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Tracking the Evolutionary Threads of Religious Symbolism in Film

By Mildred Eldridge

A thesis submitted to the School of Communications of Webster University in partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master’s in Media Communications

December, 2009

St. Louis, Missouri

¤ Copyright by Mildred Eldridge ALL RIGHTS RESERVED (2009)

The author hereby grants to Webster University permission to reproduce and distribute publicly paper and electronic copies of this thesis document in whole or in part for educational purposes.


ABSTRACT Tracking the Evolutionary Threads of Religious Symbolism in Film

By Mildred Eldridge

Film has often been laden with religious symbolism. Film heightens the curiosity of the unknown and hints to the dark secrets harbored within them, adding to the sensationalism of movie watching. Scholars that analyze film’s use of religious symbols, frown at Hollywood for being insensitive to content; altering it, using religious symbols as merely a production value and box office source of revenue. While scholarly works continue in this area, it is referenced in, Screening The Sacred, that further study should be in a framework for the viewer (Martin, Oswalt 498). This research is not considered a framework for the viewer. This research will discover the historical meaning of popular religious symbolism in film. It will put the audience in a time machine, traveling from antiquities to the 21st century, tracking the symbols evolutionary threads. The five films selected will give the audience thought provoking entertainment in which to look at religion, philosophy and culture.

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A look at The Librarian, for mythical themes pre 325AD, The Seventh Sign, for apocalyptic themes, The Matrix, as 21st century representations, The DaVinci Code and Zeitgeist, The Movie; as a new media film, focusing on religious symbolism in relation to socio-political issues. The audience will see religious symbols in film through a simple thoughtprovoking process, that will heighten awareness by identifying the correlation between religion and Hollywood; seeing that the symbol remains the same, but adapts to contemporary culture over time. Because a symbol is capsulated with each person’s beliefs and values, the true meaning lies within the viewer. The hope is to engage the viewer into a critical thinking mode looking at religious iconography.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Outline…………………………………………………………………………………..v Chapter I. Introduction………………….………………….…………………..…...1 Chapter II. Gospel According To Hollywood……..……………………………….9 Chapter III. The Librarian ………………….……………………………………….11 Chapter IV. The Seventh Sign ……………………………………………………20 Chapter V. The DaVinci Code ……………………………………………………27 Chapter VI. The Matrix……………………………………………………………...41 Chapter VII. Zeitgeist, The Movie…………………………………………………..49 Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………55 Work Cited……………………………………………………………………………65 Filmography…………………………………………………………………………..70 Appendix………………………………………………………………………………73

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OUTLINE I

INTRODUCTION A. The Audience B. The Filmmaker

II THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO HOLLYWOOD A. The ‘Reaching Power’ of Film III THE LIBRARIAN INTRODUCTION A. Identifying Religious Symbols 1. Themes 2. Archetypes 3. Scene Selection B. Symbols Evolutionary Threads Past C. Symbols Evolutionary Threads Present D. Moving Forward: Adapting To Culture Today 1. Social a. Consumerism, fashion E. Other Metaphors IV THE SEVENTH SIGN INTRODUCTION A. Identifying Religious Symbols 1. Themes

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2. Archetypes 3. Scene Selection B. Symbols Evolutionary Threads Past C. Symbols Evolutionary Threads Present D. Moving Forward: Adapting To Culture Today 1. Social a. Biblical metaphors E. Other metaphors V THE DAVINCI CODE INTRODUCTION A. Identifying Religious Symbols 1. Themes 2. Archetypes 3. Scene Selection B. Symbols Evolutionary Threads Past C. Symbols Evolutionary Threads Present D. Moving Forward: Adapting To Culture Today 1. Political a. Secret Societies 2. Social a. Art/Architecture VI The Matrix INTRODUCTION

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A. Identifying Religious Symbols 1. Themes 2. Archetypes 3. Scene Selection B. Symbols Evolutionary Threads Past C. Symbols Evolutionary Threads Present D. Moving Forward: Adapting To Culture Today 1. Social a. Names VII Zeitgeist, The Movie A. Identifying Religious Symbols 1. Themes 2. Archetypes 3. Scene Selection B. Symbols Evolutionary Threads Past C. Symbols Evolutionary Threads Present D. Moving Forward: Adapting To Culture Today 1. Political a. Agenda 2. Social b. Family Shields CONCLUSION A. Looking Through A New Lens

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION Situation Analysis Film is a medium that can envelope its audience with cinematology. Films offer viewers the ability to experience new worlds and ideologies. Symbols represent a form of nonverbal communication that has a great impact on the viewing audience. It can affect ones worldview based on how it is used as an image of representation. As symbols evolve over time, they can look different, based on the period in history. Mercia Eliade in his boo, Images and Symbols explains, “ that symbols are endless successions of ‘forms’ which, on the different levels of dream, myth, ritual, theology, mysticism, metaphysics, etc., are trying to ‘realize’ the archetype. A great many of them are ‘historical’ in the sense that they result from the evolution or the imitation of a previously existing form” (Eliade,120). The viewer’s knowledge of symbolism, as it pertains to religion and culture, will affect how the films cinematic portrayal of heaven or hell, God or the apocalypse, and other metaphors and allegories will speak to an audiences worldview and belief system. Therefore, there is a need to historically analyze the symbols to fully understand how they work within culture. The paper examines the manifested and or latent message of symbols used in film by tracking their origins. The purpose of this paper is to raise awareness of religious symbolism in film and to begin to see past the big screen and ask, is it possible that…? Once that question is asked, critical thought begins and leads to a new awareness.


This research analyzes symbols from ancient to modern culture and uncovers film’s depiction of religious symbols its manifestation through mythology in the themes, archetypes, and metaphors. The research includes most elements of media literacy, such as ideology, nonverbal, and historical, discussed in, Approaches To Media Literacy, by Art Silverblatt, Ferry, and Finan. Emphasis on Chapter 1, Historical Analysis. Although the primary focus of this paper is historical religious symbolism, furthers research will enhance the study on audiences perception of symbolic images in film. The Audience: Film is a type of language that can speak to an audience and the need for pleasure and entertainment. Film can also influence an audience ideology on life, death, afterlife, salvation as well as political and social views. In short, film expresses and demonstrates cultural beliefs and value. Rick Coger, a Professor at Concordia University teaches in a critical thinking class that, “ until your beliefs have been tested, you really don’t know what you believe”. When symbols and images are presented on the big screen with content, outside our belief system; and not shown in its best light; the message, whether latent of manifested, becomes essential in how the audience perceives heaven, hell, God, apocalypse and eschatology. It can also result in holding the audiences emotions hostage, playing on the emotions motivated by curiosity, humor, fear or guilt. Several questions that can be asked come from one of the movies for analysis, The DaVinci Code, character, Professor, Robert Landon: Symbols are a language that can help us understand our past. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, 2


but which words?� Understanding our past determines actively our abilities to understand the present. So, how do we sift truth from belief? How do we write our own history, religiously? or culturally? How do we define ourselves? How do we take years, centuries of historical distortion to define original truth? All of the questions become a way to engage the viewer. Therefore, they must be viewed with an open eye and willingness to track symbols and their evolutionary threads. The viewer will have a new look at religion in film outside their belief system, and ultimately increase awareness of their worldview.

The Filmmaker: Filmmakers that have produced religious films or films with religious symbolism, come from many different backgrounds with different religious influences as children. All have a common thread that pushed them out of a religious denomination into science and enlightenment. Filmmakers seek to find the connection in matter, physics and metaphysics and how it all connects. It is represented in their films, reflecting their points of view on nature, life, death, afterlife, salvation and world domination. Jonathan Feit, in his book, Sacred Symbols and the Depiction of Religions in Millennial Movies (1997-2002), comments, Considering that the filmmakers burden is eased when the context alone is enough to move or rile an audience, he or she will often import the actions, gods, and symbols of fringe religious groups into films—but only superficially or stereo3


typically, given an unfortunate fact that most filmmakers never take time to become independently expert on the religions which they allude (136). Once an audience buys into the message, manifest or latent, the picture of how people see the world and ideology change; thus, the filmmakers’ suggests another way to look at things. Feit contends that the consequences of filmmakers pushing their ideology on others can result in viewers bias and stereotypes (136). The Filmmaker hypersensationalizes the production vales can alter perception in a positive or negative light of images and dialogue, based on the filmmakers point-of-view. To be a successful filmmaker, a film must make money. And in the words of John Cooper in his book, Celluloid and Symbols, brings to light, “whenever a film is produced largely under on man’s direction, that man knows that his product will not be sold to a single art-fancier. Instead, he knows a million-dollar investment must interest millions of ticket buyers in a mass world culture (57). In Keys To Media Literacy, Art Silverblatt notes in Chapter 4, film producer, Roger Corman first conducts a market research to find a title that would catch interest in an audience. Then he writes and produces the film based on the title. (85) PREMISE Does film’s depiction of religious symbols represent a true historical interpretation for the audience? Accepting the fact that evolving cultures dictate a symbols nuances; an historical analysis of selected representative films will identify the symbols origins,

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trace their evolutionary threads and look at how they evolve over time into popular culture. LIMITATIONS This research may create a barrier in the attempt to keep philosophy and religion for the viewer separate from the historical analysis of symbolism. The intent is not to debate philosophy and rational thought, only to support it; nor is it to proselytize or convert the faith- based audience.

LITERATURE REVIEW The study of film and religion has captured the interest of numerous scholars. However, there are scholarly works that can support this research of religious symbolism in film. Resources for identifying the symbols are the images from the films, which are in the title bar of each movie being analyzed unless otherwise captioned, books from National Geographic, Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manley Hall, Pictorial Bible Dictionary and Robert Hieronimus book, Founding Fathers, Secret Societies. Several comprehensive websites are used as well as digital photography. Resources of books and articles for content include: Jonathan Feit’s, Sacred Symbols and the Depiction of Religions in Millennial Movies, gives insight from a media literacy perspective of analyzing mainstream cinema’s production values and audience perception. From prominent religions to subtile religious undertones he analyzes films near the millennial shift of the year 2000, Films such as, The Devils Advocate, Dogma, and Stigmata where religion is prominent 5


and explicit, to Bless the Child, The Siege, and 8mm, in which religion shows up as a subtle yet affective undertone addressing the audiences fear of the unknown. Seeing & Believing: Religion & Value in the Movies, by Margaret R Miles, examines the secular bias of films use against religion she proposes a revised understanding of religion by examining contemporary popular film as a transmitter of attitudes and values. Miles argues that, “audiences may develop an enhanced selfknowledge and understanding of American society—that someone who certainly enjoys entertainment might want, on occasion, to think seriously about what she or he sees at the movies” (14). Joel W. Martin and Conrad E. Ostwalt, Screening The Sacred: Religion, Myth and Ideology in Popular American Film, is a collection of essays that takes a three part critical approach to film and religion—theological, mythological and ideological from a social and political viewpoint through analysis of popular films such as Platoon, Apocalypse Now and The Seventh Seal, Little Buddha, Star Wars, to name a few. The book argues for a holistic approach in the intersection of religion and film, and suggests further study to implement a framework for a viewer-oriented methodology. Carl Skrade’s book, Celluloid and Symbols, addresses film as being the medium or the symbol, where man can answer his questions of existence through film’s representation of man’s own reflections. Other Resources such as Dan Brown’s series of, The DaVinci Code, that brings out the historical context of religious symbols as it relates to the early church, art and secret societies. Mercea Eliade, in his collection of books, Myth of the Eternal Return, expounds on how the symbol remains the same, but adapts to contemporary culture. This is the take off point for this research. However, this research is different in that the authors 6


have taken the approach of psycho analyzing film’s use of religion as well as the audience’s perception of what is seen in film. This work is not in opposition to the previous works on the subject, but will take a more prescriptive approach toward awareness. Suggesting to the audience or viewer to look at the religious symbolism used in film, not as a production value, but identifying the religious symbols origins and how they evolved over time into contemporary culture. This is a one, two, three step approach to engage the viewer into a mode of critical thought to see religious symbolism through a new lens. Additionally encouraging the viewer to question the manner religious symbolism is portrayed in film.

