Main Article Theories about
Cliffside cave
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The Scale

  • When MiB and Sawyer enter the cave, the scale is slightly lower on side of the black rock, indicating that the dark side is presently winning the game. Nemesis then removes the white stone and throws it in the water. Sawyer asks the MiB what that was for, to which the MiB replies "an inside joke".

Hierarchy of the numbers

Based on the list, the numbers could correspond to an order of preference, with Locke unsurprisingly being very high up. The top 3 could include names such as Widmore, Alpert, Littleton or Lloyd.

  • It also looks like Hurley is the new leader now Locke is dead like Miles says at the temple, and he is the next alive person in the list after Locke

Counter Arguments

It might only be related to the numerology of the names. Numerology, Gematria.

Names as variables


Gary Troup's 'Valenzetti Equation'

  • The names and corresponding numbers in the cave are Jacob's list of variables in the Valenzetti Equation. Jacob may be trying to change the equation in an effort to save mankind. But like Locke thought the button was real and Jack thought it was not, Jacob thinks the equation can be changed and MIB does not. Perhaps the Dharma Initiative was funded by Alvar Hanso because Hanso had somehow become part of the game and was trying to help the cause.
    • Jacob is Valenzetti.
  • According to Enzo Valenzetti the numbers present "numerical values to the human factors" Sri Lanka Video. Those human factors could be attributed as a kind of symbolism to the characters:

4 - Locke: Faith (and/or hope)

8 - Reyes: Compassion (and/or good will)

15 - Ford: Change (and/or character progress)

16 - Jarrah: Common Sense (and/or law and order)

23 - Shephard: Science (and/or rationaliy)

42 - Kwon: Family (and/or Love)

All these factors are essential to the survival of mankind, but the question remains which factor requires enhancement or reduction to accomplish the goal. The DHARMA Initiative had focused on the environmental factors but overlooked the human ones. With Locke and Jacob gone, the Man in Black has already altered the Valenzetti Equation by crossing out faith and hope, which the Others and in particular Richard Alpert lost, once they learned that Jacob is dead.

Kate Austen and Frank Lapidus might represent and/or replace human factors and/or numerical values (deliberately) kept out of the equation for the time being. While Lapidus hints compassion (for Locke's body), common sense (not burning the cabin as the fire may spring to the jungle vegetation) and change (he was a former alcoholic), Kate may represent regret and/or repentence (returning to The Island to bring Claire home and to reunite her with Aaron), eventually replacing faith.

Who are numbers 1, 2 and 3?

  • 1 - The Man In Black. He was the first one brought to the island by Jacob, but refused to become the next protector and struggled for freedeom ever since.
  • 2 - Alpert. He's on the Island for a long time, but arrived later than the MIB. Unlike the Man In Black Richard proved to be a little too obedient, therefore Jacob assigned him the role of a councillor and crossed out as a candidate
    • Or even merely unwilling. Richard has always demonstrated that he was happier taking orders, not giving them, so he may have refused Jacob outright but decided to follow him all the same.
  • 3 - Dogen, Hume or Widmore

Chaldean Numerology

  • 4 - represents Uranus, the father of Saturn. He disrupts and changes the status quo. He breaks down old belief systems and estabhes new ones.
  • 8 -
  • 15 - represents the Magician. It symbolizes the power to rule, but more importantly, when appearing with the number 4 or 8, is symoblizes dark magic. In that case it represents the misuse of power through black magic, hypnosis, and mental suggestion to victimize others.lis
  • 16 - represents the Shattered Citadel or Falling Tower. The story represented by the number is that of a prince who goes to the top of the tower under false pretenses. There he is struck by lightning and falls to his death.
  • 23 - represents synchronicity. With 23 there are no coincidences. It is an extremely fortunate number in most cases because it represents how the universe uses interconnection to fulfill its purposes.
  • 42 - represents Love, Money, and Creativity. It is another fortunate number that promises prosperous gains in all three areas.

Kate's Name

  • Kate's name is crossed-out because she proved that she could choose the right thing to do when she chose to save Ben even when she knew that he would grow up to be the leader of the others.--Roger.barret 06:06, March 26, 2010 (UTC)
Counter Arguments

Not really Jacob's?

