Thursday, July 06, 2006

Lost and the Black Horse

You all seen Lost last night? The appearance of the Black Horse to Kate in the forest & earlier during her arrest, arrives from the world of dreams and is well represented in a Taoist story about oxen. When you are young, the horse is big and hard to ride; it is the threat and the challenge of the life force as you approach it - it is frightening and chaotic - but a life well lived finds the horse and finds equilibrium with the horse as Kate does later in the program. A Dharma tale well told by the brillinat young director, J.J. Abrams. Click there on D.T. Suzuki for the parable of the oxen as it applies to Kate, the Horse and to Lost.

More on Lost from an April 5, 2006 entry in Quigley in Exile

God doesn't know we're here. No one knows we're here. - Henry Gale

Like Shiva, Henry Gale casts aside his old body for a new Dance of Creativity - a dance of rebirth; the eternal dance of life and death. Hidden in its center of Lost is a contemporary Quaternity. With pseudo-ads for Hanso's Corp.'s (see Hans in Thomas Mann's 1924 classic, The Magic Mountain, for Lost prototype) "subliminal advertising" and spin offs like the Bad Twin book, Lost brings the Trickster forth like we haven't seen him since Sgt. Peppers or the Surrealist Movement of the 1920s.

Buffy is Prophecy - Lost is a "Returning to Earth" myth for our day

For young viewers who have not yet read The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky, there is no better beginners guide to the tv show Lost. The Prisoner in Lost, marked by the Christ wound in the right chest, is Jesus, indicated by this book which is given to him by Locke. It comes from a chapter called The Grand Inquisitor. After the Bros K, go quickly to the classic spooky film, The Night of the Living Dead, for advanced insight into the Hatch & the Others. The X Files also has a Grand Inquisitor episode in which Jesus is an Alien, imprisoned and tortured by The Cigarette Smoking Man. (As it is with Dali's Orange Monk, and the Alien Christ of The X Files, Henry Gale comes from the sky - it is the mark of the Aquarian, from an air sign in the zodiac.)

Derived from Jefferson and the Enlightenment (John Locke), ours is a culture based on happiness and its pursuit and on individualism. It is an outward moving journey disconnecting each from the other. It may be reaching its outer limits. (What do people want on the outward journey? My spam mail suggests they want a loan, a college degree and a large penis.) Dharma is just the opposite; an inward moving journey connecting each to the other and those past and future as well. Dharma implies duty and a path to the state of being outside of our individual ego. It is the path to ultimate innermost state of consciousness shared by everyone and by all things in the Universe. Each individual who enters enters through a gate and leaves behind what she or he had or was before. When you enter you first enter a circle. The family is a circle, the place where you live is a circle. The world is a circle. Time is a circle. Within circles there are other circles and all circles (Chronos). It is the path to Enlightenment. Misteps cause madness or death. But everybody dies. In Lost, as Claire opens the gate to Dharma, here is a caution from Kushog Wanchen, a holy man of Eastern Tibet, told to Alexandra David-Neel: "It is only prudent to beware of opening channels without due consideration. Few, indeed, suspect what the great storehouse of the world which they tap unconsciusly, contains. One must know how to protect oneself against tigers to which one has given birth, as well as against those that have been begotten by others." (Note: The stacks of lines around the Dharma insignia represent the sticks of the I Ching. No doubt, Hurley's number sequence has references there. And the clicker in the hatch which counts to 108 and repeats implies the Tibetan beads in a string of 108 on which the sylable hri! is repeated again and again. As David-Neel states: "Some understand it as signifying an inner reality hidden under the appearances, the basic essense of things.")

Lost fans might be interested in my "Three Sisters" essay in this blog about Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. In the last Buffy episode, The Slayer is revealed to be the Earth Mother incarnate, scion of the Triple Goddess & the Lady of the Lake, the ancient-most archetype of the English-speaking people. She who put King Arthur's Sword into the Stone. (Buffy pulls it out.) I wrote the essay several years ago. (I just ran into Lost last month, when it came to my country store on DVD.) Buffy is prelude to an Awakening of the Earth Mother, the essay claims, to come in the first days of the new millenium. "But today, as it is heard in a song/a prayer by Amy Lee, Evanescence and 12 Stones, she falls in sleep and has been sleeping a thousand years. She cries to have her eyes opened again and to see again and to Awakened Inside Again and to Saved Again from the Nothing that she has become."

A Visit from Spirit Bear

“I have looked into the eye of this island and what I saw was beautiful.” - John Locke on Lost

Among the Haisla people of British Columbia the Kermode Bear; called Spirit Bear because it is a black bear that is colored white, is considered a sacred animal. The tribal elders say that when you meet with Spirit Bear the Creator has a message for you and your tribe, or some healing is needed. It is a sacred moment and a moment of transition. The TV show Lost begins with an encounter with Spirit Bear.

