In last week’s show, when Adam criticizes Juliet’s choice of books (Carrie, which he says Ben, who is also book club host, would not have liked), Juliet says:
“And here I was thinking there was such thing as free will.”
This is just one of MANY references to the idea of free will and how it plays a part in the lives of those in LOST:
The DHARMA symbol is a bagua, a Taoist symbol that has to do with predetermination. It is a wheel for predicting a future that human acts may not be able to alter. Many of the religions referenced on the show also have beliefs which involve enlightenment only with the acceptance of fate.
From The Lost Experience, we know that DHARMA stands for Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications. Heuristics is a study of human choices and how they affect our decision-making.
The Pearl/Swan observational setup, the bear cage apparatus, and Juliet’s mind games with ‘breaking’ Jack all strike me as behaviorist and Skinneresque experiments (B.F. Skinner has also been referenced as being influential in past podcasts).
Characters John Locke, Rousseau and (Desmond) David Hume were all named after philosophers who wrote about free will vs. determinism.
A repeated phrase in Lost from multiple losties is “Don’t tell me what I can’t do.”, which pretty much bucks the concept of determinism. This is said by multiple characters at multiple times; there is a good long list here.
The character connections we keep seeing in all the shows could be seen as commentary on serendipity, which has to do with destiny (many know this as the “six degrees of separation” effect). Some episodes of LOST, in fact, are devoted to this concept of fate, and how much of it is changeable: take “…And Found”, for instance (story of how Jin and Sun met, after Tai Soo made his prediction from the Destiny Book).
From The Lost Experience, we know that the ultimate goal of DHARMA was to figure out if they could change the Numbers (‘human factors’ from the Valenzetti Equation), to prevent mankind’s self destruction. This leads one to believe that DHARMA and the Others believe in predetermination only to a point.
So, what does all this mean for what DHARMA and the Others are studying? What are they trying to get out of their imprisonment of these specific individuals on their “list” that they haven’t been able to find otherwise?
This entry was posted in Lost
. Bookmark the permalink