Book Reviews

The Da Vinci Code
Dan Brown

"Jesus was the original feminist." P. 248.

There is something special going on in the world right now; we are witnessing a cultural shift in human consciousness on a planet-wide scale concerning the female's role in history.. That cultural buzz has to do with the controversy revolving around the novel The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. As I write these words, the book has sold over 60 million copies, and the motion picture, which has been out for almost four months, has seen a world-wide gross of over 700 million dollars - quite a haul in today's markets.

The way the movie was released - in over 50 countries on the same day, makes me want to speculate that there was more at work behind the release of the motion picture than the mere mechanism of making money. I know that the massive effort involved in releasing the movie in that many countries at the same time would prevent pirating of the film, but I speculate that the makers of the movie had a deeper desire to change the whole planet's consciousness concerning the underling subject. The movie would be an important edition to the continuation of that consciousness raising. And what is the world-wide meme making all the fuss?

Beneath the genre of a murder mystery; the usual racing about of cars with cops in hot pursuit; clues embedded in world famous art work, and another quest for the "holy grail," was found the real thrust of the novel: exposing the cover-up by The Roman Catholic Church that Jesus Christ, the bedrock spiritual leader; Son of God, and holy divinity of the Church, was really just a man who was a prophet; married to a Earthly woman named Mary Magdalene and that they gave birth to at least one child.

To top all of this off, the thrust behind the novel and movie is that not only has the Roman Catholic Church kept this a secret for over 2000 years, but that there has been a concerted and continuous effort to hide that truth - and to hide that fact with a ferocious campaign - including assassinations and torture of women.

The Catholic Church, in its vehement opposition to the movie's release, set forth a missive to all Catholic's to ban the movie. The move, of course, only inflamed the curiosity of the public, and only added fuel to the fire. The move was similar in scope to the banning of the book, Lady Chatterley's Lover in the 1960s, which had explicit theme and language; all it did was increase the sales of the book.

The novel attempt to weave the meme, that, in the beginning of our established Western Civilization, many believed in the pagan rites of passage and the power of the female to reproduce. To quote the novel:

"The ancients envisioned their world in two halves - masculine and feminine. Their gods and goddesses worked to keep a balance of power, Yin and Yang. When male and female were balanced, there was harmony in the world. When they were unbalanced, there was chaos." P. 36

As an evolutionary feminist, you must stop at this precise moment and ask the question, "why did the world become unbalanced between the genders?" What evolutionary pressures were at work that created the unbalanced world of aggressive males and subordinate females that exist today? And finally, which evolutionary pressures found fertile ground in propping up the lopsided gender roles?

The usual explanations given are the same that Dan Brown also gives us:

"As part of the Vatican's campaign to eradicate pagan religions and convert the masses to Christianity, the Church launched a smear campaign against the pagan gods and goddesses, recasting their divine symbols as evil."

"This is very common in times of turmoil. A newly emerging power will take over the existing symbols and degrade them over time in an attempt to erase their meaning. In the battle between the pagan symbols and Christian symbols, the pagans lost…" P. 37.

Well, at this point, we have to point out that during the Middle Ages and Western Civilianization began to develop, there were three levels of social heirarchies: 1.) Those who fought; 2) Those who prayed; 3) and, Those who worked the land. The number One slot was filled with the nobles and knights of yore, and the Number Two slot was the unattached males who could not find any females to mate with. The Middle-Ages was also a time of "Primogenitor"; that is, that the first born son inherited all the land and money of any established father - all others were cut lose with the message: "tough luck."

Since many of these unfortunate individuals were cut lose with no resources to attract females, there was no where to go -- these highly educated, and non-aggressive males had two choices -- to either go off to war in the crusades to seek fortune through battle, or to go into the Catholic Church, were it was warm, comfortable, non-violent. They had a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs. In was a pretty good place to be. And since it was so highly attractive place to be, anything that threatened that existence was looked upon with highly negative thought and mechanisms. Let's face, a good gig, is a good gig. And what made it really cool was the fact that it was easy to frighten an enormously under-educated populace to the Church's teachings to prop up one's popularity, and thus continued existence.

Now, since this all male-based society needed to cement their holy establishment, what better way then to fight the devil then find the devil in the female who could easily turn men to mush when the natural sexual urges of nature called? (Come on guys - admit it - when your penis is hard and erect, it's very hard to mentally think of anything else until it dis-engorges, right? Guess what?, wise women know this also).

"Holy men who had once required sexual union with their female counterparts to commune with God now feared their natural sexual urges as the work of the devil, collaborating with his favorite accomplice…woman." P. 125

"…by waging a campaign of propaganda that demonized the sacred feminine, obliterating the goddess from modern religion forever." P. 124.

"Their brutal crusade to 'reeducate' the pagan and feminine-worshipping religions spanned three centuries, employing methods inspired s they were horrific." P. 125.

"The Catholic Inquisition published the book that arguably could be called the most blood-soaked publication in human history. Malleus Maleficarum - The Witches' Hammer - indoctrinated the world to 'the dangers of freethinking women' and instructed the clergy how to locate, torture, and destroy them. Those deemed 'witches' by the Church, include all female scholars, priestesses, gypsies, mystics, nature lovers, herb gatherers, and any women 'suspiciously attuned to the using medical knowledge to ease the pain of childbirth - a suffering, the Church claimed, that was God's punishment for Eve's partaking of the Apple of Knowledge, thus giving birth to the idea of Original Sin. During three hundred years of witch hunts, the Church burned at the stake an astounding five million women." P. 125.

Dan Brown has done an excellent job in weaving the truth of the Inquisition's hatred of women's sexual power over men and weaving these facts into the myth of Jesus passing his genes to an "Earthly female." To me, it would make all the sense in the world that if God sent his only son -- in human form - that He would also give Jesus the same "powers" of reproduction that God gave to humankind.

I agree somewhat with Dan Brown and his words:

"The pendulum is swinging. We are starting to sense the dangers of our history…and of our destructive paths. We are beginning to sense the need to restore the sacred feminine." P. 444.

I sense we are becoming aware of our destructive path and that it is based on biology and the balance between the distributions of resources. As an evolutionary feminist, you hold the key to educate the future about the power of the female and her influence on our species' path.

That's the good news. The bad news is that you will also have the courage to educate others that it has been the female who has been responsible for the destructive path that we have chosen. She has done this because nature has given her innate drives of selecting the aggressive male for child rearing assistance. The re-education process will not be an easy task, but not impossible.

But, the novel, The DaVinci Code, is a good place to start as a starting point.

Origin: August 28th, 2006

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