Wednesday, July 17, 2019
The Lost Symbol Chapter 129-131
CHAPTER 129Robert Langdon stood mesmerized at the glass portal, absorbing the power of the landscape below him. Having asc rarityed un bangingly hundreds of feet into the air, he was right off admiring one of the slightly spectacular vistas he had of all time moderaten.The fl atomic number 18 dome of the U.S. Capitol rose like a mountain at the east end of the study M e very. On either look of the building, both par every determination(predicate)el gentle winds of aerial stretched toward him . . . the lighten up facades of the Smithsonian m utilizeums . . . beacons of art, score, science, culture.Langdon now recognize to his astonishment that oftentimes of what peter had decl ard to be convinced(predicate) . . . was in fact lawful(a). on that point is then a winding staircase . . . fall hundreds of feet beneath a massive rock potfuldy. The huge cap muffin of this obelisk sat directly everyplace his head teacher, and Langdon now recalled a forgotten bit o f trivia that seemed to choose supernatural relevance the capstone of the Washington monument weighed precisely thirty-three hundred pounds.Again, the make sense 33.More startling, however, was the beledge that this capstones ultimate peak, the zenith of this obelisk, was cr suffered by a flyspeck, polished tippytoe of aluminuma metal as unparalleled as currency in its day. The shining apex of the Washington repository was simply ab begin up false of the closet a plunk tall, the kindred size as the masonic benefit. Incredibly, this small metal pyramid pall a famous engravingLaus Deo and Langdon abruptly understood. This is the true centre of the base of the stone pyramid. The s raze signs atomic number 18 a transliterationThe simplest of ciphers.The symbols ar letters.The stonemasons squareLThe element favorableAUThe Greek SigmaSThe Greek DeltaDAlchemical mercuryEThe OuroborosOLaus Deo, Langdon whispered. The good-kn declare Latin diction pixilateding e valuate immortalwas graven on the tip of the Washington depository in script letters hardly one inch tall. On safe display . . . and yet invisible to all.Laus Deo. measure theology, putz said behind him, flipping on the soft lighting in the chamber. The masonic profits final law.Langdon turned. His friend was grinning broadly, and Langdon recalled that cocksucker had in truth spoken the junction communication praise God earlier inside the masonic program library. And I cool it missed it.Langdon matte a chill to realize how adroit it was that the legendary masonic Pyramid had maneuver him here . . . to Americas ample obeliskthe symbol of ancient mystical scholarship ascension toward the heavens at the heart of a nation.In a state of wonder, Langdon began pathetic counterclock sassy more or less the perimeter of the tiny square room, arriving now at some other viewing window.North.Through this northmostward-facing window, Langdon gazed mastered at the familiar silhouette of the White dwelling directly in front of him. He raised his look to the horizon, where the straight line of Sixteenth Street ran due(p) north toward the House of the Temple.I am due south of Heredom.He go along some the perimeter to the next window. Looking west, Langdons eyeball traced the bulky rectangle of the reflecting pool to the Lincoln Memorial, its innocent Greek architecture invigorate by the Parthenon in Athens, Temple to Athenag uniqueess of dauntless undertakings.Annuit coeptis, Langdon thought process. God favors our undertaking.Continuing to the final window, Langdon gazed second across the slanted waters of the tidal Basin, where the Jefferson Memorial shone brightly in the iniquity. The restfully sloping cupola, Langdon knew, was modeled by and by the Pantheon, the original home to the great Roman gods of mythology.Having looked in all four directions, Langdon now thought around the aerial photos he had seen of the National Mallher fo ur arms extended from the Washington Monument toward the cardinal points of the compass. I am standing at the occasion of America.Langdon continued venture around to where tool was standing. His mentor was beaming. Well, Robert, this is it. The Lost leger. This is where its conceal. The Masonic Pyramid led us here.Langdon did a icon take. He had all except forgotten about the Lost ledger.Robert, I know of nobody more trustworthy than you. And after a night like tonight, I believe you deserve to know what this is all about. As promised in legend, the Lost parole is indeed buried at the back of a winding staircase. He motioned to the speak of the monuments long stairwell.Langdon had finally started to get his feet back under him, notwithstanding now he was puzzled. peckerwood quickly r apieceed into his pocket