Best LOST Theory

ABC’s LOST: the ultimate theory and explanation

ABC’s LOST explained!

Still wondering what the television show LOST was all about? I have answers!


SPOILER ALERT – the following article will completely explain and therefore give away to the most important puzzle pieces from the hit ABC television series LOST. Therefore if you haven’t seen the show and don’t want the end to be spoiled, stop reading this article right here! As for the rest of you who have wondered… what did it all mean? I have the answer for you!

Now that the spoiler warning is out of the way, lets get right to it…

Are there Twinkies in there mommy?
Are there Twinkies in there mommy?

The most mysterious lingering question remaining regarding the television show LOST is… what is the golden light in the cave at the heart of the island?

If only we knew what the light was maybe we could determine what the island was. And if we knew those facts we could piece together all the remaining details. Some might say the question was already answered when Jacob claimed the island was like a cork (when he said that he wasn’t lying which I will explain later) yet saying the island is a cork really only raises another question instead of giving any type of comprehensive answer, after all… if the island is a cork, what does that mean? I for one am glad that the writers didn’t spell it all out for us because if they had, it would have robbed us the opportunity to ponder the larger questions and solve the puzzle ourselves and ultimately that was the fun of LOST.


The golden light in the cave at the heart of the island is the same light that was behind the frozen donkey wheel that the MIB, Ben, and Locke, all were attempting to manipulate or channel to their benefit throughout the show. It also seems to be the same light (or a type of it) that engulfed the island when Desmond flipped the fail safe, when Juliette ignited Jughead, and each time our losties were bounced around when the island was skipping in time.

Most folks assume the light is God, or spirituality, or possibly the personification of goodness, or life, or something similarly vague. None of those solutions help us piece together the puzzle that is LOST.

Drum roll please…

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

  1. There was no splitting. Their older selves went back in time, no duplication. When Sawyer time-jumped to watch the baby being delivered, the other Sawyer somewhere else on the island at the time was his younger self, before he started time skipping. Not a duplicate. Both Sawyers are directly, causally connected to each other, one being his older self, the other being his younger self. I don’t think they died at that bomb scene, they were enveloped by the white light and transported away again. If one assumes they died there, then I can understand why Eric believes there are 2 distinct versions. But I don’t think they died, they were just beamed away again. One continuous timeline for the characters with no changes to the past.

    The flash sideways created the illusion of Jack’s plan working through creation of a parallel timeline, until discovered later on that it was all a combined wish fulfilment/fantasy in their madeup purgatory-ish reality, to allow them to let go of what might have been, and move on in peace to their final destination — Hell. (I assume that’s where they all ended up, they never accepted Jesus as their saviour afterall. lol Ben was smart to remain behind. heh j/k)

    And I don’t think the time jumps were random, but were “guided” by the Source for a purpose (or perhaps by Jacob using the power of the source?). Which is to say that the Source is more than just “time”, but more likely something more akin to the Force from Star Wars, where it can be harnessed for both good and evil. It is not just the source of time, but apparently the source of everything — time, space, matter, energy, and ultimately life itself.

  2. Your explanation is very well thought out. Hats off.
    I have a few questions that drive me crazy though: why does the SmokeMonster/MIB want to leave the island so badly?
    Another smaller Q after your theory: why does the hatch have to be physically removed from the living quarters?

    I have one point, which sticks close to one point only. I have not expanded this further; yet. You say that Sawyer watches Kate deliver Claire’s baby, and this proves that there are two Sawyers. This in turn ‘proves’ your whole theory in large part. But the Sawyer, who is watching (let’s call him SawyerB) already knows about this event. Sawyer B is not seeing this thinking:” OMG Claire is having her baby”. He already knows about this. Therefore there is some linearity in his timeline; not a split. He might even be thinking to himself “Oh I remember this; I was sitting right back behind that tree over there smoking a Marlboro..”. SawyerA des NOT know about SawyerB; but SawyerB knows about SawyerA. Basically ‘B’ could not exist without ‘A’. That eliminates parity between the two , A is superior to B. I am still not exactly sure where I am going with this – I am sure though that an even split in identities can not be possible if one needs to answer to the other.

  3. Yes, you answered your own question nicely. I don’t think any of the characters fully understood what the smoke monster was nor what the light was.

  4. Rewatching LOST now and loving it even more…and thank you for this post, it is excellent and makes viewing the show even richer and deeper. BUT, one question – if Smokey is the past and does NOT judge our Losties but instead is merely reflecting their pasts back to them, why does Ben say that he must go to “be judged” after he allows Alex to be killed? Can we chalk it up to Ben just not fully understanding what the Smoke Monster is, or maybe your vision of the show is even clearer than the writers’ vision was at the time?
    Thank you and Namaste!

