Best LOST Theory

ABC’s LOST: the ultimate theory and explanation


Let’s travel way back in time, back before any of the story of LOST had been told. Let’s assume the island isn’t an island yet, let’s assume the island is merely an undiscovered place in a remote location on the earth, maybe like… Tunisia. Let’s further assume that the golden cave of light/time is located there. Maybe this cave of light/time is the very source of time and reality that we live in and time flows out from this point to the rest of the earth and ultimately to the rest of the universe. Think of this place as the middle of an hourglass. It’s a passage way between the past, present, and future – it’s essentially the eternal clock. The light is time, therefore it represents the future, things yet to come, things that are not tampered with by us. The future is clean untainted by things such as sin, pain, destruction, etc. To us the light represents a clean slate i.e., a Tabula Rasa.

Let’s assume that some ancient Egyptians stumble across this light (which is actually the flow of time). And let’s assume that these ancient Egyptians discover that by manipulating the flow of the light/time they manipulate time itself, maybe like if you placed a small cork in the middle of an hourglass it would let less sand flow through the hourglass giving the illusion that time was slowing, but in the case of the golden cave of light the clock is real and any blockage in the flow actually does in fact affect the passage of time. Obviously this would be an advantageous discovery. After all, if you can manipulate time you could gain power, wealth, and possibly eternal life apart from God’s help i.e., by jumping back in time over and over again you could theoretically live forever!

Now look what you did!
Now look what you did!

The Egyptians partially blocked and channeled the light (i.e., time) and began to manipulate it. In fact it appears that the Egyptians installed some sort of valve device that could alter the flow of time, depending on how the cork was placed in the device time could be slowed, sped up, or even regulated to flow normally (as it was in the end of the End). The instant that the Egyptians manipulated time there was two serious side-effects. First, the past, was no longer just a memory. The past became an actual entity because now the past exists in more than just the mind, now the past actually exists in the real world because by manipulating time you are not allowing the past to be “let go” (by creating the ability to travel back to it). Ultimately the entire message of the show LOST was our struggle to let go of the past and not be consumed by it, yet LOST took this concept a step further and designed the show around our character’s battling their pasts in a very real way. In LOST the flash backs of our characters not only told the back story but also helped to define the monster which was a combination of all of their pasts and others that had come before them

Thus, the birth of the smoke monster was a side effect of the very first manipulation of time.

440 thoughts on “ABC’s LOST: the ultimate theory and explanation”

  1. Was a little sceptic at first, but this is really a page turning theory! Every page had me more and more convinced! This theory also explains why something happened to pregnancies after the Incident. The incident is the who-knows-how-manieth time someone tried to manipulate time. The symbiotic relationship between mother and child is disrupted, because the timelines of both people don’t match up, since both parties observe time differently. Same with Ben, he was born early so he could arrive on the island in time.

  2. Hey Eric, just binged watched all 6 seasons in a few days. Kind of like it’s own island drawing you in. BTW, really moved by the finale.

    Thanks for sharing your theory. It was well thought out and I enjoyed reading. You are a bright person. I do want to share an observation after reading your blog.

    For me and what helped with my understanding, was that it was really more about mythology, spirituality, and psychology more so than physics or the rational condition. Ultimately what really mattered in the end (or the “moving on”) was the experiences that they all had and their lives reconvening again and again to a single meeting point before moving on to the next destination. Meaning every detail / conflict / answer was no longer that “important”.

    The questions that the show took on the answer are ones that humanity have pondered on since the beginning of “time :)”.
    I like this definition: “A myth is a story that has significance to a culture (or species), a story that addresses fundamental and difficult questions that human beings ask: who and what am I, where did I come from, why am I here, how should I live, what is the right thing to do, what is the universe, how did it all begin? ”
    So IMO, it is the language of Mythology that can bring understanding to that which is difficult to understand …and articulate. If you dig deeper into Mythology and Comparative Mythology it goes much further into the psyche than the Greek Gods taken at face value or what was required learning in school.

