ifindkarma. elegance is refusal.

May 24, 2010

Is all of LOST about letting go and moving on?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — ifindkarma @ 5:07 am

I’m reflecting about The End??of LOST.

Doc Jensen’s??first reactions??and??full writeup??make me??wonder if all of LOST is about reflection, the central concerns of life, and redemption.

The characters are LOST souls, not quite sure about their identities and uncertain about where they’re going.

Through the LOST journey they learn not only who they are but also??how to let go, which is the key to moving on.

These are the themes of my favorite Doc Jensen columns, for “we are feedback loops; we are the stories that we tell ourselves“…
Doc Jensen on reflection:??
Reflection creates identity.

“When I started watching??Lost, I found myself more intrigued by the mysteries than the characters. Over time, though, I have become more moved by the themes and the redemption struggles. In the third season, my engagement with??Lost??changed completely. I???ve previously shared how my wife???s cancer affected the way I processed the show and expressed myself about the show.

I began to see??Lost??not as a mystery to be solved, but an allegory for living in a state of profound, unsettling ambiguity that dealt with the central concerns of life. Why are we here? Why do we suffer? Is there hope? Do we accept our fate or fight it? What happens to us when we die? Will we see our loved ones again after death?

I appreciated that??Lost??ruminated on these questions.”

“Jacob seemed to think that the broken people and damaged souls who came to the Island would embrace the opportunity of a fresh start and naturally blossom into the super-Buddha he was looking for. And why not? As Jacob told Richard, the Island is a place where ???the past doesn???t matter.??? But what he realized is that people have a really hard time letting go of the past. I might also argue that people??shouldn???t??let go of the past; at the very least, we can???t let it rule us, but we do need it to learn from it.

“Mother, Jacob, and Man-in-Black were contemporaries with Guatama (also Siddhartha) Buddha, who lived from 580-480 BC. The core ideas of Buddhism include the idea of letting go of the things of this world that keep us from recognizing and growing our spiritual nature
and reincarnation and evolution of consciousness through a myriad of lifetimes

Ultimately, we should reflect, but we shouldn’t overthink it. LOST, after all, was created by the man with??the mystery box.

P.S. — In an odd??synchronicity, congrats to Bret Michaels for winning Celebrity Apprentice. That just happened to happen simultaneously with the ending of LOST. Life goes on, so enjoy this one-minute re-enactment of??LOST using cats.

Still LOST? Let go. Move on. Be here now.


  1. If that doesn’t work, repeat over and over: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 24, 2010 @ 5:19 am

  2. There are no nice pretty bows here. The finale has a ton of flashbacks to previous scenes and religious themes up the yin yang.They did the best they could, given that they ran out of time. I’m disappointed at how many red herrings there were in this show, but still vastly enjoyed the storytelling, the characters, and the overall themes of reflection, redemption, and learning to let go.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 24, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

  3. And in The End, the love you take is equal to the love you make.http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20313460_20387946,00.html

    Comment by Anonymous — May 25, 2010 @ 3:22 am

  4. I like this line from Doc Jensen’s full writeup of The End:"The preservation of The Island and the promise that it lives in our imaginations under the stewardship of big-hearted Hurley and his humble Number 2, Benjamin Linus. Under their regime, a new era of the soul awaits mankind, which I think was one of the big points of it all: Let us rediscover and reinvent spirituality for a new generation that finds it’s both too easy to fall for dubious ideas and too hard to believe in anything. I loved the opening montage, the crosscutting between the Island and Sideways characters as they awaited destiny. And I thought the final 10 minutes ??? which toggled between Island Jack’s last moments of life with Sideways Jack’s launch into the afterlife aboard The Ark of the Castaway Covenant ??? were pretty close to perfect. The final episode was a very personal work of its writers, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. I am grateful for the story they chose to give us."

    Comment by Anonymous — May 25, 2010 @ 3:23 am

  5. Personally, I don’t think Lost was promoting one faith over another, and I don’t think Lost was sketching an afterlife cosmology. I think the show was offering us an allegory for how life should be lived ??? with an ongoing effort to understand each other and ourselves; that such a project is best undertaken with a community of people. Where this allegory becomes challenging, though, is that Lost clearly believes that our lives play out in a fundamentally spiritual reality. Lost is asking ”what if?” What if our actions on this planet counted against some eternal reckoning? How does that possibility change things for you? If that possibility does inspire you to live a better life, then… how? And even before then, what is a ”better life”? Is it doing ”good”? But what is ”good”? Lost doesn’t have answers for these questions and the others that they raise ??? it’s just demanding that we ask them and discuss them. Together. Are we? Are you? Am I? Do you even have a choice?Source: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20313460_20387946_3,00.html

