LOST Theories - DarkUFO

For those of you who haven't read John Milton's Paradise Lost I suggest you read it immediately, it is undoubtedly the best work of literature that has ever been written. I say that with utmost and unwavering confidence. The following blog seeks to parallel the epic poem's protagonist, Lucifer, The Fiend, to the Nemesis in “LOST.” It will additionally make thematic links between the poem and the post-modern television show.

He Who Cannot Be Named

One of the most interesting things in Paradise Lost, besides the awesome intellect of the author and everything else about the text, is that the protagonist of the poem, Lucifer, has no name. Interestingly, the poem is anachronistic, Tarantino-style, the reader starts the poem completely lost, as the hero is. He is chained to rocks in Tartarus, an abyssmal pit of fire and lava, wondering how he ended up there. After his fall from heaven, Milton only refers to him as the Fiend. Slavoj Zizek in The Sublime Object of Ideology describes how names are used as descriptors to identify an object. Behind every descriptive name is a quilt of many free-floating descriptors that signify an object or a person. So for example, while Lucifer is in heaven he can be called Lucifier because he embodies an identity that encompasses many elements. Once he falls from heaven and loses his “primal baptism” he earns an anti-descriptive name, a name that only suggests a purpose, like the name â! �œtable”suggests an object on which we set things upon, as opposed to the name “Peter” which suggest characteristics beyond purpose. Lucifer himself retains many of his qualities, vanity, pride, and arrogance. However, once he falls from Heaven these characteristics becomes subsumed in his purpose. He is the Fiend whose only desire is to defy God and corrupt his human creation. Likewise, the Nemesis in “LOST” has no name. Throughout the entire show, no one has been able to describe or define him except for in antagonistic anti-descriptives. He is called the “security system” which denotes a function on the island. Ben calls him a monster, which the Nemesis takes offense to, another name suggesting an antagonistic purpose. Indeed, the only time we ever see him exist in possible true from is in the first scene of the Season 5 finale, and even here his function is only to kill Jacob and question his authority.

The Father/Son Abandonment

The father who turns his son away or disowns him indefinitely is a major theme in Paradise Lost and in “LOST.” Nothing Dr. Jack Shepard does seems to be good enough for his father Christian Shepard. More importantly, nothing John Locke ever does is good enough for his father. The religious undertones in John Locke's essence happen in his birth, he is told he was immaculately conceived and that is a lie. Through this false religious illusion told by his mother he falls under the spell of his father and all he seeks is his love. He sacrifices everything for him, gives him his kidney, and when he questions his father's motives in starting a new family, his father pushed him from a 30 story bulding, Locke falls, and is paralyzed. Likewise, in Paradise Lost, Lucifer was a devoted follower of God, he felt that he was his son, and God chose to appoint another son in his place. When he questions God's authority and wages a rightful war against him, he also falls, slammed into H! ell through the Cosmos, by the Son or God, but does not die.

The Con-Artist and the Use of Influence and Manipulation

In Paradise Lost, Lucifer chooses not to use violence to act out his will, although all of the angels and God know that he is capable of it. We see how powerful he is in the war in heaven. He has the ability to change form however and influence people to do his bidding. In the poem he takes on the form of the cherub to visit Heaven and when he seduces Eve into eating the apple he transforms into a snake. The Nemesis on “LOST” uses his form to commit violence as the “Smoke Monster” but he never uses the threat of violence to act out his will. He only kills people who are opposed to him and his plans. He does not use influence people to force actions through duress. He could have changed into the “Smoke Monster” and banged Ben against the wall to get him to kill Jacob, but he chooses not to. He wants Ben to act of his own free will, a topic I discuss later. Additionally, the Nemesis takes on the form of dead people to influence their actions. Some of the most intel! ligent characters on the show use influence and manipulation to get what they want. Both Ben and Sawyer are con-artists and masterminds. Even though Sawyer's intelligence is questioned because he isn't as textbook-smart is Jack, this assumption is countered in Season 4 when Sawyer says that he reads a book every night, also in Season 3 when he quotes "Of Mice and Men." Extremely intelligent people who want others to do their bidding need only use their mind and do not need to resort to violence. For example, Michael kills two people to set Ben free when their murders were unnecessary.

