Season: 6, Episodes: 4, Faction: The Others
Dogen (道厳 Dōgen) was a member of the Others and master of the Temple. He was drowned to death by Sayid, who was persuaded to do so by the Man in Black. Dogen preferred to speak in Japanese with the aid of his translator, Lennon, who indicated that Dogen was the only person capable of keeping the Man in Black out of the Temple.
Once Dogen was murdered, the Man in Black entered the Temple as a pillar of smoke and massacred the Others who chose to keep their allegiance with Jacob.
Before the Island
6×06 – Sundown
According to Dogen, he was a very successful banker in Osaka before coming to the Island. He had a family, including a son. One day, Dogen received a promotion at work. He and his friends went out to celebrate, but Dogen drank too much. Under the influence, Dogen picked up his son from playing baseball and got into a terrible car accident. Though he himself survived, his son was seriously injured and in critical condition. While his son was in the hospital, an individual named Jacob approached Dogen and said that he would heal his son if Dogen came to the Island to work for him. Dogen accepted this offer, but never saw his son again. Leaving Osaka forever, Dogen took his son’s baseball with him as a keepsake. (“Sundown”)
On the Island (2007)
6×02 – LA X, Part 2
When Jack, Kate, Hurley, Jin, and the injured Sayid arrived at the Temple, Dogen ordered them to be shot for trespassing. But when Hurley announced that Jacob sent them, Dogen hesitated. To prove what he said was true, Hurley gave the guitar case to Dogen; Dogen opened it to see ankh in the guitar case. Immediately and heedless of Hurley’s protests, he smashed the wooden ankh in two and pulled a list from it. Looking at the list, he called the names of the group members, and also several others not present. Dogen then gave instructions for Sayid to be brought to a spring within the Temple. Sayid was pronounced dead by Dogen after they were apparently unable to revive him, perhaps because the water is muddy and no longer clear.
In a separate room within the Temple, which appears to be his office, Dogen received the news from Hurley that Jacob had died. Dogen swiftly ordered the Others to get into position and to protect the Temple from the Man in Black. (“LA X, Part 2”)
- Note that some of items shown in this room include balancing scales, a mortar and pestle, a baseball, black and white stones — all of which are the same as or similar to items shown in the Cliffside cave.
6×03 – What Kate Does
Later, Lennon informed Dogen that Sayid had come back to life. In response, Dogen summoned Sayid to that same room, where he began to torture him under the eventual pretext that it had been a test. After Sayid returned to his friends and told them about his ordeal, Jack angrily demanded to know why Sayid had been tortured. Dogen denied having done so, and asked Jack to give Sayid a pill which would, according to him, heal Sayid of his infection. Jack refused to do so without first knowing what was in the pill, and attempted to swallow the pill himself, but Dogen stopped him, forcing him to cough it back up. Dogen then reluctantly revealed that the pill’s contents were poison. There was a darkness, he told Jack, spreading throughout Sayid’s body, and once it reached his heart, he would be forever changed. Dogen went on to reveal that this same thing had afflicted Jack’s sister, Claire. (“What Kate Does”)
6×05 – Lighthouse
Dogen joined Jack who was wandering outside the Temple and said that he was afraid Jack had left. Jack asked whether leaving was an option to which Dogen replied that “everything is an option”. He afterwards asked Jack whether his friends were coming back and he answered that they were probably not.
Later, Dogen caught Hurley poking around in a tunnel. He told him to return to the courtyard. Hurley, under the guidance of Jacob’s spirit, told Dogen that he was a candidate, and told him to go to the courtyard. With this, Dogen said something in Japanese, (Translation: “You’re lucky that I have to protect you. Otherwise I’d have cut your head off.”) and left. (“Lighthouse”)
6×06 – Sundown
Once alone, Sayid confronted Dogen with questions. Dogen explained the nature of the machine as something that gauges the morality of an individual (whether they are good or evil). Dogen explained that Sayid was evil and would be better off dead. The hostility between the two sparked into a fight. Dogen had the opportunity to kill Sayid, but seeing his son’s baseball made him stop. Dogen banished Sayid and told him to leave the Temple at once.
However, everything changed for Dogen when Claire mysteriously returned to the Temple with a message from the Man in Black. Claire explained that the Monster wanted to speak with Dogen, who refused. Claire suggested that he send someone that the Monster would not kill, so Dogen revoked Sayid’s banishment and sent him in his stead.
After Sayid’s meeting with the Man in Black, he returns with yet another message: everyone is to leave the Temple by sundown or die.
