Main Article Theories about
The Heart of the Island
Main Discussion
 Theories may be removed if ... 
  1. Stated as questions or possibilities (avoid question marks, "Maybe", "I think", etc).
  2. More appropriate for another article.
  3. Illogical or previously disproven.
  4. Proven by canon source, and moved to main article.
  5. Speculative and lacking any evidence to support arguments.
  6. Responding to another theory (use discussion page instead).
  • This does not include responses that can stand alone as its own theory.
  • Usage of an indented bullet does not imply the statement is a response.

See the Lostpedia theory policy for more details.

Dark Matter

The Source is actually the universes highest concentration of dark matter, which was contained in the island by its strange electromagnetic properties.

Somehow, when the MiB fell into the Source, his physical atoms were torn apart from their positions. He was obliterated at a quantum level, but he learned within those few seconds, how to use his consciousness (electromagnetism) to control the dark matter levels now entangled to him. With this, he became the Black Smoke Monster. A huge cloud of separated atoms with a center of dark matter keeping all the molecules constantly dividing, and the MiB's consciousness controlling it.

Whatever Jacob learned of the Source from Mother, was merely myth and speculative on the part of the Island's past inhabitance. The "religious" explanations were given to sustain the myth/science theme of the LOST series.


The Source (and Sustainer) of all life on Earth

The Source's power can be traced all the way back to the Big Bang. The Island is the last, or most powerful, Earthly remnant of the electromagnetic energy from that cataclysm.

In pseudoscientific terms, the spark from the Source created -- and perhaps even sustains -- all life on Earth. The so-called primordial soup may have started there. The Source was the catalyst which caused matter to form into living cells.

Over time, as the Earth cooled, the Source's power began to diminish, until it was just the Island where the effects of the energy were most concentrated. Civilizations kept stumbling on the Island and discovering its odd properties. To explain the weirdness, they came up with myths and legends, including Mother's belief that the Source was "the light that resides in all souls."

People discovered that drinking the water, especially that nearest the Source cave, imbued them with God-like powers. Having ingested the Source water, these people found that they could control just about anything, the only limits being their conscience and imagination. They could, in effect, make up Rules which could be enforced either by Nature, or automatically by the beholder's now all-powerful subconscious.

Anyone who drank the super-EM-concentrated water could wield the power and control Matter, Time, Rules, Natural Laws, etc. But over time, the belief that only one could use the energy at a time took hold, and it became a natural truth. Thus, the Island has only one protector at a time, though that protector can change the Rules any way they want.

Jacob, perhaps being limited by the simplistic teachings of Mother, used the power of the Island in ways which fit his worldview, for better or for worse. Under his Rules, the Island would not let people leave (at least not easily), nor would it allow certain people to die before Jacob allowed them to. The Smoke Monster, being a sort of human-Source hybrid, was the only thing Jacob could not completely control. The Man in Black's corrupted soul mixed with the purity of the Island's Source made for a volatile combination, as it gave the Island a motivation which it had never had before. Further, adding John Locke's personality to the mix gave the Smoke Monster a stubbornness and humanity which would ultimately be its downfall.

After years of inhabiting the Island, DHARMA got dangerously close to exploiting the Energy -- the Incident at the Swan was their biggest blunder -- so either Jacob or the Smoke Monster ordered their deaths. It's conceivable that Jacob merely wanted DHARMA off the Island, but MiB manipulated Richard and/or Ben to simply kill them all.

Miles is a product of the Source's powers, having likely drunk its EM-infused water in small quantities as a baby. As the water he drank was not as close to the cave, his abilities were limited.

The energy released when Juliet hit the bomb may have produced the transient, yet also very real, shared consciousness -- the Sideways World -- through combination with Jack, Sawyer, Kate and co.'s desires and dreams at the time of the Incident. It was not quite the manipulation of Matter and TIme, but rather something in-between that was unique to the characters' experience.

The energy of the Source is most concentrated on the Island, but enough of it either remains or has leaked out in significant quantities all over the planet. Thus, people like Walt and Hurley, who had never been to the Island before, seem to have powers beyond all explanation. They somehow have a strong connection to the original EM energy, and therefore they are good Candidates to wield its energy as Protectors of the Source.

The Well of All Souls

The "light" is depicted as coming from a pool of water at the bottom of the cave. Mother tells Jacob and MiB that everyone has a little of this light inside of them, and if the light were ever to go out, it would also go out in all men. When Desmond removes the "cork" from the pool, and the water begins to drain, this causes the depletion of all souls everywhere...although it is "re-corked" in time to prevent total annihilation.

The cork itself may be a representation of the Osiris Pillar, also known as the Djed. During the Festival of Renewal, the Djed would be raised to represent the stability of the rule of the current Pharaoh. The Djed itself is connected with Osiris and the Tree of Life, said to represent his backbone; the Nile River, the water source of all life in Egypt, is also said to be Osiris' backbone. Although the real Djed is much larger and is adorned with shapes and splashes of color not found on the cork, this could be a good representation.

The cork being the Djed could also coincide with two other symbols seen on the Island: according to academic writers Gordon and Schwabe, the Djed, the Ankh, and the Was were all holy symbols in Egyptian culture based on the biology of cattle. The Ankh was a cross-section of a bull's vertebra, the Djed the sacrum of a bull's spine, and the Was a dried bull's penis. The Ankh is represented in the hands of Tawaret, who, despite originally being the wife of the God of Evil, Apep, was later associated with life and protection; Her pregnant belly protected unborn life, and her one hand resting on the Sa came to represent the flooding of the River Nile (which was also the signal to start the Festival of Renewal). The Djed is, as stated, the cork in the center of the Well of All Souls. The Was is represented in the staff Locke/MiB was carving in the final season; the Was is a symbol of power and dominion, which Locke/MiB felt he had secured with Jacob's death. The Was is traditionally forked at the bottom end with an animal head carving at the top, but seeing as this particular staff was never completed, we shall never know for sure if that was its intended reference. Interestingly, the Was is associated with Set, who killed his wiser and humbler brother-king Osiris by trickery; his reign of chaos was ended only when Horus killed him in revenge. Also interestingly, Tawaret is noted as one of the concubines of Set.