Previous Allusions to Hell, Heaven, and Eden in “LOST”

Many of the survivors have committed or are directly responsible for some grave sin and could therefore be in Hell, the island, as a form of punishment.

Kate is a murderer. Jin is the proximate cause of a suicide. Sawyer is a murderer and a liar. Sayid is a torturer. Son sold her husband's soul to her father to become a murderer by accepting $100,000. Jack betrayed his father. Desmond is a coward in the military. Charlie is a drug attic. Hurley is a glutton and is responsible for the deaths of many people because of his weight. (Desmond, Charlie, and Hurley have not committed recognizable sins for the purposes of the Ten Commandments)

John Locke's father states that he was in an ambulance and awoke in Hell on the island.

The dead bodies of the plane crash were presumably found at the bottom of the ocean. Although this was a hoax, notwithstanding Charles Widmore's purpose, there was no explanation by the media for the lie.

Mr. Eko abandons the construction of a church on the island as futile.

Aaron is baptized and Charlie almost drowns him to persuade Claire to perform this ritual.

The new John Locke, the Nemesis, appears on the island by coming through the water, as Jesus walked through the water.

The island is similar to what we would imagine Eden to be.

Until the fall of Adam and Eve there is no knowledge of how humans and animals procreate to create life.

Save for Aaron, human birth is impossible on the island. New life is impossible in Hell.

Innocence of children is incompatible with the influence of the island, and all must be rounded up by the others or taken off the island (the children on the plane, Walt, Aaron, Sun's baby, and Kate's potential baby)

When Naomi crashes onto the island, Mikhael tells Ben she fell from her "halo" or at least that is what it sounded like to me.

The Egyptian Ankh and religion was a predecessor to the Christianity and possibly the crucifix.

When Locke approaches the house of his father after he gives him his kidney, he puts his face up to the gate in a similar way that Lucifer approaches the gates of Heaven when he is banished by God.

Hell is only the Absence of Heaven

“Whereto I fly is Hell; Myself am Hell.” The Fiend, Paradise Lost IV. 75.

For the Fiend in Paradise Lost, once he has been expelled from Heaven everything around him reminds him of his utter loss. There is a recurring theme of artifice and truth that runs throughout the poem, and although the Fiend in Hell could set up great halls and has the ability to construct the palaces and likeness of heaven, because they would be imitations they are inferior. And the artifice itself reminds him of his great loss. Even while he is in Eden he marvels at the beauty of nature, but is unable to appreciate it because he realizes what he lost. And for this reason, the Fiend can never be content. The island on “LOST” has similar Edenic characteristics. I myself wouldn't mind being shipwrecked there. The survivors have everything they need: meat, fruit, pre-packaged goods, running water, other people, the beauty of nature. Yet while some realize the truth in the Island, (John Locke, Rose, and Bernard) others feel like it is a purgatory and are rightly so. Even w! hen it makes sense to stay on the island, especially for Kate whoknowingly faces a murder trial upon return, these characters want to answer for the sins they committed while they were off the island. I feel like the representation of the island as Hell is a propos when the Nemesis tells Ben that all he wants to do is “go home.” He feels like a prisoner on the island. He is summoned by a certain tool in Ben's home and the sonic barriers prevent him from being free. But even more so, I would make the analogy that his home is some Heaven like place, and like the Fiend in Paradise Lost, he would influence a man to commit a grave sin to find his way back. Furthermore, the Nemesis comments on the “chains” Richard Alpert was wearing, which to me may be a reference to the fact that all of the fallen angels were chained in Tartarus.

