Anubis, God of Underworld, Holds Jacob’s Ladder Captive

Jacob’s Ladder, the gateway to heaven, has been cut off from the island by since arrival of Anubis, Egyptian God of the underworld and death. Anubis was somehow transported to the Island as part of the Black Rock cargo. The Black Rock left port somewhere in Africa, so it is likely that it contained some ancient egyptian artifacts, one of which housed Anubis (think Indiana Jones, The Ark of the Covenant).

Because of the special electromagnetic charactericteristics of the Island, Anubis’ arrival and actions on the island caused some disturbance in time, probably by his own design.

The Smoke Monster is the ancient Egyptian God, Anubis. Anubis, the half human, half jackal god protected the dead and escorted them into the underworld after weighing their hearts (judging them)to determine their worthiness for entrance into the realm of the dead. Egyptian mythology depicts Anubis as a sort of undertaker, who prepares the dead for the underworld, and part of this process is taking out the heart and weighing it. He is definitively depicted as the final judge of man’s heart. In Egyptian mythology, Anubis is always depicted in black symbolizing rotting flesh and the color of the black soil in the Nile valley.

Jacob is a biblical reference to Jacob’s ladder, a stairway or gateway into heaven that Jacob saw in a dream/vision from God. Jacob’s ladder extended from heaven down into the place where Jacob slept. Angels would use the stairway to enter heaven.The Island is the home of is gateway, and has special electromagnetic elements that embody this portal. References on the recent podcast by the writers joking about Jacob being 60′ tall and made of flames may allude to the possibility that this is indeed, a physical structure, stairway, or gateway. Jacob is the keeper of the gateway, and has been trapped by Anubis somehow.

Anubis can project visions of dead people to influence and control his agedna. Anubis is manipulating time and the people so that he can remain in control of Jacobs Ladder, the gateway to heaven used by Angels. All of his manipulations work to protect his stronghold over Jacob so that he can remain in power. Anubis/Smokey projected an embodied Alex just after Ben was judged. This means that Christian and Claire, who must be dead, are also Smoke Monster projections being used to manipulate the other characters.

The others may be Angels, stranded between heaven and earth, waiting for Jacob to open the gates to heaven. Anubis has cut them off from the gateway, and has created false prophets (Ben, Widmore, Alpert) so that they will blindly follow their leaders in the name of Jacob.

The whisperers are the whispers of the dead, who can be beckoned by SM/Anubis.

Walt’s psychic projections are not from Anubis. Walt has a special psychic gift and can “astral project” visions of himself or other thoughts when he feels strong emotions. His psychic gift is similar to Miles, but is not under the control of SM/Anubis. People born with gifts may have been influenced or enhanced in utero by the island somehow, but they are not under the direct control of the SM.

When Locke says he is going to kill Jacob, I think he intends to ‘unveil’ the ‘man behind the curtain’ (Ben) and reveal Jacob’s true nature, or at least some aspect of Jacob.

John Locke–The Individualist. The character was named after John Locke, the English philosopher whose theory of mind is often cited as the origin for modern conceptions of identity and “the self”. John makes many mistakes during his life, and each time he is ‘lead astray’ he gets physically injured. John was naïve, trusted the wrong people, and as a result (paralysis, kidney abduction) he became angry and willful, refusing to let anyone ‘tell him what he can’t do’. He is lead down the wrong path by his own anger, by stubborn willfulness and looses the love of his life. He starts down the right path by going on a walkabout, and ended up on the island healed from his paralysis. On the island his anger and stubborn willfulness dissolves, and he begins to get on the right path after stalwart soul searching. He listens to his heart (and sometimes voices in his head). He over corrects, however, and gets off the path in the other ‘spiritual’ direction by listening to the Island, praying for signals, and zealously focusing on finding the hatch. John again starts to suffer injuries, paralysis, and Boone dies as a result. John starts to get healthy again only after when Eko helps put him back on the right path. But then, Locke naively listens to Ben, who tells him to turn the wheel, so Lock ended up back home in a wheelchair and eventually dead. John goes back and forth, until now, in season 5, Locke has finally found the proper balance of self-determination together with a dose of spirituality, and he suddenly has matured into a prophetic leader. He has also discovered his purpose, which is currently: “unveil the man behind the curtain”.

I think that John Lock represents the successful unification of the dual concepts of self-determination and destiny. His character is all about individuality and self-realization, but his is driven by a spiritual purpose. He is the balance of yin and yang.

I think John will expose Ben (and maybe Alpert) as false prophets, and will reunite the others (angels?) with Jacob and the gateway. Then he will walk away from the leadership position. Ultimately, I don’t think John wants to be a leader. He wants to be a hunter. When Locke was a teenager, the Hanso Group (Alpert) invited him to participate in a youth science camp, but he protested saying, ‘I like hunting and fishing and sports and cars’you know nothing about me!’ Ultimately, he will reject Alpert’s ways.

