(The Lost Symbol came out in 2009, but I found some issues to be pertinent today in this book review I wrote that year)
The previous 2 books that I’ve read by Dan Brown; “Angels & Demons” and “Da Vinci Code” were quite riveting and fast reads, but “The Lost Symbol” rivaled them. In addition, Brown chose to write chapter after chapter as a type of sound-bite; a quickly changing scene to keep the attention of the reader. That was very clever and it worked! The trade-off was character and scene development. Even though we all know Langdon from the other books, people do grow and evolve.
Yet he portrayed Langdon very 2 dimensional and much the same. I got the sense he was really tired of this character and it showed in the writing. This was by no means a visionary work, but it was revealing and fun to read. Inquiring minds want to know! When you open the book, read the fiction disclaimer and then read the FACT page.
There was an advantage of the setting being on home turf; Washington D.C. As Americans, the revelation of the inner workings of our government is personal. Indeed, many of our family members are Masons. Many of our towns have “Masonic meeting halls”. In my hometown, there was a “Masonic Temple”. As a child I was taken by my Mother and Grandmother to many a community concert. But chapter 82, page 304 was especially personal for me.
At the opening of the chapter was the 10,647 rank organ that my cousin, Wayne Dirksen played and built as Music Director for The Washington National Cathedral in real life. His father founded the Freeport Organ Co. and taught him. Wayne was the music presenter for the Cathedral. Then as the characters proceeded into the Cathedral kitchen to reveal a very telling clue about “the pyramid”, I thought, “I wonder how many church suppers my relatives had in this hall and never imagined it would be the setting for revealing part of the secret about The Masons in a best-selling book?” When you read the section, you may hear the church women forever making jokes about cooking something in the big pots that might rival a secret Masonic Pyramid-hold the carrot! I don’t want to be a spoiler, so you’ll have to read the book to see what I’m talking about. The point is, the Washington National Cathedral is a Masonic stronghold-including the altar of the church, and my family has roots there.
What strikes me after having read these three books is in “Angels and Demons”, Brown deals with the secrets of The Illuminati and the Catholic Church. In “DaVinci Code” the antagonist power structure is The Catholic Church and finally, in “The Lost Symbol”-he deals with the secrets of The Masons, but they are protagonists and Protestant. What do all of these institutions have in common? They are male dominated with exclusive male membership. Albeit, DaVinci Code “suggested” the existence of the sacred feminine, but what conclusive power did she have? There was no real proof of her role.
For all the puzzle jumbling, blood, violence, and torture, there has never been a bigger scandal since the time of Christ than the absolute power vacuum of women in institutions of spiritual power. There has never been such an insulting, blatant, patronizing lack of comment on the real mystery behind the reason for male dominance in these institutions. In fact, the reason Dan Brown even HAS a story to write about, even HAS all these mounds of puzzles and symbols to decipher and secrets to root out is because the female has not been portrayed in the real light she holds in the evolution of spiritual power on this planet!
These books lean heavily on the “sacrifice model” to tell the story. That is because they leave the female out. The Bible completely leaves the female out as an equal to the male. And the Apostle Paul and Thomas Aquinas have a heyday denigrating her. That being said, the reason the Catholics can continue to hold power in the world is because their focus remains on the person of Christ and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, as well as revering Mary. Yet they are the holdout for ordaining women.
For all the Universal ecumenism propounded by the Masons and some Protestants, what do they have to say about Christ? Do they think that he was “just another Master” walking the planet or do they really believe, as suggested in the book, that we could each be like him with that level of healing power and love in our hearts? Not if they keep playing their sacrifice rituals over and over as shown in the book!
Love is yielding, not sacrifice. It is the love that causes one to yield in order to teach a lesson, to further the cause, rather than resist; not sacrifice. The concept of sacrifice is violent and male. His death was not a sacrifice. The sacrificial focus of all the Pagan religions is over. Give Jesus some credit. Most of the time, he did not yield. Take one look at scripture and you’ll see how he laid into the Pharisees and Sadducees when they were wrong; but not at the end. He yielded and it was heinous. It was the most scandalous torture of an innocent man, not just on this planet, but in the Universe. Will this planet ever live it down?
Maybe that’s why so many humans like to believe the cross is so beautiful and venerate it. It’s a type of denial to try to cleanse it of what it REALLY was; abysmal. It seems to me that by venerating it you also approve of the enacting of sacrifice.
Am I questioning Jesus decision to yield; no-of course not. I do question the efficacy and intent of Christ to interpret it as a sacrifice. He went knowingly and on purpose. If it was a sacrifice, he was a martyr. If he yielded, he was a Rabbi and a lover of humans, come to regain power over our planet and vanquish Lucifer. He did accomplish that no matter how much Christians want to keep talking about him. It’s finished!
I am grateful for every single speck of who he was, what he did, and what he said. But I feel, as a follower, that his teaching should no longer be denigrated by organized religion with its pagan symbols and interpretations, much less sensationalized in books such as Dan Brown’s. Power goes to the one who yields in love. That is what Christ did. Neither the Catholics, nor the Masons, nor the Protestants get it. The hubris of the Masonic thinking has indeed crept into the Protestant church. There is a huge misunderstanding here about what Christ actually taught. And to boot, it’s not being taught by the Catholic or Protestant Church either.
Michelangelo portrays the mystery of this yielding in the astounding “Pieta”. I’ve stared at that statue quite awhile to receive its deeper meaning. I’ve thought about all I’ve read in Dan Brown’s books about religion, symbolism, the sacred feminine, antagonist/protagonist, and the real meaning of Christ’s death.
