Thursday, May 20, 2010

LOST and Joseph Campbell

I have always thought that LOST was a commentary on our cultural and social deadness using Joseph Campbell as a guide. The fundamental message has not changed, paraphrasing Campbell, "What we are looking for is an EXPERIENCE of the divine". The morality is clear: human beings are spiritual in nature and are here to engage in a dramatic game of our own making. It is a choice, which can be misinterpreted as being voluntary when in fact it also consists of involuntary choices. The one fundamental reality of LOST that is being missed almost without fail is the essential fact that life is a drama, the plenum of the all, the Brahman, the unknowable and supra-transcendent, the I AM, which is a Wow-Wee adventure that always, at the end, comes back to itself. We, the viewers, are not separate from the experience. Even in our private lives of quiet desperation, we have adjoined in a community of intellectual and spiritual joy. One does not have to be an actual participant in the drama to recognize the mythological food that has been consumed, a reflection of our ontological movement towards Gnosis. As a witness to Ultimate Reality, we are co-creating the human experience with them.

Which brings us to the fundamental meaning of LOST, and what is really going on. All answers lie in the cave of Golden Light, which I will refer to as The Golden Womb of the Island. What could this light be? It seemed to have spawned Smokey, or perhaps Smokey has been protecting it, a kind of "security system". Is it good or evil? It is neither. The Golden Womb is nothing less than the Axis Mundi, the Navel of the world or Omphalos, where the world began, which is the central locus or hub of transcendental numinosity. Its effulgence gives birth to multiple symbols, among them traditionally are columns of smoke and other ubiquitous connections. It is both feminine, uterine in nature, and masculine, providing phallic insemination (Smokey emerged from the cave, becoming fecund, after intercourse). It may exist in nature or by human manufacture (a tower, a pillar, a spire, a totem pole, such as the Tawaret statue and the Lighthouse). In Mircea Eliade's opinion "Every Microcosm, every inhabited region, has a Centre; that is to say, a place that is sacred above all." This is what Jacob has benevolently proffered, and which Jack has chosen to "protect". It is no accident that Jacob's Ladder stands as an Axis Mundi expression of the Middle East. The Axis Mundi is multiform, appearing in virtually all human cultures.
LOST is compelling us to pay attention and, especially, to nurture and protect this spiritual point of departure, the birthplace of our souls.


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