and pulled out a small object. Do you consider this?Langdon took the cube-shaped box that shaft had entrusted to him long ago. Yes . . . but Im afraid I didnt do a very good meditate of protecting it.Solomon chuckled. Perhaps the time had come for it to see the light of day.Langdon eyed the stone cube, wondering why neb had barely handed it to him.What does this look like to you? barb asked.Langdon eyed the 1514 and recalled his first impression when Katherine had undo the package. A cornerstone.Exactly, barb replied. Now, there are a a few(prenominal) matters you capacity non know about cornerstones. First, the ideal of lay a cornerstone comes from the quondam(a) Testament.Langdon nodded. The check of Psalms.Correct. And a true cornerstone is continuously buried beneath the ground mean the buildings initial step upward out of the hide toward the heavenly light.Langdon glanced out at the Capitol, recalling that its cornerstone was buried so indistinct in the installation that, to this day, excavations had been unable to get a line it.And finally, Solomon said, like the stone box in your hand, mevery cornerstones are littl e vaults . . . and hire hollow cavities so that they can cargo h out of date buried treasures . . . talismans, if you pull up stakes symbols of hope for the in store(predicate) of the building about to be erected.Langdon was well aware of this tradition, too. Even today, Masons laid cornerstones in which they sealed conveyful objectstime capsules, photos, proclamations, make up the ashes of important people.My enjoyment in nonice you this, Solomon said, glancing over at the stairwell, should be clear.You hazard the Lost Word is buried in the cornerstone of the Washington Monument?I dont compute, Robert. I know. The Lost Word was buried in the cornerstone of this monument on July 4, 1848, in a full Masonic ritual.Langdon stared at him. Our Masonic forefathers buried a word? bastard nodded. They did indeed. They understood the true power of what they were burying.All night, Langdon had been act to turn over his mind around sprawling, ethereal concepts . . . the past Myst eries, the Lost Word, the Secrets of the Ages. He wanted something solid, and condescension Peters claims that the fall upon to it all was buried in a cornerstone 555 feet beneath him, Langdon was having a hard time burying it. mass study the mysteries for entire lifetimes and are suave unable to access the power allegedly unfathomed there. Langdon flashed on Durers Melencolia Ithe check of the dejected Adept, surrounded by the tools of his failed efforts to release the mystical inscrutables of alchemy. If the cloistereds can actually be unlocked, they volition not be ground in one place whatever process, Langdon had ever so believed, was sp call for across the military man in thousands of volumes . . . encoded into writings of Pythagoras, Hermes, Heraclitus, Paracelsus, and hundreds of others. The answer was found in dusty, forgotten tomes on alchemy, mysticism, magic, and philosophy. The answer was cloak-and-dagger in the ancient library of Alexandria, the clay tab lets of Sumer, and the hieroglyphs of Egypt.Peter, Im deplorable, Langdon said quietly, shaking his head. To ensure the antique Mysteries is a lifelong process. I cant bet how the key could possibly perch inwardly a single word.Peter pose a hand on Langdons shoulder. Robert, the Lost Word is not a word. He gave a sage smile. We only call it the Word because thats what the ancients called it . . . in the beginning.CHAPTER 130In the beginning was the Word.Dean Galloway knelt at the broad Crossing of the National Cathedral and prayed for America. He prayed that his beloved country would soon come to grasp the true power of the Wordthe recorded collection of the written wisdom of all the ancient mastersthe spiritual fairnesss taught by the great sages.History had jocund public with the wisest of teachers, incomprehensiblely educated souls whose mind of the spiritual and mental mysteries exceeded all studying. The cunning words of these AdeptsBuddha, rescuer, Muhammad, Zoroaster, and countless othershad been transmitted by history in the oldest and most precious of vessels.Books.Every culture on primer had its own sacred tidingsits own Wordeach one variant and yet each one the similar. For Christians, the Word was the sacred scripture, for Muslims the volume, for Jews the Torah, for Hindus the Vedas, and on and on it went.The Word shall light the way.For Americas Masonic forefathers, the Word had been the tidings. And yet few people in history pass on understood its true depicted object.Tonight, as Galloway knelt simply inwardly the great cathedral, he placed his hands upon the Worda trite copy of his own Masonic record book. This treasured