Sunday, May 21, 2006

Forerunners to the Da Vinci Code

A couple of friends and I headed over to Roppongi Hills tonight to catch the opening of The Da Vinci Code, but we were out of luck. It was sold out! We were taking a chance trying to see it on its opening weekend, but we were all so anxious to see it. Didn't matter that the reviews have been lukewarm. The book was a real page turner, even though the writing is not even remotely literary. I don't think it was meant to be literary--just entertaining.

Back in the late 80s I had read one of the "inspirations" for The Da Vinci Code, The Holy Blood, Holy Grail , and found it fascinating. After reading it, I kept looking for more information and then read The Chalice and the Blade.

Then I attended a workshop in the Seattle area in the mid-1990s where I had the privilege of meeting Margaret Starbird, the author of Woman With the Alabaster Jar . She was a fascinating woman and spoke at length about what had inspired her to write her book about Mary Magdalene and her possible marriage to Jesus. She hadn't taken her research lightly, and had actually set out to dispell the claims made in The Holy Blood, Holy Grail .

She was a devout Catholic and had considered such a relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus not only ludicrous, but heretical as well. She spent several years completing her research--and discovered, to her horror, that there was compelling evidence supporting the liaison between Mary Magdalene and Jesus. She also revealed that her research had led her to believe that Mary Magdalene was not the prostitute we have been told she was, but was in fact one of the early deciples. To learn more about Margaret Starbird's books, look here.

Apparently, Mary Magdalene was also the apostle Thomas' nemesis. If my memory serves, according to passages in Starbird's book that she found in the Bible, it was Thomas who said to Jesus, "Why do you always kiss her on the mouth? Why do you love her more than us?" Sounded like jealousy to me. Could it have been possible that he wished to expunge Mary Magdalene's importance to Jesus and to sully her reputation as well in his gospels?

In Starbird's book, she suggests that the wedding ceremony, so prominent in the Bible, where Jesus performed the miracle of turning water into wine, was actually his own wedding. There are enough remaining clues in the Bible to lead a person with an open mind to the conclusion that it was, in fact, Jesus' own marriage ceremony. In that story, Mary "anoints" Jesus with the costly sacred nard from her alabaster jar. Nard was typically part of a dowry that the bride gave to her husband on their wedding night. It has an explicit sexual connotation. This was a ceremony that was only done by a wife with her husband. For a wedding "guest" to have done such a thing to another "guest" would have been completely illogical and shocking.

Also, from what I've read, it would have been unheard of for a man calling himself a Jew (Jesus) to preach the word of God if he were not married. Jesus was a Jew, and would most likely have followed the conventions of his time and married.

The controversy about such a possible relationship will never end, I'm sure, but I'm glad that The Da Vinci Code has sparked some interest in looking at "facts" from a new perspective. The "conquerors" always write the history, and in a sense, Thomas was one of the conquerors as one of the deciples. If he had an ax to grind about Mary Magdalene's relationship with Jesus, it makes sense that he might have wanted to portray her as the sinful prostitute.

Unfortuntely, along the way, we have all paid the price with the loss of the Sacred Feminine. What would our world look like today if a woman had been acknowledged as the dearly beloved wife of one of the world's greatest avatars?


PeterD said...

Are American movies that play in Japan run with Japanese subtitles, or dubbed into Japanese?

Tanna said...

The "facts" of history are so interesting.

Absolutely Tokyo! said...

To Peter D, I've only been to 2 movies in Tokyo, and they were not dubbed. They were subtitled so quite easy to watch.

To Tanna, yes "facts" are never really "facts." They're mostly politics, and from my education in political science, I'm come to distrust most of what I'm told by my government. Politically powerful people always, without regard to time, culture, or ethics, manage to skew the "facts" to say what they want them to say. Remember that yellowcake in Niger, and the tons of biological weapons in Iraq?

Thanks for reading my blog!


Nooh said...

Dear AT, I loved your post today! So interested, you had me hanging on your every word! I was like that with the book too and read the whole thing in less than two days, turning up at work like a zombie only to go home again and devour the remaining pages! I am yet to catch the film, but cant wait! Might try this weekend. Enjoy and would love to hear your thoughts on it once you have seen it!

Absolutely Tokyo! said...

Thanks for your sweet words, Nooh! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I wasn't planning to write anything today because I'm so busy writing some textbooks but found myself taking a break and suddenly, there was my blog posting!

I'll definitely let you know what I think of Da Vinci Code, whenever I get to see it! Hope it's soon!