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We are currently in 2009. Suppose we went back to 1979, and died. Time will continue to pass since our death in 1979, and it will eventually be 2009. Hence, we will time-travel again, only to die again. This will happen endless times, forming a closed loop of events.
However, conscious beings make conscious decisions, and if you were caught in an eternal loop, you would make them consciously everytime.
Mathematically speaking; if an event re-occurs forever, every probability in that event -however small- will eventually come to be. Suppose there is one in a trillion chance that Faraday will survive his wounds. If he took that bullet a trillion times (a number very small compared to infinity) one of them will not kill him.
Therefore, my Unified Theory of Lost is:
"Lost is an eternal loop of events in which time-travelling humans participate slightly different each time. Some of the people involved are conscious of their situation, and are trying to influence the final outcome over each other. The loop will inevitably be closed due to the law of infinite probability."
Faraday's mother sends her own son to his death, knowing full well that she will accidentally shoot and kill him in the past. No mother would ever do that. Why would she?
It is because she is aware of the loop they are caught in. She has her son's complete notebook to guide her - she has it all her adult life. She is sending her son to his tragic death, every time, because she knows that he will, for once, survive his wounds and never give her his notebook. This would close the loop for her.
The details of the conversation between Jacob and his nemesis at the beach by the Statue.