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Spiritual Evolution (theory)
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At this point, it's very clear that parallel universes exist in the world of Lost. In the season premiere, we saw two variations: one in which the plane arrives at LAX and another in which the survivors remain on the island. Pondering this led me to two conclusions.
First, as many people have speculated, the island is a place where different universes can interconnect. Assuming that different universes have different rules -- among others, laws of physics -- any of the many strange and contradictory phenomena on the Island (magical healing powers, speaking to the dead, smoke monsters, time travel, clairvoyance, eternal youth, etc.) can be explained because each one comes from some other universe that functions differently from our own.
Secondly, and most importantly, we need to explain the purpose of these many universes. Let's begin by positing a God whose goal is to allow His creations to develop spiritually until they are ready to join him in heaven or nirvana, or whatever you care to call it. In order to reach this state, a being must make countless correct choices in order to become enlightened. The odds of doing this in one lifetime would be infinitesimally small. Notice that even in what we believe to be the "normal" universe of human existence, Charlie tells Jack that he made the wrong choice in saving Charlie's life -- "It wasn't supposed to happen this way." Now, let's consider the theory of the monkeys and the typewriters -- if you seat an infinite number of monkeys at an infinite number of typewriters for an infinite amount of time, they will eventually write the complete works of Shakespeare or the Bible. How can God guarantee that his creations will make the necessary choices to join him? By giving them an infinite number of opportunities in an infinite number of universes to do so. In one of those universes, every creature will make the right choices and all of creation will live in peace and harmony.
Full disclosure: You can find very similar ideas in the final book of Arthur C. Clarke's Rama tetralogy, and there is some evidence that J.J. Abrams is a fan of Clarke. (We see "Childhood's End" on a bookshelf in Fringe).