most of you should have heard of the da vinci code by now, and some should have read it. more and more, i got severely curious by the controversies the rose around it, a mere fiction book.
my relationship with novels, i must say, goes beyond the simplicity of just reading it. i sometimes live in them, grow with them. i was practically nurtured by the books i read, more than really brought up by my parents.
so when a book of this nature got into my attention, i did try to resist reading it, coz it makes me feel like one of the sheeps that got herded in that general direction. i did, however, buy the prequel earlier in the year. and that did arouse my curiousity more. this guy may not be writing a gigantic epic, or something extraordinary. infact, it's like most other crime fiction, albeit perhaps more detailed in terms of his scientific/locational research.
it's just like me trying to produce an entirety in terms of moving along with the characters, i described every single wind they feel, touch, this man introduces the maths equations, the history behind some of the REAL stuff in the world.
just for starters, i finished the book. yer. i finished it in like 12 hours, that's not the point though.
i bought the book yesterday, finally succumbing to my curiousity. i wanted to see why many religious leaders warn their sheep against the book. by the time i was about half way through the book, i could see why people were worried for the religion, people got curious about the catholic faith and whether Jesus was married or not and almost de-braining themselves in the process.
of course the first clue to it all should have been noticed right from the start.
The Priory of Sion—a European secret society founded in 1099—is a real organization. In 1975, Paris's Bibliothèque Nationale discovered parchments known as Les Dossiers Secrets, identifying numerous members of the Priory of Sion, including Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Leonardo da Vinci.
The Vatican prelature known as Opus Dei is a deeply devout Catholic group that has been the topic of recent controversy due to reports of brain-washing, coercion, and a practice known as "corporal mortification." Opus Dei has just completed construction of a $47 million National Headquarters at 243 Lexington Avenue in New York City.
All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate."
that was the first page before the story officially started.
da vinci code was essentially looked upon as a book of fiction based around facts known to the author. the only fiction is really what happens in the story, such as the main character being related to anyone in the real world.
but because of the intricate web that crossed such boundaries and back, most readers would start getting pulled in and forget that a fiction book is still a fiction book. in all likelihood, there would be factual errors as well, and plenty of personal opinion and feelings chucked in.
i must admit, by the time i did that halfway point in the book, not only could i see why it has such controversies as mentioned, i myself was abit muddled as to if the book has any truth to it at all.
remember, i am a curious cat.
it probably didn't help either that i have read many books before, and getting all the stories all messed up in my head didn't help at all.
so it is that i stopped reading for a couple of hours and started researching into the story. i dugged out my bible, ran through the internet and found out many many startling facts, some of which were probably in my face but it has never bothered me coz it wasn't explicitly IN THE FACE kind of truth. one of the errors of taking things as they are, or having a messed up kind of memory.
fact from the book: mary magdalene/mary of magdalena, WAS NOT AND NEVER HAS BEEN A PROSTITUTE.
a quick search in all the bibles online, plus my own bible proved that. perhaps why people got all drawn into thinking that she was a prostitute was that an un-named sinful woman was forgiven by Jesus for her sins in the CHAPTER before mary magdalene was introduced. people reading in a straight line might have just messed up the info.
but, in at least one version of the bible, i am still certain one of them mentioned that the sinful woman, was indeed a prostitute, thus labelled as sinful. otherwise, i am not quite sure where i got the notion from, for, the most part, i kinda read the entire bible by myself.
u can read the "Sinful Woman Pardoned" on luke 7:36-50 i believe.
in luke 8:2 is where the first mention of mary of magdalena first appeared. she was a woman, whom jesus casted out 7 demons, and one of the few women who went around trips with Jesus.
it is fairly important to read a fictitious book objectively. not researching it and blindly believing the "facts" that an author said are facts, is really just asking for it. i know many people just read for the sake of reading. but then again, there are those who believe what they read as truth AND starts spreading about it.
it is a great book in it's own right. it got people thinking, it got people curious, and that is what books are about, to engage the mind. because of that, if you actually go around doing your research well, you will find that it's also educational too. i am not about to debunk it as a total case of rubbish, because it is good fiction, it engages me, it made me start thinking about my religion and what i truly believe in.
would it have mattered to me if Jesus, one of the 3 central beings around which my religion was centered upon, was a married man with kids? would it have mattered if he was as fallible as man, to be like a man and have sex and love his wife differently from the way he loved his disciples (keyword: different. not more, not less, but different)?
the answer is no.
