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Main Article Theories about
Flash sideways
Main Discussion
 Theories may be removed if ... 
  1. Stated as questions or possibilities (avoid question marks, "Maybe", "I think", etc).
  2. More appropriate for another article.
  3. Illogical or previously disproven.
  4. Proven by canon source, and moved to main article.
  5. Speculative and lacking any evidence to support arguments.
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  • This does not include responses that can stand alone as its own theory.
  • Usage of an indented bullet does not imply the statement is a response.

See the Lostpedia theory policy for more details.

The Flash-Sideways is purgatory/limbo/afterlife

6x17-Ultrasonic Flash

After all the characters have died in the normal time line (what we've been watching for 6 seasons) they can meet up in this other plane of existence they created (by Hurley using the light from The Island?). In this time line they live their lives again (without The Island) until they resolve what went wrong in their actual lives. Jack has a son and a good relationship with him. Sawyer got to be a good guy (cop). Kate stopped running (and was caught). Hurley got to be successful. Claire started raising Aaron herself. Ben saved Alex by getting her to college (but still had to think for a bit). Locke had to 'let go' and lose his daddy issues. Sayid realised he's a good person despite all he's done. Libby got sane by getting with Hurley. Other characters like Eko and Michael had already resolved in the normal time line (with his brother and with righting his wrongs with blowing up the freighter respectively) so didn't need to be in purgatory. Shannon had already resolved but was there for Sayid's benefit.

  • I dunno, i think its the creation of Jack using the power of the Island. i always thought that it was jacks world and the people are all living in it. thats where i think the sons of Dogen and Nadia come from, jacks head. i also think that the church is where the people would go on to the next life, especially jack and somebody would have to take jacks power that he left behind. --Lostwillnevarend 02:34, June 5, 2010 (UTC)

Flash Sideways is an Egyptian Bardo

In ancient Egyptian mythology the heart "...was conceived as surviving death in the nether world, where it gave evidence for, or against, its possessor. It was thought that the heart was examined by Anubis and the deities during the Weighing of the Heart ceremony. If the heart weighed more than the feather of Maat, it was immediately consumed by the monster Ammit. If the deceased was judged worthy, his or her ka (life force) and ba (personality) were united into an akh (living ghost)." What we are seeing in the "flash sideways" is the creation of akhs for each of the survivors, by means of realistic storyline in which each achieved the goal that had been preventing them from letting go of their heavy hearts.

In the final scenes, we understand that all the characters in the TV series are dead and are meeting in a place outside time and space, like a Bardo in Buddhist belief. So, back on the island there are still loose ends (like how did Desmond leave) but in this space none of that matters because either it's all already happened, or will happen. The key then to moving on was accepting that fact, which each was able to do once they'd achieved their remaining goals, and met the people they needed to. Ben doesn't join the rest because his goals are never really achieved and his heart is still weighed down with guilt. Others are still working through theirs.

Perhaps too this Bardo is a creation of the island, affecting only those who came into contact with it. Which belies this idea is the presence of people like Jack's father (Christian Shepherd), who was dead when he came into contact. with it. However, like his namesake, Jack's father helps herd the survivors on to their next destination. LauraEss 04:55, May 27, 2010 (UTC)

Flash Sideways is a collective purgatorial existence

It seems like everybody that was on the Island or had been on Flight 815 seems to be a part of this purgatorial existance. So maybe when all of the people from Oceanic Flight 815 or the Island died, their consciousnesses connected to create what could be a purgatorial version of Earth or even the Solar System. There, they lived out some sort of lives while in this existence while the universe pairs together people who've been on the flight, which is why Sawyer's car crashed into Kate's. When they're ready to pass on, a person like Desmond rounds them all up, makes them see their past and brings them on to the church where they can move on to the next life, those who can't move on are the people who have not yet let go, who have not yet seen their past and they'll continue to live their lives the same way until a person like Desmond is able to make them let go.

Purpose of the Flash Sideways

Wish-fulfillment

Characters subconsciously invented their own lives in the flash sideways. As such, several assigned themselves improved versions of their lives.

Despite this, the afterlife forced characters to come to terms with their lives, so the flash sideways world fell far short of perfection. It still contained cancer, drug addiction, paralysis, childhood tragedy and other major issues from the characters life.

Redemption

Similar to wish-fulfillment, characters created situations for themselves that let them come to terms with or correct past mistakes.

  • Ben imagined redeeming himself with his daughter, Alex. He pictured himself as Alex's high-school history teacher, a father-figure. Given the chance to usurp control of the school as he did the Island, Ben again had to choose between power and his Alex. He chose Alex. ("Dr. Linus")
  • Kate temporarily abandoned her flight for the sake of motherhood. When alive and a fugitive, the threat of motherhood had sent her fleeing anew. ("What Kate Does")
  • Mrs. Hawking let her son play the piano instead of pushing him toward physics. ("Happily Ever After")
  • Locke dealt with feelings he never experienced before the crash - guilt for hurting others, particularly his father. He imagined his father catatonic after a plane crash Locke caused, and he remained a paraplegic to atone for his actions. Eventually, Jack convinced him to let go of this guilt. ("The Candidate")  ("What They Died For")
  • Sayid atoned for his evil actions by denying himself a happy fantasy, "pushing" Nadia to his brother and creating them a son and a daughter. ("Sundown")

Michael's post-death presence on the island suggests characters must redeem themselves before entering the flash-sideways. However, the flash sideways let characters let go of guilt and attachments by revisiting past actions.

The Characters "Letting Go" was a Reference to the Fact that LOST is Now Over and Fans Need to Let Go

The Nature of the Flash-Sideways Timeline/Afterlife

((moved from The_End/Theories, needs to be cleaned up and integrated with the rest of the theories on this page))

6x17 BenAndLockeAtTheEnd
  • The Losties lived on the Island throughout all the seasons and everything we saw, happened. The FST was the afterlife that the Losties went to once they died. Even if they died when they were 90 years old, they went to the Afterlife as the age they were when they were on the Island. When they all remembered and met up with each other, they moved on to a "heaven" type of place.
    • Kate said to Jack in front of the empty concert hall, "I've waited so long to see you." Which indicates that Kate got off the island and lived a long life before she died.
    • What they move on to depends on what the light that flooded the church was. It could have been the same light that the Source has, perhaps implying that the Losties will be reborn (see Mother's description of it)
6x17 Church

Christian is about to lead the way "on"