Methodology and Work Plan Religious symbols have evolved and taken on many different meanings. They are like chameleons; therefore, an analysis of religious symbols used in film warrants scholarly efforts. The representative films identify and classify symbols according to their mythical themes. An appendix is provided. The resources used to identify the symbols are the images from the films, which are in the title bar of each movie being analyzed unless otherwise captioned, books from National Geographic, Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manley Hall, Pictorial Bible Dictionary and Robert Hieronimus book, Founding Fathers, Secret Societies. Several comprehensive websites are used as well as digital photography. The paper provides a historical analysis of selected films that are laden with religious symbolism will be embedded in religion, theology, philosophy, socio-political, and mythic themes. The next step is to work backwards to its origin and the culture that

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created it. Then identifying them as they have evolved over time into contemporary culture. Once the origin is identified, an historical analysis is done through identification exploration and finally a mythical application of religious symbolism. The films representative of symbols have been carefully selected to identify the areas that affect culture, as it looks at ideological themes of worldview, birth, life, death, afterlife and world events such as, eschatology, prophecy, and apocalyptic and spiritual enlightenment. Since the selected films are based on the Judeo-Christian theology, that is the primary focus of this examination. The focus will be to illustrate symbols within the films and uncover explicit and implicit content and messages. The representative films used are: The Librarian and The Seventh Sign, for examining an historical analysis of religious symbolism from ancient civilization. The Seventh Sign, for apocalyptic metaphors as it relates to the Bible. The DaVinci Code, focusing on art as symbols and secret order societies. The Matrix and Zeitgeist, The Movie, looking and social and political influences through religious symbolism, and The Matrix is chosen to show how symbols have evolved over time into contemporary and futuristic culture. The format will be the same for each film for the purpose of acuity or visual clarity and consistency. An appendix is also supplied to give detailed information on images. In conclusion, this analysis will offer the viewer a new lens for critical thinking and awareness as to the significance of symbolism and images in film. There are three suggested questions a viewer can ponder while watching film. 1. What is the symbol? 2. Where did it originate? 3. How is it represented today? 8


CHAPTER II: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO HOLLYWOOD Hollywood is a moneymaking giant. It works on the current events of the times and capitalizes on it in the form of film that will speak to the audience emotions depending on the political climate and uncertainties. It is generally accepted that Hollywood capitalizes on fears and emotions. Based on social and political climate that is when a rise in apocalyptic films surface. Jonathan Feit comments, “Hollywood tends to set trends while at the same time having its proverbial finger set squarely on the popular pulse”. He goes on to quote Rafferty (2002), “that with prosperity we all naturally wanted more and Hollywood is happy to oblige ( 244)” ( Feit,134). Joel Martin and Conrad Oswalt, Jr., in their book, Screening The Sacred, support and cite Joseph Cunneen that, “films are originated toward profit and an inevitable bias toward realism”. Joel Martin and Conrad Oswalt Jr., go on to suggest because of this direction of profit and mass audience that directors are not allowed to make personal movies that suggest the depth of religious mystery” (3). Production value techniques create the dramatic effect that hooks an audience. Some of those effects are: Shooting images of people upwards to give power or appearance of larger than life. Using a biased method of dissemination of information/propaganda. Rewriting history to maintain power over other cultures and force subordination, and masking images that are a contradiction to a given historical situation. So it chooses the information that appears (Sliverblatt, 205). The key word is masking, and that is where attention and awareness is needed. This can be achieved through analyzing the historical content and context of religious symbols in film.

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Martin, in Screening The Sacred says, “Hollywood reinterprets, appropriates, invents, or rejects inherited archetypes, mythic stories, ritual acts, symbolic figures, and spiritual values will teach us a great deal about religion in the contemporary United States” (6).

THE ‘REACHING POWER’ OF FILM Filmmakers use themes and symbols of Eastern, Egyptian and Judeo-Christian philosophies that represent the major religions of the world. Its ‘reaching power’ is International and its message becomes viral overnight. We will explore this later when we get into the representative film best suited for discussion. Michael Bird suggests in his book, Religion and Film that film is seductive and the audience accepts the big screen as realism and seldom doubts the reality of what is presented. “There is a hunger of human beings, in the midst of a technological civilization, to have their lives taken up into a more potent, magical realm and film is happy to give it to us” (109). In order to not fall into this trap, a conscious effort to analyze images being flashed before us on the big screen is critical, especially in religious symbolism. Now, let’s go to the movies!

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CHAPTER III: THE LIBRARIAN Fig.

(see appendix for detailed explanation *figures as represented in the movie)

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The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice (2008) Librarian Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle) must rescue a kidnapped scholar and track down the legendary Judas Chalice to save the world from a dangerous vampire, in the third installment of this popular adventure film series. Carsen teams up with a mysterious woman (Stana Katic) and sets out for New Orleans, hoping to find the powerful chalice before it falls into the hands of a cult that believes it can revive the infamous Vlad Dracul. Bob Newhart co-stars in an Emmy-nominated role. (Netflix) Starring: Noah Wyle, Bob Newhart Director: Jonathan Frakes The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines (2006) In this highly anticipated sequel to TNT's popular action blockbuster, Noah Wyle returns as Flynn Carsen, the slightly nerdy librarian whose double life as an archaeologist leads to heart-pounding adventure and intrigue. Flynn's sober academic life is interrupted when he's called upon to once again save the world's most valuable antiquities hidden within the depths of the fabled mines of King Solomon -- this time with a stunning twist of fate. (Netflix) Starring: Gabrielle Anwar, Olympia Dukakis Director: Jonathan Frakes

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INTRODUCTION The Librarian and both sequels: Curse of the Judas Chalice and Return to King Solomon’s Mines, are fiction. The symbols used are actual artifacts that represent cultures of the past. However, the story behind the symbols as they reveal themselves take twist and turns. This analysis will concentrate on the symbolism used in the films, their origins and their evolvement over time. These movies are heavy with symbolism. Many of the figures and pictures shown illustrate and demonstrate the evolutionary threads past and present. Mircea Eliade in his book, The Sacred and the Profane, remarks that cinema is the ‘dream factory’ and how it takes over and employs countless mythical motifs—the fight between hero and monster, initiatory combats and ordeals, paradigmatic figures and images (the maiden, the hero, the paradisal landscape, hell, and so on (205). The themes in the films are good versus evil, the elements of nature and paradisematic figures; fighting for control of all space and time. In order to demonstrate these themes, the trilogy uses Bible stories of resurrection and redemption. Film uses archetypical characters to represent common images and tell a story that resonate to viewers. The Librarian trilogies use religious archetypes to explain significant points. This popular thematic approach to telling a story represents the stylistic story telling of The Librarian trilogies. There are several archetypes that can be found within all of the movies. There are: Flynn the Librarian as ‘The Hero’ and ‘Savior of the World’. Johnson who is ‘The Other’ or ‘The Wise One’ as Flynn’s guiding light. This section explores Flynn, The Librarian character in all three movies. The character demonstrates ancient historical religious symbols. The movies are saturated

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with religious symbolism based on a Christian philosophy, such as, the allegory of Judas betraying Jesus. Here is a scene in Judas Chalice that will demonstrate: Flynn: Dagger man in Latin is Iscariots, etymology of the name Iscariot = Judas Iscariot, the cup of the dagger man = chalice made from the 30 pieces of silver used by Judas to betray Christ…. twist in the movie has another part of the legend that the chalice has the power to resurrect vampires”. Johnson: Judas hung himself and curse was to roam the land forever as a vampire. Only the tree of Aspen, which is where he hung himself, can kill him. (Frakes, Curse) In King Solomon’s Mines, the map consisted of keys through parts of poetry. Gabrielle: “…connected the two parts of the map and identified the markings to reference to the old testament of the Bible, specifically the Song of Solomon”. (Frakes, King Solomon) The artifacts found in the mines were: The original book of Genesis, Dead Sea Scrolls, Book of Solomon. These artifacts as others are presented as having magic and power. It will do well to note here that symbols do not change, it just evolve into a new representation of the same symbol.

SYMBOLS EVOLUTIONARY PAST

Ark of the Covenant Fig 2

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Fig 2. The Ark of the Covenant shown in The Librarian, representing God’s laws and promises to the Israelites. This can be traced back to prior 325AD when Emperor Constantine at the Council of Nicea, to Egypt, formed Christianity where on the walls of the pyramid a relief of the ark being carried as shown in photo A & B.

Photo: A

Photo: B

Artifact of RA in Temple of Dendura Housing the Ark of the Covenant Photo: Mildred Eldridge, on Tour

Relief on the wall in the Temple of Dendura showing the Ark of the Covenant being carried Photo: Mildred Eldridge, on Tour

In the quest for artifacts, Flynn would stumble upon other biblical objects such as Noah’s Ark. (Fig8)

Noah’s Ark Fig 8

Tracking this symbol also takes us back to the ancient origins of Egypt to Pharaoh Kufu’s boat, called, The Nuark. Photo C.

The Nuark Photo C

Pharaoh Kufu’s boat, The Nuark, in Cairo, Egypt, Africa. Photo: El-Brince

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Other symbols in the movie that the origins can be traced to the past are fig. 5 and 6.

Heiroglyphs on cartouche Fig 5

Fig 5 Hieroglyphs used by the Egyptians and Greeks and can be found on ancient writings on pyramids and stones. Fig 6 below is the All Seeing Eye. In the movie, it is painted on a building to represent they have come to the right place for guidance. The eye represents a spiritual eye or third eye and is used today.

The All Seeing Eye Fig 6

The All Seeing Eye originates in Egyptian philosophy, the Left, representing the Eye of God. The right consists of mathematical measurements. Example below in Photo D and E.

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Photo: D

Photo: E

http://www.greatdreams.com/horus/eyehorus.htm

http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/eye.html

The final symbol in the movie for this discussion is the light source in Fig 7 below. This relates to ancient astronomy. The light source or Sun is a major tool for ancient civilizations such as the Mayans with the making of sundials to keep track of the seasons for farming.

The Light Source Fig 7

In Photo: F, a representation of the calendar in Egypt. Within it shows the 4 seasons, the 12months of the year and in the center the constellations.

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The Calendar Temple of Dendura Photo: F Photo: Ian Portman

SYMBOLS EVOLUTIONARY THREADS PRESENT The same symbols examine how they have evolved over time and their evolutionary threads present. Fig 2 The Ark of The Covenant, With the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, no longer is mankind under the law (the covenant) but grace (Rom 6:14). Fig 8 Noah’s Ark. Representing The Deluge and God’s wrath destroying the earth by water. With the symbol of the rainbow as promise of never destroying the world by water again (Gen 9: 8-17). Fig 5 Hieroglyphs. Written on papyrus, then paper and now deciphered into pyramidal texts such as, The Husia or Metu Netr. The Rosetta stone is now used to teach foreign languages in short periods of time. Fig 6 The all Seeing Eye of Ra is now on the back of our dollar bill and is heavily related to the socio-political agenda’s of our society which will be talked about in the analysis of the DaVinci Code and Zeitgeist, The Movie.

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The All Seeing Eye and pyramid on currency Photo: G

Photo: National Geographic Ancient Egypt: Discovering its Splendors

MOVING FORWARD: ADAPTING TO CULTURE TODAY The images that are discussed in this segment have been integrated into our culture today in the forms of body art or tattoos and jewelry. Wearing crosses or a cartouche. Wearing religious jewelry is cross-cultural in that wearing them as fashion does not necessarily reflect a religious persuasion. Film does the same thing, depending on the point-of-view of the filmmaker.

In Tiawan it’s quite popular for young folks to wear very visible crosses on their chests. Long ago, when I first came to Taiwan, I was a bit confused by the whole thing as the typical conversation would go something like this: Me--I guess your’re Christian, eh? Them-- Why would you think that? Me--Maybe that huge cross on your chest? Them--This thing? no, no, it’s just fashion. http://www.filination.com/blog/2009/04/06/culturally-embedded-reli...

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OTHER METAPHORS x

The political overtone in The Librarian, Judas Chalice, pitched Russia against the U.S. Russia is represented as evil and the U.S. as good. The production values are in the lighting; darkness focuses on the characters of Russia and light or illumination on those characters representing the U.S.

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In a scene the phrase is used, “into the night” which is a metaphor for death”. The scene: Flynn was force into water and appeared to be drowning. He gets a glimpse of heaven (light), and is given a message of a clearer vision of his mission, then brought back or resurrected.

This is what Joseph Campbell speaks about in the Hero’s Journey in the documentary called, The Power of Myth. There is a transformation of consciousness that gives the Hero a new vision to fulfill their destiny (Moyer, PBS).