Side-note: If MiB were, in fact, representing Set in this trifecta, it would also (partly) explain his smoke-monster form: Set is most powerful in his animal form, which is described as "typhonic" and also said to anatomically resemble a canine. Thus, the name Cerberus (who is depicted as a three-headed dog in Greek Mythology) given to the smoke monster by the Dharma Initiative could be a double-entendre.

Furthermore, the visual well itself could be another Egyptian reference to the deification of the watery abyss, the Nu. In Egyptian Mythology, the Nu (watery one, abyss), or Nun (inert one), was the source of the primal mound of land on Earth; rather, the primal mound of land sprang from the heart of the Nu/Nun. Nu is transcendent at the point of creation alongside Atum, who himself is depicted as "the complete one" who will finish the world and return it to its original watery chaos at the end of the creative period. Atum is also, as is Tawaret, depicted as carrying an Ankh in one hand (although rather than resting his other hand on a Sa, in it he holds a Was).

If your brains can handle all of this, take note of one another cross-reference: The Nu had no temples of worship, but are very specifically represented at one unique location in Egypt by the presence of an underground stream; Abydos. Amongst the temples at Abydos, considered the most important archaeological site of Ancient Egypt, there is also the Osirieon. The Osirieon is an underground temple predating the ancient Egyptians, around which the temple of Seti was carefully built. The Osirieon also contains the only underground Djed on record. The temple itself was also specifically placed geographically to the Osirieon to show the importance of the shrine; specifically, the location of the Osirieon to the temple of Seti I render the temple less important than the shrine, and the temple itself if the most complete of all those in Abydos.

As for the skeletons in the cave and the small ritualistic stone forms, these were most likely the original inhabitants of the island, worshipers of Nu and Atum and their tiny dwellings, respectively. It is said that when Atum created the spirits of the sibling gods of air (Shu) and moisture (Tefnut) out of his loneliness in the void, they, too, became restless. They went to explore the void and became lost, so Atum sent a messenger of fire to bring them home. When they returned, his tears of joy became the first human beings.

Thus, in terms of the story, Atum's tears would fill the Well of All Souls at the Heart of the Island (the land formed from Nu/Nun and their watery choas), and the first humans created by it lived there to protect and worship it. However, as with the siblings of Atum, they became restless and went beyond the cave. The truth of the Island given to Jacob and MiB by The Mother may be partly true; the lands across the sea are nothing without the Island (seeing as it is the source of all life), and that those who come to it are not LOST on it, but rather returning home (as she states when she says that they are all from the Island). However, none can return to the sacred Well of All Souls after having been tainted by the pain and horror of the world, and thus any person who enters it is transformed into a typhonic creature cobbled from the aspects of the first three creatures created by Atum: air, moisture, and fire. The exception to this would be Desmond David Hume, who is the in-story representation for philosopher, historian, and empiricist David Hume. David Hume was ever more famous as an historian than a philosopher, although his philosophy was founded on the psychological basis for human nature, and the conflict between the naturalist Science of Man and Reason. (Desmond) David Hume and his beliefs could warrant one of three things:

  • 1) His summoning to the Island by forces greater than Jacob because of his innate understanding of life, granting him the ability to see the truth.
  • 2) His being created by forces greater than Jacob for the express purpose of coming to the Island to do exactly what he did; in other words, an Agent of Atum to bring to fruition the God's role: the return of the world to its watery chaos.
  • 3) Desmond is the closest thing in the world to a direct pure descendant to the original humans of Atum, the one with those genes least spread apart. This would grant him the physical properties necessary to survive close proximity to the Well of All Souls, and the interaction with all of the other associated electromagnetic phenomena.

It is also possible that Hume does not reference the philosopher, but the type of soil, hume being a soil full of organic nutrients that cannot themselves be broken down any further; thus, they will remain in their life-nourishing state for centuries or even millennia. Hume could also be a reference to Higer-ordered Unified Meta Environment, a computer language based on finite-state automaton. In such automaton, the behavior of the machine as a whole is dictated by the finite memory and transitions to and between a finite number of defined states (such as Desmond being flashed around through time and consciousness). The behavior is non-deterministic; if one method fails, simply trying another input may work, and generally, the initial input itself is the solution, rather than the proceeding calculations (in other, words, the solution to the problem of The Swan Station was simply to have Desmond in it; only he could survive the inevitable failure of that derived system, only he could turn the key, only he could save Charlie long enough to warn that it was Not Penny's Boat, and only he could enter the Well of All Souls. His very presence, or his input, is the necessary solution to the problem.). Thus, Desmond is the only remainder to an unbalanced equation, and would have had no other human fate than to enter that cave. Jack only survived because the Well had been un-corked, and would have certainly died had he stayed there after "system restoration." However, just as MiB, his form was ejected from the cave (he just happened not to have bled out yet, or drowned like MiB after being thrown into the water).

One last thing, totally unrelated to actual mythology, but cool nonetheless. The Chant of Light, as recorded in Dragon Age: Origins (and if the producers didn't play this game, then I'm a codfish swimming in urea), states in Chapter 14, verse 11:

Here lies the abyss, the well of all souls. From these emerald waters doth life begin anew. Come to me, child, and I shall embrace you. In my arms lies Eternity.


The "light" is the afterlife, and the Heart of the Island is a way to get into the afterlife. Thus, there needs to be a protector to keep people from going into it or from it going out. Just like it's shown during the church scene in "The End", where everyone walks into the light, that is, the afterlife, the light in the Heart of the Island is a "door" to the afterlife, and in order to keep it contained, or from the afterlife to spill into current life, there needs to be a "cork" to stop it. The Smoke Monster was created when he went into the afterlife without properly dying. The Source also needs to be protected so that the only gateway into the afterlife is not "put out," which is what the MiB was trying to do for his own selfish reason of leaving the island.

This makes the nickname "Cerberus" for the Monster all the more ironic. Under the Swan station is also similar source (and on other places on the Island with strong electromagnetism), because when Swan timer reached zero, hieroglyphs that would turn up translate as "afterlife". Perhaps DHARMA somehow found it out after the Incident.

The electromagnetism is one of the ways that the light manifests itself in reality. When Desmond turned the failsafe key, he was essentially dosed with the essence of the afterlife... and survived. This is the core of his unique abilities (limited clairvoyance, being able to perceive the Losties afterlife while still alive).

