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LOST Theories So you think you know some secrets of the island? Maybe you can explain everything. If it's original and you can back it up, we'd love to hear it.

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Old 03-23-08, 03:50 AM   #1
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+ The Moment after the Absolute Present

Lost begins with a shot of Jack's eye opening after his conciousness has just traveled back from the absolute present. For a moment he remembers everything that happened on the Island, but it is only for a moment, as his past conciousness takes over, and he must once again live through all of the events that we have seen so far. Because of free will, things will play out differently than last time, so long as no paradox is created; should a paradox become possible, the universe will course correct. The smoke monster is the most exteme form of course correction the island takes. When a person is supposed to be dead but isn't, or is in imminent danger of creating a paradox, smokie comes to wipe that person out. This will continue until the force that takes everyone's conciousness back to the moment they landed on the island is stoped.

Ben is in control of that force now. He's been using it over and over again to try and stop something from happening. He's been trying to stop his own loss of control of the Island to Widmore's group and he has a secret. In The Temple, there is a room for one person. In that room are the controls that will send the conciousness of every living person on the island back to it's original state upon entering the island. For the person in that room, the trip is special. That person will remember everything that has happened. It is why Ben is so sure about so much, yet still surprised when things happen slightly differently (ie. Juliet falling for Goodwin instead of him). Other things he does differently on purpose, trying to prevent the events that will lead him to have no choice but to send the island back in time once again or lose the island forever.

The moment of Ben using that power is the Absolute Present. Anything happening before that moment is subject to course correction. Because of the island's isolated nature from the rest of the world, substantial changes can and do happen without fear of paradox. Like Shrodeinger's Cat, the island can be in many states at one time until seen by an outside observer. So once the O6 make it off the isalnd the first time, those 6, and only those 6, are required to make it off in each loop. Likewise, any "Other" who has been off the island is gaurnteed to live at least until the point of their last off island trip in any previous loop. Conversely, every outside obsever who enters the Island locks down who is alive and dead at that point. Thus, when the Freighties arrive, all characters dead and alive to that point will be dead and alive in every subsequent rotation.. Given Michael's innability to kill himself, it is likely that he never left the island in a previous rotation, and the Freighties saw him, thus locking in his return to the Island.

In effect, then, Ben is holding every one on the island prisoner out of his own desires to try and change what he knows will happen in the moment after the Absolute Present, his expulsion from the Island forever, likely by his own death.

Going forward to the end of the series (and by definiton, the moment of the absolute present) I see some variation on the following exchange to take place durring the final episode of the series. Ben has been cornered once again, and is trying to "reset" the island, but both Locke and Jack have discovred Ben's intentions and the implications of it. Locke, however, has made it to the center of the temple first, and is now in control of the room, while Jack has Ben at gunpoint and the other surviors are outside the temple, and having wired it with explosive, are waiting for Jack's go ahead to destroy it.

Locke will want to send the island back, while retaining his own memories in the belief that he can change some of the things that he wants to change (ie Locke becoming a new Ben). Ben will be okay with this (his memory will only be reset to the begining of this irritation, he won't know he screwed up, but will still have his memories from previous rotations) as long as he isn't shot before Locke can reset the island. Ben will do his best to try and convince Jack to allow Locke to press the button, telling him that he can save some of his friends by going back. Fortunately, Jack will see a "ghost" (which is just a memory from a previous rotation sneaking through a persons conciousness) that will remind him that he's belived Ben before, but nothing changes. The only way to change things is to stop going back, and to begin to live in the moment after the Absolute Present. Thus Jack gives the order to destroy the Temple, killing himself, Ben and Locke in the process, but freeing the rest of the lostaways to finaly move on (literally) with their lives.
Ka is a wheel, and no, you can't change the record, no you can't change the record, no you...
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Old 03-23-08, 03:52 AM   #2
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Re: The Moment after the Absolute Present

Wow!! After 9 posts this is your 10th!!!!
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Old 03-23-08, 04:27 AM   #3
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Re: The Moment after the Absolute Present

LOL. Yeah, I've been an on again off again lurker since the begining of the show. After "The Constant" I just couldn't sit on the sidelines anymore. That episode, and some of TimeisaRiver's posts about it, finally got me into the conversation.
Ka is a wheel, and no, you can't change the record, no you can't change the record, no you...
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Old 03-23-08, 04:33 AM   #4
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Re: The Moment after the Absolute Present

me likey
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Old 03-23-08, 05:13 AM   #5
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Re: The Moment after the Absolute Present

Awesome theory...
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Old 03-23-08, 11:35 AM   #6
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Re: The Moment after the Absolute Present

I have to think about this some more but I do have a couple of observations which fall into your theory.

Many of us have had the feeling that we are seeing time loops or at least a time loop. And the feeling of "deja vu" that many would experience could explain the "disconnect" everyone seems to display.

I've thought about Jack and his actions throughout his time on the island. He has displayed an amazing memory. Recall when Danielle led Jack, Locke, Kate, Hurley and Arzt to the Black Rock. They walk over the rocky shore and through dense jungle for a couple of hours. After they arrive, Danielle announces that she needs to leave and everyone comments on the need to get back. Jack tells everyone that he can lead them back and he does.

Recall when Michael took off after Walt. Locke leads Jack and Sawyer for hours through the dense jungle, following Michael's trail. When darkness falls, Jack presses him to continue and then we have the scene where they encounter the Others and Tom "draws the line that they cannot cross". At a later date, Jack leads Kate without error back to that same spot.

