Posted by Marc Oromaner on Thursday, March 4th, 2010 at 1:47 am - filed under Lost In Myth - (68) Comments
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Whereas “Lighthouse” was all about our enlightenment, “Sundown” explored our dark side—temptation. “I can see her lying back in her satin dress in a room where you do what you don’t confess,” sang Gordon Lightfoot in his 1974 hit “Sundown.” The song is all about succumbing to temptation, hence once again revealing the double entendre that the Lost writers are so fond of using in their episode titles. When the sun goes down, man gets tempted by the dark. Why a “satin” dress? Sounds like Satan, don’t it?

The song “Sundown” was inspired by Cathy Smith, Gord’s mistress at the time who he later claimed in interviews was “the one woman in my life who most hurt me.” Actually, Gord may have gotten off easy. Easier than John Belushi anyway, into whom Cathy injected a fatal drug overdose. So is the message of the episode “Sundown” that women are nothing but temptations that should be avoided? Not at all. In fact, the end of the episode hinted that the one hope the island has for survival is from a woman. But we’ll get to that later.

Metaphorically speaking, if the skeletons in the cave are Adam and Eve, and the island is Eden, and Jacob is God, who is the snake? If there was ever any doubt, in this episode it became clear that it is the smoke monster, or should we say, snake monster. He slithers about, he deceives by mixing truth with lies (promising Claire that he will retrieve Aaron from the Temple, yet, Kate is there so who knows), and now, we see that he is tempting the Losties with forbidden fruit. In addition to promising Claire that he will get Aaron back, he promises Sawyer the answer to the question of why he’s on the island, he promises Sayid to reunite him with his deceased love, and just like the serpent in Eden, he seems to be speaking the truth.

For the record, while I’m using the Adam and Eve myth as the morality parable it is most often associated with, to be clear, I do not subscribe to this perspective. The story of the Garden of Eden is ultimately not about morals, good and evil, or even temptation. It is about the creation of our physical universe with the tree of knowledge of good and evil representing opposites that exist in a physical world, as opposed to morality. It could have just as easily been the tree of knowledge of light and dark or up and down. The snake symbolizes time that also only exists in the physical realm. (Possibly because the snake sheds its skin. The symbol of the snake with its tail in its mouth is known as Ouroboros and represents the repeating cycle of time, not putting your foot in your mouth after succumbing to temptation.) Put it all together and the eating of the fruit is symbolic of the creation of our physical world. Period. The misinterpretation of the story that has formed the basis of the world’s patriarchal religions is pretty much responsible for most of the problems throughout our history—wars, ego, pride, discrimination, bigotry, self-righteousness, witch hunts, male chauvinism, etc.  But that’s a column for another day. Here, we are talking about temptation.

On the island, Sayid has taken a bite of the snake monster’s forbidden fruit—killing Dogen in exchange for the chance to be reunited with his beloved Nadia. Ah, what Sayid will do for a woman.  The writers are really trying to get us to believe that the flash-sideways are a result of the snake monster’s granted wishes. This may entirely be the case, but I’m not convinced. The major reason is that in Sayid’s flash-sideways, Nadia is indeed alive and in love with him, but married to his brother. Is this simply an example of the infamous genie/leprechaun  trickster myth—be careful what you wish for because you’ll get it but not as you want it? Perhaps, but for the first time in any Sayid-centric episode, Sayid resists the temptation.

As I wrote about in “‘He’s Our You’—How Proxies Play a Role In Our Lives”: “Throughout his life, Sayid has continually been revisited by a particular archetype—that of a strong, confident woman who is able to mesmerize and ultimately entrap him.” He is lured in by the ladies and then beat up by them. From Ilana and Elsa to Rousseau and Amira, Sayid kept repeating the same mistakes by falling for the temptation of lust or violence. But in his flash-sideways, Sayid finally falls for neither. Not only does he not commit adultery with Nadia and dishonor his brother, he also does not seek out revenge—it finds him. In this way, Sayid is redeemed. As far as I’m concerned, his final act of violence in the flash-sideways was in self-defense, as well as in defense of his brother’s family.

This does not seem to be the granting of a wish, but rather, a final test or result of passing his tests. He tells his brother that he is no longer a man who seeks out violence, and tells Nadia that because of what he’s done in his past, he is not worthy of her. Here, he has clearly passed, and is rewarded by successfully beating the bad guys and rescuing Jin. On the island though, it’s another story. While he tells Dogen that he’s changed, he’s still not quite there and has been lured by temptation. Off-island Sayid has been redeemed, but on-island Sayid still has work to do. Will Christian Shephard come to the rescue and much like Anakin Skywalker, trade sides in the end to overthrow the chief bad guy and save the rebellion…and himself? Perhaps. Or perhaps the savior will be someone completely unexpected—at least from the snake monster’s perspective.

