Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Mirror Matter Theory of Lost

This theory is devoted to the possibility that the black rock sought by the Black Rock contains mirror matter, which a few physicists believe may account for some or all of the dark matter in the universe. I further speculate that the black rock is the famed Philosopher's Stone, aka Black Stone, aka Chintamani Stone, aka Shining Trapezohedron of myth and legend.

A puzzle of modern physics is why particles don't seem to observe mirror-reflection symmetry the way they do other symmetries (e.g., rotational, translational, Lorentz, guage, etc.). Experiments have shown that electrons and other elementary particles are, in a sense, "left handed," preventing parity from being conserved.

For a time, it seemed that anti-matter might create mirror symmetry, much as it had Lorentz symmetry. In 1964, however, a strange particle known as the kaon failed to display mirror symmetry when reflected into its anti-matter counterpart. To this day, mirror symmetry remains the glaring exception in nature, which most scienstists simply accept is "left handed."

Mirror, Mirror
A minority, however, refuse to accede. They insist that, just as anti-matter was needed to preserve Lorentz symmetry, so too is a new type of matter required to restore mirror symmetry. Not suprisingly, proponents of the model have dubbed this stuff "mirror matter," despite a few anti-matter physicists' misappropriation of the name.

In the mirror matter model, all particles, even those of anti-matter, have ghostly counterparts that are perfect mirror images (i.e., same, mass, lifetime, etc.). The only difference is that mirror matter is "right handed" to balance the "left handed" tendancy of ordinary matter and anti-matter.

This symmetry even includes "force" particles, which explains why lab experiments don't produce mirror matter. Regular particles rarely interact with their mirror counterparts because the latter are mostly governed by mirror forces. Gravity, which is a function of mass, is the big exception. Otherwise pure mirror matter can't be seen or detected directly.

Dark Matter, Comets, and Tunguska

Perhaps the leading proponent of the model is an Australian physicist, Dr. Robert Foot. He believes that mirror matter, beyond preserving parity, could also explain several other scientific puzzles. Foot proposes, for example, that mirror matter is a prime candidate for the mysterious "missing" dark matter, which could comprise up to 95% of the universe.

Dr. Foot further speculates there may be entire mirror planets and stars in our own galaxy, detectable only by their gravitational effects. He notes this could explain the phenomenon of wandering planets (they're actually orbiting invisible mirror stars) and of planets detected orbiting nearby stars many times more closely than Mercury does our Sun (mirror planets).

Then there's the puzzle of why some comets fade as they approach the Sun. Foot figures it's because the nucleus contains a substantial mirror matter component. He notes that Halley's "has an albedo of only 0.03 making it one of the darkest objects in the solar system -- darker even than coal!"

But why aren't comets invisible like mirror stars? Foot explains:
Of course, pure mirror matter would be transparent, but if it contained a small admixture of ordinary matter embedded within, it could appear opaque and dark. If the ordinary matter had a volatile component such as water ice, then this would explain the large head and tail observed when the comet passed close to the sun. Such a picture would also be consistent with observations suggesting that many comets lose a large factor (100-1000) in average brightness after approaching the sun for the first time. (Full text here.)
I stated previously that mirror and regular matter mainly interact via gravity. But there are at least two other forces that Foot believes could create admixtures: photon-mirror photon transition, and neutrino-mirror neutrino mass mixing. The explanations are too technical for our purposes, but those interested can read more here.

Suffice it to say that mirror and regular matter (or anti-matter) can conceivably mix, which brings me to Tunguska.

A popular hypothesis for this devastation is a strike by some celestial object, but no fragments have ever been found. Foot feels a mirror asteroid or comet could be the real culprit. He speculates that, as it fell, its atoms mingled with our atmosphere via photon-mirror photon transition, causing the mirror body to slow down, heat up, and explode near the ground.

The explosion left no fragments because mirror matter is invisible, but samples could theoretically be separated from the soil with a centrifuge. If mirror matter can be extracted, Foot believes it could have immense powerful applications (e.g., harnessing anti-matter). Plus the stuff has other features that raise a range of strange possibilities.

