonders, "Leave and go where?"
Desmond will show her.

Jack stands alone ankle deep the water of the stream and we see he has a renewed aura about him but shares with James that he really doesn't feel any different as "the new Jacob", and he really doesn't know "what the hell just happened up here".   Jack explains to his friends that Jacob said they have to go to the bamboo forest just past their old camp and that's where he'd find the place they need to protect. Yes, in that very same vicinity we've seen Jack start from at least twice already.
Jacob called it the heart of the Island; it's a light.
Hugo- "And that Locke Smoke Thing wants to put it out?"
Jack- "Something like that, yeah."
Hugo- "So, what if he does?"
Jack- "Then that’s it for all of us."
Kate- "But, if Locke wants to put it out, then why hasn’t he?"
James- "'Cause he ain’t got what he needs. I’m guessing that’d be Desmond. . .That’s where we were headed before your inauguration. Sayid said Locke tossed him in a well."
Jack-"Jacob didn’t say anything to me about Desmond."
James- "Doesn’t sound like he said anything about anything."
Hugo- "That’s kinda of true, dude. He’s worse than Yoda."
James-"All right. Y’all head to your heart of the island and I’ll go get the magic leprechaun out of that well."    {Hearts and Minds}
Umm, yeah...there's some wonderfully evasive but convincing sounding bits of information for ya.

A Tale of Two Cities, Three Time Lines, Do-Overs, and an Island that "Technically, you know, we don't even know if we're on an Island"
Time was irrelevant on the "Island" and in the sideways and in the place of the Castaway meet up.
Christian tells Jack that everything that happened to him was real, so this includes "Island" events, Flashes, and the Oceanic 6 craziness.  Hmmm...Perhaps it was only as real as he made it.   Even if it was a matrix/virtual or physical with simulations incorporated, or a real mystical island, or metaphysical planes, and/or states of consciousness,  all of those still count as a real experience for them.

Desmond and Jack share important dialogue before Desmond descends into the light cavern.
Desmond- "This doesn't matter, you know...Him destroying the island, you destroying him. It doesn't matter. You know, you're gonna lower me into that light, and I'm gonna go somewhere else. A place where we can be with the ones we love, and not have to ever think about this damn island again. And you know the best part, Jack?"
Jack- "What?"
Desmond- "You're in this place. You know, we sat next to each other on Oceanic 815. It never crashed. We spoke to each other. You seemed happy. You know, maybe I can find a way to bring you there too."
Jack- "Desmond, I tried that once. There are no shortcuts, no do-overs. What happened happened. Trust me, I know. All of this matters."

Yet we've constantly witnessed the loop concept with all the castaway's and their stay on the "Island" and in their Flashes.  We've even seen Oceanic plane wreckage already inside the caves.   Come on! Desmond "saw" different versions of Charlie dying and had Flashes before his Eyes, and in The Constant with times/places.  We've seen them refer to moments of remembering things during the "Island" adventure,  they even reference what their supposed to and not supposed to do as if it's been done before, saw proof of different versions of things and scenes, and people, items and dialogue repeated over and over again.   But obviously in the grand scheme of things and the emotional closure to the story,  all of these facts and details were placed in the category of "Irrelevant Island Items".

Fantasy, Fairy Tales and the Flightline Motel: 
Enlightened Hurley has a mission to bring Sayid along on one of his errands to pick up bass guitarist Charlie Pace of Drive Shaft and deliver him to the Fusion benefit concert.  Sideways Charlie is totally drunk, and even after levelheaded coaxing from Hugo he won't go to the show.  Hugo came prepared with a fucking tranquilizer dart gun to ensure the transport of the unwilling rocker.   Someone please tell me why oh why there is a need for tranquilizer dart guns in the sideways?
This is supposed to be the same enlightened Charlie that was the guide to Desmond's enlightenment. WTF?!  How come we don't see any sign of that Charlie here?!   BTW Charlie's important  message to us via his tattoo is "Living is easy with eyes closed. Misunderstanding all you see."

We revisited the same motel from Lockdown.   The very same one that Anthony Cooper stayed in after he staged his death and instructed John to get the money from the safety deposit box, and where John proposed to Helen.

It is important to keep in mind the "sideways" also shows us people lying, on the run, kidnapping/taken hostage, embezzling, killing, dying and the inception of babies.

Fire + Water:
It is the beautiful Eden like cavern that contains the picture perfect stream and warm bright light, which simultaneously contains fire and brimstone.  However, this ancient containment chamber has been constructed and decorated by man.
When Desmond removed the giant pawn from the hole in the heart of the "Island" in an effort to put the light out, he thought this action would let him leave "this place".     
Evil wasn't really unleashed, but this act was one part to liberating the (MIB)/Locke from the "Island".    After all, (MIB)/Locke and Desmond were seeking the same thing the Lostie's ultimate goal was in the sideways... to "leave".
Putting out the light played a role in giving us the end of "MIB", and of "Jacob" who just disappeared.  This ended the "Island" game for the twins.

I hope that box is big enough for you to conjure yourself up an Ajira plane that can leave Hydra Island:
Just like the magic box of the "Island", the sideways seemed to utilize the concept of "If you believe it" it can happen.

