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The Da Vinci Code

If you have visited the front page of Myths-Dreams-Symbols over the past several months you probably noticed the space I gave to The Da Vinci Code.

From MSNBC: Da Vinci Code A World Wide Hit

Movie takes in $77 million in North America
$224 million around world

2nd largest ever behind Star Wars: Episode III
read article


One reason for my promotion was the relationship of Brown's fictional novel/movie to an early and influential read of mine, the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail. The Da Vinci Code book by Brown is based primarily on the Holy Blood, Holy Grail thesis. Mary {real name Miriam} Magdalene {her last name is from wher she was born, Magda}is shown in a different light, not a prostitute but Jesus' most trusted disciple. Of course both Brown's
Da Vinci Code and the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail portray Jesus and Mary Mag as being married. For me that is not so important as is the realization that Jesus was human, and was God at the same time, and by emulateing him one can be like him, the basic gnostic argument to finding salvation. What this all leads to is Mary Magdalene's gnostic texts, and Gnosticism in particular. Of course Gnosticism can be central with that inner search, the psychological search and study of ones own life. Both Jung and Campbell were greatly influenced by the gnostics, as am I. For a recovering 'Church of Christ' such as myself, a new and recognizable intuitive Jesus was just what I needed to move past the religious dogma that was planted in my psyche.
Gnosticism, which in many ways is psychological Buddhism, directs you inward, Jung's Individuation Process. I hope by promoting the movie I can lead others to the same experience, especially those other converted/confused Christians looking for something to fill the spiritual void.

I haven't seen the movie as yet. I will let the crowds die down and attend one day this week. I encourage all to see the movie for the experience. With all the symbols and metaphors that the movie will showcase, the movie should be an extra treat for those of us who live a life of metaphor. Plus with Tom Hanks playing the lead role, the movie is already a winner.


Gerard

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 55 Murfreesboro, Tn.

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

Re: The Da Vinci Code

I heard Elaine Pagels being interviewed on NPR. They said we can find her article about the book/film. I have her books and highly respect her as a theologian/historian..
I am trying to decide if I want to read the book before I see the movie..Someone said I would enjoy the movie more if I did...in some cases as The Prince of Tides for example I was glad I read the book first...absolutely.
I enjoy this site so much and am glad for your contribution. I love watching our collective "soup" being stirred up over this.... I have received a "fear" letter from a legalistic christian about the danger it does to the bible...how sad .

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 55

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} female

Re: The Da Vinci Code

It is ok for one's beliefs to be tested and even shaken ,,,

when our beliefs are shaken it can be - it is - an opportunity to 'go deeper', to learn more, to a gain new insights and understandings ,,, of ourselves and the world.

To respond in other ways is to respond based on limitation and a premise of fear ,,,, that we are not able to handle truth, that we are not worthy to know truth, that we do not live truth ,,, that we are not good enough

The book is a novel ,,, take it as such
The movie is a movie ,,, take it as such

Use descrimination to work towards the full potential that God, the Universe, the Creator intended us for.

Justin

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: Brisbane Australia 47

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} M

Re: The Da Vinci Code

Anna,

I discovered Elain Pagels in the mid 90s, a few years after my journey began with Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung. I had just began exploring gnosticism when I read her books the The Gnostics Gospels and Adam, Eve & the Serpent. Not only did she provide answers about reconciling my early christian 'indoctrination' to my new found path of myth and dream, she also provided factual evidence of alternative thinking within the christian church during the time of Jesus. Being able to use the symbols I grew up knowing as a boy and young man, I could use the same symbols and fit them with my new spiritual beliefs. I've known many 'new age' spiritual people who had so much trouble reconciling their religion with their intuitive calling. Pagels is superb in reconciling the feminine also.



I've seen Elaine on several occasions times just recently on the Discovery and History Channels as well as on PBS {see the PBS Special From Jesus to Christ}. The world is beginning to recognize her contributions and her genius.



Another great mind of our time is Marion Woodman. For anyone serious about understanding their dreams, her Dreams: Language of the Soul is a must. It is on audio cassette. Breath taking is her knowledge of the dream and the soul. She is a Jungian Psychologist who has a practice in Canada.



I plan to see the movie on Wednesday. I love a good mystery and Tom Hanks is a great talent {as is Ron Howard}. But the fact so many recognizable symbols from my early spiritual search will be in the movie will make it that much more interesting. I read Holy Blood, Holy Grail about the smae time I discovered Elaine Pagels. And of course The Di Vinci Code book and movie is based on Holy Blood, Holy Grail.

The History and Discovery Channels have given a lot of explosure to all of this with its many documentaries {Sunday was all about the movie and the historic contents}.



The contraversy over the Di Vinci Code is making so many people aware of the alternatives to organized religion's interpretations of Jesus, alternatives that let's us hold on to 'Jesus' as our source, yet seek new metaphors that fit our individual psyches. Perhaps one day your legalistic christian will take of the blinders and overcome his/her fears.



Gerard

Re: The Da Vinci Code

I saw the Da Vinci Code movie today and thought it was an excellent film. Academy award? Probably not. But it was well acted and had an intriguing plot that I feel probably would be impossible to display on film as well as it was done in the book {I have not read the book}. There were many, many references to symbols and myth that I was very familiar with because of my studies in myth and dreams. There were many references to the number 9 I found intriguing. The one number on the key was very interesting. Adding them together you come up with 27. The number 9 in Greek mythology is symbolic of the Goddess.

