Friday, May 09, 2008

Notes on Lost, 5/8/08 – John Locke is the Aquarian

For Lost watchers, last night’s episode was a turning point. Ben Linus, who was identified as a Christ figure in an earlier season (The Grand Inquisitor – the Christ wound when he was in the prison cell - Dostoyevsky's chapter in The Brothers Karamazov about the Christ returning and put in prison) tells that he is or was the Chosen One, but it is over for him now. Now John Locke – whose name suggests the Enlightenment – is the Chosen One. This conforms with the millennial shift of Platonic Months; the two-thousand year passages of the zodiac. We have left the Age of Pisces – which began with the birth of the Christ and in which the Christ was avatar – and entered the Age of Aquarius – technically, Aquarius rose just as Lost went to the airwaves. The Platonic Months shift or alternate every two thousand years, as novelist Robertson Davies points out in an essay on the subject, from yin to yang. The passing age, Pisces, was a yin age, marked by water (Victoria, men in ships, world conquest via water). He warns, that - hippie lore aside - Aquarius is a yang age - an Age of Titans.

Linus tells John at the end of this tenure of a burden: Being Chosen has its consequences, as he has come to kill his own daughter, Alex.

Lost creator J.J. Abrams went to Sarah Lawrence College where Joseph Campbell taught. Abrams is likely to have been steeped in the Campbell atmosphere as it was strong when he was undergraduate there – Campbell, a mythologist and anthropologist, had just completed a landmark series of discussions on mythology with Bill Moyers - The Power of Myth - held at George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch and aired on PBS. This series changed the nature of Hollywood.

For anyone knowledgeable in this region, there are clear and distinct themes in Lost that were elucidated by Campbell and C.G. Jung. Campbell was the editor of the portable Viking edition of Jung’s work. As per last night’s episode of Lost, it can be seen that the Lost island is a configuration of psyche and Self – a cosmic castle with its own space/time properties in the middle of an Ocean – Clair is Anima and Christian (her father) is Self – as Jung put it, Self is the interim guide between an individual and the Unconscious. The shack, which only Ben, Locke and occasionally Hurley sense or intuit, characterizes the psyche – Jacob is the pure voice of the Unconscious.

This is a common dream configuration in Jung and expressed throughout Eastern philosophy and religion and in world folk lore – ocean, castle, cosmic guide, Anima, Self. And here last night on the island, John – who takes the reins from Ben as we enter the new millennium, is asked by Christian (all names are meaningful in Lost) to ask the correct question. John Locke asks the correct question: How can the island be saved? The island is Psyche at its center; it is the House of God and the intuition which comes to us through the intermediary of the Self, comes from there: John Locke is the guide. Without John Locke as guide in the new millenium, we are Lost.

More on Lost at Quigley in Exile and Lost as an Aquarian Creation Myth at Entering Aquarius.

4 comments:

Michael said...

Great post, Bernie.

From this perspective, what is the significance when Locke discovers that in order to save the island, it must be moved?

I'm curious, because this would help me understand the difference between being inside the castle/temple and being outside (Sayid and Desmond--opposing forces it now seems), guided toward it with the Three Sisters.

As "the interim guide between an individual and the unconscious", will the island lead Jack and the gang to uncovering a new aspect of the island/themselves? Exploring new waters so to speak...

Bernie Quigley said...

Michael - This could actually have some historical significance. The "center" of the Christian age is Rome, Constantinople and especially, Jerusalem. Things do have a psychic center in a collective or cosmic culture. There is a true story about the Southern Cross - the Southern Cross is a constellation of stars which was seen over Bethlehem when the Christ was born. After, it disappeared and was not seen for 1,500 years until British explorers travelled to Australia and there was the Southern Cross. So the Southern Cross was, at the birth of Christ, seen as a harbinger - its new positioning might also be considered a harbinger - the Southern Cross rises above Lost island which by the way, is located on the map in the same location as the mythical island of Lemuria (where the Celestial Twins are said to start each zodiac age) and virtually the same spot as the tsunami. So the island has moved and the consciousness has changed; perhaps each zodiac age advances consciousness a step in a cycle of 12. There is a picture of the Three Angels (Three Sisters) inside the castle on the cover of Emma Jung's book "The Grail Legend." The picture is in fact cropped. The full picture shows three more angels standing outside the "castle" - they are the three celestial ones - the three male deities; the three yin and the three yang the six form inside/outside.

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