“That boy is our only hope,” the ghost of Obi-Wahn laments to Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. “No,” Yoda replies, “there may be another.” It’s always kind of disappointed me that Return of the Jedi really didn’t play up on this comment by having Leia somehow use her Jedi powers to save the day. I think it would’ve been cool if she showed up the boys. As with Star Wars, in Lost, all the serious contenders for candidacy seem to also be men. Of the six infamous numbers, all seem to be men, and Kate’s name isn’t even anywhere to be found in the cave. Despite being described by the snake monster as Jacob’s cave, I’m still leaning towards the possibility that it’s his. At the very least, it doesn’t seem like the lighthouse and the cave would both be Jacob’s. Why would he need to write down the numbers and names twice? I’ve heard a theory that perhaps the lighthouses belongs to the Man In Black and that’s why Jacob wanted it smashed. Cool idea, but mythologically, if Jacob does represent light, it should be his while the underground cavern should represent dark, earth energy or the Man In Black.

Since we did not see Kate’s name on the cave wall, the implication is that she is not a serious contender for candidacy, and might not be a threat to the Man In Black’s loophole plan. But while the Man In Black “can picture every move that a man can make, getting lost in her lovin’ is [his] first mistake. Every move??? As in a game???? And like Gordon is he too making a mistake by underestimating a woman? The song also provides another hint: “Sometimes I think it’s a sin when I feel like I’m winning when I’m losing again.” I feel this is exactly where the Man In Black is at. Jacob has a loophole of his own, and like most villains, the Man In Black’s ego blinds him of the unsuspecting threat to his plan—Kate.

I’m not a big backgammon player, but I’ve got a mean Othello strategy. And I’ll tell you exactly what it is: let the other player take up the entire middle of the board so he thinks he’s winning, then, once he’s surrounded himself with himself and has no moves to make, use your edges to turn the tide and flip over all his pieces in mighty swoops.

At the very end of the episode, the Man In Black seems to be in a very good position. He’s killed Jacob, killed everyone in the temple who he hasn’t recruited, and even gotten a possible new candidate to join his team. He gives Kate an intrigued look, but then confidently leads his team to certain victory. Yet, just as Kate got Sawyer and Juliet to turn the sub around, I think she is going to begin to flip over all of the Man In Black’s pieces right back to white. I could be wrong, but I hope not because there is a very strong goddess energy in the air these days and I’d love to write a column about it. We just need an episode with that as the focus to make it happen.

The writers have actually given another slight hint that it might be a woman who tricks the Man In Black. Considering that up until now, all the Season 6 episodes have been following the same order of character-focused episodes as Season 1 (they’ve both focused first on everyone, then Kate, Locke, and Jack), many people assumed this episode would center around Sun since she was next in the lineup. The Season 1 episode with her was called “House of the Rising Sun,” and this Season 6 one was also a play on her name. However, it was all a ruse. The episode focused on Sayid and his love for a woman. I don’t think this title was chosen by accident.

The insinuation might be that just as we took it for granted that a woman would play a role as we expected, the Man In Black may be fooled as well. Kate, Sun, or possibly even Ilana, may give the Man In Black a challenge he wasn’t expecting. If so, that will be a great episode to talk about the goddess.

In the meantime though, what was the message of this episode for us? The theme was obviously about temptation—about making deals with the devil. We all have our weaknesses, and the universe (devil, Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, serpent, anti-Christ, whatever you wanna call it) will continually tempt us with whatever it is. Every time we resist, we get that much stronger to make the right choice the next time. However, when we give in, we reap the repercussions. Not to worry though, because either way, you’ll get tested again. No matter what your weakness, you will continually be tested until you successfully overcome it and then successfully pass the multiple retests. Why does the world work this way? Why can’t we just indulge in sex, violence, junk food, and alcohol whenever we want? Well, we can—the choice is ours. But without having vices in this world that we know we shouldn’t give into that often if at all, there would really be no challenge in living life. It would just be like the Garden of Eden where everything was handed to us.

As I mentioned in “Why LOST Can Be A Substitute For ‘Willy Wonka’” it’s like that scene in The Matrix when agent Smith tells Morpheus that humans rejected the first matrix program where everything was perfect. That program was our mythological Garden of Eden. And it was torturously boring. Much like the Man In Black, Satan isn’t truly evil. It just represents the challenge that enables us to see what we’re made of. The Garden of Eden is cool at first, but after a while it gets really old. There’s a great Twilight Zone where this crook gets shot and finds himself in Heaven. He can have everything he desires. At first, he loves it. But after several months, he begs to be sent to Hell instead. It is then that he is told that he’s already there.

So don’t hate the struggle. Embrace it. It makes life interesting. Without it, there would be nothing for us to overcome, nothing to resist, nothing to strive for. Still, while nobody gets to walk between the raindrops, there are those who’ve had charmed lives. Everything goes right for them and they rarely have to struggle. But you know what? They’re soft. There might be a parallel universe where you are such a person. Where everything has gone right for you. But judging by the way the world is headed now, I’d think twice before wishing you could switch places with that version of yourself. You are in a much better position for handling the challenges that may be heading our way.