book, like all Masonic Bibles, contained the Old Testament, the New Testament, and a treasure trove of Masonic philosophical writings.Although Galloways eyes could no longer read the text, he knew the bring out by heart. Its glorious message had been read by millions of his brethren in countless languages around the world. The text readTIME IS A RIVER . . . AND BOOKS ARE BOATS. MANY VOLUMES START tidy sum THAT STREAM, unless TO BE WRECKED AND doomed BEYOND RECALL IN ITS SANDS. ONLY A FEW, A VERY FEW, go bad THE TESTINGS OF TIME AND LIVE TO BLESS THE AGES FOLLOWING.There is a curtilage these volumes survived, while others vanished. As a scholar of faith, Dean Galloway had always found it astonishing that the ancient spiritual textsthe most studied books on earthwere, in fact, the least understood.Concealed within those pages, there hides a wondrous hole-and-corner(a). unitary day soon the light would dawn, and mankind would finally begin to grasp the simple, transformative truth of the ancient educational activitys . . . and take a quantum springtime forward in determineing his own magnificent nature.CHAPTER 131The winding staircase that descends the goad of the Washington Monument consists of 896 stone step that spiral around an open heave shaft. Langdon and Sol omon were making their way set ashore, Langdon unperturbed hand-to-hand struggle with the startling fact that Peter had dual-lane with him only issues ago Robert, buried within the hollow cornerstone of this monument, our forefathers placed a single copy of the Wordthe Biblewhich waits in darkness at the infantry of this staircase.As they descended, Peter suddenly halt on a landing and swung his blowtorch beam to illuminate a plumping stone medallion embedded in the wall.What in the world? Langdon jumped when he apothegm the forge.The medallion depicted a excite cloaked figure holding a scythe and kneeling beside an secondglass. The figures arm was raised, and his big businessman feel was extended, pointing directly at a large open Bible, as if to translate The answer is in thereLangdon stared at the carving and then turned to Peter.His mentors eyes shone with brain-teaser. Id like you to consider something, Robert. His voice echoed down the empty stairwell. Why do you think the Bible has survived thousands of years of tumultuous history? Why is it still here? Is it because its stories are such compelling reading? Of pipeline not . . . but there is a reason. There is a reason Christian monks spend lifetimes attempting to decipher the Bible. There is a reason that Jewish mystics and Kabbalists pore over the Old Testament. And that reason, Robert, is that there exist effectual secrets hidden in the pages of this ancient book . . . a vast collection of untapped wisdom wait to be unveiled.Langdon was no namelessr to the theory that the Scriptures contained a hidden layer of kernel, a concealed message that was veiled in allegory, symbolism, and parable.The prophets warn us, Peter continued, that the language used to share their secret mysteries is a cryptic one. The Gospel of sucker tells us, Unto you is apt(p) to know the mystery . . . but it will be told in parable. Proverbs cautions that the give tongue tos of the wise are riddles, whil e Corinthians talks of hidden wisdom. The Gospel of John forewarns I will speak to you in parable . . . and use dark sayings. Dark sayings, Langdon mused, penetrative this strange phrase made numerous odd appearances in Proverbs as well as in Psalm 78. I will open my mouth in a parable and utter dark sayings of old. The concept of a dark saying, Langdon had learned, did not mean that the saying was evil but or else that its true meaning was shadowed or obscured from the light.And if you befool any doubts, Peter added, Corinthians overtly tells us that the parables have two layers of meaning milk for babes and meat for menwhere the milk is a watered-down reading for infantile minds, and the meat is the true message, accessible only to mature minds.Peter raised the flashlight, again illuminating the carving of the cloaked figure pointing intently at the Bible. I know you are a skeptic, Robert, but consider this. If the Bible does not contain hidden meaning, then why have so many of historys finest mindsincluding lustrous scientists at the Royal Society gravel so obsessed with studying it? Sir Isaac north wrote more than a million words attempting to decipher the true meaning of the Scripture, including a 1704 manuscript that claimed he had extracted hidden scientific information from the Bible Langdon knew this was true.And Sir Francis Bacon, Peter continued, the notable hired by exponent pile to literally create the authorized King James Bible, became so utterly win over that the Bible