One of the many soulful topics that TPTB have given LOST-o-philes to chew on is the idea of the Losties having to face their true selves in the midst of their trials and challenges on the Island. An early tag-caption for Season 3 was the question of whether or not the Losties could stand to face what they might find, if they did take a good look at themselves. Or perhaps the real question was what they would do after they looked at the image in the mirror of their Island circumstances -- into their own "heart of darkness" if you will.
Today I saw another new movie, "Rescue Dawn", starring Christian Bale as Viet Nam Navy pilot POW Dieter Dengler in his escape from capture in Laos. All I can say is "Wow!" It's not the typical war movie one would expect, and it is extremely thought provoking. The photography puts you squarely into the dirty reality of captivity and the escape through the jungle, yet not in an overly done fashion. And although the script is not heavy on intense dialog at all, the feel of being captive and alone in a strange land and horrible circumstances with fellow prisoners really crept into my head as I watched.
What really shines out, is Dengler's optimism in the face of the overwhelming fatality of the POWs' situation. In spite of his desperate surroundings he kept visualizing his escape until it finally happened. Watching Bale portray Dengler really got me thinking about what I would, or could, do in the same situation -- or even just in the Losties shoes on the Island. And for all the complaints we make about how the Losties never do what we think that they should be doing in their creepy island scenarios (e.g. not communicating productively, not exploring better, etc.), I really didn't know if I could survive any better then they each are, when I thought about it.
It's not that I haven't been through my own "dark nights of the soul". I've seen some hard times in my life just like most people, the last being getting through very aggressive cancer treatment and now surviving the debilitating after effects. And I'm usually one of those in rough situations that keeps a cool head and wants to shake the people who are freaking out (like Shannon!) into their senses. Though if it came down to living on the beach or in the jungle with Smokey, coma inducing spiders, and having no toilets or showers, who knows. I'd like to think that I'd try my best like Hurley, and to help anyone else if they wanted me to. I suppose none of us can ever know how we would behave until we are in that situation. We can only ask that the Lord would keep us sane and use us to alleviate whatever the dire straights might be for everyone involved, if the need arises.
((Above image borrowed from the website for the movie "Rescue Dawn" http://rescuedawn.mgm.com/))