Book Thoughts: Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol

In regards to the notion of Noetic Sciences and the power of thought, my preferences become a bit more muddled. Deep down I want to believe that there i0s in fact more to our thoughts than we think (…), and I have always stated that I am a full believer in finding the true potential of the human being. Mr. Brown I feel makes more claims to the advances of Noetics than have truly occurred, at least in a quantifiable manner. Again, it is nice to get people thinking about these things, and I think the reason he only mentions Noetics in passing (compared to other topics such as Masonry) is because he realizes he is walking on much thinner ice. One of his characters, Katherine Solomon, alludes to what I think may be his real purpose in even mentioning Noetics: maybe as an individual Mr. Brown thinks more people should be talking about this field and by putting it in a New York Times best seller, he will get the Twitterati talking about it, and subsequently exponentially grow personal interest overnight. Who knows. Only time will tell.

Finally, I do greatly appreciate his review of God. He doesn’t argue religious semantics (though he settles on The Bible as his final book of choice…), and asks us all to wonder about the gods within. Are we ourselves the God we seek? Are we all looking heaven-ward when maybe we should be looking in-ward for the true meaning of life. To him religion does serve an important purpose in this world: forcing people to come together makes us exponentially stronger than if we work alone, and that is critical for not only our survival but also our progress. Again, it’s not so much that these messages are new, but that I bet many of them are new to the public reading his book.

My biggest issue with the book is actually the raging patriotism that seems to be on display. I did not detect this in Mr. Brown’s other books, and I think maybe its only intention is to actually get people to realize there is more to our country than meets the eye. While we are caught up in current turmoil and in our current culture where everything happens in, “the moment,” with 24 hour news, facebook statuses, twittering, it will become more and more important to remind Americans to think outside of the moment and see larger pictures. Again, this seems to be his overall intention with everything, but in regards to Washington D.C. maybe he simply wants people to realize our relatively young nation is just as much a part of that bigger historical picture as it is of, “the moment.” In the book however, it comes off at some points as being annoyingly overly patriotic.

Overall, as I stated above, it’s a good read. It keeps me captivated, and he is easily one of the only authors who’s writing style can grip me with the same constant thrill as the best cinematography (be it television or movies). The technologies are interesting, the history is interesting, albeit extremely focused and conveniently presented, and his overall message is something more and more people will be thinking anyways, so why not talk about it publicly. There’s no need to keep this one on the bookshelf per se, but it’s certainly a good read if you are bored over a long weekend or need something to keep you entertained after a day at work.

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2 responses to “Book Thoughts: Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol

  1. Noah Briggs

    Speaking of future tech – Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility may just be nothing more than a prototype light-shifting camouflage cover currently under development somewhere.

  2. sam w

    if you’re looking for a next book recommendation – I got Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum for my brother for christmas (based on the fact that he likes Dan Brown) – and he loved it.