Author Victor Hugo wrote, "There is nothing like a dream to create the future."
In Dream Theory, your subconscious mind recreates worlds in which to run simulations, fantasies and comparisons with data collected by your conscious mind. This duality or mirror image of information is used by humans to frame future references, categorize experiences and hard wire memories.
The signals get crossed when the subconscious mind escapes from the darkness of the dream state and into the light of reality.
Escape, such as the release of the huge "purple wave" when the Numbers were not put into the computer in time. The Numbers, a sequence of digits to be imputed by rote into the operator's mind. It is symbolic of counting numbers backward in order to fall under anesthesia or like counting sheep in order to achieve slumber.
Once the subconscious mind bleeds over into the real cognitive operations of the mind, one may become unstable, delusional, paranoid, extremely introverted, isolated or angry at the harsh inconsistencies between what should be (as found in the dream state) and what is (reality).
There were many fan theories about LOST which centered on the fact that Hurley was the key character who was always around the action, but never got hurt. Why? Because in the dream state, the person's build in primal safety mechanisms of instinct and reaction will not allow you to get hurt. And if you live in the dream state long enough, you can begin to control it - - - and its perceived outcome. Once you believe you can control your own destiny, you can stand by the sidelines and watch the action knowing that since you created it, you cannot get hurt.
Not getting hurt is another basic human defense system. No one outwardly goes forward in life wanting to hurt themselves, either physically or emotionally. People try to connect at deep, interpersonal levels, to help to cope with the pressures, struggles and pain of normal life activities and relationships. Families are the first and foremost bonds of safety and companionship. But if that bond is weakened or broken early in life, a child may rush to the safety of his own dream state in order to cope with a terrible loss.
Hurley did so when his father left him. His abandonment issues were never resolved in the pre-island world of reality. One could speculate that the island, with a broad base of strange people, was created by Hurley's dream state in order to find permanent replacement friends to fill the void of his lost father since as a child he decided he did not have a future without a father figure to guide him.
Hurley was the one character that got along with everyone on the island, which is a statistical improbability unless Hurley predetermined he would get along with everyone on the island. It is the self-fulfilling prophecy which in itself is a self-directed con, or cheat. He created great, lively, charismatic imaginary friends in order to create a fun, adventurous future for himself (a loser with no ambition or prospects in real life).
In this context, LOST is really a sad, sad story of a young man escaping his own reality in order to hide in his subconscious dream state.