Last week Greg suggested that the Island has a will of its own that trumps the will of humans to direct its powers. According to Greg’s analysis, the Island is essentially a super-natural being, like God, although he admits the possibility that it is a malevolent super-natural force. And like God, Greg suggests that faith in the Island involves obeying even when the Island’s reasons are mysterious: “If we understood why the Island demands what it demands, there would be no question of faith (remember, John is the “man of faith”). In theology, “faith” doesn’t mean simply believing in certain facts about God, it means trusting and obeying God. And the supreme test of faith is to trust and obey when you don’t understand.”
Upon first seeing this week’s episode, 316, I thought Control-G (the hot-key for agreeing with Greg). Greg is right so often that we had to develop a hot-key to make our agreement more efficient (in your heart you know he’s right). It certainly would be novel to have a TV series entirely built around faith in a super-natural power. Ben’s suggestion that Jack was similar to the Apostle Thomas, Locke’s note wishing that Jack had believed, Lapidus’ presence as the pilot of Ajira 316, and the allusion of the flight number to John 3:16 made me think — at first — that Greg was entirely right — Control G! In the most recent episode Lost not only seemed like a story of vindicated faith but almost an explicit Christian allegory.
That’s when I started doubting this interpretation. Major TV producers would never make a series of a Christian allegory. The religious references, whether Christian or Island as super-natural power, have to be a false lead. The argument between faith and science will be revived. Faith has only temporarily prevailed.
The original faith/science debate revolved around pushing the button. The alleged purpose of pushing the button was to save the world from destruction. Locke had faith that the button must be pushed. But what seemed like faith may have just been the prescience of time-loops. The odd coincidences may just be the necessity of time course-correcting. Is the purpose and direction of events determined simply by Fate, a power without an independent will or consciousness, or is there a super-natural entity choosing the course of events? Greg’s theory seems to be the later, but I suspect it is the former.
I suspect that Fate has the world being destroyed. Humans have detected this Fate through the Numbers and time-travel and are struggling to alter that Fate. What seems like the will of the Island may just be the actions of humans in time loops attempting to steer Fate away from global destruction. Whether they succeed or not will revolve around whether humans can change Fate, not the will of a super-natural entity. I just can’t imagine a TV series emphasizing the will of a super-natural being over the primacy of human “agency.” It would be gutsy and interesting if they did, but I just can’t see it in mainstream TV.
The video embedded at the top of this post, suggests that human action to prevent destruction of the world is going to be central. The video comes from Comicon and I found it on Lostpedia, where it is known as the Dharma Booth Video. In it, Pierre Chang sends a message through time urging whoever sees it to continue the Dharma research to change time. The different factions will struggle over who will control the potential power to change Fate, but we will discover that who controls it will be less important than using it to avoid total destruction.