Probably the most recognizable underlying message that comes across, and the church is so opposed, is those inequities toward the feminine. I think what the movie did so well was address the patriarchal bias of the feminine, not only in the broad sense of denying the feminine equal status in society but also the psychological feminine aspect as well, the feminine aspect in Jungian thought.

Opus Dei, or should we call them Opus Die from the movie's point of view {pun intended}, is betrayed in less than a favorable light but many of the portrayals are factual. We know from history the church, and here the Catholic church or church of Rome, wanted to make sure no pagan deities were affirmed and the real threat to that was the goddess in popular pagan religions. There was little mention of the Knights Templar but they were the heroes and this movie is about the villains.

I also liked the way the movie informed the audience of the history, which was very factual overall, of Christianity and how Constantine influenced the religion as it is today. So few Christians are aware of their own history let alone the opposing views of other sects of the religion in its infancy. Ask a Christian about gnosticism and the think you are talking about agnosticism. They haven't clue so blind their obedience. Having been a part of that culture I know well what is expected and free thinking isn't something that is encourage.

And for the central message of Mary Magdalene being married to Jesus. Thus far no archaeological evidence other than the Nag Hammadi scrolls has come to light to verify that possibility {I feel confident the church made sure of that if true}. But we know so little of the life of Jesus, we can not say it is impossible. According to customs of that period of time any woman who is as close to Jesus as Mary was, it meant they were married. Plus the newly discovered gnostic text Gospel of Mary Magdalene shines a lot of light on that possibility. She was undoubtedly his closet confident according to the Gnostics and other discarded texts of that period.

The Holy Grail. The whole thesis is that the Grail was the blood line of Jesus. The symbolic drinking of the blood of Christ, the disciple at the left hand of Jesus being Mary Magdalene in Da Vinci's Last Supper, the symbolic V formed in the painting between Jesus and Mary {V being symbolic for the feminine}. That was new. The story of Mary having child that carried on the bloodline, all convincing for the movie. But the real symbolic value of the Holy Grail is that it is the blood of the individual soul, when the soul is given power to rule the waking life. It is within us all, we need only bringing it out. Gnosticism, and even the mystical religions of the Sufi and Kabbalah point inward. And the whole point of Buddhism is to look inward.
{There is no grail cup in the Last Supper painting}.

I didn't see any real reason for the christian church to get so upset about the movie. I think the average person will come away from it as a fictional work. And Opus Dei shouldn't shout too loud. It only makes more people want to see the movie. I do hope attention is brought to bear for many viewers to the inequalities to the feminine. I also sensed an underlying reference to the earth, the feminine, without any real mention of it. Since we are in fact products of the soil {evolution}, the blood line is truly earthly.

I find it so strange that Christians believe in a very ornery and sometimes temper-mental God who is no doubt masculine, yet swear and are baptised to the message of Jesus who lived completely from the feminine aspects of the psyche.
The patriarchal church rejects Jesus by its own masculine tendencies, and the flock fails to see. Blind obedience, slavery to a lesser god. How sad.

See the movie! I thought Tom Hanks did a superb job with what was given him {a lot of twists and turns}. I think it can be sobering to those who have questioned authority but had never investigated the opposing possibilities. And it made sense, the plot, the possibilities in real life. I give it an 8 out of 10. But I admit my bias for any thing symbolic.

Gerard

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 56

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

Re: The Da Vinci Code

I saw the movie last night. I agree that it was a pretty good movie. I did read the illustrated version of the book a year or so ago, and also got the Secrets To The Code that I did not get around to finishing (a collection of essays). First some comments about the book.

The writing seemed formulaic, and the first half was kind of Keystone Copp-ish (and the movie had that feel to me for the first 20 mins or so) but the second half picked up, for me.

I loved the symbolism and the premise. I don't see anything unbelievable about the notion of Jesus marrying Mary and their having a bloodline symbolic of the Grail. Not as unbelievable, in fact, as his rising from the dead, ascending into heaven, etc. that millions claim to believe without much analysis. Maybe this movie will prompt more of us to think about what we believe. My daughter and her boyfriend enjoyed it and they had a lot of questions for me. Neither of them had read the book.

I thought Tom Hanks did a very good job. Audrey was so so, though she's a beautiful, talented actress. Maybe too angelic. I think the script is what limited her. A tough role to play. I thought how difficult it is to relinquish the virginal, little girlish stereotype that is associated with the female who is "acceptable" in Christianity. Especially for Hollywood. Even for one playing a character who has not decided one way or another about her Christianity as yet!

I really liked the black and whiteish flashbacks to the Crusades and the rose. I'd read some awful reviews, and I don't see why they were so hard on the movie. I think more movie producers should invest in films that delve into our rich, though sometimes troubling western religious history and symbolism that is just waiting to be plucked. I thought Opus Dei and the RC church probably took a cue from the firestorm they received from their response to the book that they should just keep quiet.

I also remember thinking that maybe the formulaic style of the book was deliberate to reach the masses.

I'd suggest people ignore the reviews and go enjoy the movie.

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