The astorian theory

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The Astorian Theory


We have been given clues as to the identity and purpose of Jacob: a seemingly empty chair, liquid-filled jars on the window ledge, an oil painting of an Airedale terrier all in a derelict shack surrounded by a line of what appears to be dust; his ghost-like appearance to Locke in period costume - his words "help me"; his dislike of technology; his list; and, mostimportantly, the reverence in which the Others hold him.

If we can work out who Jacob is, we may solve the mysteries of LOST - the island, its time, the end of the world, the Others, the smoke monster etc.. This theory presents a portrait of Jacob.





The character and idea of Jacob here draw on two Jacobs: John Jacob Astor (1763 - 1848) and his greatgrandson John Jacob Astor IV (1864 - 1912).


John Jacob Astor was the richest man in America in his day. His wealth was in fur trading, which brought him into contact with Daniel Boone amongst other interesting characters, and then Manhattan real estate. On his deathbed, his only regret was that he could not buy more of Manhattan. He lends his name to various Astorias including theWaldorf Astoria and Astoria, Oregon.


John Jacob Astor IV sustained and developed the Astor wealth. Also, he wrote a book called 'A Journey in Other Worlds'. This science fiction novel contains a lot of Ideas, prescient and usually based on magnetism - such as the magnetic eye. And there is this:

"A man's soul can never die; a manifestation of the soul is the spirit; this has entity,consciousness, and will, and these also live forever... Before becoming visible to your eyes, I, by my will, draw certain material substances in the form of gases from the ground, water, or air around me. These take any shape I wish - not necessarily that of man... By an effort of the will, then, I combine and condense these gases - which consist principally of oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon -into flesh, blood, water, or anything else."
words of the Spirit, ChapterVII 'A Journey in Other Worlds' by John Jacob Astor IV.

The Spirit explains to the adventurers that he was an American bishop who died before the Civil War; that there are many spirits flitting around as shadows and whispers though it takes a certain aptitude to develop the necessary skills to materialise - intoanything.

"A pillar of stone standing near him was suddenly shattered, and
the bishop stood where it had been."

Consider the island: the whispers, the whispered bodiless conversations and the movement just at the periphery of vision, the sense of not being alone: these things are in JJ's book.

Jacob is simply the best - the most skilled non-corporeal consciousness - able to draw physical formfrom the elements around him.

The Spirit of the book explains further:

"Time, replied the spirit, "has not the same significance to us that it has to you... Being insensible to heat and cold, darkness and light, we have no more changing seasons, neither is there any night. When a man dies," he continued with solemnity, "he comes at once into the enjoyment of senses vastly keener than any hepossessed before. Our eyes - if such they can be called - are both microscopes and telescopes, the change in focus being effected as instantaneously as thought, enabling us to perceive the smallest microbe or disease-germ, and to see the planets that revolve about the stars... We also have a chemical and electrical sense, showing us what effect different substances will have on one another, and whatchanges to expect in the weather. The most complex and subtle of our senses, however, is a sort of second sight that we call intuition or prescience, which we are still studying to perfect and understand. With our eyes closed it reveals to us approaching astronomical and other bodies, or what is happening on the other side of the planet, and enables us to view the future as you do the past."...