    • However the church doors were opened by Christian Shepherd, of whose name was emphasized in the finale by Kate's remarking that his name was amusing, highlighting the Christian overtones of the plot.
    • Christian was the only one who moved on to the afterlife directly from the church- Christian went through the doors to the light, while everyone else remained in their seats. The people in the church will leave the church and live the rest of their lives in the flash-sideways timeline, enriched by the shared experience-- they're not departing for the afterlife directly from the church. Ben didn't go into the church because he still has a lot of baggage from the island to deal with before he is ready to meet the other Losties in the church.
      • The people in the church are departing directly from there. Kate told Jack in the car to get ready "to leave" and Eloise asked Desmond during the concert if he was going to leave with her son. Desmond answered "not with your son", that's why Daniel Faraday aka Daniel Widmore is not in the church, because he is not leaving with the other Losties.
        • But Christian drew a deliberate distinction between "leaving" and "moving on".
  • The Losties who did not complete their purpose or were still flawed, such as Michael, did not go to the afterlife and are still stuck on the Island as the whispers.
  • Everything that happened on the island, happened in real life. No one on the island was dead the whole time - they all survived the initial plane crash, etc. In the final episode, Jack died, Hurley became protector with Ben as his number 2, and everyone else who died on the island or elsewhere, died. Those who died without fulfilling their purpose (i.e. Michael) were doomed to forever be whispers on the island. Those who fulfilled their purpose (Jin & Sun, Sayid, etc.) were allowed to go to the Flash Sideways timeline after they died, where they searched for the truth and were able to right their wrongs, i.e. make the right decisions about their life that they should've made in the first place. Once they saw the truth/their past on the island/remembered it, only then were they ready to "move on" and come to the church, which ultimately led them to heaven.
502analuciadream

Ana Lucia in the flash sideways

      • Ana Lucia Cortez fulfilled her purpose on the island. However, being a corrupt police officer in the sideways timeline, apparently made the same mistake she made in during her life time, violating her oath as a police officer by accepting Desmond's bribe event though she was key in getting them out of jail albeit illegally. Thusly she was "not ready" as Desmond said to Hurley and so she was not invited to "move on". Ben Linus chose to stay behind, possibly to be with Danielle Rousseau and her daughter Alex, both still unaware of the past life on the Island.
  • Some people didn't go into the church or didn't even go to the church in the first place because they still had to help loved ones remember their lives. For instance, Daniel wasn't there because he still had to help Charlotte remember her life. And Ben didn't go into the church with the rest of the Losties because he still had to help Alex remember her life. There were others who weren't there too either for various other reason, for instance Ana Lucia.
    • Also, Ben may not have entered the church because he was still unable to "let go" of the guilt he felt over his actions while on the island. He may not have felt he was deserving of inclusion.
      • Ben was not ready to 'awaken' - his flash did not happen on his own terms, it was beaten out of him by Desmond. Had he waited himself to be 'ready' to move on, his flash would only have happened after he had sorted out his issues with Alex and Danielle, who he would most likely move on with.
  • What about Miles? Once he sees Sayid pull up to the concert he calls Sawyer to check on Sun and Jin. Do we see Miles again after that? Why didn't he move on?
    • Miles still needs to help his father remember his life. They will move on together after they remember and honor their severed relationship.
  • Can someone please explain if when the Losties died individually, did they experience their afterlife in a flash? because then they wouldn't be moving on together but they would think they are when really, the others are still alive.
    • I would imagine that once you die, you are no longer limited by time. Many traditional views of the afterlife conceive of it as eternal, not in the sense of "going on forever" but in the sense of being timeless: in eternity, there is no distinction between past and present and future. Now, it's clear that time did exist in some sense in the "flash-sideways" reality, but its relationship to time in the "main" universe is tangential at best. Presumably, whenever one of the characters died — whether it was Charlie dying in the flooding station, or Jack dying on the island, or Hurley dying after many years serving as the island's protector — they entered a timeless state, and then found themselves on Oceanic 815 in the "flash-sideways" reality. Since that reality was created by all of them together (subconsciously), its creation must have been either atemporal or, at the very least, connected to the moment that the last of them died.

The Island Exists Exactly How it was Portrayed (no interpretation necessary)

  • Everything that happened on the island, happened in real life. No one on the island was dead the whole time - they all survived the initial plane crash, etc. In the final episode, Jack died, Hurley became protector with Ben as his number 2, and everyone else who died on the island or elsewhere, died. Those who died without fulfilling their purpose (i.e. Michael) were doomed to forever be whispers on the island. Those who fulfilled their purpose (Jin/Sun, Sayid, etc.) were allowed to go to the Flash Sideways timeline after they died, where they searched for the truth and were able to right their wrongs, i.e. make the right decisions about their life that they should've made in the first place. Once they saw the truth/their past on the island/remembered it, only then were they ready to "move on" and come to the church, which ultimately led them to heaven.
  • Everyone that is brought to the island for a purpose must fulfill their purpose. Once their Purpose is fulfilled and they die they are allowed to live their life with the people they came to love knowing they accomplished what was asked of them. Juliet said "It worked" because she was there, able to explain what happens, so Walt and Michael (and other supporting characters like Eko) weren't in the church: they never fulfilled their "purpose."
  • The characters "remember" the real timeline as a reference to their purposes:
    • Jin & Sun remember when they see their daughter on the monitor
    • Jack fully remembers when he touches his father's coffin (who he was supposed to deliver successfully to LAX in the first place)
    • Sawyer & Juliet remember when they touch each other
    • Kate & Claire remember with Aaron's birth
    • Locke remembers when he is healed
    • Desmond is in a car crash into the water with Charlie, evoking his death in the original timeline.
  • Things that trigger their memory are simply things that are strongly associated with the island (i.e. things that the island "gave" them)
  • Michael is trapped on the island whispering forever.
    • Then how did Claire die? Or Kate? You're saying that when they died such as Jin and Sun, they were able to enter Heaven because they completed what they needed to, but how did Claire or Kate make it to Heaven if they didn't actually die?
      • As Christian says, everyone dies. Some before Jack, and some long after. Kate could have died at age 78 from a heart attack. The Flash-sideways timeline aka. limbo aka. heaven or whatever you want to call it obviously is an out-of-body place that isn't fixed at any particular time. the consciousnesses of the dead are all there, but they didn't all die at the same time. To Boone and Shannon, Jack died well after them, and to Jack, Hurley and Ben died well after him.
  • I agree with your theory. I am also trying to fully grasp it. So basically they all die at different times whether it be in the fst or on the island. and when they die on either one the other them dies? and meanwhile the people that died before (such as boone and shannon) their minds are basically not functioning or the are in some sort of parallel universe waiting for the others to die so they can meet at the church and go to heaven? also, what does limbo mean?
    • No one died in the FST, at that time, everyone is already dead. And no, no one is "waiting" -- the concept of the FST is that it exists completely free from time. Everything is happening as it would in real time -- it exists outside the constrains of the space time continuum as we know it. So, everyone is dead there. It doesn't matter when it happened because time isn't linear there. Think of it in a bigger sense: picture cavemen in the FST alongside spacemen from 2520AD...it doesn't matter WHEN they died, just that they are all dead.
        • Ok may be i'm the one who is missing the elephant in the room.. If the FST is kind of afterlife, or what so ever, my question is "How can they all able to live a life there.? I mean how did start? Sawer being a cop, jack has a child, benjamin a teacher and so on..? were they born there too..?

