Holy Blood - Holy Grail, Socrates, and the world of Contradiction
Holy Blood, Holy Grail originally published in 1982 by Michael Baigent is one man’s quest to identify the true origins of what starts out to be a small mystery and turns into the journey to identify the beginning truths of Christianity. From the mountains of southern France to the shores of Israel, this book Chronicles the modern day manifestation of an ancient secret society, and makes educated guesses about the knowledge that has placed the society, during some centuries, as the right hand of the Catholic church, and in other centuries, the objective of the Great Crusades, as the entire western world attempted to destroy their entire lineage.
A modern thriller based on the academic writings in Holy Bood, Holy Grail is the Da Vinci Code written by Dan Brown. Fast paced and hard to put down, the Da Vinci Code weaves the knowledge discussed in Holy Blood, Holy Grail, and makes it accessible to the masses through an thriller of heart pounding proportions. But as the book gets placed solidly on the New York Times bestseller list, it is always interesting to me how people digest the information.
Being interested in Transformation And Change, I am always drawn to paradigm shifting books, (and sure to be movies), and love watching them move through society. What they produce is a clear black and white choice based on a lot of gray area. The choices are; do I hold onto my childhood truths and regard this book as a work of fiction, or do I stand behind a new paradigm and shun the old. For most people in America, I often see at first many reactions, from “I knew it” to “this is fiction.” But what comes next? Is there a deep pondering, and if so what results. Do these religious earth shattering works actually create global change?
Perhaps a more intelligent question would be how do we as a society react to 100% contradictions in our reality when they come up. Especially when these contradictions are at the heart of our belief systems and religious foundations. I would love to here from everyone how they reacted. In my experience, when confronted with contradictions that are this personal we only have a few types of reactions, four to be precise. One is to react and run away from the information to our comfort truth. The second is to switch paradigms to the new view with hate for the first. The third is to find apathy, and give up on the subject. Finally, the fourth reaction is to embrace the contradiction. To accept that life on earth is opposites. This is a spiritual truth that has created a foundation for me. In Oriental Medicine we study the Yin and Yang theory. This states that not only are there opposites, but these opposites both hold truths of the other. As a matter of fact, the farther we move towards one truth, the more it starts to look like the other. This is not to say that both sides of the model are the same. They are not, but they hold a spark of the other. In the Oriental Model, at the highest order of life is the unification of all life. The idea that we are all one, experiencing ourselves through the idea of “me” or separation. The next level of life is the world of contradiction, or opposites. Below this are the world of earth and the multitude of existence. As humans we live in between these worlds, and have the ability to live our conscious lives at any stage/level. No level is bad, or good. They simply are what they are, ways of viewing life.
Socrates had a similar view of spiritual life, that there is a whole of consciousness, “the first principle of the whole” and that the only way to reach it is to take two contrasting concepts or items. The first being x and the second being y. Then, he says to allow both concepts to be both the same thing, and opposites. By allowing these two contradictions to exist and unify we ascend up to the consciousness of the first principle of the whole, and then we float back down. Socrates is very clear that this is not a process that is accessible by the mind. It is a process that he calls philosophy, or the dialectic process. By embracing contradictions in such a way, we are actually able to find more and more spiritual understanding.
Which brings us back to holy blood, Holy Grail and The Da Vinci Code. What are we to now do with the fairly well grounded facts that are revealed in these works? How do we contrast these truths with the religious “truths” we were raised with? It seems that wars were fought over these very opposing sides, at least one war we have all heard of, “The Great Crusade.” For humans to go to war over an idea indicates that the idea must be paradigm changing, and for some in power, if the paradigm shifts they will be losing power. So we fight for our “way of life.” Again, this is the opposite of the Dialectic Process of Socrates, who would say to embrace the contradictions and grow spiritually wiser. Perhaps this is why the oracle at Delphi identified Socrates as the wisest man alive, and also why everyone in power chose to murder him for his beliefs. Ah the world of contradictions.
I would recommend both of these books for everyone to read that has been raised in the western world. I have a friend that refers to history as “His Story,” and in the case of these two books, it may be clear that the story that we were told is not “Our Story.”
Posted by Mark at August 3, 2004 06:23 AM
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