The message I received was the need for “balance”. There needed to be balance brought to this planet between the male and the female. As Christ’s body lay dead in the lap of Mary in the Michelangelos Sculpture, “Pieta”, I see him yielding to the sacred feminine, to Mother Spirit, to his Mother Mary in the hopes that with the release of his soul, she would come forth and help him bring balance to this troubled sphere. Was that his core message? So once again, the two shall become one. He yielded his body to her, knowing that SHE was the author of his life, from which all life comes, in conjunction with The Father. It is the great mystery yet to be unraveled, the great secret yet to be told on Planet Earth, the story that Dan Brown hasn’t told that underpins all spiritual institutions, all symbols, and all religions. Maybe I’ll have to write a book then.
I went out tonight to hear jazz.
I was perfectly happy sitting alone with my sushi and drink.
Then I feel these tentacles pulling on me and then staring, wanting my attention, wanting to talk, wanting to come over. He was needy and lonely. I wasn’t. Why was he? How many times have I seen men like that.
He’d already struck up a conversation with me from two chairs down which was ambitious.
He was smart and interesting fortunately and now we’re friends…I guess. Who knows? We know each other’s name.
I said, “Come on over and we can chat,” and he said, “I’d like that.”
But I still got that lusty, “You’re cute” vibe from him after a bit and left to chat with my other friend who I knew wouldn’t throw that energy at me.
I don’t know if some men want to use me to forget themselves, forget their wife who died, or to remember themselves. Maybe it’s all of those.
But I still feel used when all I wanted to do was hear music so I could just relax and take care of myself.
I have to take care of myself. No man is taking care of me and I m not asking because I know the answer. It’s all different in middle age. A man owes me nothing now because I’m not going to have any more children. I pay my mortgage and all of my bills on my own, no help from anyone at all, including the government.
Why does he feel male privilege to bother me?
They either want attention, sex, food, or talking, even from a stranger!
The last thing he wants to do is to take care of himself the way I do.
Maybe that’s just my generation.
And yet, the men supposedly have more of everything for themselves, most of the money, most of the property, most of everything. I’m not so sure about that.
But you still need more from a woman?
Why can I feel myself MORE without a man next to me? That’s curious. Well, except for the one I want.
If you learn how to take care of yourself and share and I’ll give you the time of day.
Because I, and many women like me have nothing more to give you guys that you can’t give to yourselves.
Fight. I’m ready to rumble for bonding.
So…no phone or text and no e-mail.
E-mail? How am I going to get my edits?…and I went through editing withdrawal.
Do you know what that’s like as a writer? I thought my head would explode.
I’m going over there…To the HOUSE.
He says, “I can’t believe you came over here.”
I was cut off! I had no communication choice to get my work done.
He was happy to see me! Came close to me, right into my personal space.
He cleared a chair off for me quickly, searched and found out it was his cut off to usurp my threatened cut off when the edits were done, but not before. He goofed up. No apology.
He sent it, I didn’t receive it.
I started this with my boundaries and he was getting his back.
Guess what I’m going to do next?
I’m going to seriously date someone else I like.
I…am…NOT…doing hook-ups and booty calls
For the last half of my life as an adult!
I have the energy for this.
Ready to rumble for bonding.
Mind you, the energy of my body will be as receptive as a duckling
But my mind will be a steel trap.
Digital Artist Sandra Bauser
Time fades into oblivion
One memory, one vision of you and I feel whole again.
I remember your voice, your smell, the feel of you next to me.
In time, it was so long ago, yet to my mind, it was yesterday.
My love for you is as natural as my heartbeat.
Here’s some romance for you…
Today is actually a Catholic Feast day of St. Valentine.
He was a Catholic martyr of course, and as it says below, he was beaten with clubs, beheaded, buried at night in secret, and dug up by his followers.
His crime was voicing his dissent at the Romans because the young men were forbidden to marry young women. Instead, the Romans made it a priority that young men become soldiers for their wars. You know, “Make war, not love”, the opposite of what the hippies said in the 60’s.
Well, sex, reproduction, gender balance, honoring nature, loving and taking care of the body, those are women’s values. The Romans were busy making sure patriarchy, the rule of rich, white men came to the fore.
Working class men became fodder for capitalism, the military-industrial complex, materialism, the draft, and war. The Romans started it and it continues today in modern society.
If men were to fulfill their role by nature in balance with women they would be taught and allowed to love women, love and care for their own body, value being a father, learn the values of monogamy, not polygamy, and find balance between the work he loved and the family he loved.
That’s all been ripped apart for men and by association, women.
Men are used as much by the system that oppresses them as they oppress women. The system uses men to keep women down and I doubt the men even know it.
The historical proof of this is in the life of St. Valentine who advocated for Love between women and men and was killed for it by The State.
Patriarchy has brainwashed men into believing that they are not to love women, that women aren’t to be trusted, and their highest destiny is in aligning with the powers of church and state. The truth is, we’re called and made to love each other. Roman society killed that.
The birth of misogyny is what Valentine’s Day is really commemorating and it is as Okoto Enigma says, “An apocalypse of Love”.
Women continue to directly suffer for it by lack of loving bond in sex with men, if we’re straight. Also, in not being paid the same amount of money for the same quality of work. So not only are we deprived physically and emotionally but monetarily as well.
Thanks for trying St. Valentine but the arrow is still stuck in our hearts.