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Marc Oromaner’s Lost In Myth: Discovering You’re Really From “Across the Sea”

By Marc Oromaner,

  Filed under: Lost In Myth
  Comments: 44

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.

Read the full column at The Layman’s Answer’s to Everything blog…

  • WHYohY

    Why do you have to diss religion? Immaculate Conception? How dare you insult Christianity, if you have a problem with our beliefs then address it, dont hide it within your little Lost articles!

    • Rams

      I know you didn’t mean it in an insulting way, Mark, but I was offended by that too.

      • Kiekow

        Oh get over it, if you actually read the entire article and not just the above paragraph, then you would see that he was not diss’in religion at all. Sheesh!

        • Rams

          I did read the entire article. Mark has consistently posted his own view of religion, that it is a metaphor. In fact, in this very article, he says that God is simply the aggregate of all of us. He is coming from a position of faith himself.

          I do enjoy reading Mark’s articles, however. And I think he has given us the best explanation for the pregnancy problems on the Island following the Incident.

    • jemron

      Wow! I thought the exact opposite. I thought he was saying that many religious stories (true or not) may seem silly at first, but they answer some/all of life’s biggest questions. I didn’t feel like he was dissing anything. If anything, he was dissing people who were dissing Lost’s most recent episode because they were the ones claiming that the mythology was “silly.”

      • dudeski

        the article was well-written, comprehensive, and kept my attention the entire time. it always makes me chuckle when certain religious types fall behind anger whenever their own personal beliefs are either called into question, or criticized (no matter how slight). it’s absolutely amazing to me that even the MILDEST comment against religion is automatically perceived as “strident” and “shrill.” anger: it’s the final fig leaf.

        excellent work, mr. oromaner!

        • SlaveOfMyThrist

          It isn’t ALL religion, it is the Judeo/Christian belief he likes to disparage. There is a personal reason for that, right Mark? Funny too, considering both Damon and Carlton have talked about their own personal beliefs.

          • dudeski

            for a minute there it sounded like you were saying that he doesn’t have the right/ability/empowerment to sound his voice within his own pieces of work.


          • Considering that I continually reference the stories in both testaments as evidence of the wisdom found in LOST, I’m not sure where the statement that I am disparaging Judeo/Christian beliefs is coming from. My problem is with religion’s requirement that any one is the only correct path towards enlightenment. My own personal belief takes the “greatest hits” from all world religions and processes it in a way that makes sense to me, using mythology as a template to make it relevant and digestible.

            Not sure if your last sentence was implying that I don’t talk about my own personal beliefs. Every column I write is chock full of my own personal beliefs.

          • Burley Hurley

            Don’t let the comments of narrow, hyper-sensitive minds bother you, Mark. They don’t matter.

    • because religion is stupid. please get over yourself.

      this immaculate conception you’re so hot about? Christianity isn’t the first religion to utilize this concept. it was a myth long before Christians took it and repackaged it.

      now that you know that, maybe you’ll rethink your life instead of commenting on “little Lost articles.” now that’s insulting.

      • seenitlovedit

        Do you really believe yourself to be an authority on all religions and therefor are able to announce that “religion is stupid”. Please as you say “get over yourself”. It is sad that you are condemning things that you choose not to believe. Each of us has their own truth. Even if that truth is not believing in a “god”. That in itself is a religion. A religion is simply “A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.” Therefor your statement about religion being stupid is a cause that you pursue with zeal and conscientious devotion. So, you are publically proclaiming that you are actively participating in stupidity.

        • dudeski

          saying that NOT believing in god is, in itself, a religion is just like calling bald a hair color. your argument is fallacious and wanting AT BEST. see also: wildly ignorant

          • seenitlovedit

            thank you for your adult response in calling my opinion “wildly ignorant”. congratulations you win. I feel so bad now. grow up. if you cant present an intellectual argument. it means that you dont have one

          • dudeski

            in response to seenitlovedit’s post below:

            OH THE IRONY

            you claim that not believing in religion is a religion, which is fundamentally fallacious and incorrect. there’s no need to go all “christian attitude” on me because i destroyed your weak argument with one simple sentence.

    • max

      jesus is dead and god doesn’t exist. get over it.

    • It was not my intention to insult anyone’s beliefs. In fact, for anyone who was able to make it to the end of this admittedly long article, it’s quite the opposite. Everyone should be allowed to believe what they want without others forcing their views on them. However, it is probably healthy to keep an open mind to hearing thoughts and beliefs that compete with your own and at least consider whether they might ring true for you. Usually, when they do, but conflict with something you believe is integral to the foundation of who you are, the result is anger.