A nuclear reactor

The Heart is a natural nuclear fission reactor, a place where nuclear chain reactions occur. It is a natural process which is caused by an isotope of uranium. According to Wikipedia the existence of this phenomena was first found in 1972 in Africa.

"At the time of discovery, scientists were uncertain exactly how the Oklo reactor had operated without exploding or melting down. For 150 million years, it ran like clockwork with a 30 minute reaction cycle, followed by a 2.5 hour cool-down cycle, putting out an average of 100 kilowatts of power. And it was always exactly 30 minutes per cycle, without significant variation, which was baffling. But recent studies have finally solved the mystery by discovering the regulating mechanism: Water."

When nuclear chain reactions take place, the core of the source heats up and its power gets stronger as the reaction increases. If this process coninues it results in an atomic explosion. So the core has to be cooled down and the energy it creates has to be controlled.

This is what the source is. A natural nuclear fission reactor. The island sits on a massive pocket where nuclear chain reactions occur. We dont know what this pocket contains, it could be uranium or something that the humans havent discovered yet. When the island first came into existence, it was a natural process. Water flowed into the cave, and into the nuclear core keeping it cooled down. The light was a byproduct of this process. In fact the light indicates that the this process is happening,that the energy that is responsible for the supernatural phenomena experienced on the island is being produced.And this process,possibly spawned life on earth

After millions of years, the Man in black was thrown into the cave by Jacob. The man in black was directly exposed to the energy of the nuclear core, creating the smoke monster. Some time after Jacob built the stone apparatus over the core to make sure no one could enter it again. But he had to leave some space for the water to flow into the core, because without water it would explode, and the show implied that the world needed this process to exist. So jacob found a much safer way to keep the process happening.Although the hole was plugged by the stone cork, if you pay attention to the scene where jack inserts the stone cork, you can see that it doesnt seal shut the whole. It allows a certain amount of water flow into the core.

Before Jacob built this system,inside the cave there was a huge opening to the nuclear core with massive amount of water flowing through it. So when the Man in black entered the cave he drowned and came in contact with the core and turned into the smoke monster. Since the amount of water that was flowing into the core was much higher, the light appeared brighter (across the sea). But after Jacob built the stone apparatus only a small of amount of water was allowed into the core through the hole.thats why the light appeared different in the finale.

Now the Stone cork. What the cork in the center of the pool does is, it sort of works like a button. Jacob built a system that could stop the stream of water that flowed into the cave. You can activate it by removing the cork. And i think the stone cork also works as a Control rod. Control rods are used in manmade nuclear reactors to control the rate of fission inside the core.i suggest you read wikipedia article about nuclear reactors which also contains information about control rods.

"Control rods that are made of a nuclear poison are used to absorb neutrons. Absorbing more neutrons in a control rod means that there are fewer neutrons available to cause fission, so pushing the control rod deeper into the reactor will reduce its power output, and extracting the control rod will increase it."

simply put, the stone not only worked as a button to Jacob's system, it also reduced the amount of energy that was emitting from the hole.

So what happened in the finale is that, when desmond removed the stone cork, water stopped flowing into the core. The water controlled the rate at which nuclear reactions occured. So without the water, nuclear chain reaction intensified, creating more energy and heating up the core. If jack didnt put the cork back on, it would have created a huge nuclear explosion,which could possibly destroy the world.

Jack didnt turn into a smoke monster because he wasnt exposed to the core directly.Because obviously Jacob had built his system over it. Although if he stayed there for too long he would have simply died. But he would not have turned into smoke monster. So the nuclear core is what jacob refers to as malevolence. The core is whats bad. Thats why he built the apparatus over it, but it is also what produces the light when mixed with water.

To sum it all up, the Heart of the island acts as a cooling system to a natural nuclear reactor and keeps it from going off ,and also harnesses it and create the energy that is responsible for all the crazy shit that happens on the island. But in my opinion the source also has a purpose that can not be explained by science.


Egyptian Alchemy

One explanation of the chamber within the heart of the island is some form of esoteric spell, perhaps one using a form of alchemy. So, rather than being some natural phenomena that has always existed, it was deliberately created, by ancient Egyptians. The Egyptians as whole were not a great sea faring race (they hugged the coasts) though there was a theory that perhaps they reached the Azores or even circumnavigated Africa.

Perhaps though that it wasn't explorers who discovered the Island by accident, but a breakaway party of priests and supporters that deliberately looked for an isolated island on which to create a magical experiment, one which which would create a "magical power source" based on their religious beliefs and/or symbolic representation of Egyptian elements as detailed above. The result was the chamber at the heart of the island. The only problem was that after creating that source, it killed most or all those involved in the ritual (explaining the skeletons found by Jack), leaving a few survivors who may have either tried to leave or stay and tap into that power (which was only accessible from the island).


  • The light in the tunnel leads to the same electromagnetic pocket as the Swan, the most powerful on the Island and in fact its heart. It is also possible that it may have the same ability as Jacob's Cabin, in that it is able to move around the Island and only certain people are able to find it.
    • Note the light reaching into the sky the second time Jacob and Mother visit the tunnel; it is similar to the Swan hatch light, and may even be the same location, although obviously Desmond's light shining up isn't literally the Source light.
  • The light is tied to MIB/Smokey's soul now. This is why if he leaves the Island, everyone will die or will cease to exist. The light may also be what Widmore is searching for with Jin's maps and with Desmond as an eventual "sacrifice" to the light to somehow stop MIB. With the reveal of this mysterious and hidden source, it's unlikely that Widmore was looking for just any electromagnetic pocket.

