The Da Vinci Code
By Mike Derderian
I woke up to find myself lying on an asphalt road that branched into two paths. The first was craggy and covered with sharp thorns; the second was smooth and I spied no obstacle on its expansive surface.
Jesus Christ was standing at the first inviting me to use his path. “Your road is full of thorns and is hard and can’t you see I am barefoot,” I wept. A voice coming from the entrance of the second path all of a sudden whispered to my ears, “come use my path it is easy, son of man. Why go cross the hard path when I can offer thee ease of mind and body?”
It was Satan. I woke up again but this time I found myself standing in front of a dusty window shop that exhibited a collection of framed paintings and pictures. Inside I saw Christ’s fraught countenance, as a crown of thorns caressed his weary temple, graced within a humble wooden frame. As many before him and many after him Christ inspired millions to a life of spirituality and faith and as the grains of time sift through one side of the hourglass to the other the burden on his battered shoulders grows heavier; yet he still stands firm.
Quoting Adso from Umberto Eco’s prologue to In the Name of the Rose I would like to say, “everything is on the wrong path. In those days, thank God, I acquired from my master the desire to learn and sense of the straight way, which remains even when the path is tortuous.”
How do we know that we are on the right path? A week ago I strayed away from the path. I sinned and bought a pirated copy of Ron Howard’s The ‘Da Vinci Code’ starring Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno, Alfred Molina and Paul Bettany. I bought it for JD1 even though I regard myself a staunch advocator of copyrights and original CDs and DVDs and refuse to buy copies.
It wasn’t that I wanted to know what the film was about for I have already read the book. They say curiosity killed the cat but at least it died knowing something or imagining it knew something. Ever since I was a child I regarded imagination God’s greatest gift to us for without imagination literature, science and religion would not exist.
How many of you tried to envision how baby Jesus looked like after being given birth to by Virgin Mary? Now when John Milton wrote his Paradise Lost and Dante Alighieri wrote his Divine Comedy they surely must have antagonized a lot of people especially the clergy. However, many years after the publishing of their works the two writers have become literary pillars and their works are now placed among the best works of fiction humanity have ever produced.
I had to watch the film that I know would be banned in Jordan for I wanted to see how Howard worked with Dan Brown’s book. The albino drew a pistol from his coat and aimed the barrel through the bars, directly at the curator. “You should not have run.” His accent was not easy to place. “Now tell me where it is.”
“I told you already,” the curator stammered, kneeling defenseless on the floor of the gallery. “I have no idea what you are talking about!” The above excerpt is from the book’s opening, which is very literally used in the opening scene of Howard’s movie but of course with a different dialogue.
Brown’s book is more disturbing than Ron Howard’s panned film. As the pages kept turning in my trembling hands I reached the last line: I was shocked at the idea that Christianity’s greatest symbol wasn’t what I grew up with, and which became intrinsic within my soul.
One of the film’s taglines reads “Seek the Truth” now if I am going to embrace this truth because Dan Brown wrote that Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper had Mary Magdalene sitting next to Jesus I am not worthy of my religion. So I say nice try and a good plot for a book but nothing more.