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October 15, 2010

My Year at LOST University.

Yay!  Another semester at LOST University!
This year, I along with fellow Losties wanted to work toward a L.U. Masters Degree.
The Masters courses encompassed exciting and fun areas of study, such as: 
  • Literature  601- The Building Blocks of Storytelling
  • The 601- Exploring Redemption and the Afterlife
  • Act 601- The Craft of Acting
  • Language 601- Exploring Spanish with Nestor Carbonell
  • Literature 602- Investigating Character Archetypes
  • The 602- What is Our Purpose? 
In addition to passing the Masters level courses, the requirement to accomplishing this goal is to write a thesis paper and submit it to the university.   Fellow Polar Bears are able to review and rate each paper to help determine the top five papers.   At this point I don't know where my paper will finish in the final ranking, if at all. 
Below you will find my thesis submission.  You will recognize that I wrote about a familiar topic that I've been passionate about.


CONGRATULATIONS to my fellow Polar Bears who also graduated from this prestigious institution!   It is an honor to walk the L.U. halls with you, to spend late nights studying together, and of course...cleaning up our messes after all those LOSTASTIC parties. 

CONGRATULATIONS to the creators and all involved with LOST University.   This on-line learning experience was totally fun.  You all did a great job with the web site, the university shirts/gear,  the course selections and the professors you employed.   I hope you have another round of classes up your sleeve.   I would love to work toward a Doctorate in LOST Studies!  After all, one should never stop learning.

I am very proud to share the news...Karen Mauro is a graduate of LOST University!   Now my quest is to find an extremely high paying job that I love with awesome benefits and the chance to travel the world.  Otherwise these important diplomas will just sit in a drawer collecting dust.




SUBMITTED 2010-09-20 13:25:22
The Magnum Opus of LOST is Defined Individually by
Viewer’s Perception.
By KMauro
LOST is watched by many in a literal manor, taking everything that is shown and applying it directly to logical, scientific and other academic principles, while the true identity of the story is cloaked in metaphor, allegory and symbolism. With all of that rolled up into one glorious crafted mosaic, it is impossible for this story to be perceived with a singular view.

The writers spun an imaginative and meaningful story using misdirection and deception. It’s as if they followed the basic code of being a magician. Their magic twisted our minds in confusion and amazement.

Since humans obtain information about the world around us through our sensory system, our perception is shaped by sensory input combined with life experience. But perception can be tricked. It is fact that perception can change as emotions change. Perception alters what people see into a "partial version" of reality, which ultimately corrupts the way people perceive the truth. When humans view something with a preconceived idea about it, they tend to take those preconceived ideas and see them whether or not they are there. This is because humans are unable to understand new information without the inherent bias of their previous knowledge. The extent of our own knowledge and life experience creates our reality as much as the truth because the human mind can only contemplate that which it has been exposed to.

The Buddhists believe in "Piercing the veil of illusion." This means that our minds are shaping sensory data and we have a choice as to how we shape it.

Many LOST viewers are preoccupied watching the part of the illusion the writers are “directing” us to look toward that the writers are able to conceal crucial information by throwing broad generalizations in order to keep the viewer from focusing in on the truth. They stayed one step ahead by purposely keeping the audience engaged with things like mythology, statues, hieroglyphs, time travel, space, physics and such.

When viewers take the time to question and probe the information illustrated via the constantly evolving puzzle, they find things are not what they seem; hence the completed picture may be very different from their original concepts.

Personally I would watch an episode and feel like I became privy to information via cryptic coding. Sure we could have gotten a simple code key to decipher the puzzle like Ralphie did in the movie A Christmas Story, and get a simple unrelated answer like “Drink more Ovaltine”, but the multi-layered story’s answers were meant to be challenging to work toward. We were always meant to take our own journey through this story and we were always supposed to take our own views from it and see things when we were ready to comprehend them, just as Jack did.

Perception played a role in viewers deciding what storytelling devices, such as metaphors and allegory, should be ignored or chalked up to “red herrings”. But the truth is those storytelling devices are actively telling this story side by side of all the puzzling problems, bizarre mythology and imagery we see on and with the "Island".

