Monday, May 24, 2010
long LOST love
Other than to say that last night's final chapter of LOST has left me with a sense of quiet, peace and satisfaction (Namaste to you too), I'm not quite ready to blog about the final episode yet. I want to dwell in that place of peace and light for a while longer.
However, I did spend a short while this morning reading the blog posts and commentary articles of folks who had similar reactions to the ending of our favorite series. Among the comments on those other blogs and articles I did find one type of posting that I found disturbing.
Several folks commenting, who were unhappy about the way the series ended, complained about being tricked into investing their energy for six years into something that was not "real." These commenters appeared to think that having any portion of what they had viewed for the past six years take place after the characters had died negated the realness of the conflicts the characters faced and the emotions the show stirred in those of us who loved it.
Leaving totally aside for the present issues of 1) when the characters died (at the very beginning or as they appeared to, through out the show and some even after the death of Jack at the very end), or 2) whether or not one believes in purgatory, the guff or even heaven, the aliveness or deadness of the characters has no relationship to how real the issues and conflicts are, and how real the ideas they got us to think about.
So I am left wondering, what makes things "real" to the people who complained about the ending invalidating the reality of the show? How odd to think that one could readily and happily invest energy in a show about time travel and disappearing islands, mythical research projects of the 1970's, smoke monsters, and pockets of electromagnetism great enough to grab airliners out of the sky, and yet the loss of corporeal status is the one thing that makes everything unreal.
Are we humans nothing more than physical beings? I say not. We are spirit, we are hopes and dreams, we are ideas; the "I" or "self" that each of us is encompasses the physical body and physical experience, but transcends it to be so much more (a key idea of one of my sociological idols,George Herbert Mead).
Some believe that such self can also transcend the death of the physical body. But you don't have to believe that to recognize that what makes us human goes far beyond mere matters of physical survival of individual corporeal beings. As humans we create families, communities, societies, nations, cultures, that last far beyond one frail human life-time.