  5. I will answer all of your questions very straight forward as with most things lets start with occams razor its a tv show if you investigate the “lost bible” you will find its simply an outline of things they were promosing abc they would and wouldnt do there was never any grand desighn jj had a vauge idea of the message but with his departure so goes his feeling of how it works eko is a great example why did smoky kill him?no mystery its simple the actor wanted out of the show a very well known fact and no matter how you write it if the actor mr eko is gone than the character must also go its clear Its so rushed and defies many later established rules its important to note many of the rules and island mechanica are developed later as in they made it up to explain all the mystery corners they wrote themselves into this happens alot with shows that do not have a predesighned arc (Cough dallas)in comic books they call this retconning. While i agree with many theories and ideas here and elseware it should be known and absorbed as truth by all fans that the real world does effect tv shows if an actor dies there character must go plan or no plan and this show sadly had no plan and with the departure of the creator near the ok we really want some fucking answers cuz your writing is starting to contradict itself phase of the show was pretty much the nail in the coffin that being said i loved the show beginning to end minus all the filler episodes to sell airtime and give writes breathing room to make shit up the ending was perfect. And they really did there best to keep there patchwork raft from breaking aprt so dont put to much stock in the little things small people look at small things big people look at big things and lost is a great example that things really are more than the sum of there parts

  6. One more thing- why was Sun not transported off of the Ajira plane and “white-lighted” back in time with the others? Is it because the “Kwon” listed as one of the candidates was actually Jin and Jacob did not need her to return with the others? Or perhaps if she and Jin were together again then neither of them would be alone and searching for meaning the way Jacob needed his candidates to be in order for him to not feel guilty about removing them from meaningful lives in the real world? (It was mentioned that Kate’s name was crossed off because she became a mother [until she gave Aaron to Claire’s mom and went back to not having meaning in her life] so perhaps the “Kwon” that was not crossed off of the cave wall was only meant to be Jin because Sun was supposed to continue raising their baby at home?) Or is there some other explanation for this?

  7. Thank you for this! I just spent the last two weeks binging LOST for the first time (yay for teachers having two months off). A friend of mine had encouraged me to watch it but my brother (a huge Sci-Fi lover) told me not to waste my time because I would be frustrated about the lack of answers (polar bears? The numbers? 108?). Your theory offers some acceptable explanations to most of the issues my brother had with the show.

    One thing I wanted to point out is that you mentioned Ben became sick with cancer after Desmond failed to push the buttons on the day that he also caused flight 815 to crash. While I don’t remember episodes by name, Ben told Jack (while he had Jack in captivity to try and convince him to remove the tumor and they were discussing destiny/God) that he was diagnosed with a tumor on his spine and “two days later a neurosurgeon fell from the sky”. This leads me to believe that he had formed the tumor BEFORE Desmond screwed up at the Hatch by not pushing the button and it was not caused by time rushing forward to catch up.

    Also, your theory still leaves me in the dark about why women who conceive on the island (post-“incident”) cannot carry to term and end up dying. Does this have to do with complications caused when time is manipulated? If you say that time had been being manipulated long before Dharma got there, why is it that women stopped being about to conceive and give birth only after the incident? Or was everyone ever born on the island actually conceived before the mother got to the island because time had been being manipulated all along?

    Finally- the finale tells us that the survivors “created” this place to all meet and “move on” together because they were together during the most important part of their lives. Is it implied that some of them somehow actively discussed this? Or did their souls just automatically know to go there once they remembered about their time on the island in Alt “Sideverse”? If I’m not mistaken, Desmond seems to be the first to remember. Is that because he was the first of them (those that ended up in the church) to start becoming aware of the whole shifting through time thing just before he finally found Penny? Is that why he sets out to help everyone else remember?

    Any insight/ideas you (or anyone else) might have about any of this would be greatly appreciated! I plan to watch the series again eventually with more clarity and would love some answers to these questions.

  8. @Summer Waite: Tunisia was the original source of the light. That’s why Charlotte found a mummified polar bear at her excavation site and why Ben was deposited there after moving the island. That original site continues to be a depositing store for one of the time portals (wormholes).

    @Talha Ahmad: When Jacob tossed the MIB into the well, his soul fused with the smoke, giving it his consciousness. Long after that, the smoke (having been ambivalent in and of itself, but possessing evil intent once fused with the MIB) embodied Locke. It was the soul of the MIB saying that he “liked the feel of his get on ground”.

  9. I agree with most of the theories and it makes sense but I have a few of my own. Will post it later. Thank u for sharing though. I’m currently watching lost now for the 12th year anniversary.

  10. While what you’ve written may be true of “Lost” in a metaphoric sense, you’ve missed the hidden meat of the plot itself, which you may gather from the analysis at my link. The golden light in the cave was all allegory. The real story is that Benry and Widmore had apparently seen “One of Our Aircraft Is Empty” on “Department S” and reprised the roles of Finch and Terrell, with Alvar Hanso as Ralph A. Voss, but at least one of them was also familiar with “The Lost Special” by A.C. Doyle. They each schemed to take over Hanso’s business by bringing down an airliner, killing all aboard in the process, then putting forth a group of doubles of the passengers as supposed survivors who would claim Hanso was also on the flight and survived with them. Widmore’s doubles infiltrated Benry’s doubles on Fernando Poo, the island where Benry’s were staging. Widmore had the use of Faraday’s machine that could damage the brain of a target, allowing them to be put into situations where they could believe such things as that they’d traveled in time. Benry had the use of parts of an abandoned synchrotron that could magnetically levitate clouds of conductive particles and other things. Benry won, but may still be lacking a suitable candidate for plastic surgery to impersonate Hanso.

