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March 3, 2010

How Do the 'Flash Sideways' Affect the Island?

In Tuesday's episode, 'Sundown,' some questions were answered, but more questions arose


Chris Seay, author of The Gospel According to Lost, chimes in on the developments in Tuesday's episode of LOST. (SPOILERS AHEAD) Among other things, Seay says that "Sundown," a "very Sayid-centric episode," "gave us much more than I anticipated. We've learned that the redemptive narratives that play out in this 'flash sideways' have an impact on what happens with the same characters on the island," and that it was further confirmed that "Fake Locke" is "offering many of the same things the serpent was offering in the Garden." Here are Seay's observations:


At the end of the flash-sideways, Sayid finds Jin bound in a locked room. So also, on the island Jin is in a sense "bound", not wanting to be in the situation he finds himself. It will be interesting to see how his story plays out in the coming weeks.

Mark, Locke's wife in the flash-sideways has on a t-shirt that says "Peace and Karma".
The following is taken from "The Truth About Karma" written by a California psychic:

Karmic perception
Most of us tend to think of Karma in terms of punishment and reward. When good things happen, we attribute it to good Karma, and when things go awry, it must be our bad Karma kicking in. Ultimately, this isn't karmic truth, it's just our perception - we're praising or blaming ourselves for our past actions.

Karmic responsibility
Karmic Law is all about responsibility -- it states that our deeds, thoughts and actions create our past, present and future. Therefore, it is the Karma we have created that shapes and molds how things in our life unfold. Ultimately, the pain or joy we have created for ourselves and those who surround us will circle round and find us again.

Karmic effect
Karma always gets her due. Sometimes she just waits a couple of lifetimes. While this may hardly seem balanced or fair, ultimately, it has to be. That's Karma's job. While we may not remember deeds of past lives or every action in this life that brings our Karma into play -- when Karma is present, balance is being restored.

Karmic purpose
Karma maintains balance in the universe. In order for that balance to be maintained, living things must learn their lessons to live consciously and responsibly with a view that extends beyond their immediate circle. This is the path to enlightenment, which brings understanding.

Question: Do you think this is more about working out karma than some sort of Christian symbolism?

Jan makes an excellent point. "Working out karma" has been a large part of my understanding of the show, and one of the promos shown in Canada (I don't know if the same ones are shown in the U.S.) seemed to hammer that home by using a quotation about "men being God's pawns on life's chessboard" (a loose and very incomplete paraphrase) which ended with one of the island's statues that looks like Anubis being slammed onto a board in checkmate by an anonymous hand. I've always thought the ancient Egyptian afterlife myth was central to the show's premise, and it has strong karmic aspects.

I also think that this show has been doing an excellent job since Day One of being very careful to appeal to all people willing to believe in something supernatural, and so it makes a lot of sense to read or understand Christian stories on the show. Entertainment Weekly's "Doc" Jensen has been doing an interesting job of deconstructing all that in an increasingly tongue-in-cheek fashion since being tasked as the site's "Lost" commentator.