Thanks to contributor “Aonghus Fallon” for this particular theory that covers multiple mysteries related to the show in a thought-provoking manner (minor editing by me):
Two of the most ancient myths known to man deal with exile. The first man and woman lived in a beautiful garden, immortal and unchanging – until they were tempted to eat the forbidden fruit of knowledge by the serpent. They were driven out of the garden and prevented from ever entering it again by an angel. The second myth concerns an angel who rises up against his father/creator and is exiled from heaven as a result. Some day he and his minions plan to storm the gates of heaven once more.
I think ‘Lost’ combines these two myths and tries to establish that they have a common ancestry.
The island is the origin of all possible realities – as it is the origin of man and woman. It is also the location of the ‘Garden of Eden’, and the inhabitants of the island experience the beneficial effects of the island’s peculiar reality in the same way as did Adam and Even. To live on the island is to live in a state of stasis, immortal and unchanging, but equally unable to reproduce. Adam and Eve only procreated after leaving the garden.
The ‘garden’ is located on the far side of the island. This is inhabited by a being who had a crucial role in the evolution of the human species, intentionally or otherwise. The actual nature of this ‘garden’ has become shrouded in myth. It might not be a ‘garden’ as such, anymore than it might contain a literal ‘tree of knowledge’ – but it does contain something worth having.
The garden is protected by a creature which our ancestors might have described as an ‘angel’ but which Rousseau more accurately describes as a ‘security system.’ The biblical Jacob fought an angel, often believed to be samael, also known as the accuser. I can only assume the two ‘angels’ have been contracted into one. This would explain the peculiar effect the ‘angel’ has on those who confront it – how it takes the form of somebody they mistreated.
Jacob is a being who rose up against his creator, his ‘father’ and who was driven out of the garden as a result. This same Jacob encouraged man (another of his ‘father’s’ creations) to take the vital evolutionary step that resulted in his own ejection from the garden.
Jacob is determined to re-enter the garden, by force if necessary, and with this end in mind is recruiting a tribe of like-minded individuals – in the bible, Jacob was a jewish patriarch. This ‘tribe’ consists of his allies from the original insurrection along with anybody else who has ended up on the island in the meantime.
By ‘like-minded’ I mean Jacob is only interested in people willing to challenge the father-figure. If they have brought about their fathers’ deaths or – even better – killed their fathers, this makes them kindred souls. Just as only a truly holy person can see the face of God, your ability to see Jacob (or his willingness to be seen) depends on how great a role you played in your father’s demise. Ben assumes Locke will see Jacob after killing his natural father, not realising that Locke has only engineered his father’s death rather than killed him outright – ie. he got Sawyer to do the dirty work. Thus Locke only glimpses Jacob. He also hears him. Nonetheless, Ben is furious that Jacob permits Locke even this much, given that Locke hasn’t fulfilled the necessary criteria for tribe membership.
THE DHARMA INITIATIVE.
Direct exposure to the electro-magnetic field (located at the island’s core) leaves an individual with precognitive abilities – e.g. Des. The Initiative was set up with the intention of exploiting this feature for the greater good. People were immersed in this electro-magnetic field and then left the island as agents.Their role was to use their precognitive powers to influence the destiny of the world – ‘their’ world – in a positive way.
In time the Initiative became aware of the garden’s existence as well as its importance. A group of precogs, permanently based on the island, established that Jacob’s army would attack the garden at some later stage. An exploration of all possible outcomes revealed that one key individual could successfully protect the garden and ensure that this attack failed – John Locke.
DHARMA VS. JACOB.
The Dharma Initiative’s decision to ensure John Locke’s arrival on the island via their powers brought them into conflict with Jacob’s tribe. A member of the initiative – Ben Linus – was recruited by the tribe and all members of the Iniative present on the island at that time were killed. The apparatus built by the Initiative was then used to create more precogs. However these precogs were dedicated to exploring how Jacob might succeed rather than fail in his attack on the garden. It became apparent that, just as Locke was crucial to the successful protection of the garden, there were others inhabiting his reality who would be crucial to Jacob’s cause.
The plane crash was orchestrated by Dharma field agents to ensure John Locke’s arrival on the island. However, Jacob’s field agents ensured a number of potential recruits were also on board.
Why not approach the people involved directly? From a very early stage it became apparent that a successful outcome was only possible (for either side) if events unfolded in a specific manner and order, the plane crash being a crucial example. I say either side because, whereas precogs can influence events, they cannot affect free will. Bringing John Locke to the island does not guarantee he will do as he is expected – although (once on the island) it is inevitable that he reach a point where he be given the opportunity to protect the garden. This is his ‘destiny’. Thus Ben’s attempts to sabotage this destiny – by trying to recruit Locke and then kill him – were doomed from the outset and show he is losing his grip.