  11. Also your explanation about how the past hurt Jack was excellent. The other great idea of yours is about “past is not dark always and future is not bright always”. It is absolutely true and makes sense.
    Thank you very much indeed for writing your ideas.

  12. Your explanation was fantastic. I’ve just finished it and the only thing that I did not like about the series is the very religious ending. Church and light and ….! Also, the symbols are hidden and some of them only 2 second was shown.

  13. Hi man. I enjoyed reading your theory maybe as much as you did writing it. A true lost fan you are, have a good one
    May the best of your past be the worst of your future!

  14. all these theories are wrong, isn’t it obvious. It ended exactly how it should have. The makers knew how it would end before they even made the first episode. In the first episode Locke shows Walt a board game with white and black checkers. Locke looks at Walt and says “one is light and one is dark” and holds up a white checker in one hand and black in the other. There is a reason Locke has a better understanding of the island. Before we knew about the black mist we thought it was a monster. It killed the pilot, but no one else sees what it is. later Locke is walking in the jungle and we hear the monster and Locke looks directly at it. Later he’s on the beach completely unharmed, Charlie asked if he saw the monster and he says “no”. He is obviously lying, he looked directly at it. Later jack finds the caves and finds the dead skeletons. He picks up a small bag on the skeleton and inside is two marbles, one white, one black. Also later Clare starts having nightmares about her baby. In her dream she hears a baby crying and follows it and runs into Locke. When Locke looks at her, Locke has one black eye and one white eye. Whoever those two skeletons were had already known about the island and its prophecy of the dark and of the light. There’s a reason Locke can walk again. When he saw that black mist he made a deal with it for his legs back and knowledge of the island and protection while on the island. When Locke was younger he met his mom who told him he didn’t have a father and was meraculusly conceved. Born with no father, remind you of someone? Locke did end up finding his “father” who just used him to get a free kidney. That’s what the makers want you to think but that wasn’t his father it was a phoney just trying to get a free kidney. Locke was chosen from the beginning to fulfil the prophecy. Later Jack, Locke, Kate, Herly and a few others made it back to America. There we are introduced to Jacob aka “light”. He is basically a Christ-like figure. He touches all the characters from the island except for John Locke who is back in his wheelchair since he is no longer with the “black” mist who gave him his legs back. Locke is emotionally torn because life without walking is horrible so he kills himself. Later we find Jack, Herly, Kate, and Jacob on the same plane together, little do they know John Locke’s corpse is in a coffin in the cargo of the plane. And of course it crashes again on the island. They see locke’s coffin but it’s empty. Locke shows up alive and resurrected, but it’s not Locke anymore, it’s the “black”mist. Locke was manipulated and used before, history repeats itself when Locke’s corpse shows up the black mist inhabits his body. this leaves Locke aka “dark” vs Jacob aka “light”. the prophecy had shown the final ultimate battle of good “light” vs evil ”dark”. Jacob and Locke battle. Locke goes crazy and defeats Jacob. Evil won. The evil defeats good. This means defeat not only to Jacob and Jack and Herly etc. but to the entire way of existence. Without balence between good and evil then destruction and death to all. Then we find our beloved characters in pergatory. They lost. And that’s how the creators named the show lost. Evil prevailed in the end and Good had LOST. They all lost to evil.

  15. LOST is and always will be the best tv series I’ve ever watched, pondered, cried over and head scratched about. Finding your blog after having watched the series TWICE helped me push away other theories I just couldn’t quite accept… and iI made peace with yours. Now this allows me to watch it for a THIRD time, YEARS later and enjoy it all the more.
    Thank you and your brain and willingness to put this out there, for non-philosophically minded folks like myself.

  16. This was brilliant and mind blowing! I’m a huge lost fan and your words and thoughts brightened my day and gave me so much to think about. You are right on this one! Amazing article!!!! 🙂

  17. Question: if the button device needed to be far from the The Others’ quarters so that they could lead a normal life then how come our heroes didn’t experience the same day over and over? If I got it right time goes back every 108 minutes so the device is really keeping time to flow naturally. Does that make sense?

  18. I just finished Lost last night. I had problems along the way with the plot (s) but you’re explanation really helps. I still think that the Alt was a parallel reality brought about by the atom bomb. The plane didn’t crash and their lives went on but intersected nonetheless.
    The ending was truly meaningful in how they all came together in death.
    Thank you for the explanation.

  19. Ok you are saying that the monster is just a cloud of mindless memories but then why does Locke(which is monster) in season six says that he was a human once and liked the feel of his feet on ground

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