    Comment by Anonymous — May 25, 2010 @ 3:48 am

  6. Last night, we saw that Desmond had been saved from the well by Rose and Bernard, who despite time travel flashes and the cosmic struggles of their fellow castaways had managed to live quietly by themselves in their secret retirement home in the jungle. But Rose wanted Desmond to quickly get on his way, far away from them. They had a rule: ”We don’t get involved.” The Rose-Bernard relationship is inspiring for its commitment, but I think Rose was dead wrong. If you draw breath in this world, you have a responsibility to engage it and redeem it. You don’t get to hide away from the problems of the world or the concerns of your fellow man. And even if you try, the world will find you, whether you like it or not. To her defense, when Fake Locke threatened to kill Rose and Bernard if Desmond didn’t bend to his will, Rose piped up and told Desmond not to buckle. In that moment, she was a hero; she was willing to die for him and their right to self-determination. But the final judgment on her wrong-headed isolationism was revealed by the simple fact that she was there at the end in that church, a vested and invested member of a larger spiritual clan. Like it or not, you’re a member of the family of man. Deal with it.Source: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20313460_20387946_3,00.html

    Comment by Anonymous — May 25, 2010 @ 4:13 am

  7. The Lost story is all about the folly of ”master plans.” Anyone who has ever had a master plan on this show has failed catastrophically. Mother. Jacob. The Man In Black. Ben. Charles Widmore. Jack. Sawyer. The best we can do is live our lives with enlightened improvisation ??? to be so self-aware and fearless that we can live fully in the present and redeem our every moment and every human connection.Source: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20313460_20387946_4,00.html

    Comment by Anonymous — May 25, 2010 @ 4:17 am

  8. Part II of the analysis of The End delves into spirituality:http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20313460_20388269,00.htmlWe had learned from Christian that the castaways had become ??? or always were ??? bonded on a spiritual level, a ”soul cluster” to use a phrase given to me by a reader whose name I’ll credit in a later column when I can dig up the correct e-mail. This cluster was a living thing unto itself, and a thing with great power. It had the ability to create a world, the Sideways world, from which they could meet anew after death and journey together into whatever comes next.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 26, 2010 @ 6:47 am

  9. I have written this recap from the perspective and, admittedly, personal bias that the castaways moved into the ”afterlife,” which I have called ”heaven,” although it could be called other things, and we must consider that not all of the castaways went to the same ”place.” But upon reflection, I’m realizing this is probably not the perspective or mythology of the show. Most likely, the castaways returned to the Source, the hub of life, death, and rebirth, and their energy was recycled back into creation. Does anything of their unique person endure and survive? Now that’s a conversation! Let’s go dutch on coffee one day and have it!Source: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20313460_20388269,00.html

    Comment by Anonymous — May 26, 2010 @ 6:52 am

  10. Edmund Burke: ”He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.”Source: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20313460_20388269_2,00.html

    Comment by Anonymous — May 26, 2010 @ 6:53 am

  11. Apparently, both Ben and Hurley enjoyed a fruitful partnership on The Island in the post-castaway era. I like to imagine Ben did much to change during that time, and that perhaps the principled teacher that he was in the Sideways world was a fair representation of the man he became in The Island world. I think the example of Ben tells us something about how Lost’s version Purgatory works for all souls. Yes, you can stay and ”figure things out,” but this introspection doesn’t change who you are. Or rather, were. You don’t get to craft a flattering interpretation of yourself. You don’t get to accumulate more experience to improve your chances at heavenly election. You only get one life to live, and the opportunity that the Sideways world provides is the chance to puzzle together and come to grips with the person you became while you lived it.Source: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20313460_20388269_3,00.html

    Comment by Anonymous — May 26, 2010 @ 6:56 am

  12. Last season, Lost cited the book The Little Prince that includes the great line ”You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.” The word ”tame” in this context means ”to create ties.” Desmond created the tie that bound the castaway spiritual clan. So he became responsible for them. Forever. (Plus or a minus a few souls. Or should I say soulmates? Desmond got to bring Penelope because they were married. Sawyer wanted to marry Juliet, and I like to think they were married, even if there was never a ceremony. Clearly, the cosmic forces that regulate this soul-clustering thing dig a good love story.)Source: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20313460_20388269_3,00.html