There is a difference between “red herrings” and storytelling devices, but the fun challenge is to discern which is which. For example, who is to say that what viewers perceived as “time travel” is really what we were supposed to get from that hint. It is possible that hint was cluing us into something else, or perhaps “it” was the “red herring”. The same could be said for other examples and how they were perceived such as a shape shifting smoke monster, a frozen donkey wheel that moves the "Island", ghosts, whispers, an ageless man, world saving electromagnetic forces, appearing and disappearing people, a machine that determines if someone if good or bad, a cork that plugs a hole in a bright light cavern, reset button, twins who've been playing an eternal game, and an invisibility cloak around the "Island".

For many the end proved nothing more than a Catch 22 or an outright lie and in fact it was a hydra of questions being raised and answered only to be replaced by new confusing and disorientating questions. Viewers interpreted the blissful series finale in many ways. Because we were shown the "spring" in the temple in the final season of LOST, the possibility exists that what we saw was a stage of higher consciousness to enlightenment, and that "rebirth" may very well refer to the metaphoric "death" or "ending to something" and the "new beginning" or "rebirth" and not a literal death and reincarnation.

LOST’s trip over the rainbow and down the rabbit hole has always been a story about perception; this is why we all extrapolated different things from it. It’s because the writers used such stimulating ideas, metaphors and symbolism that they were able to keep us in a state of exploration and learning. They were able to create a work of art that can be revisited over the years, thus giving the viewer a new experience with each new viewing as their knowledge and life experiences cause their perception to shift.

For me the LOST narrative is a wonderfully unique combination of outstanding storytelling, smoke and mirrors, and literary optical illusion, all wrapped in a deep educational and emotionally enriching growth experience.

Is a single viewing of this story the only way to validate what the story was ultimately about? I don’t think so. LOST is written therefore it will not change. I am looking forward to seeing how viewer’s perception of the story may change as their own life experiences and knowledge causes their perception to go through a metamorphosis. After all, things don’t change, it’s your way of looking at it that changes.

For all of us LOST was a journey of questions, searching for answers of all kinds and learning to discover what was in the magic box. What did you see when you opened it?



Thesis Questions:

1.   Are the things you perceive really what is being presented?

2.   Do you think the LOST writers are using slide of hand and hypnotic convincing words to con you into believing what you are seeing?

3.   Do you think your perception of the the LOST story will change upon another viewing?

EXCLUSIVE! More of Ben's Notes. Part 3

Hi Losties!
My friend and fellow Lostie Jooky22, was the winner of Lot #660 in the LOST Auction. His very special winning lot contained Ben's island messenger bag, journal, loose papers and the photo of Ben (that Miles had when we first met him.)

✈ Thank you so very much, Jooky22, for having Karen's LOST Notebook be the conduit in sharing  your wonderful piece of LOST history with the world!  This has been a wonderful opportunity and great fun in continuing my LOST journey.

* A special thank you to the many sites that found Karen's LOST Notebook useful, and Jooky22's generosity for sharing the pages,  and for kindly linking fans back here to view and explore the scans.  We both appreciate that very much!

Exclusive! More of Ben's Notes part 1

Exclusive! More of Ben's Notes part 2
Pages from Ben's Journal

A note about the additional scanned pages:
  • Many pages were folded in half or in quarters, and one was folded to frame the zodiac.
  • A couple of pages had other pages tucked into its folds.
  • Pages appear to be old, and some aged and/or stained.
  • Handwritten notes are on notebook paper (torn out of  a spiral bound notebook)  and loose leaf paper (college ruled/spaced).
  • Handwriting on notes is different; a few even look like they were written by an adolescent/kid.
  • Notes pertain to Astrology, Astronomy/charts, Math/equations, Reproductive System, Head/Brain, Art (painting/sculpting), Religion, Hindu, Buddhism, Botany, Plants/trees, Fruits, Rocks/stones, Alchemy, Sea-shells, creatures, Animals, Shamanism, Numerology (6),  Languages (Latin)  and   Life-death-rebirth.
  • Note dates on pages.
Also noted here are my own notes to the notes. (More will be added)
This Honolulu Star Bulletin newspaper was folded (as shown).  It is dated Friday August 25, 2006:
The feature is an article about hurricane Katrina and a scam.  And a political drawing with the "imagery" of Napoleon (Chavez).

