All In Jack’s Head Theory

Man of Science, Man of Faith



 whole series of events on Lost

happened inside Jack’s head. He was
in a plane crash, got rescued, taken to
a hospital where he spent some time
in a coma. The Island was his coma

This theory claims, that the creators of
LOST happily conned everyone. THey
hid the existence of the most worn out
and hated endings in TV history, by repackaging it in an entirely
diffent(and brilliant) manner. The theory is rather not about a new ending,
but about a new perspective, explanation of the show itself. You can look
at it as an immensely more complex, TV series version, of "The Sixth
Sense", "The Usual Suspects" and "Jacob's Ladder" (
/title/tt0099871/?ref_=nv_sr_1) taken together. It's in opposition of the
religious/faith/Light ending of 2010, if you are one of those people who
love LOST, but are left with a slightly bitter taste in mouth by S6 and The
End, then you may feel happy to read it. This is the rational/science/Dark
ending. Besides, all the cool kids are in the 'dark' camp: DHARMA, Jack,
MIB, Mr Eko, Ben, Walt and, perhaps, Desmond. I feel sorry for you, team
"light", but you will eventually lose...some time in 2019, by my prediction.

1. The Science of Dreams

In the theory I used some terms like 





describe how Jack’s mind formed the surrounding imaginary environment.
A 'projection' is something that Jack experienced in his life, some strong
emotion for example, and then it appeared/usually reiterated* in his
dream, while a 'constant' is some part of the physical environment that
imposed itself into the dream world. Like for example, the phone starts
ringing while you are asleep, and this appears in your dream in some

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abrupt occurence. It is similar to 'THE constant' of LOST, in a sense that it
is something that exists in both worlds - inside and outside of the dream. A
link. Both are just different instances of something called 



Dreams in Wikipedia/Incorporation of Reality (

*The Repetition Principle in Dreams (

Dreams objectify that which is subjective, they visualize that
which is invisible, they transform the abstract into the concrete,
and they make conscious that which is unconscious. They come
from the most archaic alcoves of the mind as well as from the
peripheral levels of waking consciousness. Dreams are the
kaleidoscope of the mind.

— Hall and Nordby, 1972, p. 146


Pilot's Cabin (Jacob’s Cabin)

LOCKE: There’s a cabin I have to go to.
HURLEY: I thought the cabin was back that
LOCKE: What did you say, Hugo?
HURLEY: I, er, thought you were talking about
the airplane cabin.

— Confirmed Dead

Jack's subconscious incorporates the cabin in the dream.

Jacob's Cabin is probably the most unexplainable mystery of LOST. It
doesn't fit in the accepted reality, unlike the other 99% of the mysteries

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that were, more or less, explained. For some, at most you could say, they
were not given a satisfactory explanation. But, as far as JC is concerned: a
total mess. Mysterious figure, moving, ash circle, was it Jacob's, what was
the point of it at all, the dog painting? Surreal, promising answer, but in
the end - nothing. I mean really nothing, they just burned it.

The real story of it is not as simple as a 'constant'. That would be a copout.
That would be like saying: "Hey, Jack dreamed the whole thing. Period.":)
But it has depth to it. Read on for the explanation. By the way, every other
'constant' is a complicated mystery in itself.

Plane Hatch (The Hatch)

SAYID: What is the
hatch? …. LOCKE: A
hatch? Two hatches on
a plane, Sayid, could
be forward or aft.

— The Greater Good

In Season 1 the Hatch was
the biggest mystery.

People were curious what was inside of it. It is also a metaphor for the
secret of LOST. Similar to the Cave of Light(another source of
electromagnetism). To put it simply, as if I could, there was a "light" and
"dark" explanation inside. The 'light' is the blast door map. It's empty. No
meaning. More fans seemed to be attracted to it. On the other hand, the
'dark', the Mural, is FULL OF meaning. In fact, I could say ALL OF IT is in
the mural, and I don't think that would be very far from the truth. I would
put the Mural on par with Jacob's Cabin by measure of compexity. More on
it later...