Jack Shepard ‘The Pale Horse, Dark Horse. Jack is the edification of self-determination without spirituality. Jack shows us that man’s willful self-determination, without a spiritual buffer, can turn even the best intending heroes into genocidal maniacs with nuclear bombs. There are many clues to his “Horse” symbolism including books on his shelf and the appearance of Kate’s horse (her hero). Jack Shepard is an analogy for Earl Swagger in Pale Horse Coming, by Stephen Hunter. ‘Pale Horse Coming is a raw and visceral thriller that explores the violence to which some people resort when society fails to eliminate injustice.’ In the story, Earl is a nice-guy-turned-hero who, with his team of 6 cohorts, resorts to unthinkable violence to rescue his friend. Jack Shepard’s heroism starts to go wrong when he begins to rationalize violence in the name of the ‘greater good’. Jack will try to blow up the island in an effort to save his people and himself, but will suffer the post-traumatic consequences of guilt and remorse unless he is stopped by Kate.

Ben Linus ‘Colonel Krutz, Nimrod,The False Prophet, Jacob (symbolically). Ben lives in fear/awe of the smoke monster, and does whatever the Monster says. He can communicate directly with the SM. For decades, Anubis has been manipulating his “false prophets”, speaking on behalf of Jacob who he has somehow trapped or imprisoned. There is plenty of evidence throughout the show that Ben’s current agenda is in alignment with Anubis, and is driven by fear. Ben’s dark side is also and analogy for Nimrod, the tyrannical leader of Babylon who turned the people away from god and caused disharmony and war between the people of the island. In one of Ben’s books, The Heart of Darkness. Colonel Krutz is the wise, gifted, charismatic idealistic leader who was eventually lead astray by his own agenda. This name, Color Krutz, is referred to several times in the story line, and we see the book with Ben. Ben started out as a nice kid, had the youthful idealism of a charismatic leader, but later became corrupted. Ben’s relationship with John is also an anaolgy to the struggle between the biblical brothers Jacob/Esau. Jacob (Ben) tricks his brother (Esau/John) out of his father’s blessing. A prophecy states that the brothers can not rise in power at the same time, as one rises the other will fall. The prophecy also says that the younger will lead the older. So Jacob will ultimately dominate, and John will follow Jacob. I think we will see some reversal in Ben in season six as he reconciles his character and reforms his ways.

The Dahrma Initiative, or perhaps the the technological development of the island, is an analogy for Babylon. Babylon was a great tower built for the glorification and edification of man, and is viewed as an act of defiance to God. God sees the people’s defiance and scatters the language of the people so that they could not understand each other. (i.e.,None of the island citizen groups get along–the different groups are always at war). God overturns the tower with a great wind. In the Midrash, it said that the top of the tower was burnt, the bottom was swallowed, and the middle was left standing to erode over time. I think some destruction of the DI infrastructure will take place eventually, and perhaps this destruction will be part of the incident, bomb situation on S6 finale. However, I think this babylon/dahrma anaoly is symbolic only, but interesting nonetheless.

Research Notes from wikipedia:

Jacob and Esau: sibling rivalry.
Jacob and Esau are the twin sons of Isaac and Rebecca. The boys displayed very different natures as they matured. “Esau became a hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a simple man, a dweller in tents”. John Locke reflects Esau, the Hunter, and Jack represents Jacob, but only symbolically.

“Rebecca received the prophecy that twins were fighting in her womb and would continue to fight all their lives, and after they became two separate nations. The prophecy also said that the older would serve the younger; its statement “one people will be stronger than the other” has been taken to mean that the two nations would never gain power simultaneously: when one fell, the other would rise, and vice versa.”

About Anubis
“Anubis was the god to protect the dead and bring them to the afterlife. He was usually portrayed as a half human, half jackal, or in full jackal form wearing a ribbon and holding a flail in the crook of its arm[5]. The jackal was strongly associated with cemeteries in ancient Egypt, since it was a scavenger which threatened to uncover human bodies and eat their flesh[6] The distinctive black color of Anubis “did not have to do with the jackal [per se] but with the color of rotting flesh and with the black soil of the Nile valley, symbolizing rebirth.”[6]”

“Anubis is depicted in funerary contexts where he is shown attending to the mummies of the deceased or sitting atop a tomb protecting it. In fact, during embalming, the “head embalmer” wore an Anubis costume. The critical weighing of the heart scene in Book of the Dead also show Anubis performing the measurement that determined the worthiness of the deceased to enter the realm of the dead (the underworld). New Kingdom tomb-seals also depict Anubis atop nine bows that symbolize his domination over the foes of Egypt.[3]”