In the "sideways" did Jack imagine he had a son?  Locke tells him he doesn't have a son, yet Locke remarked about his son looking just like him in last week's episode.   Also in the "sideways" Locke can get up and walk pretty much immediately after major spinal surgery.

On the "Island" Chesty Frank believed he could fly that plane out of there, not just on a wing and a prayer but with duct tape! And son of a bitch he did it!
This is also where we learn-
Miles-"I don't believe in a lot of things, but I do believe in duct tape" line is said, and I gotta say...I'm stealing that awesome line for future use! 
Miles will be Frank's eyes while he drives the plane getting it ready for takeoff, and Ricky Boy, who finally realized he really wants to live,  will relay Miles' info back to Frank the pilot.

Here "on Island" and "sideways" give us constant examples of people appearing and disappearing and wishes granted. {We've seen this in "off Island" and "Oceanic Six" events as well.}

The "Island" of misfit Castaways still keeps secrets:
The "Island" was indeed the place you go to be tested and challenged, to learn, to find what you lost, to heal from your pain, to grow, become enlightened and then move on.  We have six seasons proof of that.   Rose even mentions to Bernard the "Island" is the place where you to "get better".   We have indeed been privy to a few castaways going through the challenges there, finding redemption, seeing truth, letting go and moving on more than a handful of times. We've even seen instances where people opted out; Ana Lucia.

The other point we can't ignore is that we've been told many times the "Island" adventure is a separate place from the "REAL WORLD", hence making it an "UNREAL WORLD" of some sort.
We can go back and prove the "Island" manipulated and altered people's perception and memory, drugged them, and brain washed them. We've seen proof of the illusion, of things being faked, contrived, use of costumes, wigs/beards, props, decoy villages, scripts, cameras, fake bird sounds, and so much more.  The visitors were assigned roles, jobs and names.  Their needs were met; including food drops, medical supplies and some comforts of home.
We've even seen the "blurring" of on and off "Island" events present themselves while someone was in a sleeping-dream state.  Direct examples are Something Nice Back Home and The Cost of Living.
We know the "Island" to be an "Island" of magical power and such, and blurring of "Island" events and off "Island" events were always there.
Ultimately the "Island" did not want its true identity revealed!

Games, Games and More Games:
In this episode Christian reminds Jack that everything that happened to him in his life was real, with real people.  This includes the "Island" experience.

The Island- The show did bring games,  Easter eggs, hidden subliminal clues with books, props and actual dialogue within the on screen "Island" story and ARG'S.
Do I take back my bold typed clue words about the game, mental health, simulation/virtual, matrix, things happening in the head/mind/consciousness, events blurring together, and all those things?  NO!!
No matter what the Island is not an "Island" or at least not your typical cay of land sitting in the middle of open water island.

The game element was there all the way up until the very end.  There was no doubt about it.   We know "this place" had rules that change and vary according to who the new leader is, moves, timer, countdown, trades, cheats, loopholes, levels, leaders, pieces/pawns, odds, and points.  You could also leave the game/experience and come back into it or completely opt out if you're not ready to continue.  We've even seen proof of literally starting over in the same position.  There were goals of the game/adventure such as slay the monster, blow up the sub or the plane and save the world, and these challenges is what is supposed to liberate you from your own suffering and making you change.
We can look at the "Island" as a stop in the adventure/experience/game/journey as one of the levels/planes.  We can even acknowledge the final scene in this episode with Christian opening the church doors as next level or "Game over."
We're told time didn't matter on the "Island" and in the last stop on Jack's sideways, yet there always was a blurring of events; as if things were running simultaneously.

The "Island" Whispers:
I call fucking shenanigans on Michael telling Hurley that the whispers are of those who couldn't move on.    Ask yourself, "move on" from where?     Automatically wouldn't you "assume" that makes it "purgatory" or "afterlife" of sorts?   Or is it just the bleed through of voices from outside of the experience/game?   It still fits either concept.    Technically the general "voices" explanation is still in question, as the "Island's" identity wasn't explained and it appears that the two relate to one another.    I must also question why Michael would have not been redeemed when he fulfilled his duty on the freighter and was actually given permission from "Christian" that he can go.  I guess in the end it was Michael who couldn't "let go".
Enlightenment:
“Careful observation is the only key to true and complete awareness.”

