Topic Area: This study looks at the relation between the belief in the paranormal and different personality traits. There are two ways of looking at belief in the paranormal this study will look at the people who believe and those who somewhat believe and analyze their personalities traits. Hypothesis: This study examined two contrasting views of paranormal belief which suggest, in one camp, that belief in the paranormal is indicative of psychopathology. On the other hand, a number of researcher have disagreed with this viewpoint, suggesting that such a belief is not an indicator of psychopathology, but the fulfillment of some other underlying need. This study was designed to assess the personality traits of those we would we would consider to be high and low believers in parapsychology. Method: The participants in this study were undergraduate college students mostly freshmen and sophomores who were enrolled in introductory level psychology classes. There were 105 students involved in the study with an age range from 18 to 44 the gender breakdown of participants consisted of 46 men and 59 women whose average age was 20. 19 years old. The participants were administered the Paranormal Belief Scale (Tobacyk & Milford, 1983), The Anomalous Experience Inventory (Kumar, Pekala, & Gallagher, 1994), the Personality Research Form (Jackson, 1984), and a general questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of basic questions about demographics and any experience or preconceptions about the paranormal. The coefficient alphas for the Paranormal Belief Scale were . 93 and . 91. Alphas for the subscales range from . 69-. 85 and . 49-. 74. Using the Paranormal Belief Scale participants were broken into groups of high and low believerâ€™s base on a scale of 25-125 with high believers obtaining a score of 80 and low believers obtaining a score of 63. Each scale was administered in a class room setting and was untimed although the study took approximately 60 minutes to complete. Upon completion each participant was released and received a debriefing letter after the study. Results and Discussion: The results of this study showed that the high believers of the paranormal were more than likely to have friends with similar beliefs; they also are more likely to watch shows and read books based on paranormal subjects. The study also showed that more of the high believers had imaginary friends as they were growing up. Also high believers attended church less than those in the low believerâ€™s category and didnâ€™t look at themselves as very religious in comparison to low believers. The test also shows a distinct difference in gender with females scoring significantly higher than males on the (PBS) scale. There was also a series of ANOVAs (analysis of variance) that revealed a significant difference on four of the PRF scales Abasement, Aggression, Defendence, and Sentience these finding represent that there was not a strong enough relationship between these scales and the PBS to suggest a significant difference when examining high vs. low believers. However women scored higher than the men on Aggression and Defendence while men scored higher on Abasement. Critique: When initially reviewing this study to make a determination on which research example that I was going to focus on for my paper. I found that I was really interested in what the outcome of this research would be based on the amount of research that I am aware of that has been done on the study of the paranormal. This particular research was really interesting to me as it attempted to assess the personality traits of those who could be considered either high and/or low believers in parapsychology. According to other studies a person who believes in the paranormal is considered psychologically dysfunctional. This study used what I feel was a small segment of the population for such a broad subject that seems to have so many followers. The fact that they used 105 undergraduates from the age of 18 â€“ 44 makes me think that they may have limited themselves when it comes to the broad perspective of people that they could have used. If I were conducting the study I would have opened it up to males and females with age not being a factor in the study. I also would have went outside of the classroom to get my participants by looking for people who were of all different walks of life and backgrounds, from those with a high school education only to those in under graduate and graduate programs. I would have also attempted to recruit people from different professions from warehouse worker to executive. Another thing that I would have looked into would be the ability to get people to participate with whom I knew where members of the Wiccan community and also some people who believe in Psi, Esp. , and others who believe in poltergeist. I feel this would have produced some validity to base the answers