LOST Theories - DarkUFO

Black Swan Event by Kaltenhaus

Just some thoughts regarding the direction of the series as it draws to a close. I'm sure this subject has been broached ad nauseum, but as I conducted my own Wikipedia led six degrees of separation, it was interesting to hit upon various points of interest. (Of course with Wikipedia, we all know how accurate that MUST be! )

My own journey began with researching the “Butterfly Effect” which at the bottom of the entry had a list of “might be interested ins.” Black Swan was on that list, which, I was undoubtedly interested in. Apparently this is a theory by Nassim Nicholas Taleb about predicting events, or rather the inability to predict certain events which he dubs “Black Swan Events.” For any Lost fan, that phrase should trigger our little thinking caps....hmmmm....Black Rock Swan Hatch...the Event. The inability to make predictions based on prior evidence, but rather theorize with a firm basis in “a piori” knowledge which is in fact completely independent of prior knowledge. Essentially, Taleb states that for some major events in the world, actually ALL of the major life altering events of the world, i.e. September 11, the advent of the internet, religion; there is just know way to predict because nothing like it has ever happened before. (Very interesting if we start to t! hink of the possibility that our poor Losties are just doomed to repeat their prior and or future mistakes.)

Of course, this theory was published in 2007, in a little book called The Black Swan, which made me question its real impact on Lost. However, certain key words popped out of that article, and like a true Wikipedia aficionado, I right clicked my way to a tangled web of allegorical Lost-centric havens.

For one, this Black Swan idea is not completely original. Some medieval Roman poet Juvenal actually coined the phrase in a poem that “a good man is as rare as a black swan.” Huh. Black swans, white swans? Most swans are white and evil, perhaps, a la Jacob, and the rare good swan is black and good? Probably not. Should Jacob and MIB represent less good and evil, rather optimism and pessimism, perhaps our Man in Black is simply taking the pessimistic stance that, show him a black swan, and he'll show you a good man—thus donning the appropriate attire. Jacob, rather, would most likely contest that people are inherently good—as most swans are generally white.

Little side note to that; Juvenal wrote in dactylic hexameter—as did Homer when writing the Odyssey and the Iliad, and ALL the other major Hero poems of the age. It was the thing to do. When not writing in English. Of course, mind is spinning and thinking, could our Lost writers have had six seasons in mind, as it matches with this hero format. Who's the hero?

Virgil also wrote in this format. Virgil also guided Dante through the CIRCLES of the Inferno and the ISLAND of Purgatory. (Another circle by the way. Actually, all the stages of the afterlife according to Dante are concentric circles.) Oh, and Dante wrote the Divine Comedies in dactylic hexameter—but he did it in Italian not Latin. I'm sure you don't care. What you may care about are all the little subtle things that point to our island being purgatory. Well. Besides Michael saying it was.

1.) DANTE BIO CHECK: when Dante was living in Northern Italy, there were two factions of people: the Guelphs who supported the pope and the Ghibbellins who supported the Holy Roman Emperor. The Guelphs subsequently split into two groups: the White Guelphs and the Black Guelphs (I know....are you kidding me?!) Dante was a White Guelph.


“the Mountain of Purgatory on the far side of the world. The Mountain is on an island, the only land in the Southern Hemisphere, created by the displacement of rock which resulted when Satan's fall created Hell[13] (which Dante portrays as existing underneath Jerusalem[14])” (thank you Wikipedia) The name Jacob, in Hebrew roughly translates to Israel. Israel IS Jacob and Jacobs twelve kids are the tribes of Israel. So “Israel” is sitting atop Hell.
But also interesting, a man is stationed in Purgatory to keep things in order. The man's name (no not Jacob, would have been cool though!) Cato. So? Well, if it had blue, I clicked it. And I did, and I looked at his family tree. Cato has a relative along his tree, great-grandson perhaps, LEPIDUS the Younger. Just food for thought.

Meanwhile, way back at the Black Swan, I noticed the word Epistemology—the theory of Knowledge. Does it come in fruit form, Mr. Adam and Ms. Eve? I'm not sure, but there are sure a lot of people that have though a lot about it. Particularly people that would be shaking furious fists at Mr. Taleb and his Black Swan Event theory, because they are all Empiricists. They said, that knowledge only comes from experiencing--(science is inherently empirical.) Humans don't have innate knowledge, and nothing is known until you experience it. (Many knowledge theorists place knowledge in the middle of a Venn Diagram of Truth and Belief. Venn Diagrams....two CIRCLES.) Some famous Empiricists, by the way, David Hume and John Locke (and to some extent Rousseau).

Perhaps Lost is an allegory for how we obtain knowledge—a mix of Beliefs and Truths. Gut checks and Experience Checks. Where does faith and science fit in, and if we were faced with a Black Swan Event, could we change it or predict it because this endless Dharma wheel of birth and rebirth embodies us with an enternity of knowledge we cannot even begin to tap into.

Or perhaps the working title of Circle is referencing the story structure and we are going to get a Planet of the Apes moment when poor Charlton Heston falls to the ground in front of the Statute of Liberty head. Perhaps the ending scene will be Jack, in the jungle having just time flashed to that exact moment to complete the circle and make the sacrifice to relive this tragedy for the rest of eternity because that alone will keep MIB on the island....can't break the circle,like the circle of ash was broken around the cabin. The “memories” will be there, sort of, but they can't do anything about it.

Perhaps Lost is simply a Purgatory tale and the CIRCLE is actually the concentric circles of the afterlife. Because, to Dante, you aren't “Dead” per se in purgatory. It is actually a representation of a person's life itself, and “Christian souls arrive escorted by an angel, singing in exitu Israel de Aegypto.” An angel named Jacob, maybe? Well, Jacob did wrestle one. And those that ARE dead in Purgatory are stuck for now. Like ghosts, I suppose. Who brings Dante through Paradise you may ask? Why, none other then Beatrice, Dante's long-loved lady friend. Fitting, isn't it? How will that end? Well, I suppose everyone needs their Beatrice, or their constant to help guide them through these circles, and who better to lead them to that then David, I'm sorry, Desmond Hume—the champion of experiential knowledge. Oh, and someone has to take Jacob's (or Cato's) place and make sure Satan doesn't screw everything up by being where he's supposed to be—back with t! he donkey wheel in hell, because, according to Dante, Hell is a VERY cold place.

Or maybe it's all of that.

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