Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lost and Found

I'm not sure why Evangelicals get so upset with Dan Brown. (Then again, I'm not sure why most ardent believers get upset with anything that upsets them. If they truly believe God is in control, then maybe chilling out a bit would be an act of faith.) If anything, they and the Masons should thank the author of The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol. He's made belief seem kinda cool.

The Masons should especially write him a thank you note. They couldn't have produced a better recruitment flyer than Brown's most recent work of fiction. Sure the bad guy infiltrates the ranks of the highest order but all the other secret-holding, fear-defying followers are successful, stoic, and seemingly brilliant. Since I only know of one Mason in my sphere of friends and he has held up his end of the bargain by remaining mum on the subject, I'm here to tell you that I was intrigued by what few insights I was offered. I'd think about joining ... oh wait, I can't. That whole "fraternal" deal and all. (Hmmm....guess that's a blog for another day.)

So back to the pros of the book. Early on in its pages, we're introduced to the idea that one can scientifically prove the power of prayer exists. Karen's translation is as follows: Like sands on a beach, each one having mass and therefore gravitational pull, so can thoughts have mass and if the collective is large enough can affect a gravitational pull or cause an action to occur. At one point (and seemingly for no point other than to make this point), they even measure the weight of a soul! So making old Dan out to be the big bad seems silly to me. He's saying, "Hey folks, there might be something here! And wait, I can prove it!" Of course, that just plays havoc with faith and believing in that which you cannot see IF you measure the importance of it all in how much faith you have rather than in what you put your faith in.

Ok, so it is a work of fiction ... something all the naysayers seemed to have a hard time coming to terms with when the Code was released. But frankly, in the Symbol, when we get the lowdown on the number 33 and the fact that we have 33 vertebrae linked to the sacrum (or sacred bone) well, my first thought was that will preach! Hello? Your body as a temple? How come I've never heard that in a sermon before?

I think the answer to that and to the underlying issue here rests partially on our great desire to want to believe in something bigger than what we can imagine and our utter fear that we won't ever get our heads around it. I love symbols and rituals and the suggestion that there is more here than meets the eye. And I gave up trying to be the smartest person in the class a long time ago. I'm deeply satisfied with not having answers. I'm even happier when I hear someone ask a question I would never have thought to ask. All this "unknowing" makes me know that there exists something far beyond me and rather than feel lost, instead, I'm most definitely found.


some chick said...

Well, I guess I'd still be considered an "evangelical," and I get upset with Dan Brown, but not for the reasons the evangelicals get upset with him.

My upset-ness has more to do with his cliche writing than anything else.

KC said...

Hey girl! Glad to see you up and about and (I'm hoping) feeling better. So many times in the last few weeks, I've seen your status and wanted to hop a plane and cook you something or help out in some way! As for Dan, no, he's not going to win any prizes for great literature but he does compile a lot of facts into a simple read and when you are on meds, as I have been, a sometimes entertaining one. As for the term "evangelical", I just told someone I wished I hadn't used it but I couldn't figure out a way to say those people who go crazy over religion!

Dr. John Fairless said...

It has always interested me that most "zealots" (my term, rather than "evangelicals") really do have a hard time with the whole fact vs. fiction thing. The same people who believe that what Dan Brown writes is "true" also believe that what Tim LaHaye writes is "true", too! Amazing....

Dr. John Fairless said...

I'm also with you on the "unknowing", KC...there's a great book by Mark Taylor called "A/theology" in "a/theist"'s really an exploration of what we know, or think we know, and what we don't know...and he's pretty comfortable working in any of the above-mentioned categories.

IF I was still coming to Texas this week...which I'm unfortunately NOT...I'd bring you my copy.

some chick said...

OH, NO! Not *ANOTHER* cliffhanger chapter ending!! *shakes fist at Dan Brown*

Yeah, drives me nucking futs.

I'm much better. I'm just tired all the time. Joshua's mom came out for several days (just left yesterday) so that was helpful.

Feel free to visit anytime! : )