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CHAPTER IV: THE SEVENTH SIGN Fig

(see appendix for detailed explanation *figures as represented in the movie)

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The Seventh Sign(1988) R Demi Moore plays Abby, a pregnant woman with a curious new boarder in the apartment over her garage. Turns out he's heaven-sent and is speeding along the Apocalypse by bloodying rivers, egging on plagues and following scripture word for word. As the nosy and nearly-to-term Abby uncovers her tenant's secrets, she finds out her role in bringing about the seventh sign. This drama's popularity stems from Moore's turn, which smoothes over plot holes. (Netflix) Genre: Supernatural Horror, Satanic Stories This movie is: Suspenseful, Scary Dir: Carl Schultz

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INTRODUCTION This movie has the storyline based on the Biblical Book of Revelation. Specifically state in the fifth and sixth chapters, pertaining to the signs and symbols of the end of time. David, a messianic name, is sent to break the seals to announce God’s coming. David visits Abby the main character, who gives her news that her baby is to be sacrificed. He goes on to tell the story of an ancient Hebrew legend and the final sign of the Guf which is the ‘Hall Of Souls’. Conrad Oswalt Jr., mentions in, Screening The Sacred, under his analysis of the movie, “ this is also called, “seventh heaven” as cited in (Rappoport 1966, vol.1,20), a place where a finite number of souls are stored until they inhabit the bodies of newborn babies. Oswalt also mentions David as a messianic name, the embodiment of a returned Jesus, representing God’s wrath” (59). Abby meets up with a young Jewish philosopher Avi, to decode a letter with ancient writings found in her home, to try to understand the phenomena relating to her baby and the prophetic events. Avi decodes the letter as scripture relating to the Biblical text as coming from Joel 2:29, defining the great and terrible day and judgment for mans sins. The theme running through the movie is death. The raven is a symbol of death that appears and hovers catching Abby’s attention. Another theme is Salvation and hope. Abby, who had lost hope, showing scars of previous suicidal attempts, regains hope. Hope is the answer to saving the world and prevent the seventh seal from opening. Abby is a ‘Female Hero’ archetype who carries the fate of the world in her womb.

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She can also be seen as a Messiah who saves the world from destruction. David as mentioned before has a messianic name. He is the angle represented in Revelation that comes to earth as the messenger of God. To set-up the historical analysis, here is the selected scene in The Seventh Sign: Jewish Theologian Student Avi: Jesus said the end of the world would come like a thief in the night. Priest: Yes that is fundamentally true of all religions. The Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu all believe that there is a messiah that will deliver God’s wrath. Avi: Could it be happening now? The moon turned to blood? The paper and the fish? Priest: Revelation says the sea will die. But what you are forgetting is that the prophetic symbols are signs, they’re not to be taken literal. They are poetry written by the great prophets to describe the greater concept of Divine Judgment, not to be checked off like a laundry list. Don’t forget the most important part of eschatology, that when the end comes with it comes eternal life for those of us who are saved. Avi: And who might that be Reverend? The Jew doesn’t think it is the Muslim, and the Muslim doesn’t think it’s going to be the Christian. The Christian doesn’t think it’s going to be the Buddhist, so what if we are all wrong? This scene is chosen for observation because it relates to symbolism in what symbols speak to the audiences belief system through sacred texts. Whether the audience has a belief of pre or post tribulation or no influence at all, will depend on how the inconsistencies of the movie will be discussed by viewers and theologians as it relates to the relationship between earlier discussion of film and religion. However, this analysis focuses demonstrating and illustrating the evolutionary threads of religious symbols in the film and leaves the question for answer to the viewer. SYMBOLS EVOLUTIONARY THREADS PAST 22


The Biblical text is the basis of identifying the symbols used. Although discs were used in the movie, they are the metaphors in the Biblical text in the book of Revelation. Specifically, the fifth and sixth chapters referencing the events describing God’s wrath in destroy the world. The symbols used for this analysis are the fourth, fifth, and sixth seals represented in the header. Leading up to the seventh sign, the movie starts with a man, David, who is an angel messenger, sent to break the seals. Natural disasters begin of plagues, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. Starting on December 25th, end of the fourth seal, beginning of the fifth, in Haiti; the sky turns dark and the seal is broken at the sea and the water turns to blood and the fish die. On December 28th,, the end of the fifth seal and start of the sixth seal, in Niger Israel, the desert turns to ice. It is an old piece of biblical land where a terrorist village has been set-up. Clustering these seals together fall into the same category of apocalyptic themes and events. Tracking apocalyptic themes lead back to The Great Flood of Noah and farther back to The Great Deluge of Gilgamesh, fig 25 one of several noted historically.

Photo: H Photo: National Geographic

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As the movie continues, the date is now January 6th in Venice, California, where the 6th seal is ending and the seventh sign (title of the movie) begins. The Guf is empty and needs a soulless baby. Abby is pregnant with a boy child with two months to go before giving birth. The baby is due February 29th, in a leap year. Abby is the female hero who will save her baby and the world by giving her own life and restores hope to mankind.

Symbols Evolutionary Threads Present: Mayan Prophecy warns something catastrophic to happen December 21, 2012. This is based on five ages of a 125 year-long count calendar of the Mayan and Aztecs (2012.com) December 21 is a significant date in that the winter solstice begins. In brief, the sun dies for three days and then begins its ascension. In Christianity it is represented as the Son of God’s death and resurrection. In the biblical books of Daniel and Revelation there is a multitude of eschatological symbolism as shown in fig 24 below:

Photo: I

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Moving Forward: Adapting to Culture Today Numbers and dates are symbols that are used in science and religion. To the scientist, symbols relate to astrological calendars that identify the age in history, past, present and future. To some the ages are identified by metaphors within the Zodiac. In the Biblical text, signs of the times are surrounded by numbers and metaphors as well. November 13, 2009, a movie debuts called 2012, which addresses the Mayan prophesy of a catastrophic event based on their calendar. Once again Hollywood stays abreast of current events and the pulse of society. To address contemporary culture today, the scientist believes that the apocalypse can be avoided based on technology, of course 2012 is not here yet to prove the prophesy or science true of false, but hope once again is the dominant theme. Oswalt gives the final remarks on this movie as it pertains to moving forward and adapting to the present in his book, Screening The Sacred. I imagine something deeper is at work here—something that enlightens the view about the modern understanding of time and humanity’s place in time and space. The traditional apocalypse assumes an imminent cosmic cataclysm in which God destroys the ruling powers of evil and raises the righteous to life in a messianic kingdom. The modern apocalypse, through its negation of an end point and through its loss of eschatological consummation, destroys is own ability to order time into meaningful concords; placing time completely in the control of humankind. The ultimate ordering of time, in order to overcome chaotic time, is granting humanity the ability to control the end. (62) Oswalt continues, For the first time in history, twentieth century humankind sees in itself the ability to bring about the end of the world, and it is only natural that human beings also believe they can stop the end, even if this means forcing God’s hand as in The Seventh Sign. So the modern apocalyptic imagination grants meaning in light of twentieth-century fears and egos. We might even say the Hollywood has captured (63). 25


Other metaphors x

Sparrow in the movie represents the soul singing. For the Hebrew a new born child. Story of the Guf or ‘Hall of Souls’.

x

Abby dreams a man in a robe asking, will you die for him? Death is coming and the ‘Hall of Souls’ is empty. She gives her life in the end to save the baby’s and the world. This is symbolized by the ring worn by the Sanhedrin who has Abby and the baby hanging in the balance of life or death and she must choose. The question from the Sanhedrin is: “Will you give your life for him?”

x

In the movie, hope is the key to salvation for the world through a feminine heroine. Salvation by hope is also found in Romans 8:24 of the Biblical text.

x

Abby’s husband is a lawyer, desperately trying to save a young man from execution, convicted of pouring gas on parents who were bother and sister. This young mans claims no wrong because it is justifiable as the law of God. (Leviticus 18:6-17) This book in the Bible is considered civil laws. The young man in the movie represents the fifth seal as last martyr taken from Revelation 6:7-8.

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CHAPTER V: THE DAVINCI CODE

Fig.

(see appendix for detailed explanation *figures as represented in the movie)

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The Da Vinci Code (2006) When the curator of the Louvre is found murdered in the famed museum's hallowed halls, Harvard professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and cryptographer Sophie Neve (Audrey Tautou) must untangle a deadly web of deceit involving the works of Leonardo da Vinci. Ian McKellen, Jean Reno, Paul Bettany and Alfred Molina co-star in this gripping thriller from director Ron Howard, based on the best-selling novel by Dan Brown. Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Dramas Based on the Book This movie is: Suspenseful, Scary, Controversial (Netflix)

Behind the Da Vinci Code (2007) Before The Da Vinci Code, there was Henry Lincoln's Holy Blood, Holy Grail, in which the author documents his search for clues about the Holy Grail. This program examines the evidence Lincoln presents and its connections with the Knights Templar. Critics recount the controversy over the holy lineage and bring new insights to both popular and marginal theories. Lincoln's quest continues to stir imaginations and inspire the most ardent skeptics. Genre: Historical Documentaries, Faith & Spirituality Documentaries, TV Documentaries (Netflix)

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Beyond the Da Vinci Code (2005) This thought-provoking, hour-long documentary produced by the History Channel examines the controversial views about Christianity posited in Dan Brown's bestseller The Da Vinci Code. From whether Jesus Christ wed Mary Magdalene to the existence of a clandestine society that protects its progeny, the film evaluates Brown's ideas, including the notion that the truth about Christ's life is encoded in Leonardo da Vinci's masterworks. Genre: TV Documentaries, Faith & Spirituality Documentaries, Historical Documentaries (Netflix)

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INTRODUCTION This movie, as well as the book and documentaries, provide discussion on religious symbols through artwork and secret societies. Although the film presents several different theories, it takes the discussion in a different direction to provoke thought in the viewer. The movie’s main theme is the church versus science. Dan Brown’s film brings to light the gospels not chosen for the Bible that threaten the Christian faith. These include the Gospel of Phillip, Gospel of Thomas, and the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, also called the Gnostic Gospels that support the sacred feminine and the less Devine and more human characteristics of Jesus This is cited in Beyond The DaVinci Code. The movie is riddled with clues to keep alive legends that have been forced underground by religious authorities. Dr Karen Ralls, Professor of History at Oxford University comments on the film saying, “The DaVinci Code, is a 21st century reworking of older Holy Grail themes”. Older themes, such as a treasure hunt for a cup that held Christ blood from the crucifixion. The theme of a person or bloodline of Christ as the Holy Grail or Sang Grail documents protected by secret societies. Dan Brown creates a series of movies that are classified fiction, however, actual religious images are used. It consists of history, legend and fantasy for a 21st century audience. In the book, The DaVinci Code, a small section in the preface is devoted to what are facts. Namely, images and history of the secret organization, The Priory of Zion. The movies take twists and turns, which becomes an attack on conventional Christianity. However, Dan Burnstein, editor of Secrets of the Code, comments in the documentary, Behind The DaVinci Code”, the movie is not to be an attack, only to ask