October 13, 2010

EXCLUSIVE! More of Ben's Notes Part 2

Hi Losties!
My friend and fellow Lostie Jooky22, was the winner of Lot #660 in the LOST Auction. His very special winning lot contained Ben's island messenger bag, journal, papers and the photo of Ben (that Miles had when we first met him).


Exclusive! More of Ben's Notes part 3
Exclusive! More of Ben's Notes part 1

Pages from Ben's Journal

✈ Thank you so very much, Jooky22, for having Karen's LOST Notebook be the conduit in sharing  your wonderful piece of LOST history with the world!  This has been a wonderful opportunity and great fun in continuing my LOST journey.

* A special thank you to the many sites that found Karen's LOST Notebook useful, and Jooky22's generosity for sharing the pages,  and for kindly linking fans back here to view and explore the scans.  We both appreciate that very much!
 A note about the additional scanned pages:
  • Many pages were folded in half or in quarters, and one was folded to frame the zodiac.
  • A couple of pages had other pages tucked into its folds.
  • Pages appear to be old, and some aged and/or stained.
  • Handwritten notes are on notebook paper (torn out of  a spiral bound notebook)  and loose leaf paper (college ruled/spaced).
  • Handwriting on notes is different; a few even look like they were written by an adolescent/kid.
  • Notes pertain to Astrology, Astronomy/charts, Math/equations, Reproductive System, Head/Brain, Art (painting/sculpting), Religion, Hindu, Buddhism, Botany, Plants/trees, Fruits, Rocks/stones, Alchemy, Sea-shells, creatures, Animals, Shamanism, Numerology (6),  Languages (Latin)  and   Life-death-rebirth.
  • Note dates on pages.
Also noted here are my own notes to the notes. (More will be added)

Here is another torn out page from a spiral notebook.  (2-7-05)
It notes the arts/painting, film classes, Temptation of St. Anthony, {Path of Life and Choice/Big Theme}:
This page has very interesting doodling all over it:
The paper below is on (college ruled/spaced) loose leaf paper: Astronomy/Star chart. It is drawn in pencil with  precision:

October 11, 2010

EXCLUSIVE! More of Ben's Notes. Part 1

Hi Losties!
A couple of weeks ago my friend and fellow Lostie Jooky22, sent me the very first look at pages from Ben's journal.  I shared the exclusive pages from Ben's journal here for you to have a peek at.
A few days ago Jooky22 mailed me the (many) loose pages of notes that were also part of Ben's messenger bag of goodies to scan.
Of course since this is the site where I post and keep track of my own LOST notes, naturally Jooky22 knew that I had to do some fun investigating into the journal and loose notes to see if there are any connections to the story.

Logically, if someone is paying good money for props to an iconic show that is built on solving a mystery, I had hope that the pages Jooky22 acquired weren't just torn out pages of old irrelevant books and such, just to fill up the "desk set" and/or fill up a bag.
The good news is the loose pages did indeed connect to the many layers of the story.

Now, I know there are many of you out there that do not count anything outside of the "aired" episode as "canon", but I do.   I have fought the "canon" and "continuity" issue for six seasons.   With my investigating the LOST story I have come to find that all bits of information that is sent our way, whether it was via the show itself or ARG's/books/games, etc. Everything always connected to the story, always.     Mind you I understand that it is in a supporting role that the additional information is to be utilized, but it was to be utilized and not just tossed away as some waste of time.    In the LOST universe everything is connected!   

✈ Thank you so very much, Jooky22, for having Karen's LOST Notebook be the conduit in sharing  your wonderful piece of LOST history with the world!  This has been a wonderful opportunity and great fun in continuing my LOST journey.