In the six seasons of notes I've presented to you something that was a constant is my understanding that the castaways were indeed on a journey of enlightenment.  You have seen this research and photos in my notes before, but I've left a few reminders here:
Dharma- Teachings of the Buddha  {Dharma Initiative=The Start of the 8 fold path.}
Black or White...it's about the balance
The images shown to us through the story connect with Dharma, Karma and Zen Buddhist practices: The Bagua, wheel, light, colors, Dogen, the temple, waves, fish, mirrors, water, spiral, consciousness, etc..
Bardo, a Tibetan word means "Intermediate State" also translated as "transitional state" or "in-between state.
Together "six bardos" form a classification of states of consciousness into six broad types:
The Bardo of This Life, Bardo of Meditation, Bardo of Dream, Bardo of Dying, Bardo of Dharmata, and the Bardo of Existence.
Any state of consciousness can form a type of "intermediate state", intermediate between other states of consciousness. Indeed, one can consider any momentary state of consciousness a Bardo, since it lies between our past and future existences; it provides us with the opportunity to experience reality, which is always present but obscured by the projections and confusions that are due to our previous unskillful actions.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead ...there is in fact no single Tibetan title corresponding to the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The overall name given to the whole  cycle is Profound Dharma of Self-Liberation through the Intention of the Peaceful and Wrathful Ones or as Karma Lingpa's Peaceful and Wrathful Ones.
The Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State or Bardo Thodol is a funerary text.
The Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State also mentions three other Bardo: those of "life" (or ordinary waking consciousness), of "Dhyana" (meditation), and of "dream" (the dream state during normal sleep).
In the third Bardo the soul encounters the Lord of Death, a fearsome demonic deity who appears in smoke and fire, and subjects the soul to a Judgment. If the dead person protests that he has done no evil, the Lord of Death holds up before him the Mirror of Karma, "wherein every good and evil act is vividly reflected."  Now demons approach and begin to inflict torments and punishments upon the soul for his evil deeds.

The Battle of Two Wills:
The storm is raging and rain is pouring down on Jack and MIB/Locke, who literally have a physical showdown on the cliff.   It was like watching two Gladiators fight to the death!
Locke stabs Jack in the gut and starts to cut open his neckThis is the literal bleeding through of "Island" events and the sideways. {Or even facing a memory.}   Jack tries to choke the life out of (MIB)/Locke; all the while the "Island" is falling to pieces around them.   Because the magic of the "Island" is broken and MIB/Locke became "mortal" {at least he "became" mortal to Jack and the rest},  Locke is shot by the bullet Kate saved for him.  The sunlight starts to show itself through the storm and MIB/Locke smiles knowing "You're too late".   Ultimately Jack kicks MIB/Locke off the cliff sending him to his final death and finally liberating the MIB-LOCKE from the "Island".    {Poor Locke, he's always tossed out a window, thrown off a cliff, falls down a well, gets shot in the leg.}
In the sideways Jack is congratulated on his "Nice work"  by a nurse who is wheeling sedated Locke from surgery into room 218.   Jack's neck is bleedingThe nurse informs Jack that sedated Locke is already waking up
Jack-"Mr. Locke. Can you hear me?"  
Locke opens his eyes and Jack explains to him he just had major surgery, "Try not to move and just relax, okay?"    
Locke is happy because "It worked".  He has use of his legs again.  When he moves his toes, memory of his "Island" experience floods him and he asks Dr. Jack, "Did you see that? You don't remember". 
All of a sudden Jack has a Flash of him and Locke looking down into the Swan Hatch.    Locke's awaking inspires him to literally get out of the bed, knowing "We need to go" and he asks Jack, "Will you come with me?"
Locke is truly happy that he "gets it" while in denial Jack feels, "We're not going anywhere".    Upset Jack needs to go see his son, but Locke reminds him, "You don't have a son."   
Jack is confused. On his way out of the room Locke tells the stubborn doctor, "I hope that somebody does for you what you just did for me."  
Jack literally just liberated Locke from his suffering.

The pieces are moved:
With the sun shining and order somewhat restored, severely injured Jack jokes with Kate, "Find me some thread and I can count to five."
Kate informs James that Locke's dead, "It's over."  
Although the sun is shining the "Island" is still rumbling and breaking apart.
James-"Sure don't feel like it's over."
The "Island" is still crumbling because whatever Desmond turned off Jack needs to turn it on again. {This is exactly what James had to do with the vending machine when he was with Juliet Carlson to buy an Apollo bar from rack G23. And it's technically legal. lol.  Reboot.}  
 Jack feels if it doesn't work the rest of them need to be on that plane.   Kate encourages Jack to let the "Island" sink, but Jack can't do that.   James thinks he can manage to get the boat across the channel in time.
James thanks the Doc for everything.    Ben feels if the "Island's" going down that he's going down with it.   Hugo is "with" Jack.   Jack wants Kate to go and get Claire on that plane.
Kate is sad, "Tell me I'm gonna see you again."
They passionately kiss goodbye and they both say "I love you".
James and Kate find they literally have to jump from the cliff to make it over to the boat that will bring them to Hydra Island and the plane.
Of course this reminds me of the Zen proverb- "Let go over a cliff, die completely, and then come back to life. After that you cannot be deceived."

Jack will head back into the depths of the cavern to plug the pawn back in, reigniting the light; rebooting the "Island" and restoring balance.
Jack, Hurley and Ben understand that this is Jack's final quest because this is the way it has to be, even though Hurley accuses him of committing suicide.
Hurley is handed the proverbial torch of protecting the "light"
Jack does the whole "Drink this" mumbo jumbo minus the "incantation" in order to make things legal, but he still manages the "Now you're like me" closing statement to the communion.   Hurley will only accept the job on a temporary basis.
{Jack put Hurley in charge of a very important job in Everybody Hates Hugo.}

In the depths of the raging cavern Jack rescues disappointed Desmond.  Desmond feels he has to put it back, "It's like a train!" 
Jack releases Desmond to go home and be with his wife and son {How does Jack know all that info?} and he will plug the ancient stone pawn back in.  Jack will see Brother in another life.
Severely injured Jack completes his last task of restoring the light and the water

Kate pleads with Claire, who thinks the "Island" made her crazy ass insane, to go with her.   Claire's concerned that she no longer knows how to be a mother.   Kate convinces her she's not alone and that none of them knows what to do at first.
Kate, James and Claire make their flight with Frank, Enos and Ricky Boy.
Frank's leap of faith worked in enabling them to take flight.