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the question: Is it plausible? To provoke thought, just as this examination of religious symbolism in film is focusing on. (History Channel 2007, Netflix) In the case of Leonardo DaVinci’s Last Supper the suggestion, that John, The Beloved, on the right side of Jesus is really Mary Magdalene. This artwork is encoded, suggesting that Mary Magdalene is the Holy Grail. Within this concept the themes are Jesus as the archetype of bridegroom and Mary Magdalene as bride, and that the Holy Grail is her unborn baby Sarah – signifies princess. The story that Mary was pregnant at the time of Jesus crucifixion and fled to France to protect the royal bloodline, which is the unborn Sarah. The themes that are present are good versus evil represented by the Priory of Zion as the protector of the ‘Holy Grail’, and Professor Landon who is an expert of religious symbols is pitched between the business of church versus science. The archetypes can be identified as Sophie the ‘Female Heroine’ and ‘Princess’, finding out she has the bloodline of the Marovingians, which is the bloodline of Jesus. Another is the ‘Devine Power of Woman’ as Mary Magdalene and the representation of the ‘Holy Grail’, in which the Knights Templars sworn to protect the bloodline. The chalice or Holy Grail is represented as a vessel. A vessel as mother, a vessel as earth, or a vessel as womb. The movie illustrates religious symbols and images in art canvas and architecture by Leonardo DaVinci containing clues . In the film, Sophie Neve is the sole survivor of a car accident that killed her brother, mother and father. She was taken by Sonnerre and raised as his granddaughter. Little did she know at the beginning that she is the sole survivor of the bloodline of Christ representing the Holy Grail. Sophie’s grandfather, Sonnerre, is murdered. After his death Sophie and Robert discover several clues and messages 30


hidden in Leonardo DaVinci’s masterpieces. The Mona Lisa, Madonna of the Rocks, and The Last Supper, revealing he is the grand master of the Priory of Zion, “The Protector” of the bloodline, and his killers, Opus Dei, an entity of the Catholic Church that seeks out to destroy the bloodline. To do this they must find and destroy the sarcophagus of Mary Magdalene. This scene will tie-in to give focus on the analysis. Robert and Sophie are looking for help for decoding clues, which lead them to Robert’s mentor. The Mentor takes them to a room where there is a Fresco of Leonardo DaVinci’s “Last Supper”. Mentor: Madam Mousselle. Where is Jesus sitting? (With eyes closed, using her memory Sophie answers) in the middle. Mentor: Good. What did they drink? Sophie: Wine? Mentor: How many glasses of wine? Sophie: One? Mentor: A single cup? No chalice? That’s strange isn’t it? Considering the Bible and the standard prayer of legend celebrate this as the definitive revival of the Holy Grail. Robert, will you demonstrate the symbols for man and woman. Robert: (using hands, pointing fingers triangularly upward), this symbolizes the man, a rudimentary falice, or also known as the blade or the aggression of manhood. It is still used today by the military. The female symbol is the opposite, (using hands, pointing fingers triangularly downward), also called the chalice. Mentor: The chalice resembles a cup, vessel, or more importantly, the shape of a woman’s womb. The grail is not a cup; it is an ancient symbol of womanhood. A secret so powerful that if revealed, would devastate the foundations of Christianity. 31


Sophie: Wait! Your saying the Holy Grail is a woman? Mentor: Well then, what about the figure on the right of our Lord? Flowing red hair, folded hands into the bosom huh? My dear that is Mary Magdalene. Sophie: The prostitute? Mentor: No such thing. Smeared by the church in 591AD. Magdalene was Jesus’ wife. SYMBOLS EVOLUTIONARY THREADS PAST Symbols within the DaVinci Code concentrate on two things. The feminine principle, and secret societies. For this part of the discussion fig 27-32 are chosen for discussion and historical analysis. First, looking at the artwork of Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” and then on to religious symbols in architectural buildings. First, the movie’s uses images to identify codes within artwork of Leonardo DaVinci’s The Last Supper. It attributes the meaning of the Holy Grail symbolism to signify the feminine principle. The “V” shape in the center means vessel or female womb, or vessel of life. Mary Magdalene is identified as the person of John, The Beloved. The chalice is missing in the composition.

Leonardo DaVinci Last Supper

Fig 27 This is presented in the documentary, Beyond The DaVinci Code, that the “V” shape is just a production value presenting a point of interest to the composition by DaVinci.

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Fig 29 and 30 below, are images representing Mary Magdalene and the other Marys’ flee to France after Jesus crucifixion to protect the bloodline. There are depictions of the escape and shine of Sarah the Egyptian mentioned in the documentary. Joseph Campbell also comments in The Power of Myth his visit to see the shine at St. Patrick Cathedral on 52nd and 5th Avenue in New York, New York.

The escape from Egypt to France in an oarless boat. Mary, Mary Magdelene pregnant and the other Mary to keep the bloodline safe

Fig 29

Sarah, The Egyptian. The name means princess. The legend is 1. Mary Magdelene’s servant. 2. Mary Magdelene’s daughter.

Fig 30

The movie ties in the Priory of Zion, a secret society of the Catholic Church. They are sworn to protect the Holy Grail and the bloodline of the Marovingians, which is the bloodline of Jesus. The Society’s symbolism is reflected in architecture all over the world. This is the second part of the analysis. Below are images in the film that represent the Masonic order which is a direct descendent of the Priory of Zion. Encroaching angel

religious symbols on architecture Ordaining Christian principles

Fig 28

Fig 31

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A family called, St Clair, is considered the first freemason builders and members of the Masonic Order. Their signature is the apprentice Column, Fig. 32 below. Buildings reflect religious art on large buildings worldwide even today. Mercea Eliade, in The Myth of the Eternal Return states, “Man constructs according to an archetype. Not only do his city or his temple have celestial models; the same is true of the entire region that he inhabits, with the rivers that water it, the fields that give him his food, etc” (10). Apprentice Column

Fig 32 In the movie, Robert gives a brief history of the Priory of Zion: When the French conquered the Holy city of Jerusalem, a massive crusade orchestrated by a secret brotherhood, The Priory of Zion and their military arms, The Knights Templars to find a lost artifact that had been lost since the time of Christ. This artifact was one that the church would kill to keep silent. The Templars traveled to Rome, threatening the church of its found secret (true or not); the church being afraid allowed the Templars to gain limitless power and by 1300 had become too powerful. The Vatican issued secret orders to carry out and eliminate the Templars on Friday, Oct 13, 1307. Hence, the unlucky day of Friday the 13th. The Templars and Priory’s mission to protect the Holy land was 34


a cover-up. Its true mission or secret order was to protect the Holy Grail. In the film, the Holy Grail is the sarcaufagus of Mary Magdalene, found by Landon under the pyramid by deciphering a poem as the code and revelation of the place. Again, the documentaries debate this section of the film, yet confirmed Leonardo DaVinci held the title of Grandmaster within the Priory of Zion. These Masonic symbols and images reach as far back as Egypt, Africa at Sakarrah as illustrated in the image below.

Photo: J Photo: El Brince

SYMBOLS EVOLUTIONARY THREADS PRESENT The art forms of Leonardo DaVinci and others are still a part of our contemporary society. Namely, The Last Supper. Printed replicas can be found in many homes today. The computer and software programs that allow manipulation have created pop art of “The Last Supper�. The image and example below is one of about thirty gathered by Jeramy Baker of Toronto, Ontario, Canada from different artist creations. From Mickey and Sesame

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Street, to Sit-coms such as, Soprano’s and contemporary icons such as iPhone with Zune represented as Judas. Photo: K Taratino Last Supper Quentin Tarantino really does see himself as a Christ-figure, surroun ded by his blood-thirsty disciples. There is a Last Supper that will end in gunfight of biblical proportions. Artis t David Laird went a little overboard with the number of characters, nor does the layout make it simple to deter min the Judas figure, but I w ould place money on Bill. It’s nice that he puts The Brid by Tarantino’s side in a nod to the theory that the figure to the left of Christ in the original painting is Mary Magdalene.

http://culturepopped.blogspot.com/2007/04/suddenly-last-supper.html

The second part of this analysis is the evolution of the secret society, The Priory of Zion. It is now known in contemporary culture as the Free Masons, which is still practiced today. Photo L below is the apron of George Washington. It is mentioned by Steve Sora, author of, The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar, that approximately one-third of the United States presidents are Free Masons. David Ike also mentions it in his works titled, Secrets of the Matrix. ((part 1 of 4). The symbols in the apron, shown in George Washington’s below fig.35, are ancient, they are still used today. Lodges will use selected symbols to uniquely identify themselves.

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This Masonic apron designed for George Washington. In his farewell address stated: “And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education...reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.� Photo: http://www.pagrandlodge.org/mlam/apron/

Photo: L The apron is encoded with religious ancient symbols. To name some referencing religious symbolism are: 37


4. The All Seeing Eye, as the symbol of watchfulness and of the Supreme Being. 5. Rays of Glory, symbolic of the power of the Supreme Being to penetrate the innermost reaches of the human heart. 9. Pillars B and J was within the porch of King Solomon’s Temple. Boaz the name of the left pillar means “in strength”, the right pillar. Jachin means “God will establish” (see also No.38). The globe on the left pillar represents earth; that on the right, heaven. The pillars with their globes are today the columns of the Senior and Junior Wardens. 10. Dove in early Masonry is a symbol of Noah’s messenger. In ancient symbolism, the dove represented purity and innocence. 12. Hope is sometimes shown as a female with an anchor, also as an anchor near the ark. Anchor, an emblem of a well-grounded hope and a well-spent life. With hope, an Anchor holds the soul both sure and steadfast. 18. Five-Pointed Star represents the five points of fellowship. Within the star is the letter “G”, a well-known symbol of Freemasonry representing both God and geometry. 19. Mosaic Pavement, a representation of the ground floor of King Solomon’s Temple. The Masonic Pavement is emblematical of human life, checked with good and evil. 20. Holy Bible, the great light of Freemasonry. 40. Seven Six-Pointed Stars, The number Seven represents the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences: Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music and Astronomy. The SixPointed Star symbolizes Divine Providence, the Star of David or Shield of David. It is Comprised of two interlaced triangles, which have a number of Masonic interpretations.

Moving Forward: Adapting to Culture Today Although Bernini, DaVinci and Raphael are artist of the Baroque and Romantic periods, their inspirations were of symbols that lay in ancient motifs. These symbols are still present in today’s culture. They can be seen in our museums and architecture around the world.

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The Masons have a type of political branding displayed in the architectural symbols artwork, and motifs that signify a dominant socio-political presence as a part of world culture. Joseph Campbell in “The Power of Myth”, speaks on symbolism used a part of architecture in our society making the point where there were ruins are now capitol buildings. He uses the downtown area of Salt Lake City, Utah. Burnstein gives an example in, Beyond The DaVince Code, the layout of Washington DC as a reflection of sacred architecture. The Capitol building and The White house are designed after the columns of Bernini. The Washington Monument is a replica of an obelisk. It is a memorial to America’s first president, George Washington and completed in1885. The obelisk can be traced back to the Obelisk of Queen Hatsepsut in the Temple of Karnack, Egypt, Africa Erected 1473-1458 BC. Photo: M

Washington Monument Photo: US Nat’l. Monument

Photo: N

Obelisk of Queen Hatsepsut, Egypt, Africa Photo: Mildred Eldridge, on tour 2005

The symbols evolve with culture and quite possibly the secrets behind them, so tightly woven within religion. The Last movie for analysis is best suited for this area of focus analyzing symbols with latent message of socio-political agenda’s.

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Final remarks are from Burnstein in the documentary, Beyond The DaVinci Code. Dan Brown encourages us to contemplate, but doesn’t really provide any answers. He has gone to the heart of the origins of Christianity at a time when it is a subject that people are very curious about. He has woven in the question of the role of women in history of Christianity, the history of the church, religiosity and spirituality. He has taken the theme of the new search in the 21st century and the meaning of life and layered that in. The Holy Grail in my mind is a metaphor, it is what we make of it.