Backwards Time and Bad Twins
Foot has, for example, suggested that space and time are reversed from the perspective of mirror particles. Could mirror matter then provide a window to the future, or even be the fountain of youth? And what of mirror planets -- could mirror life exist upon them? Maybe we really do have bad twins somewhere out there...

Such speculations, of course, remain the realm of pseudo-science, so this is perhaps a good place to break before we step through the looking glass...

So what might mirror matter mean for Lost? One of my favorite threads is shootfire's tracking the show's mirror images, and I dig johnnyreb's description of the Monster as "smoke and mirrors." Many have posited that a comet or meteor crashed on the Island at some point. Jaystao offers a particularly compelling scenario along these lines.

My speculation is this body had a substantial mirror matter component. Its debris mixed with lava, then cooled under the unique magnetic conditions of the Island to form a dark black rock with remarkable powers. The pseudo-scientific twist is that this rock is the famed Philosopher's Stone, aka Black Stone, aka Shining Trapezohedron, aka Chintamani Stone.

Catch a Falling Star...
Many myths and legends speak of sacred black rocks from the sky. Among the most famous is the Chintamani Stone, chunks of which are purportedly enshrined in Mekka. Here's a description of the Chintamani, alleged to be a meteor or comet from somewhere in Orion:
It appears to be a trapezohedron made of black stone or ore, with glowing striatons. However it is more, or less, than stone. Scientists would not be able to study it completely because it exists only partially in in humanity's concept of matter and space.

It is more than an artifact, it is a key to doors that were sealed aeons ago. (Full description here.)
Note the suggestion that the Chintamani Stone defies ordinary scientific study. Could this be because a portion is comprised of mirror matter, which is invisible in pure form? Or consider this further description from the same source:
Roerich's theory about the stone is that it is charged with Shugs, currents of psychic force. He speculated it resembled an electrical accumulator and may give back, in one way or another, the energy stored within it. For instance, it will increase the spiritual vitality of anyone who touches it, infusing him with knowledge, or enhancing psychic abilities, that allow him to glimpse Agartha, the valley of the Eight Immortals.

The stone, according to Balam, is a key, a key to all futures and everyone's destiny. It is a point of power, a nontechnological quantum vortex.
Could the psychic potential of the Chintamani Stone flow from the mirroring of time and space referred to at the end of Part I? And might our Island be the mythical location glimpsed by contact with this blackest of rocks? The pseudo-scientific possibilities seem limitless, which brings me to Smokey, perhaps the darkest object on the Island.

The Alchemical Explanation for Smokey
In an update to 108: Restoring the Lost Sun, I suggested that Smokey might be a modern application of the alchemical knowledge of Albertus Magnus, who was reputed to have created a crude robot using the famed Philosopher's Stone. The automaton's description is intriguing:
His writings indicate that after he completed the construction of his first box, Albertus began a thirty year long task of building an automaton which he named "Android." Using the "angels from the netherworld" and the powers of the philosophers stone he created the "metals and material unknown to this world" and chose them "according to the stars and planets...." The android was instilled with the powers of speech, thought, and according to some reports a SOUL. Upon completion of this project, his student St. Thomas, destroyed the "diabolic being" and denounced it as "a tool of satan and a blasphemy to God." (Full text here.)
I believe the "metals and material unknown to this world" were none other than our mysterious black rock. I further believe that Smokey is composed of the same material, which contains dark mirror matter, much like the nucleus of a comet.

It's also possible that the Island's soil has a high concentration of black rock particles. If so, then the plant and animal life (including our Losties) presumably do, too. Perhaps this explains their growing psychic awareness, as well as Locke and Rose's respective cures. I've always been struck by the way Aaron kicked for the first time since the crash after being fed Jin's fish.

Maybe this is the source of the "sickness," which involves vivid psychic visions after sufficient amounts of black rock have built up in your system.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Desmond's Return?