      As Jemron said, my intention was to say that mythology is not meant to be taken literally. If aliens come to America in 1,000 years and learn that we believed in a giant named Paul Bunyan who cleared our forests they may conclude that we weren’t very bright. But there is a real truth hidden in that tall tale.

      Obviously, it’s your choice to decide whether the Bible is myth or literally true. I understand that a lot of people take comfort in the notion that the stories in the Bible, Torah, Koran, etc. actually happened as written. However, I do not think it is necessary to believe this in order to see the wisdom that exists in these stories. Like JR55 wrote, the stories in the Bible existed before the Bible–immaculate conception is not original to Jesus. In fact, I wasn’t even referring specifically to just that story but themes that are common to many myths.

      I don’t have a problem with anyone’s beliefs, only those who force them on others.

      • Burley Hurley

        The thing is, Mark, Christians are hyper-vigilant about finding offense any chance they can. That you said nothing offensive matters not–since they’re determined to act melodramatic and get on their high horse, that’s exactly what will happen. Mention Christianity, and all of the rabid nutcases come out of the woodwork in mock outrage. And THAT is why sensible, intelligent people recognize that religion is a farce.

        • Nevets

          Seriously? “All of the rabid nutcases come out of the woodwork in mock outrage”? I resent the fact that you’re calling the WHOLE of Christianity “hyper-vigilant about finding offense” based on the action of the PART. I wouldn’t have cared, probably even agreed, if you had said MOST Christians, but this comment was discrimination at it’s worst. Seriously dude, why dont don’t you take an axe and swing it at your head a few times,that way your mind might be a tad more open.

          Sorry for raging, I just can’t stand people judging others based on what they’ve seen from members of the same demographic.

          • Burley Hurley

            Religion is for the weak-minded.

          • Nevets

            Your opinion. Stop forcing it others.

          • Kate’s Perfect Butt

            No one is “forcing it others.” We’re stating our opinions. If yours differs, no one is forcing you to keep it to yourself. Relax.

      • ARK

        Just a tiny point–the term “Immaculate Conception” applies to the conception of Mary–not Jesus. And the notion of Incarnation as Christians believe it is actually not found in very many other religions, if any (Hindus have something kind of similar–but not exactly the same). All of this is neither here nor there in terms of Lost, but I offer it in the interest of accuracy.

    • Burley Hurley

      Relax, WHYohY. Religion is pure fantasy, like all mythology. If you’re so thick-skinned, you shouldn’t read message boards. Immaculate conception and flying monkeys–it’s all fiction.

      • ARK

        I think you mean thin-skinned. Now don’t get thin-skinned about the correction, though.

        • Burley Hurley

          LOL–you’re absolutely right. I did mean to say “thin,” not “thick.” 🙂

  • jemron

    Great article! Thanks for sharing. I always appreciate your profound insite into the “grander scheme” of what Lost means or metaphorically symbolizes. Thanks again!

    • Ed-Mars

      Yeh, it’s as if Marc & Jeff Jensen are twin brothers…

  • Ed-Mars

    So remember how I told you guys, in an old Marc Oromaner recap that MiB and his mom would be the Adam & Eve Skeletons and you all thought I was nuts? Well, see, for yourself :

    • Rams

      wow! I can’t even begin imagine how you figured it out. good one!

    • The Grandfather

      Yes, Yes, you’re very smart….now shut up.

    • Casey

      Nice catch. Good thinking there. I mean that. I really do. I’m just not so cool with you gloating about it. That’s not really classy.

    • Ed-Mars

      I’m sorry, it wasn’t my intention to gloat :/

      But I’d like to float another theory by you guys. In across the sea, we saw what happened to Titus when he was thrown in Ali Baba’s cavern of light. His consciousness somehow fused with the energy in there and gave rise to the smoke monster. A being that’s devoid of flesh and blood, immortal and trapped for all eternity on the island.

      What if near the end of the show, that process was to be somehow inverted, and we get good old John Locke back, in flesh and blood. That would restore the energy to the cave, and John Locke would retain all of the knowledge acquired by the smoke monster. Thoughts??

      • Rams

        Not sure we’ll be getting John Locke back literally -his consciousness may well travel from the Sideways to the Island reality and accomplish the same. Desmond is probably going to be the one to facilitate the reversal of MIB from Smokey into human/dead. Can you imagine MIB’s spirit going back into his skeleton… lol

  • Naultz

    Ed-Mars says:
    April 22, 2010 at 12:25 pmIf we’re going by the assumption that the skeletons are not both dudes, then it can’t be both MiB & Jacob. Plus, Jacob can’t change form, as far as we know. So, when he burned up in “The Incident”, that was his one and only skeleton turned to dust. And it’s not going to be anticlimactic, because the reveal of who Adam & Eve are ties in with how the smoke monster came to be. We’re due a back-story episode of the MiB & Jacob, so that’s when all that will come together.