of the non-believers against the answers of the known (or high) believers to form some sort of median to the answers instead of just basing the answers off of people with whom are just here for their extra credit in their Psychology class. Another factor of the test that could have affected the outcome was the fact that it was administered in a class like setting. I feel that while the test should be structured maybe they should have administered it in a less formal manner. When looking at the different tests that were administered to the participants there seemed to be one consistent outcome on all of them. This outcome was that there was very little or no difference in the personality traits of believers compared to those of non-believers. The only measurable differences between the groups were the fact that females scored significantly higher than males when it came to the PBS Psi scale and on aggression and defendence. Males scored higher than females on abasement. Once again I believe other than the gender based scores that the other scores could have been affected by the fact that all the participants in this study were college students in the same program at the same school. Even though there was an age difference and there were students of opposite genders the scores seem to close to me to rule out any relevance to this argument. Relationship of the study to personality theory: The central relationship which was studied came in chapter 4 of our textbook, titled Jung: Analytical Psychology. Carl Jung, in my opinion, seemed to be open to many things that could be considered paranormal. Jung related dreams and past experiences to paranormal thoughts as well as ESP and he also associated levels of a personâ€™s personality traits to different levels of the paranormal. Carl Jung was a strong believer in paranormal activity like spirits, e. s. p. , and the occult. Jung was raised around religion and theÂ occult from an early age, many members of his family were pastors and his motherâ€™s family practiced spiritualism and mysticism. Jungâ€™s grandfather was a believer of the occult, so much so that he kept a chair for the ghost of his dead wife and would often have intimate talks with her. One might conclude that these childhoods encounters shaped Jungâ€™s beliefs lead him to associate personality traits and paranormal beliefs with one other. Jungâ€™s theories were largely based around his study of the interpretations of dreams, both regular and paranormal. â€œJung was puzzled by paranormal dreams. He could not classify them the way normal dreams could be, but the mystery did lead him to expound on his principle of synchronicity. This concept is that events occur together in time but are not linked through cause and effect connections. For instance, a clock might stop at the moment of its ownerâ€™s death, but these are purely synchronistic and unrelated events. Jung concluded that perhaps there is some sort of order in the universe, where a manifestation appears psychically while the related manifestation in physical reality happens at the same time. â€ (Carl Jung) Jung theorized that there were people, based on personality traits that were more likely to be influenced by paranormal thought and ideologies and came to the conclusion that introverts tend to have the best link to the paranormal. â€œBesides the levels of the psyche and the dynamics of personality, Jung recognized various psychological types that grow out of a union of two basic attitudes-intro-versions and extraversion-and four separate functions-thinking, feeling, sensing, and intuiting. â€ (Feist, 2009) Intuiting, in general, is often most associated with the paranormal, as illustrated in our textbook on page 120ÑŽ Table 4.1, introverted intuition is associated with prophets, mystics and religious fanatics. Hurst states that â€œIntroverted intuitive people are guided by unconscious perception of facts that are basically subjective and have little or no resemblance to external reality. Their subjective intuitive perceptions are remarkably strong and capable of motivating decisions of monumental magnitude. Introverted intuitive people such as mystics, prophets, surrealistic artist, or religious fanatics, often appear peculiar to people of other types who have little comprehension of their motives. Actually, Jung believed that introverted intuitive people may not clearly understand their own motivations, yet they are deeply motivated by them. â€(Feist, 2009) It is my opinion that these personality theories prove that paranormal belief is not something that is only suffered by psychopaths. The study states, â€œParanormal belief is indicative of psychopathology, as suggested by the current study. â€ (Auton, Pope, Seeger) I think that Jungâ€™s theories illustrate that though a person may experience a paranormal instance it does not necessarily mean that there is a mental