Hurley, with his new role, dubs Ben his number two in charge because he has experience.  Desmond will be on the "Island" with them.    Hurley will run the "Island" a new way, a better way than Jacob did. He will do what he does best, take care of people.
By the way  a funny bit, Hugo always knew he was "going back to the caves, after all no one lives there anymore, so he won't bother anybody. He's going to live alone, be one of those crazy guys with the big beard, no clothes, who's naked and throws doody at people."   He mentions this in Dave.

Some place safe:
In the "sideways" it's Kate that meets up with Jack at the Fusion concert (where workers are literally breaking everything down and packing it away) to inform him it's over.  Jack is looking for his son and of course he doesn't seem to be around.   Jack remembers Kate when she touches his face and tells him she's missed him so much.  Jack has Flashes of them on the "Island" but still resists and wonders "What is happening to me?  Who are you?"
Kate convinces Jack to go with her so he'll understand.

Changed Locke arrives in a yellow Shoreline taxi at Mrs. Hawking's white church {Lamppost Station} that contained the Dharma Initiative's Lamppost Station. Yes, the very same one that enabled the Oceanic Six to return to the "Island".
Locke wheels himself to the entrance where he comes upon Ben sitting.  Ben shares that most of them are already inside.
Ben- "I'm very sorry for what I did to you, John.  I was selfish, jealous...I wanted everything you had."
Puzzled John asks, "What did I have?"
Ben- "You were special, John. But I wasn't."
John- "Well if it helps, Ben. I forgive you." 
Although that helps and matters more than Ben can say, he still isn't ready to join up with the rest of the castaways.  He still has some things he needs to work out, "I think I'll stay here a while."
It is Ben that prompts John to get out of that chair.
John walks into the church a completely changed man, free of all the things that crippled him.
Hugo pokes his head outside the church, sees Ben and thanks him for being a real good number two.
Ben- "You were a great number one, Hugo."

Jack arrives to the Lamppost station/church in his shitty ol Bronco with Kate.   He feels he's at {church} the place where he was going to have his father's funeral; he died in Australia.  Although I remember Jack telling Sayid in the episode Three Minutes, that he was going to L.A. and right from the airport to the cemetery to bury his father.
He asks Kate,"Why did you bring me here?"
Kate- "Because this is where you were gonna have your father's funeral."
Jack still doesn't completely comprehend what is going on. Kate will wait for him inside for when he's ready to leave.

The Long Con: 
Abracadabra, smoke and mirrors!
So...was the LOST adventure supposed to be a living breathing chess game and puzzle?  We were led to "believe" that it was. 
The blissful ending we saw with Christian and Jack and the ambiguous explanation given leaves much to interpretation yet on the other hand it was definitive...closure.
However, if we're asked to believe the "Island" is a real physical place, with real people, complete with a shape shifting smoke monster, a frozen donkey wheel that can move the "Island", time travel,  mysterious wishes being granted, ghosts, whispers, an ageless man, appearing and disappearing people, healing properties, world saving electromagnetic forces,  a Willy Wonka Eggdicator machine that determines if someone if good or bad, a cork that plugs a hole in a bright light cavern, reset button, special people, twins who've been playing an eternal game, and an invisibility cloak around the "Island",  then we as the viewer can if we choose to,  ignore certain key "facts" that make the ending we saw correct and create whatever world we want to.

The "Island" may very well have been a "real island" that had fantastical properties.  It could be an "Island" that was utilized by rich people, military, scientists (The DeGroots, Hanso, Mittleos, Mittlewerk) for the purpose of study, and a place to bring "lost" people and rehabilitate them.  Or even a metaphysical level of the journey.   For the castaways this still would be the place that they did share their coming together via a staged plane crash, the tests and challenges they faced under the guise of a game, where they would learn to confront their demons, face their fears, see truth, end addiction, forgive themselves, forgive others, get over abandonment issues and other emotional issues that paralyzed them,  learn to let go of their attachments and suffering and then be free to live their lives in the "real world".    It would have been this time spent together that was indeed the most important to Jack, Locke and the rest of the castaways.   They were the people who meant the most in the most important time of their lives, who shared in their life changing growth. 

Wonderland:
In the sideways environment we were also mixed up in the world of Jabberwocky. Things were wrong and backwards at times.  People switched sides, teams and even roles and jobs.
In The End we still witnessed people having to read and follow instructions and diagrams.
I just gotta ask...What are we logically supposed to make of the entire Oceanic 6 era?  I'll just chalk it up to my thoughts about it being a level of the "Island" experience/adventure/exercise/game/journey.
But even Dorothy was able to wake up from her experience and realize what parts were real and which were not.  The people in her real life bled over into the adventure she had while she was unconscious/sleeping.

