Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code is essentially an expression of man’s longing for a different world. The plot revolves round the quest for the Holy Grail which in the end turns out to be nothing. “The End of Days” when the Grail was supposed to be revealed turns out to be nothing more than “a legend of paranoid minds,” according to a character in the novel. It is the mystery of life and our capacity for wonderment that is the real Holy Grail, the character explains.
The novel is primarily a thriller. But the author is a highly knowledgeable person who makes ample and effective use of his knowledge about the Catholic Church and its institutions. The Church has reasons to be irate with Dan Brown because the novel undermines one of the most fundamental doctrines of Catholicism: that Jesus was a bachelor. Mary Magdalene is Jesus’ wife in the novel’s exploration and their lineage continues to this day.
Ancient Greek goddess
One of the many fabrications that entered religion in its evolutionary process was the dethronement of the sacred feminine. Female gods were done away with by all monotheistic religions. Dan Brown suggests that the female god should return. There are two places in the novel where he writes that “The quest for the Holy Grail is the quest to kneel before the bones of Mary Magdalene. A journey to pray at the feet of the outcast one.” And Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute as she was portrayed later. She was the closest person to Jesus and Da Vinci’s Last Supper has her sitting next to Jesus (being chided by Peter as understood by Brown).
|Venus, ancient Roman goddess|
Will that free and rational new world order will bring back the feminine to its rightful place? This is one of the basic hopes raised by Brown’s novel. Whether the hope will be fulfilled, only time will tell. Women are certainly in a much better position today compared to the past. But the novel’s hope is not about such superficial changes. It is about a paradigm shift. It is about a world order which amalgamates the rational with the spiritual, the left with the right (hemispheres of the brain rather than the ideological left and right), yin with yang.