The light is bad, and the nuke destroying the island, and releasing the light, was actually a good thing

  • The implications of this are numerous. The "guardians", including Jacob and his "mother" before him, are charged with protecting the light not because it would do damage to the world if it were lost or misappropriated, but because it's the source of their own personal power/immortality. When the guardianship is passed from one to another, it somehow ensures the guardians' immortality a la Being John Malkovich. Jacob may have been manipulated on this score, and his mother may have exploited his goodness to convince him to assume the role of guardian, and she may have thanked the MiB for killing her because dying was a prerequisite to assuming her immortal place inside of Jacob. After all, in a lot of ways, she was far more like the devious, manipulative MiB than she was like the honest, good-natured Jacob. The light, in other words, is actually bad, and the guardians have actually been exploiting it for their own gain. Releasing the light, either by letting MiB off the island or by destroying the island altogether, will actually be a good thing.
  • Jacob wasn't "good-natured". The episode clearly made it a point to show the "dark side" of Jacob, by showing his immaturity, brewing jealousy, and violent tendencies. It is actually the MIB who was the far more good-natured one, as he did not even fight back to defend himself when he knew Jacob was going to kill him, and he always had patience and hope. Even when they were children, the MIB let Jacob beat him up and didn't fight back. Jacob killed his brother in a fit of jealous rage, the MIB killed the mother after she'd bashed his head into the well, murdered all of his people, and years after he learned that she had in fact murdered his real mother and stolen him from her. Even after that, the MIB was pained when he killed her, and only did it because he felt she was insane and therefore had to be stopped before she caused even more damage. The episode made it very clear that the MIB, before he became the smoke, did not like fighting and was a far more peaceful and compassionate individual than Jacob. It is only after spending centuries with his soul trapped as the smoke and the strong memories of the pain of betrayal and suffering that he starts fighting back and killing. He is disgusted with humanity because he was betrayed by even the very people he loved and trusted (Mother, and his brother, Jacob).
    • Jacob may be quick to anger, but he is also quick to forgive. The MiB is slow to anger, but slow to forgiveness as well. He has been harboring a grudge against Jacob, Mother, and all mankind for centuries. Immediately after finding his brother's body, he cradles his head and weeps, showing that he loves him and he's sorry for what happened - he forgives his brother for trying to leave. When Richard tries to kill him on the beach, he beats him senseless very quickly (although this is really self-defense), then sits down and talks with him. I think the purpose of this episode was not to show his dark side, but to show how he has progressed. The MiB's regression from his calm, pensive self to an angry, malevolent individual is antithetical to this.
      • The MIB did not need to be forgiven for wanting to leave the island, since he just wanted to see the world and be free. He was not doing anything wrong by trying to escape and be free. He was just searching for the truth, instead of blindly accepting everything "Mother" told him. Unlike Jacob, he was not a blind follower, he questioned and thought for himself. He wanted Jacob to go with him, he wanted him to be free too. The MIB loved and cared for Jacob so much, that not even once did he strike back to defend himself whenever Jacob was beating him up. Not even when he was being murdered by Jacob did he lift a finger to defend himself. It is only after having his soul trapped and tormented for many centuries with all that pain, that he finally thought of fighting back and killing Jacob. After that much time with that much pain, especially knowing that you were betrayed and hurt by the very people you loved and trusted, anyone would fight back, anyone wouldn't find it hard to forgive. Jacob, in a fit of violent rage, killed his brother for killing the crazy mother, the same woman who had killed their real mother, deceived them and imprisoned them, and had just finished killing all of the MIB's people.
  • The MIB, when he first learned the truth, did not even confront her. He did not "hold a grudge". He forgave and just wanted to leave peacefully. He cared for her so much, that when he was an adult he continued to ask Jacob when he'd come to visit if Mother ever asked about him and how he was doing. It is only after many years, after she has done all those things (bashing his head in the wall, killing his people, preventing him from leaving again) that the MIB killed her, and it is obvious that it pained him to kill her, as he shows remorse immediately and it is clear he still loved her despite everything she had done. People keep saying that Jacob believes in free will and that he has matured and become wiser over the past 2000 years. But Jacob brings people to the island against their will, he marks them from the beginning of their lives. He never questioned fate, and always did exactly what his adoptive mother told him to do. He didn't give his brother any free will, instead he murdered him and turned him into the smoke, took away his humanity. That is definitely NOT free will in the slightest. Nothing that Jacob has done is about free will. The MIB, when he was alive, was the one who was always actively fighting to be free, to be in control of his own destiny. And how has Jacob really matured? After he killed his brother, he didn't even begin to show remorse until he saw the MIB's dead body on the limbs. He shows no real compassion to the MIB, despite knowing full well that he is responsible for making him the smoke, not once has he ever told this to any of his followers. Instead, Jacob never even acknowledges that the "smoke monster" was indeed a human being, and further, his own brother. Jacob instead feeds his followers with bs telling them that the MIB wants to escape to "unleash hell", and calling him "the thing", "the monster", the "evil thing that needs to be stopped from destroying the world". Never has Jacob told the truth to his followers about why the MIB really wanted to leave and how the MIB became what he is now. The MIB deeply mourns the loss of his humanity, and hates being the smoke, hates what Jacob did to him. He has told this to people numerous times. Jacob also continues taunting the MIB to add insult to injury. He keeps appearing in the jungle as his kid self and doing things like when he gave the white stone and the wine. That does not at all look like a person who is truly sorry for his mistakes and the terrible crime he committed to his own brother, who loved him dearly. Further, it also looks like Jacob is on a power trip and enjoying it. He grew up very jealous of his brother, who was very intelligent and special, unlike him. Think back to when they were kids and the MIB told Jacob that one day he could make up his own game with his own rules. Jacob has been taking full advantage of that. Ever since he became the protector of the island, he has made up rules for his own amusement and to make himself feel important. Jacob brings people to the island when he does not need to, he's made a group of followers (the Others) and given them extensive lists of what they "need" to do, all while keeping them in the dark about what everything and further taunting and hurting his own brother by his actions. This is clearly not a person who has gotten wiser, it's a person who's on a power trip and is enjoying every bit of it.
    • There are holes in your theory. The MiB is a master manipulator, a figure of evil, and it is evident from his desire to kill all the candidates and Jacob that he will do anything to leave. He deceives Sawyer into thinking that the Protector of the Island actually has no role, because he has no desire to tell Sawyer that the role in question is actually to stop the MIB from leaving and unleashing his evil. And yes, Jacob brought candidates to the Island against their will, because he wanted them to realise for themselves what their own path was, he didn't want to have to tell them (as shown in Ab Aeterno when Jacob says this to Richard.) He didn't force people into anything other than coming to the Island so that they could begin their path, and even afterwards, he gave Hurley the choice whether or not to return, even said that Ben had the choice whether or not to kill him. Jacob could've evaded death easily, but he left the choice to Ben because he hoped in vain that Ben would make the right decision. The fact that he didn't refer to the MIB as his brother wasn't insensitivity, it was necesary for making the big reveal in Across the Sea all the more significant, because the audience up until that point did not know for sure that the MIB and Jacob were fraternal twins. And after the MIB has been trying to kill him for so many centuries, who wouldn't have a low opinion of that kind of person, brother or not? The fact that Jacob is polite to him and unpertubed by the fact that his own brother wishes to kill him says something about him. He was always close to Mother, which is why he was so angered by her death, and which is why he threw his brother into the source. He regretted his rash actions later. We can see that he still loved his brother when he clutched his dead body and wept. As for the apparitions of young Jacob, we don't even know for certain that that was Jacob. The MIB, previously believed to be the source of all apparitions, saw himself his own mother, Claudia. So there are clearly other forces on the Island that allow ghosts to appear to people, Jacob is not necesarily responsible for teasing his brother. Even so, why would it matter, as the MIB has done a lot worse than appear to his brother and taunt him? The MIB is malevolent.
  • ► As Jacob explained to Richard, when he first crashed on the island, through taking a bottle of wine and saying that the island was the cork and the wine was hell. ("Ab Aeterno") As seen in the cave of the source that the rock in the fountain was like a cork itself and as Desmond uncorked the rock, the cave lost its light and all suddenly turned dark-red and hell was breaking loose throughout the island. ("The End") The light was also stated that humans can't get enough of it and would want more, even though all humans have a little light in them. ("Across the Sea") The light of the source represents hell (could been seen also as chaos): greed, lust, power, pleasure, gluttony, etc. Where humans want, then want more sex, fame, fortune, control, etc. Thus by uncorking the rock from the fountain in the source then everyone would get more light until there is no more light, except in everyone who would be filled with selfishness, jealousy, hatred, power-hungry, etc. and will have no good at heart. This explains how the Man in Black turned out to be. He's filled with this light (presence of chaos) and can not live his life personally, living with anger, jealous of the outsiders of the island living free, while he's a prisoner of the island, but could not be free because of the overwhelming light inside of him, he isn't human anymore, he lost all good, he became the black smoke monster, pure evil and no heart. He mourns of his loss of humanity and hates Jacob from his stupidity and ignorance given by his mother. However, at the end, Jack didn't got overwhelmed by the light because he is like Jacob, an ex-protector of the island and a good-hearted person. Also by nuking the island back in the 70s ("The Incident, Part 2"), they erased hell and were left with the opposite of hell in the parallel world, which could be seen that everyone there became good-hearted people with no sign of any wickedness. So the light was vanquished and there was only good; there was only heaven left. BulletBilly 05:08, May 25, 2010 (UTC)

