Saturday, June 03, 2006
  Why I am not going to see the DaVinci Code movie
Informed Comment by Professor Juan Cole, is one of the most intellectually stimulating contemporary American blogs, source of news, and opinion. However, all these adjectives mentioned are, of course, very relative, especially considering the status quo , and what America produces nowadays !

As far as I am concerned, sifting through so much junk in order to find a tiny jewell is hardly entertainment, or intelictualism!

Besides, If I am preventing smoke of American cigarettes from entering my lungs, and junk food of American franchise chains from entering my stomach, then it should only be natural for me to prevent American junk intellictualism from entering my head.

I do not want to consume junk American enterntainment!

I do not want to consume Oprah Winfrey, Big Brother, Millionaire ... and all the other courses of the American dailyjunk entertainment curriculum imposed by junk people on the whole world.

And yes that all is junk, and this is exactly what I call Junk intellectualism:

DaVinci Code as Parable of American Modernity De... [sic.!]
Juan May 22, 2006 - Show original item

DaVinci Code as Parable of American Modernity

Despite the scowls and titters of the critics, the DaVinci Code did $77 million at the box office in the US, better than Tom Cruise pulled in MI3. And the world-wide gross is already $224 million.

What in the world accounts for the popularity of this complicated and improbable story?

Dan Brown's narrative is about restoring the happy medium to contemporary Western modernity.

The novel has a binary structure. On the one hand you have the Church hierarchy, which is patriarchal, doctrinal, monotheistic, ascetic, and authoritarian. Those attributes are its normal pole, but it is open to corruption when they are over-emphasized. The first step toward over-emphasis is Opus Dei, which stands for a cult-like kind of monotheism in which individualism is much more surpressed than in the Church generally. But even Opus Dei is not so far from churchly normality. The villain of the movie is the man who corrupts the principles of Opus Dei itself, Bishop Manuel Aringarosa and his acolyte, Silas. They take self-denial in the direction of manic masochism, so that Silas routinely inflicts excruciating pain on himself in emulation of the crucifixion. And he has moved so far in the direction of giving up his individualism that he will do anything he is told by his master, including committing murder and torture. Inspector Bezu Fache, a representative of bourgeois order as a policeman, is likewise willing to put aside due process to obey his cultic master, violating individual rights and attempting to railroad a suspect, though he later has an ethical awakening.

Silas is, of course, a religious terrorist. With his monk robes, he inevitably nowadays evokes Bin Laden and al-Qaeda. Corruption of an authoritarian and partiarchal tradition leads in the direction of murder for the faith.

This pole of the film reflects the authoritarian side of modern institutions and culture. It isn't about Catholicism at all, or about Opus Dei. It is about the unchallengeable doctrines (norms) of society, and about the constant danger that ordinary obedience to the law can turn into a cultic exaltation of the law above principle and spirit. The Silas's of the US are the Ollie Norths and the Irv Lewis Libbys, apparatchiks who are willing to break any law and throw over any constitutional principle in order to serve their masters. (I.e. Cheney gets to play Aringosa in the Plame scandal). As for patriarchy, it is still dominant in much of American life, from the presidency to the CEOs in the boardroom to the US officer corps, and it is linked to the bands of brothers who form gangs and go overboard in imposing conformity. Joe Wilson had to be punished for challenging the orthodoxy that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

The other pole in the Brown narrative is the priory around the female descendants of Jesus through Mary Magdalene. This pole is about paganism, feminism, individualism, scientific rationality and sexual freedom. This pole, likewise, can become corrupt and antinomian. Thus, the pagan orgy or hieros gamos repulses Sophie Neveu and causes an almost fatal break between the Grail (herself) and the priory. Likewise, scientistic society has led her to become an unbeliever, so that the Grail itself is corrupted by doubt. Sir Leah Teabing is the symbol of this pole gone to unethical extremes. In his quest for the Grail, he is willing to deceive and to kill. He is Silas's structural analogue.

The "pagan" (in Brown's sense) temptation is a significant feature of contemporary American life-- which can be lived without much immediate penalty as libertine, selfish, and undisciplined. Untempered by spirituality and ethics, science can be soulles and led to e.g. eugenics experiments.

Neveu, like Fache, is in the police and a symbol of middle class order. But she is willing to put her ethics above her professional discipline. When she sees that Fache has become a cultist and lost his perspective, she defies him and helps the fugitive Professor Langdon. She stands for genuine justice rather than only procedural justice.

