They come. They fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same. So said the MiB.

Jacob and his brother came from across the sea. They fought over loyalties and decisions. The MiB destroyed his "Mother." Jacob destroyed the MiB's humanity, or at least thought he did. The MiB corrupted the island with his blackness. Jacob wandered on the island and off, searching for signs that humanity - and himself - were not doomed to repeat the same path of corruption over and over again. Picture Jacob as he ponders, wandering from his watching post at the lighthouse to his brooding in the cave, searching for someone to prove that it doesn't always end the same.

Does it always end the same?

Jack and his friends came from across the sea. When they fought, Jack stood among them and united them with a rousing mantra, "If we don't live together, we're going to die alone."

When destruction seemed imminent, Jack stepped in to fix things. No sooner had he opened his eyes in the bamboo jungle than he was on the beach saving people. He found fresh water and shelter. He became the leader of the Losties. And just before he made it back into the bamboo jungle to lay down and close his eyes for the last time, he had saved the island and several of his friends from destruction.

When the corruption of the world seemed imminent because the MiB was about to escape and breathe his black plague into the world, Jack stepped in. He gave his life to stop the MiB and save the world.

It doesn't always end the same. It doesn't end the same because every human has a choice.

The brother-in-black entered The Source as a murderer and a manipulator, obsessed with obtaining what he wanted at any price. He entered as the black rock and emerged as the black smoke. His broken body, separated from his soul, was spewed out and left lifeless.

When Jack made his journey into The Source, he entered as the white rock - as the man who has chosen to lay down his life for his friends. He reconnected the water and light and restored the island. He, too, was spewed out and into the same location as the MiB. But his body was not devoid of life and he did not emerge as a smoke monster. He was unaltered. He came out as he went in - as the man he had learned to be on the island. As the white rock.

Jack had what it takes.

The Temple of Apollo at Delphi had an inscription at its entrance. It said simply Know Thyself. The Apollo bar resonated this message throughout LOST. Know yourself. Be true to yourself. Be true to your humanity and to your purpose in life.

The story of LOST is ultimately about Jack and his struggle to find purpose. To find his true self. And though it takes a long time, eventually Jack both discovers and fulfills his purpose. He chooses the white rock. The MiB chose the black rock. When each enters The Source, he comes out as his true self.

The Source reminds me of the two sphinxes facing each other in The Neverending Story. Atreyu arrived at this portal to find the skeletal remains of the unworthy laying nearby. Engywook explained to him that anyone who tried to get through would be destroyed if he did not "feel his own worth as he passed." Atreyu made it because he knew himself. He was pure, with pure motives for his journey. In the end, Atreyu saved Fantasia from the black smoke of nothingness by restoring it from a tiny white rock - a single grain of sand.

The Source, was a place where water and light came together, mysteriously becoming the origins of life, death, and rebirth. The use of water and light is not surprising. These symbols appear in both the first and last chapters of the Bible with similar meaning. In Genesis 1, as the Spirit of God hovers over the waters of the unformed earth, He utters the words, "Let there be light." From that source of creation life begins. In the last chapter of the Bible, Revelation 22, God the Father is enthroned in the center of heaven alongside His Son, Jesus. Their presence serves as the only source of light for all of heaven, and from them flows the river of life, clear as crystal, which pours into the city and down to the Tree of Life.

What lies between those two chapters of the Bible is much of what lies between the opening and closing of Jack's eye in the bamboo jungle: the story of life, death, and rebirth. The story of choice - the choice to choose good or evil - from the tree in the garden to the two thieves on their respective crosses, one choosing to admit who he was, admitting his faults and asking Jesus for forgiveness. One choosing himself, demanding that Jesus get them both out of this mess if He was really all-powerful God. The picture of Jesus on the cross and the two thieves on either side is eerily similar to the scale with its support in the middle and the white and black rock on either side.

When our eyes do close, what awaits us is perhaps the greatest mystery box of all: the coffin. This terrifying gateway, like The Source and like the sphinxes in The Neverending Story, requires that we know ourselves before we pass through it if we expect to emerge to a life of happiness on the other side.

The scales are before us. On the left is the black rock - the rock that takes all light given to it and absorbs it for itself. On the right is the white rock, which reflects most of the light given to it. It gives back freely.

Jack arrived on the island a broken man, spilled out of a broken airplane. The last thing that Jack saw before he closed his eyes was an airplane, whole, and taking his friends home. Ajira Flight 316 - a cross in the sky. A cross that symbolized the cross Jack carried and died on. The cross that brought life to the six people aboard it. It is a deliberate reminder of John 3:16 and the episode 316. In that episode we find Jack staring at the Caravaggio painting The Incredulity of Saint Thomas. Jack asks Ben if Thomas was ever convinced of the resurrection of Jesus after his crucifixion on the cross. Ben replies, "We're all convinced sooner or later, Jack."

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. John 3:16 MSG

LOST --Mystimus 03:17, May 26, 2010 (UTC)

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