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All of the above would seem to have thematic relevance to Lost, but the most interesting portion of Huxley's writing for our purposes today is his use of the word 'good,' as in 'Good Being.' Huxley's description of Good Being feels like a perfect description of the struggles that we've seen the castaways going through - a struggle that John Locke compared to the emergence of a moth from its cocoon:
The name Pala comes from Aldous Huxley's novel "Island," of which I wrote:
Pala is the name of Aldous Huxley’s fictional Island Utopia. Huxley’s novel contains a great many connections to Lost. Namely:
Huxley’s Island’s primary religious practice is Mahayana Buddhism, a system of belief that melds eastern and western traditions in a way that’s not dissimilar to Dharma’s melding of science and faith, or to the way that various faiths have been seen expressed on Lost’s Island.
The people of Huxley’s Island practice ‘selective modernization,’ by embracing certain technological advances (like refrigeration) while rejecting more overt industrialization, not unlike the way that the Others choose to take over the Dharma barracks but resist Dharma’s ‘industrialization’ of the Island through their installation of multiple hatches. They also, like the Others and like Dharma, utilize drugs and ‘trance states’ to achieve faster learning and greater consciousness and focus on fertility.
Huxley’s novel gives us this provocative passage, which links together a bunch of stuff that we’ve been discussing this season, and which, I’d guess, comes close to what Lost is attempting to say about the idea of faith in general:
...."For faith is the empirically justified confidence in our capacity to know who in fact we are, to forget the belief-intoxicated Manichee in Good Being. Give us this day our daily Faith, but deliver us, dear God, from Belief.”
5) What is the Temple?The show has built the Temple up to be a place that's central to the mythology of the Island. We've seen that the Smoke Monster lives in its ancient spaces, that Ben was somehow made well inside of it, that the Others retreated to it for safety when the Island was raided by Widmore's men. What is the Temple? What does it 'do'? Why is it important? Why is it hidden?
6) What happened to Rousseau's crew?
This isn't a major mystery, in and of itself, but it's one that seems to be linked to the Smoke Monster, the Temple, the Others, and potentially Room 23. Rousseau's companions changed after following Montand down the Smokey Hole - they became sinister, deadly. Were they brainwashed? Possessed? Infected? ....Enlightened?
7) What are the motivations of Widmore and Hawking?
Season 5 muddied the already muddy waters of motivation for both Eloise Hawking and Charles Widmore, as well as their relationship. If Hawking is working 'for the good of us all,' why has she kept in contact with Widmore who, according to Ben, is not a good man? If Widmore is actually on the side of 'good,' then what's with his involvement in getting Locke to return to the Island? And why is he employing Abbadon? Why is Widmore trying to recapture the Island? Why is Hawking so concerned with returning the castaways to its shores? And why does she appear in a photo with Desmond's monk friend?
8) Why did the Others take Walt?
We don't need the actor who played Walt to return in order to discover why he was important for a little while there. Why did the Others grab him? How and why did they know he was 'special'? Why did they subsequently let him go?
9) Who are Illyana and the 'shadow of the statue' people?They're clearly working with Jacob to some extent. Are they Others? Are they anti-Others? How do they know the answer to Illyana's riddle? And what does that riddle actually mean?
10) What's up with the fertility issues on the Island? And why is it a (mostly) cancer-free zone?
In the column for "One of Us," I pointed out that both the absence of cancer and the pregnancy difficulties involve a mysterious force preventing the growth of new life within the human body. What's the reason for this?
11) What are the core tenets/beliefs of the Others?
What does the word 'good' really mean to the Others? Why do they seem to require the murder of a father figure in order to claim leadership? Why is their society structured as it is? Why are they required to learn Latin? Why do they give their dead viking-styled funerals? What is their self-percieved purpose on the Island? Their actual purpose?
12) What are The Whispers?
They seem to be connected to the sudden appearance of Others, they involve key members of the cast, and they seem to comment directly on the action when they're heard. What are they?
Those are the questions that I feel 'need' answering before it comes to an end. There are other questions that I'd enjoy seeing answered, but that aren't significant enough to me to feel disappointed if they aren't. These include:
1) What is the Hurley Bird?
Sorry, Drew. I know this one's a biggee for you, but if the Hurley Bird goes forever unexplained I won't care overmuch.
2) What purpose, if any, do the various injections on the Island serve?
Desmond, Kelvin and Claire have all been seen injecting themselves. It'd be nice to know whether any of this medication has a purpose, but if it's never revisited I won't complain.
3) Who are Adam and Eve?
I'm assuming that they're Rose and Bernard, last seen chilling out in the 70's in a retirement shack. And if the skeletons in the caves are never addressed again, that's what I'll continue to assume.
4) What was the 'true' purpose of the Dharma Initiative?
Does it matter? I'd argue that it doesn't - that Dharma's served as an excellently enigmatic chunk of backstory, backstory that's already been sufficiently elaborated on. Leave it up to the audience to decide why Dharma went to the Island (my theory: Widmore and/or Jacob brought them).
5) What are The Numbers?
No matter what the explanation for The Numbers turns out to be, I suspect it won't be as satisfying as their current opaque-ness is. Are The Numbers meaningful at all? It seems that way, but it also seems possible that they're meant to illustrate the concept of 'Apophenia,' and the vagueness of them is satisfyingly Lynchian.
6) Is Richard Alpert immortal?
Sure, it'd be unspeakably nifty to learn Alpert's history, and to learn the secret to his eerie arrested development (my theory: he arrived on the Black Rock with Magnus Hanso, and we'll get a Black Rock flashback during the final season). But the answer to Alpert's agelessness isn't an answer that I feel the 'need' to recieve. I'd be honestly contented if they left his potential immortality alone and allowed the audience's imagination to fill in the gaps.
7) What's up with the quarantine warnings?
I've theorized that the warnings were put up following the events of the Purge - that the Dharma workers in those stations were instructed to quarantine themselves and to use Haz-Mat suits when and if they needed to emerge. That's explanation enough for me.
8) Why was Libby institutionalized?
My guess? She committed herself following the death of her husband. But who really cares, unless the reason for her stay in the hospital is directly related to a larger question about the Island?
9) Who is 'Grandpa Ray,' really?
There's no immediate reason to think that Jack's visit to 'Grandpa Ray' was anything more than a convenient way for Jack to get his father's shoes. But introducing Ray to the storyline this late in the game felt like the planting of a story-seed, not just a one-off encounter. Lost could very easily never mention this character again and that'd be fine with me, but I admit to being curious about him. Why is he always trying to escape? Is he included to indicate that the Shephard clan has been involved with the Island for generations, in some manner or another? Is his resemblance to Jack Shephard meant to indicate that Jack is his own grandpa, and that time-travel shenanigans will end up placing a much older Jack at a point in the timestream when he can provide himself with the means to return to the Island?
What did I miss? What do you 'need' answered? Are there any questions that you'd prefer they didn't answer? Let me know in the comments!
Catch up on Too Much Information!
The Rewatch Column for "Exposé" has been RAZZLE DAZZLED for your reading pleasure on Chud.com.
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FYI: the link to the confirmation of the spiders-as-Monster theory was lost in translation, so here it is for those of you who're curious: