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Lost: A Theory of Everything, a temporary solution that is not acknowledging Lost ending
In the world of Lost there exists a very special Island, a point on earth unlike any other that contains special qualities, call it Eden, call it Atlantis, but it exists. The Island is unique in all the earth as it is a place which encompasses all time at once and all the points of its own historical time line converge. It is a place where literally the past, present and future coexist. It is a place where the voices and ghosts of the future, can bleed into the lives of those in the past or present and vice versa. The island has the ability to not only traverse time, but physically travel so that its location cannot be easily found. Existing on the island since time immemorial is a race of four toed humanoids that are living in peace, harmony and seclusion from the rest of the planet; they have built both a temple and great statue of their great leader Jacob. However, the ghosts and whispers of the future have warned Jacob and his people of a terrible calamity that will take place on the island in the distant future. It will not only destroy the island, but the entire planet and perhaps the very fabric of time. What is known is that a group of people from outside their island come there and cause the events that lead to this calamity, and it must somehow be stopped. Jacob being a man of both faith and science sets out to devise a way to change this unchangeable future. There is hope, as there are prophecies that if the event can be avoided the son of the one who can stop the cataclysm will become another great leader of their civilization and of the world. However, these are only prophecies and fate it seems has already sealed the doom of all humanity. While Jacob understands the impossibility of changing the future, his faith in the prophecies set him on a course to try to attempt to change the future. Using his abilities, he is able to harness the unique electromagnetic power of the Island with a simple machine that utilizes a wheel. He devises this first to protect the Island from any outsiders. The wheel machine also allows him to traverse at any point in the timeline of the Island itself. It also allows him to physically move the Island, and move himself or others off the Island completely through a portal or wormhole to point on the opposite side of the Earth (Tunisia). The Island itself and a small radius around the Island (due to its unique electromagnetic qualities) always run at a time rate continuum that is different from outside the radius which runs in the present non island time. Daniel Faraday in his experiment proves this when he has a payload fired to him that arrives 35 minutes after he expected it to arrive.
There are some specific rules to travel on and off the Island
1. One can use the wheel device to go to the past, but only the Islands past. It cannot be utilized to get to the past on any other portion of the planet through the Tunisia exit portal.
2. The device can be used to travel to the future, both the Islands future and a future off of the Island, but only coming out the Tunisia portal exit for the off island future.
3. The device can also be utilized to safely transfer off the Island through the Tunisia portal into present off Island time, but this is dangerous and could cause the island itself to skip through time.
4. Besides the device, one can leave or enter the Island only through some very specific coordinates which will allow him or her to reach the off Island present time safely.
5. Travel out side of these coordinates, will cause a person to go mad as their consciousness cannot make the time transition, unless they have a constant as a point of reference. (If the island is in 2002 but present time is 2003, your 2002 consciousness will be unable to reconcile your now 2003 consciousness and you will get a brain aneurysm and die)
Jacob believing if he travels to, and understands the events of future, using the special coordinates, he can then get back to the Island (while still in the future) and use the wheel to travel back to the past on the island and change those events. Believing this to be possible, he then turns the time wheel and travels to the distant future off the Island itself through the Tunisia portal. Jacob finds a scientist in the future just prior to this cataclysm; a man named Richard Alpert and convinces him to help him. Jacob is able to communicate with Richard through a mutual language of Science (Latin). With Richards help, Jacob develops a list of those individuals specifically important to the events that occur, leading up to the cataclysm. It is Jacobs’s intention to go back to the past, armed with the list and knowledge of these events to influence the past and thus change the future. Both he and Richard get back to the Island as it exists in their present time and eventually find the Orchid station. They move the wheel and both are transported back to the distant past on the island. But there is an unanticipated problem. Because someone from the past, who knows the future can actually change the past (and hence the future) the universe course corrects and literally traps Jacob in a horrible time limbo. The one hope for humanity is now completely unable to now do anything to change events; fate will still take its course. Jacob even though in limbo, can still communicate with Alpert and select others. Jacob communicates with Alpert and he tells him he must protect, watch over his people and move the island so that the ones from the outside world cannot get in and lead the world to destruction. Richard becomes the protector of the Island and works to figure out some way to release Jacob and ultimately change the future. However, Alpert knows there is absolutely nothing he can do to change the final outcome, except perhaps hide the island.
Alpert knows there are some very specific rules of time travel:
1. Someone from the past (and only from the island itself) can travel to the future safely only through the Tunisia portal exit.
2. The person who travels from the past to the future, now knowing the future is the only person that can actually change the outcome of the future events.