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VI: THE MATRIX

. In The Matrix Revolutions, the final battle between good and evil plays itself out. Although the third film of the trilogy seems preoccupied with being an action film, Christian symbolism continues to be a very strong thread tightly woven into the plot. Those searching for elements of truth from these films will find much to discover here (Netflix)

In The Matrix Reloaded, the roles of Neo and Agent Smith become even more focused and more clearly defined as representing the Christ and Anti Christ. (Unlike your typical western, in this case both the good guy and the bad guy wear black.) (Netflix)

(1999) In this complex story that aspires to mythology, a computer hacker (Keanu Reeves) searches for the truth behind the mysterious force known as the Matrix. He finds his answer with a group of strangers led by the charismatic Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). What they encounter in confronting that truth makes for a lightning-paced, eye-popping thrill ride of a movie that cleverly combines sociopolitical commentary with cutting-edge special effects. (Netflix) Genre: Action Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Sci-Fi Thrillers, Action Thrillers This movie is: Suspenseful, Mind-bending

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The Matrix: Reloaded 2003) After Zion -- the last outpost still under human control -- is discovered, the battle against the machines that have enslaved people in the Matrix reaches its peak, and Neo, Morpheus, Trinity and the rest of the gang must soldier on. Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss reprise the roles they made famous in the special-effects spectacle The Matrix, with Hugo Weaving popping up again as Neo's indefatigable cyber foe. Genre: Action Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Sci-Fi Thrillers, Action Thrillers This movie is: Suspenseful, Exciting

(2003) The Matrix Revolutions This action-packed finale of the Wachowski brothers' trilogy finds an unconscious Neo (Keanu Reeves) trapped in Mobil Avenue, a subway station in an intermediate zone between the Matrix and the machine world that's controlled by the Trainman (Bruce Spence). Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) try to free Neo so he can lead the fight to save Zion, but a powerful enemy complicates their mission. Monica Bellucci co-stars. (Netflix) Genre: Action Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Sci-Fi Thrillers, Action Thrillers This movie is: Suspenseful, Mind-bending, Dark, Violent

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INTRODUCTION The Matrix, Matrix Reloaded, and Matrix Revolutions, an action packed trilogy heavily laden with Christian symbolism in content, as well as character representation, in an eschatological contemporary production. It is introduced by Hollywood during a time of fear with Y2K scare. Dealing with machines, new technologies, or their malfunctions, it poses the question; Is it possible that they take over and or destroy civilization? Computer hacker, Keanee Reeves, character name Neo, begins to search for the truth and later comes into the awareness he is, ‘The One’ who will save the world from its enemy, the machines, representative of government. Neo, is an example of the, Hero’s Journey that Joseph Campbell speaks about in the PBS documentary, hosted by Bill Moyers (1988). A savior archetye who is called into a mission that must first lose himself to find himself and true purpose. Austin Cline, in his article, The Matrix a Christian Film, comments, “Neo, The One, is prophesied to liberate humanity from the chains that imprison them in their computer generated illusion. First, however, he has to die – and he is killed in room 303. But, after 72 seconds (analogous to 3 days), Neo rises again. Soon thereafter, he also ascends up into the heavens. The first movie itself happened to be released on Easter, weekend, 1999. (About.com) There is a plethora of religious symbols and interpretations that is good for further research. However, to bring home the point that symbols move through time into contemporary culture, makes the Matrix movies the very best example for the 21st century audience and worthy of historical analysis. Demonstrating how names are 43


symbols and carry evolutionary threads from the past and how those names have evolved into today’s characterizations. Themes that can be identified in the movies are rebirth for Neo as he finds his true purpose. Good versus evil is represented in the Marovingian as machine gaining control over man. The archetypes are character names that replicate Biblical characters. Neo is ‘Savior’ in keeping the world from being taken over by machines. Another is ‘The Oracle’ as the wise one who guides Neo. Metaphors that can be identified are: Baptism. Neo is freed from the Matrix when falls naked into water. Morpheus lifts him up into his new identity, The One. Water the symbol of purification and rebirth. This scene selection for character analysis : The Oracle, Morpheus & Trinity Oralce: Morpheus, Trinity…thank you for coming. One thing I learned in all my years…nothing ever works out just the way you want it to. Trinity: Who are you? O: I’m The Oracle…I wish there was an easy way to get through this, but there ain’t. I’m sorry this had to happen. I’m sorry I couldn’t be sitting here like you remembered me…but it wasn’t meant to be. T: What happened? O: I made a choice…and that choice cost me more than I wanted it to. Morpheus: What choice? O: To help you…to guide Neo. Now since the real test for any choice is having to make the same choice again knowing full well what it might cost…I guess I feel pretty good about the choice…cause…here I am…at it again. 44


T: Do you know what happened to Neo? O: Yes. He is trapped in a place between this world and the machine world. The link is controlled by a program called, the trainman. He uses it to smuggle programs in and out of the matrix. If he finds out where Neo is before you get to him…then I’m afraid our choices are going to become difficult. T: Why? O: Because of who the trainman works for. M: The Merovingian. O: He has placed a bounty on your lives. You must be careful at all times. Seraph knows how to find the trainman…He’ll go with you. For years he has protected me…I hope he can do the same for you. Seraph: Please, follow me. M: Oracle… O: I know Morpheus…I can see you’re filled with doubt, clogged by uncertainty. M: After everything that has happened…how can you expect me to believe you? O: I expect just what I’ve always expected…for you to make up your own damn mind. Believe me or don’t…all I can do is tell you that your friend is in trouble and he needs your help…he needs all our help.

SYMBOLS EVOLUTIONARY THREADS PAST The main focuses for this analysis are names and how they correspond with the biblical text. Here are many examples: x

Anderson’s hacker alias Neo the main character. Anderson = “Son of man” an attribute also given to Jesus. 45


x

Morpheus would represent John, as preaching about the coming of the One. (Neo is anagram of One). Neo means “New” (Greek)

x

As mentioned earlier, baptism which symbolizes purification and rebirth is represented when Neo falls naked into water and is lifted into his new identify. This thread is found in scripture where John the Baptist is baptizing Jesus. (Mark 1:9-11).

x

There is Cyrus the character that is representative of Judas.

x

The ship Nebuchadnezzar bears the inscription “Mark III No. 11.

x

Trinity = 3 in 1, biblical Father, Son, Holy Spirit. In the movie Morpheus is the father, Neo is the Son, and Trinity is The Holy Spirit.

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Oracle, foretelling the coming of the Messiah

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Morpheus is the Greek god of dreams

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Zion is representative of Jerusalem.

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Niobe is a Greek goddess who wanted to be adored for being a mother.

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Lambert Wilson (who plays the Merovingian) mentions in an interview that Zion is related to the “Priory of Zion” a secret society, with connections to Knights Templars, Rosicrucian, Freemasons, Arthurian and the Holy Grail.

x

The Source is symbolic of God, the source of all light and life.

SYMBOLS EVOLUTIONARY THREADS PRESENT Names have evolutionary threads as well as images and that has been the focus for this discussion. Of course names are how one is identified. A shift has been made in the usage of biblical names and name that reflect an individual’s heritage. The etymology in a name manifested in our children to reflect their true heritage.

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Churches sponsor yearly tours to their root homeland. Lutherans of German decent take a spiritual quest back to Germany. Irish descendants to Ireland and AfricanAmericans journey to Egypt, Africa also called mind-study tours. Most homeland tours result in a spiritual name ceremony. The movie is heavily commercialized with games for the computer, Playstation II, Game Cube and online communities such as Matrixfans.net. The fan base has members worldwide. Jeffery Wittung states in his article, From Superman to Brahman: The Religious Shift of The Matrix Mythology, the movie is for a global audience inclusive of several mythologies and religious symbolism, “it has shifted from the West to the East dispite the Christian names” (2006).

MOVING FORWARD: ADAPTING TO CULTURE TODAY The Matrix as well as other 21st century films take out the sovereignty of God and allow man to have ultimate control of destiny. To yield to scholarly conclusive remarks, Oswalt comments in his article, Armageddon at the Millennial Dawn, Fatalism in western apocalypticism is toned down. While end of the world threats perhaps are not avoidable, the cinematic formulation of millennial doom promotes the notion that the end can be averted through employing human ingenuity, scientific advance, and heroism. He goes on to say, The secular film version of the apocalypse removes the divine element from the apocalyptic drama yet not religious symbolism, imager, or language, Neither does it remove the notion of otherness as a necessary component of humanity’s struggle wit the 47


end of the world. However, in these films, the divine as “other” is replaced by aliens, disease, meteors, and machines as “other” —an otherness that exist in binary opposition to humankind. So the secular apocalypse of film is postmodern in that it has undermined the binary opposition of God-human. Yet, it retains the sense of opposition (“something-human”) that is crucial for understanding threats to existence (2000).

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CHAPTER VII: ZEITGEIST, THE MOVIE Fig

(see appendix for detailed explanation *figures as represented in the movie)

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Zeitgeist, The Movie (2007) Peter Joseph explores the controversial links between organized religion, the global financial markets and the international power structure in this thought-provoking documentary that probes several well-known conspiracy theories. The award-winning film shows the similarities of several major religions, examines alleged secrets of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, and delves into the relationship between the Federal Reserve and America's foreign wars. Starring: Not Available Director: Peter Joseph Genre: Documentary

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INTRODUCTION One might ask: How do these symbols pertain to religious symbolism in film? When doing an historical analysis on the film, it all becomes interconnected. Most of the symbols that have been discussed, the founding fathers used cloaked in religion. Zeitgeist, The Movie, is a new media movie online, created by Peter Joseph. It is non-fiction. However, there are scholars that agree and disagree. For the intent of this section of discussion, it is to help bring awareness and to provoke thought in how the audience see film, its images, symbols, and content as it relates to socio-political issues. The word Zeitgeist is a German expression, defined as, ‘the spirit of the times’ or ‘the spirit of the age’. The first section of the movie is based on religion, comparing Christianity to other world religions and the debates therein. The second section begins with the governments control of school and politics and third section of the movie is the focus for discussion titled, The Men Behind The Curtain”. Joseph suggests that the government, consists of secret societies, have in place an agenda to manipulate the masses into submission; creating a one world government. It is to be accomplished by controlling the banking system. Hence, The International Bankers. The final phase for the International Bankers to gain control will be to micro chip everyone to have a direct connection to the masses for transactions to buy, sell or trade. This is mentioned in Revelation:13: 16-18, taking the mark of the beast or the metaphoric symbol ‘666’. In the Zeitgeist it is represented as the microchip implant. If there is a resistance to get the chip, the consequence is being denied to transact any business. 50


The men behind the curtain also called the Illuminati, the enlightened ones, control the International Banks. Joseph suggest natural disasters like Katrina, the 911 attacks and others are blamed on the Illuminati in orchestrating disasters and wars to create the need for dependency on The Federal Reserves printing of money. As they print money, the country stays in debt to them. Webster Tarpley, historian comments in the movie: An entire United States ruling class and Elite, comes to see terrorism as the preferred means and the only means to provide social cohesion to provide an enemy image for this society to keep it together. According to Neo con theory, you have to have an enemy image in order to have a society. It’s a very dangerous thing, because now it means that the entire social order, the political parties, intellectual alike and politics in general, all based on a monstrous myth. Themes in the movie are very explicit in dialogue identifying conspiracy theories. The government is considered evil and on a quest for fascism and world domination The metaphors are the Anti-Christ represented at ‘666’. Another the great seals of government. Joseph contends the men behind the curtain invent and perpetuate a Roman story developed politically and historicized for social control in 325AD. The scene selection explains: It was the political establishment that sought to historisize the Jesus myth for social control. By 325AD Emperor Constantine convened the Council of Nicea. It was during this meeting that the politically motivated Christian doctrines began. Joseph goes 51


on to say, for the next 1600 years, the Vatican maintained the political stranglehold all over Europe, leading to the Dark Ages, The Enlightenment, The Crusades and The Inquisitions. Awful crimes are committed in the name of Devine pursuit. Most importantly, it empowers those who know the truth, but use the myth to manipulate and control societies. The religious myth is the most powerful devise ever created and serves as a psychological soil upon which other myths can flourish (Joseph).

SYMBOLS EVOLUTIONARY THREADS PAST For our conversation in looking at the symbols, they full circle back to the Biblical text Rev 13. However, it makes note in, 2 Kings 23:35, Kings taxed the people in silver and gold. In Ancient Egypt, taxes were assessed to the people by water tabling system. Depending upon the level of the water determined how bountiful the crops would be. If rain were plentiful for the year, the taxes would be lower than a year in draught conditions. Photo: M, is a water table in Cairo, Egypt, Africa. Water Table

Photo: O Photo: Mildred Eldridge on tour 2005

52


SYMBOLS EVOLUTIONARY THREADS PRESENT The film continues to speak on the Illuminati, revealing their tie to the governing of the money markets. Their brand connection are some already analyzed previously that are used on coins and the dollar bill and focused around the words, ‘in God we trust’ and Norvus Ordo Seclorum which means, ‘a new order of the age’ or ‘One World Government’. The figures below are just a few used today. Photo: P

Photo: Q

Photo: R

Photos fig 44-47: http://www.crossroad.to/Books/symbols1.html

The Great Seal

Seal of the Senate

Seal of USA

To explain some of them is the use of the olive branches a symbol of peace, the spears, a symbol of war. The six-pointed star, signifying divine providence, the pyramid for strength and duration and the all Seeing Eye as discussed previously. Also represented the words Norvus Ordo Seclorum, meaning, ‘The New World Order’ and the constellation of the 13 stars. Hieronimus (96-105). The number 13 is represented in many ways on currency and Heironimus warns that only acknowledging the thirteen colonies is only seeing the first layer of the intricate symbolism on the dollar bill (112).

