Enlightenment and Jack
There has been heaps of talk and really great discussion here on Enlightenment and its relevance to Lost. AES bought it up again recently. While reading bits and pieces for my previous theory I had a bit of a think back to the history of science and The Enlightenment. There are two different ways of looking at enlightenment — from a spiritual / faith perspective, but also from an historical perspective (which I’ll focus on here).
The Enlightenment or Age of Enlightenment was a time when people started to question faith, dogma and the church. When values of reason, freedom and the scientific method were seen as important. This was a period when the Academy of Science and The Royal Society became really prominent and influential. Some interesting names also appear during this time including David Hume and John Locke.
So how do these two ideas work together and relate to Lost?
Our lead protagonist (Jack) has struggled with Faith vs Science throughout the show, often swinging from one to the other. His character arc seems to be leading him to have to have a revelation which will be crucial to the final outcome for the losties. Talk has been of Jack needing to become enlightened (from a spiritual perspective) for him to reach this point. I’m thinking that maybe Jack needs to become enlightened completely and wholly, to accept and embrace the spiritual and the scientific. To reconcile these two seemingly disparate ideals, to come to a balanced view of himself and the world.
Is Jack important because he can stand in the middle, neither black nor white, good or bad, science or faith? Can Jack bring the island back into balance by being enlightened in both senses of the word?