Archive for May, 2016

THE DA VINCI CODE

Posted: May 24, 2016 in Book Reviews

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The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

597 pages

Did Leonoardo Da Vinci hide secret messages within his art work? Does the last supper hold the key to the holy grail of Jesus? Is the holy grail the cup that Jesus drank from or something or someone entirely different? Who is Mary Magdaline? Was she prostitute or wife of Christ? These are questions that this book explores as you are taken through a cross european chase to discovered the secrets of The Da Vinci Code.

Like Dan Browns last book Angels and Demons this is a fast paced adventure and mystery that keeps you reading to the very end. Dan Brown does an amazing job taking you through the history of religion and the mysterious Priory of Sion and their military division the Knights Templar. Charged with protecting the secret of the holy grail.

The four highest ranking members of the priory have been killed with odd ritualistic symbolism present at the final killing. Robert Langdon is called in to the investigation, the Harvard symbolist who may be the only one who can solve this crime.

Dan Brown seems to have a knack for explaining symbolism and religious theology in ways that honestly I am not used to thinking in. He touches on the orchestration of matriarchal dominated paganism to the transition to patriarchical dominated christianity. He speaks of Emperor Constantine who theoretically converted to christianity.

“He was a lifelong pagan who was baptized on his deathbed, too weak to protest. In Constantine’s day Rome’s official religion was sun worship – The Cult of Sol Invictus, or the invincible sun – and Constantine was its head priest. Unfortunately for him, a growing religious turmoil was gripping Rome. Three centuries after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Christs followers had multiplied exponentially. Christians and Pagans began warring, and the conflict grew to such proportions that it threatened to rend Rome in two. Constantine decided something had to be done. In 325 A.D., he decided to unify Rome under a single religion. Christianity.

Constantine was a very good business man. He could see that Christianity was on the rise, and he simply backed the winning horse. Historians still marvel at the brilliance with which Constantine converted the sun worshiping pagans to Christianity. By Fusing Pagan symbols, dates, and rituals into the growing Christian tradition he created a kind of hybrid religion that was acceptable to both parties.

Nothing in Christianity is original. The pre-Christian god Mithras – called the son of God and the light of the world – was born december 25, died, was buried in rock tomb, and then resurrected in three days. By the way December 25th is also the birth day of Osiris, Adonis, and Dionysus. The new-born Krishna was presented with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Even Christians holy day was stolen from the pagans.”

While the historical accuracy of his theories may be up for question, it certainly reflects an interesting perspective on the origins of Christianity and leads one to want to learn more about it.

Religious history has always been of interest to me but these books by Dan Brown has really sparked a much greater interest in exploring more of the origins of Christianity. I don’t know how much of the claims in his books are accurate or true. How much is based in myth vs facts known about ancient pagan religions. But It certainly poses some interesting questions. It has been a well established fact that much of Christianity as it is known today is ripe with pagan symbolism and tradition. The christmas tree, misletoe, easter bunnies, etc…

What I can say for sure is that Dan Brown has a talent for writing religious thrillers from a academic perspective and it makes for a fascinating read. I loved every chapter and plot turn in this book and would highly recommend it to anyone. We may never know the truth about Mary Magdalene and Christ but what we do know is that the mystery is what keeps our attention.

I give his a 9/10 book worms! only because the end was not quite as dramatic as one would hope given the excitement of the book overall.

Angels And Demons

Posted: May 15, 2016 in Book Reviews

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Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

710 pages.

Robert Langdon is a Harvard professor and symbolist. When a scientist is murder at C.E.R.N ( European Organization for Nuclear Research) and found dead and branded with the ancient brand of the Illuminati

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Professor Langdon and Vittoria, the daughter of the murder scientist are soon dragged into a chase through Rome to find the mysterious Illuminati.

The Pope is dead and every cardinal in the world are now in Rome to elect a new pope. Every hour on the hour each one of the preferetti (pope hopefuls) will die. 4 In total, each one to die on one of the alters of science. Churches devoted to the 4 elements of science. Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Each one branded with the Illuminati brands.

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The Camerlinga, The one who holds the Popes office till a new Pope is elected,  will be the final victim, being Branded with the final brand, the infamous Illuminati diamond.

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Back at the Cern Labs the worlds first created Anti-matter has been created. this Anti matter is now rigged like a bomb and has been stolen. It set to go off like a bomb at midnight destroying the Vatican and bringing the Catholic church down with it. Destroying in a single blast the entire leadership, as well as their archives, riches and ending the church as we know it.

