Lost : The Implications of Mental Temporal Dislocation [Mental Time Travel]


I had a heck of a time settling on a descriptive title that encapsulates the idea that Lost is now proposing to us: that a man in  two space-time frames can hop back and forth through time, not by physically going anywhere, but by having his consciousness hop back and forth between his temporal selves. There appear to be side effects. Desmond, Minkowski, Eloise and Minkowski’s sailing buddy have all experienced mental temporal dislocation, but only Dezz is still amongst the living. The explanation given is that the mind cannot process the conflicting information from two temporal selves and eventually short-circuits unless the victim finds a strong anchor or constant he can find in both time frames. If we look at the individual victims, we may learn more about this condition.

The mouse’s brain was just too small. It never really had a chance.  Yet Eloise is significant because it shows that the effect can be reproduced by someone off the Island.

Minkowski’s sailing buddy only contributed the fact that people, not just lower organisms die from the effects of temporal dislocation.

Minkowski himself contributed the knowledge that the effect of time shifting occurs more and more frequently until they occur so quickly that the victim can’t cope and dies. Minkowski’s state in sick bay also suggests that drugs might be able to keep the condition from occurring. or they might have drugged him just to keep him from raving and frothing at the mouth.

Dezz shows us that one of the side effects, or ways the brain copes with the temporal dislocation, is memory loss in one of the time frames. This may be a temporary effect or this mnemonic disorientation may be permanent. We shall see. I think it’s permanent. I think it’s the brain’s way of coping with the paradox of NOT having known about its past self’s involvement with its future self. This means that even though Dezz knows about his time hopping in the past, his future self does not know it because his past self could not have known it since it was initiated in the future [hence, the paradox]. We also know that exposure to large doses of radiation or electromagnetism can make you more susceptible to the effect. Dezz’ first episodes of time hopping were apparently in his first “flashback” after the Hatch exploded and the sky turned purple in an electromagnetic pants-eating [why was he naked?] explosion.

This could have implications for Charlie Pace. And Locke as well. Both were in the hatch when it exploded. This could be how Charlie could be standing in front of Hurley in the future asylum, saying, “I am dead. I’m also here.” If Charlie time hopped some time between the purple sky and his watery grave, his future self [the one that drowns] would have no memory of it. Of course, to make this work, we’d have to sprinkle in some actual physical spacetime travel, such as the Rabbit 15 seems capable of. Still working on it obviously.

It also explains Rousseau. her crew got “sick,” just like Minkowski’s buddy went “crazy.” She killed them in self defense. Her vessel, unlike Flight 815, came in at the wrong angle. Nearly everyone was affected, but we can’t know how many for sure since she killed them. It doesn’t affect everyone. She might have been immune somehow, maybe due to her pregnancy. Someone has suggested that her daughter might have been her constant, but Faraday said you had to make contact somehow and Rousseau’s baby was kidnapped by Ben.

 It looks like time hopping can be triggered by strobing lights or sudden contact with hot or cold water [like a seizur?]. I think both the freighter’s doc and Mr. Widmore triggered a mental hop in Dezz on purpose — the doc to confirm his condition and Widmore to help Dezz accomplish what he needed to for the future’s sake. I think Widmore isn’t quite the jerk he puts on for Desmond. I think he’s got the big picture in mind where Dezz is concerned. The as yet unnamed opposition must have factions within it and enemies without. I think ultimately Widmore will fall under the my enemy’s enemy is my friend category for Dezz and the other Losties.

I should further note that the Rabbit 15 seems to be an occurence of actual physical spacetime travel, while what most folks experience enroute or departing from the Island is mental temoral dislocation.

One last thought: Daniel Faraday’s card trick. He can’t remember the third card. He’s losing his memory? The future Dezz lost his memory in reaction to processing the paradox of time dislocation. Could Daniel be suffering a muted effect from coming to the Island? They are clearly in a different timespace. The chopper ride was short but scary for Sahid, but much more time had passed on the Island. Clearly an effect of relativity, but I’ll have to think the implications out further…

Sirius Knott

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