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Original Essays | September 18, 2014

Lin Enger: IMG Knowing vs. Knowing



On a hot July evening years ago, my Toyota Tercel overheated on a flat stretch of highway north of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A steam geyser shot up from... Continue »
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The Lost Symbol

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The Lost Symbol Cover

ISBN13: 9780307950680
ISBN10: 0307950689
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Reading Group Guide

1. How familiar were you with Freemasonry before reading the novel? How did your impressions of the organization shift throughout the book, from the chilling prologue to Peter Solomon's philosophical comments near the end?

2. How do Peter Solomon's students (including Robert) reconcile their admiration for him with the knowledge that he is a Mason? Did it surprise you to learn about well-known American historical figures who were Masons and to read about scientists who were intrigued by mysticism and other occult belief systems?

3. Discuss the novel's grand theme of architecture. How did The Lost Symbol change the way you think about the way buildings are designed and the intention of their architects (creators)? What most surprised you about the tributes to the past—and visions of the future—that are captured in the landmarks of Washington, D.C.?

4. Mal'akh considers the polarity of angels and demons noting that "the guardian angel who conquered your enemy in battle was perceived by your enemy as a demon destroyer." What does this indicate about Mal'akh's perception of himself in the world? How can his evil nature be explained? Why is he only able to consider his own suffering, while relishing the suffering of others?

5. How did you react to Katherine Solomon's work in Noetic Science? What motivates her to investigate the tangible aspects of the human soul (attempting to weigh it, even)? How would it change the world if there were more tangible evidence of the spiritual world? How is Katherine Solomon's perception of science different from Robert Langdon's?

6. At the heart of the novel is a quest to unlock wisdom, and the need to keep it "locked" because it can be used for destructive purposes. Do you believe that freedom of knowledge (Wikipedia, a world wide web) is a blessing or a curse?

7. The novel's epigraph, from Manly Hall's The Secret Teachings of All Ages, encourages readers to become aware of the meaning of the world. What mysteries about the world, and life, do you think are the most important ones to explore?

8. How did Mal'akh amass enough power to turn his personal plot into a national security threat? What does his rise to power indicate about the potential of mind over body and a human being's ability to play a variety of roles for unsuspecting audiences?

9. The final chapter raises intriguing questions about the possibility of a multi-faceted God and the potential to find God in all of humanity. Can there be a universal definition of enlightenment?

10. While interpreting the Masonic Pyramid's final inscription, Robert Langdon tries to bring order out of chaos by interpreting each symbol as a metaphor. Peter Solomon instructs him to be literal and accept the inscription as a true map. What does this exchange say about the best way to interpret all sacred messages?

11. What truths do Katherine Solomon and Robert Langdon experience in the epilogue, at sunrise, atop America's ultimate symbol? From your perspective, what does the Capitol symbolize?

12. What does The Lost Symbol indicate about the power of the Word—both ancient texts and bestselling twenty-first-century novels?

13. What common thread runs through this and each of Dan Brown's previous works? What makes The Lost Symbol unique? How has Robert Langdon's perspective changed from Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code?

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Dana Welcker, July 28, 2013 (view all comments by Dana Welcker)
Dan Brown continues to make me stop and think and consider new ideas. If you are open minded you will love it. As an American that has visited D.C. In the past he makes me want to go again and check out the sites mentioned in the book! I was engaged until the last page was turned.
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balmie, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by balmie)
Informative, captivating page-turner as well as easy to read. Holds your attention to the very end . The added bonus of true facts surrounding the Masons' actual history enabled me to learn stuff that I always enjoy. Bravo Dan Brown
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307950680
Author:
Brown, Dan
Publisher:
Anchor Books
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
Popular Fiction-Suspense
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
624
Dimensions:
8 x 5.2 x 1.08 in 0.94 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Contemporary Thrillers
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Suspense

The Lost Symbol New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.00 In Stock
Product details 624 pages Anchor Books - English 9780307950680 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , US
"Synopsis" by , Famed Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon answers an unexpected summons to appear at the U.S. Capitol Building. His planned lecture is interrupted when a disturbing object—artfully encoded with five symbols—is discovered in the building. Langdon recognizes in the find an ancient invitation into a lost world of esoteric, potentially dangerous wisdom. When his mentor Peter Solomon—a longstanding Mason and beloved philanthropist—is kidnapped, Langdon realizes that the only way to save Solomon is to accept the mystical invitation and plunge headlong into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and one inconceivable truth . . . all under the watchful eye of Dan Brown's most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C., The Lost Symbol is an intelligent, lightning-paced story with surprises at every turn--Brown's most exciting novel yet.
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