3. Since only a person from the past can change the past and alter the future, fate/time will not allow any person from the past to actually change anything and will trap them when they go back from the future to the past or kill them altogether as they get close to a time when they can change important events. (Richard and Jacob did not know this initially)
4. A person from the future can travel to the past (like Alpert), but cannot actually change anything in the past. This is because the future has already compensated for anything they can or will do and has course corrected for them traveling to the past and trying to make any changes. (This is what Desmond had to show Charlie). Also when traveling to the past that person will not begin age again until they reach their future period of existence.
5. If a person from the past on the Island travels outside the island through the Tunisia portal to the future they cannot come back to any point in the past on the island without being trapped in a time limbo or dying. (This is why Widmore does not himself go back to the Island as he traveled from the past into the future off the Island and now cannot come back)
6. As a rule, no one leaving the island through the time wheel can ever physically come back to the island alive without being trapped in a time limbo or dying. However there is one exception, a person traveling off the island through the portal can only come back if they exit and come out of the portal in the same present off Island time. (So if the off Island present is 2007 and the on Island present is also in 2007 the person who turns the wheel and ends up exiting the portal in 2007 can come back to the island). This is only because they have not traveled to the future, so in traveling back to the island at a past point they cannot change anything from knowledge gained and therefore time/fate would not have to course correct them.
Two other important points to make about the Lost concept of time travel:
1. There are not multiple time loops as some deduce, there is only one absolute line as Faraday explains and no parallel universes with different outcomes, therefore there is absolutely only one chance to change the future.
2. This answers why people like Ben would not have already known the losties since we now know they appear in DHARMA Time. When Ben first meets them they had not yet traveled to the past, because of this while all knew that certain individuals caused these events Ben, Alpert and crew had no idea how they get into DHARMA time and therefore killed everyone and sealed the island to cover all the bases. A good example of this is when Charlotte dying suddenly remembers that Daniel Faraday is the scary man who told her never to come back to the island. She only remembers this now because Daniel has stopped in the time of DHARMA when she was young and he will now become that scary man who warns her.
Richard Alpert has the Island moved through Jacobs’s instructions. Alpert also buries the time wheel so no one can get to it ever again. Unfortunately for Alpert and gang fate/time course corrects and they move the island smack into the middle of the slave ship, the Black Rock. On board the Black Rock is Mangus Hanso. It is possible that Alpert recognizes the name as being important for events from the future and Hanso and his crew are either killed or made to live out their days on the island, but this will not change fate. The journal of the first mate somehow comes into the hands of Tovad Hanso who later sells it to a future Charles Widmore. On the island itself, Alpert identifies a young native man named Charles Widmore to lead the Islanders. During the intervening time the island remains well hidden, however a U.S. military team in the 50’s stumbles upon the correct coordinates and makes their way onto this mysterious island with an H-bomb that they are going to test. It is this H-bomb that will likely lead to the destruction of the island and of the world, and maybe (given the unique time qualities of the island) the end of the space time continuum. Unexpectedly, Richard Alpert and Charles Widmore at the very same time are visited by man from the future, a John Locke. The time wheel has long been buried, so this is a very odd event. John Locke tells Alpert that Jacob has sent him and that he is to be the leader of Jacobs’s people. Locke then mysteriously disappears. At the same time, a young Eloise Hawking is visited by a man from the future, a Daniel Faraday who also disappears after he tells her how to protect and encase the bomb. This seems to be a change from events as Alpert knew them to be and because of this, new beliefs are formed by him and the Islanders. Alpert and Widmore now believe John Locke could be the person who can change the future. While Hawking knows of Locke, she will also eventually leave the Island and come to believe that her own son who she names Daniel Faraday is possibly also a key to changing the future. A course begins to be set as to who will influence the future, and sides and alliances start to form.
Eventually, Alvar Hanso descendant of Magnus Hanso, possibly armed with the secret knowledge of the island, forms the DHARMA initiative to get back to the Island, find the buried time wheel and stop the destruction of the world. There is a calculation, the Valenzetti Equation which predicts the numeric variables leading to the calamity (4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42). Hanso believes he has a solution, change one of the variables. To do this, they must locate and gain control of the time wheel, pause the island in time and changing the variables so that it can never be found and the calamity never occurs. Unfortunately for Hanso and his team, they are not aware of the fact that the calamity that destroys the world comes out of individuals from the DHARMA project (Our Losties). Richard Alpert being from the future knows this, but again he is unable to change the future. Alpert has met John Locke as a young boy on a few occasions, but Locke has disappointed him and does not appear to be ready to aid in changing critical events. Locke is actually a loser in life who appears to make nothing but wrong choices.
