Sincerely Yours… No Wax, Promise

November 19, 2010

Kindle’s website tells you what the most highlighted books on Amazon are.

#2 is the Bible.

#1 is …drumroll…
The Lost Symbols by Dan Brown.

Why has Dan Brown so captured America’s imagination? Maybe it’s because he combines treasure-hunting plots with cliff-hanger writing tactics, while eroding the beliefs of Christianity and Catholicism so subtly that Middle America doesn’t even notice “Satan” is whispering in their ear – and that he’s replacing their antiquated beliefs with dreaded “New Age” thinking about cosmic energy and unity and intention. Maybe it’s because he says things that resonate with the deep dark secret that people know in their heart of hearts is true; that god is not found in a church or religion, but inside of themselves. They are god. YOU are god. Each of us is our own god, ruling the temples of our lives and bodies. I think there is a huge shift happening in the world, in which people are reclaiming their own personal power, and their own personal divinity.

Some of the most-highlighted quotes:

‘That which is impenetrable to us really exists. Behind the secrets of nature remains something subtle, intangible, and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion.’ ” “Who said that?” Langdon said. “Gandhi?” “No,” Katherine interjected. “Albert Einstein.”

“The religion of the future, Einstein had predicted, will be a cosmic religion. It will transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology.”

“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.”

“From the Crusades, to the Inquisition, to American politics—the name Jesus had been hijacked as an ally in all kinds of power struggles. Since the beginning of time, the ignorant had always screamed the loudest, herding the unsuspecting masses and forcing them to do their bidding. They defended their worldly desires by citing Scripture they did not understand. They celebrated their intolerance as proof of their convictions. Now, after all these years, mankind had finally managed to utterly erode everything that had once been so beautiful about Jesus.”

Of course, it just occurred to me – this is a specific demographic that’s reading on and highlighting in Kindle books. Educated, affluent, young to middle-aged. But aren’t they the ones who form culture? It still gives me hope.

Then again, maybe the reason Dan Brown’s so popular is because he includes fascinating and random historical tidbits like this:

“Sin-cere. Since the days of Michelangelo, sculptors had been hiding the flaws in their work by smearing hot wax into the cracks and then dabbing the wax with stone dust. The method was considered cheating, and therefore, any sculpture “without wax”—literally sine cera—was considered a “sincere” piece of art. The phrase stuck. To this day we still sign our letters “sincerely” as a promise that we have written “without wax” and that our words are true.”

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