disorder present. Paranormal experiences may rather be a result of oneâ€™s social environment, as often people who believe in the paranormal have acquaintances that share in that belief. It was also referenced that people with such beliefs tend to watch more television and read more books that are based on the paranormal and occult. Relationship of the study to your own life and personality: Paranormal belief is something that has intrigued me ever since I was a young child. You might say that I am a skeptical believer, as I like to think that everything that happens has a reason for taking place and there is usually a way to explain any situation that people might consider paranormal. I have had many strange experiences throughout my life that one might call paranormal and some I have had explanations for and others I have not. When I began reviewing the article, Paranormal Belief and Personality Traits, for this assignment I was in complete disagreement with the portion that stated that paranormal belief was synonymous withâ€ psychological dysfunction ( i.e. psychotic, neurotic, and depressive. ) (Auton, Pope, Seeger) I found myself identifying with Carl Jungâ€™s theories regarding the paranormal which are a sharp contrast to those presented in this article. I feel and have been categorized by the Big 5 assessment as an extrovert and I feel that this may be the reason why I am so skeptical about paranormal experiences. I tend to look for the rhyme and reason of things that I have experienced in my life and am very skeptical about everything including ghosts, ESP and religion. Whether my paranormal experiences have affected my life or personality has yet to be said, though, I feel that these experiences were most certainly not a symptom of psychopathology. References: Feist, J. & Feist, G. (2009). Theories of Personality (7th Edition). McGraw Hill. Carl jung; his theories on archetypes, dreams, and the collective unconscious. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. ucmeta. org/Pages/Articles/Dreaming/Carl-Jung-His-Theories-Archetypes-Dreams-Collective-Unconscious. phpÑŽ
CHAPTER 132 Katherine Solomon's heart felt light as she hurried up the hill toward the base of the Washington Monument. She had endured great shock and tragedy tonight, and yet her thoughts were refocused now, if only temporarily, on the wonderful news Peter had shared with her earlier . . . news she had just confirmed with her very own eyes. My research is safe. All of it. Her lab's holographic data drives had been destroyed tonight, but earlier, at the House of the Temple, Peter had informed her that he had been secretly keeping backups of all her Noetic research in the SMSC executive offices. You know I'm utterly fascinated with your work, he had explained, and I wanted to follow your progress without disturbing you. â€œKatherine?â€ a deep voice called out. She looked up. A lone figure stood in silhouette at the base of the illuminated monument. â€œRobert!â€ She hurried over and hugged him. â€œI heard the good news,â€ Langdon whispered. â€œYou must be relieved.â€ Her voice cracked with emotion. â€œIncredibly.â€ The research Peter had saved was a scientific tour de forceâ€“a massive collection of experiments that proved human thought was a real and measurable force in the world. Katherine's experiments demonstrated the effect of human thought on everything from ice crystals to random-event generators to the movement of subatomic particles. The results were conclusive and irrefutable, with the potential to transform skeptics into believers and affect global consciousness on a massive scale. â€œEverything is going to change, Robert. Everything.â€ â€œPeter certainly thinks so.â€ Katherine glanced around for her brother. â€œHospital,â€ Langdon said. â€œI insisted he go as a favor to me.â€ Katherine exhaled, relieved. â€œThank you.â€ â€œHe told me to wait for you here.â€ Katherine nodded, her gaze climbing the glowing white obelisk. â€œHe said he was bringing you here. Something about `Laus Deo'? He didn't elaborate.â€ Langdon gave a tired chuckle. â€œI'm not sure I entirely understand it myself.â€ He glanced up at the top of the monument. â€œYour brother said quite a few things tonight that I couldn't get my mind around.â€ â€œLet me guess,â€ Katherine said. â€œAncient Mysteries, science, and the Holy Scriptures?â€ â€œBingo.â€ â€œWelcome to my world.â€ She winked. â€œPeter initiated me into this long ago. It fueled a lot of my research.â€ â€œIntuitively, some of what he said made sense.â€ Langdon shook his head. â€œBut intellectually . . .â€ Katherine smiled and put her arm around him. â€œYou know, Robert, I may be able to help you with that.