The Lost Symbol: The Secret Knowledge of the Ages

The Lost Symbol 

  • a 2009 novel written by Dan Brown, an American writer
  • it was released last September 15, 2009, a third Dan Brown novel which involves Robert Langdon, a Harvard Symbologist, as its main character.
  • It was number one on the New York times bestseller list for hardcover fiction for the first six weeks of its release, and remained there until January 24 of the following year.
Plot: Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to give a lecture at the US Capitol, with the invitation apparently from his mentor, a 33rd degree Mason named Peter Solomon, who is the head of the Smithsonian Museum. Solomon has also asked him to bring a small, sealed package which he had entrusted to Langdon years earlier. When Langdon arrives at the Capitol, however, he learns that the invitation he received was not from Solomon, but from Solomon’s kidnapper, Mal’akh, who has left Solomon’s severed right hand in the middle of the Capitol Rotunda in a recreation of the Hand of Mysteries. Mal’akh then contacts Langdon, charging him with finding both the Mason’s Pyramid, which Masons believe is hidden somewhere underground in Washington D.C., and the Lost Word, lest Solomon be executed.

Langdon is then met by Trent Anderson, head of the Capitol police, and Inoue Sato, the head of the CIA’s Office of Security. Examining Solomon’s hand, they discover a clue leading them to a Solomon’s Masonic altar in a room in the Capitol’s sub-basement, where they find a small pyramid lacking a capstone, with an inscription carved into it.

Sato then confronts Langdon with the security x-ray taken of his bag when he entered the Capitol, which reveals a smaller pyramid in the package Langdon brought in response to the request by the kidnapper posing as Solomon. Because the package had been sealed for years, Langdon was unaware of its contents, but Sato, dissatisfied with this, attempts to take Langdon into custody. Before she can arrest him, however, she and Anderson are assaulted by Warren Bellamy, the Architect of the Capitol and a Freemason, who then flees with Langdon during the melee.

Mal’akh is a Freemason with tattoos covering almost his entire body. He infiltrated the organization in order to obtain an ancient source of power, which he believes Langdon can unlock for him in return for Peter’s life. As Langdon deals with the events into which he has been thrust, Mal’akh destroys the Smithonsonian-sponsored laboratory of Dr. Katherine Solomon, Peter’s younger sister, where she has conducted experiments in Noetic Science. Mal’akh is also being pursued by Sato in the interests of National Security.

Mal’akh captures Langdon and seriously injures Katherine Solomon. He places Langdon in a tank of breathable oxygenated liquid, from where Langdon unlocks the code at the Pyramid’s base for Mal’akh, who then flees with Peter Solomon to the Temple Room of the Scottish Rite’s House of the Temple. Langdon and Katherine are eventually rescued by Sato and her staff who race to the House of the Temple where Mal’akh threatens to release a heavily edited video showing government officials performing secret Masonic rituals. Mal’akh, who turns out to be Peter’s long-believed dead son, Zachary Solomon, forces the Word — the circumpunct — out of his father and tattoos it on his head on the last portion of unmarked skin on his body. Mal’akh then orders Peter to sacrifice him, as he believes that it is his destiny to become a demonic spirit and lead the forces of evil. Director Sato, however, arrives at the Temple in a helicopter, which smashes the Temple’s overhead glass panel, the shards of which fatally impale Mal’akh. The CIA then thwart Mal’akh’s plan to transmit the video to several leading media channels using an EMP blast, disabling Mal’akh’s laptop computer.

Peter informs Langdon that the circumpunct Zachary tattooed on his head is not the Word. Deciding to take Langdon to the true secret behind the Word, Peter leads him to the room atop the Washington Monument and tells him that the Word — a common Christian Bible, the “Word of God” — lies in the Monument’s cornerstone, buried in the ground beneath the Monument’s staircase. Langdon realizes that the symbols on the pyramid’s base spelled out the words Laus Deo which translate to Praise God. These words are inscribed upon the small aluminum capstone atop the Monument, which is the true Masonic Pyramid.

Peter tells Langdon that the Masons believe that the Bible is an esoteric allegory written by mankind, and that, like most religious texts around the globe, it contains veiled instructions for harnessing man’s natural God-like qualities — similar to Katherine’s Noetic research — and is not meant to be interpreted as the commands of an all-powerful deity. This interpretation has been lost amid centuries of scientific skepticism and fundamentalist zealotry. The Masons have (metaphorically) buried it, believing that, when the time is right, its rediscovering will usher in a new era of human enlightenment.

Quotations

Wide acceptance of an idea is not proof of its validity.“-Robert Langdon

Knowledge is power, and the right knowledge lets man perform miraculous, almost god-like tasks.-Robert Langdon

Wealth is commonplace but wisdom is rare.“-Peter Solomon

History has taught us that the strange idea we deride today will one day be our celebrated truths.“-Dean Colin Galloway

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.“-Albert Einstein

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.“-Albert Pike

Sometimes all it takes is a tiny shift in perspective to see something familiar in totally new light.-Peter Solomon

If the infinite had not desired man to be wise, he would not have bestowed upon him the faculty of knowing.“-Manly P. Hall

Time is a river. And books are boats. Many volumes start down that stream, only to be wrecked and lost beyond recall in its sands. Only a few, a very few, endure the testings of time and live to bless the ages following.“-Robert Langdon

God was the symbol we all shared..the symbol of all the mysteries of life that we could not understand. The ancients had praised God as a symbol of our limitless human potential, but that ancient symbol had been lost over time. Until now.“-Robert Langdon