Best LOST Theory

ABC’s LOST: the ultimate theory and explanation

Ah, Hope! what would life be, stripped of thy encouraging smiles, that teach us to look behind the dark clouds of today, for the golden beams that are to gild the morrow. – Susanna Moodie


Not just Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley’s past, but the smoke monster is all of our pasts, filled with the dark, dirty, pain, hurt, and everything else we leave behind us in our lives. Think of the light in the cave like fresh clean gasoline that you pour into your car, but as your car uses the gas it spits out the tail pipe in a cloud of black smoke. The clean unused gas is the symbol of your future and the smoke is a symbol of your past and all the things you leave behind. Yet, if you backup your car you can run into your own exhaust i.e., your own smoke consumes you. And that’s what had happened on the island they had “backed up into their own exhaust” so to speak.

Therefore, the ancient Egyptians were the first to manipulate time, but in doing so they created the smoke monster which is really nothing more than a physical version of the past.

The light = time (the future, hope, etc.)
The smoke = the past (the exhaust of our lives)

A land disjointed from time becomes a floating island seperated not just geographically but also chronologically. Similar to the Mystery Tales #40 cover seen in LOST episode "Cabin Fever"
A land disjointed from time becomes a floating island separated from us not just geographically but also chronologically. Maybe similar to the Mystery Tales #40 cover seen in LOST episode “Cabin Fever”

The second side effect of the first instance of time travel was that the area around the source of light/time was no longer attached to it’s surroundings either geographically or in time. The entire area was “lifted” from it’s location and had become a “floating” island in time. Finding the island took more than just knowing geography but also took knowing how to determine where the island might be in time via reading other similar electromagnetic pockets of energy around the world. The ancient Egyptians secretly handed down the instructions for locating the island in time from generation to generation (eventually ending up in the hands of Eloise Hawking).

After the Egyptians’ initial discovery, it didn’t take long for them to figure out that the ability to manipulate time could be used in ways that might harm them. Yet that was only the beginning of their fears. The Egyptians determined that if time was placed in the wrong hands it could spell the end of reality as we know it. If someone were to completely dam up the light/time, the future could no longer proceed and we would all be stuck in time never able to advance to the next moment. Or if someone were able to allow all of time to flow too quickly all at once the future would evaporate into thin air and time would cease to exist and therefore we would all cease to exist. Again think of the hourglass, if you plug the hole, time stops.If you make the hole too large, time slips through so fast that no sand is left and time stops. Clearly time needs a protector!


Jacob wasn’t the first protector, and he wasn’t the last. Jacob was only one of who knows how many island/time protectors since the ancient Egyptians. Jacob, had been installed in a “Father Time” type of role in that he was a protector of time but not an eternal protector, he would be replaced when his own time was up just like Father Time is depicted as being replaced by a baby at the end of each year. No, I am not suggesting that Jacob was literally Father Time, what I am saying is Jacob was a type of Father Time (it’s symbolism) similar to the fact that Father Time himself was merely a type of Chronos who was the personification of time in ancient Greece. Chronos was depicted in Greco-Roman mosaics as a man turning the Zodiac Wheel (hmmm… turning a Zodiac wheel you say???). Either way, Jacob was there to protect time from humans that had come to manipulate it to their advantage and also to protect it from the past i.e., the smoke monster (more on that later).

Like Chronos and Father Time, Jacob is the protector of time. (note that Chronos is often depticted as turning the wheel of the zodiac)
Like Chronos and Father Time, Jacob is the protector of time. (note that Chronos is often depicted as turning the wheel of the zodiac)
"Jacob was the closest thing I ever had to a father" - Llana (Father time that is)
“Jacob was the closest thing I ever had to a father”  (Father time that is) – Llana (what a cry baby!)


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

  1. 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.

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

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

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

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

  8. 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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