Rumor has it that Desmond will be returning for the finale, which will be devoted entirely to his flashback. I really hope they follow through with this -- Desmond's return coupled with some exposition is precisely the shot in the arm this show needs. Enough with the character develpment -- time for more Island mystery!


A friend writes to ask me what I thought of S.O.S. overall as an episode. Truthfully, I thought it was weak, lame, and totally uncool. I can't believe this was what they left us with heading into a break. Still, there were some interesting clues about what kind of effect the Island is having on them. One was Jack's shooting skills (I don't believe he could have pulled that off in the real world). Another was Locke's memory boost as a result of leaving the Hatch.

The latter, in particular, really caught my eye. Notice how he's having trouble with recall while he's inside the Hatch. It's only after Locke leaves the Hatch that he receives inspiration, and I don't think it was just from the fresh air. Whatever the Island does to people, the Hatch acts like an insulator. It protects people from being changed by the Island before they're prepared.

These changes include enhanced strength and memory retention (both intended effects of MKULTRA/Monarch programming). This has to be of great concern to the Others, who I still believe weren't expecting our losties. At first, the former had the advantage of superior strength and senses. But that gap is rapidly diminishing the longer they stay on the Island.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Bicameral Baby Aaron/And His Eyes Were Watching Hurley

The Bicameral Baby Aaron
One of the questions that's nagged a lot of people since Maternity Leave is what exactly Ethan was doing when he injected Claire in Medical Hatch with that long, creepy needle.

Ethan suggested it was vaccine, though many, myself included, believe it was really sedative (i.e., to send Claire "over the rainbow"). Some further research into MKULTRA/Monarch, however, suggests another, more sinister possibility. Apparently, such mental programming is sometimes begun in utero by traumatizing the fetus with needles:
The contribution of the 20th century was the systematic collection and scientific study of all the various methodologies into one cohesive programming package. This research was begun on a large scale in 1940s, and has been systematically added to since then. Families who wanted dissociative children learned that dissociative babies could be born if the child in the womb is tortured. Thin needles are inserted through the mother into the fetus to prick the preborn child. Mothers, who are pregnant with children to be programmed, are also severely traumatized during their pregnancy with a whole assortment of traumas, which simultaneously traumatizes the babies which they carry. For instance, the father may purposely abandon the pregnant mother in the middle of a forest, or blast the mother with loud frightening music, and then follow this up with love.
That last part may explain Ethan's excessive kindness to Claire in Medical Hatch. She had already been traumatized by the plane crash and kidnapping. Ethan was simply following that trauma with love much like a good MKULTRA/Monarch programmer would. His goal was to induce a dissociative split in mother and (most importantly) child.

And His Eyes Were Watching Hurley
The disclosure that Libby was in the same mental institution as Hurley set off a flurry of speculation that the former was spying on the latter.

She may well have been, but if so, I'm betting it wasn't consciously. Some time back, I speculated that the "eyes" of the Island were watching Jin and Mr. Paik through the flat screens in the latter's office (tabby rasa has a great thread that expands on the notion).

I think something similar may have been happening via Libby in the mental institution. That is, His eyes were watching Hurley through Libby's. His window in was the numbers, which Lenny was muttering over and over. This limited "use" was enough for Him to tap a susceptible mind like Libby's.

Whatever Hurley's condition, I'm guessing she had the same thing.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I Feel Free!

In my Schizophrenic Theory of Lost, I tried to provide a plausible explanation for "how" Dave might have manifested (i.e., Hurley's bicameral mind). In this update, I posit a simple explanation "why" I think Dave appeared to Hurley when he did on the Island.

Recall that Dave manifests shortly after Hurley has destroyed his stash of junk food. Upon doing so, Hurley tells Libby "I feel free!" They then stumble on the food drop, where Sawyer tries to renlist Hurley as food distributor. When Hurley refuses, Dave appears.