Perception:
This has always been a story about perception.  This is why we all extrapolated different things from the story.  I can see why fans may not be happy with the conclusion that was revealed because it did not end with the ending you may have perceived or hoped for.
Did we spend the last six years watching a story about people caught up in the middle of a real life issue that involved a stay on an "Island" that really was a lab, run by powerful people all for the sake of betterment of man, or a real plane crash on a magical "Island", or is it strictly the metaphysical  journey of levels of birth, enlightenment, death and rebirth.
We were always meant to take our own journey through this story and we were always supposed to take our own views from it and see things when we were ready to see them.

Things to Note...Questions we leave on the table...
* Jack, Locke and Desmond worked as a team to lower Desmond into the light, yet all three of them had different motives for going into the light.
* Your mind creates things/thoughts/ideas/fear/etc.. One aspect of the "Island" adventure is to "believe" and believing in what you see/hear/experience/etc.
* Locke is Locke.
* What was with all the eye color changes throughout the six seasons?
* At what point in time did "God loves you as he loved Jacob"  happen?
* There are many episodes that although I feel connected to Locke's issues, I can see connect to Jack's journey.
* Was it really Jacob who invited Charles Widmore to the island; to bring Desmond and prep him for his mission to put out the light?
* One aspect of the journey it to let go of one's negative self and ego.
* Life, Death, Rebirth.
* Technically Desmond interfered in the sideways and pushed people to "wake up". 

Vocabulary and Research...
* Arnold Böcklin: was a symbolist Swiss painter-16 October 1827 – 16 January 1901. He pained The Isle of the Dead and The Return.

I'm sure the sideways (waiting area) represents very different things to each of us.  We were only told it was a place they "made" to find each other.    I do have my own thoughts on what it is; of course this is based on the story I perceived through the six seasons.
Nonetheless, here is some insight to what the word Purgatory technically means:
* Purgatory: any situation causing suffering. A miserable situation.
   From Latin purgātōrium:  cleansing. Cognate to English (purge): Tending to cleanse or purge.
- In Roman Catholic and other religious teachings; a temporary state of the dead.
- is the condition or process of purification or temporary punishment
- (verb) 1). To carry out a task; EXECUTE, gas, electrocute, shoot, finish, hang, bear, create, enact
             2). To reach a goal.  
- Additional Synonyms: Abaddon, Gehenna, Hades, abyss, bottomless pit, everlasting fire, fire and brimstone, infernal regions, limbo, lower world, nether world, perdition, pit, place of torment, suffering, underworld.
- Mental suffering:  affliction, agony, anguish,bemoaning, bereavement, bewailing, care, dejection, deploring, depression, desolation, despair, despondency, discomfort, disquiet, distress, dole, dolor, gloom, grievance, harassment, heartache, heartbreak, infelicity, lamentation, lamenting, malaise, melancholy, misery, mortification, mournfulness, mourning, pain, purgatory, regret, remorse, repining, rue, sadness, sorrow, torture, trial, tribulation, trouble, unhappiness, vexation, woe, worry, wretchedness.
Circle:
Ensō is a Japanese word meaning "circle " and a concept strongly associated with Zen.  The story begins with Jack opening his eye and ends with him closing his eye in the same position as we  were introduced to him.  Locke found what he was looking for on the "Island" a long time ago, as did many other castaways.   Jack's full circle experience on the "Island"  happened for a reason.   He was the one who admittedly checked back into the "Island" experience to try to fix his broken self.  He would not learn to let go and beat his "demon" until he came out of the "Island" experience a fixed new man, free of the chains/things that bound him.   When he fulfilled his quests there, he was finally able to leave/die from the "Island's" learning ground and move on and have total peace.
Let's look at what we were shown...In the sideways Jack literally tells Locke "If I can fix you, Mr. Locke, that’s all the peace I’ll need."   And on "Island" Jack's last quest is to kill the "monster" {the negative}, assume a new role to give him purpose and restore peace and protection to "this place", which he does.  Although it took Jack longer to understand why he was in "this place",  he finally completed the course and ultimately liberated himself.

Can I just say that even after all we witnessed my favorite character is still Locke.  He was the one who did see truth in knowing they were brought to the island for a reason.  Even when he would stumble the goodhearted and nurturing leader was there.  He was a tough warrior who had hope and fought for the cause even when no one wanted to listen to him.  Yes, we saw his spirit broken, but the warrior was still inside there.   Even then Locke's the one who made me believe that I can overcome obstacles and find a purpose. "Don't tell me what I can't do."

Live Together, Die Alone:  
It doesn't matter if we observed the castaways learn to find and forgive themselves and know love under the guise of a game, or if it was a literal depiction of the path of enlightenment and onto Nirvana, Jack and these people needed to learn to heal themselves, coexist and work as a team for the greater good.  They played a deep and important role in each other's life changing enlightenment.