Even if there aren’t too many of these global challenges, you are at least in a better position to handle whatever might come your way…personally.  And something will. Because you are a Lost fan. You are attracted to an intelligently written show about people with major issues in mysterious and dangerous surroundings filled with complicated questions. Lost is preparing you and other Lost fans for the future. So should time start skipping in our world, or multiple versions of ourselves begin showing up, or people begin getting bloody noses, while the rest of the world may panic, you’ll know what to do. And perhaps if you’ve grown yourself enough you can take charge and comfort everyone else by letting them know that they shouldn’t worry. You know exactly what’s going on. After all, you’re a Lost fan.


Marc Oromaner
is a New York City writer whose book, The Myth of Lost offers a simple solution to Lost and uncovers its hidden insight into the mysteries of life. He can be contacted in the discussion section of The Myth of Lost Facebook page.

The Myth of Lost is available on Amazon and barnesandnoble.com.

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68 Responses to “Marc Oromaner’s Lost In Myth: “Sundown”—Temptation of the Dark Side”


  1. Matt says:

    Interesting… The Ouroboros is also what Dana Scully got tattooed on herself in the season 4 episode “Never Again” of The X-Files. This may perhaps be an homage to that. And it’s also the symbol of the television series “Millennium,” which Terry O’Quinn was an actor on… but I don’t know too much about that show at all…

    • Wow! I used to watch “Millennium” and not until just now do I remember that Terry O’Quinn was in it! He had a mustache I think. Woah, funny how connections like that happen. Thanks for that!

    • greg dharma says:

      the ouroboros is a symbol of eternity, represented on Lost by…wait for it…the Egyptian shen ring hieroglyph, which identified the secret passage in the temple which Ilana opened.

      • Y’know, I THOUGHT it might be, but wasn’t able to get a clear enough picture of it. I stared at it for awhile in the screen caps but couldn’t tell if they were heads or just cracks and shadows in the wall. Lostpedia thought it was an omega, which also made sense so I decided not to bring it up. Thanks for clarifying. Now I realize it IS a snake or snakes–one wrapped around the other and biting the tail.

      • Oh wait, okay–it’s actually a ROPE but shares the meaning with the Ouroboros–gotcha.

        • greg dharma says:

          marc, there is parallel symbolism between the oroborous, the omega, and the shen – each representing aspects of infinity or eternity.

          i did a little bit of research on the shen, which is a sun disk encircled by a ring of rope. besides eternity, it also signifies protection, so it makes sense it would be in the temple. both the egyptian cartouche, or royal sigil, and the Greek Omega seem to be descended from the shen, one of the older Egyptian hieroglyphs.

          Additionally, the oroborous is an alchemical symbol which apparently originated in Egypt (alchemy = al-Kemi, or “of Kemet”; kemet = egypt), it dates back at least to the 24th Century BC.

          the Oroborous is also found in many other myths — Celtic, Norse, Eastern, Christianity, Gnosticism, Yoruban, Aztec/Toltec, Freemasonry, etc. Jung even compared it to the essential nature of the human psyche.

          anyway, thanks for connecting it to Lost –and Gordon Lightfoot. lol.

  2. chris says:

    good stuff. didnt even entertain the possibility that kate being at the end might be a hint at her playing a very significant role later. good eye. very interesting. and it does seem a bit too misogynistic that both the deities(?) Jacob and antiJacob plus the candidates are all dudes

  3. [...] Marc Oromaner’s Lost In Myth: “Sundown”—Temptation of the Dark Side DocArzt’s LOST Blo… [...]

  4. adam118 says:

    I love your stuff. Keep bringing it.

  5. bps says:

    Whether its intentional or not, I too think Kate will be the demise of MIBs group. He thinks he’s gonna use her to get at Jack perhaps, but we all know in the end Sawyer is not going to let anything happen to her. Throw in the fact that Claire may want to kill her as well, and you’ve already got infighting right from the very beginning.

    I can almost hear Sawyer’s first words to Kate now when he finds out she’s in the same camp as him……”What are you doing here?”

  6. apackofmonkeys says:

    When I read

    “Why a “satin” dress? Sounds like Satan, don’t it?”

    All I could think of was the Church Lady on SNL. :)

  7. Rick_of_faith says:

    What if the cave list and the lighthouse list are not the same list. What if Jacob wrote the list on the lighthouse dial and MIB wrote the list in the cave. Maybe they are both looking for candidates to replace them, and MIB has allready seen something in Kate that knocked her off of his list. The numbers are the same on each list, but is the handwriting? I think the further we get into the season, the two lists will begin to change to the point that you see Jack and Hurley get knocked off of MIB’s list for instance. This is just a theory, but think about the symbolism of Jabob’s Spirit leading jack and Hurley by Faith to the Lighthouse (A tall structure filled with light) and Sawyer, who had just lost his one true love, being temped into following a creature in a false form down into a dark cave. This had to have been on purpose that we saw these two drastically different areas of the island (Which we have not seen before) in three episodes side by side. Think about it!