The FST is Heaven

  • The place they all ended up was the Christian interpretation of Heaven. When you die you are surrounded by the people who meant the most to you. As Christian said, "there is no now". There is no measure of time, and everyone died alone in their own way and once they "let go" and were able to come to terms with their own death, they were able to all finally meet up in heaven.
    • Innacurate; while the setting of the last scenes is indeed that of a traditional christian church, this depiction of afterlife is present in many religions, and no preference is given, as is paralleled by the room with the coffin, which had symbols and statues of all of the major contemporary religions.
      • Also, they never had to come to terms with their own death in order to 'move on', it is clearly portrayed that each of the characters had to either resolve the conflicts they were unable to resolve in their 'original' life, or to just reconnect with their loved ones if they managed to make amends and resolve their conflicts in their 'original' life.
    • Nit-pick. This isn't a strictly "Christian interpretation" but rathera sycretistic relativistic spiritual smorgasbord.
    • That's why Ana Lucia "wasn't ready".
    • Outside the church, Hurley said to Ben that he made a good #2, and Ben responded that Hurley made a good #1. This implies that both lived on the island for some period of time after the events of this episode, until they ultimately perish. The same can be inferred of Rose & Bernard.
  • The characters in the flashsideways are living their perfect lives, all their needs are fulfilled, they are in Heaven. When they all remember their pasts on the Island they realise that they are in Heaven. When they realise this they are ready to move over to actual death (non-existence), and when the light white floods the Church everyone in it dies for real. Evidence for this theory includes the images of the plane wreckage, symbolising that it's as if the survivors were never there and more importantly Christian's words about "letting go" which mean letting go of life.
    • The people remember their entire lives, not just their lives on the island. Kate made it off the island and tells Jack she's been waiting for him for so long, meaning that she probably lived a full life and never forgot about him.
    • The silent images of the plane wreckage during the credits of the show were added by ABC, not by the show creators. It should not be considered canonical.

Counter Theory

  • The FST is actually the in between of Afterlife and Life because 1) in some cultures you have to go through a nanosecond or never ending journey to remember the people who are or who did the some of the most important things of your life in your dream life (the flashes/FST) and when they do, they are granted to the afterlife (the light at the end)
    • Either way, it's the ultimate flash forward.
      • I mentioned this exact theory above, how Jack goes through his whole life, or "Journey", in a nanosecond, and then from the point the turbulence cools down and the plane hasn't crashed, Jack's dead. GrandfatherParadox 12:29, May 30, 2010 (UTC)

The FST is a Flesh and Blood Afterlife

  • The flash-sideways timeline is a "flesh and blood afterlife". Jack and his friends made that place when they attempted to detonate Jughead, causing a temporal paradox that resulted in the timeline splitting in two, a universe where the bomb didn't go off (original timeline) and one where it did (flash-sideways). The acquired memories of their original timeline counterparts, entire lifetimes of memories, and seeing their deceased friends and loved ones again gives this situation many of the qualities associated with a literal afterlife - but this universe is real and physical. Jack remembers dying - in another universe. That doesn't mean he's dead in this one. "I died" is a statement of memory recall. "I died" = "I remember dying." The cut on Jack's neck was a product of his subconscious trying to clue him in - perhaps Christian was a hallucination as well. Or perhaps Christian gained his memories first, and staged his death in some fashion while manipulating events from behind the scenes, like Desmond. Christian's statement, "there is no now, here" makes perfect sense in relation to their lives in the other universe. This scene isn't happening "at the same time" as Jack's battle with MIB on the island, for example. His advice to "move on" was just that - advice. Everyone at that church is alive and well - and that's the true miracle at work here. Everybody lives.
    • This is, sadly, just wishful thinking. Jack explicitly asked Christian if they all were dead and Christian said as confirmation "everyone has to die at some point" which was necessary as Jack never saw Kate or Hurley die. They do not need the flesh and blood bodies to make a good finale, though. In fact, having them be alive and well would invalidate most of their sacrifices. Several people I've talked with, mentioned that despite being a much more dramatic and touching scene, they didn't feel as affected by Jin and Sun's death as say, by Charlie's because at that point they knew (or rather, they thought they knew) they would be alive and well in the FST. No, they indeed died. They had a small spiritual reprieve to meet with all their friends and loved ones again and to solve many of the issues they died before they could resolve. Now it's time to move on to the great beyond.
      • Jack may have explicitly asked, but Christian didn't give an explicit answer. "Everybody dies eventually" is just as true in our universe as it would be in purgatory, or a parallel physical universe. They are all dead; because they all remember dying, they DID all die. But those are just memories. The bodies they're in aren't dead. Claire just gave birth, Locke had surgery. Do these things happen in mystical spirit worlds?
        • In many religious traditions, the afterlife is conceived of as a "flesh and blood place". In fact, that understanding is present in the Apostles' Creed: "I believe in... the resurrection of the body." In Buddhism, it's possible for someone to be reborn in one of the higher planes of existence (the world of the asuras, etc.) and still have a physical form (though these higher realms should not be confused with nirvana). The concept of the afterlife as a "mystical spirit world" is a relatively modern development.
        • Whether the FST is physical or not is as unimportant as if this world is physical or not (Matrix etc.) - to me, it is pretty clear that the ending is open for both the interpretation that their spirits are living on in a heaven/limbo-like place and the interpretation that FST is just as real as the rest of their lives (rebirth in an alternate reality). I believe this open ending is very important, since it melts together the terms 'afterlife' and 'next life' which makes the ending a lot less corny than if Christian had acually said 'this is heaven, your bodies are dead, enjoy :)'.

The FST is Limbo, not purgatory

Purgatory is defined differently depending on the theology, but it is commonly identified as a place or plane of existence or a state of being where souls suffer in order to be purified before their inevitable transition to heaven. Some theologies consider life itself to be purgatory or even hell. In the flash-sideways existence, suffering isn't universal. Many of the people in the flash-sideways are quite happy. Also, the transition to heaven or a higher plane or existence isn't inevitable. Some people are killed in the flash-sideways existence or die of sickness, old age, etc. and never realize their original life for whatever reason.

The name of the series is LOST (which is applied to numerous subjects the show covers), therefore it is more appropriate to identify the flash-sideways existence as Limbo. Limbo is a place where lost souls are trapped, neither in heaven nor hell. Never prescribing strictly to one theological doctrine, the writers of LOST envisioned a limbo where escape was possible. People stuck in this limbo are capable (and more importantly, given the choice) of moving on if they're able to pass the test of remembering their original lives. Many of the Losties passed their tests, including others such as Eloise Hawking. Although timeless according to Christian, this limbo doesn't appear to be eternal. For the people that die in this existence, they transition to hell or nothingness (which may be worse) rather than heaven. This fate is also possible for people that pass the test but choose not to move on. For example, the trade off for Eloise living a full life in limbo with her son and family intact is that the rest of her existence afterward will be in hell, or she will cease to exist altogether.

The writers also envisioned a limbo that borrowed an important element from Catholic limbo: the death of a savior was necessary for transition to heaven. Before Jesus suffered and died from crucifixion, the gates of heaven were closed and good souls waited in limbo for Christ's death to open the gates. The Losties who remember their original lives weren't able to move on until Jack remembered his life and Christian opened the doors of the church. In many ways Jack's struggles were similar to Jesus' and Christian's role similar to God's, if nothing else he was Jack's father.

  • This reading is similar to the afterlife envisioned in The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis, in which people in a "grey town" discover that they are in a dismal afterlife, which they can leave if they desire (though most do not, preferring the familiarity of self-deception to the painful transition to the reality of Heaven).

