LOST Theories - DarkUFO

Lost=Axis Mundi by Larisa

Per my last entry here, please note that the links and source materials are at my blog. Building on my last post (read original here: http://www.atlargely.com/atlargely/2010/03/lost-68-the-psychopomp.html), I am now even more convinced I have this figured out. If I turn out to be wrong, well, at least my brain got a work-out.

The usual caveat...not sure if anyone has thought of this, so I apologize in advance if it has already been posted.

Here is the link to this full blog post: http://www.atlargely.com/atlargely/2010/03/lost-axis-mundi.html

I wrote it before episode 9, just fyi. Now, onwards to the theory

To understand what I will be discussing here, you need to get a good grasp of Joseph Campbell's idea of a monomyth and how it plays out in his brilliant book called A Hero with a Thousand Faces. Essentially, Lost is so jam packed with bits and pieces from every conceivable religion and philosophy, that initially I had considered the island to be almost like a historical record of sorts or even time personified.

I am still nearly certain that Jacob and MIB are life and death personified, but I now feel I know what the island is too and subsequently, what the show is. I am so convinced I am right, that I would urge you to not read this if you don't want to be "spoiled."

There is only one thing that can explain this many religious and cultural references. It is called a monomyth. We have seen it in Star Wars, the Matrix trilogy, etc.

What is a monomyth? It is a similar story or legend, sometimes even codified as part of a religion, that centers around the quest or journey of a hero or heroes. The journey begins with the hero called upon (touched by Jacob) to enter (or is simply pulled) into a supernatural world (the island) away from his ordinary life. It is a process with many trials and tribulations. Here is what Campbell tells us about this initiation into the journey

"This first stage of the mythological journey – which we have designated the 'call to adventure' – signifies that destiny has summoned the hero and transferred his spiritual center of gravity from within the pale of his society to a zone unknown. This fateful region of both treasure and danger may be variously represented: as a distant land, a forest, a kingdom underground, beneath the waves, or above the sky, a secret island, lofty mountaintop, or profound dream state; but it is always a place of strangely fluid and polymorphous beings, unimaginable torments, superhuman deeds, and impossible delight"

The hero can refuse the call by the way and as a result, live a meaningless and empty life or worse, a cursed life. But if the hero departs on the journey, he will not go alone. He will have others, guides, and such who are knowingly or unknowingly part of this process (Hurley, Desmond).

There are 17 parts to this journey. I won't cover all of them, but some are key to understanding Lost the show as a monomyth, the island as an Axis Mundi (more on this later) and Jacob and MIB as personified "office holders" of life and death.

I will simply cut and past Campbell's summary of these various parts as a sort of narrative (Wiki has an excellent summary, so using that):

"With the personifications of his destiny to guide and aid him, the hero goes forward in his adventure until he comes to the 'threshold guardian' at the entrance to the zone of magnified power. Such custodians bound the world in four directions – also up and down – standing for the limits of the hero's present sphere, or life horizon. Beyond them is darkness, the unknown and danger; just as beyond the parental watch is danger to the infant and beyond the protection of his society danger to the members of the tribe.


Once having traversed the threshold, the hero moves in a dream landscape of curiously fluid, ambiguous forms, where he must survive a succession of trials. This is a favorite phase of the myth-adventure. It has produced a world literature of miraculous tests and ordeals.

The hero is covertly aided by the advice, amulets, and secret agents of the supernatural helper whom he met before his entrance into this region. Or it may be that he here discovers for the first time that there is a benign power everywhere supporting him in his superhuman passage. The original departure into the land of trials represented only the beginning of the long and really perilous path of initiatory conquests and moments of illumination. Dragons have now to be slain and surprising barriers passed – again, again, and again. Meanwhile there will be a multitude of preliminary victories, unretainable ecstasies and momentary glimpses of the wonderful land."

Now, before we get further into the journey, let me explain what Lost is, what the island is, and what is going on - which I really believe I now understand. The writers did in fact give us a good many clues in the last few episodes, it just took me a bit of time to process it all.

What is the island?

The island is the Axis Mundi. What is an Axis Mundi? It is the womb of the world, a portal between the natural and supernatural, a plug or stopper separating the realms. It is the point where heaven and earth meet:

"The axis mundi image appears in every region of the world and takes many forms. The image is both feminine (an umbilical providing nourishment) and masculine (a phallus providing insemination into a uterus). It may have the form of a natural object (a mountain, a tree, a vine, a stalk, a column of smoke or fire) or a product of human manufacture (a staff, a tower, a ladder, a staircase, a maypole, a cross, a steeple, a rope, a totem pole, a pillar, a spire). Its proximity to heaven may carry implications that are chiefly religious (pagoda, temple mount, church) or secular (obelisk, minaret, lighthouse, rocket, skyscraper). The image appears in religious and secular contexts.[5] The axis mundi symbol may be found in cultures utilizing shamanic practices or animist belief systems, in major world religions, and in technologically advanced "urban centers." As Mircea Eliade observed: "Every Microcosm, every inhabited region, has a Centre; that is to say, a place that is sacr! ed above all."