Recall when Jack took off after Desmond when he fled the Swan after the computer broke. Desmond quickly told Jack the numbers -- one time. Jack remembered them later when he returned to the Swan and Locke was uncertain about entering them.

Now think about Locke, Kate, Jack and Hurley after they blew up the hatch entrance. Jack shows a great reluctance to go down that entrance -- Locke even comments on it. I believe that Jack was experiencing a feeling of "deja vu" and a sense of foreboding came over him.

I believe that Jack experiences these feelings constantly which causes him to question his own sanity and compels him to act rashly at times.
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Old 03-23-08, 05:52 PM   #7

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Re: The Moment after the Absolute Present

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Old 03-24-08, 09:23 PM   #8
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Re: The Moment after the Absolute Present

I like it... some of my favorite parts are about the "locking" of dead/alive people and the universe course-correcting... Everyone who's died had a chance to die before, and didn't... almost like they died the first time, and if they hadn't died when they did, would have died later. Obviously everyone could have died on the plane, but it goes beyond that...

Shannon could have died when she couldn't find her inhaler

Boone could have drowned trying to save JoAnna

Eko could have died in the Others' first attack on the Tailies, when the hatch exploded, and when the polar bear attacked him

Charlie was almost killed by Ethan, and then consequently almost killed several more times until he finally was (inlcuding when the hatch exploded)

Ana-Lucia could have been killed by Goodwin.

Libby is the only one without a concrete near-death experience... this is makes your theory stronger. In previous loops, Michael didn't kill her (maybe she wasn't in the hatch to begin with, maybe he just wounded her, maybe she didn't get to the hatch until he and Ben left, etc.) So, now if time loops again, Libby will have to be dead by the time the freighter folks come, but she doesn't have to die by Michael's gun.

What's interesting is that several of these people were saved directly or indirectly by Jack... almost like he intuitively knew what was going to happen. Desmond, on the other hand, consciously knows things. I think when he turned that key, it gave him the ability that Ben has as well... to remember/experience things that have already happened/could happen. His brain is swiss-cheesed though, whereas Ben's is not. This keeps Desmond from saving everybody and figuring out the right course of action.

Great theory! I'll be thinking about it for a long time!

Last edited by japanese_macaque; 03-24-08 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 03-26-08, 04:09 AM   #9
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Re: The Moment after the Absolute Present

Thanks everyone, for your thoughts. J_M, thanks for all the details, I'm going a lot off memory as I don't (yet) own the first three seasons on DVD. I think I'm going to have to now! BTW, can anyone tell me if the Temple Station is the last one to be revealed or are there more? I've been using Temple Station in the theory only because I think it is the only one we haven't seen, if I am wrong about Temple, the "Reset" station could be another one we haven't seen. I've also got a few more thoughts, observations, refinements to my theory below.

Why Dharma created Temple - They may have done it in the geniune hope of being able to travel back in time to stop some terrible future disaster from happening. As soon as it was created, I can't help wonder if the unvierse started course correcting to try and get it destroyed, but it keeps falling into the wrong hands.

Future time Travel - Nothing concrete to support this, but I think that people may only be able to travel into the future so long as they are not going past the Absolute Present.

Adam and Eve - The first people to ever die on the Island, and therefor the furthest point in the past to where the Island "resets" to?

Saving the World and Desmond - I can't help thinking now that the entire world is subject to the "Reset" that happens at the absolute present. This would mean that the world could never get past absolute present as well. Desmond, being part of the team that will bring about an end to the station, by doing so is saving the world from being stuck in a time loop forever. It may be because of Desmond and Penny that Jack sacrafices himself. That is, Desmond begging Jack to stop Ben/Locke before he has to spend another 8 years separated from Penny.

Whispers/ Pregnant Women - May seem weird that I am connecting these, but... perhaps for the "Reset" to happen, when you die your EM conciousness/ soul doesn't leave the island, so it can be reinserted to your previous self. They may congregate around certain magnetic lines and occasionally when another person is around they can make themselves heard. This connects to the problem with pregnant women, in that it may be impossible for a new EM conciousness (for the scientific minded) or soul (for the religious) to enter a baby on the island (problem with conception vs. having it on the island) and that because of this, when the babies brain is formed well enough to have an EM conciousness/ soul, the ones on the Island try and get "in" the baby which the baby and mother violently reject.

The pilot of the plane being the first to be killed by smokie - Interesting that we now know he wasn't even supposed to BE on the plane.... bet this is the first time in the loop that he ended up piloting it...

Ben's superiors - I used to think that Ben had superiors that were funding him. Now I'm not so sure. Could he be using his knowledge of the outside world to win lotteries, bet the stock market or sports games, and that's how he funds his exploits? Perhaps the 3.2 million dollars is important because that is exactly what Ben has in his bank account at the moment (course correction because he's not supposed to have won that money, and the universe needs to get it out of his hands before the Absolute Present).

Jacob - Is this the person Ben is trying to save by reseting the time line over and over again? My other thought is that it is a complete fabrication by Ben to explain to others how he knows so much. In this case Locke and Hurley seeing Jacob means they're going crazy, and have been influenced by the power of suggestion.

Number of times Ben has been through the reset - 108 (just because it's Lost)
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Old 03-26-08, 10:03 PM   #10
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Re: The Moment after the Absolute Present

I think I'll go into a more detailed response a little later, but I love this theory. It's got the perfect level of weirdness for my tastes, and I like your explanation of Smokie. Very nice
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