Reading The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

I know this book is already passe. The reason I am reading it only now is because my 11-year-old son suddenly developed an interest in all Dan Brown books. This is his first venture into adult books and I wanted to make sure it’s suitable for him to read – no sex or excessive violence, albeit the fact that I am reading it after him.

The story spans 48 hours but I spent 4 weeks reading it. Aaron said I was reading too slowly, and I’d forget where I left off and the details. He was right.

There were just too many details, which I must give him credit for the research, although I am not sure if I can believe them all. I am not familiar with Bible stories nor the Holy Grail, but I did recall the controversy when the book was first launched. At that time, I didn’t know why.

This book tells the story of how a Harvard symbologist was unwittingly embroiled into the search for the Holy Grail when a murdered curator from the Louvre Museum scrawled his name in a puzzle for his granddaughter to solve on the murder scene. His purpose – to tell his estranged granddaughter the truth about their family. Meanwhile, they are pursued by the French police as suspects to the murder, and enlisted the help of a historian specialized in the Holy Grail.

There are many amusing facts that are mentioned in the book.

1. PHI (1.618)

PHI not to be confused with Pi (3.14) was derived from the Fibonacci Sequence – a progression famous not only because the sum of adjacent terms equaled the next term, but because the quotients of adjacent terms possessed the astonishing property of approaching the number of 1.618 – PHI!

PHI is ubiquity in nature and is heralded as the Divine Proportion by scientists. If you divide the number of female bees by the number of male bees in any beehives in the world, you get the same number. – PHI.

The ratio of each spiral’s diameter to the next in a nautili sea shell is PHI.

Da Vinci discovered that if you take your height and divide it by the distance from your belly button to the floor, you get PHI. Ditto if you divide the distance from your shoulder to your finger tips by the distance from your elbow to the fingertips. Hip to floor divided to knee to floor. Finger joints. Toes. Spinal division.

2. Gender in language

My sister once told me that many European languages actually have gender differentiation for the use of pronouns for thing.

Women, once celebrated as an essential half of spiritual enlightenment, had been banished from the temples of the world. The natural sexual union between man and woman has been recast as a shameful act and natural urges as the work of the devil collaborating with his accomplice – woman.

The feminine association with the left hand side has deeply negative overtones, while their right hand counterparts rang of righteousness, dexterity and correctness. Radical thoughts was considered left-wing, irrational thought was left brain and anything evil, sinister.

3 Horny

The word horny is derived from the Egyptian god names Amon – God of masculine fertility, and represented as a man with a ram’s head, and his promiscuity and curved horn are related to our modern sexual slang ‘horny’.

4. Religion in Walt Disney’s movies

Disney retold tales like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow white – all of which dealt with the incarceration of the sacred feminine. Snow White was a clear allusion to the downfall of Eve in the Garden of Eden. Sleeping Beauty’s Princess Aurora, code-named “Rose” and hidden deep in the forest to protect her from the clutches of the evil witch was the Grail story for children. Even  The Little Mermaid is filled with symbols relating to the stories of the Grail.

5.Why do we put V-symbols of horns behind people’s head in group photos?

This mocking gesture was in fact advertising their victim’s robust sperm count as a tribute to Baphomet’s fertility and dated back to Zeus being suckled by a goat whose horn broke off and magically filled with food – “the horn of plenty “.

I like what he said about faith when he talks about that the New Testaments is based on fabrication.

Every faith in the world is based on fabrication. That is the definition of faith – acceptance of that which we imagine to be true, that which we cannot prove. Every religion describes GOD through metaphor, allegory, and exaggeration, from the early Egyptian through modern Sunday school. Metaphors are a way to help our minds process the unprocessible. The problems arise when we begin to believe in our own metaphors.

So why is the book called The Da Vinci code? Because according to Dan Brown, Da Vinci was member of Priory of Sion which was opposed by the Church. His art (The Last Supper, Mona Lisa) depicted his firm belief in exposing the truth of the Grail.

I can’t say i understand everything in the book. In fact, I had to consult Aaron when I couldn’t make out the iambic pentameter. He had to illustrate to me again. To read this book, you need a visual mind so that you can visualise what Dan Brown is trying to describe, from the architectural style of a church/museum, to the secret lock in a box, to how one reads a code.

I realise I don’t have one.

About vickychong

Just an ordinary woman.
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