I believe the timing of that appearance was no coincidence. Someone (or thing) sensed that Hurley was beginning to break free of the Island's hold over his mind. When this suspicion was confirmed by Hurley's refusal to reassume food duty (Hurley's "job" as Locke once put it) Dave was sent as a probe.

Notice how Dave next appears when Hurley has broken down and is scarfing his deliciously salty Dharma snacks. Dave nods approvingly until Hurley drops the box and denies Dave's reality. When Dave next appears, it's to convince Hurley to kill himself.

I believe that was no coincidence, either. The Island was testing its psychic control over Hurley's mind. When he demonstrated disturbing signs of liberation, the Island decided to give him a scare.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Who Is He?

If you haven't already, you might want to read my post 108:Restoring the Lost Sun before reading this post. But it's not a must -- I certainly won't tell you what you can't do!

One of the many questions left open by the aforementioned post was who "He" might be. Some tantalizing hints are suggested by the blast door Map, one being a reference in the upper left to the "AH/MDG INCIDENT." Another such clue to His identity is the reference in the lower right to the "KNOWN FINAL RESTING PLACE OF MAGNUS HANSO/BLACK ROCK."

Many plausible interpretations of the foregoing have been advanced. My own is that "He" is Magnus Hanso, an ancestor of both Alvar Hanso and Gerald Degroot. But first, some brief background is in order.

Albertus Magnus
You've probably heard already of Albertus Magnus:

To review, Albertus was a brilliant religious scholar who lived during the thirteenth century and was a major influence on Thomas Aquinas. As cinamin and sgtdraino have noted, the name "Magnus" wasn't an honorific but rather a literal translation of his family name, DeGroot.

Albertus was also reputed to have been a great alchemist with strong psychic powers. According to one legend, he used the fabled philosopher's stone to construct an artificial man (android?). Of particular relevance here, jmberger has noted that Albertus wrote of a mysterious island located in the "western ocean." Albertus also described a magical black rock called "droconites" that could only be mined from the head of a dragon (volcano?).

Many of these myths and writings derive from an influential book of alchemical secrets that was published under Albertus's name during the 16th century. Most historians agree, however, that the book was actually written by a follower building upon his great alchemical knowledge.

Magnus Hanso

My speculation is that Magnus Hanso was a descendant and disciple of Albertus who used the latter's notes to become a powerful alchemist in his own right. Most likely his relation was matrilineal, which is why his first name is Magnus, to indicate his link with Albertus and the DeGroots.

Magnus may even have written the aforementioned alchemical treatise himself, though he was more likely a descendant of the author. He invested the fortune from its publication in an expedition to search for the mysterious island and black rock described by his ancestor. Magnus dubbed his ship of slaves the Black Rock after the mineral they sought, and equipped it with anachronistic technology (e.g., dynamite) courtesy of his alchemical knowledge.

Magnus managed to find the Island, but the rest of his crew perished during the tempest that wrecked their ship. Marooned by himself, Magnus went a little mad, much as Danielle has during her sixteen years on the Island. He eventually died, only to be reborn as electromagnetic consciousness ("Him") in the Island's magnetic field.

The Return of the Sun
As His dominion grew over the Island and its creatures, so too did His mania. He became convinced He'd been chosen by God to fulfill some divine mission -- but what? The same Island magetic field that sustained His consciousness also constrained His influence. The answer finally came to Him around the midpoint of 20th century, when someone else stumbled upon the Island.

One possibility, inspired by Andrew Smith's Black Box theory, is that the arrival of Adam and Eve via their own plane crash served as the catalyst.

Another scenario, inspired by lacenaire's observation that Nazi experiments inspired MKULTRA/Monarch, is that the Nazis established a base there during their search for Magnus's mythical lost island of Thule.

Whatever the key, He finally gained access to the the outside world. That access , however, was limited to dream visions broadcast via the Island's natural antenna. He used these visions to manipulate His descendants, the Hansos and DeGroots, into applying His alchemical knowledge to its most profitable purpose: designing and selling weapons of war.