  • I believe that the room with all the names was actually made by MIB. It's his list of candidates for whom he has to "claim" to be on his side. He crossed off Locke because he was dead and MIB is now using it. Littleton was crossed out because, as Dogen said, she fell to the sickness. Later this season, we will see Sayid's name crossed off by the MIB. --Captain538 19:40, February 18, 2010 (UTC)
    • This sounds very plausible. The fact that the MIB was so familiar with the place should raise suspicion as it seems like Jacob (when alive, at least) would prevent him from being able to enter it. Furthermore, why would MIB care about crossing out Locke's name if the whole activity was pointless in the first place?
    • I agree. When he and Sawyer are in the cave, MIB tells him that Jacob has been meddling in people's lives. All the meddling we've seen so far, however, has been MIB's doing. He, as Locke, told Richard to tell real Locke when he was hurt next to the downed plane that he had to bring everyone back to the Island, and that he had to die. I find it hard to trust anything MIB says.
      • I disagree, Jacob has meddled in people's lives as well. Didn't he cause Nadia's death by distracting Sayid at the moment a car came careening around the corner to hit her? Jacob said he brings people to the island to prove the MIB wrong, it sounds like he's messing with people's lives in a game.
        • Jacob did not cause Nadia to get hit by the bus. If anything he prevented Sayid from getting hit by the bus which indicates a level of foresight. He may have been able to prevent Nadia's death since he was aware of the bus but Sayid was never meant to be with her. The Flash Sideways world seems to indicate that as true since Sayid "awoke" upon meeting Shannon and not Nadia. Nadia and Sayid were always meant to be apart, Jacob didn't cause her death but perhaps hastened it. Why would she stop in the middle of the road and make a full 180 to take out her glasses?
      • Didn't we just learn that MIB cannot appear as someone until they are dead? So that was not MIB as Locke telling Richard to tell the real Locke anything.
        • When Locke told Richard to help the time-flashing Locke, it was actually the MIB for sure. It was technically at a point in time after Locke died and his body returned to the Island. Locke was just flashing around in time and happened to stop at this specific point in time immediately after the Ajira crash, thus the injured Locke is from the past. We know it was the MIB because Locke at this time was dead and he was setting things up for Ben to kill Jacob.
    • The cliffside cave indeed appears to be in a contrast to Jacob's orderly housing in the statue's foot. The chiseling of names onto a wall is rather reminiscent of the behaviour of a prisoner than a warden. Removing the white stone from the scale and casting it into the sea, would rather indicate the behaviour of an uninvited intruder, but might as well just be a (psychological) trick / show to deceive Sawyer (and the viewing audience). From the cave's inside point of view the panorama is the open sea and the far horizon (enhancing MiB's desire to escape) while Jacob's housing is a confined space. The descend on the cliffside has rather the characteristics of going underground, while Jacob's housing's open roof points towards the sky.
      • Furthermore, the white stone that is cast into the sea bears a striking resemblance to the stone that was given to MIB by Jacob via Richard in Ab Aeterno, which, in conjunction with MIB's casual behaviour when entering the cave (e.g. throwing his backpack on the ground), might indicate that the cave actually belongs to him (i.e. MIB).
    • In addition, several of the names listed on the walls were previously mentioned as not being on "Jacob's List" leaving one to question who's list this is (or alternatively, who's list The Others were following.)
    • The cave is not Jacob's, but the Man in Black's. According to Hurley, and almost everything else we've seen in the show, "the Numbers are bad." The Man in Black is lying to Sawyer because he is trying to con him in order to reach his own goals. Jacob may not even be looking for candidates at all.
    • Also, referring to why certain characters were not on the lists that Mikhail mentioned, they may have been coming from the Man in Black all along. It looks like the Man in Black may have his own list, independent of lists that Jacob may have.
    • The names in the caves may be possible replacements of MIB. To leave the Island, he may need someone to do certain things to take his place.
      • MIB's belief that everyone is corruptable suggests that he crosses the name off as he corrupts them.
    • The neat, orderly list of names and numbers shown in the The Lighthouse supports this position that the names in this cave weren't written by Jacob, instead this is where MIB scrawled the names of candidates as he was able to figure them out. This is the MIB's copy of the list, not Jacob's list.
  • Remember that a board in a game can (and has to) be used (at least per proxy) by both players.
  • The cave was a substitute for the Lighthouse.
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