    P.S : I don’t read spoilers, this is just speculation

    So Ed, where in here does it say MIB and Mom are the 2 skeletons?

    • bplenc

      when you click on his link, its the first line.

      • Ed-Mars

        Cheers 🙂

        • ((guada_lupe))

          kudos Ed-Mars!

  • Newbie

    I usually have trouble with some of the parallels Mark draws and the “as it is in Lost – as it is in Life” thing — but I think of his comments as trending toward more of existential view . . . after all Christianity is not the only religion he sites . . .

    A few things though — Mother tells MIB “Thank You” when she is killed – Anyone think that is because she cant kill herself much like the other guardians? Its like she is tried and wants to be let go . . . Also – she tells Jacob “Its time” and takes him to pass over guardianship and presumably all of her “Powers” — did she tell Jacob more about her role during those years? She had to disclose more — otherwise how does he learn how to bring people to the island? — how to leave? — how to check in on and pick his candidates? — know who is special? (not sure we will get those answers)

    Loved that MIB learned to lie and deceive from his “Foster Family” and that he still after all of these years is “trying to go home”

    And any one creeps from next weeks preview where Little Jacob ask for his ashes?

    Oh – and I thought I would post this link for the Lost Auction if any one is interested —

  • spinflip

    There is a mythological reference for you – Mímir’s well:
    It grants Odin wisdom when he drinks from it, but he has also to sacrifice an eye for it.

    I think we get now an idea of what the island’s essence is – there is some sort of divine energy under there that may grant great power, healing of broken spines and lots of amazing stuff, but which also corrupts you if you cannot handle it, drives you crazy and selfish, much like the Ring of Power.

    – The Man in Black went through with it, he visited the source himself. It granted him invincibility and immortality, but took his body and made him essentially a wicked demon.
    – Sayid was touched by this power during the healing, but was ‘claimed’.
    – Ben was obviously healed in the same spring, but the Others must have been careful in the dose. It may have still contributed to the evilness of his character.
    – The French people who were ‘infected’ were in the temple and might have drunk from its water.
    – The same unleashed power sent people through time in season 5, but they were also slowly killed in the process. We got to know that it has to do with time of exposure.

    The Man in Black is still bad and Jacob is still good because MiB put his desires about anyone else’s and beyond his mother’s warnings that the light must be kept hidden. Jacob, on the other hand, accepted a task that was not his desire and did it to the best of his abilities (a very Christian motif). By pushing MiB into the light source, he simply granted him his wish.

    And I don’t think the light source is any metaphor for oil.

  • I have thrown this out several times of the last couple of days and can’t seem to get a response but I really believe this is how it will work. Last night MIB died. He went into the light and released evil and was killed as most everyone that has been touched by the smoke monster has died. Stepmom was also killed. She had found her replacement (Jacob). Jacob laid both to rest, thus their stories end. The smoke monster has now been released. I believe at some point he meets up with Jacob and they run the island. There is a reason the others live in a temple protected by the light rather than live with Jacob, who if he was really good could protect them. He was not killed by Ben. How does a body burn in a few seconds and become ash. It does not, I’ve seen it. I work in a hospital. Jacob is now both good and bad. He becomes the smoke monster when he wants to. He sees himself (when he is fake locke) when he was small and talks to him just like we sometimes do when we argue with ourselves on what we should really do in a situation. When he sat on the log and was watching the ship, he knew they would land and should help them but his evil half says “I hate you” and then he begins this internal struggle on how to really treat the newcomers. I believe Richard knows this and has passed it on to the leaders of the others at certain times (Widmore). Maybe even Ben really knows the truth after all he did know how to release the smoke monster. There is really only one person on this island and he is struggling between good and evil much the same way that his fake mom did and probably now Jack must.

    • While the producers have lied before, they’ve said Jacob has not appeared as anyone else. As far as a body turning to ash so quickly, I think LOST has more than crossed the line past realism. I’ve heard the theory that Jacob and MIB are two sides of the same person, and would be open to that as a possible solution, but I don’t really feel like it answers many questions of the show. Then again, that seems to be par for the course so you never know.

  • Just a tiny point–the term “Immaculate Conception” applies to the conception of Mary–not Jesus. And the notion of Incarnation as Christians believe it is actually not found in very many other religions, if any (Hindus have something kind of similar–but not exactly the same). All of this is neither here nor there in terms of Lost, but I offer it in the interest of accuracy.

  • Why don’t oysters give to charity? … Because they’re shellfish.