A Myth Without the Point?

The series Lost seems to be a very strange winding together of naturalism and mythology. I’m interested in people’s opinions on a central issue.

Throughout the series, people seem to be constantly negotiating their relationships in a pool of deep distrust. It appears to me that the story-tellers are taking a strongly Darwinian, naturalistic view of friendship.

Meanwhile, the island world is evidently mythical and more evidently so as the series proceeds.

But isn’t this a strange conflict. If they are hinting at a spiritual realm of some sort in the island itself and even in some characters, then why do they treat the relationships in such a thoroughly naturalistic, non-spiritual way.

I refer specifically to the absence of a Baucis and Philemon type relationship, one in which there is no calculation, no seeking of advantage. Are there any souls that are capable of loving and being loved in this series?

Let me be clear that I am referring specifically to caritas, agape, or the old English, no-longer used “charity,” (and what does it tell us that we no longer use that word to describe this extraordinary, supernatural love?).

Can you point me to an exception? If not, what are the story-tellers telling us about love? And why are they willing to include people who can talk to the dead or see the future, psychics, healers – all sorts of supernatural activities – but nobody who can love without calculation?

If there is an exception, who are they? One possibility enters my mind, but I won’t say anything here.

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3 Responses

  1. Let me take a shot at it. This story hasn’t come to the point yet. We are still in the midst of complication. The complications being that we have a plane load of people with ‘daddy issues’ and damaged relationships: a plane full of damaged lovers.

    Hopefully in the explication we we have a plane load of redeemed lovers.

    I am enjoying the story from an outside perspective, watching to see how the authors/creators answer the questions they have raised. I find the fact that they have raised these questions at all fascinating. They say that science fiction is the modern form of philosophy: the only place we are still allowed to grapple with truth.

    I think Hurley is the exception. He seems to love unconditionally. Rose and Bernard may be an exception only I am not all that enamored with their storyline.

    Without a doubt Desmond is The Constant. So what does that mean? Is that a reference to Math and Love?

  2. The only major characters who break that mold that I can think of are Juliet and Sawyer. That was the only real relationship that formed in the show.

    I think the reason there is a lack of true loving relationships has to do with the circumstances surrounding the coming together of these people. No major characters had relationships prior to the crash and the island. I find it reasonable to think that no true and loving relationship could form under such trying, extreme, and strange circumstances (the only exception, Sawyer and Juliet, happened during a period of relative normality).

    Perhaps they are trying to point out that such love cannot exist under trying circumstances, that the supernatural and love cannot exist together…..

  3. hmmm….I can only thing of a couple of possibilities off the top of my head….only minor characters: Rose/Bernard, Desmond/Penelope, maybe Charlie and Claire?

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