\no need for a person to watch it. In this timeline, the people who were trapped ron the island in the orginal timeline seem to have a better life. Examples include Hugo having a lucky life, Locke marrying Helen and having a healthy releationship with his father, and Ben caring for people, rather than power.

The light is good, but the Incident caused the light to dim

  • The Incident negatively affected the light. Consequently, the darkness is beginning to spread on the Island. Evidence of this includes: the infection, the pregnancy issues, and the weakening of the Island's healing properties (Ben's tumor, Jack's appendicitis, John's temporary re-paralysis), etc.
  • The source was essentially contaminated by the radiation when it absorbed/neutralized the nuclear discharge. The contamination itself will heal, over time.

The Source as the keystone to Leylines

  • Throughout the series a number of other places are referenced to as being special in nature aside from the Island. Most notably, the lampost station in LA and the place in Australia where Bernard took Rose to be healed. The man at the healing place talks of other places and that Rose needs to find the right one. His knowledge suggests that he knows where some of these places might be and that they are connected. Each of these points are the intersections of leylines, energy veins running across the planet.
  • The Island is the keystone in these leylines. When they made bridges originally, they were made in an arch with a keystone in the centre that held the entire bridge up without any further supports. Remove the keystone and the bridge collapses. The Island acts like the keystone to these leylines. The Source is the energy that pours out of this point. So many people are healed by the Island because it is has this keystone effect, the energy is at its strongest. The Heart of the Island, then, is how you switch off or remove this keystone from the bridge of leylines.
  • The Dharma Initiative first finding the Lampost and then using it to find the Island intended to tap into that energy which they say as electromagnetic in nature. This was the best way they could explain that certain people had a "communion" with the Island. The electricity of their brainwaves was in sync with the energy of the Island (the same frequency say), just as the healer was in sync with his own place. This also explains people's need to return to or find the Island, off the Island their brains do not sync with their surroundings making them off-balanced. Though the energy given off, strongest at the Heart of the Island and seeping out at various other places, was not meant to be used for time travel the Initiative saw the possibility in it.
  • There is, though, no purpose as such to energy that comes out of the Heart of the Island in a metaphysical sense. Rather, the Island acting as a keystone providing the other leyline points with energy holds the earth together. This is explainable in terms that the leylines create various magnetic fields that serve a number of functions like maintaining the atmosphere and preventing too rapid continental shifts. This is the real reason why people protect the Island. If the cork is removed the energy escapes and does not flow properly along the leylines. The MiB's actions would have far more consequences if he had actually suceeded.
  • The cork could also represent a prehistoric version of the Swan. The Island as the leyline keystone was never meant to be able to be taken out of the bridge. Instead people before Jacob's mother, or maybe even her people, also performed their own experiments just as the classical romans under the MiB and the later Dharma Initiative did. Just as the Swan accidently tapped into the energy so did these prehistoric people. They, however, struck right at the core of the keystone, the Island's Heart, forcing them to build the cork to repair the damage. Jacob's mother's reference to the Heart being the source of life and death is a metaphor in that so long as the Island is protected the leylines across the world continue their job, if something happens the leylines are broken with various knock-on effects.

Reference to

The Bible

  • The Island is the real world (yet other worldly) basis of bible stories. This would obviously make the mother the real Eve. The MIB is also the real Adam and the creation myth from subsequent civilizations misinterpreted him as Eve's husband based on the funeral arrangement by Jacob. Lastly, the smoke monster roughly represents a serpent. It's a non-theological explanation for the events of the bible which were passed down via oral tradition (and thus would be riddled with inaccuracies). So it wouldn't be making Lost biblical in a sense. It would be taking the theology out of the bible.
    • The Bible stories predate the founding of Rome, and are likely trace back to much older oral traditions.
    • GEN 1:3-4 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.

