1. How familiar were you with Freemasonry before reading the
novel? How did your impressions of the organization shift
throughout the book, from the chilling prologue to Peter Solomon''s
philosophical comments near the end?
2. How do Peter Solomon''s students (including Robert) reconcile
their admiration for him with the knowledge that he is a Mason? Did
it surprise you to learn about well-known American historical
figures who were Masons and to read about scientists who were
intrigued by mysticism and other occult belief systems?
3. Discuss the novel''s grand theme of architecture. How did
The Lost Symbol change the way you think about the way
buildings are designed and the intention of their architects
(creators)? What most surprised you about the tributes to the
past-and visions of the future-that are captured in the landmarks
of Washington, D.C.?
4. Mal''akh considers the polarity of angels and demons noting
that "the guardian angel who conquered your enemy in battle was
perceived by your enemy as a demon destroyer." What does this
indicate about Mal''akh''s perception of himself in the world? How
can his evil nature be explained? Why is he only able to consider
his own suffering, while relishing the suffering of others?
5. How did you react to Katherine Solomon''s work in Noetic
Science? What motivates her to investigate the tangible aspects of
the human soul (attempting to weigh it, even)? How would it change
the world if there were more tangible evidence of the spiritual
world? How is Katherine Solomon''s perception of science different
from Robert Langdon''s?
6. At the heart of the novel is a quest to unlock wisdom, and
the need to keep it "locked" because it can be used for destructive
purposes. Do you believe that freedom of knowledge (Wikipedia, a
world wide web) is a blessing or a curse?
7. The novel''s epigraph, from Manly Hall''s The Secret
Teachings of All Ages, encourages readers to become aware of
the meaning of the world. What mysteries about the world, and life,
do you think are the most important ones to explore?
8. How did Mal''akh amass enough power to turn his personal plot
into a national security threat? What does his rise to power
indicate about the potential of mind over body and a human being''s
ability to play a variety of roles for unsuspecting audiences?
9. The final chapter raises intriguing questions about the
possibility of a multi-faceted God and the potential to find God in
all of humanity. Can there be a universal definition of
10. While interpreting the Masonic Pyramid''s final inscription,
Robert Langdon tries to bring order out of chaos by interpreting
each symbol as a metaphor. Peter Solomon instructs him to be
literal and accept the inscription as a true map. What does this
exchange say about the best way to interpret all sacred
11. What truths do Katherine Solomon and Robert Langdon
experience in the epilogue, at sunrise, atop America''s ultimate
symbol? From your perspective, what does the Capitol symbolize?
12. What does The Lost Symbol indicate about the power
of the Word-both ancient texts and bestselling twenty-first-century
13. What common thread runs through this and each of Dan
Brown''s previous works? What makes The Lost Symbol
unique? How has Robert Langdon''s perspective changed from
Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code?