The FST is Higher Plane of Reality

  • The flash-sideways reality was not exactly heaven, but it was a higher plane of existence than the "main" reality; and at the end of the episode, the characters were ready to move on to yet another plane. This has resonances with Buddhist cosmology and with The Last Battle, the final volume of The Chronicles of Narnia (note that the church is the same one that was above the Lamp Post station in the main reality). For more on this, see this user blog.
  • Essentially, this all gets down to what the alternative universe is: either it is real, limbo, or some sort of other creation . The alternative universe is real. It is as real as the first universe. It is not a limbo that they created in their afterlife as a waypoint to heaven; instead, all reality is a limbo on the waypoint to heaven. This view is very Eastern philosophy view and the idea is that the soul is reborn over and over to go through the cycle of birth and death until they reach the state of true understanding or nirvana (see Link). What Desmond did in the alternative universe was give them all a greater understanding of the universe. Then once they did that they were all able to move on to the next level of understanding or Nirvana. Once they did that they were able to transcend the alternative reality and arrive at the church, which was the waypoint for the next step to Nirvana. For them to gain understanding, they all had to realize that they had lived and died before in the past and come to terms with how the universe really works.
  • My argument is that Christian is largely referring to the Church, which I believe is not "real" but is a metaphysical waystation to the next point of moving on. They cross from a alternative universe into a higher plane through the church. But the alternative universe was real with real people.
  • The "flash-sideways" universe is another plane of existence, slightly higher than the main plane, but just as subject to suffering and evil (e.g. the actions of Keamy, Sun's father, etc.). Its function is purgatorial, but it's not "purgatory" in the Christian sense either. Desmond's actions were intended to bring the characters to enlightenment, to allow them to proceed to whatever's next — which may be nirvana, or heaven, or merely another life purged of the bad karma from the previous universe.

The FST is Parallel Universe

  • The nuclear explosion fractures the current timeline and creates a link to a parallel world/alternate universe whatever you want to call it. This universe already exists and the island is a nexus between some or all. The bleed through is due to the unnatural connection of the worlds - sort of like the old days when telephone lines would interfere with each other. During storms or bad weather, you could hear other peoples conversations when you used the phone. Sometimes the voices were very faint (deja vu?), sometimes they were clear but you weren't really sure you heard anything (whispers on the island, people coming to you in your dreams, 'gut feelings'), and sometimes the voices were so clear you could talk to other people other than the person you dialed to call (Hurley and Miles talking to dead people, the bleed through between the worlds). Jacob, MIB, and the island exist outside the normal spacetime/worldly dimensional flow. The huge amount of energy there is this nexus of worlds coming together and breaking off from spacetime. The island doesn't move, moreover the universe moves around it, spacetime ripples causing it to jump slightly. Satellites can't see it, airplanes fly right over it all the time, yet because the spacetime around the island is warped. This wouldn't be perceived by someone outside the field, you would think you were still going straight. When Ben 'moved' the island, and it blinks out of the ocean, if it really had just disappeared there would have been a huge tsunami as the the water and air rushed in to fill the vacuum created by the island just vanishing. But instead, there was a momentary bleed through/matter swap of land and water from two different points and the island moved in spacetime. The Dharma Lamppost station calculates these ripples of spacetime and is able to track and predict the islands movements. Dharma has the underwater station to study dolphins and sharks - both animals have been found to be intelligent and possess an incredibly sensitive electromagnetic sensing system which they use to navigate and hunt.I had hoped for: All the storylines are true. Sideways world is a real, parallel dimensional world. The reason for the same people seeing each other again is because anyone given the same conditions as the original situation will perform their actions in the same way. i.e., if you went back in time to stop a murder, the person who committed the crime would do int all over again given the same set of conditions. If you alter one condition, the details of the murder would be different, maybe in place or time, yet the actions would still be attempted. If you stop me from going to see a movie today, and I really want to see it, I will go at some point later on. This overly simplified explanation is why these people seem to keep running into each other (other than it is a TV show and you only have so many characters). They all live in L.A. and all went to Australia about the same time. Although the island was at the bottom of the ocean, it happened recently as Dharma was there 10 - 15 years earlier, so the island did exist in Sideways world, and thus people from the island around walking around somewhere. The island just existed in a different when/where scenario that the Original Timeline. So... Sideways Jack performs surgery on Locke, restoring his body. Locke tells Jack that he has no son, because he isn't Sideways Locke anymore, he is now Original Timeline MIB. MIB coming from the island wouldn't be aware of Jack's son in the Sideways world, or maybe he is just cruel and screwing with him. What matters is that MIB found his loophole, jumped reality into the alternate timeline, is able to leave the island yet not in the conventional way everyone envisioned, put Sideways Locke on the island, shot and dying on the rocks thereby maintaining balance between the timelines, and all made possible by the nuclear explosion at the Swan.
  • The FST is real. It is a parallel universe created as a result of the change by the detonation of Jughead in the S5 series finale. Those that continued to exist in the original timeline survived because they were likely somehow transported (by the Island's energy, Jacob, etc.) to their original timeline reality. Now those existing in the FST initially have no recognition of their "original" timeline lives until they somehow encounter a key individual, event, or other aspect of their alternative lives. Once they remember the alternative lives, it is remembered in their entirety ("There is no NOW here"). Hurley, Ben, Kate, Sawyer, and Claire remember everything that may have transpired after Jack died, including their own eventual demise. "Everyone dies", eventually, and they all remembered their deaths. Once remembering this "original" timeline, and the "final outcome" most choose to accept the original timeline and "move on", but it's not required (i.e. Ben, Eloise's pleading for Daniel), because the FST is just as real as the original. Juliet did, in fact, detonate Jughead and the Island is sitting at the bottom of the ocean. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-worlds_interpretation_of_quantum_mechanics
  • The entire theory that FST represents an afterlife is dependent on Christian's claims. For most of the series he was dead, and presumably actually MiB. While he has guided people in seemingly benevolent ways at times, his claims should be suspect. Plenty of people (on the show) have stated things that were mistaken, or deliberately inaccurate. Richard said the island was hell. Vision Horace said Jacob was in the cabin. Jacob's mom said that if the light ever goes out, it goes out everywhere. Perhaps this was really Chirstian, however he is mistaken about where they are. Or maybe it is MiB, being deliberately deceitful. Becoming mortal did not kill MiB - it allowed him to leave. Setting off the nuke created two parallel universes, one for each of the sideways versions of season 6. Jack put the light out and freeing MiB, and also destroying the world. Fortunately, it did not destroy parallel universe world. In order to fix things, the guardians of the island (all of the losties) had to be reclaimed from parallel reality back to the island. Hurly is able to cross over because of his role as new Jacob. Desmond is his assistant in this process because he is special. MiB is still a shape shifter, and becomes Christian. He uses this form to misinform Jack as to why they are all there, in hopes of gaining an edge - if Jack thinks they are dead, he may behave differently than if he knows what is going on. He fools not only Jack, but also the vast majority of LOST viewers.