The Garden of Eden and The Tree of Knowledge

  • In the Bible/Torah, God/Yahveh creates man and gives him paradise. The only rule is to not eat fruit from the forbidden tree of knowledge. Man can't resist, eats the fruit, and is banished from the Garden, forever burdened with original Sin.
  • In the episode Across the Sea, we learn that every person is born with a little bit of the Light/Source in side of them, but is always trying to get back for more. This could be an allegory for man's insatiable desire for forbidden knowledge.
  • The Source/Light is a metaphor for the Tree of Knowledge. The Mother said all men have the light inside them but they always want more - all men have knowledge but they want more. The Source/Light is good but too much of it leads to power, greed, corruption and evil and it can eventually become extinguished. The Source/Light is “knowledge” of the past, future and all possibilities and is associated with the electromagnetism. People would abuse this knowledge (perhaps this is how Widmore became rich) and or not be able to handle it and die (i.e. Minkowski). Desmond is special he can handle being exposed to the Source/Light and not be corrupted or killed by it. This may be why Smoke Monster / MiB is threatened by him – Desmond represents hope that people are worthy of the Source/Light.
    • In this way the Island is like the Garden of Eden surrounding the Tree of Knowledge - the cork that prevents the Source/Light from being abused and extinguished which would allow evil to spread. To extend the metaphor, the Island and Jacob are like God who supports people having free will while Smoke Monster / MiB is like the Serpent/Lucifer (bearer of light) who believes people are fated to be corrupt and evil and not worthy of the Source/Light. Smoke Monster / MiB is an unwilling "bearer" or guardian of the Source/Light and is trying to tempt people into corruption and evil so it can prove Jacob wrong and get off the Island. If Smokey leaves, the Source/Light would become vulnerable to be abused and extinguished allowing evil to spread.
  • The wine Fake Mom gave to Jacob could be an allegory for the Tree of Life. It's unclear whether the wine made Jacob immortal (as in not aging rather than unkillable), or if it bestowed guardianship of the Island on him.


  • The name "Lucifer" means "bearer of light". In a biblical context, light and knowledge are considered evil. In LOST, trying to understand the Island and seeking the Light/Source is considered evil as well.
    • That statement is a blatant factual error, as the Bible in fact uses light as a consistent symbol of good/righteousness, as exemplified in John 1:5 (and countless other passages). Darkness consistently represents evil. The references to Lucifer in the Bible may or may not actually be references to Satan (there is debate over this), and if they are they refer to his pre-rebellion status as an archangel, not his fallen state. Satan is called many things in the Bible, but a source of light is not one of them.
    • Lucifer was his name before he was thrown from Heaven. He wasn't Satan yet.
    • Perhaps now, the Man in Black is "bearing the light".
    • Except that, right up the front of the bible, it says "And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness"
  • Just as in the bible, the end times are when Lucifer and his army escape the underworld and spread evil across the earth, MiB / The Light / The Source's escape from the Island would mark the end of all of life.
  • The identification of Lucifer with Satan is at least a translation error and a misinterpretation. Lucifer as name of the morning star was used as mockery about a vain king - He is compared to the star/angel ironically. And in the Revelation it is said that a star fell from heaven and had the key to hell, which is often associated with Lucifer, but it doesn't mean that he is the Devil. If the Devil has a name it would more probably be "Samael", who was identified with Esau's guardian angel and the archangel Jacob (the one from the bible) fought with.

His Dark Materials

The Source/Light seems very similar to Phillip Pullman's "Dust", a mysterious particle which grants consciousness and life. Like in His Dark Materials, Dust is concentrated in a particular area and, if interfered with, can disappear from the world, leaving life without sentience. It also seems to be a possible "God".

  • Yes, but in that book series Dust were really Angels. That could lead back to the Garden of Eden theory
  • Actually, the book series says that angels are made up of condensed Dust. But yes, your point is valid.

The Source Skeleton(s)

