Art historians agree that Da Vinci's paintings contain hidden levels of meaning that go well beneath the surface of the paint. Many scholars believe his work intentionally provides clues to a powerful secret... a secret that remains protected to this day by a clandestine brotherhood of which Da Vinci was a member.
Well, you know, in any novel you would hope that the hero has someone to push back against, and villains - I find the most interesting villains those who do the right things for the wrong reasons, or the wrong things for the right reasons. Either one is interesting. I love the gray area between right and wrong.
If you ask three people what it means to be Christian, you will get three different answers. Some feel being baptized is sufficient. Others feel you must accept the Bible as immutable historical fact. Still others require a belief that all those who do not accept Christ as their personal savior are doomed to hell.
It's kind of a catch-22 now because since the 'Da Vinci Code,' I have access to places and people that I didn't have access to before, so that's a lot of fun for somebody like me, but I'm always trying to keep a secret. I don't want people to know what I'm writing about.
I was already writing 'The Lost Symbol' when I started to realize 'The Da Vinci Code' would be big. The thing that happened to me and must happen to any writer who's had success is that I temporarily became very self-aware.
Writing is a solitary existence. Making a movie is controlled chaos - thousands of moving parts and people. Every decision is a compromise. If you're writing and you don't like how your character looks or talks, you just fix it. But in a movie, if there's something you don't like, that's tough.
The more science I studied, the more I saw that physics becomes metaphysics and numbers become imaginary numbers. The farther you go into science, the mushier the ground gets. You start to say, 'Oh, there is an order and a spiritual aspect to science.'
I think I was a shy kid. I grew up without television. I had a dog, and we lived up in the White Mountains in the summer, and I had no friends up there. And I would just go play hide-and-seek with my dog and probably had some imaginary friends.
I'm fascinated by power, especially veiled power. Shadow power. The National Security Agency. The National Reconnaissance Office. Opus Dei. The idea that everything happens for reasons we're not quite seeing.
Faith is a continuum, and we each fall on that line where we may. By attempting to rigidly classify ethereal concepts like faith, we end up debating semantics to the point where we entirely miss the obvious - that is, that we are all trying to decipher life's big mysteries, and we're each following our own paths of enlightenment.
The Rose has always been the premiere symbol of female sexuality. In primitive goddess cults, the five petals represented the five stations of female life - birth, menstruation, motherhood, menopause, and death. And in modern times, the flowering rose's ties to womanhood are considered more visual.
He respected the power of faith, the benevolence of churches, the strength religion gave so many people . . . and yet, for him, the one intellectual suspension of disbelief that was imperative if one were truly going to "believe" had always proved too big an obstacle for his academic mindI want to believe," he heard himself say."
He could taste the familiar tang of museum air - an arid, deionized essence that carried a faint hint of carbon - the product of industrial, coal-filter dehumidifiers that ran around the clock to counteract the corrosive carbon dioxide exhaled by visitors."
This prophecy of a coming enlightenment is echoed in virtually every faith and philosophical tradition on Earth. Hindus call it the Krita Age, astrologers call it the Age of Aquarius, the Jews describe the coming of the Messiah, theosophists call it the New Age, cosmologists call it Harmonic Convergence and predict the actual date of December 21, 2012.
The Pentacle - 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.
FACT: The Priory of Sion - a European secret society founded in 1099 - is a real organization. In 1975 Paris's Bibliothque Nationale discovered parchments known as Les Dossiers Secrets, identifying numerous members of the Priory of Sion, including Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Leonardo da Vinci.
Don't tell anyone, but on the pagan day of the sun god Ra, I kneel at the foot of an ancient instrument of torture and consume ritualistic symbols of blood and flesh. ...And if any of you care to join me, come to the Harvard chapel on Sunday, kneel beneath the crucifix, and take Holy Communion.
