So the other day I got an email correspondence revolving around Lost, borne out of my quote in the AJC:
Have you or your contributors theorized about the lotto numbers and their connections (4, 8, 15, 16, 23 (42)? I noticed that the six numbers add up to 108, which is the amount of time renewed on the bunker countdown clock. Also the Oceanic flight number is 815, the second and third numbers. I may be wrong but isn’t 42 the number of people on one side of the island, and 23 the number of people that landed with Rousseau?
To which I responded:
Thanks for emailing me. I don’t really have any contributors, it’s just me here. I often link to the official Lost message boards on ABC or to TV Squad (a popular blog about television) when they have info, but no more than anyone else.
You can search the site for my Lost posts: http://www.mostlymuppet.com/?s=lost&submit=Go%21
There’s a certain theory, highlighted in the AJC article, that supposes the whole thing is a big science experiment, which seems logical. Folks are told bad things happen if they don’t push the button, but the whole thing is just a test of their tolerance of and aptitude for being controlled.
Another theory deals with electormagnetism and a hoax theory deals with dopplegangers and “genetic mirror theory”. Google that phrase and you’ll jump down a whole other rabbit hole.
My best guess: the numbers are some kind of collective unconscious (Carl Jung) thing. Some kind of a cross-cultural constant, not unlike pi or the speed of light, only for humans. Does that make sense? Somehow the numbers represent the interconnectedness of people and their place in the universe, which would explain why they themselves or
permutations of them show up everywhere. No idea how that is revealed, but it just seems right to me.
Thanks again for the email. I hope I was able to answer your questions.
The more I mull it over, the more I’m convinced that there is no one explanation for the numbers, because they represent some kind of Rosetta Stone for the whole series. They’re a clever way of decoding several different kinds of messages. A narrative glue necessary for the understanding of the show and the inter-relatedness of the “lostaways”.
I truly think they serve as some kind of Jungian metaphor. The numbers themselves are a kind of primal, collective set that represents a shared unconscious in the world of Lost. The Dharma Initiative may or may not knowingly be using these numbers as a part of psychological experiment, but it doesn’t matter. The numbers are important, then, because the numbers have significance in the reality of Lost.
Think about sacred, divine or symbolic numbers that seem to play a part in the actual history of the earth. Three: the triune god of Christianity, three wisemen, states of matter, sides of a triangle, et cetera. I’m sure, if I were the type to research such things, that I could even find evidence of the importance of the Lost numbers in many cultures and civilations in our world.
But I’m not gonna do that. I’m gonna state that the reason for the numbers is that the numbers speak to the relationship of all people in the universe as part of a greater whole. They show in an abstract way the connections we see appearing in the actual lives of the lostaways.