Every single religion and/or culture has such a myth and it can be a place (Garden of Eden) to an object connecting to worlds like a portal (Jacob's Ladder), to living things like plants (Tree of Life) or structures (temple).

Where are the Losties?

Per my last entry, when I discussed MIB as a once mortal man now holding the office of death personified (psychopomp) and Jacob as life personified, I noted that the Losties are in the "process of death." That is to say, when Oceanic crashed, those who died immediately and were visibly dead moved on beyond the Axis Mundi (island). Those who who were dead, but did not move on (because of any number of reasons -some I will discuss shortly) are stuck in the death process. They are not in purgatory. This is not a waiting platform of any sort as they await their judgment to go to heaven or hell. They are literally in the death process akin to the one described in the Bardo Thodol.

So, the Losties crashed and died on Oceanic, and got stuck in the death process while it plays out in the Axis Mundi.

Who are Jacob and MIB?

As I noted last week, they are life and death personified. They are also the guardians of the Axis Mundi. I suspect that they are a balance of sorts, perhaps brothers - one life, one death. They were human until they took their offices. It is the cosmic office that has powers, not Jacob or MIB.

Now back to the hero's journey. The hero faces many trials and tribulations. There are female temptresses (Kate), there are distractions, there is self-doubt, and so forth.

What is interesting is a key step that involves a confrontation between the hero and the most important male figure in his life, usually the father:

"Atonement consists in no more that the abandonment of that self-generated double monster – the dragon thought to be God (superego) and the dragon thought to be Sin (repressed id). But this requires an abandonment of the attachment to ego itself, and that is what is difficult. One must have a faith that the father is merciful, and then a reliance on that mercy.

Therewith, the center of belief is transferred outside of the bedeviling god's tight scaly ring, and the dreadful ogres dissolve. It is in this ordeal that the hero may derive hope and assurance from the helpful female figure, by whose magic (pollen charms or power of intercession) he is protected through all the frightening experiences of the father's ego-shattering initiation.

For if it is impossible to trust the terrifying father-face, then one's faith must be centered elsewhere (Spider Woman, Blessed Mother); and with that reliance for support, one endures the crisis – only to find, in the end, that the father and mother reflect each other, and are in essence the same. The problem of the hero going to meet the father is to open his soul beyond terror to such a degree that he will be ripe to understand how the sickening and insane tragedies of this vast and ruthless cosmos are completely validated in the majesty of Being. The hero transcends life with its peculiar blind spot and for a moment rises to a glimpse of the source. He beholds the face of the father, understands – and the two are atoned."

There are really only two characters who have major father issues which they have both avoided throughout their entire lives: John and Jack. As I noted last week, both names are variants of the name Jacob. In other words, 1 hero, 3 faces.

Who is Lost about?

It is the journey that either/or (or if they are one and the same) John Locke/Jack Shephard take through the death process/underworld as it plays out on the Axis Mundi (island). Every other character is knowingly or unknowingly either there to move that journey forward/help John/Jack or hinder the journey.

The final process of the journey is the physical death. Charlie died when he reached the end of his personal journey and faced his demons. So did Shannon. The others have not yet done so. But death is just the beginning, the hero must return and impart all he has learned on mankind.

Some may refuse to return (Locke initially refuses to leave the island, then accepts that he must die in order for the others to understand his mission). Others return, but fail to share what they have learned (the Oceanic 6 lie about where they have been and what they have witnessed). Some may return, but lose the knowledge of their journey. Each one of these failures to deliver what the hero has learned has it own punishments (of sorts). Ultimately, the journey must be completed and done so correctly.

Our Losties, the candidates still in the death process, failed their journey. They must therefor do it over and over and over until they each get it right. One will remain in the Axis Mundi as the new guardian of the realm and the personification of life (Jacob's replacement). One will remain in the Axis Mundi as the antithesis of life, as a psychopomp (MIB's replacement). The rest will move on. The six left now are those who are in the running for each office.

I will discuss this more later, after tonight's episode. I have a strong suspicion that Richard is integral to this theory. I also think I understand the numbers more now and I firmly believe that they are very closely tied to the donkey wheel. I will write more about this after episode 9.

Thoughts (don't throw things;))?

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