The Da Vinci Code

by Dan Brown | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 0593054253 Global Overview for this book
Registered by keithpp of Farnborough, Hampshire United Kingdom on 8/25/2009
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by keithpp from Farnborough, Hampshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, August 25, 2009
'I go every year to a Benedictine retreat in Austria, called Melk. There I spoke to Abbot Buckhard about Catholic tradition and, during our talks, the issue of womens exclusion came up. He told me that the Benedictine have prayers dedicated to the Goddess-Mother. In 200 years I believe that feminine divinity will no longer be a taboo.' -- Paulo Coelho

'He [Sir Isaac Newton] regarded regarded the universe as a cryptogram set by the Almighty.' -- John Maynard Keynes

When I first read The Da Vinci Code, I thought it cried out for an illustrated edition. Therefore I am pleased to have been able to pick up an illustrated edition. I only wish some of the illustrations had been of better quality.

What struck me reading The Da Vinci Code the second time around was how much of Paulo Coelho is in the novel. It struck me as I read the first few pages, it struck me even more so as I neared the end.

When I first read The Da Vinci Code a few years ago, I had this strange sense of dja vu, of synchronicity. Then I had not read any of the works of Paulo Coelho, now I have read them all, some more than once.

Re-reading The Da Vinci Code I once again had this strange sense of dja dja vu, though this time for different reasons. What I now noticed was how much of Paulo Coelho appears in the book. This made me think, has Dan Brown read all of the works of Paulo Coelho or are they both drawing upon the same sources?

In the opening pages is The Death of The Virgin by Caravaggio. The Warrior of Light by Detelina Petkova has been compared with Caravaggio, though I have to admit I fail to see the comparison. [see Warrior of Light by Detelina Petkova]

As I started to read The Da Vinci Code, I thought of The Winner Stands Alone.

The emphasis on symbols, especially religious symbols and their meaning, of knowing how to read the signs, made me think of Santiago in The Alchemist, of learning how to read omens, the language of the Soul of the World. Sir Isaac Newton dabbled in alchemy, was seeking the elusive Philosopher's Stone.

Alexander Pope (author of The Rape of Lock, an attack on the fashionable world of high society) wrote of Newton:

Nature and nature's laws
Lay hid in night;
God said, let Newton be!
And all was light.

The mysterious Teacher, a Catholic sect.

How religion and its believers can easily be turned to evil purposes made me think of the evil Supreme Being in Iran. The people of Iran may not yet have rid themselves of the evil Supreme Being, but they have effected change. The world view of Iran has changed. Just when it was thought the protests had died down, the people took to the streets to mark the tenth anniversary of the massacre of students at Tehran University. The following week after Friday's prayers the people once again took to the streets.

How easy it is to chose the wrong path between good and evil, to be tempted by the devil, brings to mind The Devil and Miss Prym.

The loss of the feminine side of religion, mention of Wicca, brings to mind By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, Brida, The Witch of Portobello.

According to Dan Brown, an estimated five million witches were burnt at the stake by the Church in an attempt to rid Christianity of a feminine side. Midwifes were not allowed to help ease the pain of childbirth because it was the role of women to suffer. We have all suffered due to the loss of the sacred feminine.

Isis was an Egyptian Goddess. Eleven Minutes opens with Hymn to Isis, a favourite of talented Bulgarian artist Detelina Petkova. Hymn to Isis was discovered as part of the Nag Hammadi find. Less well known than the Dead Sea Scrolls the Nag Hammadi find is an essential component of the plot of The Da Vinci Code.

The Fibonacci sequence (each succeeding number is the sum of the previous two)

- 1 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 5 - 8 - 13 - 21 ...

The ratio between numbers converges on phi, the divine ratio

- 1.618

The yellow sunflowers in my garden, the central spiral, conforms to the divine ratio.

A brass strip runs exactly north-south through Saint-Sulpice Church in Paris. This is the Rose Line. This meridian is less well known than the Greenwich Meridian.

Not long after I first read The Da Vinci Code I was in Lincolnshire. I visited the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, former RAF East Kirkby, a Bomber Command airbase during World War II. A slab of stone with a strip running through it marks the Greenwich Meridian.

Whilst in Lincolnshire, I also visited Lincoln Cathedral. I found myself on the film set of The Da Vinci Code. Lincoln Cathedral was used in the film to represent Westminster Abbey.

Dan Brown has been accused of being a lousy writer, and I have to admit to being guilty of falling into that camp myself. Reading The Da Vinci Code again, has forced me to reappraise. Yes, there are the occasional 'he/she gunned the car' which makes me inwardly groan, and yes could be better written. What though struck me, and probably did the first time around, was how well researched. And how he interweaves the narrative around the research. It is also, and this did surprise me, well written.

It is a pity the Church does not get its collective head out of the sand and recognise its own history. Nor is the book an attack on the Church, as one realises when one nears the end. It is how devout faith can at times blind us to the truth.

Towards the end, I had the solution to the second cryptex as soon as I read the lines. Just before the solution was revealed, I looked up and it was revealed to me, it was there before my very eyes.

You seek the orb that ought be on his tomb.
It speaks of Rosy flesh and seeded womb.

The Grail reveals itself to you only if you are deemed worthy. When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dreams.

Whilst I was reading The Da Vinci Code, an interesting discussion on BBC Radio 4 on witches.

The opening of the film The Bourne Identity is remarkable similar to the opening of The Da Vinci Code. Robert Ludlum is a favourite author of Dan Brown

Synchronicity: A series of coincidences that on the basis of probability would be highly improbable, and yet which happen nevertheless.

Please also read my other comments for views on the novel itself.

Also read:

Darshan by Irene Black

Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

Sepulchre by Kate Mosse

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Winner Stands Alone by Paulo Coelho

The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho

By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coelho

Brida by Paulo Coelho

The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho

Manual of the Warrior of Light by Paulo Coelho

Cracking The Da Vinci Code by Simon Cox [see BCID 5404929]

Secrets of the Code by Dan Burstein (ed)

The Gospel of Thomas by Stevan Davies (ed) [see BCID 6911375]

The Magdalene Legacy by Laurence Gardner

The Sion Revelation by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince

The Da Vinci Code and the Secrets of the Temple by Robin Griffith-Jones [see BCID 7383836]

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