i think this has been mentioned many times before but i guess it's all right to pull it up again. in societies of that time, it was a norm to get married (much like it is now, but people chooses not to that's all) and part of the family's duty was to find their sons a wife. infact, look at the much more traditional families nowaways, they still perform this "arranged" marriage thing, and usually at a young age.
aside from that, the bible showed God in agreement with procreation, and Jesus love kids. and also lots of comments about families and so on ( i am not going to pull up every single bible reference to all of you, this will take a long time.). it would seem strange then if Jesus goes celibate or would encourage his disciples to act as such.
of course, people would then start saying that it could be very plausible that there's this part where "you must have no other God than me" and in a relationship, it's hard to be all that focused on God, when you have a family to love and care for. honestly? check out the families that goes to church. in bringing forth children, they teach the future generation to love God as much as they did, their ancestors did.
my point is, even if Jesus was married and has descendants now and so on, and whether it was mary magdalena or not,it doesn't affect my choice of religion, because what he taught was good, what he did for us was good. when he died, he died for us so that all souls may go to heaven, that we maybe closer to God. That is supposed to be our fixating point, not if he was married or not. and since our focal point was also God, i still don't see how marriage should affect us.
If God did intend Jesus to come down to earth and share a human life like us, suffer like us, then marriage, would have been perfectly reasonable, because it was the norm and it shouldn't deter anyone from believing in the Messiah, just coz he has a wife. we DID accept the fact that despite our imaginings that he was fearless, he did indeed prayed in the garden (ref: matt 26:39, Agony in the Garden) "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as i will, but as you will." he feared of what may come, like normal humans would. he was scared, like us if we knew our impending doom.
so what is marriage?
just more affirmation that Jesus was as much a human when he was supposed to live as a human as he is a Divine Being after his death and resurrection.
for the people who like their Gods to be infallible, their priests/ priestesses/ prophets/ whatnots be totally infallible, you're in the wrong part of the universe. go somewhere else.
"fact" from the book:
this one is one of the biggest error i guess that made people upset. i could see why though, they wanted to see a real life "secret society" that smells archaic, honourable and various other things at the same time. the priory of scion.
the ORDER OF ZION was real, and was associated with the Knights of Templar. note the was. the priory of scion however, was a joke and a fraud (link:http://priory-of-sion.com/psp/id84.html). perhaps dan brown didn't do proper research before stating that it was a fact, or perhaps like me, he got it messed up and then zion and sion got all messed up and.. well you get the idea.
somewhere at the back of my head i have read something about the priory of scion and it's existence as something real, probably a fiction too from elsewhere, thus by the time i was halfway thru, my mind was all fucked up and i really had to research to seperate those bits of fiction with facts by looking it up. so if u draw back to where i showed u what he said about the fact that priory of scion was a real organisation, secret or ni, well, that's bullshit. :( sad isn't it?
there were also other parts of the fiction that claims that the church actively tries to hide the truth from the their members, which, as u can see, is part of his story. true or not, it's really up to the individual to take it. again, human makes mistakes, many times over. the church did have a horrific past where killings were on to "convert" people or just for the pure sake of money. there were homosexual priests/popes as much as there were priests/popes with families, that were against the celibacy rules (which were set in about the 300s?). then of course there were the notorious ones who had various amounts of illegitimate kids, some of which were chosen as cardinals, rituals of benefiting themselves and their loved ones.
with such a horrible past of breaking the very same rules that they make, i wouldn't be surprised if the Catholic church did have some secrets to hide, because they don't want to seem all too evil, against the teachings of the bible, or just being vulnerable to the same human mistakes that the people they were supposed to guide make. but would it have turned you away? are you there because the church looks good? i am not, i wouldn't go away.
then again u have those child molestations accusations, how does one react to that?i guess i would be a bit freaky, but the church is not all about the priests, its about God and the members. priests are like these mediators.
yer the go betweens.
at the end of the day, it's just a fiction book. i enjoyed it immensely, like i would with any other book. true, it got me all messed up about my facts because i wasn't sure of them in the first place, and he was also fairly convincing with the facts i already know (the usual brain thing that goes "if 3 or more facts are accurate, why not all of it), but it engaged my mind and got me to find out more about my religion, about other truths in the world, and that is quite a huge task that a small book did.
it did not put me through any religious crisis that some people might feel religious people, or anybody of faith would have. rather, with each research, i know more about my religion and it's past than i did before.
well spent 16 bux.