This book is by far one of the best thrillers I have read in a long time. It is incredibly fast paced and riveting read. Reminds me of Michael Crichton’s techno thrillers but with religious mix and ancient enemies. Overall a fascinating read getting into the myth, legend and origins of religious faith, all the while playing on the science verses religion conflict since the days of the original Illuminati.

The power of secret societies and their infiltration into everything we know, banks, government, religion, media. All the while playing off the idea the they no longer exist.

“Everyone knows the brothers have faded into dust”

“A dangerous ploy, the most dangerous enemy is that which no one fears” (page 16)

The idea that the illuminati are still manipulating and controlling the world unseen, un-detected because no one believes they exist is an idea that is demonstrated in this book as a very real possibility.

The discussions about religion and its reason for existence and origins, is one that I have been contemplating for a long while. One passage in this book really stands out is this.

“Mr Langdon, all questions were once spiritual. Since the beginning of time, spirituality and religion have been called on to fill the gaps that science did not understand. The rising and the setting of the sun was once attributed to Helios and a flaming chariot. Earthquakes and tidal waves were the wrath of Poseidon. Science has now proven those Gods to be false idols. Soon all Gods will be proven to be false idols. Science has now provided answers to almost every question man can ask. There are only a few questions left, and they are the esoteric ones. Where do we come from? What are we doing here? What is the meaning of life and the universe?”  page 31-32

I really enjoyed how this book got into the theoretical history of the illuminati, though very briefly it made for a really entertaining read. The illuminati were  a group of renaissance scientist and artist who felt that true enlightenment could be brought forth through the sciences. Many believe that science and religion are not in opposition to each other. The church of the time felt differently however. The Illuminati were persecuted, hunted down and destroyed by the church and forever became the enemies of the church. Or at least the church believed they had been destroyed.

The Following except explains this briefly

“Satanic, this is the symbol of a Satanic Cult?”

“The Illuminati were satanic but not in the modern sense”

Most people pictured satanic cults as devil-worshiping fiends, and yet Satanist historically were educated men who stood as adversaries to the Church. Shaitan. The rumors of satanic black magic animal sacrifices and the pentagram ritual were nothing more but lies spread by the church as a smear campaign against their adversaries. Over time, opponents of the church, wanting to emulate the Illuminati, began believing the lies and acting them out. Thus modern Satanism was born.

“The Illuminati were survivors, When they fled Rome, they travelled across europe looking for a safe place to regroup. They were taken in by another secret society… a brotherhood of wealthy Bavarian stone craft masons call the Freemasons”

“Certainly the Masons are not satanic”

“Absolutely not. The Masons fell victim to their own benevolence. After harboring the fleeing scientists in the 1700’s the Masons unknowingly became a front for the illuminati. The Illuminati grew within their ranks, gradually taking over positions of power within the lodges. They quietly re-established their brotherhood deep within the masons. A kind of secret society within a secret society. Then the Illuminati used the world-wide connection of Masonic lodges to spread their influence.

The Illuminati grew more powerful in Europe and set their sights on America, a fledging government many of whose leaders were Masons – George Washington, Ben Franklin – Honest God-fearing men who were unaware of the Illuminati stronghold on the Masons. The Illuminati took advantage of the infiltration and helped found banks, universities, and industry to finance their ultimate quest. The creation of a single unified world state – a kind of secular new world order.”

Later in the book the symbolism in American culture, most notably on American currency and the illuminati influences is explained.

“I became fascinated with the cult when I first learned that U.S. currency is covered with Illuminati symbology.

“Look at the back. See the great seal on the left”

“The pyramid, do you know what the pyramid has to do with U.S. History?”

“The pyramid is an occult symbol representing a convergence upward, toward the ultimate source of illumination. See what’s above it?”

“An eye inside a triangle”

“It’s called a Trinacria. It’s emblazoned on Masonic lodges around the world. It’s Illuminati. They call it their shining delta. A call for enlightened change. The Eye signifies the Illuminati’s ability to infiltrate and watch all things. And the triangle is also the greek letter delta, which is the mathematical symbol for change, transition.”

There is so much awesomeness in this book, but  I fear I am rambling. From Illuminati infiltration, to religious transmutation to scientific discovery. This Book does an amazing job of bringing old conspiracies, religious dogma and worship and science to a thrilling story line with non stop action. I loved this read and would highly recommend it to any one.

