Sujet: LOST (souls?)
De: tothesource
Date: 27 Jan 2006 11:55:04 -0800

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Dear Concerned Citizen,

January 27, 2006
side bar side bar side bar side bar side bar side bar side bar side bar side bar You're at Starbucks, minding your own business, when a young woman next to you in line breaches all social etiquette by popping the zeitgeist's most terrifying chit chat question, "Have you seen Lost? What do you think it's all about?"

You fumble your change. But don't panic. We'll coach you through this.

Your linemate's curiosity is understandable. Everyone seems to be asking everyone else what he or she thinks of Lost. Not since Twin Peaks 16 years ago has a TV series caught so much metaphysical buzz.

Packed full of Biblical allegories, otherworldly visions, conversions and baptisms, Lost is a spiritual puzzle that no one seems to be able to piece together.

That is until now!

As you pick up your drink look the truth seeker in the eye and state confidently, "Part Dr. Moreau, part purgatory."

Sensing clarity in a confused world, she squints her eyes and asks, "Why part Dr. Moreau?"

As you stir three Equals into your non-fat mocha latte, you explain that Lost is eerily similar to H.G. Wells' milestone novel The Island of Doctor Moreau. The first film adaptation of Wells' masterpiece was the Island of Lost Souls, the 1933 classic that starred Charles Laughton in his first US role. People love details so lay'em on!

"There are many similarities between The Island of Doctor Moreau and the current Lost," you continue as you raise your coffee, speaking into the cup. "Both feature shipwrecked souls on a tropical island who desperately try to make sense of bizarre laboratory experiments. Both possess populations of "others" who not only predate the recently marooned but who also seem to possess answers to the island's mysteries, having survived the experimentation."

Then state glibly, latte foam extending your grin, "Its not as though Hollywood would shy away from such a remake, there are already two from 1977 and 1996."

"But why purgatory?" your interlocutor questions.

Glancing across the espresso machine you notice the over caffeinated barista ridiculing a subordinate, an appropriate backdrop to your next comment. "Catholics believe that purgatory, the final phase of redemption, purifies the soul of the temporal effects of the sins we commit in this world. It prepares the soul for its entrance into heaven."

"Ouch!" The barista didn't only scold his employee. He scalded his hand on the steamer. His employee tries to help. Concern replaces ridicule.

You point to the barista, "Suffering, even anguish, always accompanies redemption. Lost is all about suffering that leads to redemption that leads to spiritual fulfillment. What's amazing is that the creators of Lost have been able to present these stories of spiritual cleansing in such a way that Hollywood, of all places, would heap award after award on them. I mean the L.A. Times, tinsel town's own rag, called it the best drama ever. Ever!"

"Who would have thought purgatory would be so entertaining?" You need a laugh line at this point in the conversation. But then you get serious.

"Didn't you love the 23rd Psalm episode? That new Eko character is amazing. When he is a boy warlords storm his Nigerian village for recruits. They put a gun into his brother's hand and tell him to shoot an old man. His brother refuses. So Eko grabs the gun and shoots the old man to save his brother. The warlords take Eko, leaving only his cross, which his brother later wears."

"When we next see Eko he is a grown man and the leader of the warlords. They're trying to smuggle heroin out of Nigeria. The only planes allowed to fly are those affiliated with the Christian missions, so he forces his brother, now a priest, to help him fly the heroin out. On the tarmac, as they ready for takeoff, the military arrive, having been alerted by Eko's brother. After a fierce exchange of words and bullets, Eko is left behind and his brother ends up dead on the plane, soon to crash into the storyline of Lost. Eko finds his way to the island and discovers the crash site. As Eko clutches his brother's decaying body he weeps, finally releasing the rage built up since he killed the old man to save his brother's life. Eko takes his cross from his brother's neck, the one he gave to him years before, and puts it around his own. Then he stands and declares that he is now a pr iest."

The two of you just stand there, drinks in hand. The full impact of the story takes time to set in. You both discover again why Lost has captured the imagination of so many people.

Maybe this is why Lost is so popular. It starts with a proven sci-fi set-up. And then it builds on that foundation with one character after another coming to terms with their spiritual anguish. And it does this with respect for the torment that people go through in their lives. There is nothing silly or superficial about Lost.

Lost accomplishes the Herculean task in modern America of moving its audience from chit chat, bickering and Starbucks grand non-fat 3 Equal mocha latte's to questions of ultimate meaning and our responsibility not only to ourselves, but to others, to right and wrong, and to God.

This is why Lost is not called "Lost Souls." The producers realized that the souls marooned on the island are anything but lost. They are being redeemed.

Your new friend thanks you for your insights. You quietly thank the makers of Lost for a job well done.


Responses to We are stardust...and so much more:

I enjoyed the thought provoking article "We are Stardust". It is based on the Big Bang Theory of the beginning. Not being a student of the science that developed this theory, I don't know its validity. Does the author have more information on that? - M. L.

The real irreducible complexity is existence itself. - R. B.

This may very well be To The Source best article ever! - J. N.

As a minister and a person very interested in cultural and societal trends, I find your articles very helpful to me. Thanks for choosing a strong yet responsible tone in what you share with your readers -- very refreshing! You do indeed "connect well with the world without giving up on who you are." - E. M.