Without the mysterious John Locke, Widmore and Alpert must allow DHARMA on the Island, as they know that there is nothing they can do to change the future. They are back on course for destruction, unless Locke becomes the one he told them he was. When DHARMA gets to the Island, as they begin to build their research stations they find something odd, a rope buried in the dirt (time has course corrected again). Thinking it’s an ancient water site; they dig a well and eventually discover the time wheel, which has been buried for centuries. As DHARMA experiments with animals (polar bears, rabbits etc.) they begin to stumble upon the same rules of time described previously. They find ultimately they can change nothing, the future is sealed. During the DHARMA experiments Alpert comes upon a special child who is from their group. A man named Benjamin Linus. This is a person both Jacob and Alpert likely know from their knowledge of the events of the future to be important in possibly averting the cataclysm. Alpert takes Linus under his wing, which now begins to set the stage for the end. Linus, having the unique ability to communicate with Jacob is convinced he is the leader and the one to save everyone from the cataclysm. Linus is a liar and will stop at nothing to save the world only to seal his fate and satisfy his greed to be the ultimate savior of the universe. Of course there is that little problem of that of John Locke and the prophecy of the child that will eventually become the next great leader. Ben must solve these issues and control that child.
When Ben realizes DHARMA has unearthed the time wheel and they can suspend the island in a single time frame and save the world, he hatches an evil plan. Knowing from Alpert’s understanding of the future, it is people from DHARMA that eventually cause the final events to unfold. Ben informs Alpert that they need to act now and kill those from DHARMA, keep the island suspended in the same time frame by pushing the button every 108 minutes, and cut off all communications emanating from the island. This would end the potential of anyone from DHARMA causing the final destruction, and seal off the island from anyone in the future from getting in. Ben believes that through doing this he has now changed the future and saved the world. However, there is still that prophecy of a descendant of the person who saves the island becoming a great leader. Ben is questioned by Alpert and others if he is truly has stopped the calamity and if it will be his descendant that will become the great leader. Ben must answer this and it is a big problem for Ben. Ben likely initially steals a child from Rousseau to control the situation. He is likely challenged by Widmore and eventually fools Widmore into leaving the Island through the time wheel into the future, so Widmore can never return. Perhaps Eloise has questions about Ben and she leaves the island as well. The greed of Ben wanting to be the ultimate leader and savior has caused some bad choices, leading to time and fate correcting the situation and putting them back on a path to the end result. Ben has the original Islanders stealing kids that come to the Island to find and control that special child. There are likely those who feel the child must come from someone from the Island. Ben’s solution to the stopping end of the world has caused a major problem. Because the Island is suspended and going back to the past every 108 minutes, women who get pregnant on the island cannot give birth. The problem is that since the island exists in the past, one cannot give birth to someone who was not already in the past. Fate/Time needs to course correct so the past cannot change the future and thus kills the mother. Ben desperate for a solution for those questioning his leadership and the fact that their civilization is going to die out, brings Juliet to the Island through the special coordinates to solve the problem. Ben’s greedy “solution” again leads time/fate to course correct and eventually ends his little solution.
Because of the various DHARMA experiments it appears that Widmore, Hawking, Faraday, Jacob and perhaps Alpert come to some solutions to possibly change the past. Ben probably knows of these solutions, but it would leave him out as leader and dismisses them since he believes he has already solved the problem.
The ultimate goal is to figure out a way to get someone from the past with future knowledge to fix those events of the past and thus change the outcome of the future.
Two ways are devised:
1. A person who has left the island and exits to the future can come back to the island but only if they are dead and only at a point in the past prior to their death. Because they arrive at the island dead they will not suffer the same fate as Jacob. Also, because they were alive in that past time/fate must course correct and they must be alive again when entering the past. However, they will retain memories of the future and thus be able to change those events.
2. There might be a ways to transfer the consciousness/knowledge of someone presently living in and having knowledge of the future to their same body existing sometime in their past (transmigration of the soul) so that their present mind now knows the events of the future and they can now work in the past to change the events.