Nimrod and Babylon
Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to ascribe it to God, as if it were through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny, seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence on his power’When God saw that they acted so madly, he did not resolve to destroy them utterly, since they were not grown wiser by the destruction of the former sinners [in the Flood]; but he caused a tumult among them, by producing in them diverse languages, and causing that, through the multitude of those languages, they should not be able to understand one another. The place wherein they built the tower is now called Babylon, because of the confusion of that language which they readily understood before; for the Hebrews mean by the word Babel, confusion…
Flavius Josephus, in his Antiquities of the Jews (c 94 AD)

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16 thoughts on “Anubis, God of Underworld, Holds Jacob’s Ladder Captive

  1. pamela, you certainly put a lot of hard effort, time and research into your theory!

    I have full appreciation for that! It is an enjoyable read!

    I think there are certain elements you have mentioned that could play into the story line.

  2. one point i dont agree with is that anubis is the smoke monster, when ben goes to confront smokey the carvings (for me anyway) clearly show anubis worshipping smokey or at least bowing down to it, when you look he is on one knee
    apart from that i think it is a good read and you have clearly done a lot of research into it which i like (some people dont bother and their theorys sound like something you would find on the back of a beermat)

  3. pamela where have you been all this time?
    What a wonderful theory.

    I think you covered most of the questions that I had about Lost. You thought of all the major pieces of the puzzle from the Black Rock to the whispers.

    Great work!

  4. Maybe Anubis is simply the force in charge of the Smoke Monster, or maybe Smoke is just one of his embodiements. I think all of the references to the “black” appearance of Anubis in the Egyptian mythology is a big clue, however.

    I think the Smoke Monster is the BIG enemy, the primary “evil force”. Smokey makes a big appearance in the pilot episode, and throught the story, so I think from a storytelling perspective he is the master manipulator.

    I also think there may be multiple Egyptian gods that were transported on the Black Rock.

    Richard Alpert is RA.

    Horus, the Giant Eagle with the Heaed of a Phoenix who helps usher the dead up throug the underworld and up the ladder into Paradise.

    The Fertility Goddess, Tawaret could be in play (statue perhaps?)

    I just found another bit of research from an Eyptologist that ties in the mythology of the gods of the “underworld” needing a stairway to enter Paradise. It explitly references Jacob’s Ladder.

    “The Pharaoh’s body was being preserved so that he himself might have real existence as an adult in the Otherworld of the Celestial regions, and in various texts we can trace a variety of beliefs regarding the manner in which he was supposed to reach the sky. Some early and late texts told of a ladder similar to that which Jacob saw in his dream

  5. I dont think Lost is about as much religion as you have put here, pamela.
    You obviously did some hard, long work here, but I think it was a bit overboard with religion.
    Some elements of your theory seemed interesting, but I dont think Lost will play out that way.

    And by the way, THAT WAS WAY TOO LONG, LOL. I spent AGES reading that, ahha.

  6. LOL Sorry it was so verbose.

    Yea, I agree the theory is overboard on religion, but I still think it is they mythological, literrary foundation. Most fantasy stories, even video games, are based on this type of literary mythology/magic. Indiana Jones, Night at the Museum, Final Fantasy–all of them are steeped in this kind of magical back story.

    I don’t think the story is ABOUT religion at all. That would just be boring.

    I think we will see a more interesting hollywood style version play out: The Smoke Monster battles the Magic Time Lord for the electromagnetic portal to to prevent the end of the world…something like that.

  7. Another interesting twist–the MURAL in the Hatch is basically a child’s drawing of my exact theory. It shows an arrow/ladder pointing up into the sky from the underworld. A ship with a hole in the front end has a big vortex monster swishing out, chasing after the arrow/ladder. The girl in the drawing is being chased or scared by a priest with a bald head, a slash over his left eye, and he has one white eye and one black eye.

  8. Jacob’s Ladder, Anubis=SMOKEY, Revisited

    At the end of season 5, I posted my theory that the island is an analogy to Jacob’s Ladder (the portal to heaven as referenced in the Bible), and that the MIB/Smokey was based on Anubis, god of the Underworld. After S6e4 The Substitute, (which was AMAZING) I thought I would revisit my (verbose) post to see what held up, and what didn’t.

    Here is the link:

  9. Jacob’s Ladder, Anubis=SMOKEY, Revisited

    At the end of season 5, I posted this theory that the island is an analogy to Jacob’s Ladder (the portal to heaven as referenced in the Bible), and that the MIB/Smokey was based on Anubis, god of the Underworld. After S6e4 The Substitute, (which was AMAZING) I thought I would revisit my (verbose) post to see what held up, and what didn’t.

    Any fresh thoughts on this?

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