To the Source, The paradox of Dr. Schroeder's dogmatic appeal to the metaphysical evolution of life may confuse those who aren't familiar with a familiar expression amongst us Jews: "Two Jews, three opinions." He can on one hand make dogmatic statements such as: "Our cosmic genesis began billions of years ago, first as beams of energy, then as parts of stars and the star dust of supernovae, then as the rocks and water and a few simple molecules on the surface of the earth, which in a geological blink of the eye became alive. We were not just observers to this fantastic flow toward life‹we were part of it! ... Life was invented in a snap." and "The error of ID is that it limits the way a metaphysical reality, call it God, might interact with the physical. All our thoughts are couched within the box of the physical aspects of time space matter. There is no way we can think outside that box. The greatest of poets, philosophers, scientists all face this same limitation. How the metaphysical might or might not interact with the physical universe is not limited to the mechanisms we can conceive from within the box of our existence. Let's not confine God's power to what we can imagine." In a sidebar, he wrote: "The first form of life (form in the singular since there was only one form of life at the start) had purpose within its make-up." and "Even the so called simpler forms of life are extraordinarily complex and the mechanisms of cellular function (DNA structure, systems for reading the DNA information and translating that information into proteins, energy extraction from glucose, ATP, ADP, mitosis) are so similar across all forms of life, be it animal, plant, bacterial or fungal that there must have been a single common origin." On the other hand, Dr. Schroeder chastised ID for boxing in the Unseen Reality -- God. Ironically, it is Dr. Schroeder who is boxing Him in, casting aside what He said he did in making the world and trying to rewrite the story of creation based on what His testimony "should have been." As the Deist founders of the United States realized, the Unseen Reality is comforting when He is the Blind Watchmaker but scary when we look past our ignorant knowledge and realize He is a real Person Who told us what He did and how. Perhaps, Dr. Schroeder's quest for metaphysics will lead him to consider the Testimony of the Unseen Reality, rather than trying to gain a glimpse of Him via the admittedly dim flashlight of science. After all, eyewitness accounts are often helpful. - J. Q.

Suggest you contact Dr. Walt Brown regarding the Evolution vs. Intelligent Design (ID) debate. Dr. Brown has written a well documented book “In the Beginning” – available at: Dr. Brown has offered to debate the issue with any/all evolutionist/s based upon scientific evidence only. Dr. Brown is an outspoken proponent for teaching ID in public schools. I would like to see you publish an article by Dr. Walt Brown and/or some of the evidence for ID from his book. - J. L.

I often wonder if "Creation Science" and "Intelligent Design" proponents are really doing the work of the devil. Their arguments show a complete lack of understanding as to what "science" is all about. This is why courts consistently rule against these faith issues as science. Scientists do not know "the answer" before the experiment is run. And even after the experiment has given the answer to some degree of probability, the answer may be refined by further observation and experimentation. Science is a "process" that leads to discoveries about our physical world. Science has nothing to say about "faith" or God, because so far, no one has been able to do an experiment (too many uncontrolled variables) that would show that God exists. The idea that God exists can only be attained by faith. Scientists can ask questions and gather data to support or refute the the Theory of Evolution, but no experiment can be run to show that a God is responsible for the speciation of living organisms on earth. To say that Evolution is just a theory, shows a complete misunderstanding of what "theory" means in science. Those who say this need to review the words "scientific hypothesis" and "scientific Law" as well as "scientific theory." Whereas "scientific hypothesis" is probably closest to the statement "I have a theory about that," even it goes further, suggesting an experiment that might be carried out to get an answer. True scientists know that we rarely "prove" anything in science to 100% certainty, because further data gathering may refine our conclusion. The best we can do in attaining "truth" in science is to use our scientific conclusions and if they continue to predict correctly other related ideas, then we say that our conclusions are probably correct (our data "supports" our conclusion). The "Theory of Evolution" explains correctly so many biological observat ions, that we use those findings to create medical "miracles" and predict answers to questions which always lead to further experimentation. That scientists have not found all of the "missing links" to show without doubt how species are related and created should not be a mystery. To me, it is a marvel that so many links have been found, when the probability of fossil formation seems quite low. DNA analysis is supporting so well other means of relating when and how species relate. So I tend to suspect that creation scientists and intelligent designers are really doing the work of the devil when they attack the findings of science, ignoring the preponderance of data supporting scientific findings. If they can be so uninformed about science, can we trust their faith statements about a God? Is their faith so feeble that it can be strengthened by attacking information about God's world, attained by scientific investigation which uses the talents God has given us. By the way, scientists do not say that man descended from apes, but that both descended from a common ancestor at some point in time. Dr. Gerald Schroeder is either wrong or has been quoted out of context when he says that "we are made of light beams." That the matter of which we are composed at one point in the far distant past came from energy would be a more correct statement. Scientists do say that the stars, such as our sun, create the 92 naturally occurring (o n earth) elements. I don't know if he was implying that scientists think that the elements were created in the "Big Bang." Scientific observations and experimentation indicate otherwise. - D. T.

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We live complex lives. We strive to sort out priorities that sometimes conflict or seem incompatible. A moral framework is needed to help us understand the reality around us. Our Judeo-Christian heritage provides a framework to help us comprehend the choices we make and the conflicts that arise over them. It is not only the main source of our spiritual values, but also many of the secular values we depend on.

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