Lost and the Supercontext
by Edward Wilson
There does seem to be different rules involved when it comes to death and the island. It reminds me of both Donnie Darko and The Invisibles. In Donnie Darko dying in the time loop allowed someone to step out of regular time as Frank the Bunny does. From this new position he is able to effect events. Similar effects are in play in The Invisibles comic series by Grant Morrison.
Many characters in Lost seem to stick around and influence events even after death. For the most part they are not shown as physically interacting with the world but guiding people’s actions and it is
implied there is manipulation of probability.
Christian Sheppard, Jack’s father, is the clearest example of afterlife hijinks. He was dead when he arrived on the island but has been influencing events ever since. He was the first mysterious apparition and lead Jack to the fresh water source. He’s never been shown physically interacting with anyone or directly effecting the environment. It is implied that Christian also has a probability
manipulation ability that was being used to Keep Michael alive until he completed his usefulness to the island.
There is also the tendency of the smoke monster to appear to people in the forms of, and with the knowledge of, people who are deceased, such as Eko’s brother or Ben’s daughter Alex. Whether these are truly examples of people existing past their death or just trickery on the part of the smoke monster needs further examples to determine.
Then there are the various deceased characters who interact with Hurley. While the show leaves us the option of believing that his just crazy I think that these apparitions are more like the various forms the smoke monster takes or Christian’s on going actions. Hurley is just more sensitive than normal, this is why he was able to see Jacob’s cabin. The island itself seems to be outside of normal time, as evidenced by the time differential involved in traveling to the boat.
This is to say nothing of John Locke’s return from the dead, which may be a completely different matter. Suffice to say Ben is a little mistaken when he says “Dead is dead.”
Perhaps anyone encountering the island imprints their awareness and form on it along the lines of a back-up drive. That the island functions as a kind of afterlife computer and the smoke monster
screens the bad souls out? An ancient egyptian virus scanner.