It appears that Widmore, Hawkins, Alpert, Jacob and Ben may know of five potential routes to this solution:
John Locke Desmond Hume Ray Sheppard Christian Sheppard Daniel Faraday
Some time, well prior to Ben and Widmore leaving the Island, Alpert and Jacob knowing the above (and the later two actually knowing the future events), enlisted the good hearted Ray Sheppard to leave his son on the Island and to sacrifice himself to come back to the Island dead to try and change the past. It may be that Jacob and Alpert with their knowledge of future events determined that it was someone from their family that could potentially fulfill the prophecy and stop the cataclysm. Ray accepts this and turns the wheel, leaves the Island and his son Christian, but does not fulfill his duty and lives his days off Island in the future. Sometime later his son, Christian Sheppard making a second attempt, turns the wheel and moves off the island into the future, like his father he also has issues with sacrificing himself and eventually becomes a doctor and has a son Jack (named after Jacob). Christian has doubts about himself and his son. Jack is a man of Science and not a man of faith, so even if Christian fulfills his duty and gets back to the Island, he knows he will never convince Jack. In his desperation, Christian perhaps finds an alternate solution in having an affair with another woman who gives birth to Claire who gets pregnant with Aaron. While the Shephard’s appear to fail to fulfill their heroic destiny, Widmore and Hawkins now also off Island have a wild card solution. It’s a man named Desmond Hume. Based on Faraday’s interaction with Hume in 1996 explaining to Desmond of the need for a constant, and Hawkins being Faraday’s mother, it’s apparent to them that Desmond is a candidate that can possibly have a future version of his mind switched into a past version of himself. In fact, Faraday later makes a bold attempt to utilize Desmond to change history by trying to plant a future memory into the past mind of Desmond while Faraday is time skipping. With the Sheppard’s an apparent failure, both Widmore and Hawkins work to get Desmond on the Island. Fate begins to change Ben’s plans, Desmond unknowingly is heading to the Island as the wild card, but he will also ultimately be the one who moves the events forward toward cataclysm. And yes they still all know about John Locke.
Christian Sheppard soon dies and his son boards a plane with his body which will be going over the Island. The plane carries all those who Jacob, Alpert, Ben, Widmore, Hawking all know are vital to the events that lead to the destruction of the island and the end of the world. There are also individuals on board who might ultimately save the world. Other than Jack Sheppard, Claire and the unborn Aaron, none of the other individual’s are really particularly special. However, as the first seasons of Lost progresses we see how time/fate corrected course and set up the events so that they would all end up on that flight to play their specific roles which cannot be stopped. But, Ben believes he controls fate, the Island is stuck in time and this flight really does not matter. However, Ben ultimately controls nothing, and he is not aware that Desmond is on the Island and has replaced Kelvin inside the Swan. In a major event the wildcard, Desmond, does not reach the swan in time to reset the computer. The system keeping the island at one point in time counts down past 0 and an electromagnetic pulse gets released which causes Oceanic 815 to crash upon the Island. Ben seeing the plane immediately now knows he has not prevented the future calamity and that there are those on the plane that possibly could prevent as well as move the calamity forward. There are also those aboard that could take leadership away from him and luckily Ben has a list. Christian Sheppard is now back to the Island in the past, prior to when he died and is thus is resurrected. He then apparently makes his way to Jacob to see if the past can be changed. Jack Shephard the man of Science, and possible the savior of the island and world is now also on the Island. Christian Shepherd’s back up plan Claire (with the all important Aaron) are now on the island as well. These were all descendants of the original people and possibly the only ones who can save everyone. Also with them is the mysterious John Locke, a man who had appeared to Alpert in the past and said he was the leader of the future. And then there is Desmond Hume the ultimate wildcard. Additionally there are those on board who will ultimately cause the event that will end the world. The initial seasons of lost record Jack and Locke’s interaction with all of these individuals. Now the goal of Ben and the rest is to keep them all on the Island and do what he needs to do to take care of John Locke. Ben has to find a way to correct history; the island is still hidden, because Desmond utilized the failsafe. Also, if he wants to stay in favor with Jacob he cannot harm Jack Sheppard. Ben very likely does not know Christian Sheppard is with Jacob; also Ben begins to fall out of favor with Jacob and the Island and develops cancer. Ben must figure out a plan that still saves the world and keeps him as the leader. John Locke becomes Ben’s avenue as well at the ultimate pawn for everyone involved. Ben knows that as long at the Island stays fixed in time, and all of the parties who can cause the future cataclysm can be kept from ever leaving the Island, Ben and the others can still control the future from happening. Unfortunately for Ben, Locke finds the hatch, releases Desmond and ultimately does not press the button propelling the Island to the present time and making it visible to Widmore’s people. Ben knows it is only a matter