LOST Theories - DarkUFO

This theory isn't based on any specific scientific concept, as I don't think science will play a huge role in the way LOST's writers resolve the show. (At least I hope it won't.) But the basics of my theory could hold true regardless of whether you favor the alt-timeline theories, the parallel universe theories, the multiverse theories, or whatever.

The Island exists solely because humans found a way to manipulate and travel through time. In a universe where time travel is possible, there must be some kind of system in place that keeps paradoxes from happening, or at least from causing damage to the space-time continuum.

In LOST, that system is The Island. The Island itself is the "course correction" the Universe uses to avert paradox.

Humans, pesky little creatures that we are, came along and released energy that wasn't supposed to be released, either a long time ago through the Donkey Wheel, or in modern times through the Swan Station or perhaps through Jughead. That release opened the Universe up to time travel.

Once time travel has been unleashed upon the Universe, the cork can't be put back in the bottle. Instead, the only way the Universe can maintain proper order is this: It must set aside whatever elements have gone awry in a place of their own, where they can't interfere with things. Let's put it this way: Once Jack travels in time, there are two Jacks running around. The Universe can't allow that, since there's a chance that the actions of one of them could create a paradox. So the Universe makes sure one of those Jacks ends up on the Island, which either exists in its own anomalous time period, a parallel universe, or whatever -- again, I'm not sure that the scientific nature of this mechanism will ever be revealed, or even that it matters much, given the largely philosophical questions the creators of LOST are trying to explore.

The Others are a subset of Island inhabitants who have figured out what's happening. They know that their life on the Island is caused by a time anomaly. They know that the Island's existence -- and therefore their own survival -- depends upon the Universe's course correction never being allowed to take place. They like their lives on the Island, and will do whatever it takes to "protect" its existence. Some (perhaps all?) of them can travel between the Island and the real world. Eloise Hawking does this in an attempt to influence events in a way that will benefit the Others' survival. When she says things must happen in such a way or "God help us all," the "all" she's referring to isn't humanity as a whole; it's the Others and their Island life. She knows Island life can only maintain as long as course correction doesn't happen. So when she gave Desmond that talk back in Season 3, she wasn't lying, exactly -- course correction DOES exist -- but her motivation was not what s! he led Desmond to believe it was.

Here's where this theory gets interesting. The Others are able to see into all time periods. They know everything that happened in the past and everything that's going to happen in the future. That's why Ben is always one step ahead of our Losties.

When you are inducted into the Others, you lose the ability to experience time in a linear fashion (your "innocence," as Richard put it when Kate brought little boy Ben to the Others to save his life). Instead, you gain the ability to see the way things will play out in all time periods following a specific decision -- sort of like being allowed to witness the "butterfly effect" in action, or, if you're a proponent of the multiverse theory, like becoming a four-dimensional being. As Richard said, "He'll never be the same. He'll be like us."

This ability is extraordinarily useful, but it's also a huge burden and responsibility (as evidenced by Ben's outburst at Jack and Sun while driving them through Los Angeles: "If you knew what I'd gone through to keep you safe, you'd never stop thanking me"). I don't know what mechanism the Others use to give inductees this ability -- maybe it's Room 23; maybe it's a certain unmentionable prop named in a recent Season 6 spoiler; maybe it's something else entirely. My guess is it's Room 23 -- after all, "Only fools are enslaved by time and space." I'll bet Richard took young Ben to Room 23 after he'd been shot.

The Smoke Monster is indeed an Island "security system," in that its goal is to keep course correction from taking place and thereby maintain the existence of the Island. Sometimes it does this by killing people it knows would otherwise play some part in a course of events that will lead to course correction. At other times it does this by taking on the form of people (or occasionally animals) who've died and using those forms to influence visitors to the Island to behave in certain ways -- ways that in Season 6 will be revealed ultimately to have the goal of preventing course correction.

The adult Ben set up his own shooting as a boy, by convincing Sayid that he was a natural killer. A viewing of "He's Our You" all but drills this point into your head. The adult Ben, having been "Otherized" and therefore aware of how actions will influence the future, knows that he MUST get shot as a child in order to preserve the time anomaly, the Island, and the lives of the Others.

It could be, though, that Ben is too self-centered and insecure to properly play out his role in saving the Island, and that he screwed up by knifing Jacob. Or it could be that Ben is smarter than we think, and that even his seemingly tragic interplay with Jacob was something that needed to happen in order to preserve the Island.

Jacob and MiB have been on the Island longer than anyone else, and Jacob has perfected, more than the other Others, how to use his "all-knowingness" as an Other to influence events in his favor. Clearly one of them is on the side of preserving the Island and one is on the side of ending its existence. It seems so far as though MiB is the bad guy ("it always ends the same; they come, they corrupt") and Jacob is the good guy ("it only ends once; everything before that is just progress"), but I'll bet that the writers have some surprises up their sleeves and that it'll be more complicated than simple good versus evil. That's been done too many times before and would be tremendously boring.

I could go into more detail on the role I think the Losties play in either averting course correction or causing it to happen, but that would involve spoilers that aren't supposed to be revealed in the Theories section. Suffice it to say that I think much of what we know Season 6 to be about could mesh well with this theory.

One more thing: LOST is always presented in all-caps because it's an anagram. "Land Of Stray Time" or something similar.


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