The FST is an Extreme Flash Forward

  • Technically, the FST was just an extreme Flash Forward, showing a hint of the proto-afterlife/limbo.
  • The FS/Alt was Jack's *staging reality*. He created it between his death and being ready to move on. In order to move on, he had to come to terms with any issues he had...including whether he could be a good father and finally finding peace with Christian. Because this is JACK'S experience, the people and places are as he remembers them. He never knew Sayid with Nadia, only with Shannon, so, in his *reality*, Sayid's true love is Shannon. SO, in Jack's *staging reality*, Aaron is there as a baby because that is how Jack knew him. Sun and Jin are just expecting, because that is his strongest memory of them. We see tiny glimpses of the *realities* of the others. In Sayid's *reality*, which we saw briefly, he was with Nadia, but not as her husband, since he did not feel worthy of her. In Kate's, she is proclaiming her innocence and helping Claire, rather than running away. In John's, he was with Helen and had a relationship with his father. We never see the entire story of the *staging realities*, so we don't know what other things needed to happen and be resolved before they were ready to move on. The *staging realities* of the characters overlapped, with the time to move on coming together for some at the end. Some (Ben, Daniel, Ana Lucia...)were at different points on the journey, so didn't move on with the others.At the end, it is all Jack's *reality*. He is with Kate because she is his true love...David existed in the *staging reality* until Jack resolved that issue, but Jack didn't need him to come with him on the next Journey. Some people (Lapidus, Richard....)don't exist at all in Jack's *reality* because they were not that important in his life. Others (Daniel, Charlotte....)were sort of important, but he didn't need them to be with him when he moved on. Chrisitan was there as his loving father, who helped guide him on his journey. This being said, who would be in one's *staging reality*....what issues would need resolution...are different for us all. You might be in mine, because you played a pivotal role in my life, but I may not be in yours because I wasn't as important to you...and we may not move on with each other, depending on our readiness to do so.
    • Jack didn't know Aaron just as a baby - he helped raise Aaron with Kate off island, when Aaron was a toddler. His most recent memory of Aaron should have been then, not when he was an infant.
      • Yes, this is true, but Aaron is shown as a baby because, to Jack, knowing he was with Claire, together with her Charlie and her estranged family members, is the way things were supposed to be in his resolved *reality*.
    • The FST/Alternate World was something that they ALL created to find each other. The theory is that the characters ages in the purgatory reflect the age they were during the most important time in their lives, as stated by Christian. Unfortunately for characters like Aaron, this does them no good. The reason Lapidus and Richard weren't in this universe was because there were other, more important people/events in their lives. Perhaps for Richard it was the time he spent as a mortal with his wife. The writers have stated that the show is about a group of people, their connections and their relationship to the island.
  • When Desmond is hit with Widmore's giant electromagnet, he becomes aware in the FST. This is when he realises that everyone in the FST needs help to move on and let go. You can notice this in how focused he is in both timelines after he is hit with the pulse. He is the one who sets out in the FST to start affecting everyone not just Jack. The thing is that the characters have to choose to let go and move on. Desmond knows that the Losties in the FST are in more pain there and need to remember their past to let go and move on. The FST is a creation of all of the Losties' consciousness not just jacks. They weren't all hanging around waiting for jack to let go. The reason they all went to the church was to be there for jack. They couldn't have found themselves without him in the real time line, and he couldn't move on without them in the FST. The people who didn't move on haven't been "awakened" yet or have been but choose to stay behind, perhaps to be a custodian to those who need help to remember. Either way, it still is their choice to move on and when they choose to do so, they can. The point of this is that Desmond got the ball rolling in the FST therefore it couldn't just be one persons consciousness being portrayed, it was all of theirs.
    • The EM radiation in Widmore's cabin, and being in an MRI machine in the ALT, that triggered Desmond's awareness. Something happens simultaneously and it's not clear which "direction" the awareness is traveling in. While ALT Desmond subsequently seems to know about OTL, OTL Desmond doesn't seem to actually remember the ALT; Some kind of "bridge" had opened up due to EM radiation, that it was the MRI machine working on Desmond that appeared to wake him up. However the ALT was created by more than one of them. And few clues that it was only created by Jack.
    • Just like how people like Eko, Michael, etc. who had already died and were not in the church already had figured out how to move on and let go and perhaps passed on fully already.
      • Michael didn't move on, he was stuck on the island as a ghost/whisper.
      • And Eko wasn't there because the actor demanded more money, lol.
  • It was revealed in Jimmy Kimmel's "Aloha To Lost" that in Jimmy's own theory, when Jack's on the Oceanic 815 in the Flash-Sideways Timeline, the plane hits some turbulence, and when the plane is supposed to be pulled into the island and crash in the water, carrying out the events of the 'Main Timeline', Jack goes through his whole lifetime on/off the island in a count of seconds from the time he opens his eyes in the pilot to the time he shuts them in The End. When the turbulence cools down and Rose tells him "You can let go now", this is a sign that you've presumably entered Jack's afterlife, or his state of 'limbo.'

The FST is Jack's Near Death Experience

  • The alternate universe never really existed; it was not limbo. It was Jack's near death experience. For those who don't know, there is a theory that right before you die, to use a cliche term, your life flashes before your eyes. You see everyone who was instrumental in your life, all of your loved ones. It is a very out of body type of experience. The alternate universe was just what Jack saw right before he died; it is what he had to see in order to move on. One piece of evidence that points to this is Jack's perpetual bleeding neck in the sideways universe. He was the only one to carry over an injury from the "real" world. Add to that the timing of the conclusion of the sideways universe being right before Jack's death. It is possible that this was done just for the sake of making it as dramatic as possible, but it fits within my theory.
    • The wound in Jack's side is the one inflicted by the bamboo when he first opened his eyes -- the one he got Kate to sew up.
      • The theory is talking about Jack's neck wound, not his side wound.
    • A whole season worth of the flash sideways is a hell of a lot of action to fit into the minute or two when a dying person's neurons can randomly fire up memories as they run out of oxygen...
      • The whole point is that it can take any amount of time, it doesn't happen in linear time. It seems to Jack to happen over the course of many days, weeks, but in reality, it only occurs over a couple of seconds.
  • It was about everyone. It wasn't just about Jack. Everyone had to find their story from the past and come together in order for them all to move on. They were not constructs of Jack's experience. They were who they were.
    • What is your proof of this?
      • It was clearly stated by Christian.
        • If it was really a near-death experience, then he would have been imagining Christian. That would make anything he said irrelevant in terms of validity.
      • I have your proof. In the FST Hurley tells Ben he was a great number two. Jack was not present when Hurley and Ben discussed this matter.
    • Jack needed the others to move on with him, so he perceived them as moving on with him. His mind created all of it to cope with death.
  • Jack has a son in limbo because he is unable to 'let go' of the personal issues he had with his own father. All of the fear of not having his father's approval, the fear he had of living up to his father's image, the fear of even being able to truly communicate with his father, was reflected with the relationship he had with his son, David. Being able to resolve those conflicts and form an idyllic father / son bond was the life he envisioned for himself in limbo. That's why he fights back when Locke tells him that he never had a son. It is only by touching his father's coffin is he able to truly resolve those issues, allowing him to realize that he is dead, and granting himself the will to let go and move on.
    • David is also in Juliet's FST because she had to resolve her problems she had dealing with her parent's divorce when she was younger; her and Jack are divorced and have a child so as long as they can still have a working, loving relationship, she's able to accept that divorce may be necessary in some cases.
  • The same exact reasoning can be used to rationalize his son being there in a near-death experience. Either way, it is something his mind is creating for him so that he can move on.
  • It clearly wasn't just Jack's afterlife, but everyone's afterlife. Hence each character's individual story independent of Jack, and each person's revelation.
    • Why is that "clear"? It's not clear at all. It could have been an entire universe created to help Jack cope with his own death.
      • It's clear because of Christian's explanation. He stated that the afterlife (or near death experience, FST, whatever you want to call it) was there for each one of them to remember, and 'let go'.
        • But Jack was always the character trying to save the others. It makes sense that if this was his near death experience he would invent a way for everyone to be happy if he was to truly move on.
        • Also see above - if it was really just Jack's way of passing on, it would not have been the real Christian. It would have been Jack's perception of Christian, and as such, could have said anything. It does not make it necessarily true. In simplified terms, think of the fantasy as a dream. If someone in your dream said the dream was real, would that make it real?
  • If this was Jack's NDE, then how was Desmond able to "see" into it? Desmond could not have been describing Jack's future NDE to Jack, that would be silly, unless of course you want to go with the theory that NONE of the events happened in Lost and everyone died on the plane in the beginning. Between Ben and Hurly's swapping of praise, Christian's explanation, and Desmond seeing into it, I think it's fair to say that the flash sideways is not Jack's NDE.

