Richard Alpert....immortal or undead?

So, by now, we have all come to the conclusion that Richard does not age. Now is he an immortal being or is he a person that died and the island resurrected him (like Christian and John)?

My personal belief is that he died at one point and was resurrected by the island to chose the next leader of the others. Now when did this happen? I don't know but my favorite thoughts are:

1. He was on the Black Rock. He died on the way to their destination and when the ship ended up in the middle of the island, the island took a liking to Mr. Alpert and woke him back up.

2. He is an actual native of the island and has been there from the beginning of the ancient civilization that carved the four toed statue and has been their since his death and resurrection.

What are y'all's thoughts on Mr. Alpert (who is my favorite character)? No need to argue at this point because we don't know enough about him to do anything other than speculate. So keep it fun and interesting.

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