“There is no coming to consciousness without pain”:
We all went into this blind. We were never promised anything.  We were never told how, why and what the deal is with "This Place"-the "Island", we were never told the rules of the "Island" adventure and/or game, what they were and how they work.  You always had a choice to continue on with the adventure to where ever it was going to lead or to opt out.   For all intents and purposes we took this journey just as blindly as the Castaways did.   We only learned information when a Castaway learned the answer.  We were always meant to take the entire journey along with them just as if we were on the "Island" with them.
Jack took longer to be able to heal himself and only when he completes the acts of liberating "the monster"/Locke on "Island" and Locke in the Sideways" was he able to see truth and free himself.   I believe this is why we're led to believe "MIB" "assumed" Locke's ID; it was because Jack had to literally face the one person/Locke on the "Island" who represented his opposition/negative, the one who challenged him most. 

All of this didn't make my own journey through all of this any less important or rewarding. 
The LOST story is filled with so many layers of everything that makes up people, life, struggle, pain, rewards, love, hope, purpose, destiny, death and rebirth.   We all had many ways to watch this show, and different things to take from it, or you didn't have to take anything at all from it.  My entire experience with this LOST journey became a part of my life, played a role in my own personal growth and enlightenment, and made me a better person.   This story changed my life on so many levels.  I was open to all the possibilities this story had to offer.  I enjoyed the magic even while it inadvertently became my teacher and guide.   There always was a message, lessons and answers in the story.  We were able to watch this epic unfold in a literal and metaphoric way.

Were we all meant to come out of this as Zen masters?  No. But guess what?  The idea was to clue us into "awareness",  our consciousness, our own purpose...destiny.   Some of us did indeed "get it" and some may need a longer to, but that's okay and that doesn't mean the journey stops for any of us.
We're all flawed.  People are flawed. 
We were shown that everything we do does matter and affects everyone we touch... forever, and, that "time" really means "now".   Like it or not we make an imprint on the universe.

The Journey:
This journey did provide us with hints, clues, reveals and answers about the "Island" along the way, but some chose to not see them and that's okay because that part of the story is secondary.   LOST also gave us hints to death and "this place" being a place of punishment, suffering and learning throughout the years.   Sometimes it was literal, other times it was subliminal and/or metaphoric.

Christian explains to Jack that his friends "died" at different points.  We don't know how much "time" came and went and it doesn't even matter.   It seems that each castaway had their own individual experience and enlightenment and agreed that when they all were ready (of course they waited for Jack to have his awakening in the "sideways") and they were in their "some place safe",  they would leave one place and move on to the next...together.

As we see literal reconnection's and reunions of the people who once lived on the "Island": Charlie finally connects with pregnant Claire, Kate delivers Aaron...again, Sun and Jin (who speak perfect English and are pregnant with Ji Yeon),  James and Juliet (at the rebooted vending machine share the same dialogue as when James was reunited with her at the implosion site on the "Island"),  Sayid and Shannon (really?!), etc., is all in preparation for Jack's being able to truly let go and move on to the next phase...all together.

You should ask yourself how this journey was for you overall.  Did you have fun?  Did you enjoy the ride?  Did it excite you every week?  Did it make you happy?  Did it open your sense of wonder and imagination?    Did you truly look, see, hear and understand?   Did you find answers or insight?   Did you read more books?  Did you write about the show at all (blogs/forums/message boards)?   Did you make new friends?   Did you find love?    Did you learn how to handle different kinds of situations?   Did you learn to look at things through new eyes?   Did you learn to think outside the box?  Did you mock other people for thinking outside the box?  Did you learn trust?  Did you learn how to have hope?   Did you find a way to forgive?   Did you learn patience?   Did you learn how to treat people?  Did you learn about Karma?    Did you grow?  Did it give you wings to fly?   Did you discover the real you?  Did you find your purpose?   Or, Do you just feel like you were Scooby Doo'd?
The Destination:
It doesn't matter who we were, it only matter who we are.
Jack, through his long struggle to heal himself,  finally came to realize who he really was.   He went into the journey one way and came out another. {Although to me he still looked a bit confused and apprehensive.}

On "Island"  Jack wakes up laying on the rocks at the stream like when we saw Jacob discover his brother "dead" after pushing him into the lighted cavern. 

Inside the church Jack ascends the steps and enters the room that displays a lot of Buddhist, Zen, Dharma, Hindu, Christian and other religious and spiritual icons, and the casket he believes holds his father's body.  When Jack touches the coffin he is flooded with Flash memory of his time on the "Island".
I gotta tell ya, when he opens the casket I really thought Jack would see himself in there.  But of course the coffin is empty and Jack's disappointed.  Christian's body never seems to ever actually be in a coffin. Does that tell you anything? Hmmm?
Still not understanding, Jack turns to see Christian there.
Jack-"You died."
Christian confirms he did.
Jack-"Then how are you here right now?"
Christian-"How are you here?"
He gives Jack time to think about it.
Jack-"I died too." {He looks a bit unaware and puzzled}
He cries and his father holds him.  They tell each other "I love you."
Jack-"Are you real?"
Christian laughs- "I sure hope so. Yeah, I'm real. You're real. Everything that's ever happened to you is real. All those people in the church...they're all real too."
Jack-"They're all...they're all dead?"   {Real and Dead...at the same time!}
Christian-"Everyone dies sometime, kiddo.  Some of them before you, some long after you."
Jack-"Why are they all here now?"
Christian-"Well there is no 'now' here."     { N O W H E R E }
Jack-"Where are we, dad?"
Christian-"Well this is the place that you all made together so that you can find one another.  The most important part of your life was the time that you spent with these people. That's why all of you are here. Nobody does it alone, Jack. You needed all of them and they need you."
Jack-"For what?"
Christian-"To remember...And to...let go."
Jack-"Kate said that we were leaving."
Christian-"Not leaving, no. Moving on."
Jack-"Where are we going?"
Christian smiles-"Let's go find out."
We are led very lovingly into the revelation that in the "sideways" the castaways were waiting for stubborn Jack to have his eye opening moment to truly seeing where he is in his existence/being.