of time before Widmore and Hawkins locate the island and utilize their efforts to avert the calamity. They are all really working toward the same goal, but Ben wants the goal and ultimate power. In an effort to keep control, Ben befriends Locke and convinces him that he will be the leader. Because of Christian being back and Ben’s cruelty, Jacob stops communicating with Ben. Because Ben knows Locke has told Alpert in the past that Jacob sent him, Ben believes Locke can also communicate with Jacob. Jacob knows what will happen and tells Locke that he has to move the Island to keep everyone on it. Ben knows that Widmores people are there to close the Tempest station, remove him and work to stop the calamity. The events all work together to allow the Oceanic 6 do something they were not supposed to be able to do: leave the Island. Ben also knows that those who have left the, the oceanic 6, island must come back in order to prevent the calamity. Instead of allowing Locke to move the Island, in a daring effort (and possibly knowing his future from Alpert or Jacob) Ben turns the wheel in such a way to end up off Island in the present on Island time frame. This means that Ben can go back! He has travelled to the present and thus cannot affect the future. The island however is left dangerously skipping through time. John Locke and gang start moving in time while still on the island. At one point Locke is shot in the leg and Alpert tells him something important. Alpert believes Locke to be special and although knowing it’s not possible he tries to intervene and change the future. He tells Locke he must go off the Island, get everyone to come back and the kicker, he must die before he comes back to the Island. Because of his prior trip to Alpert from the future, Alpert and others still believe Locke is very special and he may be another avenue beyond Ben, Sheppard and Desmond to save the world. Ironically, Locke is not special at all. Ben in his greed to control things is the very cause for the Island to skip through time, thus allowing Locke to travel from the future to Alpert in the past, making him seem special. This also makes it seem to Ben that the rules have changed. Additionally, when Alpert intervenes and sends Locke to move and fix the wheel, Locke is sent out right into the hands of Widmore. The Island is then stopped in DHARMA time with a group of losties also stuck in DHARMA time. Through all their efforts they have changed nothing; those that are going to cause the calamity are now stuck in the time where the calamity arises! Everything that has been done to prevent them from getting to the island has only worked to set up the very situation that brings them to the Island and during the time of DHARMA to cause the calamity. Things are now moving very fast toward the end, Widmore, Hawking and Ben all off the Island must work rapidly. Ben also thinking that Widmore has somehow changed the rules would like to kill Widmore but Ben knows he cannot. He would have to go to the past and kill Widmore before he traveled off the Island to the future, and this is not possible. In reality, Widmore did not change the rules; Ben did when he let the Island skip. Time course corrected on him to play events out in a way he that he had not known them to occur. Ben and everyone else now know they absolutely have to somehow get the rest back to the Island, they were not supposed to leave. It still appears to Ben who knows the future events that the rules have changed, but they have not. Ben who has always had a plan because he knows what is supposed to occur starts to lose his cool. Ben has everyone watched and protects them, until he can figure out a way back to the Island, since in his mind they are outside of what is supposed to occur. However fate is still in control. Then it happens, one of his men spots Locke visiting Sayid. Locke is off the island trying to gather everyone back but is unsuccessful. Ben has a chance, his hope is now upon Locke, and that just maybe if he is “special” Ben can use this wretch of a man to get the Oceanic 6 and himself back on the Island and stop the calamity and somehow also retain leadership. Ben knows that Locke needs to die in order to come back in the past and change the future events. What Ben does not know is that Locke encountered Jack’s father and that by Locke telling Jack that his father said hello it changed Jack from the man of science to the man of faith he needs to be. Jack now needs to go back to the Island to do what he does best, fix things. Ben additionally, is surprised by wildcard number three, the appearance of Desmond Hume at Ms. Hawkins’s lamp post DHARMA station. But Ben still has a plan get the oceanic six all on a flight, with the body of John Locke. Widmore and Hawking have the same plan, but they are also counting on the wildcards. As they go back, Jack and his associates that are relevant are about to either bring about or fix the calamity. Thus when traveling over the Island in the Ajira airways flight they are are brought to the past DHARMA era with the other relevant Losties. Locke and Ben are also back on the Island (The Hydra) in the more recent past but far enough back to be at a point where time has to course correct and make Locke alive. Since this is the case, Locke is resurrected ready to fill his important role as the savior. Ben is ready to use his pawn in a war for the future. The die is cast and the sides have been taken, Ben and Alpert have thrown in with Locke. Jacob has Christian Sheppard, Claire, Aaron, Jack and possibly Jack’s baby growing inside of Kate. Widmore, Hawking have Desmond and Faraday. Will any one of these individuals be able to change something and thus change the course of time and save the universe? We shall see…