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Category: Lost

‘Lost’ dads and hierarchs

by Andrea Elizabeth

Another theme in ‘Lost’ is dead-beat dads. It seems all the main characters had horrible relationships with their fathers. Jack’s care of his father’s body shows that he was still passionately following his dad beyond the grave despite it all. At the very end he finally gets the validating pat on the shoulder which is supposed to make up for everything.

Locke also spends a lot of time casing his dad, only to be used and abused by him. Sideways Locke has pity on his dad in the nursing home though. It’s easier to forgive them when they’re drooling in a wheelchair. This reminds me of Jane Eyre where she visits Mrs. Reed at her deathbed and is able to forgive her. It seems that children see their parents as all-powerful and a necessary shaper of their lives, for better or worse. When the parent is finally weakened by old age and death, the child can learn of his own independent power, which hopefully the parent will also come to respect and validate in the end. Then the child can move on.

What about children who became disillusioned with a parent early on, who became convinced of their weakness while still a child? Though the child may convince themselves that that parent’s validation doesn’t matter, I think when they become an adult, that they will still seek it. And if they were right, they will be disappointed when they find it.

It seems an innate component in our psyche to want to put people on a pedestal, and to want to have the pedestalled person look down mercifully on us. When convinced that that particular person’s mercy wont do the trick, then I think it is hard to believe that anyone’s will, not that that will stop the search. I think the most jaded person still wants to find someone worthy. If not, then they probably think they deserve to be the one on the pedestal. Linus, who likewise had a miserable father, seemed to want the latter, but he also sought Jacob, as did Locke.

If I may switch gears and talk about Orthodox hierarchs. Americans in particular are jaded with regard to leaders. We do not trust them and demand publicized scrutiny of all their actions. But we still hope for better. We want to be convinced that we don’t have to give up on a worthy father-figure. We have an innate idea of what a trustworthy father should look like, and that is our standard. We know that God fits this standard, and so should his representative. I wonder if we have too high a standard for fatherhood though. Perhaps we are meant to look to God alone for not only the perfection of that standard, but the only source of it. For a human to achieve the likeness of God’s fatherhood, perhaps he has to be a Saint, which is possible, but rare and attained at the highest cost. This is why we look for a self-sacrificing leader. One who will endure trials, abuse and scorn for us. We know Christ was willing and so should our leaders be.

I admire how Metropolitan Jonah has conducted himself throughout the development of the recently concluded first Episcopal Assembly. He expressed nothing but optimism and joy for the process of union, and humbly sat at the lowest, least recognized table without complaining. I hope he was not disappointed.

This jaded person trusts Metropolitan Jonah, but I know that life is a continuous struggle and that a person, including me, must prove ones-self until one’s own deathbed scene.

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Faith and Science (‘Lost’ 3)

by Andrea Elizabeth

At the outset, I believe that this post is probably going to be wishy-washy. That may be best because my contention is that science and faith are usually divided with too opaque a wall between them. Therefore it is meet and right to take them out of their respective closets, and throw them both in the wash and let them agitate together. That metaphor has too much conflict. Let’s instead take them out of their respective cabinets, pour them into the bowl, and knead them together, not only harmoniously, but with the communication of properties (however without confusion, separation, or change – keep forgetting the four nouns of Chalcedon – oh, or division).

One of the main themes of ‘Lost’ is the relationship between faith and science, which was originally presented as either/or in the characters of John Locke and Jack Shepherd. Throughout the series Island Jack developed faith and sideways Locke decided to have surgery. I like this turnaround even though it was Locke’s conviction that the Island alone had healed him. Sideways Locke didn’t have this relationship with the island, but had to learn to “let go” of his past in order to seek medical help. This letting go was an act of faith. It seems that the two different circumstances called for different paths to healing. Island Locke let go of the abusive world he knew, Sideways Locke let go of seeing himself as a victim. Escape vs. detachment. Island Rose faced the same thing as is brought out in the article I linked in my second post about ‘Lost’, which I’ll make a new linkable category for.

The false division between science and faith also characterizes the false division between spirit and matter. It is common sense to realize that we must take care of our bodies with physical interventions such as eating and bathing, so why is going to the doctor seen as giving up on faith? I will say that the great ascetic Saints can live without food and bathing, but this is not to be tried at home. It is also true that miracle working Saints heal people without traditional medicine. However these Saints are rare, though miraculous healings are still heard of.