Sayid later confronted Dogen at the pool. He asked Dogen why he spared his life earlier that day. Staring at the baseball that he was holding in his hand, Dogen did not answer the question directly, but explained the circumstances that brought him to the Island. Dogen concluded by asking Sayid if he would stay in the Temple or leave with the Man in Black. Sayid chose to stay, but unexpectedly attacked and killed Dogen by drowning him in the pool.
When Lennon arrived to discover that Dogen was dead, he panicked and told Sayid that Dogen was the only thing keeping the Monster out of the Temple. Sayid already knew this and killed Lennon as well. The Monster then attacked the temple unhindered. (“Sundown”)
6×05 – Lighthouse
Dogen was present in Los Angeles in 2004, alongside his son, with whom he appeared to have a good relationship. He and his son attended David Shephard’s piano recital at Williams Conservatory, and praised David’s abilities. He saw Jack there, and told him it is hard to have children with that kind of talent. (“Lighthouse”)
Related Character Images
Associated LOST Themes
Decoded Family Members
Decoded Season 1 & 2 Characters
Decoded Season 5 Characters
Decoded Season 6 Characters
Key Episode(s) to Decoding the Character
(Tem, Temu) The great creator God of Ôn, the city known to the Greeks as Heliopolis, Atum is generally depicted anthropomorphically, wearing the dual crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, sometimes leaning on a staff to indicate advanced age. Atum’s name provides the key to his nature; it carries the sense of totality, of finishing, and of negation. Atum is the totality which evolves or develops as a work upon itself and through the interaction and articulation of its elements. Thus Atum begins the process of the emergence of the Gods into the cosmos by an act of masturbation by which he brings forth Shu and Tefnut, who then carry forward the process themselves. Atum is also, however, as the origin of the cosmos, the one who more than any other distinguishes himself from all there is, the one who by his very being negates all things, and thus expresses his freedom and autonomy. His name has also the connotation of finishing, because the totality is at any moment all that it can be; it is always at its ultimate state. Atum is not in the first place a solar deity, but is so closely associated with his fellow Heliopolitan God Re, who is the solar deity par excellence, that Atum comes to be regarded as the sun in a particular aspect, either as source and origin of all life, or as the sun in its singularity. In this latter aspect he is embodied in the sun at its setting, at the moment when it begins its journey into the netherworld. Atum, who was alone at the beginning of the cosmos, is manifest in the sun’s aloneness at the threshold of transformation. In the Pyramid Texts (utterance 213) each part of the king’s body is identified with Atum except for his face, which is identified with Anubis—all of the parts of the body which can be seen by oneself without a mirror, therefore, are Atum’s.
Atum’s myth is well developed already in the Pyramid Texts. In the midst of the watery abyss of indeterminacy, personified as Nun, Atum creates for himself a point of determinacy, a mound that rises from the waters at the site of Heliopolis, a moment which is also functionally identical to that in which Atum grasps his phallus in his hand. The determinacy of place which comes with the emergence of solid ground in the Nun is one with the determinacy achieved by a part of the body (the phallus) which expresses Atum’s self-awareness. The place of the primordial hillock, which embodies the beginning of everything and was represented at Heliopolis by the presence of a benben stone, or pyramidion, is also a place which is everywhere. This moment of the emergence of the primeval mound is also hardly to be distinguished from the first sunrise, which is in turn each day’s sunrise. From here begins the close identification of Atum and Re. The compound name Re-Atum is very common, either with separate determiners indicating that the two are kept distinct even in fusion (e.g. in CT spell 673) or with Re subordinated to Atum, as in CT spell 266, where the operator says “I am Atum in his name of Re.” Where one is to be subordinated to the other, it is Re who is subordinated to Atum, for the sun can be regarded as merely one element in the self-developing totality. Alternately, the sun itself, Re in the broadest sense, can be the focus, relativizing Re in the narrow sense and Atum alike, as in BD spell 15A: “Hail to thee, Re at his rising, Atum at thy setting.”
