What is “progress” in Jacob’s plans? In the transition to the last season, Jacob tells Nemesis that “it is all progress” when they are discussing people coming to the island. What is the progress?
I suggest that we go back to the off screen story that includes the Valenzetti Equation based on human and environmental factors that predict the time of human extinction. According to the story, the equation was developed at the end of the Cold War by the UN Security Council. The equation sounds a lot like one that was really created to predict the likelihood of aliens existing and coming to earth. The parallel is worth considering. Another vague quote by Jacob, after his death, is “they are coming.” We have known the numbers representing the human and environmental factors, at least in recent history, are 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42. And they add up to 108, which is a significant number in its own right; it is common in science, nature, and religion. The number 108 is common enough, that we can suggest that the writers of LOST have used it to represent the human extinction problem that is driving the behavior of many actors, let’s say ancient civilizations, European explores, U.S. Army, science-based Dharma, and others who have come to the island. By the way, I read that the hieroglyphics on the station countdown machine are translated as “die.” A complicated equation, as what is suggested in the Sri Lanka Video, can begin with a variety of numbers and be transformed into the same end value each time, i.e., 108. For purposes of this discussion, let’s say that the Valenzetti Equation, regardless of the base numbers has consistently come out as 108 and therefore represents the same “destructive” outcome. Nevertheless, one can see that the equation outcome is closer to changing as the right combination of numbers is put into place. This brings me to the cave with names and numbers. Let’s say the long-term goal of Jacob is to change the human and environmental factors, represented by the numbers, so as to stop the destruction of mankind. If he knows the equation is changeable, he will attempt to change the factors. His record keeping seems to be associated with not only a set of numbers, but also specific people who are in some way representational of the numbers, and the respective human and environmental factors. Knowing the show, it is likely that there is some symbolism in the people and numbers, but setting that aside for a while, lets’ look at the mechanics of how Jacob changes the equation, thus makes progress. If you ever look at the Aurora Borealis, you see light reflected off particles that are magnetically circulating around the earth’s North Pole. Think about that for a minute, and consider the Island events. A magnetic pull (Swan Station), moves particles (Smoke Monster), and pulls from space (planes pulled from air). Let’s say that the Island is uniquely more powerful that the Earth’s Poles, in that it can not only affect these physical things, but also other conditions affected by electromagnetism, such as time and physical and psychological compositions, in other words manipulations of what we think (or see) and where we are in a temporal pathway. Think of stars, we see stars but what we are seeing is something that is many years ago and the light is just now reaching us on Earth. Same concept can be applied to the Island’s rules—it’s electromagnetism is affecting when they are. Going back to the notion of the Island being as powerful as the Earth’s Poles, take a look at a globe, what is on the opposite side of the globe form Egypt, the Pacific Ocean near Fiji, perhaps the “Pole” nature of the Island is through the Earth’s core. This can now take us into the mythology of Egyptian origins and struggles over power, human life, and nature. The point is that the Island may act as a catalyst, because of its properties, in the transformation of human and natural factors, globally. How, you may ask? The persons who join the island become candidates in the equation. By free choice and through decisions and actions on their part, they are surrogates of the global factors. While on the Island, they are also catalysts for changes in remote places, like an electromagnetic connectivity to all types of factors with similar life paths. They essentially play out the equation and the end result is worldwide. There seem to be rules that matter, such as free choice, so you need the good (Jacob) and bad (Nemesis) archetypes, polar opposites if you will. Another rule is that death is merely a temporal event that does not affect your presence when you are in a time-pocket of the Island. You may die, but the artifact of your presence on the island continues and can move through the island’s temporal variability. This brings me back to Jacob’s comment that “they are coming.” Who is likely to come? Those on the “other side” of death, the globe, the equation? I don’t know. All are possible. More interesting is the revelation from Juliet, “it worked” combined with the Island being under the ocean. If Jacob is successful in changing the equation, and humankind is no longer on a path of destruction, then the island is no longer needed. I think the bomb merely sent them back to present time. Meanwhile, in the parallel story with Flight 815 landing in L.A., I think we are seeing the current events, but the history of the Earth has been rewritten, many years ago. Perhaps back before the Island, and the names on the ceiling of the cave became the project of Jacob to change the equation’s final answer.