Rescue Dog (Vincent)

It's clear enough. Not that fascinating. Btw, if you take the concept by
itself, of Jack waking up/dying, eye opening/closing in the same bamboo
field, with the same shoe, and the same dog coincidentally appearing out
of nowhere, it should provoke some dream-driven thoughts. A-la "Vanilla
Sky". He was there the whole time, and all of the events took place in

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Jack's mind, in the final moments before death. That was the initial version
of the theory. But Jack's not dead, not at all.

Injury from the crash/plane shrapnel (Jack's appendectomy

scar, stab wound from unLocke, Christ's wound/Caravaggio's
painting, Jake's bayonet wound in the movie "Jacob's
Ladder": all in the same place)

I suppose this can't possibly make sense at the present moment. You
should maybe read it last.

Smoke from the burning plane (The Smoke Monster)

This is the easiest to explain, because it is very intuitive. The smoke is
danger, death. Hence, it manifests itself as a monster in Jack's mind. More
on Smoke in other sections.

Tennis Shoe (The shoe hanging on a tree in the bamboo


Not a simple shoe.

All six form an acronym C.H.R.I.S.T(Cabin, Hatch, Rescue Dog, Injury,
Smoke, Tennis Shoe). This is a codename for the “return of Christ/Jack
waking up”. You can see why this is important, later on, when we get to
‘316’ ( If this “nonsense” hasn’t put
you off already and you keep reading.:)

The acronym is just an attempt on my behalf to tigh in the constants
together. But the Christ allusions and metaphors are deffinitely relevant.

Notice how I already explained three of the greatest mysteries of LOST –
The Hatch, Jacob’s Cabin and The Smoke Monster. LoL. Let's laugh a little
more. What do you think is the Cave of Light? It is an MRI machine. From
the hospital Jack's lying comatose. Dream incorporation. Another
'constant'. Seen twice on LOST. The writing on the door "Magnetic
Resonance Imagining", instead of "...Imaging" - so insignificant. A typo.:)
Who cares about a Kate-centric episode anyway, called "Born to Run",

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boring. MOving on...For the record, "BR" is my favorite Kate episode.


Jack didn’t know most/all of the other characters. They were passengers
on a plane. Some of them made an impression, and his mind constructed
their personality accordingly. I think some of the events on the plane/and
in the hospital in S6 are actually real. And we get to witness this near the
end so we have a different perspective of what happened before. An idea
not seen for the first time in surreal movies, TV, with a twist ending.

On plane events, S6

The Repetition Principle

Jack saves Charlie from suffocating with a baggie of heroin on the plane,
with a pen – first thing on the island, he tries to revive Rose, do
tracheotomia with a pen…Boone runs off looking for pens. Now this is one

of the more interesting projections of Jack’s
subconscious. Because when the island was
trying to kill Charlie, and when Charle was near
death before that, IT WAS ALMOST ALWAYS in
some form of suffocation. Hanged on a tree by
Ethan, drowning twice, shot by an arrow in the
neck, even Desmond grabbed his neck when he
got pissed, died drowning. Weird…repetition…like
this strong experience keeps reappearing in the
dream world.

Jack saw Kate’s handcuffs – she is a fugitive in
the dream reality.

(Another 'constant' in the featured image. The "Looking Glass" hatch. An
airplane window.)

Sayid broke the door of the toilet – Sayid’s violent nature.

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Some guy at the hospital calls Jack “doc”. Locke is a patient of
Jack’s…Juliet is picked up by Ben because she looks like Sarah… Daddy
issues everywhere, everyone seems to have it. Because Jack has it. Not so
interesting, got the idea, forward…

The Numbers

Either a 'projection', or a 'constant'. They were in
Jack’s mind before the crash. Possibly on his plane


 – year/04

8, 15

 – number of flight


 – duration of flight/ remember ‘repetition’?