MOVING FORWARD: ADAPTING TO CULTURE TODAY

53


Symbols from the past are still used today. Family shields and flags are very popular. A book called, What Is In A Name, by La Reina Rule and William Hammond, provides templates for surnames to create your family crests. An example to the

PhotoS

right: Eldridge Shield: Aldrich. Gold background, a silver bull on a green cross stripe, meaning old wise ruler. Symbols are incorporated into personal and business logos, mission statements, as well as school banners and representing social and political establishments. Compound symbols such as: Photo: T

Total Information Awareness

(note: the bottom bar of symbols)

DARPA

Photo: U

All these symbols continue to evolve and become compound because of an international, global and multi-cultural society that is lived in today. To become aware of symbols and what they represent, will identify the latent messages , and in turn will help identify the agenda within the political arena. Concluding this section, Joseph brings to light for the audience that, “The last thing the men behind the curtain want is a conscious, informed public, capable of critical thinking which is why a continually fraudulent Zeitgeist is output, via religion, the mass media and educational system�.

54


CONCLUSION LOOKING THROUGH A NEW LENS It is with hope, that this research has been interesting and enlightening. Tracking religious symbols in film and following their evolutionary threads may lead the audience when viewing film to critically think about the images that flash before them. To think about the filmmaker, their point of view and intent. Reflect on the metaphors, themes, archetypes and other implicit or under the surface content that can help enhance their viewing experience. Film is a type of language that can speak to an audience and the need for pleasure and entertainment, Miles also asks the reader to tolerate examination of film to obtain enhanced self-knowledge (14). Using religious symbolism in film for this study, brings a heightened awareness to the audience that the Western world leaned upon ancient civilizations as steppingstones throughout history up to present day. The symbols of the past, while the same have evolved into contemporary culture. Hollywood has not always put symbols and images outside the traditions of the West in a positive and true light. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but whose words? This research wanted to demonstrate by consentrating on the images used in five films for historical analysis. The Librarian, The Seventh Sign, The DaVinci Code, The Matrix and Zeitgeist, The Movie. It is an indicative study on religious symbolism, and using a qualitative, Socratic approach. The films are carefully selected to do an historical analysis that will show history from ancient civilizations to today. The intent is not proselytlize or condemn but to provoke questions. 55


Oswalt, in Religion and Popular Movies, encourages all to become critical interpreters of culture. (1998). To do this is to have a simple 1,2,3 approach. The method is to identify the symbol, used in the film, trace its thread past, and trace the thread present. Through new lenses the audience can see past the image used for cinematic purposes and see religious iconography through a larger worldview. If successful, and only the viewer will know, the entertainment experience should be even more pleasurable. Margaret Miles in her book, Seeing and Believing contends, “Taking film seriously does not require that the pleasure of entertainment be replaced by boring analysis. Rather, it involves taking pleasure (and displeasure) seriously enough to be willing to inspect them, detecting the filmic strategies by which they were evoked”. (12) Since most scholarly work has been in the field of psycho-analysis Further exploration of the topic of religious symbolism in film would be beneficial for a viewer-oriented methodology. Final remarks are given to Jonathan Feit in Sacred Symbols quotes, “as someone once said, “God is in the details”, and the fact is never truer than when it pertains to religious iconography”. (146)

56


WORKS CITED 2012. Mayan prophesy. Movie. 13 Nov.2009 http://www.moviefone.com/movie/2012/30165/synopsis Albright, Matthew. “Religious Themes in Film”. Suite 101. 28 Aug. 2009. http://www.suite101.com/course.cfm/19217/seminar All Seeing Eye, Eye of Horus, Eye of RA. 28 Nov. 2009 http://www.sangraal.com/library/eyesofhorusm http://www.greatdreams.com/horus/eyehorushtm http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/eye.html Ancient Egypt Online. Eye of Horus. 03 Dec. 2009 http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/eye.html Ben-Jochannan, Yosef and Charles Finch, Medhin, Chandler. African Origins of the Major World Religions. Britian: Karnak House, 1988,1991. 38, 51. Brown, Dan. The DaVinci Code. New York: Random House Inc., 2003. Prologue: Facts Burnstein, Dan. Secrets of the Code. New York: CDS, 2006. 22,39, 82,172,203,397. Cooper, John and Carl Skrade. Celluloid & Symbols, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1970. 57. Coger, Rick. Interview, 11 Nov. 2009. Culturally Embedded Religious Symbols: “Christian cross as fashion”. 30 Aug. 2009 http://www.filination.com/blog/2009/04/06/culturally-embedded-religioussymbols-Christian-cross-fashion/ Dakes, Finis. Holy Bible. 1993 ed. Gen 9:8-17, Lev. 18:6-17, II Kings 23:35, Rom :14, Rev. Chapters 5-8, 13:16-18. Dan. Chapters 6-11. 57


El-Brince Cards. Pharoah Kufu’s boat. Masonic Apron at Sakkara. Eldridge, Mildred. Ark of the Covenant, Egypt, Africa, on tour 2005. Obelisk of Queen Hatsepsut, Egypt, Africa, on tour 2005 Relief of the Ark of the Covenant being carried, Egypt, Africa, on tour 2005. (photo’s upon request (in archive, kodakgallery.com) Eliade, Mircea. Images and Symbols, Great Britian: Harvill Press, 1961. 120. Eliade, Micrea. Myth of the Eternal Return, Kingsport: Kingsport Press, Inc., 1949. 10. Feiler, Morton. What’s In A Name?, New York: Jove Publications, 1977. Feit, Jonathon. “Sacred Symbols and the Depiction of Religions in Millennial Movies (1997-2002)”. Journal of Media and Religion, 3(3), 133-150. 2004 Emerson Library database 13 Oct. 2009.134-150. George Washington Witness. The Constitution of the United States, Farewell Address, Malta: National Center for Constitutional Studies, 2nd ed. 2005. Getliein, Mark. Gilbet’s Living With Art, 6th ed., New York: McGraw Hill, 2002. 109-111, 149 Grand Lodge. Brother George Washington’s Masonic Apron. 28 Nov. 2009. http://www.pagrandlodge.org/mlam/apron/ Hall, Manley. The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Los Angeles: The Philosophical Research Society, Inc., 1988,2000. XC, XCVII, CII. Hieronimus, Ph.D. and Robert. Laura Cortner, Founding Fathers, Secret Societies, Rochester: Destiny Books, 1989, 2006. 42,43,90,103,111-12,115-16, 129,138. Johnston, Robert. Book Review, “Screening The Sacred”, Journal of the 58


American Academy of Religion. 496-498. Last Supper. Pop culture. “Tarantino Last Supper”. 03 April, 2009 http://culturepopped.blogspot.com/2007/04/suddenly-last-supper.html . Martin, Joel and Conrad E. Ostwalt, Jr, Screening The Sacred, Boulder: Westview Press, Inc., 1995. 3,6,9,14,55,59,62-63,66,67,81,99,157. May, Johh, Michael Bird. Religion In Film. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1982. 101,107-110. Miles, Margaret. “Seeing And Believing”, Beacon Press. 1996 Eden Webster Library database 20 Sept. 2009. 12. National Geographic. Ancient Egypt, Discovering Its Splendors, Washington D.C: Yale University Press.1973. National Geographic, 1978. 78,156,244. Oswalt, Conrad. “Armageddon at the Millennial Dawn”. The Journal of Religion And Film. Vol.4, No.,1 April 2000. 10 Sept. 2009. http://www.unomaha.edu/jrf/armagedd.htm Oswalt, Conrad. “Religion and Popular Movies”. The Journal of Religion and Film. Vol.2, No.3 December 1998. 27 Aug. 2009 http://www.unomaha.edu/~jrf/popular.htm Portman, Ian. Temple of Dendara, Cairo-Egypt: The Palm Press, 2005. 25. Silverblatt, Art. Keys to Interpreting Media Messages, 2nd ed. Westport: Praeger, 2001. 85. Silverblatt, Art and Jane Ferry, Finan, Approaches To Media Literacy, New York: M E Sharpe, 1999. 205. Symbols and Their Meaning. Crossroads. Alchemy 1,2. Symbols and Their Meaning. Crossroads. Fleur-de-lis 59


Symbols and Their Meaning. Crossroads. Hexagram Symbols and Their Meaning. Crossroads. Masonic Compass Symbols and Their Meaning. Crossroads. Pentagram Symbols and Their Meaning. Crossroads. The Great Seals of the USA, Senate, Dollar Bill, DARPA, United Religions http://www.crossroad.to/Books/symbols.1.html

06 Sept. 2009

Tenny, Merrill. The Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1967. 26,733,813. The Matrix. Official Website. 03 Dec 2009. http://www.whatisthematrix.com US National Monument. 12-03-09. http://www.NPS.gov USA Design and Art. Bible Mailing Service. Revelation Reveals Flyer for September 8-10, 2009. Vol. 9 Issue 76257. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Springfield: G & C Merriam Company, 1971. Wittung, Jeffery. Daniel Bramer. “From Superman to Brahman”: The Religious Shift of The Matrix Mythology. 19 Nov. 2009. http://www.unomaha.edu/~jrf/Vol10No2/WittungBramer_Matrix.htm World History Center. Epic of Gilgamesh. 28 Sept. 2009. http://history-world.org/floods.htm World History Center. “Flood Legends” 28 Sept. 2009. http://history-world.org/floods.htm

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FILMOGRAPHY Brown, Dan, dir. Beyond the Davinci Code. Perf. Dan Burstein, 2005. Documentary.(Netflix) Ehbrecht, Will, dir. Behind The DaVince Code. Perf. Not Available. Willer Grossman Productions. 2005. Historical Documentary. (Netflix) Frakes, Jonathan, dir. The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice. Perf. Noah Wyle. TNT, 2008. Film.

In The Matrix Reloaded, the

Genre: Action Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Sci-Fi Thrillers, Action Thrillers This movie is: Suspenseful, Mind-bending, Dark, Violent

61


MOVING FORWARD: ADAPTING TO CULTURE TODAY The Matrix as well as other 21st century films take out the sovereignty of God and allow man to have ultimate control of destiny. To yield to scholarly conclusive remarks, Oswalt comments in his article, Armageddon at the Millennial Dawn, Fatalism in western apocalypticism is toned down. While end of the world threats perhaps are not avoidable, the cinematic formulation of millennial doom promotes the notion that the end can be averted through employing human ingenuity, scientific advance, and heroism. He goes on to say, The secular film version of the apocalypse removes the divine element from the apocalyptic drama yet not religious symbolism, imager, or language, Neither does it remove the notion of otherness as a necessary component of humanity’s struggle wit the end of the world. However, in these films, the divine as “other” is replaced by aliens, disease, meteors, and machines as “other” —an otherness that exist in binary opposition to humankind. So the secular apocalypse of film is postmodern in that it has undermined the binary opposition of God-human. Yet, it retains the sense of opposition (“something-human”) that is crucial for understanding threats to existence. (2000)

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CONCLUSION

It is with hope, that this research has been interesting and enlightening. Tracking religious symbols in film and following their evolutionary threads may lead the audience when viewing film to critically think about the images that flash before them. Think about the filmmaker, their point of view and intent. Reflect on the metaphors, themes, archetypes and other implicit or under the surface content that can help enhance their viewing experience. Film is a type of language that can speak to an audience and the need for pleasure and entertainment, but she also asks the reader to tolerate examination of film to obtain enhanced self-knowledge. (Miles. P14) Using religious symbolism in film for this study, brings a heightened awareness to the audience that the Western world leaned upon ancient civilizations as steppingstones throughout history up to present day. The symbols of the past, while the same have evolved into contemporary culture. Hollywood has not always put symbols and images outside the traditions of the West in a positive and true light. Hollywood views the audience as passive and ready to accept because they have molded a production to what we want and expect so there is an over emphasizes of some issues while ignoring others, otherwise called social engineering. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but whose words? This research wanted to demonstrate by consentrating on the images used in five films for historical analysis. The Librarian, The Seventh Sign, The DaVinci Code, The Matrix and

63


Zeitgeist, The Movie. It is an indicative study on religious symbolism, and using a qualitative, Socratic approach. The films are carefully selected to do an historical analysis that will show history from ancient civilizations to today. The intent is not prostalize or condemn but to provoke questions. Oswalt, in Religion and Popular Movies, encourages all to become critical interpreters of culture. (1998). To do this is to have a simple 1,2,3 approach. The method is to identify the symbol, used in the film, trace its thread past, and trace the thread present. Through new lenses the audience can see past the image used for cinematic purposes and see religious iconography through a larger worldview. If successful, and only the viewer will know, the entertainment experience should be even more pleasurable. Margaret Miles in her book, Seeing and Believing contends, “Taking film seriously does not require that the pleasure of entertainment be replaced by boring analysis. Rather, it involves taking pleasure (and displeasure) seriously enough to be willing to inspect them, detecting the filmic strategies by which they were evoked”. (12) Since most scholarly work has been in the field of psycho-analysis Further exploration of the topic of religious symbolism in film would be beneficial for a viewer-oriented methodology. Final remarks are given to Jonathan Feit in Sacred Symbols quotes, “as someone once said, “God is in the details”, and the fact is never truer than when it pertains to religious iconography”. (146)

