Wednesday, July 11, 2007

da Vinci, schma Vinci.

I’m reading “The da Vinci Code”, which isn’t so much a novel as a string of bizarre, mostly mistaken or at least misinterpreted assertions strung together within a vaguely engaging, though thin, plot. The main character, Robert Langdon, does not speak to anyone so much as lecture, constantly. Every time he talks, or even thinks to himself, he seems to find a way to expound a hidden truth. He seldom makes it through a sentence without using the term "The Sacred Feminine".

In the forward of the book, Dan Brown asserts:

“FACT: The Priory of Scion – a European secret society founded in 1099 – is a real organization. In 1975 Paris’s Bibliotheque Nationale discovered parchments known as Les Dossiers Secrets, identifying numerous members of the Priory of Scion, including Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Leonardo da Vinci."

By now everybody knows the central secrets at the center of the book.

1 - The church has spent the last two thousand plus years repressing the importance of women in the church, and by extension, repressing women in general.

2 - Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married, and had children, whose descendants walk among us today.

These assertions are made based on the author having read, and believed every single word of a book called “Holy Blood, Holy Grail”, which is based on the assertions of the document mentioned in the forward to The da Vinci Code. The Priory of Scion is supposedly devoted to protecting the bloodline of Jesus, whose descendants include most European royalty. It’s all pretty tenuous to begin with.

Unfortunately, the document that all of this is based on has been conclusively proven to be a total fraud, perpetrated so the actual author could claim to be the legitimate King of France. Even more unfortunately, exposure of this fraud tends to discount these actual secrets:

1 -The church actually HAS spent the last two thousand plus years repressing the importance of women in the church, and by extension, repressing women in general. This isn’t actually a secret, anyway, so much as POLICY.

2 - Although Jesus and Mary Magdalene were probably not married, she was a very important disciple of Jesus.(She even wrote her own gospel.) Her not being noted as an actual apostle is a very clear indication that the churches repression of women started very, very early. And, yes, her being generally cast by the church as a prostitute sure does confirm the whole repression thing, doesn’t it?

So, although Dan Brown’s intentions were actually very noble, basing his assertions on fraud, rather than facts just serves to bolster the repression of the actual facts by obscuring them in a haze of nonsense and paranoia.

And on top of all that, the book is actually pretty awful. Not Stephen King awful, or even Michael Crichton awful, but pretty awful nonetheless. I hope the book I am waiting for at the library comes in soon, so I can read it instead. It’s about String Theory. Don’t get me started on String Theory. I’ll probably blog on it later.


Ariadne Green said...

Since you are just now geting around to reading a book that 60 million other readers have already read, you may wish to do a bit more research on the topic before discrediting the facts hidden in this fiction novel.

Yes, Mary Magdalene was significant to Jesus' ministry, but she was also significant to his heart as his wife and soulmate. Where is the evidence? Hidden!. There are 14 references to Mary in the 4 canonical Gospels as well as symbolic reminants of her legacy spread throughout Western Europe where a goddess cult arose venerating her as the Black Madonna. But the Gospel you refer to is not what you think it is. In fact, it wasn't written by Mary at all. Gnostic writers at the time commonly used the pseudonym of an apostle to authentic their material and views. Therefore, it is not Mary's testimony, but it does tell us a lot about how early Christians viewed Mary's role. Yes, she was important to Jesus ministry and a profound teacher in her own right. Although there is little in the way of clear evidence to suggest Mary was more than a disciple, there is one strong piece that suggests she was his wife. In the Gospel of Philip another Gnostic text, Jesus was said to have frequently kissed Mary on the lips and that she was Jesus' companion. In greek, the term companion translates to wife. In my book, Divine Complement, I unravel the evidence that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were true soulmates, with a mutual destiny of profound spiritual significance. I suggest you read my book as well as the works of other authors such as Margaret Starbird and Laurence Gardener if you are interested in reading facts.

Kol Ra'ash Gadol said...

I'm not going to get into the absurdity of the various claims and counter claims of these conspiracy theorists - I don't care, I'm a Jew and to me, it's like arguing about Zeus and whether Athena really sprang from his head or not- but I have to in general agree with you about the awfulness of the book - most particularly, since the guy clearly relied on someone else's (or maybe his own) mistranslation of several items. UNfortunately for him he made further assertions based on the mistranslations.
Of course, in good fiction, I wouldn't care, and wone could jsut go with the flow and enjoy the writing, but, as you say...
Oh, and he is too on the level of King et a. Worse. By far.

Hal said...

The idea that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had children has long been an informal doctrine of the LDS ("Mormon") church. This article in the Deseret Morning News sums up the idea, while also noting differences.