Lost Stories: John Locke
During Quarantine Amazon Prime has decided to generously gift us all with a free pass to reindulge in the mega-hit series, Lost, that made ABC hot again, from 2004 to 2010. Six seasons and 121 episodes, it is a sort of nostalgic television (the kind we used to know) with a metaphysical twist.
Lost wasn’t your grandaddy’s TV. That’s for sure. Lost takes you on an absolutely compelling metaphysical journey, that is actually mirroring the nature of our current reality. Yep. You heard me right. Lost is what we are right now. Would you look at the state of our world? Almost everyone on the planet is struggling with utter confusion and complete craziness. No one seems to know what’s up exactly. Or even what we should do. Clearly we’re lost.
Just like the characters on Lost! And boy does Lost have some characters! Perhaps the most colorful and most creative characters television has ever seen! Lost takes these characters and traps them on a mysterious island, (just like we happen to be trapped on this 3D earth grid.) Read about it in Trapped on Earth.
In order to get off the dreadful island, which brings them face-to face with a whole host of both real and imaginary fears, they have to clear out their 3D baggage (which I refer to as 3D density).
This is the work that we all have to do, as we are being held super hostage (Corona!) on the 3D grid right now. And just like the Lost characters we are all being tested! Seriously, metaphysically tested! Are we rising to this challenge?
If we take a look at the characters on Lost, their trials, their various tribulations, we are very likely to gain insight into the spiritual battles we are facing amongst our selves, just now, in these very challenging times.
Let’s take a look at one of Lost’s most complicated, riveting and fascinating characters: John Locke. I love this character Locke, and unlike most of the characters, who were haunted by one thing and searching for another, Locke was both. This character was perpetually in conflict, with himself primarily.
You see, Locke was the ultimate 3D-game player.
Jack: Do you like to play games. John?
Jack asked, as Locke tries to rattle Jack, when they are preparing to move highly unstable and volatile sticks of dynamite, that just blew Artz, one of the members of their rag-tag island crew to bits. What does John reply?
Locke came to the the island and made a proverbial deal with the devil. He agreed to serve the darkness (in exchange for certain favors granted, the ability to walk for instance), all the while insisting that he could also serve the light. Moving back and forth between darkness and light is like a game to Locke. And it’s a game that never quite-good-enough-for-himself Jack doesn’t want to play.
I think what happened to Locke on that island, happens to a lot of people who get trapped in 3D. We get offered deals that we can’t refuse. Just sell this little bit of your soul, for a million dollars. And you think,
Well, what’s my soul worth anyway? And, just think of all I could do with a million dollars? I can buy my soul back!
Except…it hardly ever works like that. Once you start playing with the devil, its usually a done deal. The darkness inside of you will overtake you, and that’s exactly what happened to John Locke.
But…how fascinating is the character who is filled with so much darkness and so much light! John Locke is an admirable character. Given up for adoption by a schizophrenic mother at birth, John Locke gets the proverbial bad deal in life, shuffled from foster home to foster home, due to negligence his younger sister died in one of these homes.
And yet…John can always find the bright side. Nothing seems to get John down. Except, well there was the time when his father (who impregnated the schizophrenic mother) comes back into his life and pretends to care about him, but only so John will give him one of his kidneys. Once his deadbeat gets the kidney, he throws John away like so much trash. That kind of throws him. John gets pretty down about that.
And he won’t let it go. He starts stalking his kidney donor recipient dad; and that doesn’t end well. The dad ends up paralyzing him from the waist down. (Oh trust, Locke has some baggage!) So when John Locke arrives on the island and regains the use of his legs…well, this miracle, if it can be called that, does something to him.
First of all, Locke will do anything, and I do mean anything, to keep the use of his legs; and Locke believes that the use of his legs is somehow connected to him staying on the island. Therefore, unlike everyone else on the island, who desperately wants to get off, John wants to stay.
John actually likes being on a bizarre, metaphysical, (kind of) deserted island. (And so he plots to keep people there.)
John is manipulative. He goes out of his way to ingratiate himself with other members of the island (he tells Jack he needs to lead, he helps Charlie with his addiction, he helps Boon with his addiction, (by drugging him and tying him up in the jungle) he builds a cradle for Claire’s baby. But, for every seemingly caring and positive action that Locke seems to take, there is a negative reaction that undoes it all.
Locke gets Boone killed, basically. He betrays Charlie by accusing Charlie of using again, although, he has no actual proof, and seems to be hurling the accusation so that he can get closer to Claire, whom Charlie adores.
Locke zigzags. He goes dark. He goes light. And like all the characters on Lost, he is searching furiously for some kind of external validation of himself, that is never going to arrive.
And this is the trick that is played by the darkness. Whenever we look outside of ourselves for validation, we get Lost in the darkness.
Locke loses his way on the island, almost too many times to count! Just when he thinks he has it all figured out - it blows up in his face. (Remember when Sawyer tricked him out of storing all the guns? And then called him an idiot in front of the whole camp to boot?)
But you’re always secretly routing for Locke. (Well at least I am.) Why? Because he has so much light! If you’re like me, you are always hoping that he finds that connection with that internal part of himself that will redeem him, for forever and always. Locke has the potential to be a pretty amazing dude!
And yet…it just doesn’t happen. Locke is deeply attracted to the pursuit of power. Understandably, when you look at his baggage and his life. A throw away child, rejected by his parents at birth and in adulthood? Then he spent four years in a wheelchair, because his father is a bit of a psycho. Clearly, Locke had something to prove. He wants power.
But what will he do to get it? All kinds of unsavory things. He does things that jeopardize the people that he is leading and pretends to care for. But really it’s all about Locke’s quest for something which even he doesn’t understand. he believe in something outside of himself, and he believes that this external thing will make him whole. Locke is looking for power…just power, over people, over his own life.
And yet, (like so many of the religious persuasion) he turns his quest for power into something else. Locke wants to believe that he is righteous, and special, and some how entitled to do whatever the hell he wants to do, just because he is Locke; and he says so.
Many people die because of Locke…all because Locke wants power. Does he ever get it? Was it all worth it for Locke in the end?
Eventually, John loses the battle between the light and the dark inside himself. The darkness overtakes him; and he dies, alone, by his own hand (under truly bizarre circumstances that could only happen on Lost. John was never proved to be particularly special as he believed. The Island, that John believed to be responsible for all kinds of miracles, seemed to be totally indifferent to Locke.
What is the morale to Locke’s Lost story? Those who make deals with the devil always lose. Chasing those external things, leads to nothing but dead ends, literally. The power that we seek must be found within.