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So much in LOST seems to resonate with meaning and purpose. On a recent flight I found myself staring at an airline magazine containing a map of the world and showing various flight paths. I stared at it and began to wonder, "What is the meaning and purpose behind the flight path of Oceanic 815 and the crash site?"
Projections that go well beyond my abilities place the crash site and location of the island near Wallis Island, 350km west of Samoa. After studying the flight path and these projections, I noticed a nearby location that is probably the actual intent of the writers. As expected, this location appears to be a another prominent symbol hidden in plain sight.
A hair north of the best projections for the island's location is the intersection of the equator and the international date line. The equator separates the northern and southern hemispheres. The international date line separates one day from the next.
Famed author Umberto Eco, the likely namesake for the character Eko, wrote a book entitled The Island of the Day Before (scroll down in this Wikipedia article to see the reference to Umberto Eco), involving a man stranded on a ship on one side of the international date line with an island on the other. "The protagonist's writings indulge in increasingly confused speculation of the physical, metaphysical and religious import of the date line."
Umberto Eco's first and most famous novel was The Name of the Rose.
The intersection of the international date line and the equator, the boundaries of space and time, forms a cross. Picture the island centered on that cross. Is this yet another example of the Rose Cross which seems so prevalent throughout LOST?
The significance of this location is laden with meaning and purpose.
Virtually every religion in the world has the concept of a sacred space - a location where the earthly plain intersects with the divine, enabling enlightenment and transformation. A sacred space that is available to everyone in the world is generally referred to as the Axis Mundi, or center of the world. Wikipedia says of the Axis Mundi, "The image expresses a point of connection between sky and earth where the four compass directions meet. At this point travel and correspondence is made between higher and lower realms. Communication from lower realms may ascend to higher ones and blessings from higher realms may descend to lower ones and be disseminated to all. The spot functions as the omphalos (navel), the world's point of beginning."
The island is an Axis Mundi - a sacred space where time and space cease to have meaning. The island could move through both space and time because it was ultimately unconnected with either. Remember the name of the Dharma station above the frozen donkey wheel that could move the island? It was the Orchid. Most orchids are epiphytes, meaning the orchid does not grow in the earth. It is not connected directly to the earth and can be easily picked up and moved.
The island serves as this sacred space by stripping away the earthly pursuits and possessions of the crash survivors, allowing them to begin to discover their true selves. "Know Thyself" was a message inscribed in another sacred space - the Temple of Apollo. This inscription is the likely message behind every appearance of the Apollo candy bar and further emphasizing the island as a sacred space, or Axis Mundi.
Every sacred space has a shaman - the devotee who aids others in finding a way to connect to the spiritual world that exists beyond the earhly plane we live in. Jacob, the island's shaman, once gave Jack an Apollo candy bar after Jack couldn't get it out of the vending machine himself. "I guess it just needed a little push," Jacob says to Jack when handing him the symbol of discovering his true self. Jacob certainly gave Jack "a little push" when he brought him to the island.
Nowhere is the discovery of true self more vividly depicted than when Jacob's mission is completed in Jack. Jack sits in the shadow of the lighthouse, staring out at the ocean, finally realizing that he does have what it takes. Jack's hope was fulfilled - the hope he expressed to Hurley when he said "I came back here (to the island) because I was broken and I was stupid enough to think this place could fix me."
Jack arrived on the island broken spiritually but miraculously spared physically. He awoke in a bamboo forest - a sacred space in and of itself in many cultures. He spent those first few moments on the island doing what he had done all of his life - trying to fix others - masking his real desire to have his own brokenness restored. After his time in the sacred space of the island and Jacob's little push, Jack discovered his true self. In the end he returned to the bamboo forest to die, broken physically but restored spiritually. For last time, his eye closed, and yet for the first time, he could really see.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was LOST but now am found
Was blind but now I see
Mystimus 06:42, September 12, 2010 (UTC)