Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Lost Saviour

As I have confessed before, I love Dan Brown novels. They are a great read. But, the science (usually presented as "fact") is ridiculous and the history is dubious.
I have just started reading Brown's latest, The Lost Symbol. Again there is comical science. In this case it is "Noetic Science" which is a mish-mash (a synthesis!) of modern physics with ancient mysticism. The frontpiece of the book has a page entitled "Fact" which states that the Institute of Noetic Sciences exists. This is indeed correct. I found the Institute web page fascinating and disturbing reading. This is probably best summarised by The Double Slit Experiment: Experimental Tests of the Role of Consciousness in the Physical World. None of anything I could see had any signs of real science: i.e., experiments that were or could be reproduced by other scientists and published in traditional scientific journals.

Like The DaVinci Code the novel is rich on symbols, puzzles, secrets, and "The Ancient Mystery." The Freemasons are central and portrayed in a sympathetic manner. What is most striking to me is how the world of some of the characters seems to resonate with aspects of the world of both the Old and the New Testament. The preoccupation with images and symbols aligns with idolatry or ritualistic religion. The preoccupation with mysteries and secret knowledge sounds very gnostic. [Paul's Letter to the Colossians addresses these issues]. The responsibility of man [and particularly select men (n.b. not women)] is to use his cleverness to find and discover the secret knowledge. Through ritual he is to find the strength to act in a moral manner.

In contrast, the person of Jesus Christ is not a symbol, an artefact, or a puzzle that man decodes, but rather a real person who reveals the mystery of God to all humanity.

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