    The theme of Science vs Spirituality for lack of a better word for the latter is used throughout the show. Especially with Jack.
    Where if faced with the decision of seeing what is in front of him, he always chose the empirical answer. Coincidence over Fate. Science over Spirit. Comfort zone over …

    And we see again and again Jack struggle and fight, refusing to look beyond the materialism. This frame of mind is necessary I believe but it is also a barrier. So it is not that we are not capable of seeing. It is more of a “holding on” to the common “reality”. Through six seasons, we see Jack and everyone else for that matter holding on. We kept hearing the “let go” advice. So it is the material theories and current belief system that keeps that world that they were all holding on to together. Keeping it in existence. They were always looking for safety (in a weird way). Safe was the attachment. What they thought they knew was the attachment. Like the idea of “I know what I saw” vs the idea that we have a grasp of the world we live in. This holds up the structure of our model of the universe (meaning your own life). They all went through this.

    It is not until they let go with Jack being the final one to do so, that they see the Reality. Once they let go, nothing else was that important any more. Just memories with one another without the sting and the peace and excitement about what comes next. The island was no longer the main focus nor Jacob, etc. Jack finally let go…of everything…including the island.

    I remember in the finale and many times during the show, especially in the series finale this paraphrase. “Do you understand now?” A few of them said it to get the other to wake up. And the understanding happened once they let go of all of their theories and the montage of their experiences played in their mind’s eye. Quite beautiful.

    So let go Eric! Just kidding! This is theory too btw ha. Well not necessary a theory but an observation that could be off or not.

    Anyways, thanks again for the contribution to the discussion about this great series and keeping the fascination with the show going.

    Oh yeah, the Light was Consciousness. The Primary Consciousness, then the Collective Consciousness. All emanating from a metaphorical, mythical Source.

    “Aye, See ya in tha next life Brutha”


  3. I really like your theory, it just has one minor problem, Ben’s cancer was diagnosed two days prior to the Desmond mistake and the plane crashing, as he says ” two days after getting a mortal tumor, a spine surgeon falls from the sky”.

    And also the medical station didnt get old in seconds, it was just a fake station, and the real one ( the one Claire remember) was hidden behind some mechanism Juliet later reveals.

  4. 1st time Lost watcher here. I LOVE THIS SHOW! I remember how many people were upset over the season Finale when it originally aired. I don’t get why. I think it would have been insulting to true Lost Fans if everything was Spelled out the way many people seemed to have wanted. Maybe it felt different if you watched it for six yrs vs. 1 week. IDK. Anyway, about this theory…

    Before reading this mind blowing analysis, I equated the island to purgatory as many others do. I thought the light represented some type of source of power/strength for the world to “run” on. Still had many things I didn’t understand, such as what the flash sideways really was, and what really happened when Locke saw the hieroglyphics begin to show in the hatch.

    Boy I must say your theory is amazing! Fills in all the blanks. Makes EVERYTHING make SO much sense. I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts in such a brilliantly detailed way. After I watched the series I’ve read several theories and yours is by far the best. Written like you created the show and were a writer for Lost yourself. Very good work!

  5. You are an extremely smart person. Kudos! Your article makes so much sense. Looks like it had to spelt out for the rest of us :p

  6. Thanks for your work. It is difficult to try to explain the truth about a fictional situation because there are no actual objective facts to refer to. You cannot definitively prove a claim about a fictional world. This reminds me of a book written by a professor a couple of years ago about the Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles. The author tries to show that the real killer is not the one revealed in the novel; but the real culprit is a different character. This kind of approach seems to remove the story’s author. You have to think that it doesn’t really matter what the author intended. The work of fiction becomes an independent object of its own. that can be interpreted in many ways. None of these ways has to be the absolute truth. I doubt anyone can ever say that they have the final, certain truth about Lost but it’s fun to speculate.

  7. Great theory, thank you for this. There is still one thing that i do not understand in season 6 that keeps bugging me. MIB has found his loophole somehow. What is this loophole? Why does he have to take on locke’s form? Why does he have to kill all candidates? Why is this all necessary for him to leave the island? It seems so illogical to me, i just cant see the logic of it all. Does anyone have any idea?