    • Ah ha! Yes, that’s where I was going with this. There are so many tangents that pop up in my mind as I write these, but I have to do my best to ignore some or this column would never get done. I find it interesting that the readers who are meant to take it to the next level do.

      But yes, absolutely, perhaps the MIB had his own game plan and that’s what he was creating in the cave while Jacob’s plan is in the lighthouse. I’m not sure the MIB is looking for someone to replace him, or if he was just plotting his loophole, but either way, it seems like his plan on the wall.

      Definitely liked your interpretation of how Jack and Hurley are led on faith to the lighthouse (enlightenment) and Sawyer, being in a dark place due to losing a love, is led to the cave which is the dark energy. You’re dead on. Pun intention optional.

  8. Casey says:

    I’ve been critical of Marc’s stuff in the past, but I have to say this was a very well-well written, well thought out piece. Keep writing stuff like this.

  9. butwhatifitisnt says:

    GREAT POST!! I could totally see Kate throwing things off balance for MIB. She’s very convincing–maybe she can turn Claire around. Think of how many people she’s manipulated to get her way over the years. I don’t think Smokey was happy to see her walking out of the temple.

    With regard to the sideways world being MIB granting the wishes of his recruits — if this is true, I agree that it will backfire on them. For instance, if Kate’s wish was to be innocent of the crime she committed, well, she basically told Claire that she was innocent. What if she IS innocent in this reality, but still ends of being accused of murder & still on the run. Technically got what she wished for, but didn’t work out for her in the end.

    • Casey says:

      Or it can be taken a step further – Kate wishes to be innocent of the crime she committed. MIB grants the wish “Monkey’s Paw” style – technically she is innocent of the crime she committed – killing her father. That’s what she asks for, that’s what she gets. That doesn’t mean she won’t be guilty of murdering someone else other than Wayne. See the comic-con America’s Most Wanted video for a hint in this direction.

      • butwhatifitisnt says:

        Ahhh, see I was thinking about the Comic-con AMW video but my puny brain couldn’t tie it in. V E R Y I N T E R E S T I N G !

      • Like Rick above, Casey you are also filling in the blanks that I was hoping others would explore. “The Monkey’s Paw” is another story totally in line with the genie/leprechaun myth. There definitely seems to be a pattern here.

        Those who are following Jacob seem to be getting their wishes without strings attached so Jack is able to now have a relationship with his son and Hurley is lucky and seemingly happy (as far as we know).

        However, while Sayid has his love alive and she is in love with him, she is married to his brother. Kate may be innocent of killing her father or even another person, but she is still accused of the crime and may serve time or even get life or death row regardless. Not enough info on Claire yet. Maybe she will have her baby but not be able to raise it? I’m going to look out for this to see if the pattern continues.

        • Casey says:

          Marc, you make a very nice distinction about Kate here. Kate’s role, her “dharma” as it were, may not necessarily require her to be a killer, but to be a fugitive. A killer is guilty. As Dr. Richard Kimble can attest, a fugitive does not have to be guilty to be a fugitive.

          • Yes, there might be some parts to the Losties’ lives that cannot be changed. So, Jack cannot be happily married, but he can have a relationship with his son. Some parts are fated. Others are freedom of choice. We are definitely onto something here. Something that might not even ever be explained within the context of the show.

        • Ament says:

          These are great observations and a road I never thought of. You mentioned Hurley and Jack yet even Locke who ended up back with his Helen and his new position as a teacher which is what he seemed to love doing on the island with Boone and anyone else seeking his knowledge. His walking may also come back if he crosses Jack’s path again. Dogen a loyal follower of Jacob, we seen with his son alive and well in OtherLost.

          The “monkey paw” theory so far is pretty strong and I buy it. Wish for a million bucks and you get a million male deer walking around and devastating your house.

  10. Like everyone else, I really enjoyed this post, Marc. Great writing.

    Your interpretation of the Garden of Eden is interesting. I hadn’t quite thought of it that way. Instead of being a story of temptation, though, I’d always thought it had been a metaphor for pride. After all, the serpent offers Adam and Eve the opportunity to know the things of God which God had been holding back from them. I covered this over at my blog for the episode “The Substitute” as Evil Locke offers both Richard and Sawyer the chance to learn the secret things of Jacob. http://pop-culture-pundit.blogspot.com/2010/02/lost-episode-64-substitute.html.

    As for Kate, I too felt as though she will be special as the end approaches. One of my initial thoughts was how much this season so far feels like an yin-yang symbol. Kate is now fully surrounded by the darkness, but she is the white light in the middle; good within the bad. Who, then, will be the dark spot within the good side? Ben? Something to consider, of course.

    Nonetheless, great post. Thanks for the food-for-thought.

    • The story of Adam and Eve is very layered and has many levels of interpretation. The one I made here is not my own but from Kabbalistic interpretations–the secret explanations–of the story. It can be about many, many things. But at it’s deepest level, this is what they, and I believe the story is ultimately saying.

      Totally agree with what you wrote on your blog about MIB pointing out what Jacob had kept hidden from Richard and how he’d never do that being just like the serpent. And obviously we’re both on the same page with mixing truth and lies.