Immaculate Conception: Claire and Aaron

So, I know what you are thinking...If I'm are comparing Paradise Lost to “LOST” where is the Son? Well, first of all, Milton never outright says the Son is Jesus but most make that parallel. I venture that the Son in “LOST” is baby Aaron for a few reasons. First, we have excessive foreshadowing about the baby from the psychic and that he would live a horrible life. Most would agree that Jesus being executed and abandoned by his friends at at such a young age sounds pretty unpleasant. Secondly, Claire's baby stops moving once the plane crashes and then miraculously does a few days later. Could this be an intervention by the Island or some other supernatural figure? Did the Island give Claire's child some type of new life? Thirdly, there is an interesting scene with Charlie before he almost drowns Aaron. In a dream he envisions Claire as the Virgin Mary and his own mother as Madonna. Coincidence?

I think not. Finally, the Nemesis separates Claire from the baby so Aaron leaves the island while he is planning his attack. Also, Claire in a vision to Kate, warns her not to bring Aaron back.

Death and Consciousness

Most of you are familiar with the scene in Genesis where the Serpeant seduces Eve. He tells her that “she will not surely die” from biting the apple. In Paradise Lost, the Fiend says the same thing but in a much more elegant way. I'm sorry but I had to post this. You can skip it if you like.

Queen of this universe! do not believe

Those rigid threats of death: ye shall not die:

How should you? by the fruit? it gives you life

To knowledge; by the threatener? look on me,

Me, who have touched and tasted; yet both live,

And life more perfect have attained than Fate

Meant me, by venturing higher than my lot.

Shall that be shut to Man, which to the Beast

Is open? or will God incense his ire

For such a petty trespass? and not praise

Rather your dauntless virtue, whom the pain

Of death denounced, whatever thing death be,

Deterred not from achieving what might lead

To happier life, knowledge of good and evil;

Of good, how just? of evil, if what is evil

Be real, why not known, since easier shunned?

God therefore cannot hurt ye, and be just;

Not just, not God; not feared then, nor obeyed:

Your fear itself of death removes the fear.

Why then was this forbid? Why, but to awe;

Why, but to keep ye low and ignorant,

His worshippers? He knows that in the day

Ye eat thereof, your eyes that seem so clear,

Yet are but dim, shall perfectly be then

Opened and cleared, and ye shall be as Gods,

Knowing both good and evil, as they know.

That ye shall be as Gods, since I as Man,

Internal Man, is but proportion meet;

I, of brute, human; ye, of human, Gods.

So ye shall die perhaps, by putting off

Human, to put on Gods; death to be wished,

Though threatened, which no worse than this can bring.

Paradise Lost, The Fiend Book IX

I would soooooooo of eaten that apple. But my point in this is that no one in Paradise Lost has a concept of what death is. After the angels fall from heaven they wonder if there is any way they could be punished more by continuing to disobey God. They wonder if the absence of consciousness and reason are to follow but as of yet have no idea if this is even possible. Likewise, Adam and Eve have no concept of Death. They discuss what it is and are afraid of it because it is a form of punishment, but even more ignorant than we are now of it, they have never seen Death to discern its meaning. It is a word of fear to them but no one, even us, to this day knows what it really means. To the Fiend in a spiritual sense, since he commits the worse sin ever, Death is a type of ending but the spirit continues to live and think and reason. Likewise, in “LOST” many dead people, who don't seem to be the Nemesis exist to Hurley. Yes I know he's crazy but often in literature and in film! , insane people are the only ones who are capable of seeing the truth. Charlie makes a statement to Hurley in Season 4 when he says “I am dead but I am also here.”

And in the Season 6 premiere Locke comments on the fact that even though Christian's coffin is missing, it doesn't mean that anyone knows where he is. To me this seems like “LOST” is commenting on our confusion about what Death may actually be.

Free Will and Foreknowlege:

As if predestination over-rul'd
Their will dispos'd by absolute decree
Or high foreknowledge they themselves decreed
Their own revolt, not I; if I foreknew,
Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault,
Which had no less proved certain unforeknown.” God, Paradise Lost, Book III

Yeah God is pretty confusing throughout the whole book. And he plays mind games. Just think about Job!