64


WORKS CITED BOOKS Brown, Dan. The DaVinci Code. New York: Random House Inc., 2003. Prologue: Facts Burnstein, Dan. Secrets of the Code. New York: CDS, 2006. pp 22,39, 82,172,203,397. Cooper, John. Carl Skrade. Celluloid and Symbols, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1970. pp 57. Dakes, Finis. Holy Bible. 1993 edition. Gen 9:8-17, Lev. 18:6-17, II Kings 23:35, Rom :14, Rev. Chapters 5-8, 13:16-18. Further reading: Dan. Chapters 6-11. Eliade, Mircea. Images and Symbols, Great Britian: Harvill Press, 1961. p120. Eliade, Micrea. Myth of the Eternal Return, Kingsport: Kingsport Press, Inc., 1949. p10. Feiler, Morton. What’s In A Name?, New York: Jove Publications, 1977. George Washington Witness. The Constitution of the United States, Farewell Address, Malta: National Center for Constitutional Studies, 2nd ed. 2005. Getliein, Mark. Gilbet’s Living With Art, (sixth ed.), New York: McGraw Hill, 2002. pp109-111, 149 . Gramsci. Antonio. Quote: Codes Martin, Joel. Conrad E. Ostwalt, Jr, Screening The Sacred, Boulder: Westview Press, Inc., 1995. pp. 3,6,9,14,55,59,62-63,66,67,81,99,157, May, Johh, Michael Bird. Religion In Film. Knoxville: University of Tennessee 65


Press, 1982. pp.101,107-110. Silverblatt, Art. Keys to Interpreting Media Messages, second ed. Westport: Praeger, 2001. p85. Silverblatt, Art. Jane Ferry, Barbara Finan, Approaches To Media Literacy, New York: M E Sharpe, 1999. Chap 5, p205 Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield: G & C Merriam Company, 1973. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Springfield: G & C Merriam Company, 1971. World History Center. “Flood Legends”, http://history-world.org/floods.htm

(accessed 09-28-2009)

ARTICLES Albright, Matthew. “Religious Themes in Film”. Suite 101. http://www.suite101.com/course.cfm/19217/seminar (accessed 08-28-2009) Feit, Jonathon. “Sacred Symbols and the Depiction of Religions in Millennial Movies (1997-2002)”. Journal of Media and Religion, 3(3), 133-150. 2004 Emerson Library database 10-13-2009. pp134-150. Johnston, Robert. Book Review, “Screening The Sacred”, Journal of the American Academy of Religion. pp 496-498. Miles, Margaret. “Seeing And Believing”, Beacon Press. 1996 Eden Webster Library database 09-20-2009 pp.12. Oswalt, Conrad. “Armageddon at the Millennial Dawn”. The Journal of Religion And Film. Vol.4, No.,1 April 2000. http://www.unomaha.edu/jrf/armagedd.htm . (accessed 10-10-2009)

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Oswalt, Conrad. “Religion and Popular Movies”. The Journal of Religion and Film. Vol.2, No.,3 December 1998. http://www.unomaha.edu/~jrf/popular.htm (accessed 08-27-2009) Wittung, Jeffery. Daniel Bramer. “From Superman to Brahman”: The Religious Shift of The Matrix Mythology (accessed 11-19-2009) http://www.unomaha.edu/~jrf/Vol10No2/WittungBramer_Matrix.htm

BOOKS: TEXT AND IMAGES Ben-Jochannan, Yosef. Charles Finch, Oduyoye,Medhin, Chandler. African Origins of the Major World Religions. Britian: Karnak House, 1988,1991. pp38, 51. Hall, Manley. The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Los Angeles: The Philosophical Research Society, Inc., 1988,2000. Hieronimus, Ph.D., Robert. Laura Cortner, Founding Fathers, Secret Societies, Rochester: Destiny Books, 1989, 2006. pp. 42,43,90,103,111-12,115-16, 129,138. National Geographic. Ancient Egypt, Discovering Its Splendors, Washington D.C: Yale University Press.1973. National Geographic, 1978. pp.78,156,244. Portman, Ian. Temple of Dendara, Cairo-Egypt: The Palm Press, 2005. p.25. Tenny, Merrill. The Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1963,64,67. pp. 126,733,813.

PHOTOS El-Brince Cards. Pharoah Kufu’s boat. Masonic Apron at Sakkara. Eldridge, Mildred. Ark of the Covenant, Egypt, Africa, on tour 2005. 67


Obelisk of Queen Hatsepsut, Egypt, Africa, on tour 2005 Relief of the Ark of the Covenant being carried, Egypt, Africa, on tour 2005. (photo’s upon request (in archive, kodakgallery.com) US National Monument. USA Design and Art. Bible Mailing Service. Revelation Reveals Flyer for September 8-10, 2009. Vol. 9 Issue 76257.

WEBSITES All Seeing Eye, Eye of Horus, Eye of RA http://www.sangraal.com/library/eyesofhorusm

(accessed 11-28-2009)

http://www.greatdreams.com/horus/eyehorushtm) (accessed 11-28-2009) http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/eye.html (accessed 12-032009) Alchemy 1,2 Fleur-de-lis Hexagram Masonic Compass Pentagram Philosophers Stone also see: Secret Teachings of All Ages , XCVI-XCVII The Great Seals of the USA, Senate, Dollar Bill, DARPA, United Religions http://www.crossroad.to/Books/symbols.1.html

(accessed 09-06-2009)

Brother George Washington’s Masonic Apron http://www.pagrandlodge.org/mlam/apron/

(accessed 11-28-2009) 68


Culturally Embedded Religious Symbols: “Christian cross as fashion”. http://www.filination.com/blog/2009/04/06/culturally-embedded-religioussymbols-Christian-cross-fashion/ accessed 08-30-2009) Epic of Gilgamesh. http://history-world.org/floods.htm

(accessed 09-28-2009)

Eye of Horus. http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/eye.html (accessed 12-03-2009) Last Supper. Pop culture. “Tarantino Last Supper”. http://culturepopped.blogspot.com/2007/04/suddenly-last-supper.html (accessed 04-03-2009)

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FILMOGRAPHY Brown, Dan, dir. Beyond the Davinci Code. Perf. Dan Burstein, 2005. Documentary.(Netflix) Ehbrecht, Will, dir. Behind The DaVince Code. Perf. Not Available. Willer Grossman Productions. 2005. Historical Documentary. (Netflix) Frakes, Jonathan, dir. The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice. Perf. Noah Wyle. TNT, 2008. Film. Librarian Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle) must rescue a kidnapped scholar and track down the legendary Judas Chalice to save the world from a dangerous vampire, in the third installment of this popular adventure film series. Carsen teams up with a mysterious woman (Stana Katic) and sets out for New Orleans, hoping to find the powerful chalice before it falls into the hands of a cult that believes it can revive the infamous Vlad Dracul. Bob Newhart co-stars in an Emmy-nominated role. (Netflix) Starring: Noah Wyle, Bob Newhart Director: Jonathan Frakes

Frakes, Jonathan, dir. Return to King Solomon’s Mines. Perf. Noah Wyle. TNT. 2006. Film In this highly anticipated sequel to TNT's popular action blockbuster, Noah Wyle returns as Flynn Carsen, the slightly nerdy librarian whose double life as an archaeologist leads to heart-pounding adventure and intrigue. Flynn's sober academic life is interrupted when he's called upon to once again save the world's most valuable antiquities hidden within the depths of the fabled mines of King Solomon -- this time with a stunning twist of fate. (Netflix) Starring: Gabrielle Anwar, Olympia Dukakis Director: Jonathan Frakes

Howard, Ron, dir. The DaVinci Code. Perf. Tom Hanks. Columbia Pictures, 2006. Film. When the curator of the Louvre is found murdered in the famed museum's hallowed halls, Harvard professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and cryptographer Sophie Neve (Audrey Tautou) must untangle a deadly web of deceit involving the works of Leonardo da Vinci. Ian McKellen, Jean Reno, Paul Bettany and Alfred Molina co-star in this gripping thriller from director Ron Howard, based on the best-selling novel by Dan Brown. (Netflix) Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Dramas Based on the Book This movie is: Suspenseful, Scary, Controversial

Ike, David, dir. Secrets of the Matrix. Perf. David Ike. Documentary (Part 1 of 4) (Netflix) Joseph, Peter, dir. Zeitgeist, The Movie. Perf. Not Available. Online. Zeitgeistthemovie.com, 2007. Film. Accessed October 10, 2009. Not Available, dir. Behind the Davinci Code. Perf. Not Available, History

70


Channel, 2007. Historical Documentary. (Netflix) Not Available, dir. The Bible According to Hollywood. Perf. Not Available. 2004. Documentary. (Netflix) Not Available, dir. The Power of Myth. Perf. Joseph Campbell, Host. Bill Moyers. PBS, 1988. Documentary. (Netflix) Schultz, Carl, dir. The Seventh Sign. Perf. Demi Moore. Tri-Star Pictures, 1988. Film. Demi Moore plays Abby, a pregnant woman with a curious new boarder in the apartment over her garage. Turns out he's heavensent and is speeding along the Apocalypse by bloodying rivers, egging on plagues and following scripture word for word. As the nosy and nearly-to-term Abby uncovers her tenant's secrets, she finds out her role in bringing about the seventh sign. This drama's popularity stems from Moore's turn, which smoothes over plot holes. (Netflix) Genre: Supernatural Horror, Satanic Stories This movie is: Suspenseful, Scary Dir: Carl Schultz

Wachowski, Andy, dir. The Matrix. Perf. Keanu Reeves. Warner Brothers Pictures,1999. Film. In this complex story that aspires to mythology, a computer hacker (Keanu Reeves) searches for the truth behind the mysterious force known as the Matrix. He finds his answer with a group of strangers led by the charismatic Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). What they encounter in confronting that truth makes for a lightning-paced, eye-popping thrill ride of a movie that cleverly combines sociopolitical commentary with cutting-edge special effects. (Netflix) Genre: Action Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Sci-Fi Thrillers, Action Thrillers This movie is: Suspenseful, Mind-bending

Wachowski, Andy, dir. The Matrix: Reloaded. Perf. Keanu Reeves. Warner Brothers Pictures, 2003. Film. After Zion -- the last outpost still under human control -- is discovered, the battle against the machines that have enslaved people in the Matrix reaches its peak, and Neo, Morpheus, Trinity and the rest of the gang must soldier on. Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss reprise the roles they made famous in the special-effects spectacle The Matrix, with Hugo Weaving popping up again as Neo's indefatigable cyber foe. Genre: Action Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Sci-Fi Thrillers, Action Thrillers This movie is: Suspenseful, Exciting

Wachowski, Andy, dir. The Matrix: Revolutions. Perf. Keanu Reeves. Warner Brothers Pictures, 2003. Film. This action-packed finale of the Wachowski brothers' trilogy finds an unconscious Neo (Keanu Reeves) trapped in Mobil Avenue, a subway station in an intermediate zone between the Matrix and the machine world that's controlled by the Trainman (Bruce

71


Spence). Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) try to free Neo so he can lead the fight to save Zion, but a powerful enemy complicates their mission. Monica Bellucci co-stars. (Netflix) Genre: Action Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Sci-Fi Thrillers, Action Thrillers This movie is: Suspenseful, Mind-bending, Dark, Violent

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APPENDIX Note: * denotes how the symbol is represented in the movie

The Librarian Fig 1 *The family crest. It is a Masonic insignia, which is made up of the compass and square and is said to stand for geometry and knowledge.(Hieronimus, 116) Masonic Compass: The Masonic symbol of the compass and the T-square represents movement toward perfection and a balance between the spiritual and physical which resembles Egyptian and oriental mysticism. The compass (used to form circles) represents spirit. The ruler (part of a square) represents the physical. (http://www.crossroad.to/Books/symbols1.html) Fig 2 *The Ark of the Covenant is an artifact in the Library. Christian philosophy, biblical story of Noah’s Ark the Deluge or great flood. Also from the ancient story of Gilgamesh. (World History Center, online) Fig 3 *Shroud. Artifact in the Library. A cloth placed on a crucified man. A great debate on if the image embedded in the cloth is the image of Jesus Christ. (Webster International) Fig 4 *Image of Buddha on a carved box. The Buddha is Eastern philosophy and a representation of perfectly reached enlightenment. (Webster Collegiate) Fig 5 *Cartouche with hieroglyphs Egyptian and Greek ancient writings on pyramids and stones. Used to record history. Today they are used as fashion. Personalized jewelry, clothing, and artwork. (National Geographic pp143-144) “Christian Cross as Fashion”, http://www.filination.com/blog/2009/04/06/culturally-embedded-religious-symbols-Christian-cross-fashion/

