Dan Brown – Inferno
Dan Brown is always kind of fun to read. Like a cross between James Patterson and a *Blank* -for-Dummies book. Short chapters that give you a Cliff Notes version course in the topic of the day.
I mean he always takes some (relatively) obscure cult and crosses it a fairly well-known Painter/Author/Whatever and 104 chapters later there you have it.
Inferno is no exception. Take a little bit of Durante degli Alighieri, more commonly known as “Dante” ( of the high school AP English or College 101 lit staple Dante’s Inferno ) , add a bizarre ideology called the Transhumanist Movement, throw in a cross-Europe chase and possible case of amnesia for Brown’s antagonist/hero Robert Langdon, and you have a book that very rarely let’s up in the narrative. That is until the last 3 or 4 chapters which are just the literary equivalent of the Scooby Gang’s ” Now we’ll tell you why Old Man Smithers did what ever he did”.
I did enjoy this outing much more than his last, The Lost Symbol, and I’ll most likely pick up whatever book he puts out next. Who knows maybe a combo of Botticelli and fake moon landing conspiracy …. ?
There are three levels of truth :
Experience, reasoning, and knowing.
All other assertions should be rejected.
The first type of truth is experience. Once you have experienced something, you know it. No person can persuade you otherwise.
The second type is truth gained by reasoning. In this case, the truth cannot be immediately verified because the subject is too small (like atomic particles) or too large (like the movement of planets through time) or too abstract (like ideas). Something may be true, but its truth is borne out by analysis rather than physical testing.
Either of these two types of truths has a range of validity. They are relative. Therefore, though truths are superior to falsehood, opinions, beliefs, and superstition, they each have limits. There is a third type of truth that is different from these two.
This is a way of direct spiritual knowing. Wholly internal, this mode is the direct experiencing of truth through the opening of higher faculties. Meditation gives one perceptions of absolute certainty. There is no doubt or need of other investigations; this knowledge is beyond words, descriptions, and rationalization. In fact, one must be careful not to let the fruits of one’s meditations pass into the realm of rationalization. This will subject you to the relativity of external truths and ruin your confidence. To avoid doubts and conflicting opinions, followers of Tao keep their revelations secret. Then what is known directly is absolutely yours.