Home > The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon #3)(14)

The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon #3)(14)
Author: Dan Brown

From this foundation, Katherine Solomon's research had vaulted forward, proving that "focused thought" could affect literally anything--the growth rate of plants, the direction that fish swam in a bowl, the manner in which cells divided in a petri dish, the synchronization of separately automated systems, and the chemical reactions in one's own body. Even the crystalline structure of a newly forming solid was rendered mutable by one's mind; Katherine had created beautifully symmetrical ice crystals by sending loving thoughts to a glass of water as it froze. Incredibly, the converse was also true: when she sent negative, polluting thoughts to the water, the ice crystals froze in chaotic, fractured forms.

Human thought can literally transform the physical world.

As Katherine's experiments grew bolder, her results became more astounding. Her work in this lab had proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that "mind over matter" was not just some New Age self-help mantra. The mind had the ability to alter the state of matter itself, and, more important, the mind had the power to encourage the physical world to move in a specific direction.

We are the masters of our own universe.

At the subatomic level, Katherine had shown that particles themselves came in and out of existence based solely on her intention to observe them. In a sense, her desire to see a particle . . . manifested that particle. Heisenberg had hinted at this reality decades ago, and now it had be come a fundamental principle of Noetic Science. In the words of Lynne McTaggart: "Living consciousness somehow is the influence that turns the possibility of something into something real. The most essential ingredient in creating our universe is the consciousness that observes it."

The most astonishing aspect of Katherine's work, however, had been the realization that the mind's ability to affect the physical world could be augmented through practice. Intention was a learned skill. Like meditation, harnessing the true power of "thought" required practice. More important . . . some people were born more skilled at it than others. And throughout history, there had been those few who had become true masters.

This is the missing link between modern science and ancient mysticism.

Katherine had learned this from her brother, Peter, and now, as her thoughts turned back to him, she felt a deepening concern. She walked to the lab's research library and peered in. Empty.

The library was a small reading room--two Morris chairs, a wooden table, two floor lamps, and a wall of mahogany bookshelves that held some five hundred books. Katherine and Peter had pooled their favorite texts here, writings on everything from particle physics to ancient mysticism. Their collection had grown into an eclectic fusion of new and old . . . of cutting-edge and historical. Most of Katherine's books bore titles like Quantum Consciousness, The New Physics, and Principles of Neural Science. Her brother's bore older, more esoteric titles like the Kybalion, the Zohar, The Dancing Wu Li Masters, and a translation of the Sumerian tablets from the British Museum.

"The key to our scientific future," her brother often said, "is hidden in our past." A lifelong scholar of history, science, and mysticism, Peter had been the first to encourage Katherine to boost her university science education with an understanding of early Hermetic philosophy. She had been only nineteen years old when Peter sparked her interest in the link between modern science and ancient mysticism.

"So tell me, Kate," her brother had asked while she was home on vacation during her sophomore year at Yale. "What are Elis reading these days in theoretical physics?"

Katherine had stood in her family's book-filled library and recited her demanding reading list.

"Impressive," her brother replied. "Einstein, Bohr, and Hawking are modern geniuses. But are you reading anything older?"

Katherine scratched her head. "You mean like . . . Newton?"

He smiled. "Keep going." At twenty-seven, Peter had already made a name for himself in the academic world, and he and Katherine had grown to savor this kind of playful intellectual sparring.

Older than Newton? Katherine's head now filled with distant names like Ptolemy, Pythagoras, and Hermes Trismegistus. Nobody reads that stuff anymore.

Her brother ran a finger down the long shelf of cracked leather bindings and old dusty tomes. "The scientific wisdom of the ancients was staggering . . . modern physics is only now beginning to comprehend it all."

"Peter," she said, "you already told me that the Egyptians understood levers and pulleys long before Newton, and that the early alchemists did work on a par with modern chemistry, but so what? Today's physics deals with concepts that would have been unimaginable to the ancients."

"Like what?"

"Well . . . like entanglement theory, for one!" Subatomic research had now proven categorically that all matter was interconnected . . . entangled in a single unified mesh . . . a kind of universal oneness. "You're telling me the ancients sat around discussing entanglement theory?"

"Absolutely!" Peter said, pushing his long, dark bangs out of his eyes. "Entanglement was at the core of primeval beliefs. Its names are as old as history itself . . . Dharmakaya, Tao, Brahman. In fact, man's oldest spiritual quest was to perceive his own entanglement, to sense his own interconnection with all things. He has always wanted to become `one' with the universe . . . to achieve the state of `at-one-ment.' " Her brother raised his eyebrows. "To this day, Jews and Christians still strive for `atonement' . . . although most of us have forgotten it is actually `at- one-ment' we're seeking."

Katherine sighed, having forgotten how hard it was to argue with a man so well versed in history. "Okay, but you're talking in generalities. I'm talking specific physics."

"Then be specific." His keen eyes challenged her now.

"Okay, how about something as simple as polarity--the positive/negative balance of the subatomic realm. Obviously, the ancients didn't underst--"

"Hold on!" Her brother pulled down a large dusty text, which he dropped loudly on the library table. "Modern polarity is nothing but the `dual world' described by Krishna here in the Bhagavad Gita over two thousand years ago. A dozen other books in here, including the Kybalion, talk about binary systems and the opposing forces in nature."

Katherine was skeptical. "Okay, but if we talk about modern discoveries in subatomics--the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, for example--"

"Then we must look here," Peter said, striding down his long bookshelf and pulling out another text. "The sacred Hindu Vendantic scriptures known as the Upanishads." He dropped the tome heavily on the first. "Heisenberg and Schrodinger studied this text and credited it with helping them formulate some of their theories."

The showdown continued for several minutes, and the stack of dusty books on the desk grew taller and taller. Finally Katherine threw up her hands in frustration. "Okay! You made your point, but I want to study cutting-edge theoretical physics. The future of science! I really doubt Krishna or Vyasa had much to say about superstring theory and multidimensional cosmological models."

"You're right. They didn't." Her brother paused, a smile crossing his lips. "If you're talking superstring theory . . ." He wandered over to the bookshelf yet again. "Then you're talking this book here." He heaved out a colossal leather-bound book and dropped it with a crash onto the desk. "Thirteenth-century translation of the original medieval Aramaic."

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