By the way, Shiite Islam exhibits many of the features discussed in the film. The Prophet Muhammad did marry, Khadijah. And Muhammad and Khadijah's daughter was Fatimah, the equivalent of Sarah in the film. Fatimah had children by her husband Ali. So exactly the kind of dynasty issuing from the Prophet's daughter existed in Shiism as exists in the film as the sang real. Indeed, there are lots of Muslim women called Sayyida who claim descent from the Prophet, just as Sophie Neveu claims descent from Jesus of Nazareth. By the way, they sometimes have difficulty finding husbands because they are obliged to marry up.

The practice of self-flagellation also exists in popular Shiism, when believers mourn the martyred grandson of the Prophet, Huaayn, by beating themselves, sometimes with chains. Only a few Shiites go anywhere near in their flagellations as far as Silas in the film, though.

The Shiite dynasty centers on the males, although there were femailes as well in each generation. Fatima has been an important symbol of feminine authority in Shiite gnosticism and in Shiite modernity. The Iranian dissident and activist Ali Shariati put forward Fatima as a model for the New Woman in Iran of the 1970s. The same contradictions thus exist in Shiism as in Brown's vision-- between hierarchy and holy dynasty, and between female spirituality and pure patriarchy. (Sunni Islam pays much less attention to Fatima than does Shiism, and, in fact, one of Fatima's big fights was with the Sunni Caliph Abu Bakr, over whether a plot of land owned by the Prophet was private property or a public, Islamic heritage).

Gnostic Shiites like some of the Ismailis at some points became antinomian, giving up Islamic law altogether. I suppose they are the Teabings of history.

The Brown narrative does not advocate replacing the patriarchal,authoritarian, self-denying Church with the feminist, individualistic, pagan, libertine priory.

It is, in fact, only the melding of the two poles that would create the happy medium. That would lie in gender equality, and in moderation in each of the values of authority and individualism, self-denial and self-indulgence, law and ethical principle.

That is the centrist position the public is looking for. It is religious, but for the most part values individualistic spirituality above dry Church discipline. It is willing to sacrifice, but not at the price of giving up self-actualization and individual ethical integrity. It is increasingly challenging patriarchy, though that struggle is lively. It recognizes the need for authority but is suspicious, in the Madisonian tradition, that too much authority will corrupt its holders.

The film is popular because it isn't about Catholicism or France or some odd conspiracy theory centered on Mary Magdalene. It is popular because it is about the dilemmas of secular modernity.

As a film, it has its disappointments. The figure of Langdon does not actually speak like an academic. His talk at the Louvre is a sermon, not an analysis. His arguments with Teabing are jejune and the substance unbelievable. There is too much exposition, too much explaining and dwelling on the details of the whole gnostic conspiracy theory. To be good, the film would have had to be more allusive and less preachy, to show not tell.

Still, it did big box office, and is hitting a nerve. Critics should be interested in what that nerve is.


It is not all junk :!

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Hello all,

Most have totally missed the point that the Gnostic texts and others are making. First, they refer to symbolic males and females, hence the philosophical masculine and feminine nature and character. All the Gnostic texts are philosophical and symbolic treatises, not literal narratives. When you try to interpret any of these ancient texts (including the Bible) as literal, you will always come to the wrong conclusions.

Read verse twelve of the Gospel of Thomas to understand who I am...

You may not initially agree with everything I reveal, but be a little patient with my long-winded presentation of what I have waited a very long time to be able to say. I promise to amaze and enlighten.

Contrary to those who strive to assert that the DaVinci Code created the term, symbology is an ancient philosophical technology and I am a real life symbologist. Likewise, the upper-level members of secret societies such as Freemasons, Rosicrucians, Illumanti, and the Vatican are symbologists. Keeping their "craft" secretive and misunderstood is a purposeful ploy designed to hide the truth about ancient wisdom and the symbology used to model, encapsulate, and encode it. The title "mason" is itself a symbolic allusion to those who work with the "Philosophers' Stone" which is the symbolic name given to an ancient body of symbology, hence "Masons" are workers of "stone."

Read Proverbs 9:1 below to better understand this allusion.

Wisdom has built Her house. She has carved out Her seven pillars.

Notice that "wisdom" is referred to as "Her" and "She", as in Sophia and Miriam (the Magdala), and that "She" has "hewn" "Her" "seven pillars" (of stone)? Read my Home Page to see what those seven pillars of "stone" have always referred to, contrary to what religions and mysticism have said for millennia.


Here is the key to understanding what the Vatican and Papacy truly fear...

Pay close attention, profundity knocks at the door, listen for the key. Be Aware! Scoffing causes blindness...

Here's a real hot potato! Eat it up, digest it, and then feed it's bones to the hungry...

There's much more to the story of the Vatican's recent machinations than meets the eye. It's not the DaVinci Code or Gospel of Judas per se, but the fact that people have now been motivated to seek out the unequivocal truth about an age of deception, exactly when they expect me to appear. These recent controversies are spurring people to reevaluate the Vatican/Papacy and the religions that Rome spawned, at the worst possible time for them.