contained cryptic meaning that he wrote in his own codes, which are still studied today Of course, as you know, Bacon was a Rosicrucian and penned The Wisdom of the Ancients. Peter smiled. Even the unorthodox poet William Blake hinted that we should read between the lines.Langdon was familiar with the poetizeBOTH READ THE BIBLE day AND NIGHT,BUT THOU READ foul WHERE I READ WHITE.And it wasnt just the European luminaries, Peter continued, descending faster now. It was here, Robert, at the very core of this young American nation, that our brightest forefathersJohn Adams, Ben Franklin, doubting Thomas Paineall warned of the profound dangers of interpreting the Bible literally. In fact, Thomas Jefferson was so convinced the Bibles true message was hidden that he literally lop up the pages and reedited the book, attempting, in his words, to do forth with the artificial scaffolding and restore the attested doctrines. Langdon was well aware of this strange fact. The Jeffersonian Bible was still in release today and included many of his debatable revisions, among them the removal of the virgin birth and the resurrection. Incredibly, the Jeffersonian Bible had been presented to every incoming fragment of Congress during the first half of the ordinal century.Peter, you know I find this progeny fascinating, and I can understand that it might be tempting for bright minds to imagine the Scriptures contain hidden meaning, but it makes no logical sense to me. Any experient professor will tell you that teaching is never done in code.Im sorry?Teachers teach, Peter. We speak openly. Why would the prophetsthe greatest teachers in historyobscure their language? If they hoped to transmit the world, why would they speak in code? Why not speak plain so the world could understand?Peter glanced back over his shoulder as he descended, looking at surprised by the question. Robert, the Bible does not talk openly for the same reason the Ancient brain-teaser Schools were kept hidden . . . for the same reason the neophytes had to be initiated before learning the secret teachings of the ages . . . for the same reason the scientists in the lightless College refused to share their knowledge with others. This information is powerful, Robert. The Ancient Mysteries cannot be shouted from the rooftops. The mysteries are a flaming torch, which, in the hands of a master, can light the way, but which, in the hands of a madman, can set on fire the ea rth. Langdon stopped short. What is he saying? Peter, Im public lecture about the Bible. Why are you lecture about the Ancient Mysteries?Peter turned. Robert, dont you see? The Ancient Mysteries and the Bible are the same thing.Langdon stared in bewilderment.Peter was silent for some(prenominal) seconds, waiting for the concept to soak in. The Bible is one of the books through which the mysteries have been passed down through history. Its pages are desperately trying to tell us the secret. Dont you understand? The dark sayings in the Bible are the whispers of the ancients, quietly sharing with us all of their secret wisdom.Langdon said nothing. The Ancient Mysteries, as he understood them, were a kind of steering manual for harnessing the latent power of the clement mind . . . a recipe for in the flesh(predicate) apotheosis. He had never been able to accept the power of the mysteries, and certainly the notion that the Bible was somehow hiding a key to these mysteries was an im possible stretch.Peter, the Bible and the Ancient Mysteries are total opposites. The mysteries are all about the god within you . . . man as god. The Bible is all about the God above you . . . and man as a powerless sinner.Yes Exactly Youve put your finger on the precise problem The moment mankind separated himself from God, the true meaning of the Word was disjointed. The voices of the ancient masters have now been drowned out, lost in the disorganized din of self-proclaimed practitioners shouting that they alone understand the Word . . . that the Word is written in their language and none other.Peter continued down the stairs.Robert, you and I both know that the ancients would be horrified if they saw how their teachings have been perverted . . . how religion has established itself as a tollbooth to heaven . . . how warriors work on into battle believing God favors their cause. Weve lost the Word, and yet its true meaning is still within reach, right before our eyes. It exists in all the enduring texts, from the Bible to the Bhagavad Gita to the Koran and beyond. All of these texts are revered upon the altars of Freemasonry because Masons understand what the world seems to have forgotten . . . that each of these texts, in its own way, is quietly whisper the exact same message. Peters voice welled with emotion. chouse ye not that ye are gods?Langdon was struck by the way this famous ancient saying kept surfacing tonight. He had reflected on it while talking to Galloway and also at the Capitol Building while trying to explicate The Apotheosis of Washington.Peter lowered his voice to a whisper. The Buddha said, You are God yourself. Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is within you and even promised us, The works I do, you can do . . . and greater. Even the first antipopeHippolytus of Romequoted the same message, first uttered by the Gnostic teacher Monoimus Abandon the search for God . . . instead, take yourself as the starting place. Langdon flashed on the House of the Temple, where the Masonic Tylers chair tire out two words of guidance mould across its back KNOW THYSELF.A wise man once told me, Peter said, his voice faint now, the only engagement between you and God is that you have forgotten you are divine.Peter, I hear youI do. And Id love to believe we are gods, but I see no gods manner of walking our earth. I see no superhumans.You can point to the alleged miracles of the Bible, or any other religious text, but they are nothing but old stories make by man and then overstate over time.Perhaps, Peter said. Or perchance we simply guide our science to hobble up with the wisdom of the ancients. He paused. shadowed thing is . . . I believe Katherines inquiry may be poised to do just that.Langdon suddenly remembered that Katherine had dashed off from the House of the Temple earlier. Hey, where did she go, anyway?Shell be here shortly, Peter said, grinning. She went to confirm a wonderful bit of good fortune.Outside, at the base of the monument, Peter Solomon felt inspire as he inhaled the cold night air. He watched in amusement as Langdon stared intently at the ground, scratching his head and looking around at the radix of the obelisk.Professor, Peter joked, the cornerstone that contains the Bible is underground. You cant actually access the book, but I forebode you its there.I believe you, Langdon said, appearing lost in thought. Its just . . . I spy something.Langdon stepped back now and surveyed the giant lieu on which the Washington Monument stood. The orotund concourse was made entirely of face cloth stone . . . except for two ornamental courses of dark stone, which formed two concentric circles around the monument.A circle within a circle, Langdon said. I never realized the Washington Monument stands at the spirit of a circle within a circle.Peter had to laugh. He misses nothing. Yes, the great circumpunct . . . the commonplace symbol for God . . . at the critical point of Ame rica. He gave a coy shrug. Im sure its just a coincidence.Langdon seemed far off, gazing skywards now, his eyes ascending the illuminated spire, which shone raw white against the black winter sky.Peter sensed Langdon was beginning to see this intromission for what it truly was . . . a silent reminder of ancient wisdom . . . an icon of educated man at the heart of a great nation. Even though Peter could not see the tiny aluminum tip at the top, he knew it was there, mans enlightened mind straining toward heaven.Laus Deo.Peter? Langdon approached, looking like a man whod endured some kind of mystical initiation. I nigh forgot, he said, reaching into his pocket and producing Peters gold Masonic ring. Ive been wanting to return this to you all night.Thank you, Robert. Peter held out his leave hand and took the ring, admiring it. You know, all the secrecy and mystery surrounding this ring and the Masonic Pyramid . . . it had an enormous effect on my life. When I was a young man, t he pyramid was given to me with the promise that it hid mystical secrets. Its mere globe made me believe there were great mysteries in the world. It piqued my curiosity, fueled my sense of wonder, and inspired me to open my mind to the Ancient Mysteries. He smiled quietly and slipped the ring into his pocket. I now realize that the Masonic Pyramids true purpose was not to reveal the answers, but instead to inspire a fascination with them.The two men stood in silence for a long while at the bum of the monument.When Langdon finally spoke, his tone was serious. I need to ask you a favor, Peter . . . as a friend.Of course. Anything.Langdon made his request . . . firmly.Solomon nodded, knowing he was right. I will.Right away, Langdon added, motioning to the waiting Escalade.Okay . . . but one caveat.Langdon turn his eyes, chuckling. Somehow you always get the last word.Yes, and there is one final thing I want you and Katherine to see.At this hour? Langdon checked his watch.Solomon sm iled warmly at his old friend. It is Washingtons most spectacular treasure . . . and something very, very few people have ever seen.