Having created Shu and Tefnut through his masturbatory act—his hand as partner in this act is personified as the Goddess Iusâas—Atum embraces them, his embracing arms forming the hieroglyph for the ka, the spirit or double belonging to each living being. In this act, Atum passes on to them his essence, that is, the monadic essence of being an individual (PT utterance 600). To be each at once the totality and also a part of the totality—this is what Atum passes on to his children and to their children, who fill the ranks of the ‘ennead’, or pantheon of nine Gods, of Heliopolis, consisting of Atum, Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut, Osiris, Isis, Seth and Nephthys, but ‘ennead’ is also a general term in Egyptian thought for a collection of Gods of whatever number. It is the nature of a God as such in Egyptian thought to possess the capacity of self-creation which is the essence of Atum; it is the nature of a God to be the totality. In PT utterance 600, a prayer of protection for the king and his pyramid, it is said “O you children of Atum, extend his goodwill (lit. ‘heart’) to his child … Let his back be turned from you toward Atum, that he may protect this King…”. Here, the protective gesture of having the deity at one’s back is transferred from Atum’s children to Atum, symbolizing the withdrawal from the world to the inwardness of the very wellspring of individuality. The king, in turn, assists Atum, as we read in utterance 362: “O my father Atum in darkness! Fetch me to your side, so that I may kindle a light for you and that I may protect you.” For the king to redeem his own selfhood is in itself to kindle a light for Atum, to protect Atum; the two acts are not separate. Atum passes on, not only to his children the Gods, but to humans as well, the birthright of selfhood, but humans must activate this gift of Atum’s.
Noteworthy in PT utterance 215 is the opposition between Re-Atum and Osiris: “Re-Atum will not give you to Osiris, and he [Osiris] shall not claim your heart nor have power over your heart,” the affirmation being repeated with respect to Horus. It is not a matter of the latter deities being actually a danger to the deceased, for even if Osiris is, as lord of the underworld, conceivably an ambivalent figure, nevertheless this cannot be the case with Horus. Rather, it is a question of Atum’s prior claim upon the individual. In the same utterance, Shu and Tefnut tell the deceased to “come into being, an Atum to every God.” Atum being that which grounds individuality as such, it is natural that the maintenance of the integrity of one identity should have ramifications for the totality; hence in utterance 465 the king demands of the “Gods of the horizon who are in the limit of the sky,” that “if you wish that Atum should live … take my hand and place me in the Field of Offerings.” Similarly, Atum, as the totality, has the ability to bring together the Gods in assembly: “Ho all you Gods! Come all together, come assembled, just as you came together and assembled for Atum in On,” (utterance 599). In BD spell 3, Atum is portrayed as speaking on the deceased’s behalf: “O Atum … speak thou to the Ancestors: N. [the deceased] comes as one who is in their midst.” The aspect of negation in Atum is evident in PT utterance 606, which identifies the king with Re, but also distinguishes the Atum-aspect of Re: “you will draw near to them [the Gods] like Re in this his name of Re; you will turn aside from their faces like Re in this his name of Atum.”
As the origin of form itself, Atum is naturally one of the Gods immediately confronting Apophis, the giant serpent representing entropy; and BD spell 7 allows the deceased to identify with Atum so as to escape the clutches of Apophis. In this spell, the deceased says “I am the one-faced one,” for Atum represents the integrity of identity which remains constant across transformations. Atum also confronts Apophis directly in netherworld books like the Book of Gates. The Book of the Dead includes a spell (79) for “becoming the greatest in the Council,” which is directed toward Atum. Here again we see Atum, as the totality, associated with a collective entity, the Council of the Gods. The deceased identifies himself here in striking fashion as “this God who eats men and lives on Gods.” This claim evokes the famous utterances 273-4 of the Pyramid Texts in which the king is said to be “a God who lives on his fathers and feeds on his mothers,” to have been begotten by Atum but to be mightier than him, and to devour the Gods. These surprising images serve to secure a place in the cosmic order for a human as a unique and autonomous individual against all the forces, even beneficent ones, which would tend to overwhelm and absorb him/her, and Atum is the God most intimately linked to this critical moment.
Another important appearance of Atum in the Book of the Dead is in spell 175, a spell “for not dying again,” in which Atum speaks to Thoth about the turmoil generated by the “Children of Nut,” i.e. Osiris, Isis, Seth and Nephthys, and engages in a dialogue with the deceased, who questions Atum about the netherworld, “the silent land, which has no water and no air and is very deep and very dark and all is lacking,” including food, drink and sexual pleasures, to which Atum replies that blessedness and quietness of heart have been granted by him in place of these things, and that at any rate “thy face sees, and I will not suffer thee to choke”; the deceased is then granted a vision of Atum face-to-face. The exchange is interesting in that all of the necessities and amenities of life which are, throughout the afterlife literature, magically procured for the deceased, are here dispensed with, not in contradiction to other parts of the Book of the Dead, but in accord with the peculiarly primordial bond between the deceased and Atum, as is signaled at the beginning of the spell by Atum’s private remarks to Thoth about the Children of Nut, three of whom at any rate (Osiris, Isis and Nephthys) are representative throughout the rest of the Book of the Dead of all that is hoped for on behalf of the deceased in the other world; and indeed, throughout the dialogue the deceased is, as in the rest of the Book of the Dead, designated as ‘Osiris’. In the continuation of the dialogue, Atum explains that he shall someday return everything into the abyss as it existed before the emergence of the cosmos, after which “I [Atum] shall survive together with Osiris, after I have assumed my forms of other snakes which men know not and Gods see not.” This is not, perhaps, so much an apocalyptic prophecy as another demonstration of the ability of Atum (and therefore the operator who successfully identifies with him) to set himself apart from all that is and to subsist unsupported, as it were, in and through the abyss, the destruction of the cosmos which is spoken of by Atum being, not one which is to occur in the distant future so much as that which is immediate for the deceased and has, for him or her, already in fact taken place.
