Lost Theory: Jacob is God, the Others' Angels, the Black Cloud is Satan, and the Dharma Initiative is Science?
Jacob with his black-clad counterpart.
Much was revealed in last night's fifth season finale for Lost, the penultimate for the series. Here's my take:
Apparently Jacob is a Judeo-Christian God-like figure, the "others" and Richard are his angels, and the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815, like many a vessel previously crashed at the island by Jacob, are his human flock. Jacob, or God, appears benevolently in the survivors' off-Island lives, sometimes intervening to save their lives while at other times offering encouragement or reassurance. Yet as Jacob mentions in the season finale, each human has "free will," something that plays out as a new band of cast away survivors arrive at the Island over the years, with some survivors choosing greater and lesser forms of conflict, violence, or peaceful co-habitation.
Of course, there is an alternative to Jacob, a Satan-like figure committed to killing him, and in search of a "loop" to do so. This Satan counterpart--(perhaps also the corporeal black cloud beast)--can inhabit the form of individuals who arrive dead at the island, like this season's Locke and importantly Jack's father.
In this human form, whether Locke in the season finale or Jack's father in previous episodes, Satan intervenes in the lives of the characters to lead them on a trajectory that enables him to ultimately kill Jacob at the end of the season finale.
In this view, the Island is a metaphor for a Judeo-Christian version of human history and civilization. Humans choose acts of good and evil with the free will to do so, as God and Satan watch and sometime intervene.
There's just one catch to Satan's success at the end of the finale: When the 1970s stranded survivors exploded the hydrogen bomb, the intervention likely altered the present time line enabling Jacob to escape the death that his evil Island counterpart had successfully put into action.
One last side note: If the Island is metaphorically a Judeo-Christian universe, then the Dharma Initiative represents the Enlightenment intervention of science and reason into the medieval equilibrium between God and Satan. The "Others" are traditional followers of Jacob, living like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The Dharma Initiative are a combination of scientists, engineers, and New Age hippies ignorant of Jacob's existence but no less influenced by him.
That's my quick take, but I will likely prove to be wrong. ;-) For more, check out the professional Lost theorists.
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
Research has shown that men today have less testosterone than they used to. What's happening?
- Several studies have confirmed that testosterone counts in men are lower than what they used to be just a few decades ago.
- While most men still have perfectly healthy testosterone levels, its reduction puts men at risk for many negative health outcomes.
- The cause of this drop in testosterone isn't entirely clear, but evidence suggests that it is a multifaceted result of modern, industrialized life.
Michael Dowling, Northwell Health's CEO, believes we're entering the age of smart medicine.
- The United States health care system has much room for improvement, and big tech may be laying the foundation for those improvements.
- Technological progress in medicine is coming from two fronts: medical technology and information technology.
- As information technology develops, patients will become active participants in their health care, and value-based care may become a reality.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.