The Over the Rainbow closing scene was beautiful.  Jack still seemed confused by his awakening but was enveloped by the warmth and love of his friends. They chose to be of a collective consciousness and physically move on together.
Christian was with Jack while he traveled his path.   It may have taken Jack longer to reach that point than his friends, but he made progress until he finally did.  "It takes as long as it takes."

Science vs. Faith:
There was a way for these two sides to live in balance. You can be a person who encompasses both.

I still stand by all my research that gave us potential insight to the other layers of the story.   I have taken my notes based on facts and information presented within the story itself not conjecture and speculation.   I've always been a person whom believes in only what  I can see.   We all can see the layers and themes in the story and we can even entertain that some of what we saw wasn't real, again all based on the "information" they gave us. But we know questions only lead to more questions; which is what the word Hydra means.
I did always warn you that people and things are not what you think.

Was the "Island" a real island that just happened to have magical properties?
- It was a place you can go back and forth from.
- A place of study, teaching, learning, healing.
- Food drops are made to it.
- The entire Dharma Initiative was able to run power to it, build barracks, hatches and stations all over it, yet conned it's Pearl Station workers with thinking their notebooks actually went somewhere.
- No children allowed except for Ethan, Miles, Aaron, Zack, Emma, Ji Yeon, Jacob, MIB, Dan, Charlotte, Annie and Ben. And we can't ignore in "this place"  life was created where there wasn't supposed to be the creation of life.

Was the "Island" a created environment? (Either physically or virtually)
- Items appear here, pretty much upon request.
- It is referred to as a "magic box".
- People die and are seen again.
- Certain people seem to heal from deadly injuries.
- No children allowed except for Ethan, Miles, Aaron, Zack, Emma, Ji Yeon, Jacob, MIB, Dan, Charlotte, Annie and Ben. And we can't ignore in "this place" life was created where there wasn't supposed to be the creation of life.

Was the "Island" a form of purgatory or metaphysical limbo?
- Although this limbo not only challenged it's visitors, but it also allowed fighting, war and more pain.
- No children allowed except for Ethan, Miles, Aaron, Zack, Emma, Ji Yeon, Jacob, MIB, Dan, Charlotte, Annie and Ben. And we can't ignore in "this place" life was created where there wasn't supposed to be the creation of life.
- Jacob could not grant absolution for sins.  But he could have you hang around looking youthful for a really, really long fucking time! (if you believed in that enough) WoooooHooooo!

Which category do you place these "Island" facts?
- It's a bloody snow globe where on and off "Island" events blur together.
- Items, props, clothes, cars, books, images, people and dialogue are repeated over and over.
- Jacob "plucked" people out of their existence and brought them there.
The End:
As Jack is reconnecting with his "Island" friends in the church/Lamppost station with a new understanding and acceptance, on "Island" Jack makes his way back to the bamboo forest.   We get a shot of Jack's white tennis shoe he gave to Christian, now is worn and tattered but still hangs from the tree.  Jack assumes his position and is met by Vincent who is there to ensure Jack doesn't do this alone.  Jack watches a plane fly overhead.    {Dogs by their very nature are filled with unconditional love.}
In the church/Lamppost the "Island" friends take seats in the pews, almost as if readying themselves for another flight to adventure.
Christian opens the door in the back of the church letting in the warm bright light...Whatever or where ever that is or represents is up to you.
Jack's eye closes signifying the end of this journey.


The wreckage revealed at the end of the episode could mean there was a plane crash and they all died then, hence making the whole island adventure some crazy ass purgatory where magic tricks and illusions run ramped and people can  die over and over.    Or the wreckage is staged for the next round of lost people to arrive on the "Island"  lab to face their challenges.
Or the explanation I feel...simply, it is closure to the place that brought us all together. 

The episode was GREAT and it ended as I expected it to.  I feel a warm peace with the conclusion.  I thought it was beautiful and fitting.  I knew it wouldn't please everyone, how could it?
I may talk about a lot of things in my notes/podcast as far as the exploration of the game element, matrix, what's real or fake, contrived imagery, simulation, blurring of events, etc.   But no matter what parts of the science, technology or mythology I'd address I was always sure to address the metaphor and my take on their journey to enlightenment.  Who knows why this is a layer of the story I always gravitated to, maybe it's because coincidentally  have been trying to put the pieces of my broken self back together and it's one hell of a process.

I completely understand the viewer who watched the show and invested just as much time and followed the mythology, science, religion and other facts that "they" spoon fed us, and is let down that their journey did not have the payoff they expected.  Life is full of surprises, aint it?!  
I never cared if the ideas I brought to the table were right or wrong and it never bothered me if people didn't agree with me, for me it was always about the journey, the exciting exploration and possibilities, and the fun in trying to solve a puzzle.  For me all of the research and note taking was a blast!