Fig 6 *The “All Seeing Eye”. *In the Librarian it is painted on a building to represent they have come to the right place for guidance. Egyptian philosophy representing the Eye of God, or the Eye of RA (the Sun). It is also called the third eye or spiritual eye, which is also a part of free masonry. It is on the back of our dollar bill representing the 73


personification of physical and moral law. The gap presently represents the church age according to Christianity. (National Geographic, p78) (Heironimus, p138) Fig 7 *Sun, light. A portal for escape. It is also used as symbol to represent the Sun god Ra then entered Christian philosophy as an allegory to represent he 12 points of the suns rays as the twelve disciples and the crown of thorns on the Son of God. The Sun is also a part of Astrology an Asian philosophy zodiac and Egyptian philosophy lunar calendar. Today our calendar is not lunar but Gregorian. Fig 8 *Noah’s Ark a find in King Solomon’s Mines as a landmark. Christianity philosophy built for the Deluge or the Great Flood by Noah with specific instructions from God. It is also an Egyptian artifact which is Pharaoh Kufu’s boat called “The Nuark.” (photo: Eldridge, on tour 2005) (World History Center). Fig 9 *Philosopher Stone. Used to decode a map to find King Solomon’s Mines. Philosophers stone is believed to have chemicals of Alchemy in that it could turn objects into gold. It is the symbol for the Alchemist quest for transformation and Spiritual illumination. (Secret Teachings XVI-V, CVII). ALCHEMY 1: This simple 17th century "sign" illustrates the blending of geometric shapes, elemental symbols and astrological signs. Each part representing the various "elements" and forces needed for magical work in the quest for physical transformation and spiritual illumination and immortality. Many medieval alchemists based their philosophies on mystical traditions rooted in the Kabala (Jewish mysticism), Hermetic magic and the occult practices of ancient civilizations such as Egypt and China. See Philosopher's stone and phoenix. Compare it with the next symbol: ALCHEMY 2: This compound "magical-alchemical symbol" replaces the above triangle with a hexagram and adds more shapes within the magical circle: a cross [in this context it become an occult counterfeit) and an additional circle with the Hindu "Bindu" (dot in the center) at the bottom of the hexagram. . (http://www.crossroad.to/Books/symbols1.html) Rosetta Stone is a black basalt Egyptian stone; used for recording history. (National Geographic p249)

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Photo:A Artifact of RA in the temple of Dendura in Egypt. This is one of many Representation of what was used to house the covenants and laws given to the people by God. In Christian philosophy it is the representation of the covering for covenant that God gave Moses to give to the people nown as the10 commandments on tablets of stone. (photo: Eldridge, on tour 2005) (Dakes Bible). Photo:B Relief on the wall in the Temple of Dendura showing the ark of the covenant being carried. (photo: Eldridge, on tour 2005) Photo:C Pharaoh Kufu’s boat, The Nuark, an artifact on the Giza Plateau in Cairo, Egypt, Africa. (photo: El-Brince). Photo:D Eye of Ra (photo: http://www.greatdreams.com/horus/eyehorushtm) The left eye is called the Eye of Horus, represents abstract aesthetic information controlled by the right brain. It approaches the universe in terms of female oriented ideation. We use the left eye, female oriented, right side of our brain for feeling and intuition. The right eye is called the Eye of Ra, symbolizing the Sun and represents concrete factual information controlled by the left-brain. It deals with words, letters and numbers and those things, which are describable in terms of sentences or complete thoughts. It approaches the universe in terms of male oriented ideation. (www.sangraal.com/library/eyesofhorus.htm) (Hieronimus p138) (www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/eye.html) (National Geographic p 155) Photo: Ancientegyptonline.com

The eye consists of mathematical parts. Photo:E The eye controls the sensory system.

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Photo: Ancientegyptonline.com

Photo:F Astrology/Astronomy (image: Ian Portman) Astrology is used by all cultures and philosophy to understand the heavens and the stars. Temple of Hathor, Egypt, Africa circa 100 BC. (Ben-Jochannan p38) Astrology is an Eastern philosophy and adopted into western culture. The figure is a relief in the temple in The Temple of Hathor. It represents the 12months of the year, the four seasons, each month and the constellations in the center. Photo:G All Seeing Eye and pyramid on currency The eye of God is the capstone, which originated in Egyptian philosophy In Pharaoh Djoser’s step pyramid at Saquara. The steps represent the ladder for ascension into the heavens. The eye, a universal symbol representing spiritual sight, inner vision, higher knowledge. (Hieronimus) (National Geo.p78) The Great Seal is the term for the image on the dollar bill. It is also used in free masonry. Both appeared on the dollar bill in 1933 under President, Franklin D. Roosevelt. (Hieronimus p103)

The Seventh Sign Fig 17 *4th Seal. A disc Horseman of the Apocalypse. Rev. 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. Fig 18 *Raven. Warning death is near. Christian symbol for death. (Tenny,Bible dictionary) p126) Fig 19 *Ring. *In Abby’s dream a man in a robe wearing a symbolic ring asking, will you die for him? Image of the ring is used for later recognition of encountering the same person and place in her dreams. A place where she will have to stand in the balances of choice ultimately giving her life to save her baby and the world. Fig 20 *5th Seal. A disc. 76


Death of a Martyr. Rev. 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the alter the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: Fig 21 *6th Seal. A disc. Death and Destruction. Rev. 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of har, and the moon became as blood. Fig 22 *Orb *Avi deciphering letter appears and represents entering a spiritual realm. Orb is a spoerical body or something in globular shape. (Int’l dictionary) Fig 23 *Star of David *Appears on the door of the synagogue HEXAGRAM or SIX-POINTED STAR: When surrounded by a circle, it represents the "divine mind" (a counterfeit of God's wisdom) to numerous occult groups through the centuries. To Jewish people, it is their Star of David. (http://www.crossroad.to/Books/symbols1.html) Photo:H Epic of Gilgimesh. Deluge. A great flood 2600BC (National Geo)(World History Center online) Photo:I Estalogical metaphors and symbols, found in the Biblical Text of Daniel and Revelation. Rev. 5-8. Dan. 6:1-18,24, 7:8, 23-26, 8:8-10,20-25, 9:24, 11:3545.

The DaVinci Code Fig 26 *Fleur-de-lis. A symbol for the Templars. FLEUR-DE-LIS: Also called Lily of France, it was first an adaptation of the Gaulish lily representing the Virgin Juno. Among goddess worshippers, it apparently had several meanings, including the Triple Goddess. It appeared in Arthurian legends as well as on the French (and other national) "coat-of-arms" and royal or military emblems. It has also been an emblem for the Boy Scouts. (http://www.crossroad.to/Books/symbols1.html) (Secrets of the Code, p82) 77


Fig 27 *Leonard DaVinci portrait of the Last Supper. (Gilberts Living with Art. p109) Fig 28 *Angel. A Masonic symbol often put on buildings. Since the first architectural Masons are known as the Sinclair family, and their affiliation with the Masons, angel can be defined in this discussion as: “one who aids or supports with money or influence”. (International dictionary). Fig 29 *Symbol of Mary, pregnant Mary Magdalene and the other Mary escape from Jerusalem to France. (Beyond the DaVince Code) (Secrets of the Code, pp 22,39) Fig 30 *Sarah, The Egyptian, also referred to as the servant girl of Mary Magdalene born in Egypt, or the descendant of Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene’s daughter, and the wife of Jesus. (Secrets of the Code pp22,39) Fig 31 *Christian Cross, on architectural on church and government buildings. This symbols evolutionary thread past is, the Ankh (right). An Egyptian cross symbolizing a mythical eternal life, rebirth. http://www.crossroad.to?Books/symbols.1.html Fig 32 *The Apprentice Column. Designed by the St. Clairs, a family of Scottish RiteMasons famous for their archetecure on religious and government buildings. Photo:J The Masonic Apron in Egypt. (National Geo. p.156)(photo: El-Brince) Photo:K Taritino Last Supper. Representing pop art. (Last Supper, popped-culture) Photo:L George Washington’s Masonic Apron. (Hieronimus pp 4243)(pagrandlodge.org) Photo:M The Washington Monument. (image US National Monument) Photo:N Obelisk of Queen Hatsepsut (photo: Eldridge, on tour 2005)

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The Matrix The main focuses for this analysis are names and how they correspond with the biblical text. Here are many examples: x

Anderson’s hacker alias Neo the main character. Anderson = “Son of man” an attribute also given to Jesus.

x

Morpheus would represent John, as preaching about the coming of the One. (Neo is anagram of One).

x

Neo means “New” (Greek)

x

As mentioned earlier, baptism which symbolizes purification and rebirth is represented when Neo falls naked into water and is lifted into his new identify. This thread is found in scripture where John the Baptist is baptizing Jesus. (Mark 1:9-11).

x

There is Cyrus the character that is representative of Judas.

x

The ship Nebuchadnessar bears the inscription “Mark III No. 11.

x

Trinity = 3 in 1, biblical Father, Son, Holy Spirit. In the movie Morpheus is the father, Neo is the Son, and Trinity is The Holy Spirit.

x

Oracle, foretelling the coming of the Messiah

x

Morpheus is the Greek god of dreams

x

Zion is representative of Jerusalem.

x

Niobe is a Greek goddess who wanted to be adored for being a mother.

x

Lambert Wilson (who plays the Merovingian) mentions in an interview that Zion is related to the “Priory of Zion” a secret society, with connections to Knights Templars, Rosicrucian, Freemasons, Arthurian and the Holy Grail.

x

The Source is symbolic of God, the source of all light and life. 79


Zeitgeist, The Movie Fig 38

*Federal Reserves. Control of US currency titled, Federal Reserve Note.

Fig 39

*Religion and Government. The Church and the State. (David Ike, pt1-4)

Fig 40

*Microchip Pets are already have chips for identification purposes.

Photo:O Water table (photo: Eldridge, on tour 2005) Photo:P,Q,R (Note: cited from: www.crossroad.to/Books/symbols1.html) Other sites noted within the description are for further study Photo:P The GREAT SEAL of the United States of America: The design for this national emblem was completed in 1782. Some consider its occult and Masonic images an American mission statement. The inscribed motto, E Pluribus Unum means "Out of many, one." The words Novus Ordo Seclorum means "a new order of the ages," according to this website: www.greatseal.com. The two sides show the symbol of the eagle (first a phoenix) and the eye in the pyramid. See All-Seeing Eye & Eye of Horus & Great Seal. But the more correct meaning would be NEW WORLD ORDER [novus = new, ordo = order, seclorum = secular or world] See also www.greatseal.com & A More Perfect Union Photo:Q Seal of the Senate. The SEAL of the SENATE "...includes a scroll inscribed with E Pluribus Unum floating across a shield with thirteen stars on top and thirteen vertical stripes on the bottom. Olive and oak branches symbolizing peace and strength grace the sides of the shield, and a red liberty cap and crossed fasces represent freedom and authority. Blue beams of light emanate from the shield." www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Seal-of-the-United-States-Senate Photo:R Seal of the USA Photo:S Family Shield. (art creation: Eldridge) (Whats in a Name?) Photo:T DARPA. All-seeing EYE in the PYRAMID: The official symbol for DARPA Total Information Awareness, a surveillance and information system established by they U.S. government. [See programs] Notice how the Masonic all-seeing eye of the new world order 80


covers the planet with its enlightening rays. Photo:U United Religions Logo UNITED RELIGIONS: Its former symbol joined 14 religious symbols together in a circle around planet Earth. The new symbol(s) shows a linear list of 16 religious symbols with a world map in the background. By clicking on the symbols, you can find each of their meanings. But each symbol will be presented from an occult or universalistic perspective -- even the cross. See Star Wars Joins United Religions at the Presidio

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Tracing The Evolutionary Threads of Religious Symbolism In Film  

Thesis for Media Communications

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