      LOVE your yin-yang comparison! Definitely will be on the lookout for the dark spot on Jacob’s side…

  11. Tobias Schapire says:

    I still believe that the One that will challenge and beat the Smoke monster in the end is Jack, with a little help (or big )from the person that is coming to the island as Jacob mentioned, I strongly believe that this person will bring Aaron with her? (or him). I bet is Farraday´s mother…..Last tought, where are Widmore and Desmond??, I think they should come along for shows finale!!

    • naultz says:

      widmore and desmond may also be possibilities for the person coming to the island. both, along with Eloise, have strong ties to the island. I think its Desmond, but he was pretty clear about staying away from the island, were as widmore has been trying the last twenty years to get to the island. Given Widmore and Eloises past, maybe they will (as jacob said) “find another way” to island. Maybe Eloise is that other way.

  12. Brian says:

    Marc,

    Your columns are always interesting. However, I do wish to point out where you are wrong.

    The Eden story in the Bible is not simply a story of the creation of our physical world, though that is part of it. The story is indeed about good and evil, about God creating a universe, which means he has authority over it, and his creation rebelling against him by disregarding a simple command. In other words, the story can only be interpreted in light of the intent of the Bible. It is dishonest to take that section of the Bible and give it an interpretation that suits your philosophy.

    Yes, people have done many bad things “in the name of God.” However, these things were not done according to God’s word, but according to the twisting of God’s word. Many horrible things have been done when verses or sections of the Bible have been taken out of context and used for some other purpose. So, for you to do the same – take something out of context and use it for your own purpose – is ironic. You can’t have it both ways by condemning those who abuse the words of the Bible and then do it yourself.

    I normally wouldn’t write something so confrontational, yet I take the Bible more seriously than I take Lost… which is saying something.

    • Thanks for sharing that Brian, especially since it sounds like it’s not within your usual style to be confrontational. I would say then this is a step in the right direction. I believe we should always go against our comfort zone. So while those who are too confrontational might want to be less so, those who aren’t confrontational enough, might want to be more so.

      As far as your disagreement with my interpretation, we are actually more on the same page than you think. As I mentioned above, the format of these columns usually does not allow me to fully explain my points or get inito the sidetracking details. So, I will clarify here.

      First, I completely agree that the Eden story is not only a story about the creation of our physical world, it has many, many interpretations, none of which are incorrect. In one of my columns from last season, “Lost “316” on Leaps of Faith & The Cycle of Life” (http://www.docarzt.com/lost/lost-“316”-on-leaps-of-faith-the-cycle-of-life/) I mentioned how Biblical scholars break down the interpretation into four main groups: literal, metaphoric/parabolic, searching, and hidden/secret (the mystical or kabbalah level). The parabolic explanation of the Eden story is completely valid, but I used the world “ultimately” not to mean that there was no truth to that interpretation, but that there is a deeper or hidden truth that rings more true for me.

      I would also agree that it would be misleading for me to take a story and simply skew it to my own perspective while negating other views. That was not my intent at all. In fact, the interpretation I wrote about here is not my own, but belongs to the interpretation set forth in the Zohar. The Zohar is a mystical interpretation of the Bible thought that forms the basis of Kabbalistic thinking. Many believe that it’s wisdom originated from Adam himself, as he was dictated to by God. I probably should’ve clarified the origination of the interpretation in the article, but I guess haste makes waste. I did not mean to imply that the interpretation was made by me. This interpretation goes back thousands of years, or at the very latest, the 13th century when the Zohar was first published.

      If you’d like more details on this interpretation of the story with a plethora of details that really build a strong case (e.g., voice of God “walks” in the garden after fruit is eaten because physical world now created), I highly recommend “God is a Verb: Kabbalah and the Practice of Mystical Judaism” by Rabbi David A. Cooper. Cooper bridges our two perspectives together with passages such as: “The Zohar says clearly that the forbidden fruit was sexuality. Eve and the serpent had sexual intercourse. In other words, they merged. Matter was now vitalized. Adam merged as well and added form. And this is the story of the physical creation as we know it.” He also talks about very interesting interpretations of the two creation stories in the Bible. Really great stuff.

      Hope this clears things up!

      • eric says:

        “Put it all together and the eating of the fruit is symbolic of the creation of our physical world. Period. The misinterpretation of the story that has formed the basis of the world’s patriarchal religions is pretty much responsible for most of the problems throughout our history—wars, ego, pride, discrimination, bigotry, self-righteousness, witch hunts, male chauvinism, etc. But that’s a column for another day. Here, we are talking about temptation.”

        As a Christian minister I appreciate some of your writing but obviously disagree with the above – if you take a look at history – wars in an objective manner your comment that most of the wars are caused by patriarchal religions is going to be a tough sell.