S1 appearances of the number 16:

“Jack, Kate, and Charlie found the pilot 16 hours after the crash.”
“..said the transmission from Danielle had been playing for 16 years”
“It had been 16 weeks since someone had won the Lottery before Hurley
“Sam and Lenny heard The Numbers 16 years ago.”
“Jack told Chrissy at the airport desk he had to land in LAX in 16 hours, to
bury his father.”
That’s like almost half the appearances of 16 in S1, according to lostpedia.
All TIME-related.


 – Jack’s seat number


 – Ana Lucia’s seat number(He memorized it, she gave it to him at the

bar so they could meet later)

I prefer to go with a one-liner, provoked by the following quote from
“Flashes Before Your Eyes”:

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DELIVERY MAN: [to Receptionist] Hello, love. Got a parcel here for
DESMOND: Excuse me, what did you say?
DELIVERY MAN: I said “delivery for 815.”

— We see a few very quick flashes from the hatch: numbers being entered on the
computer screen, the execute button, the timer hitting 108.

Here is the one-liner:

Passengers for 




 , which arrives in LA in 



please proceed to Gate section 




23 was the actual Gate number. Jack overheard this on his way to board
the plane. This stuck in Jack’s mind, he started playing with the numbers,
science guy, maybe they were in front of his eyes on the plane ticket…but
here is the more interesting part: the numbers brought bad luck in the
dream because Jack subconsciously associated them with the crash!
Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Jack's Tattoos

The tattoo on Jack’s forearm symbolizes
dreaming. I had an image of this tattoo turned
upside down, to demonstrate the resemblance to
the cover of a book about dream symbolism.
/dreamsymbols/ (http://www.wilhelm-griesinger-

But you don't really need that, just watch the episode "Operation Sleeper"
from The Missing Pieces.

Jack the Sleeper (

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The shoulder tattoo has some encrypted messages, this is more literal. A
direct refence to the dream theory, which, of course, didn't mean much at
the time. The arm tatoo is rarely and briefly seen, while the shoulder one
has been in the spotlight, a whole episode was dedicated to it. Initially I
thought they used misdirection again, to focus our attention on the more
datailed and fascinating tattoo, at the expense of the other. Now, I think
there significant clues hidden in the shoulder tattoo as well. I even did a
connected interpretation of all 3 tattoos(including the one on Jack's back).
More on the tattoos later, stay tuned.:)

Literary References


(Locke is upset, because there is
nothing in "An Occurence at Owl
Creek Bridge"
/watch?v=GuP5kUQro40). Or maybe
there is, but he just can't see it?/"The
Long Con"/)

An Occurence At Owl Creek
The Third Policeman
Alice in Wonderland/Through the
Looking Glass
The Wizard of Oz
Turn of The Screw

Even more here:

“The following books seen and referenced on the show have a major
surrealist/dream element to them…. “

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"An Occurence..." actually bears the closest resemblance to this theory. In
it, the main character is about to be hanged on a bridge. But he manages
to escape, swim away, then run through the woods. At the end he returns
to his family house, reunites with his wife and children. And when
everybody feels happy and safe...a flashback to the bridge and the
gallows, he was there all the time, and everything that we witnessed had
happened inside his head.


Jacob's Ladder

Very similar to "An Occurence..."

Room 23: A moving upward staircase, and the writing: "God loves you as
he loved Jacob" Other connections.

Vanilla Sky

Eye opening/closing. Jumping off a bulding(cliff) to wake up.

In show:

A whole episode that proposes the "The All in Somebody's Head" theory -
"Dave". Then at the end of the episode they attempt to disprove it, by
using Libby's words to Hurley: " don't know, because it happened to
ME...Don't tell me I am not real." It's a bit funny, because the validity of
Libby's words is questioned shortly after, when we see she was hiding the
fact that she had been a resident of "Santa Rosa" hospital herself.

To be continued with the following sections...

Jacob's Cabin, The Mural, The Lighthouse, Numbers,
C.H.R.I.S.T, The Lamp Post, The Game(Dark vs Light), Walt,
Jack's Tattoos, The White Rabbit, The Island as a Snowglobe,
Richard's Test, The Matrix and LOST.

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