â€ Deep inside the Capitol Building, Architect Warren Bellamy was walking down a deserted hallway. Only one thing left to do tonight, he thought. When he arrived at his office, he retrieved a very old key from his desk drawer. The key was black iron, long and slender, with faded markings. He slid it into his pocket and then prepared himself to welcome his guests. Robert Langdon and Katherine Solomon were on their way to the Capitol. At Peter's request, Bellamy was to provide them with a very rare opportunityâ€“the chance to lay eyes upon this building's most magnificent secret . . . something that could be revealed only by the Architect. CHAPTER 133 High above the floor of the Capitol Rotunda, Robert Langdon inched nervously around the circular catwalk that extended just beneath the ceiling of the dome. He peered tentatively over the railing, dizzied by the height, still unable to believe it had been less than ten hours since Peter's hand had appeared in the middle of the floor below. On that same floor, the Architect of the Capitol was now a tiny speck some hundred and eighty feet below, moving steadily across the Rotunda and then disappearing. Bellamy had escorted Langdon and Katherine up to this balcony, leaving them here with very specific instructions. Peter's instructions. Langdon eyed the old iron key that Bellamy had handed to him. Then he glanced over at a cramped stairwell that ascended from this level . . . climbing higher still. God help me. These narrow stairs, according to the Architect, led up to a small metal door that could be unlocked with the iron key in Langdon's hand. Beyond the door lay something that Peter insisted Langdon and Katherine see. Peter had not elaborated, but rather had left strict instructions regarding the precise hour at which the door was to be opened. We have to wait to open the door? Why? Langdon checked his watch again and groaned. Slipping the key into his pocket, he gazed across the gaping void before him at the far side of the balcony. Katherine had walked fearlessly ahead, apparently unfazed by the height. She was now halfway around the circumference, admiring every inch of Brumidi's The Apotheosis of Washington, which loomed directly over their heads. From this rare vantage point, the fifteen- foot-tall figures that adorned the nearly five thousand square feet of the Capitol Dome were visible in astonishing detail. Langdon turned his back to Katherine, faced the outer wall, and whispered very quietly, â€œKatherine, this is your conscience speaking. Why did you abandon Robert?â€ Katherine was apparently familiar with the dome's startling acoustical properties . . . because the wall whispered back. â€œBecause Robert is being a chicken. He should come over here with me. We have plenty of time before we're allowed to open that door.â€ Langdon knew she was right and reluctantly made his way around the balcony, hugging the wall as he went. â€œThis ceiling is absolutely amazing,â€ Katherine marveled, her neck craned to take in the enormous splendor of the Apotheosis overhead. â€œMythical gods all mixed in with scientific inventors and their creations? And to think this is the image at the center of our Capitol.â€ Langdon turned his eyes upward to the sprawling forms of Franklin, Fulton, and Morse with their technological inventions. A shining rainbow arched away from these figures, guiding his eye to George Washington ascending to heaven on a cloud. The great promise of man becoming God. Katherine said, â€œIt's as if the entire essence of the Ancient Mysteries is hovering over the Rotunda.â€ Langdon had to admit, not many frescoes in the world fused scientific inventions with mythical gods and human apotheosis. This ceiling's spectacular collection of images was indeed a message of the Ancient Mysteries, and it was here for a reason. The founding fathers had envisioned America as a blank canvas, a fertile field on which the seeds of the mysteries could be sown. Today, this soaring iconâ€“the father of our country ascending to heavenâ€“hung silently above our lawmakers, leaders, and presidents . . . a bold reminder, a map to the future, a promise of a time when man would evolve to complete spiritual maturity. â€œRobert,â€ Katherine whispered, her gaze still fixated on the massive figures of America's great inventors accompanied by Minerva. â€œIt's prophetic, really. Today, man's most advanced inventions are being used to study man's most ancient ideas. The science of Noetics may be new, but it's actually the oldest science on earthâ€“the study of human thought.â€ She turned to him now, her eyes filled with wonder. â€œAnd we're learning that the ancients actually understood thought more profoundly than we do today.â€ â€œMakes sense,â€ Langdon replied. â€œThe human mind was the only technology the ancients had at their disposal. The early philosophers studied it relentlessly.â€ â€œYes! The ancient texts are obsessed with the power of the human mind. The Vedas describe the flow of mind energy. The Pistis Sophia describes universal consciousness. The Zohar explores the nature of mind spirit. The Shamanic texts predict Einstein's `remote influence' in terms of healing at a distance. It's all there! And don't even get me started about the Bible.