        In addition, while you responded to Brian as if you’ve taken into consideration all the Biblical scholars and have come up with the most accurate interpretation – ‘period’ – I would be curious to hear what you think of Jesus Christ who validated the Old Testament scriptures in his teaching, said He had come to die for the sins of the world (including your and mine), and whom – very few good scholars dispute actually walked the earth as a man. Either he was a lunatic, a liar, or the son of God. If He said what he said and it wasn’t true then he never left us with the option of being a good human teacher. Some of His followers today do some foolish things in His name no doubt – but each individual on earth must do something with Him.

        • Brian says:

          Eric,

          Thanks for the back-up. I, too, am a Christian minister. And I believe it’s best to interpret Scripture with Scripture, particularly if Jesus commented on it.

          Marc,

          Thanks for the fair response. I think I wouldn’t have been offended if you had credited the interpretation to someone else or some other school of thought. I don’t agree with some who look at a story and try to find some mysterious message instead of looking at the story and finding its clearer message, even if that message happens to be symbolic in nature. After all, it would ludicrous to look at Romeo and Juliette and declare it a story about environmentalism or capitalism or something else from out of left field.

    • Casey says:

      A bit heavy-handed here, aren’t you Brian?

      “…the story can only be interpreted in light of the intent of the Bible.”

      Interesting. You are implying that you in fact know the intent of the Bible, right? As far as I remember, that’s pride – presuming to know the mind of God. It’s a deadly sin.

      “It is dishonest to take that section of the Bible and give it an interpretation that suits your philosophy.”

      Isn’t this what you yourself are doing?

      What Marc has done is not in the least bit dishonest. There is no deception. In fact, he name checks many of the varied interpretations of the Myth. You are the one trying to limit it to your philosophical world view.

      • bps says:

        Casey- I believe your disagreements with Brian can be boiled down to this– You believe the creation account to be a “Myth”, and he believes the creation account to be Truth. That is going to make a BIG difference in how it is “interpreted”.

        • Brian says:

          bps,

          Yes, that’s the crux of the matter. But the Bible doesn’t assert itself to be fiction or myth. Some may decide it to be such – though certainly not me – but I think we should approach it on its own terms. (Again, I realize that some may still reject it.) When you come to analyzing fiction, I think there are some different rules that apply, and I think more is left to interpretation.

          So, I don’t mind when people analyze Lost and come up with all kinds of different themes and symbols and messages. I’m guessing Darlton doesn’t mind, even if the analysis of some doesn’t match with what they had in mind.

          • greg dharma says:

            so, brian, where does allegory fit into all of this?

            certainly some of the Biblical references taken literally are hard to swallow. and certainly the fact that the Bible has been mythologized to some degree has made it easier to swallow. if you believe the bible as an absolute, truthful account, then it become didactic, unforgiving and incompatible with any other religious dogma. which is exactly the opposite point that marc seems to be making. if the definition of a universal truth is that it’s universally true, than any confluence of parallel symbolism between different religions can be taken of proof of that universal truth, i.e. redemption is possible for humanity. but if one says, redemption is possible only for those who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, then you’re saying redemption is impossible for non-Christians–which goes against the principle of redemption itself. to make another analogy, if God created the earth and the heavens, then he created all of the earth and the heavens, not just the ones recognized by Christians. For there to be one true and living God, that God would have to be the same being in every religion, whether he is named Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah, Ra, the Great Spirit, Nommo, or Oludumare. in other words, if you accept the notion of a supreme being responsible for all creation, than that Creator reigns supreme over all creation no matter what you call him.

  13. DK says:

    I think we saw the end in the starting of the Season 6. I think it flash sideways is what the timeline will be at the end, a timeline which was not influenced by Jacob or MIB

  14. WTF says:

    Is there anything worse than a male feminist?

    • I don’t subscribe to these generalized labels. One of my book reviews on the Amazon page describes my writing as sexist. I consider myself neither. I just speak the truth as I see it from my perspective. From my experience, I feel that people like to use labels to separate themselves from those who’d views differ from their own. Calling someone a feminist, liberal, conservative, etc, is just a way to try to belittle them and force-fit their views into one neat little package. That being said, I might consider myself a spiritualist, whatever that means.

      • You throw around those “generalized labels” but don’t subscribe to them? And those labels are just used to “force-fit” and “belittle” those espousing certain attitudes?

        Get real. It’s called categorization and it’s what distinguishes men from all other animals. It’s what we do. Calling someone a feminist or misogynist my only characterize ONE part of an individual, but it’s justifiable.

        Just like “good” and “evil:” you can diminish those terms all you want by prescribing to “perspective” and humanism all you want, but it doesn’t lessen their truth.

  15. Matt says:

    @Marc

    I wrote this on another post on Nikki’s post, but when searching for the several different spiritual meanings behind the number 51. I came across this.

    51st Saying of Gospel of Thomas:
    His disciples said to him,
    “When will the repose of the dead come about,
    and when will the new world come?”
    He said to them, “What you look forward to
    has already come, but you do not recognize it.”

    It seems like grasping at straws, but I found it intriguing none the less.

    • It’s totally like what I wrote about last week about everything already existing, but we only experience what we focus on.