In the end all the fun smoke and mirrors, mystery, mythology, time travel, food drops and all that other wonderful mysterious stuff wasn't the point of the story.   It has always been about the journey itself, the journey to enlightenment and the "Island" residents, the people that we connected with and fell in love with.   We rooted for these special people while they were on their journey struggling to find themselves, through their pain, hope, growth, letting go, their quest for balance, to feel whole and know love, to find faith in themselves and enlightenment...their ability to keep moving...to ultimately moving on.   It was a beautiful and memorable story filled with heart.

The "Island" is still a place of "Whatever you wish for" can be!  I love my world of imagination, exploration, and escapism, but I am also conscious enough to be open to the things that will enrich my life and my being, and LOST is one experience that I will have with me forever.   I had so much fun with every aspect of this adventure.  I loved being an active participant in the story.

My heart is broken that it is over and I must learn to let go at some point, and  I must have hope that it's ending will make way for a new beautiful experience for my life's journey as well as yours.  I did go into all of this one person and I too came out of it another person. 
The journey doesn't stop here as it is ongoing.
I truly thank you all for taking this journey with me.
Namaste.

I can't help but wonder if Desmond ever read Our Mutual Friend before he "died".

Love to all who are "LOST"™

9 comments:

  1. I will always remember our LOST journey and the fun we had in the LOST community! Meeting you and all the Others that were LOST was a wonderful experience that really happened! Was the Island real? Well, that is debatable!

    Thanks for all your detailed recaps! I will continue to turn to them each time I am rewatching an epi! Keep in touch! Lots of love and Nameste!

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  2. Hi, this is LOSTGIRL415!

    Awesome awesome blog as usual.

    I love how you noticed "NOWHERE" from "Now here".

    I also like what you said about Jack and Locke working together to lower Desmond into the SOURCE/LIGHT. To me, that may imply religions being different paths to the same SOURCE/TRUTH/KNOWLEDGE/GNOSIS.

    I think the island was real for them (the show, the characters) but a metaphor for EARTH/PHYSICAL LIFE to us viewers.

    The Oceanic Logo reminds me of the "Gnostic CosmosLow" or "Systema mundi totius." This will be Clue #5 that I plan on adding to my latest theory/blog.

    Thank you Karen for your AMAZING insights. You have mentally gone to places that are truly creative, spiritual, and compelling. And I am thankful for being able to enjoy the journey with you.

    Nameste! I look forward to listening to your latest podcast!

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  3. Amazing! What a coment about the epic end of LOST!

    Let's stay connected and LOST!

    Leco - @blogteoriaslost

    Kisses!

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  4. Beautiful. I sit here with tears streaming down my face thinking how hard it must have been for you to write this.
    It was a heck of a ride sweetie.

    ~Debby~

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  5. Hi Keren, I was also on Chemo during season 2 and I remember the feeling that when I was watching LOST, I knew I was alive, because I could tell my brain was still working.
    And then I found Dark, you, the ODI and it was like God sending me you guys to help me go thru my own journey.
    I survived, and I'm doing really good and I want to say thank you for all the wonderful hours you shared with me
    Love
    Keilabee

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  6. All I want to hear you say in the podcast is "I was wrong. MIB was bad. John Locke has been dead since the life and death of Jeremy Bentham. There was no game. These were real events on the island" That would make me happy. I like some of your theories and the show would have been much cooler if you were right. Its ok to be wrong. We were all wrong. But its time to clean up your mess. :) Could you please post this. You never seem to post any opinions that differ from your own. As kate said "So this is a dictatorship?" Thanks for the notes and the podcasts. :)

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  7. This is the first comment I ever received from you. So, here are your words posted for all the world to read :)
    My take on the MIB is indeed noted above.
    And also mentioned above is my opinion on the game element, which I feel was still there.
    Christian tells Jack that everything that happened in his "life" was real, so this includes "Island" events, Flashes, and the Oceanic 6 craziness. Yes the "Island" experience really happened. Even if it was a matrix/virtual or physical with simulations incorporated, or a real mystical island, or metaphysical planes, all of those still count as a real experience.

    No, this is not a dictatorship. I post comments no matter what the opinion is. I welcome all voices :)

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  8. I feel the game element as well. They play all kinds of games all the way through it. MIB and Jacob play a board game, John Locke and Walt play a board game, There's a big e-chess game going on in Mikhail' cabin, the heart of the island looks like a big chess pawn etc etc etc. So indeed, game elements were all around. And we still don't REALLY know if the MIB was bad. He just wanted to leave. Sometimes I feel like I spent 6 years watching an RPG unfold. A realistic Final Fantasy (and that's definitely a good thing :)

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  9. I have thought about the finale for a few days and have come to the conclusion that you were right about some things. I used to listen to the podcasts and wonder where you were coming from. You would talk about Alice in Wonderland and chalk some things up to the shenanigans of the Island. Turns out you were right. There are so many things that can only be answered by the fact that there are magical things going on. I have come to think that LOST is a 21st century fairy tale.

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