â€ â€œYou, too?â€ Langdon said, chuckling. â€œYour brother tried to convince me that the Bible is encoded with scientific information.â€ â€œIt certainly is,â€ she said. â€œAnd if you don't believe Peter, read some of Newton's esoteric texts on the Bible. When you start to understand the cryptic parables in the Bible, Robert, you realize it's a study of the human mind.â€ Langdon shrugged. â€œI guess I'd better go back and read it again.â€ â€œLet me ask you something,â€ she said, clearly not appreciating his skepticism. â€œWhen the Bible tells us to `go build our temple' . . . a temple that we must `build with no tools and making no noise,' what temple do you think it's talking about?â€ â€œWell, the text does say your body is a temple.â€ â€œYes, Corinthians 3:16. You are the temple of God.â€ She smiled at him. â€œAnd the Gospel of John says the exact same thing. Robert, the Scriptures are well aware of the power latent within us, and they are urging us to harness that power . . . urging us to build the temples of our minds.â€ â€œUnfortunately, I think much of the religious world is waiting for a real temple to be rebuilt. It's part of the Messianic Prophecy.â€ â€œYes, but that overlooks an important point. The Second Coming is the coming of manâ€“the moment when mankind finally builds the temple of his mind.â€ â€œI don't know,â€ Langdon said, rubbing his chin. â€œI'm no Bible scholar, but I'm pretty sure the Scriptures describe in detail a physical temple that needs to be built. The structure is described as being in two partsâ€“an outer temple called the Holy Place and an inner sanctuary called the Holy of Holies. The two parts are separated from each other by a thin veil.â€ Katherine grinned. â€œPretty good recall for a Bible skeptic. By the way, have you ever seen an actual human brain? It's built in two partsâ€“an outer part called the dura mater and an inner part called the pia mater. These two parts are separated by the arachnoidâ€“a veil of weblike tissue.â€ Langdon cocked his head in surprise. Gently, she reached up and touched Langdon's temple. â€œThere's a reason they call this your temple, Robert.â€ As Langdon tried to process what Katherine had said, he flashed unexpectedly on the gnostic Gospel of Mary: Where the mind is, there is the treasure. â€œPerhaps you've heard,â€ Katherine said, softly now, â€œabout the brain scans taken of yogis while they meditate? The human brain, in advanced states of focus, will physically create a waxlike substance from the pineal gland. This brain secretion is unlike anything else in the body. It has an incredible healing effect, can literally regenerate cells, and may be one of the reasons yogis live so long. This is real science, Robert. This substance has inconceivable properties and can be created only by a mind that is highly tuned to a deeply focused state.â€ â€œI remember reading about that a few years back.â€ â€œYes, and on that topic, you're familiar with the Bible's account of `manna from heaven'?â€ Langdon saw no connection. â€œYou mean the magical substance that fell from heaven to nourish the hungry?â€ â€œExactly. The substance was said to heal the sick, provide everlasting life, and, strangely, cause no waste in those who consumed it.â€ Katherine paused, as if waiting for him to understand. â€œRobert?â€ she prodded. â€œA kind of nourishment that fell from heaven?â€ She tapped her temple. â€œMagically heals the body? Creates no waste? Don't you see? These are code words, Robert! Temple is code for `body.' Heaven is code for `mind.' Jacob's ladder is your spine. And manna is this rare brain secretion. When you see these code words in Scripture, pay attention. They are often markers for a more profound meaning concealed beneath the surface.â€ Katherine's words were coming out in rapid-fire succession now, explaining how this same magical substance appeared throughout the Ancient Mysteries: Nectar of the Gods, Elixir of Life, Fountain of Youth, Philosopher's Stone, ambrosia, dew, ojas, soma. Then she launched into an explanation about the brain's pineal gland representing the all-seeing eye of God. â€œAccording to Matthew 6:22,â€ she said excitedly, â€ `when your eye is single, your body fills with light.' This concept is also represented by the Ajna chakra and the dot on a Hindu's forehead, whichâ€“â€œ Katherine stopped short, looking sheepish. â€œSorry . . . I know I'm rambling. I just find this all so exhilarating. For years I've studied the ancients' claims of man's awesome mental power, and now science is showing us that accessing that power is an actual physical process. Our brains, if used correctly, can call forth powers that are quite literally superhuman. The Bible, like many ancient texts, is a detailed exposition of the most sophisticated machine ever created . . . the human mind.