Remember, "I come as a thief..." ?

The DaVinci Code novel and movie are no more inaccurate as literal versions of history than the New Testament. The primary sub-plot involved purposeful symbology being used to encode hidden meanings, exactly like the Bible and related texts. In other words, none of these stories represent the literal truth. This is the common and pivotal fact of all such narratives about ancient Hebrew and Christian history. Debating whether the DaVinci Code, Gnostic texts, or the Bible are accurate history is a purposeful ploy designed to hide the truth by directing your inquiry away from the heart of the matter.

There is a foolproof way to verify the truth and expose centuries-old religious deceptions. It also proves why we can no longer let the Vatican tell us what to think about ancient history or much else. It is the common thread connecting why the ancient Hebrews, Yahad/Essene, Jews, Gnostics, Cathars, Templars, Dead Sea Scrolls, DaVinci Code, and others have been targets of Rome’s ire and evil machinations. The Vatican and its secret society cohorts don’t want you to understand that the ancient Hebrew symbology in all of these texts purposely encodes and exposes the truth about them. Furthermore, the structure of ancient wisdom symbology verifiably encodes the rules to decode messages built with it. This is what they most fear you will discover.

If the Bible represented the literal truth or even accurate history, there would be no need for faith in the assertions of deceptive and duplicitous clergy and their ilk. It is undeniable the New Testament is awash with ancient Hebrew symbolism and allegory. The same is evidenced in the Old Testament, Dead Sea Scrolls, Gnostic texts, biblical apocrypha, Quran, DaVinci Code, and other related sources. All ancient religious, mystical, and wisdom texts have been shrouded in mystery for millennia for one primary reason: The ability to understand their widely evidenced symbology was lost in antiquity. How do we finally solve these ages-old mysteries? To recast an often-used political adage: It’s [the] symbology, stupid!

It is beyond amazing that the Vatican still tries to insist the Gospels are the literal truth. Every miracle purported for Jesus has multiple direct symbolic parallels in the Old Testament, Apocalypse, Dead Sea Scrolls, and other symbolic narratives and traditions. Recasting the symbolism of earlier Hebrew texts as literal events in the New Testament is one of the central deceptions associated with Christianity. This is part of the secret knowledge held by the ancient Gnostics, Templars, Cathars, and others, which is presented with dramatic effect in the DaVinci Code. None of these narratives or stories were ever intended as the literal truth. This fact is the key to unraveling many ages-old mysteries and exposing the truth about the Vatican's long-term deceptions.

Moreover, the following Washington Post article (The Book of Bart) describes how many changes and embellishments were made to New Testament texts over the centuries, unequivocally demonstrating they are not original, infallible, or truthful. When you combine proof that the New Testament Gospels are not wholly literal with proof that these texts were heavily reworked in the early years of Christianity, you are left with only one possible conclusion. The Vatican has long lied to everyone about the central tenets and history of Christianity. This revelation also proves they are not the Creator’s representatives but Her long-time opponents. The recent hoopla over the Gospel of Judas and DaVinci Code demonstrates they are still desperately trying to deceive the world and obfuscate their true nature and activities.

It's no wonder the Vatican fears the truth more than anything else. As further proof of these assertions, seek to understand the symbolic significance of my name (Seven Star Hand) and you will have proof beyond disproof that Jews, Christians, and Muslims have long been duped by the great deceivers I warned humanity about over the millennia. What then is the purpose of "faith" but to keep good people from seeking to understand the truth?

Now comes justice, hot on its heels... (symbolism...)

Not only do I talk the talk, I walk the walk...
Here is Wisdom!!

Revelations from the Apocalypse
Really amazing ... how Jew and deception are natural twin!

Jew must lie, build lies on lie, pack lies, and from the substance of a lie, create a future for his children!

Jew created a history from lies, a society built on lies, a state established by lies, and although Jew hopes to get a way from reality, it does come, naturally, that Jew has created for himself the future of a lies.

On pain of extinction, Jew lies! For in Jew greed to be above human, and in Jew arrogance, Jew drowned.

Animal, and less than human, Jew has become.

Count your days and nights ... Jew ... truth will come, and you will go to hell!.

Go to hell ... Jew!

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سلام ... Salam ... Here are "ArabComments" on trends and events related to our lives, individually as well as collectively as Arabs living in and out of our Arab Home Lands. We speak on love, religion, and politics of "neo-colonialism". We discuss a diversity of issues, ranging from InfoTech and InfoSec, to everyday price of bread, and everyday price of freedom. You are welcome to add your comments, just as long as they are not propaganda,i.e. SPAM, … Peace … سلام

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