This Week on Lost - 10/18/06 - Hurley, Mr. Eko and John Locke Encounter Spirit Bear
They always call them Polar Bears, but like many things in this thoughtful TV show, it works on two levels. In Dharma culture, these two levels are Nirvana (the Unconscious or inner life) and Samsara (the Conscious or outer life). The white bear can best be understood as a Spirit Bear. Hurley fears the bear. Mr. Eko has a full encounter with the Spirit Bear. Spirit Bear is actually a white black bear which is sacred to the Haida Indians of British Columbia. Spirit Bear finds those in the forest who are psychologically Lost, as all the characters on the island are. When Spirit Bear finds you it will take you on a devastating adventure of transformation & awakening. You come out a transformed person with heightened sensitivities and spiritual awareness. Walt has had a Spirit Bear encounter. Now Mr. Eko has had an encounter with Spirit Bear in a cave (and encounter with the Earth). He finds a preternatural sense and is able to see John Locke’s true nature (“You will find them John because you are a hunter.”) Notice the cross has been torn from Eko’s neck. Eko’s faith is pure as it must be with a shaman, but he will find now a fuller context for his newly awakened state. Perhaps Locke is unable to undergo a Spirit Bear transformation as his faith is thin and based on intellectual properties. He needs “signs” and proofs. Mr. Eko’s faith is innate. Locke will anchor in Eko’s faith. Notice that Locke turns Mr. Eko's church into a sweat lodge, a house of spiritual transcendence of North American First Peoples. And Mr. Eko loses his Jesus Stick in the blast to Desmond. See Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen. For more on Lost see Quigley in Exile.