* A special thank you to the many sites that found Karen's LOST Notebook useful, and Jooky22's generosity for sharing the pages,  and for kindly linking fans back here to view and explore the scans.  We both appreciate that very much!

Due to the amount of pages I would like to share, they will need to be posted over several posts.


When the journal and loose pages made their way here, I had fun exploring them just as I do with all LOST hints and evidence, as a means to enlightening myself to more of the story.   The pages do connect with clues mentioned in my notes through the years.

So first I want to display the pages from Ben's journal that I highlighted with yellow highlight, as items of interest to me.
  • You will see that again, dates don't connect to a "time reference" and/or certain events seen on "Island".    In my opinion this is nothing new and this may not be just indiscriminate jottings by Michael Emerson.  We all know when Oceanic crashed and the approximate days on "Island" that Ethan and Goodwin "lost their lives".   The pages to Ben's journal weren't part of the story until the end of season 3.   Should we wonder why the erroneous dates in the journal were not taken out/fixed before it made its way to the public.    The constant display of dates/times and events being out of sync have happened all along the path of this story; even into the The New Man in Charge.    This of course reiterates the "only fools are enslaved by time and space" notion.
  • The circling around the letter J:  Since the dates aren't adding up as per the "canon" of the story, do we dare assume the letter J represents Jacob?   Could it mean John or Juliet?  Maybe, just maybe it is referring to Jack.
  • The circle around the letters R and M:  Who could they relate to?   Richard or Rose. Mikhail or Michael.  Think about it, it could be anyone or even no one.
  • The word and imagery pertaining to "sink" is interesting.  Remember it may not be a literal place at all.  It could bring us right back to the writers use of metaphor and symbolism to indicate: sinking deep down into the bowels, emotionally sinking lower and lower/deeper and deeper, hitting bottom, things being out of sync, and/or Mind and Body are out of sync.  
  • We hear about "sink" and "sinking" many times over the course of the LOST story; such as in The End  and early on in Raised by Another. (Other episodes as well)
    NOTE: THE YELLOW HIGHLIGHTS ARE NOT PART OF THE ORIGINAL PAGES I POSTED FOR YOU.

    A note about the additional scanned pages:
    • Many pages were folded in half or in quarters, and one was folded to frame the zodiac.
    • A couple of pages had other pages tucked into its folds.
    • Pages appear to be old, and some aged and/or stained.
    • Handwritten notes are on notebook paper (torn out of  a spiral bound notebook)  and loose leaf paper (college ruled/spaced).
    • Handwriting on notes is different; a few even look like they were written by an adolescent/kid.
    • Notes pertain to Astrology, Astronomy/charts,  Math/equations, Reproductive System, Head/Brain, Art (painting/sculpting), Religion, Hindu, Buddhism, Botany, Plants/trees, Fruits, Rocks/stones, Alchemy, Sea-shells, creatures, Animals, Shamanism, Numerology (6),  Languages (Latin)  and   Life-death-rebirth.
    • Note dates on pages.
    Also noted here are my own notes to the notes.
    This handwritten (child-like/student) page (107B/1070-READ READER Study guide) is dated 2/2/05
    It gives us hints to portraits (likeness of someone/something), Tromp Loeil {To fool the eye}, counterfeiting, 3-D not 2-D,  and so much more.
    This side of the page is fascinating!
    Patinir : Renaissance painter of panoramic landscapes.
    Temptation of St. Anthony :
    -It has been the subject of famous paintings by Michaelangelo, Dali and many more.
    -Hieronymus Bosch painted the famous triptych,  symbolize the story of Anthony's mental and spiritual torments.
    -A book by French author Gustave Flaubert in 1872. It is written in the form of a play script.
    The chart is drawn on (college ruled/spaced) loose leaf paper:
    This plastic bag contained the photo of Ben: We can now see that Ben appears to be standing at a scanning machine, and is holding paper in his hands (possible ticket):
    Pages detailing the Head/Skull/Brain:  Imagine that! Wink, wink.