      Also, for those who didn’t know, Kate Austen’s number is 51. So, this could be interpreted to mean that she is the key to the new world. Even if the writers didn’t plan this, as I’ve written, there is a bigger plan working here.

    • lostinnashville says:

      Didn’t Michael Emerson say in a teaser/interview right before the season “What if you have seen the answers, but don’t recognize them.” That is a misquote, I am sure, but is close to his original quote and similar to this 51st saying.

  16. lostinnashville says:

    The scene at the chop shop in What Kate Does, where Kate is directed by the mechanic to a place where she can “change” and sees herself in the mirror, felt to me like a point where Kate had completed something important to her journey. Even her changing into white clothing seemed significant and I wonder how her sideways choices have changed her island experience.

  17. greg dharma says:

    marc, this is an excellent piece. i really enjoy and appreciate allt he work you put into making mythological, folkloric, and pop culture references. after the show aired i Googled Gordon Lightfoot’s lyrics to Sundown, but i like how you made the connection.

    also your speculation about Kate is interesting. she was motivated not out of selfishness but out of selflessness, the opposite of Sayid. i think you’re right that she doesnt quite fit with FLocke’s army of darkness and may ultimately thrawrt him.

    at the very least, she’s a lot less annoying than she was in what Kate Does–which now seems like more of a setup for the Clarie/Kate dynamic, which took a turn equally as significant as Sayid’s conversion to a Sith.

    speaking of which, why didnt Claire look for baby Aaron in the temple?

    and what do you think it means that kate picked up a gun?

    i also think Ilana may play a big role int he endgame. her part has been getting more and more important, and with dogen gone and richard MIA, she’s the only one who knows how to stop FLocke.

    is she “the one who will save us all”?

    curious if you have further thoughts on her character, which has kind of taken on female warrior-priestess overtones…

    • Greg — Claire didn’t look for Aaron because she was kept as a prisoner by the Temple Others. They placed her in the well, ala “Silence of the Lambs” (as several have already pointed out on other sites).

      I’m with you about Ilana. The writers showed Jacob visiting her in the season 5 finale for a specific reason that will come to fruition later this season. I wouldn’t be surprised if she turns up in Richard’s upcoming flashback episode, “Ab Aeterno.” (Is that considered a spoiler?) I have this nagging suspicion she and Richard are related in some important way.

      • naultz says:

        I thought that Ilana could be Richard or Jacob’s daughter. She seems to know so much about the island and the coming “war”. She has to have some connection to the island beyond what weve seen so far.

      • greg dharma says:

        right. but she didnt ask Lennon where Aaron was when she had the chance. and she didnt ask Smokey to find him after he desecrated the others.

        i’m guessing she IS Richard’s daughter. she may have also been romantically involved with Jacob–which would certainly give credence to Isis/Osiris parallels.

  18. summerrain says:

    Hi Marc, thanks for sharing your thoughtful views. I love to read your hopeful, kind writings. I hope that Kate is able to help Claire, I don’t know if poor Claire’s brain is capable at this point of rational thinking. One thing I did think of when I read about the goddess priestess vibe is Eowyn in Lord of the Rings. She defeated the Nazgul king, who thought he was indestructible because no “man” could harm him. That was a powerful, touching scene, in the book and in the movie. Perhaps Smokie should catch up on his Tolkien. Peace.

  19. katesfriend says:

    Hi Marc, I enjoy reading your views and agree with most all. I agree with you on “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”, if you’ve had an easy life you won’t understand or know what to do when life gets tough. Kate is defiantly a survivor and I don’t see her staying with MIB. I remember a statement Kate made to Jack after the oceanic 8 came home. It was during the time that Jack was trying to convince everyone that they had to go back, because Locke had told Jack they had to go back to the island. Kate said something like “why would I go back with him”. Gosh I guess I should go back an re-watch that epi. It made me think that she didn’t trust Locke then,and going on that comment, I have a feeling that she still doesn’t trust Locke/MIB. There have been a couple of post referring to the Ouroboros symbol looking like the “stargate”. Glad to see that you’ve cleared that question up. Again thanks

  20. Mack says:

    “why would he need to write down the numbers and names twice? I’ve heard a theory that perhaps the lighthouses belongs to the Man In Black and that’s why Jacob wanted it smashed. Cool idea, but mythologically, if Jacob does represent light, it should be his while the underground cavern should represent dark, earth energy or the Man In Black.”

    Jacob was keeping a lot of secrets. Some of those secrets, like the whole candidate thing, were so secret that he kept it hidden from a high ranking members of the others like Richard-who you would think would know just about everything. It only stands to reason that there were certain things that Jacob wanted or needed to keep a secret and the cavern hidey hole offered him a place to do just that.

    • greg dharma says:

      mack, you’re missing the point of the light/dark symbolism. a lighthouse obviously symbolizes light, while a cave obviously symbolizes dark. it doesnt, in fact, stand to reason that jacob would need to have a secret cave in addition to a lighthouse. i’m 100% guaranteed that the lighthouse was jacob’s crystal tower. the cave may have been smokey’s or it may have been shared by both of them originally and later taken over by smokey. if both are keeping score and counting coup as far as active and crossed-out candidates, then this is probably the most logical theory.

