Thursday, February 25, 2010

Back to Egypt

With all the hieroglyphs and Egyptian architecture seen on Lost (the four-toed statue and the lighthouse have strong Egyptian/Alexandrian influences), it's always been interesting to look at Egyptian mythology to get another angle on the show. Now, I don't think anyone on the island is an Egyptian deity. However, I do think it's possible that within the context of the show, what Egyptians experienced on the island may have influenced their mythology. Or, maybe, their interpretation of what they found on the island was influenced by their existing mythology.



Anyway. The scale we saw in the cave recently reminded me of how Egyptians imagined judgment after death:
It was thought that the heart was examined by Anubis and the deities during the Weighing of the Heart ceremony. If the heart weighed more than the feather of Maat, it was immediately consumed by the monster Ammit.
 And:
Once Ammit swallowed the heart, the soul was believed to become restless forever; this was called "to die a second time".
Sound familiar? Someone judging, and consuming (claiming?) a person who is then "restless forever". Very Smokey-ish if you ask me...

The ancient Egyptians didn't think we had just one soul, rather it was made up of five parts:

  1. The Ren, which was a person's name
  2. The Ba, which was similar to a person's personality
  3. The Ka, which was a person's spiritual essence and what made you alive - when you died your "ka" left the body
  4. The Sheut, which was a person's shadow and also contained something of a person's essence
  5. The Ib, which was the heart and the most important part to the Egyptians - it was the seat of a person's will, emotion and intelligence
I wonder if the strange behaviour of Sayid and Claire who have supposedly been "claimed" means that somehow a part of their "soul" (or whatever the show chooses to call it) is affected while other parts are not. Even Smokey seems to be assuming some of John Locke's characteristics and one-liners! "Don't tell me what I can't do!" The fact that Smokey can seemingly "remember" what John Locke's last thoughts were, is very interesting to me.

Also, the suspected existence of TWO Christian Shephards, and however they are connected to the original Jack's dad, hints at the same thing. Is there one version (Jacob?) who helped Jack along the way, and one other version (the one with Locke at the donkey wheel for example) who was actually Smokey? In the latest episode, Claire's statements seemed to mean that she had met Smokey (and knew he was NOT Locke) as well as her dad. Was Jacob "impersonating" her dad? Or is some part of Christian Shephard (or his soul?) actually alive in some form on the island?

In S4 Claire thought she saw her dad by the fire, holding Aaron. That version of Christian seemed very touched to be holding his "grandson". Would Smokey have acted like that? Or was that actually some form of "real Christian" or even Jacob? And who was the Christian we later saw with Claire in the cabin? That Christian wanted Aaron off the island and wanted Locke to "move the island". Which means it had to be Smokey... I think... Argh.

I really want the mystery of Christian Shephard to be resolved. However, I do think it's a key to the central mystery of everything on the show, so it will be some time yet I guess...

Screencaps thanks to Lost-Media, Lostpedia and Dark UFO.

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