In Walkabout all we see is Locke looking up at something. We don’t see what he is looking at.
In White Rabbit he vaguely mentions it:
LOCKE: I’ve looked into the eye of this island. And what I saw was beautiful.
In The Cost of Living Locke, presumably, talks about that same experience during this conversation with Eko:
LOCKE: So, what exactly did you see back there? I saw it once, you know.
EKO: And what did you see?
LOCKE: I saw a very bright light. It was beautiful.
EKO: That is not what I saw.
The Walkabout scene is one of those completely mysterious scenes. We all makes assumptions about it, but the amount of info we don’t know about far exceeds what we do know. Even connecting these three scenes is presumptuous of me. The first two scenes are most definitely related. But I have no idea if the scene in Walkabout is the one that Locke is referring to in The Cost of Living. Perhaps he was talking about the implosion of The Swan, or maybe the time that Desmond turned on the light in Season 1.
But let’s just be presumptuous. For the sake of this post I’m going to assume these two scenes are connected.
The big question about this scene is, what did Locke see? In the back of all of our minds we think that he saw Smokey. Even if we don’t want to believe that we still have to consider it. Maybe Locke did see Smokey, maybe he saw a different side of Smokey that we’ve never seen. Perhaps when Smokey is in a docile mood he turns “bright” and “beautiful”. I find that very hard to believe. Locke doesn’t show any recognition of Smokey the next time he see him, in the finale.
I think that Locke stumbled upon something new in that scene, new, as in not Smokey. Many people have stated that they believe that Esau and Smokey are the same being(?)… individual(?)… power(?)….. the same.. thing. So, if that is true (I don’t really want to believe that) wouldn’t it logically follow that Jacob would have a similar non-corporeal form. There are very obvious distinctions between the Jacob and Esau characters, most notably the contrast of black and white, with Esau dressed in black and shown as a brunette, and Jacob wearing white and having blond hair(interestingness: the etymology of blond/blonde). Wouldn’t it make sense for their spirit forms to be similarly opposite? Couldn’t we expect Jacob’s version of Smokey to be the opposite of Smokey? Instead of Black oppressiveness he would be bright and shining.