LOST 6.16: "Christian Shephard? Seriously?" Seriously
- Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Passing the test involves accepting your purpose, seeing and embracing the miracles that happen that allow you to accomplish it, and possibly even sacrifice for the good of others. All of these boil down to faith. We mentioned that Faith is the key in LOST. I do believe this, mostly because I think this episode went to great lengths to prove what exactly the Man in Black's fatal flaw was, and that we waste a lot of time in our own lives debating right vs. wrong instead of simply believing.
As Jack, Desmond, and MiB all made their way to the Source, each one of them had a different idea about what was going to happen. They argued about who would be right, who would be wrong. MiB, when trying to kill Jack, was so determined to force into Jack's brain that he died for nothing, that it was all a lie, that he - the MiB - was right. So much energy into this one little concept. So much energy wasted when there were truths he had no way of even considering, such as the fact that pulling the plug would not only restore his mortality and ability to die, but that there would be no world for him to sail to. So he was wrong. But so was Desmond. Des believed that nothing would happen if he went into the cavern. Nothing of significance, anyway. His experience had taught him that he'd probably just be flashed out to someplace else, and that all this fussin and fightin and warring had no purpose, not when there was another world he had glimpsed where you could live for love! But that too was all a pipe dream, as Desmond learned, and his grandiose visions of another world were little more than the experience of his own DeadWorld. So he was wrong. But so was Jack. Jack believed Jacob wouldn't have brought Desmond back unless there was a reason. Surely Des was here to save the day! Nothing bad would happen if he went down there! Wrong again, as the MiB took glee in telling him.
It might not be a comfortable message for those, like me, who come from a belief system that holds to Absolute Truth. But the LOST gospel says that nobody possesses every bit of knowledge. You can exist for thousands of years and be right about a lot of things, but there will still be things you have NO WAY of knowing will happen. You can be convinced of your own rightness and righteousness but still see evil. You can talk of love and peace but be blind to the reality that the very fact such things exist means they will ironically become worth warring over as people will choose to define them in their own ways. Just yesterday I read a quote from a devotional that said, "Right doctrine is never an end in itself." So what do we do? LOST suggests we give up our claim to being right. And in its place we substitute something much better - Faith. Faith is not the opposite of Reason, says LOST; faith is quite reasonable. More reasonable than right vs. wrong, anyway. More reasonable than worry, fear, or judgment. Faith frees. Think of Desmond after he came out of Widmore's electro-chamber ready and willing to go with anyone down any path, so convinced they all ended in victory and a return to Penny no matter what. Faith brings smiles, and laughter, and understanding. Listening and loving. Faith brings us to Jack's sacrifice, and any we ourselves would make, because it helps us see that Death is not the end, and nothing to fear.
And that, friends, is what I think LOST was all about in The End.
Several weeks ago in this space we took a look at several possible endings I and others had theorized. I think it turned out to be an interesting combination of several of them. Also, it bears mentioning that ABC - not the producers - added the end-credits footage of the 815 carcass on the beach. They needed something over which to lay the credits and provide a buffer between the emotional ending and the local news. It was never intended to have significance. Unfortunately, this choice inadvertently served to confuse a lot of people who interpreted it as a yank-the-rug-out clue that no one had ever survived the 815 crash in the first place!
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