  • The Skeleton we see when Desmond enters the Heart of the Island, may have been The Mother's Mother, as she stated she once had one which died, but did not revealed how that happened. The fact that it was found in a cave like structure reflects Jacob's burial of MiB and Mother. It may also have been a sibling of Mother's, which had a fate similar to that of MiB, however was pure enough to remain within 'The Source'
  • May help explain how she knew entering the cave would be a "fate worse than death."
  One becomes the smoke monster, a bodyless form without humanity.
  • When Desmond enters the Source, he looks around him and sees a skeleton. Obviously, somebody must have attempted to reach the Source and died in the process. Obviously it's not the MIB because we see his skeleton in the cave. It could be any of the following:
    • Jacob entered the source and actually died. The presence that we see on the Island is a manifestation of him. His "body" completely turned to ash upon being pushed into the fire. Bones do not vaporize in campfires.
    • A curious person (Dharma, Other, earlier visitors) may have entered the Source and died.
    • The MIB sent a person who he believed could withstand the EM radiation into there, but it turns out they couldn't.
    • The MIB/Jacob threw another person down there.
    • One of the people who built the temple like area around the Source
    • Three skeletons, all of them being very old. Let's say someone had to build the place where the source is (the water flow, the "cork" which Desmond removes,...) originally, and "ignite" the source, turning on the deadly electromagnetism force. The skeletons are from the last workers that made a sacrifice in order to turn on the light and the source, knowing they were going to die there. Another explanation is that the skeletons are from the actual workers who build the source, there might have done it in short shifts and preventing long exposure to the source's electromagnetism. Think of the Chernobyl's liquidators, they could only spend a maximum of 40 seconds at a time working on the rooftops of the surrounding buildings because of the extremely high doses of radiation given off by the blocks of graphite and other debris.
      • The second skeleton has only 4 fingers in its hand, just as Taweret foot.
    • Jacob's mother. If she was a smoke monster, as seems to be indicated by the destruction of the village, then she would have had to have gone down to the heart of the island as the Man in Black did. If she did, she would have left a body behind too, which is the skeleton. And then another body when she died as a smoke monster. Fake Locke left a second body behind on the cliff face.
  • The Island is a cycle. The Smoke Monster is continually created, fought against, and the Island continually put in jeopardy. The skeleton is of someone else who took part in the cycle long ago.
    • Mother knew that going down there would cause a fate worse than death. That indicates something like the creation of the Smoke Monster happened before.
  • The skeletons serve as an indicator of the danger ahead, hence who they are is unimportant (odds would favor either Dharma of MIB's people as Others would be told to stay away). Smokey is not continually created but could be created again if the same conditions were met (death with malice, want of revenge
    • Smokey only existed because Jacob wasn't allowed to kill him, just as he was not allowed to kill Jacob. So when MIB "died" he didn't die.
    • The identity of the skeleton is irrelevant, it is only there to illustrate the lethality of coming close to the source. Desmond, even with his immunity to electro-magnetism, is dealt severe pain by coming near it.
  • The skeleton(s) are Claudia's people that tried to "get the light" like Mother said they would.
  • "It only ends once, the rest is just progress" for the 2000 plus years of the Jacob-MIB struggle, MIB has attempted to destroy the Island using many other people as pawns in his plan, these skeletons are his prior attempts at removing the stone. But Jacob eventually realized that only a special person like Desmond could remove the stone which is why he brought him to the Island, knowing that MIB would realize this eventually Jacob also brought the group of Losties to assist Desmond, which was Jacobs plan all along, he knew removal of the stone would make MIB mortal again, and he knew Jack would figure this out also, allowing MIB to be finally destroyed. And the coup de grace in Jacob's plan was that he knew Jack would then sacrifice himself to replace the "cork" saving the Island and also the world.
  • The skeletons are the remains of those that found the source despite it being hidden. Although the source couldn't be found normally, it is possible that over the thousands of years of people coming to the island to exploit/research/use its power that they found the cave, and then made an expedition to go down into it, dying in the process due to the extreme radiation and/or Jacob protecting the island anyway possible.
  • A breakaway party of (Egyptian?) priests and supporters deliberately looked for an isolated island on which to create a magical experiment, one which which would create a "magical power source" based on a 'perfect balance' of the four elements. The result was the chamber at the heart of the island. The only problem was that after creating that source, it killed most or all those involved in the ritual (explaining the skeletons found by Jack), leaving a few survivors who may have either tried to leave or stay and tap into that power (which was only accessible from the island).
  • Any bodies that are alive and in there whilst the light is on, get teleported outside, to the the mouth of that nearby stream. Both Jack, when the light is switched back on, and MIB's body, after the Smoke Monster is born, experience this (MIB only banged his head before his body fell into the source, so it's very possible he was still alive, just uncinscious and almost dead). This says to me that the bodies we see down there, had to have been there before the light was corked.
    • In fact, perhaps a smoke monster is born from everyone who goes down there alive (would certainly fit with what Jacob and MIB's mother said). Desmond's ultimate power then, could be to be immune to this effect. This doesn't explain why Jack does not create a smoke monster however, or atleast doesn't create one that we are aware of.
  • When Desmond enters the Source, he looks around him and sees a skeleton. Obviously, somebody must have attempted to reach the Source and died in the process. Obviously it's not the MIB because we see his skeleton in the cave. It could be any of the following:
    • Jacob entered the source and actually died. The presence that we see on the Island is a manifestation of him. His "body" completely turned to ash upon being pushed into the fire. Bones do not vaporize in campfires.
      • Not even 2000 your old bones?
    • A curious person (Dharma, Other, earlier visitors) may have entered the Source and died.
      • Prior to becoming Smokey, MiB stated that he couldn't find the Light even after 30 years of searching. It is doubtful a normal person can locate it without help from Jacob or MiB.
    • The MIB sent a person who he believed could withstand the EM radiation into there, but it turns out they couldn't.
    • The MIB/Jacob threw another person down there.
    • One of the people who built the temple-like area around the Source
    • Three skeletons, all of them being very old. Let's say someone had to build the place where the source is (the water flow, the "cork" which Desmond removes,...) originally, and "ignite" the source, turning on the deadly electromagnetism force. The skeletons are from the last workers that made a sacrifice in order to turn on the light and the source, knowing they were going to die there. Another explanation is that the skeletons are from the actual workers who build the source, there might have done it in short shifts and preventing long exposure to the source's electromagnetism. Think of the Chernobyl's liquidators, they could only spend a maximum of 40 seconds at a time working on the rooftops of the surrounding buildings because of the extremely high doses of radiation given off by the blocks of graphite and other debris.
      • The second skeleton has only 4 fingers in its hand, just as Taweret foot.
    • Jacob's mother. If she was a smoke monster, as seems to be indicated by the destruction of the village, then she would have had to have gone down to the heart of the island as the Man in Black did. If she did, she would have left a body behind too, which is the skeleton. And then another body when she died as a smoke monster. Fake Locke left a second body behind on the cliff face.
      • Mother as a smoke monster is an interesting direction to investigate. Do we have any evidence that the person protecting the light can't be a smoke monster? This could be why Mother was so adamant that Jacob "NEVER go into the light"
        • Then the skeleton with only 4 fingers could be Mother's? Taweret, Goddess Demoness of Birth, Rebirth, and the word 'mother' is associated with 'birth'? Also, Mother was the only protector of the island was both Good & Evil, Black & White, Jacob & Smoke Monster.
    • In fact, perhaps a smoke monster is born from everyone who goes down there alive (would certainly fit with what Jacob and MIB's mother said). Desmond's ultimate power then, could be to be immune to this effect. This doesn't explain why Jack does not create a smoke monster however, or atleast doesn't create one that we are aware of.
      • It's entirely possible that Jack became a smoke monster after his body died in the bamboo field. In the "FST," Christian says "we all die sometime," which most of us took to imply that before or after Jack's death. It's possible that Jack's spirit lived on long after his body died (in the Island Time of Hurley/Ben) and that we just don't see that. The FST is a place existing out of space's even possible that Jack didn't die in the field. We see him close his eyes. It's intentionally ambiguous, leaving the last episode to end exactly the opposite as the first started.
        • After MIB's spirit was allowed to leave the island, he may have experienced a similar epiphany.
  • The skeletons are the REAL adam and EVE!


Many have theorized that the "?" on the blast door map was something else and the smaller "?" somewhere south of it was The Pearl. I think, especially when the Man in Black said that the Source was near the center of the island, that the large ? on the map was The Source, especially because we know the Swan was studying electromagnetism and the Source is literally the "source" of the electromagnetism on the island and where it is the strongest quantity.