He then inspired them to invest the profits in various philanthropic causes. After watching us for several decades, however, He became convinced we were hopelessly lost. Much like Thomas Hobbes and the Grand Inquisitor in the Brothers Karamozov, He diagnosed our flaw as too much freedom, and prescribed the cure of a Leviathan-like overmind (i.e., the Lost Sun).

He reunited the two halves of the family, as symbolized by the acronym "DIHG" (Dharma Initiative Hanso Group) and yin yang. Once the pieces and technology were assembled on the Island, He took control through a series of "incidents," one of which likely involved taking command of the Cerberus security system, the design of which was based on His alchemical knowledge.

He now rules over the Island like the old testament creator, an electromagnetic embodiment of the gnostic demiurge.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Schizophrenic Theory of Lost

This is a long one, but I swear it's worth it, so bear with me...

Last summer, I speculated that the work of a psychologist who specialized in schizophrenia, as well as myths regarding an immortal race of beings called the Watchers, might both be highly relevant to the show. Some of my predictions were laughably wrong in retrospect, but two merit further discussion in light of recent events. My prediction of Hurley's schizophrenia has apparently come true, and I believe that some variation of a Watcher is a highly plausible candidate for "Him." Let’s review.

The Bicameral Mind
If you haven’t already, meet Julian Jaynes:

Jaynes believed that, until roughly 1000 BC, human beings were not conscious in the way we are now. Instead, their minds were characterized by a “bicameral” or divided state akin to modern schizophrenia. As a result of this split between right and left brains, people literally heard voices that would eventually evolve into internal dialogues (“Should I have tacos?”) in “unicameral” minds like ours.

As with modern schizophrenics, moreover, these voices were irresistible to pre-conscious humans -- quite literally the source of their will:
[E]ach person had a part of his nervous system that was divine, by which he was ordered about like any slave, a voice or voices which indeed were what we call volition and empowered what they commanded and were related to the hallucinated voices of others in a carefully established hierarchy.
Jaynes even speculates that such hallucincations were the origin of religion in the world. People heard the voice of their king after he died, and continued to worship and obey him as if he were alive. Eventually, this dynamic created full-fledged gods, whom regular people heard, worshipped, and served like slaves on a city-sized plantation:
Throughout Mesopotamia, from the earliest times of Sumer and Akkad, all lands were owned by gods and men were their slaves. Of this, the cuneiform texts leave no doubt whatever. Each city-state had its own principal god, and the king was described in the very earliest written documents that we have as 'the tenant farmer of the god"…
As further proof, he provides close readings of the Iliad and the oldest parts of the Old Testament and Epic of Gilgamesh.

The Gods' Departure
Jaynes claims that all this came to an abrupt end around 1000 BC, when religious texts from around the globe begin lamenting, in eery unison, the departure of the gods. He argues that this was when modern consciousness really started. The divine "departure" was not metaphorical -- people literally stopped hearing the voices of their "gods" as unicameral consciousness emerged.

Of particular relevance to Lost, Jaynes' theory of consciousness was explicitly influenced by John Locke and the "tabula rasa" conception of the mind. Jaynes also explicitly invokes the notion of the "mind's eye," wherein conscious human beings plan and visualize the future. Then there's the emphasis on, and analogy to, schizophrenia. Hurley seems increasingly central to the show, and we now know his backstory involves hallucinations and clonazepam (which can be used to treat schizophrenia).

While not necessarily a realistic depiction of schizophrenia, Hurley's symptoms and treatment are consistent with fictional or semi-fictional depictions of the condition like A Beautiful Mind, Fight Club, etc., etc., etc. So much for the controversial but serious science. Ready to follow me down the rabbit hole?

Let me start by clarifying that what follows is in no way what Jaynes believed. Indeed, the pseudo-scientific twist I discuss contradicts his core premise even as it’s paradoxically inspired by the same historical claims. The twist is this: What if Jaynes was wrong, and pre-conscious humans really did hear the voice of some powerful god-like being(s) in their heads?