Coincidence was a concept he did not entirely trust. As someone who had spent his life exploring the hidden interconnectivity of disparate emblems and ideologies, Langdon viewed the world as a web of profoundly intertwined histories and events. The connections may be invisible, he often preached to his symbology classes at Harvard, but they are always there, buried just beneath the surface.
In 325 A.D., the Roman Emperor Constantine decided to unify Rome under a single religion ... Historians still marvel at the brilliance with which Constantine converted the sun-worshipping 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.
The Last Supper is supposed to be thirteen men. Who is this woman? "Everyone misses it, our preconceived notions of this scene are so powerful that our mind blocks out the incongruity and overrides our eyes.
Medicine, electronic communications, space travel, genetic manipulation . . . these are the miracles about which we now tell our children. These are the miracles we herald as proof that science will bring us the answers. The ancient stories of immaculate conceptions, burning bushes, and parting seas are no longer relevant. God has become obsolete. Science has won the battle.
If I'm not at my desk by 4 AM, I feel like I'm missing my most productive hours. In addition to starting early, I keep an antique hour glass on my desk and every hour break briefly to do pushups, sit-ups, and some quick stretches. I find this helps keep the blood (and ideas) flowing.
The more science I studied, the more I saw that physics becomes metaphysics and numbers become imaginary numbers. The farther you go into science, the mushier the ground gets. You start to say, 'Oh, there is an order and a spiritual aspect to science.
Faith is universal. Our specific methods for understanding it are arbitrary. Some of us pray to Jesus, some of us go to Mecca, some of us study subatomic particles. In the end we are all just searching for truth, that which is greater than ourselves.
For me, a good thriller must teach me something about the real world. Thrillers like 'Coma,' 'The Hunt for Red October' and 'The Firm' all captivated me by providing glimpses into realms about which I knew very little - medical science, submarine technology and the law.
He could taste the familiar tang of museum air - an arid, deionized essence that carried a faint hint of carbon - the product of industrial, coal-filter dehumidifiers that ran around the clock to counteract the corrosive carbon dioxide exhaled by visitors.
...Understanding as had the ancients that angels and demons were identical- interchangeable archetypes- all a matter of polarity: the guardian angel who conquered your enemy in battle was perceived by your enemy as a demon destroyer...
History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books-books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe. As Napoleon once said, 'What is history, but a fable agreed upon?
In the words of Lynne McTaggart: "Living consciousness somehow is the influence that turns the possibility of something into something real. The most essential ingredient in creating our universe is the consciousness that observes it.
There is a statistic I heard a number of years ago: if you know somebody who is 85 years old, that person was born into a world that had a third as many people as the world does today. The population has tripled in the past 85 years.
If a reviewer is beating me up, I just say, 'Oh well, my writing is not to his or her taste.' And that's as far as it goes. Because I will simultaneously read a review where somebody says, 'Oh my God, I had so much fun reading this book and I learned so much.'
The Book of Reveal-ation in the Bible predicts an unveiling of great truth and unimaginable wisdom. The Apocalypse is not the end of the world, but rather it is the end of the world as we know it. The prophesy of the Apocalypse is just one of the Bible's beautiful messages that has been distorted.
Writing an informative yet compact thriller is a lot like making maple sugar candy. You have to tap hundreds of trees - boil vats and vats of raw sap - evaporate the water - and keep boiling until you've distilled a tiny nugget that encapsulates the essence.
Washington, D.C., has everything that Rome, Paris and London have in the way of great architecture - great power bases. Washington has obelisks and pyramids and underground tunnels and great art and a whole shadow world that we really don't see.
It's funny, I don't know where I would place myself in the literary landscape. I really just write the book that I would want to read. I put on the blinders, and I really - it is, for me, that simple.
I'm constantly trying to keep people guessing as to what I'm doing, and I will spend enormous amounts of time looking at manuscripts and asking questions, and people will say, 'I know what his next book is about.'
I often will write a scene from three different points of view to find out which has the most tension and which way I'm able to conceal the information I'm trying to conceal. And that is, at the end of the day, what writing suspense is all about.