Free Will and Foreknowledge are two other huge themes in the poem. How can one have any free will when God already knows what is going to happen? He can see everything before it happens. He knows when Lucifer is going to wage a war. He knows how the Fiend will corrupt his creation of mankind. He also knows that both Adam and Eve will eat of the tree because of the Fiend's influence. “LOST” also presents these themes with Desmond and in the Season 6 Premiere. Desmond has the gift of foresight. He can see what is about to happen and can also see when someone is going to die. He knows that Charlie is going to die, and even though he prevents it in many ways, Charlie inevitably meets his end. He is warned by Eloise that his intervention will only prolong the death for a time because nature has a way of “course correcting.” My friend Paco also pointed out that in the Season 6 Premiere, Charlie was going to die in the bathroom on the plane, but for Jack saving him. So it w! ould seem that fate or foreknowledge controls people's lives on the show. Likewise, Jacob seems to appear at every significant moment in the survivors' lives. He is with Kate when she first steals. He is with Jack when he almost botches a surgery and paralyzes a patient. He is with Locke when his father pushes him out of the window. How would Jacob know where and when to be if fate was not a factor?

Then we have the aspect of free will. This only seems to be mentioned when Jacob tells Ben he has a choice. It seems like a weak argument though doesn't it? Jacob is inside, waiting for Ben and the Nemesis, and does not put up a fight. This is why I think foreknowledge beats out free will in literature and film, and I would venture, in our own lives. I believe that every one can take certain turns on their path in life, but I think that all paths lead to the same place. As my friend Sara once told me when I was worried about my admissions into graduate school, “you'll end up where you are supposed to end up.” And looking at my life, I think she was right.

Eternal Youth

Of course we know that angels do not age. Adam and Eve don't age, presumably, until the fall since they were immortal. Likewise, we have three characters who do not age at all on the island: the Nemesis, Jacob, and Richard Alpert. To me this seems like they are angels or some other type of heavenly creatures. And interesingly, Richard Alpert, if his name is rearranged, spells RAPHAEL, with a few letters left over. I always though his name was weird. Raphael was a sort of counsel to Adam and Eve warning them about the fall and was an intermediate between God and Man. And he was always passing out all sorts of judgment. He shows Locke Sawyer's "file" showing that he was a murderer. And how pray tell, did they know that Sawyer shot the guy in the shrimp truck? When Locke tries to get Kate to go with the others Richard shows him her "file." Coincidence? I don't think so.

The Problem with the Theory: Mr. Eko

Most theories have flaws, and to me there only seems to be one issue with mine: Mr. Eko's death. It seems that the Nemesis is plagued by Mr. Eko and is unsure if he will be useful to him or not. But then, when he presents himself to Mr. Eko as Yemi, he decides Eko must die. Most people would say that because Eko refused to asked God for forgiveness, this would make him a viable candidate to do to Nemesis' work because, like the fiend, he has too much pride to ask for forgiveness. I disagree. I think the fact that Mr. Eko is a strong character and willful proves that he is completely resistant to the Nemesis' influence. The scene in which he presents himself as Yemi reminds me of the scene in the Bible where Satan attempts to tempt Jesus three times. In his refusal to ask for forgiveness, and decision to stand behind the fact that he sacrificed his own innocence for the innocence of his brother, makes him more religious than a superficial confession that would give him entry ! into heaven ever would. I don't think anyone would disagree that if there is a Heaven within the fictional world of “LOST” Eko should be afforded a place there. And anyway, God commands people to kill all the time.

So, there you have it. It's just a theory. No, I'm not saying Jacob is God. He can't be since he was killed. I think he is connected however. And I don't discuss time traveling because I'm not a physicist. I may be disproved in the next episode. But I would like to hear your thoughts!

If you would like to see this theory with pictures, you can check out my blog, hearthesiren.wordpress.com

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