Category Archives: Noetics

A Childhood Introduction to Puzzles and Codes

Dan BrownOf all the interviews we’ve seen, read and heard in the past week or so, Dan Brown’s appearance on NPR’s All Things Considered remains one of the most enlightening.

Who couldn’t fail to be intrigued by the mental image of Dan Brown, as a child on Christmas morning, scrambling around the house on a treasure hunt following a trail of puzzles set by his father, a math textbook author? Apparently the clues even included magic squares.

It doesn’t take much of a mental leap to see the inspiration for Dan Brown’s novels today or the energy and enthusiasm that pervades his works.

Brown also pinpoints the moment when he first became interested in Noetics–ten years ago, while he was researching particle physics for his first Robert Langdon novel, Angels and Demons.

According to Brown, he was particularly fascinated by Noetics because it ties together “the old and the new”. The field has grown so quickly in the past ten years, he says, that it was the perfect big idea for The Lost Symbol.

There’s much more, about fame, writing, religion and freemasonry, here.

Will the real Katherine Solomon, please stand up!

Dan Brown usually chooses a cryptic reference to living people in his novels. Leigh Teabing, in the Da Vinci Code, for example, is a veiled reference to Richard Leigh and Michael Baigent, the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail.

So how must it feel for Noetic author Lynne McTaggart to have been named and even quoted in The Lost Symbol?

Noetics author Lynne McTaggart

Noetics author Lynne McTaggart

Every so often my life takes such a fantastical turn that I am overwhelmed by the feeling that I am actually in the midst of a lucid dream, and that any moment awakening will hand me back my ordinary world.

I had that feeling yesterday when I got an email from my editor informing me that my book The Intention Experiment, my website: www.theintentionexperiment.com and a good deal of my research were named, explained and used as the background source of a major plotline in Dan Brown’s new book.

I spent last night skimming the entire text of The Lost Symbol. For those of you who haven’t read it yet, the book centers around the recovery of kidnapped head of the Smithsonian Peter Solomon by Brown’s long-standing protagonist, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, and Solomon’s sister, Katherine.

Solomon is a ‘noetic scientist’, a 50-year-old black-haired woman who has written two popular books about the new science of consciousness and the bridge between science and spirituality, which ‘established her as a leader in this obscure field’.

Presently she does mind-over-matter research and is particularly interested in the power of group minds to change the physical world.

At this point, the story began to sound strangely familiar. . .

In the Cube, a secret laboratory in the basement of the Smithsonian Institute, filled with all sorts of state-of-the-art gadgetry, Katherine carries out her cutting-edge research — virtually all of which has been the subject of my books or my actual experiments.

Her sidekick is a ‘meta-analyst’ or computer number cruncher called Trish Dunne, which will tickle Brenda Dunne of the PEAR research (also mentioned in the book).

McTaggart goes on, in a fascinating blog post, to discuss the facts, experiments, equipment, research and studies, that Dan Brown got right about Noetics in The Lost Symbol.

Meanwhile, Noetic scientist Marilyn Schlitz, president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, also recognizes elements of herself in the novel:

Marilyn Schlitz, president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences.

Marilyn Schlitz, president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences.

Of course, there are others in the frontier field of Noetic Science who see themselves in Katherine Solomon. And this is reasonable, for certainly she is a composite of several in our order.

Still, I must confess, short of olive colored skin, long hair, a wealthy family, and a crazy sociopath pursuing her, there are some exceptional similarities in our mutual bios.

As I read The Lost Symbol with mounting fascination, I am pondering what it means to become a fictional character in a book that has captured the collective imagination like wildfire on a hot summer day.

I begin with a theme that pervades The Lost Symbol: the Masons. Both my father and my brother were 32nd degree Masons and members of the Scottish Rite. I grew up wondering about the secret meetings for men only. My father and my brother learned mysterious symbols that could not be shared with me, despite my many probing questions. My father wore the iconic Masonic ring, which was passed down to my brother after his death, just as it was in Katherine’s family.

As Noetic Scientists, Katherine and I share a mutual fascination with the powers and potentials of consciousness. We have both pursued careers well outside the mainstream and both live our work, as friends and family can attest.

As President/CEO of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, both Katherine and I know the value and the urgency of our studies, as well as the complexity of explaining our work to the world. For both of us, Noetic Science is a multidisciplinary approach that seeks to understand the role that consciousness plays in the physical world, and how understanding consciousness can lead to creative new solutions to age old problems. We have been inspired by breakthroughs that were sourced through intuition and inner knowing and expressed through reason and logic. We believe that consciousness matters, now and in the future!

Schlitz goes on to describe her studies into distant intention, prayer, altered states of consciousness, contemplative practice, subtle energies, and healing, many of which are referenced in The Lost Symbol. Brown even seems to have modeled Katherine Solomon’s fictional “Cube” on the Institute of Noetic Sciences’s laboratory, which contains “a 2000-pound electromagnetically shielded room.” You can read on here.

Decoding the Lost Symbol

Now that The Lost Symbol has been on sale for almost one week, we are sure that many of our readers will have finished the novel.

Over the next couple of months, we will be completing our research into many of the topics that we knew would play a role in the book–Freemasonry, the Founding Fathers, The House of the Temple–and a few subjects that took us by surprise. Noetics, anyone?

The bulk of our research will be published in Secrets of the Lost Symbol, due in December. But we hope to share some of our findings here on the blog.

So, if you would like to know more about any of the plot details–names, places, myths, legends, beliefs, characters or technology–that figure in The Lost Symbol, please email us and we’ll enlist a member of our team to seek out the answer for you.