Synchronicity is an idea developed by physicist Wolfgang Pauli and Swiss psychiatrist C.G. Jung after a consultation with Albert Einstein. It means a relationship between Inner life and Outer life – parallel events expressed by coincidence. In the late 50s Jung wrote that the UFO dreams and visions of his patients were predictors of a new relationship with Space – a Space Age. Today prominent dreams are of returning to earth. All the prominent and forceful dreams I have heard of the last two years are of returning to earth. Likewise these dreams predict a new period of awareness of the Earth – psychologically a “return to earth” and an Earth Age. This psychological change is reflected in Lost. Spirit Bear, the Magical Animal, leads to a door and the door is called Dharma. It is a Creation Myth (a parable of Awakening) for the new millenium. (See Returning for "returning to earth" myth.)

Lost has the same psychic tone as early UFO dreams and movies of the 1950s. Naïve (popular, entertaining - the common stone of the culture) and unpretentious art and stories always reflects these changes. The Survivor TV series and all of its knock offs are a reflection of this “return to Earth” theme in the naive culture (as Close Encounters, E.T., Alien and The X Files were "entering the Universe" dramas in the Space Age). Lost is the mythic drama which portends a new period of cultural awakening to the Earth, just as Close Encounters did to space. The Earth shares consciousness with the humans and the humans are part of the earth. This is the natural state of humans in their natural environment. Princess Mononoke, the film by Hayao Miyazaki, the computer game Myst and Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen - three of my children's favorites and mine - make a contribution. And common themes from Jane Eyre, Women in the Dunes, Gilligan's Island, The Wizard of Oz (Henry Gale), Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, Gurney's Dinotopia ("Each person who arrives in Dinotopia becomes reborn, and the birth is different for each individual," says Levka) and multiple others are applied and suggested. Notice that there are only two old people in the story; an old African-American woman named Rose (who sits closs-legged and quiet on the beach) and an old shamanistic guide name John Locke. Rose the symbol of Inner Life and the Unconscious (Yeats, Jung and the Alchemists - the Rose and the "Rosy Cross" was their symbol - Rosacrucians, Templars; y'all seen The DaVinci Code?), John Locke the father of the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason. They are the yin and yang (Love and Power; in the narrative voice on Lost, "faith and reason") represented occationally throughout the story by two stones, one black and one white.

Lost is a generational story - all the characters are young, and it is a story marketed to teens. Notice as well that except for the child, Walt, all of the characters wear long pants all the time (on a tropical island - compared say, to Survivor). It is a sign of responsibility and serious intention. It is geared to the fourth post-war genertion; the first generation which will take full responsibility in the new millenium (see William Strauss and Neil Howe, The Fourth Turning).

Most of the names and relationships in Lost appropriately suggest the spiritual and psychological condition at the end of the Second Millenium after the brith of Christ and the awakening of the Third Millenium, which awaits the second face of the avatar. The baby born on the island is Aaron, for example, who started the Judeo-Christian procession millenia back, incarnate again in the awakening age of Aquarius (which began, technically, on January 1, 2001). Some of these relationships are quite uncanny. The birth of Aaron restores and reunites the Earth and the Earth Mother (Claire) to its human occupant and natural child, after 500 years of separation. The island itself has a yin spirit (a Dakini in Tibetan culture), a French woman named Danielle Rousseau (like John Locke, Jean Jacques Rousseau was father to the Enlightenment), who has been driven to madness because she "lost her baby." This is the core theme of the rise to the Renaissance as it found flower in philosophers Locke and Rousseau, discussed earlier in Madonna/Child portraiture in which the Christ Child, representing the human race, is snatched from the arms of the Divine Mother (or Earth Mother or Mona Lisa - who represents the Earth), causing 500 years of alienation, division and divorce between earth and human.

Jung and Pauli’s book on the subject of synchronicity is The Interpretation of Nature and the Psyche, published in 1955. The tragic mine accidents taking place today in West Virginia and Saskatoon all in a sequence are synchronistic events reflecting the prevalent “returning to earth” myth – the prominent and directing myth in the culture today. Of course, no government officials will view this prognosis seriously, and increased shifts in the mines is an obvious contributor, but just the same, they should shut down the mines until they have reviewed all safety procedures as West Virginia is doing and look at safety for the miners with new eyes to insure their safety throughout the industry in The United States and Canada. Congress should also reconsider its proposed spending for Space exploration and use as a barometer for public interest in these efforts evidence in the pop culture. The only space story generating interest today is that of an empty space suit, silently orbiting the earth, which was thrown out of the international space station. Space exploration is a scientific venture. If adventurism and novelty are removed from these projects they will be safer and more successful.

3 comments:

James said...

Fascinating post. Like you, I see a pattern in the show that implies opportunity for rebirth (hence so many purgatorial references) and renewal.

I've been working on Lost connections in literature, but haven't yet delved much into the mythology or spiritual side. The black horse and white bear stories are especially interesting.

Bernie Quigley said...

J.J. Abrams went to Sarah Lawrence where Joseph Campbell taught & perhaps became knowledgeable about myth w/Campbell or perhaps just in the undergraduate environment. I have never seen so many things is a show reflecting world religion, pop culture, literature. The episode about Rose and bernard with Bernard trying to escape the island is pure Jane Eyre. Notice they keep calling it a "polar bear" but it is clearely Spirit bear & the Awakening myth of British Columbia.

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