  8. Loved this theory, it connects a lot of missing dots and solves a neat puzzle. However, there are still many questions left unanswered like why did the MIB take Locke’s form? Why did it manipulate Claire into staying? What was Richard’s final purpose (he didn’t do a very good job on the one that was supposedly assigned to him)? Why does the MIB not chase certain characters like Hurley, Desmond, Jin and Sun…? They all had troublesome pasts. What meaningful thing happened when the button was not pushed (I know what you said, but there’s gotta be something more relevant other than simply catching up on time)? Why do only some characters have “superpowers”? And John, the enigm I will never understand… And maaaany more.
    Which makes it all more fun 😉 I once read a comment from a mystey novel that said that the answering of a few questions only leads to more questions. Some are better left unanswered, which is great!! Anyway congrats, hope there can be some debate on the subject…

  9. Very thoughtful and beautiful theory. Watching Season 6 it gives me much to think about. Even if the producers didn’t have your exact idea in mind, they certainly played with it in various forms.

    In an interview early in season 6 they said they were interested in showing us both what had happened if Juliet’s actions worked and didn’t work. But remember they are writers, and really played with this idea throughout the season.

    I get a lot of meta out of the ending because I think we have to let go and move on in time just as the Losties do. Ironically, the beauty of the work that is LOST makes it precious in the eyes of fans, and make LOST itself very hard to let go.

  10. Oh my god! This makes so much sense! Just watching it all for the 2nd time and it all clicks now! Thanks!!!

  11. This is pretty strong work, Eric, thanks for this. I have one immediate question (and possibly more to follow. I just finished watching the series for the first time last night):

    If the very first attempt by the Egyptians to manipulate the flow of time from the light cave resulted in its being made into an island that’s untethered to the rest of the universe spatially and temporally, it seems like there’d be no real reason for it to have to have a “protector.” Right? Wouldn’t this mean that any attempts to use the cave to change “our” reality only result in changes occurring on the island itself? Seems like it. I’ll offer the fact that Widmore’s freighter was able to anchor a relatively small distance offshore and avoid the anomalies as one example.

    In this sense, the cave wouldn’t control the flow of time everywhere, it would be dependent on it until separated from it. Manipulating it doesn’t alter the universe, it just separates the cave from the rest of space-time.

    It’s kind of a tough way to think about the story, because from that point on, the rest of the story of the island, including all the pain and suffering endured by the Oceanic 815 survivors, boils down to an incorrect assumption by paranoid and murderous Ancient Times CJ Craig. And it would mean that Jack did, in fact, die for nothing?

  12. Jennifer, Tunisia was a remote place in relation to the characters in the story. Remote as in… distant, faraway, far, etc. Heck, Canada was remote in relation to the Losties. Furthermore in a very real way all of humanity was remote in relation to our characters as they had become disjointed from the normal existence that the rest of us enjoy.

    That being said… if this is the worst criticism of my article then I am happy.

    Thanks for taking the time to read it.

  13. Only an American would say that Tunisia is a remote place! It’s on the north coast of the continent of Africa, what the hell is remote about that? The Cook Islands are remote, not Tunisia! Sorry dude, it’s hard to respect your opinion on Lost after you’ve said such an ignorant geographical thing.

  14. I’m still lost, I’m very confused about the end of the show. It showed them returning back from that flight living very different lives, so all that was not real? Or was that real but Desmond had to gather all the people together so they could let go as they said in the show to move on because they all died?

  15. Luv’d it! Seeing it again next week for 2nd round 1 – 6 Seasons!

    By the way, what happen with the dog, Vincent?

  16. ChelD asked “why does the SmokeMonster/MIB want to leave the island so badly?”

    Been a very long time since I’ve seen the show, but I think he simply wanted freedom for its own sake. He was imprisoned on the island by the will of others or the “will” of the mysterious island itself. He was rebelling. Lost was pretty much a mish-mash of a bunch of different religions or religious ideas thrown into a blender. One could see MIB as a fallen angel type figure rebelling against the rules of God, or rebelling against Nature itself. Or, very much like the Force from Star Wars, both good and evil, light and darkness, have their place. But there must be balance.

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