Because these miracles do occur, one can feel like a failure if they can’t walk on water and if they have physical or emotional problems that aren’t healed by normal Communion at their Church. I’ll have to make a common sense leap again and say that between Church services we still have to rely on things of this world for our survival, and not just that, but abundant life. There is a way to see this through Christ’s Incarnation by which he assumed all of creation in taking a material body. This recapitulation destroys the division between spirit and matter as St. Maximus teaches us. Our communion with matter can be an extension of our communion with Christ. I would still seek healing at Church first, but it may be God’s will to also seek it from a medical doctor.

I wrote in a comment at The Ochlophobist’s a few weeks ago that I am a literal materialist. I do not think it is for me to see (yet) the uncreated light with my spiritual eyes. It seems to be for me to see God’s glory in a candle or in the sunshine or my children’s faces. To hear his voice in birdsong or human singing and instruments. To feel his love through my husband’s touch, the warmth of the sun, and soft, smooth cloth. To smell prayer in incense, flowers and cedar trees. To taste Him in the Eucharist above all, as well as other places’ offerings. And to find spiritual healing in prayer and physical healing in prayer-accompanied medicine, which can be part of the answer.

Salvation in ‘Lost’

by Andrea Elizabeth

In the comments to my Lost post from the other day I just added links to Part 1 and Part 2 of a “‘Lost’ Finale Recap” which provides some interesting and stimulating analysis. This writer believes that the sideways world is a self-induced psychological purgatory and that the island is “real”.You can read the articles for more on that. For his view of heaven, or God, the “Source”, here are some of his thoughts which to me echo Divine Simplicity (italics mine):

How the castaway seating arrangement in the church evoked an airplane cabin? How Christian throwing open the doors in the rear of the sanctuary, allowing the warm white vacuum of God space suck the castaway souls out the back = Oceanic 815 ripping in half via The Island’s electromagnetic tractor beam?)

and

I have written this recap from the perspective and, admittedly, personal bias that the castaways moved into the ”afterlife,” which I have called ”heaven,” although it could be called other things, and we must consider that not all of the castaways went to the same ”place.” But upon reflection, I’m realizing this is probably not the perspective or mythology of the show. Most likely, the castaways returned to the Source, the hub of life, death, and rebirth, and their energy was recycled back into creation. Does anything of their unique person endure and survive? Now that’s a conversation! Let’s go dutch on coffee one day and have it!

Not that all non-Orthodox believe in this sort of individual annihilation, but I think the idea of heaven being only about beholding God’s blinding glory is similar. I like his and the show’s message about being saved together, which seems Orthodox to me, but they leave the question, Does this togetherness stop after it serves it’s purpose of getting us to the door?

Since it was well done enough to keep me riveted for 6 years, I owe it a post

by Andrea Elizabeth

I mostly agree with Benedict Seraphim’s critique of the Lost Finale, but not with his extreme disappointment. I guess my bar is pretty low when it comes to film and amusement parks (not the printed word for some reason). With them I’m easy and can let myself go along for the ride. I probably did feel as strongly about the stained glass window, but the rest wasn’t that big a deal to me.

Actually the first two seasons I thought were the best and my bar necessarily had to go down after that. I didn’t like it so much when it switched to Julia and the Others. Benjamin was well done, and some of the Dharma stuff, but the mysterious hatch in the second season which revealed Desmond and his whole Scottish spiritual Brother thing was awesome. But they sort of dropped his mystical significance only to pick it up briefly in the finale and then to blow it when he ends up unconscious and needing to be rescued by Jack, whom I am ambivalent about. The other mystical guy, Echo, was heartlessly dropped too early to make mysticism in any way significant. The good Locke was killed off too so his mystical specialness didn’t contribute either. The actor’s performance redeemed it though when he became the believable smoke monster. Also, I didn’t like the way they just arbitrarily killed people, like Charlie and Boone, which seemed unnecessary to the plot to me. I guess Sawyer kept me going after all that with his surprising book reading, nick names, and his ability to easily choose different vocations like vengeful hoodlum, security officer, and law-abiding police detective. Since I didn’t agree with all the kill-offs, I took the reunions at the end as a sort of necessary apology. I forgive them.

And we’re not sure it was purgatory, but it is probably our closest frame of reference. My kids think they interacted with outside living people, like Widmore,  too much to be considered in purgatory. It’s just a special, now redeemed, mostly inaccessible place where the pot of golden light abides at the end of the rainbow. I don’t know what the sideways reality means. Oh well. Just believe.