Moment of Jacks Death

From Oct 2009 http://news.discovery.com/human/near-death-brain.html

By Irene Klotz
Tue Oct 6, 2009 06:52 AM ET

Doctors at George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates recorded brain activity of people dying from critical illnesses, such as cancer or heart attacks.

Moments before death, the patients experienced a burst in brain wave activity, with the spikes occurring at the same time before death and at comparable intensity and duration.

Writing in the October issue of the Journal of Palliative Medicine, the doctors theorize that the brain surges may be tied to widely reported near-death experiences which typically involve spiritual or religious attributes.

I looked and found no such article: http://www.liebertonline.com/toc/jpm/12/10

No one could have survived the initial crash, so the entire show was from the surge in brain activity right before Jack died due to his injuries from the initial crash. Jack's death scene showed how he was actually dressed in the airplane crash, blue jeans and a t-shirt. How he was dressed in the moments after the crash, in the suit, was part of his brain activity surge.

  • People survive plane crashes all of the time.
  • He is not dressed the same... in the pilot, he wears a suit, while in the final episode he wears a blue T-shirt and jeans.
    • If the entire series took place in Jack's mind he could be wearing what ever he wanted as we'd be seeing his minds projection and not the real Jack. The only time we actually see Jack would be the opening and closing shots of his eye. The island is then populated with people he shared a moment or a connection with (ie. Desmond)
  • If the entire story takes place in Jack's mind it would also explain all of the character names and literary references. The producers have admitted that the character names and the books referenced were the people and things that influenced them, the same way a mind flashing through its life would attach those names and ideas to people it saw.

Jack's voyage also follows the four stages of grief or loss. At first Jack denies that his body has died, he jumps headlong into saving the survivors and then helping them survive on the island. The early quest to get off the island is Jack's internal struggle to survive. The supernatural features of the island is Jack's "bargaining" or negotiating phase. Jack's mind knows that he and it is dying and so the supernatural forces of the island are one of Jack's only hopes for survival. The island must be special of Jack can't survive. This directly contradicts Jack's man of science background and training hence the internal conflict as his mind reconciles the situation. The "Anger" phase is when Jack leaves the island and seeks to return. The Acceptance phase obviously occurs in the final season as Jack begins to accept the obvious reality.

  • I like the theory, but it seems unlikely that Jack's brain would compose such an intricate story, especially when you consider all of the story lines that do not involve Jack in any way.
    • On the contrary, you are often merely an observer in your dreams and not interacting with other figures of your imagination.
  • As much as everyone could admit that Jack was the "leader" from Season 1, LOST wasn't written to be Jack-Centric. Although, this theory is interesting, it takes away from the idea that the show was written about a group of people and their connections and relationships to an island that was bigger and more important than anything they had done in there pre-island lives. Jack definitely plays a huge part in this, but so do all the main characters and namely everyone that was involved in the church.
    • The story did start and end with Jack and Jack was the last one to enter the church. The intervening time, Jacks burst of brain activity, was about people he saw on the plane and had some connection with, i.e. Desmond. It was about a group of people and relationships as Jack saw them. Note that the only people in the church were on the airplane, so they shared death at the time of the crash. The writers may have intended a different interpretation, and this is theory only, but this theory has some basis in actual fact too.
      • Actually there were other people in the church that weren't on the plane. Such as Desmond and Penny.
  • Christian also stated that some of the characters Jack encountered died before him, and some died after him. It's interpreted that everything island-related REALLY happened.
    • Everything REALLY happened in Jack's near-death experience (NDE). His brain REALLY fired neuroelectric charges across synaptic junctures to create these characters in his mind before he REALLY died after the plane crash. No one survived the original plane crash.
  • The reason why Aaron was a baby in the FST is because that is what was needed for Claire to move on. She has lost her son and missed out on 3 years of his life. So she is given another chance to raise him right.
  • Vincent joining Jack as he dies, and moves to the afterlife: in Egyptian tradition, the dead were often buried with their dog, who would accompany them to the afterlife. Egyptian mythology is prevalent on the island. The Eqyptian afterlife closely resembles the concepts presented in the FST.
  • This theory was discredited a while back by the producers, when they stated that everyone on the island was alive, and the events we were watching were very much real, and not in someone's head (they referenced this in regards to both early theories about the island being purgatory and theories about it being in someone's head after the idea was floated in the episode "Dave").
    • The theory that was discredited was " All the events on the Island are not "real", and merely the dream/imagination/hallucination of one of the characters (most commonly named as Walt or Hurley). According to this, that character will wake up by the end of the show, and the audience will realize that none of the events actually happened. The crash and Jacks death were real and not is someones head. No one woke up or dreamed the entire story, Jack died. So this "Moment of Jacks Death" theory isn't totally discredited by the writers. Further, the writers stated "Though the writers have said that the entire story is not all in the mind of one character, they have not denied that dreams and hallucinations are of significance, simply that not all the events will be fabricated in someone's mind (a la ending for St. Elsewhere, the snowglobe reference that Carlton makes above). Not all the events in this theory were in Jacks head.
      • No, the producers stated explicitly that the characters we were watching were very much alive and going through those adventures as living people. It was neither in someone's head, nor was in purgatory or anything of the like. The above theory has been completely discredited.

The FST is Redemption

The island was a place where people, thanks to Jacob’s semi-divine will, miraculously survived a plane crash, and where they were given an occasion to redeem their lives. To find a purpose for their lives. During most of the time Jack has been the kind of leader who relies totally on reason, but he manages to find peace and THE LIGHT only when he gives up reason and resorts to faith. He becomes the Saviour of Humanity, fallowing only his own intuition and heart The theme of the dualism between man of faith/man of science has been very important in LOST saga, together with the theme of redemption. Moreover, a strong dose of IRONY in the narration made each event, each revelation have a different meaning from what it seemed to have at the beginning, as if the authors wanted to push the viewer to think about the mystery of life, about the weakness of the man in front of that mystery. LOST writers have stated that the island wasn't the Purgatory. Sideway flashes were Purgatory. In this limbo after death everyone has to do a final effort to overcome his human meanness, in order to deserve the admission into the realm of Light. So, on the island the Losties were alive and their trials and errors were part of their progress toward a superior status of purity, toward a capacity to cooperate with other people . People who decide to remain on the island have already fully reached the awareness of what is being requested to them. Claire, Kate, Sawyer have to carry on this development in the ordinary world. Claire has to take care of her baby, to take on this responsibility she once refused. Kate must lose her restlessness and help her weak friend to raise Aaron. Sawyer has his own responsibility toward his daughter. They leave because they have a parental role to perform in the U.S.A. Jack, Hugo and Ben are childless, and they assume the role of parents of all humanity . Once their job is accomplished, in an undefined future, the island will sink in the deep of the ocean. Hugo and Ben will join their fellows in the Purgatory, that we see through the after-life subconscious of Jack.

