The Chicken and the Egg: You say Potato, I say Potato.
In the vein of these age old aphorisms, which do you think was from a more ancient period in time: The Well, or the Non-Well (I use Non-Well to refer to the time period directly after John descends the well: where the castaways are standing around solid earth with the rope stuck in it). It could go one of two ways.
1. The Well is from a more distant time. This means it was built by the “ancients” (temple folk, hieroglyphs) and then later (for whatever reason) dismantled and filled in. Or, along the same lines, built by the Dharma and then filled in. ( I think its more likely the first)
2. The “Non-Well) is from a more distant time. This would mean that for however long (an instant, from that point forward, etc) the castaways were standing very possibly in a time period even before the ancients (assuming they built the well): and, at the very least before Dharma.
I’m more inclined to go with the first. Which leads me to wonder why the ancients filled it in?
I’m just freestyling here. These ancients. I do not think we’ve seen them before. I think they are a long dead people. Killed, perhaps, in a volcano eruption. Killed, perhaps, as a result of their dealings with time.
There is speculation Richard is one of them. His mysticism certainly leads me to believe this may be the case. He is old. He knows Jacob. He has a certain communion with the island. One may argue that his ignorance of Time Travel would preclude him from this role. I view it from a different light, which I hope will open up further discussion.
The word that keeps arising this season is resseurection (whether by the anagram on the van, Jeremy Benthem, or more revealingly, the translation for the hieroglyph in the Frozen Donkey Wheel–http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Hieroglyphs– (P.S–curse that son of a bitch who coined that term, forever dooming me to refer to the wheel by such a ridiculous moniker)
As viewers, we have become focused on Time Travel. We are, after all, the fourth wall and thus privy to information not shared with the characters. So though it is clear to us that time travel is a large part of what is happening, was this clear to those who built/discovered the “exotic matter?” Perhaps they saw the matter as a force to achieve resurrection. Of what? Dead leaders? The island itself, perhaps? This remains to be seen.
In the conversation John has with Richard in “Jughead,” he talks about events that have yet to happen. He speaks from a futurist perspective. He does not use the R word, nor make mention of exotic matter or a Donkey Wheel (basically because he had no idea of these things at that time) Had he done so, he may have gotten a different reaction from Richard. So while this is not proof that Richard is absolutely an Ancient, it suggests that perhaps Richard’s apparent ignorance of Time Travel is not actually ignorance, but rather a case of semantic misunderstanding: the whole “you say time travel, I say resurrection debate.”