The Lost Book of Enoch
So what do the ancient texts tell us about this hypothesis? I've long believed the Dead Sea Scrolls are relevant to this show (e.g., Aaron and Walt are messiahs). For biblical scholars, one of the more interesting finds therein was the discovery of the so-called "lost text" of the Book of Enoch, which makes reference to a race of divine beings known as the Watchers.

Enoch and other books of the apocrypha describe the Watchers as angels who fell to earth (marooned aliens?) and taught humanity all manner of divine secrets like the zodiacal cross, cutting of roots, manufacture of weapons, and use of enchantments (i.e., hypnotism). True to their name, the Watchers see everything, and in the course of their peeping, developed an eye for human women. This reportedly angered god, who proved a bit of a prude. The Watchers’ hybrid offspring were killed, and their leader was imprisoned in the bowels of the earth.

The Watcher
My pseudo-scientific Lost speculation is thus that “He” is a Watcher, possibly but not necessarily of alien origin, who has been marooned on the Island for some time. He likely exists as pure electromagnetic consciousness at this point, and like Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen, can manipulate matter at the subatomic level. But he may have assumed physical form at various point and fathered some hybrid children.

My suspicion is that Gerald DeGroot may be the descendant of such a coupling, as are Walt and Aaron. Notice how Thomas and Michael’s respective paintings evidence similarities with the Hatch mural. Something could well be running in their family. I even wonder if Gerald first found out about the Island via vivid dream visions from his family’s immortal patriarch.

The Watcher controls reality on the Island, and wants to do the same for the rest of the planet. He seeks, in sum, to forge a totalitarian overmind (the “Lost Sun”) that will enforce His iron will worldwide, using His lost sons like Aaron and Walt. The natural potential of the Island to serve as His psychic transmitter has been enhanced by Dharma’s relay technology, making his dream a realistic possibility.

Best of the Rest
That explains Aaron and Walt, but what about the rest of our losties? I’ve explained previously my belief that Hurley was meant to join Desmond in the Hatch. I think, however, that this bicameral theory also explains the significance of our remaining losties, at least those that are the focus of the show.

I don't think it's a coincidence that Jack has experienced a vivid hallucination like Hurley's. It is entirely possible for someone with the right mindset, under the right circumstances, to split their mind temporarily. This is what oracles and other such "channelers" do when they induce trance states -- their minds briefly become bicameral.

When Jack saw his daddy, he was exhausted, and by his own admission to Sarah, he's an intense guy by nature. Jack also seems to have endured some heavy trauma in his life, and learned to compartmentalize aspects of his personality, as evidenced by his method for dealing with fear. Jack is just the guy to slip into a bicameral state. Kate and Sawyer, themselves the victims of trauma, are much the same way.

In fact, if you think about it, the people who have responded most to the Island tend to be the most traumatized. This too is no coincidence. The reason goes back to the MKULTRA/Monarch programming. The most basic level of Monarch programming deliberately exploits psychological trauma to induce a bicameral state:
ALPHA. Regarded as “general” or regular programming within the base control personality; characterized by extremely pronounced memory retention, along with substantially increased physical strength and visual acuity. Alpha programming is accomplished through deliberately subdividing the victims personality which, in essence, causes a left brain-right brain division, allowing for a programmed union of L and R through neuron pathway stimulation.
Due to the severe trauma induced through ECT, sexual abuse and other methods, the mind splits off into alternate personalities from the core. Formerly referred to as Multiple Personality Disorder, it is presently recognized as Dissociative Identity Disorder and is the basis for MONARCH programming. Further conditioning of the victim’s mind is enhanced through hypnotism, double-bind coercion, pleasure-pain reversals, food, water, sleep and sensory deprivation, along with various drugs which alter certain cerebral functions.
This is why the show concentrates on the most traumatized among our losties. It’s more than just good storytelling -- they're the ones most susceptible to the Island's tendency to induce a bicameral state.

Monday, April 03, 2006

108: Restoring the Lost Sun

Remember the Hatch mural?