      • greg dharma says:

        just as an addendum, it’s fairly significant that the ligthouse’s mirrors were connected to a wheel with 360-degree markings, and the cave names were just written on the ceiling. we know that jacob used the mirrors to view candidates. we dont know that smokey did. and even with jacob’s Luddite philosophy, the magic mirror wheel is pretty low-tech.

        • TM Lawrence says:

          Nor do we “know” Jacob is the Luddite. Just as likely MIB is the technophobe and Ben, who was never clear on who was trapped in that cabin, equivocated.

      • Mack says:

        No clue as to what you are referring to in your reply. You may be responding to the quote which is not my own but the author of this article, Marc Oromaner.

        • greg dharma says:

          mack, did you read your own post?

          you say: “Jacob wanted or needed to keep a secret and the cavern hidey hole offered him a place to do just that.”

          jacob already had the lighthouse, he doesnt need the cavern. he is associated with light, smokey is associated with darkness. therefore it absolutely does NOT stand to reason that he’d have a “hidey-hole.” AFAWK, no one else had ever been to the lighthouse before Hurley and Jack, and it may not even have been visible before. plus, jacob is perfectly capable of keeping secrets without appropriating his nemesis’ grotto. just ask richard.

          if he’s already got one secret list of candidates, why does he need two? simply for the sake of redundancy? also, the cavern apparently doesnt have the magic spy mirrors, so what use could this even be to jacob? it makes sense that smokey would have a lair, and if it wasnt the cave, then where was it?

          • Mack says:

            I did read my own post and I stand by what I wrote. The author was asking why Jacob would need the cave and I answered; so he could fulfill a portion of his plan that he wanted to keep to himself. And why doesn’t Jacob need the cave? Who are you to say Jacob doesn’t need it. Because Jacob has the Lighthouse he doesn’t need the cave.
            Well according to your logic, it would “stand to reason” that if he had the foot of the statue than Jacob wouldn’t need the cave or the foot. Maybe the cave serves a particular purpose, as does the foot and the Lighthouse. I mean, Dharma had multiple stations, each serving a particular function. The lighthouse is a tool

            Jacob uses to view people lives while the cave is a place where he formulates his intentions and plans. You don’t know.

            “perfectly capable of keeping secrets without appropriating his nemesis’ grotto. just ask Richard”

            I never mentioned anything about appropriating MIBs “grotto” because I don’t believe it is MIB’s “grotto” (by the way it isn’t actually a grotto because it was naturally formed and not artificially constructed; Jacob was only occupying it, he didn’t carve it into the side of the cliff.

            And for the record, in the last podcast they confirmed that the cave was in fact Jacobs. They heavily imply that the cave was created as a means of throwing off MIB from Jacob’s true intentions.

  21. Ament says:

    If Claire can at all be converted back, I don’t think it would be done through Kate. Kate for now is Claire’s target for the 3 yrs of pain, fear, and lonliness that Claire has been enduring which will be an episode by episode build up. If anybody changes Claire it would be Charlie, not as himself but through his memory and sacrifice. Sun has the DS ring to bring this emotion out of her darkness. She will remember Charlie and what he did just to get Aaron off the island and realize “What Kate Does” has been in Claire’s best interest.

  22. BackedBob says:

    I believe that the title “Sundown” ultimately refers to the final fall of Sayid
    to the “dark side”..

    Also during the conversation with Ben in the pool when he turns around and answers to ben “Not for Me”..wow..the look on his face and the expression is really really spooky.. i mean its the “dark side” all over..
    ” i sold my soul to the devil” kind of look..creepy, its like its inside him..
    awesome acting by Naveen Andrews right there.
    And also the (shit scared) reaction by Michael Emerson was awesome.

    And thats what the episode was mostly about..
    the recruitment of Sayid and destruction of the temple.

    One more thing,
    the final scene was indeed epic.. when they walk out from the temple and everybody’s dead, and the music score falls “catch a falling star”..
    .. gave me goose bumps.. one of the best scenes in Lost which are many..
    Thanx everybody for an awesome show they are putting on,
    making our brains drool all over the island…

  23. The Cleaner says:

    We done piece. Smart, insightful and took a stand to help the reader attain a paradigm shift to see and understamd the path ahead in his eyes.

    I’d like to see more.

  24. Steph95 says:

    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this correlation or not, but on the season 6 picture of the main cast members sitting in “The Last Supper” pose, it looks as if Kate is reaching into the same bowl as John, indicating that she would be the betrayer (just as Judas is seen reaching in the same bowl as Christ in the real painting). That seems to confirm the comments made about Kate being the woman to trick MIB.

  25. Michelle says:

    You say the whole idea of the Garden of Eden has been misinterpreted by all major religions, but it seems to me yours makes less sense.

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