The Lost Symbol fulfilled its purpose...and so did the Masonic Pyramid.
I had been waiting for a copy of this book since it was published - I was on a long list for it at the library. I was excited when it finally came in, and I really needed a 'weekend away' experience like I got with Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code. Perhaps not quite as gripping as those novels, The Lost Symbol still managed to draw me in and keep me reading straight through.
When I first started the book, I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to get into it. I don't know anything about American History, and I didn't have any interest in it. However, I do like secret societies and hidden wisdom, and once they pulled in the field of Noetic Science, I was hooked. This book delivers much more than a historical thrill ride through Washington D.C., it is full of ideas - new and ancient - that are mind-blowing. It made me remember why I used to be so into books like The Celestine Prophecy, ancient Asian wisdom and people like Carl Jung with his holistic symbolism.
One of Dan Brown's characters states: "The Masonic Pyramid's true purpose was not to reveal the answers, but rather to inspire a fascination with them". Dan Brown has used his novel-writing skills to make these ideas accessible, and in doing so has re-inspired me to look again.
I've read quite a few negative reviews of this book, and I can't imagine why anyone would choose to critic the writing style and ignore the message. This is not just a fictional mystery story, it's an invitation to expand our minds and participate in the great experiment that is human life. Noetic science is real. The ancient texts are real, and they really do correlate to quantum physics and forces we are only just beginning to understand scientifically. I am very willing to overlook Brown's formulaic plotlines - Langdon running around ancient monuments with a strong intelligent woman, caught in a pickle by an evil mystery mastermind, friends becoming foes and vice-versa - because those things aren't the point. Dan Brown's genius is in making seemingly dull dead people and artifacts come alive with current meaning, in making interconnections and asking questions. In dropping amazing ideas like seeds in amongst the action that make us want to go immediately to the library and start our own search for the truths we haven't quite yet grasped.
At least that is how it was for me.