I would like to just leave you with this thought from Angels and Demons

“Doubt is your last shred of control. It is doubt that brings souls to you. Our need to know that life has meaning. Man’s insecurity and need for an enlightened soul assuring him everything is part of a master plan. But the church is not the only enlightened soul on the planet! We all seek God in different ways. What are you afraid of? That God will show himself somewhere other than inside these walls. That people will find him in their own lives and leave your antiquated rituals behind? Religions Evolve! The mind finds answers, The heart grapples with new truths! God is not some omnipotent authority looking down from above, threatening to throw us into a pit of fire if we disobey. God is the energy that flows through the synapses of our nervous systems and the chambers of our hearts. God is in all things!”

I give his book an easy 10/10 book worms. Just Loved it!!

The Blinding Knife

Posted: May 6, 2016 in Book Reviews

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The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks

625 pages

Book 2 of the Lightbringer Series

I just realized as I am starting to write this review, that I do not have the 3rd or 4th books in this series which are called the Broken Eye and the Blood Mirror. I guess that means I need to add 2 more books to my wish list. Enough of that however I supposed you are wanting my review on the Blinding Knife now.

Kip has been fully acknowledged as Lord Prism’s son and has entered the black guard training while his grandfathered the Red works tirelessly against him to prevent his success.

Liv Danavis has joined the color prince who is now at war against the Chromeria after coming to some shocking understanding of the truth behind the Chromeria.

Gavin, or is it Dazen, is losing his colors while his brother whom he has locked up for many years is slowly but surely escaping his prison cell.

This story really has set up a world that is organized around a theocracy. The Chromeria is head of all governments and is also the heart of the religious world in which our characters live in. The Color Prince is seen as a rebel and heretic for rebelling against the God Orholam. The Chromeria runs every aspect of life within this world. It’s Drafters, like a church’s priesthood must be trained by the Chromeria and people are taught they are the only ones who can train them properly otherwise they will be dangerous to let loose in the world.

The power and authority rest in the hands of The prism who now must fight the Color Prince and his army in order to protect the Chromerias best interest.

The part of this story that really intrigued me was the story of Liv Danavis who turned to the other side in this conflict. I myself have recently had to make some hard choices regarding my own faith and her story and feelings about the chromeria really in many ways reflected what I have gone through as well.

“But if the Chromeria itself was corrupt, how deep does that corruption go? If they’d taught one lie, how many others had they espoused? If the Chromeria was corrupt, and the Chromeria was supposed to be a central font of Orholoams will, what did that say about Orholam himself?

How could he let such corruption be? Either he didn’t care, or he didn’t have power to do anything about it, or he didn’t exist. It was a thought that couldn’t be called back.

It was like having a comforting suppositions ripped off her shoulders.

She’d once heard a philosopher quoted in one of her classes: The truth is so clear to me that if Orholam stood on one side and the truth on another, I would turn my back on my creator himself.

Simply considering that was scary, terrifying as she thought about the decisions she made all the time based on what was right – which was based on what was holy – which was based on what the Chromeria taught was holy – which is what the chromeria believed about Orholam.

But at the same time it was tremendous freeing. she would be strong. This was hard, but she would do it. She wouldn’t shrink from hard truths or embrace comforting delusions. She would be a warrior for truth”

I think this passage in this book expressed well the trial and struggle that Liv is dealing with while coming to terms with the truth behind the Chromeria and everything she was taught to believe. This story at least to me reads as a search for truth beyond anything else. It speaks to our own spiritual journeys and evolution and understanding of the realities we are surrounded with on a daily basis.

Like the characters in this book, we must always be questioning our own motives, understandings and reasons for doing things. Live, Kip, the Prism are all on a Journey of discovery that will take them down paths they do not have full understanding of at this time.

I really loved this book and so far It is the best one of the series. I really look forward to getting the next 2 books in this series and hope that they live up to expectations this one has set. Brent weeks has done a wonderful job with this.

The tag line of “Every shadow hides a secret” is a great tag line however I would add also that every journey is a search for the truth. As it is commonly stated “know the truth and the truth will set you free. For me at least that is what this book, and life is all about. Being free and learning truth, no matter how hard it may be to learn and understand that truth. It is the search for truth that leads us to ultimate freedom.

Pick up this book. Read it. It is well worth your time. Very much enjoyable and I look forward to getting to the final 2 books in this series. Though that will have to wait as I have not bought them yet and have so many more to get through.

Overall I give this book 9/10 books worms. Probably because the struggles of one of our characters Liv is so close to my heart as it reflects my own personal journey at this time.