  • The scene of the plane crash after Jack closed his eyes didn't matter regarding the actual plane crash. The entire story is based on "miraculously survived a plane crash ", which would not happen. Sayid even asked the question about how they survived the crash in an early episode. So some of us were not "deceived" by the end credits, but question the entire show premise and contribute an alternate theory in the spirit of lively discussion. This sounds almost like one of the recurring themes; Fate vs Free Will. http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Fate_versus_free_will

The FST Represents Letting Go

  • The Flash-Sideways-Timeline was constructed to help people finally "let go" of their unresolved attachments.
  • Jack had to "let go" of his attachment to his father-- something that was accomplished by becoming a father himself and understanding the difficulties of fatherhood.
    • In FST, when Jack presumably died and began his afterlife when the Oceanic 815 doesn't crash, Rose tells Jack, who's clutching his armrest, that he can "Let go now", as if to say, the stress of the island is over, and he can just let go.
  • Locke had to "let go" of his guilt, accomplished by consenting to surgery.
  • Charlie had to "let go" of his attachment to fame and success-- as shown by his insistence that the concert was unimportant when compared to his vision of Claire.
  • Sayid had to "let go" of his quest for romance with Nadia, accomplished by having her as his sister-in-law and letting him voluntarily choose to leave her for her own good.
  • Boone "let go" of his protective/romantic attachment to Shannon, by consciously instigating the fight that would reunite her with Sayid, a reversal of his earlier role of paying her boyfriends to leave.
  • Meanwhile, some peripheral characters aren't yet ready to "let go":
  • Mrs. Hawking is still too attached to her son.
  • Daniel Faraday/Hawking is still too attached to his music / his relationship with Charlotte .
    • I think it would more likely that he hasn't forgiven himself for inadvertently causing Charlottes painful death. Also, his mom shot him, so that could be an obstacle as well.
  • Ben 'still has things to work out' his guilt about Alex's death. He needs to wait for her 'realisation' and then to ask for forgiveness.
    • Yet he is in the FST, not stuck as a whisper on the Island, as Michael is. He can go into the church, yet he chooses not to. That might mean that he somehow repaid for all the deaths and suffering in the eyes of whoever decides about letting him into the FST, but not in his own eyes. He wants to stay for Alex and Danielle, to make them aware of the FST and ready to join him. So he stays as a guide for others.
  • Ana Lucia, still a crooked cop, 'isn't ready'.
    • I think at some point Eko and Ana Lucia will meet somehow and help each other remember. There really isn't anyone else who could do this for her now that Shannon can't forgive her since she's moved on and so has Libby, who could be considered as Ana Lucia's friend. She didn't really have that kind of connection with any of the other Losties because of what happened to Shannon, but there was a special kind of understanding between AL and Eko. And perhaps she is carrying anger at Michael for killing her and can't let go just yet? But if Michael's soul is still on the Island (or is it, if the Island is now underwater?), they can't connect in the purgatory.
    • In the Lost-Afterlife-Scenario you first have to accept that you are dead then you have to accept yourself as you really are/were with all you faults, flaws and sins. After that you are really free, free to be with the people that were the most important in your earth-life. For instance: Richard isn't in the church, because the Losties weren't as important to him, as is wife was. Eloise still suffers from her sins, perhaps she will follow the others, same goes for Ben.
  • Ben didn't want to join the Losties yet in their final journey, as he is going to be the next "Desmond" and affect the lives of the rest of the people trapped in the "limbo" of the FST, helping them to let go, as he interacted with them in the Island:
  • Alex was his daughter and Danielle, the woman he stole her from.
  • Ana Lucia was once his jailer, and she was killed because of him.
  • Michael was his infiltrated agent. (unless Michael is forever trapped in the Island, as most likely is Eko's fate)
  • Ethan was his second on command.
  • Dogen was in charge of the Others at the temple.
  • Ilana was the first one to forgive him and accept him.
    • Eko isn't trapped on the Island like Michael is, he was supposed to be in the church as well but the actor demanded 5 times what they were going to pay him so they cut him

Also, he attempted to strike a deal with Myles in several occasions. On his part, Myles can affect the remaining of the people there:

  • His father, Pierre Chang
  • His boss, Charles Widmore
  • His team under Widmore orders, Frank, Charlotte, Faraday and Minkowski (and Naomi, who could be there, just unseen)
  • His mother, seen in FST behind the reception desk at the nursing home where John Locke's father, Anthony Cooper, lived. Srcirone 12:24, May 31, 2010 (UTC)

Then, perhaps, Eloise finally will agree to let go as well.

  • In ancient Egyptian mythology the heart "...was conceived as surviving death in the nether world, where it gave evidence for, or against, its possessor. It was thought that the heart was examined by Anubis and the deities during the Weighing of the Heart ceremony. If the heart weighed more than the feather of Maat, it was immediately consumed by the monster Ammit. If the deceased was judged worthy, his or her ka and ba were united into an akh." What we are seeing in the "flash sideways" is a Bardo in which the creation of akhs for each of the survivors ocurs by means of a realistic personal storyline in which each achieved the goal that had been preventing them from letting go of their heavy hearts.

The FST is Television

In the world of Television, there exist broadcast episodes, deleted scenes, script versions, etc. The writers of LOST chose to blur these lines and broadcast extra events in the lives of the characters for purposes of expanding the Work that is LOST.

As such, the Flash Sideways Timeline is an abstraction that can fit into many theories, and does. One could argue that the authors chose to present this timeline simply as an act of Post Modern Art, expanding their craft beyond typical deleted scene footage. Acknowledging this possibility allows formal criticism of the Flash Sideways method of exposition without tying it to anything other than the creators' intentions. Many other forms of conceptual and experimental art have stepped outside the traditional walls of their medium, indeed J.J. Abrams is noted for this.

Using this reasoning, Fan Fiction can be interpreted as form of Post Modern Art greatly popularized in the era of the Internet.

People who Died in the FST

People who died in the alternative timelime such as Keamy were given another chance to redeem themselves, but most of them still resort to a sinful life, and when they "die" they don't go to heaven. Why would they even appear in a existence the "good guys" make for themselves anyway?

