Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Lost Symbol

I'm reading Dan Brown's novel The Lost Symbol, about Freemasonry and Washington DC. It is related to  this IPS thread because it's about the mystical tradition of Freemasonry that is imbued in the buildings and lay-out of DC and the very origins of the US. Part of its mythology is that via certain procedures we can attain to mystical states that attune us to ultimate reality and our actual apotheosis. Oh yes, this is Freemasonry as I well know from the inside. But now I'm much more in line with the protagonist of the story, Robert Langdon, who said:

"Let's just say I'm a skeptic [...] I have never seen anything in the real world to suggest the Ancient Mysteries are anything other than legend--a recurring mythological archetype" (99). [...] "He's made the same error many zealots make--confusing metaphor with literal reality" (100).

Which is not to say I scoff at meditative or mystical states and their beneficial effects. This thread is ample evidence that I take them quite seriously. I just don't see them as inflated powers or enlightenment, much less apotheosis, portrayed in the traditional literature both east and west.

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