Back in June 2009, I wrote an article titled “Proof That We’re Living a Life of Illusion.” In it, I provided what I felt was overwhelming evidence that we all live in some kind of computer simulation. I also offered some simple explanations as to why I thought we did. At the time, the people who are open to believing in such fantastical theories excitedly agreed with the premise, while those who rely on hard-core scientific proof, did not. Well, a funny thing’s happened in the years since I wrote that article. Scientists are beginning to see the evidence that the non-believers require. The question now is, whether those skeptics will decide to take the blue pill or the red pill?
Have you ever tried to track down something you saw on TV as a kid, just to see if it was even real? Many of us are occasionally haunted by snippets of movies and shows we vaguely remember watching when we were children. We may wonder if these memories ever really happened, or if they were dreams. Especially when the memories seem incredibly bizarre! Having grown up in the 70s, I caught a LOT of psychedelic stuff on TV as a kid that I’ve become obsessed with tracking down as an adult. Why? Discovering forgotten moments from our youth is the closest thing we have to time travel. We get to relive an experience we had and to see what actually happened. Sometimes, we may even be shocked to find that the story from way back then provides an answer to our lives now.
If you’ve ever wondered why we are here, this article is for you. If you’ve never wondered, some part of you has been wondering without your knowledge or else you wouldn’t be reading this now. There’s been a lot written about what life is and what we’re doing here. Some of it is very technical and philosophical. Some of it is very metaphorical and poetic. And then there is the actual answer, which we may never know. However, one truth I’ve noticed about this world is that cycles exist within cycles within cycles. Electrons swirling around a neutron are similar to our planets swirling around the sun. The shape of a leaf is indicative of the shape of the tree it came from. History repeats itself. Myths evolve over time but their basic elements all remain the same. Putting these truths together I was able to trace back to the origins of the first story and, to my shock and awe, uncovered an answer to a question I’ve been wondering for a very long time: why did the universe evolve to become so seemingly complicated? The answer, ironically enough, is incredibly simple.
In anticipation of TRON: Legacy, I recently re-watched a bunch of simulation-world films including The Thirteenth Floor, eXistenZ, and the original TRON, which I hadn’t seen in over twenty-five years. While I remember being somewhat confused watching the futuristic Disney film as a kid, seeing it again with new eyes, I was amazed at how clearly it expressed the “life as illusion” theme I’ve been so fascinated by as an adult. In the original movie, Jeff Bridges is considered a “user.” While Bridges often plays users in his films, in this case, it refers to a computer user who manipulates the scenarios of a digital world that is very similar to our own. In the original film, users are considered mythical, messianic figures who can help free the programs from the game they find themselves in. This got me thinking.
In “Across the Sea,” Lost finally gives us the origins story for Jacob and the Man In Black. The episode was pure, 100% mythology. Those who watched the episode based on the surface story alone were probably disappointed. Let’s face it, taken literally, myths are silly: talking snakes, little boys defeating giants, jealous gods, immaculate conceptions, mortals with superpowers, a sword stuck in a stone, the Force, Never Never Land, Wonderland, Oz, the Matrix, the Island. On the surface, all myths seem like children’s stories. It’s only when we dig deeper that we find the truth worthy of a wise old soul—a soul that knows where it really came from.
You’ve probably noticed that in every flash-sideways so far on Lost this season, the central character of the episode has been shown looking into a mirror. Kate looks at herself in the auto body restroom after discovering that Claire was pregnant, Locke in his own bathroom just before attempting to call Jack, and Jack looks at himself both in the airplane while noticing the strange mark on his neck, and again in “The Lighthouse” when noticing an appendix scar that he doesn’t seem to remember. The easy metaphor of course, is that we are looking at secondary versions of these characters through the looking glass. But what’s the deeper meaning for us?
Have you ever met someone for the first time who seemed really familiar to you? Strangely, this person likely wound up being an important player in your life. This exact scenario happens to Jack in LA X when he recognizes Desmond on the plane. In What Kate Does, Kate’s parallel life is once again setting up the scene for her to have a connection with Claire and baby Aaron. What if the reason for this familiarity is because we are recognizing these people from our future, or from the story of our destiny?
When I first saw The Matrix back in 1999, I instantly became fascinated with its “virtual reality world” concept. At the time, and for many years afterwards, I saw the theme as a metaphor for the illusionary material world we live in—a world of time, space, and the assumption that we are all separate individuals. My belief, in line with what I had taken from kabbalah, was that in reality, we were all one united energy force. Call it God, the light, Buddha, Allah, the universe, sentient energy, whatever. The point was that this energy created our illusionary world in order to experience itself. After all, since it was an all-knowing, all-powerful energy, existence was pretty boring. This energy wanted to experience the one thing it couldn’t know: what it was like to not be it. So, it created an imaginary world of time and space and separated itself there into different material elements that eventually evolved into human beings.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you could go back to a particular moment of your life and do something differently? What if you hadn’t taken a job you’d accepted, married someone you’d broken up with, said “no” when you’d previously said yes…or vice-versa? What if we were all allowed one do-over? Would your life be completely different than it is now, or would events have conspired to put you in pretty much the same place? By continuing to explore the concept of the variable, “Follow the Leader” brings up these very same questions, and if you’ve been paying attention, it’s already given us the answers.
While most mythological stories explore at least one or two truths about the way our world works, Lost is unique in that it explores hundreds of them. It’s almost as if Lost is a spiritual guidebook to life. While I sometimes joke around about it, I’m beginning to truly believe that fans of the show will be better equipped to handle the strange new world we are going to inherit in the upcoming years. Whether consciously or subconsciously, it is almost as if Lost is training us to be able to mentally handle the future. The Good Book says that the meek shall inherit the earth. Perhaps it was referring to Lost geeks.