Enzo Fardone, THE POUSSIN ENIGMA, 2007, Australia, Starburst Books, 237 page, plus glossary, softcover
This book is most unusual in its content, style and the undeniable similarities in plot and themes to The Da Vinci Code. Having gotten that out of the way, I will spend the rest of the review explaining why this book is completely different and solid reading for anyone interested in the perennial philosophy. This philosophy is the notional idea that certain universal spiritual/metaphysical truths recur outside of time and civilization. This can be equated to a Divine reality.
New Dawn Magazine does not ordinarily review works of fiction, but this one is a notable example of a quality piece of esoteric fiction worthy of reading.
Author Enzo Fardone has an extensive background in theology both exoteric and esoteric, comparative religions and philosophy. He was writing this book in the late 1990s under the title Vision of the Holy Grail and happened to submit it to the same publisher as The Da Vinci Code! Some coincidences are definitely worth an exclamation. He was more than surprised when he actually read Dan Brown’s book in 2004 and found so many similarities in plot and themes to his own. He was even seen stating his case to the electronic media. What we have now is a changed title to his work of fiction, and brimful with esoteric information in a lively adventure yarn.
The style of the book is quite accessible with a somewhat slow-moving plotline interspersed with intense chunks of metaphysical teachings that explain the action. The action centres around the main character called John Sinclair. His bloodline goes back to the Scottish Sinclairs known to have been involved with the Templars over the centuries. He embarks on a spiritual quest from Australia to Europe and the south of France – Cathar country. He meets many people – allies and enemies. He also undergoes initiations, and is admitted to both the Order of the Holy Grail and to the Brotherhood of the Rose Cross. The central mystery and focus is the question of where Jesus is buried. This takes in the debate over whether or not he was actually dead when his body was given over to Joseph of Arimathea after the crucifixion, and the ramifications for the Roman Catholic Church.
Enough of the plot.
Embedded within the story are esoteric spiritual teachings and history. “Who have ears to hear…” The Poussin of the title was a 17th century artist who executed paintings of remarkable symbolic significance. One of his two paintings of The Arcadian Shepherds is featured on the cover and is replete with occult meaning. If you are fascinated by Freemasonry, Knights Templar, the Rosicrucians, Catharism, esoteric Christianity and the suppression of the early church mysteries by certain people in the Vatican, this book is for you. There is a continual thread throughout that illuminates the mystery teachings of the ages, remnants of which are found in the outer, or exoteric, dogmas of all mainstream religions. The main proponents of western esoteric mystery schools in the present are the Gnostics, the inner teachings of the Freemasons, Rosicrucians and various orders of Knights Templar. The Hermetic order of the Golden Dawn has some offshoots which still operate today. There are also many organizations which claim to have contact with The Great White Brotherhood; an organization of adepts from other dimensions. Such is Theosophy. All of these organizations operate on a hierarchical basis, in which the aspirant is initiated through degrees of spiritual attainment as he/she becomes ready. This is explained often in this novel, while hurrying the main character through his initiations at an alarming rate! I know I will not be spoiling the story by saying that the Le Comte St Germain makes a cameo appearance…
Mr Fardone knows his stuff. He is very clear on the known facts about the Western Mystery traditions and associated organizations. I will note to the reader that as the knowledge rises, the action slows. Hierarchical ritual and teaching is described just before or just after a chase scene with bullets flying and cars racing around hairpin bends. I suspect this is at the expense of deeper development of the characters. Regardless of why, it leaves the reader far richer in the knowledge needed to continue the saga. At the end of the day, real knowledge is gained while the story entertains. A unique book in that regard.
Readers with a broad interest in metaphysics, or even a particular leaning toward any of the Western Mystery Schools will find this novel absorbing. As to the controversial information on where Jesus is buried, the reader will have to seek this in the reading.
I found this a demanding read, having to move back and forth from teaching to action. There is a mountain of information within the pages ably supported by a five page glossary in the rear of the book. My sure-fire test of a work that will produce initiations for the reader is if the material is reflected in dreams.
Yes it is.