One of its most prominent features is the Sun with 108 in the center. I've long believed the mural generally, and that Sun specifically, are a key clue to what Dharma has become. But it wasn't until the blast door map that their significance was finally illuminated.

In the lower right corner of the map, there is a seemingly random cite to the Book of Revelation, chapter 4, verse 3, line 2, which reads: "And there was a rainbow about the throne, in sight like an emerald." It apparently lacks any discernible connection to Lost, but appearances can deceive.

New Age Gnosticism and the "Lost Sun"
The "rainbow" in Revelation has been interpreted by some new age gnostics as referring to the Sun, with the verse that follows describing the Zodiacal cross of Lion, Calf, Man, and Eagle:

These new age Gnostics believe that humanity is not the final step on the evolutionary scale, but rather the starting point for a spiritual evolution that promises to transcend the material limits of creation. They aspire to create a divine life on earth through the forging of a unified, global supermind.

The process of creating this "supramental" consciousness that will guide our spiritual evolution is called restoring the "lost Sun." That description actually derives from the Rig Veda, a collection of Hindu hymns that are among the oldest texts preserved in any language.

These neo-Gnostics read the Rig Veda as being concerned primarily with the recovery or return of the "lost Sun," also termed the Sanatana Dharma or Eternal Truth of Being and Becoming. 108 is a scared number in Sanatana Dharma, symbolizing in various ways the underlying order and harmony of the universe.

Dream of a New World Order
All of which brings us back to the Hatch mural, which I believe depicts Dharma's dream of a new world order. The original scientists long ago achieved their transhumanist ambition of overcoming the limits of corporeal existence. They have become pure electromagnetic consciousness, merged with the EM field of the Island, which is literally an extension of their minds.

They now possess god-like powers, and so aspire to play god. Troubled by the violence and greed in the world, the scientists plan to impose a new collective global consciousness with Dharma at its core. They seek, in sum, to restore the "lost Sun" using an army of LeviEthans led by psychic messiahs like Aaron and Walt (the black and white figures in the mural).

To carry out their plans, the disembodied scientists commandeer people from the real world using the numbers and the Island itself. The numbers are an algorithmic representation of the supramental consciousness, permitting the scientists to connect with and influence the minds of targets.

Meanwhile, the Island's high concentration of non-metallic minerals like quartz make it a kind of giant antenna, broadcasting the scientists' electromagnetic influence worldwide. In this way, people like Hurley who "use" the numbers are manipulated and coerced into coming to the Island.

Indoctrination into Dharma
Once there, however, these draftees must be prepared mentally and spiritually before the full scope of the Dharma Initiative can be revealed. The first stage in this indoctrination is Swan Hatch, where the influence of the supramental consciousness is reinforced through repetition of the numbers and exposure to the powerful electromagnet behind the concrete.

Hatch occupants are introduced via the orientation film to what Dharma once was (but not what it has since become) and primed to respect Hanso and the DeGroots. Eventually, however, the occupants are sufficiently conditioned that they're ready to "graduate" from the Hatch and begin their indoctrination in earnest.

At that point, they're shown the blast door map, which was drawn by the first occupant drafted into Dharma. My guess is it was subsequently fleshed out and annotated by someone from the Hanso Foundation sent to investigate what happened to the Initiative -- as a fan of Solaris, I'd like to think that was Kelvin.

Driven by curiosity (Hanso's favorite value) and encouraged perhaps by dream visions from the scientists, occupants explore the ruins of Dharma. This process presents the scientists with further opportunities to teach occupants what the Initiative has become, and to prepare the latter mentally and spiritually for inclusion in the supramental consciousness.

The map shows more than just the physical layout of the Island -- it depicts the path to spiritual evolution. I believe Henry Gale has been down that path himself, and judged Locke ready to begin the journey. Look for the latter to keep knowledge of the map to himself and maybe Mr. Eko. Once Locke is off crutches, the two can begin their mythical quest, like Gilgamesh and Enkidu.