The big event for which so many readers of this blog have waited is about to arrive: the official release of Dan Brown's novel, The Lost Symbol, for purchase by the general public.
As I write these words (7:21 p.m., EDT, Monday 14 Sept. 2009), the world is about 40 minutes away from the release of the book in England. In less than 5 hours, many bookstores on the East Coast of the United States will hold "12:01 a.m." sales events. Indeed, the Prologue and first two chapters of the book have already been released to the public through some news outlets.
With the publication of the book itself, it can be argued that the clues issued by Doubleday about the content of the book become something of a moot point. So, what is to become of this blog, which was established to investigate the clues?
The public release of The Lost Symbol is an occasion to reposition this blog, and redirect its mission. This blog is now focused on illuminating the contents of The Lost Symbol itself.
What do I mean by that controversial word, "illuminate"? For one thing, I will describe the meaning and context of the issues that Dan Brown brings up. For another, I will help the reader discern between the world as described in The Lost Symbol, and the real world.
Consider a few recent examples. Dan Brown's novel addresses a host of subjects, many of them quite controversial. In the Prologue, Dan Brown describes what is supposed to be the ritual of the 33rd Degree of initiation in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. Of course, this raises the question of what the Scottish Rite is, and what the 33rd Degree is, as well -- subjects that I address in an earlier post. The matter of drinking out of a skull during the ceremony marks this depiction as the portrayal of a ritual, not of the legitimate Scottish Rite, but of a renegade Masonic group -- which I explain in another post.
The review of Dan Brown's novel published in today's New York Times (see the link in another post) indicates that the female lead in The Lost Symbol is involved in the study of a subject called "noetics." This is a real field of study, but one that is little known by the general public, one that is not widely understood even by most professionals or academics in psychology -- and that means I will be describing it in this blog.
Chapter 2 (available in yesterday's British newspaper, The Mail) indicates that the villain in The Lost Symbol calls himself "Mal'akh." This raises questions about the meaning of this name, and its connotations -- and I will address that in this blog.
And on and on it will go. Dan Brown will touch on many arcane areas: the history, symbolism, and philosophy of Freemasonry; little-known incidents of the American Revolutionary War; the significance of the architecture and layout of Washington, DC; Rupert Sheldrake's principle of morphic resonance -- and dozens of other such fascinating items of knowledge, rumor, lore, and legend.
In brief, the public release of The Lost Symbol means that I now have more to blog about than ever before. And that is exactly what I plan to do.
Please feel free to return to this blog frequently as you read The Lost Symbol. You may become an official "follower" of the blog, or subscribe to its RSS feed. You should also feel free to submit questions through the Comments section of each post, which are open to all. I can't promise to answer each question, but I will answer a lot of them -- quite a few, I think, with individual blog posts.
So it is that this blog, originally titled "Key to The Lost Symbol Clues," now takes on a larger mission, reflected in its new title: "Discovering The Lost Symbol." It's one thing to read a book; it is another thing altogether to discover the depths of its meaning. That's what I hope to help you do.
In addition to blogging about many subjects here, I will be addressing much of this at greater length in my forthcoming book, Discovering The Lost Symbol: The Mind of Dan Brown and the Truth About the Freemasons. (Agents and publishers are welcome to inquire! My personal e-mail is found on my Blogger Profile.) I'll tell you more about this book and its availability through this blog.
Here we go. Thanks for joining me on this ride.
[The image above was obtained from Wikimedia Commons, and is in the public domain.]