Other Names: Temu, Tem.
Patron of: the sun, creation, rulership of the gods.
Description: In the creation myths, Atum is the primal creator. He created himself (or arose out of nothing) and created the first gods, Shu and Tefnut, from his spittle. The Memphite creation myth puts him as the first creation of Ptah, who simply said his name and he came into being.
Atum was revered not only as the father of the gods but also as the father of the pharaohs. The title “Son of Atum” was included in the many titles of the king, even after the pharaohs styled themselves “Sons of Ra.”
Worship: Worshipped widely throughout Egypt, with his cult center at Heliopolis.
A composite deity with Ra. The primordial creative force combined with the ruler of the gods. In this form, Atum also symbolized the setting sun and its journey through the underworld to its rising in the east.
Atum is an important deity in Egyptian mythology.
His name is thought to be derived from the word ‘tem’ which means to complete or finish. Thus he has been interpreted as being the ‘complete one’ and also the finisher of the world, which he returns to watery chaos at the end of the creative cycle. As creator he was seen as the underlying substance of the world, the deities and all things being made of his flesh or alternatively being his ka.
Atum is one of the most important and frequently mentioned deities from earliest times, as evidenced by his prominence in the Pyramid Texts, where he is portrayed as both a creator and father to the king. He is usually depicted as a man wearing either the royal head-cloth or the dual white and red crown of Upper Egypt, and Lower Egypt, reinforcing his connection with kingship. Sometimes he also is shown as a serpent, the form which he returns to at the end of the creative cycle and also occasionally as a mongoose, lion, bull, lizard, or ape.
In the Heliopolitan creation myth established in the sixth dynasty, he was considered to be the first god, having created himself, sitting on a mound (benben) (or identified with the mound itself), from the primordial waters (Nu). Early myths state that Atum created the god Shu and goddess Tefnut from spitting or from his semen by masturbation in Heliopolis.
In the Old Kingdom the Egyptians believed that Atum lifted the dead king’s soul from his pyramid to the starry heavens. By the time of the New Kingdom, the Atum mythos, merged in the Egyptian pantheon with that of Ra, who was also the creator and a solar deity, their two identities were joined into Atum-Ra. But as Ra was the whole sun, and Atum became to be seen as the sun when it sets (depicted as an old man leaning on his staff), while Khepera was seen as the sun when it was rising.
Relationship to other gods
Atum was a self-created deity, the first being to emerge from the darkness and endless watery abyss that girdled the world before creation. A product of the energy and matter contained in this chaos, he created divine and human beings through loneliness: alone in the universe, he produced from his own semen Shu, the god of air, and Tefnut, the goddess of moisture. The brother and sister, curious about the primeval waters that surrounded them went to explore the- and disappeared into the darkness. Unable to bear his loss, Atum sent a fiery messenger to find his children. The tears of joy he shed on their return were the first human beings.
He is generally represented in human form and as the source of the Pharaoh’s power he wears the double crown of Egypt- red for Lower Egypt, White for Upper Egypt and he also carries a tall cross, the symbol of eternal life.
Iusaaset, the grandmother of deities
Another belief held that Shu and Tefnut were created by Atum having sexual intercourse with a goddess, referred to as Iusaaset (also spelt Juesaes, Ausaas, Iusas, and Jusas, and in Greek as Saosis), meaning the great one who comes forth. She was described as his shadow or his hand. Consequently, Iusaaset was seen as the mother and grandmother of the gods. The strength, hardiness, medical properties, and edibility, led the acacia tree to be considered the tree of life, and thus the oldest, which was situated close to, and north of, Heliopolis, was said to be the birthplace of the deities. Thus, as the mother and grandmother, of the deities, Iusaaset was said to own this tree.