It means a lot of things. If you are lost, you don't know where you are and/or are unable to find your way to wherever it is you want to go. If something is lost, it means it cannot be found, perhaps because it has been misplaced. To feel lost means one is in an unfamiliar situation and as a result, feels uncomfortable or anxious.

There are more meanings, but of late, the word conjures thoughts of the television show "LOST", a cultural phenomenon whose characters were themselves lost, in both a literal and philosophical way. Not only were they stranded on an Island almost completely cut off from the outside world, nearly everyone on the show had personal flaws or issues, things that kept them isolated from others in an emotional sense. In a nutshell, they learned to cope with those issues by learning to let others into their hearts and souls.

Here's where I'd put the words "spoiler alert" in big bold letters, but for the most part, people who read this blog have already seen the "LOST" finale and know what happens. If you haven't and don't want to know, yadda yadda yadda you know the drill.

The Sideways world featured in the show's last season turns out to be a way station, a place where the people on the Island find themselves after dying, and, not knowing they are dead, in which they are stuck until they realize where they are. This world was created by each of them and represents a place where life happened sans Oceanic 815 crash with a twist: their lives aren't exactly as they were in the world of the living. Jack has a son; Sawyer is a police officer; Hurley isn't cursed with bad luck.

Then along comes Enlightenment, most often courtesy of someone else by means of some kind of sudden or sharp or poignant event: a kiss, a beating, nearly drowning, getting hit by a car- somehow everyone is reminded of the life they had on the Island, the life they had in life, and becomes Enlightened. To what are they Enlightened? The fact that not only are they dead, but they cannot move on into whatever final afterlife destination awaits until they understand they wouldn't be at the waystation, at a place where they can move on, without those with whom they lived on the Island.

Really, this has a point. In fact, let me skip to it right now.

What would your Sideways world look like? How do you think your life would be if you found yourself stuck there, unaware at the time of what exactly the Sideways world is?

Would you find yourself like Jack, projecting a son with which you can avoid all the mistakes you think your own parents made? A chance, perhaps, to be the dad your dad never was?

Would you find yourself like Desmond, living the lavish life of luxury yet missing any real human connections?

Would you be like John Locke, racked with guilt over something you did that caused pain to another, and unwilling to accept any kind of salvation, even when it's so freely offered, because of that remorse?

And further, what would your awakening be like? What could cause you to become aware, to accept the life you've had and choices you've made and move on? Has anything like that happened for you? Something to which, at a point in your future, you could say your awareness, your outlook, your world view changed?

I'm not sure I'm there yet.

I've had moments of realization, moments where some mental puzzle piece falls into place and something clicks.

But I don't think I've had that moment.

That moment can mean a lot of things: the instant where you accept your faults and make that pledge that won't fail to make sure your faults don't get the better of you. The instant where your testimony of truth, of God, of scripture, transforms from a viscous pool of belief into an unchangeable statue of knowledge. The instant where you realize how deeply, sublimely, honestly and completely you care about someone.

Maybe that moment is a combination. I believe I had the kind of moment mentioned third when I married Tamara, but it's still incomplete, because we still have eternity to grow. But I'm still working on the others, and unlike the Sideways world, ours is not to wait until they happen to or come to us.

Ours is to go out and Enlighten ourselves.


Peeser said…
Wow. This will require some further thought/reflection. But for now, I just want to say how much I loved this post- the way it was written, the way it invites deep, thoughtful reflection... Very well expressed!

(And, to be honest, I hadn't really thought of the "sideways" universe as an afterlife waystation- I figured it *was* the final destination... but I like your idea better!)

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