  • People such as Keamy were involved in FST as catalysts to ensure that the memory of the island was restored. "Everything happens for a reason". Keamy, for example created a butterfly effect by becoming involved with Sun's dad, kidnapping Jin, having Sun shot, etc. If Sun wasn't shot, there would be no need for her to have gone to the hospital to make sure that her baby was okay, and therefore she and Jin would not have had their island-life epiphany.
  • The presence of people like Keamy shows that the flash-sideways timeline isn't simply "heaven", or even "purgatory" in the traditional sense. It's another plane of reality, created by this group of people after their deaths and incorporating everyone who was important in their lives (or at least in the most important part of their lives). That includes people whose net effect was negative, like Keamy or Sun's father (who clearly existed in the FST, although we never saw him). We don't know what happened to Keamy after he died in the FST — was he given another chance, in some other reality? Or did he simply cease to be?
  • Most of the people in the FST are representations of people and not the actual people or their souls. The FST is a limbo created by and for the losties, and the rest of the people are not part of it. Some of them are manifestations of people who were in some way important to the main characters, while others, like David, were created solely for the limbo. Not everyone goes to this same limbo world. People like Keamy are probably stuck on the Island just like Michael, or they went to a real hell or their own afterlife.

Christian Shepherd in the FST

  • What about Christian Shepherd? The guy was dead all along in FST. How did he redeem himself while being dead and slowly rotting in his coffin? How did he realize he was dead and it was time for him to "move on"? Not only that, he also somehow had total understanding of the nature of things and of what's going on.
    • Christian went through a similar experience in another reality with a group of people who were meaningful to him. He says "Nobody does it alone", but he doesn't really imply that he's part of this particular group. It's possible that he went through his own purgatorial experience, and afterwards was able to serve as a psychopomp for his son.
    • Christian was a projection of Jack's mind, as he comes to understand the nature of this reality.
    • Just as the people Jack met on the island were part of the most important time in Jack's life, Jack was the most important part of Christian's life. So, Christian wouldn't want to move on without finding Jack and being with him. Christian made his peace with Jack in his own mind before he died in his pre-crash conversation with Sawyer, but Jack needed to make peace with Christian by experiencing fatherhood for himself. So Christian waited for that to happen.
  • Christian Shepherd serves nothing except the significance in his name. He is the shepherd who is supposed to lead the "sheep" to their final path.

David Sheppard in the FST

  • Can someone explain the role of David (Jack's son) in the afterlife? Or even if he really existed (eg. Locke saying after the operation to Jack 'You don't have a son!'
    • David was created by Jack to help him cope with his own daddy issues. By learning to be a father and experiencing the challenges that go along with that, he was able to forgive his father and move on.
    • David only existed in the FST. In The Hunting Party in Season 2, Jack and his wife Sara were unable to get pregnant and their marriage ultimately ended in divorce. In Something Nice Back Home in Season 4, Jack again attempts to be a family man with Kate and helping to raise Aaron. He again fails these relationships as he becomes addicted to pills and alcohol. By marrying Juliet and having their son, David, in the FST Jack is able to fulfill his purpose of being a healthy and loving husband and father.
      • David was also there to help Juliet deal with the affect her parents' divorce had on her, since her and Jack are divorced in the FST. Along with his daddy issues.
        • After Locke says, "You don't have a son!' to Jack, we don't see David again.
  • David was a figure of Jack's afterlife imagination: As far as we know, The Alternate world may have created this scenario as a test to see how well Jack could "let go" of something so joyful as something he never had: A son. The afterlife has been created by the Losties as a manifestation of various attachments and problems they had before they could move on. So David is a manifestation of Jack's unfulfilled paternal instinct and his father issues. Once he overcame those, he could let go and move on to a different plane of existence.
  • David is Aaron
    • David (Jack and Juliet's son) is actually Claire's son Aaron. In the FST, he's raised by his uncle but thinks it's his dad. In doing so, he helps his uncle find peace and is also reunited with his mom (Claire). Proof:
      • Jack doesn't have a son.
      • As far as we can tell. He's the only character who didn't exist in the OT. Or so we're led to believe.
      • Neither Jack nor Juliet are with David in the end. They both leave, and both serve the purpose of reuniting him with Claire.
      • Claire's words to David are: "It's just you and me kid," something single mothers often say to their kids (at least in pop culture). She may also have spoken to these words to Aaron in an earlier episode, but I can't recall specifically when. (Anyone wanna help me out on this one?)
      • Right before Claire goes into labour, she speaks to David. We never see him again after that.
      • If David is Aaron, we can do away with the notion that there are fake people in the FST (people who exist only to help the main characters). Everyone in the FST is a real person, which is what Christian says to Jack.
        • Christian does not say that everyone in the FST is real, just that everyone in that church is real.
          • SUPPORT: There are a ton of people in the FST that have nothing to do with the Losties: people at the police station, random people walking down the street, people at the airport, the people in david's concert audience, the other members of driveshaft...why would you assume that these people are real?
  • David is Christian. He manifested himself as his own grandson to guide Jack toward becoming the father he never was
  • David is the island. Jack's instinct that he's "supposed" to do this, to take care of the island and become the new Jacob was made real in the form of a son. His fatherly instincts were needed to be developed for his real self to feel the powerful pull to stay and become the new Jacob, at least for the small time he was there.
  • David disappeared after Jack and Juliet "remembered" the OT. He is not seen for the rest of the episode, and neither Jack nor Juliet seem to acknowledge that he is gone.
  • David could be some kind of afterlife caretaker, flitting back and forth between characters, assuming different roles as needed.
  • Do we have any proof of that, though?
  • David could be Sarah's unborn child, maybe it was Jacks after all.
  • There might be some sort of relation between Jack's imaginary son, David, and Hurley's apparition and/or inner-consciousness he named "Dave". (See Dave (Hurley's friend).)
  • David is Jack's own way to self redemption. David was the only way Jack could make things right concerning his bad relationship with his father.
  • David is Walt. Michael isnt in the FS because he is still stuck on the island as a whisper, meaning Walt was never born in the FS. David could be Walt in another form, but no one realizes it.
  • David is just David. He's a new soul in the created world.

Exiting the Church to Move On/Forward

Moving on does not mean moving on in a sense of transporting yourself into some kind of heaven. It simply means moving on in life with your loved-ones, now that you know who you are and they are. We saw the light simply as symbolism to what the show had been doing oftentimes, like in the end of Season 5 with the nuke.

In the FST, we're dealing with people who live real, authentic lives, with authentic memories and experiences (driving cars, shooting guns, feeling pain, having sex, giving birth, sleeping). Unless this part of the concept is directly borrowed from The Matrix, do you really think moving on refers to a different plane of existence, world, heavenly realm? If I were anyone of the characters, I'd merely want to go home with my beloved and rejoice at finding them.

The Church was everyone's attempt to get Jack back.

Ben did not go in, because he simply didn't feel "at home" with the rest of the crew (just like he didn't hug people after they reunited at the end of Dr. Linus, when he didn't join in the hugging - Dr. Linus Summary.

I realize this might sound a bit too technical for a beautifully executed concept in the show, but what would have happened if Desmond followed Eloise's advice and never aroused the characters' memories? They would have been living the rest of their lives, continuing to eat, sleep, make love, go to bars, fly around the world and so on...

Turning off the source created the FST

The source is connected to passing onto an afterlife. Normally everyone dies alone, but this gave the losties & friends the chance to find each other and go into the light together.

  • The afterlife wasn't created at any point of time.

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