    Comment by Anonymous — May 26, 2010 @ 6:58 am

  13. In part one of the recap, I asked ”What did the Sideways world mean?” and ”Was it truly dramatically necessary to Lost?” We’ve asked these questions all season, but they’re even more pertinent now that we know that the parallel world was a long con. To help answer these questions, let us first consult the literary reference that Lost gave us in the opening minutes of the season premiere: Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie. We saw Desmond reading it on the plane ??? the Desmond that was wearing a wedding ring that went mysteriously MIA when he landed in Los Angeles. (Not a continuity error ??? a clue, I think, to the unreality of the Sideways world and one more example of its dynamic, creative interconnection with The Island world.) The book poses a question that goes to the heart of the Sideways conundrum: ”What’s the use of stories that aren’t even true?”Source: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20313460_20388269_4,00.html

    Comment by Anonymous — May 26, 2010 @ 7:10 am

  14. Haroun is a self-aware fairy tale about a young hero (whose name means ”Aaron”) who has an adventure in a realm that happens to be the source of all stories. The conflict mirrors the Jack-Desmond-Fake Locke conflict in the finale. Haroun fights a monstrous, shape-shifting Man In Black who seeks to destroy the ”sea of stories.” The villain is a crazed, control freak man of science/political tyrant who wants to put a cork in the wellspring of meaning itself and then spike the Sea of Story with a toxin of ”anti-story,” or meaninglessness. Haroun saves the day, and for his trouble, the administrators who manage the fantastical realm give him a happy ending. Haroun is slightly troubled by this; he feels this ”happy ending” business is terribly contrived. Yet he accepts the gift anyway, and appreciates it more and more as the benefits roll in. Love. Hope. Forgiveness. Empowerment. Redemption. Reconciliation. Restoration. In the end (and this is just my interpretation), Haroun decides to worry less about the origin of this windfall ??? an inexplicable palette drop loaded with yummy, nourishing soul food ??? and instead decides to worry more about living a life worthy of these eternal values. The mechanism of the delivery may have been contrived, but the values themselves are truthful and real.Source: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20313460_20388269_5,00.html

    Comment by Anonymous — May 26, 2010 @ 7:12 am

  15. Like the happy ending of Haroun, the Sideways conceit of Lost does some important things for the story, even if it can’t completely dodge the charge of being ”contrived.” (In fact, I might argue that by citing Haroun, Lost might have been acknowledging and embracing the charge.) The Sideways device allowed Lost to embellish its core themes (redemption; introspection; letting go of the past), express a spiritual worldview, and forge some undeniably powerful dramatic moments. It was a means to an emotionally rich conclusion that felt true and organic to the series.Source: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20313460_20388269_5,00.html

    Comment by Anonymous — May 26, 2010 @ 7:12 am

  16. Did Jack believe? He asked his father if he was real, and they laughed at the absurdity of the question but his father said yes, he was real, very real, that his whole life had been real… but it was over, and it had been over for quite some time, and he needed to accept that. When Jack Shephard was a boy, his father, angry and drunk, told him he didn’t have what it took to be a hero because he didn’t know when to let go. It hurt Jack to hear that back then, and Christian never should have said it, not like that. But he was right. And the time had come for Jack to embrace that truth.With fear and trembling, Jack stepped out of the cloakroom and into the sanctuary where his soulmates were waiting for him. Was he fully enlightened by that point? I think no. I think a few more things needed to happen, and they all did. I think he needed to be greeted by John Locke. Greeted with that smile and that handshake and be told, ”I’m glad you decided to join us.” I think he needed to be touched by his friends. Hugged by Boone, the man he couldn’t save. Hugged by Sawyer, his enemy turned ally. Hugged by Desmond, his brother in Island salvation. Bear hugged by Hurley, who takes care of everyone. Then he needed to be led by Kate to his seat, and he needed one act of love from his father, that touch that said, ”I’m proud of you.” Christian opened the doors. Light flooded into the church. Jack smiled. It was real. It was all real. And in that moment, he was complete. Redeemed. Reconciled. Restored. He remembered his last moments on The Island. He remembered his sacrifice. He remembered he had lived a life, a hard life, a life full of mistakes and pain, but that in the end, the good in him won out, and that he died with heart in the right place. He was a hero. And he let go. The End.Namaste.Source: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20313460_20388269_9,00.html(Beautiful work, Doc Jensen! I’ve cut-and-pasted my favorite passages of yours here for my own reference; anyone who’s been reading these passages I highly encourage to visit The Source.)

    Comment by Anonymous — May 26, 2010 @ 7:51 am

  17. Someone from Bad Robot’s take on the ending:http://lostmediamentions.blogspot.com/2010/05/someone-from-bad-robots-take-on-finale.html#disqus_thread

    Comment by Anonymous — June 1, 2010 @ 4:55 pm

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