MIB's Connection with the source

The Source is like a Lamp, in that Genies cannot escape their Lamps as it is where they get there power from. MIB got his power from the Source so like the Genie; he cannot escape his Lamp (The Source). This backed up when the Source is “turned off”, MIB loses his powers and the first thing he did was go to the Elizabeth. This means that Jacob wasn’t directly stopping MIB from leaving, Jacob was stopping MIB from getting to the Source which was stopping him from leaving.

The Nature of the Source

If the Light/Source didn't come back on, The "Losties" wouldn't have been able to move on

  • It's been said that the Light on the island relates to all light in the world. When the light went off due to Desmond pulling out the "cork", the island began to fall apart. Although we didn't see the rest of the world become dark/evil, it was apparent that the island AT LEAST needed that light to "survive". It was crucial that the light went out for a small time period, to allow Jack/Kate to kill MIB. But, it was also crucial that Jack put it back on so that he could die. Dying helped him remember his friends/life on the island and was the catalyst for the Losties moving on to the Afterlife. Whether or not some died before him or after him did not matter because Jack needed to die sometime and after fulfilling his duty to the island, it became his time.
  • This reset is similar to what Juliet tells Sawyer to do with the vending machine. His Apollo bar is stuck- the same way they are in their lives. He has to unplug it then plug it back in for it to become unstuck.
  • If the light wasn't restored there would be nowhere to move on to and nowhere to move from, there would be nothing.
    • This is unlikely. This would mean that before Ancient civilization on island built that structure on the source there was no afterlife. The cork was their way to manipulate with islands powers.
  • The Source is the flash sideways timeline, before Desmond is lowered into the Source he believes that he is going to be a sacrifice but he says that he'll just go somewhere else where they can be with the ones they love i.e. the FST, hence if the light goes out there will be no place for people to be with the ones they love after they die creating a darkness in death. That's why it needs protecting from those who don't understand it and want to abuse it or put it out.
    • I was thinking abut the light/source and I kind of agree with you. The island is the protector of the next level of consciousness and the light/source is the energy that takes you there. The light is in all of us as when we pass on we use that light to move to reach the higher level. It almost takes away the religious angle of life and death and gives us something more physical and organic. Something this powerful would need protection as man would corrupt and destroy it. This could explain why releasing the energy would be so dangerous as without it, we would die in darkness and not move on and see our loved ones. The source is so powerful that when exploited it could do many things like cause islands to move or time travel.
  • The Source/Light is the ability to "let go" or "move on". Jack and co. were able to finally let go once all the light was restored. Jack needed to kill MIB because he stole some of the light when he became the smoke monster. Once he was able to restore the light fully is when they all are in the church in flash-sideways.

The Source is the Source of Man in Black's Power

MiB knew that removing the cork would destroy the island, but why didn’t he realize it would cause him to lose his powers since the Source was what gave him those powers. Maybe he had to lose his powers in order to escape the island because the only thing that has changed is the cork being removed. The Island still has a protector (Jack) and Locke was still going to leave before their fight. So maybe it is similar to the Genie and the Lamp, in that the Genie cannot leave his lamp, which is the source of his power. In this case, the Genie is MiB and the Lamp is the Source, so the Source was what trapped MIB on the island, not Jacob.

  • This was the all-knowing genius of Jacob. He knew this and was making a long con/loophole of his own. We all saw the loophole that MiB made to kill Jacob. What MiB didn't realise was that Jacob saw it all and was planning for it. Jacob's loophole was to kill the devil he created and to get a new protector. This is why he said to MiB "I will be right here" when MiB threatened him. He knew the cork would have to be released to kill the MiB and he has manipulated events to get Desmond to remove the cork, jack via kate to kill the MiB and then Jack to sacrifice himself. Jacob also knew that Hurley would then be crowned the true protector. The Losties reward for all the manipulation and sacrifice at the hands of Jacob was a special afterlife for them all to come together and find true love and happiness. All their lives were Lost and as a result of their time on the island they now have true love and happiness in a new dimension and they saved the world from darkness, not a bad trade off.
  • The rules may prevent suicide (Micheal's gun failed to go off) - including being complicit in one's own death. In order to die, MiB had to try earnestly to live
  • What Jacob said to Richard was literally correct. He said that the island is the cork that keeps the MiB from leaving the Island. It is exactly that. Once Desmond was able to pull the cork away, MiB was free to go. But he didn't seem to know that he was going to be mortal by such an action, maybe because the candidate (Jack) was still alive.

The Man in Black had a job to do on the island. He had to play the evil while Jacob played the good, keeping the balance between good and evil. Both heaven and hell lived on the island which made the island so important. When the cork came out, the Man in Black was free from his job and he could finally leave the island

The Source Water

Connection between the light source and the Losties has been made since they drank water from the island. Remember those Oceanic water bottles? When Losties start drinking water from the river, the cave source, or from the temple, it's always water that has been in contact with the electromagnetic field. Desmond may have injected himself with the Dharma experimental treatment issued from the island water. This would explain why he was immune to the electromagnetic field.

  • Jack laughs when water is falling on him at the light source; maybe he remembers MIB telling him he took the appearance of Jack's father to lead them to a drink/water source.
  • Remember Richard at his arrival in the boat? MIB gave him water before releasing him. Why not release him first and then let him drink? Because drinking the water causes the "disease" and it's the reason the "quarantine" had been planned for by the Dharma initiative.
  • Remember Rousseau's arrival and the fight between her people that Jin saw on the Flash's? "The disease" is changing them!
  • Even Jacob's real mother is drinking water at the river when she meets her destiny; the one who finds anyone on the island and would "help her". So Jacob and his brother had drink from the island before they even were born...
  • What is this disease? Is it what allows them of being related to the island or to the MIB immunity? Does it reveals them to the island fate? Remember Jacob's wine, did it purify Richard from his loneliness and made him stronger against MIB? ((This is not a complete thought, let alone a complete sentence.))
  • Sharing the water with Jacob did symbolize the will of keeping the Island bound, but also the necessary way to fight the MIB mystical evil existence and keeping it on the island.
  • Does it make a difference drinking the water before or after it passes thought the light source? The human made canals at the light source do they finally lead to where Jack woke up on the river?