â€ She sighed. â€œIncredibly, science has yet to scratch the surface of the mind's full promise.â€ â€œIt sounds like your work in Noetics will be a quantum leap forward.â€ â€œOr backward,â€ she said. â€œThe ancients already knew many of the scientific truths we're now rediscovering. Within a matter of years, modern man will be forced to accept what is now unthinkable: our minds can generate energy capable of transforming physical matter.â€ She paused. â€œParticles react to our thoughts . . . which means our thoughts have the power to change the world.â€ Langdon smiled softly. â€œWhat my research has brought me to believe is this,â€ Katherine said. â€œGod is very realâ€“a mental energy that pervades everything. And we, as human beings, have been created in that imageâ€“â€œ â€œI'm sorry?â€ Langdon interrupted. â€œCreated in the image of . . . mental energy?â€ â€œExactly. Our physical bodies have evolved over the ages, but it was our minds that were created in the image of God. We've been reading the Bible too literally. We learn that God created us in his image, but it's not our physical bodies that resemble God, it's our minds.â€ Langdon was silent now, fully engrossed. â€œThis is the great gift, Robert, and God is waiting for us to understand it. All around the world, we are gazing skyward, waiting for God . . . never realizing that God is waiting for us.â€ Katherine paused, letting her words soak in. â€œWe are creators, and yet we naively play the role of `the created.' We see ourselves as helpless sheep buffeted around by the God who made us. We kneel like frightened children, begging for help, for forgiveness, for good luck. But once we realize that we are truly created in the Creator's image, we will start to understand that we, too, must be Creators. When we understand this fact, the doors will burst wide open for human potential.â€ Langdon recalled a passage that had always stuck with him from the work of the philosopher Manly P. Hall: If the infinite had not desired man to be wise, he would not have bestowed upon him the faculty of knowing. Langdon gazed up again at the image of The Apotheosis of Washingtonâ€“the symbolic ascent of man to deity. The created . . . becoming the Creator. â€œThe most amazing part,â€ Katherine said, â€œis that as soon as we humans begin to harness our true power, we will have enormous control over our world. We will be able to design reality rather than merely react to it.â€ Langdon lowered his gaze. â€œThat sounds . . . dangerous.â€ Katherine looked startled . . . and impressed. â€œYes, exactly! If thoughts affect the world, then we must be very careful how we think. Destructive thoughts have influence, too, and we all know it's far easier to destroy than it is to create.â€ Langdon thought of all the lore about needing to protect the ancient wisdom from the unworthy and share it only with the enlightened. He thought of the Invisible College, and the great scientist Isaac Newton's request to Robert Boyle to keep â€œhigh silenceâ€ about their secret research. It cannot be communicated, Newton wrote in 1676, without immense damage to the world. â€œThere's an interesting twist here,â€ Katherine said. â€œThe great irony is that all the religions of the world, for centuries, have been urging their followers to embrace the concepts of faith and belief. Now science, which for centuries has derided religion as superstition, must admit that its next big frontier is quite literally the science of faith and belief . . . the power of focused conviction and intention. The same science that eroded our faith in the miraculous is now building a bridge back across the chasm it created.â€ Langdon considered her words for a long time. Slowly he raised his eyes again to the Apotheosis. â€œI have a question,â€ he said, looking back at Katherine. â€œEven if I could accept, just for an instant, that I have the power to change physical matter with my mind, and literally manifest all that I desire . . . I'm afraid I see nothing in my life to make me believe I have such power.â€ She shrugged. â€œThen you're not looking hard enough.â€ â€œCome on, I want a real answer. That's the answer of a priest. I want the answer of a scientist.â€ â€œYou want a real answer? Here it is. If I hand you a violin and say you have the capability to use it to make incredible music, I am not lying. You do have the capability, but you'll need enormous amounts of practice to manifest it. This is no different from learning to use your mind, Robert. Well-directed thought is a learned skill. To manifest an intention requires laserlike focus, full sensory visualization, and a profound belief. We have proven this in a lab. And just like playing a violin, there are people who exhibit greater natural ability than others. Look to history. Look to the stories of those enlightened minds who performed miraculous feats.â€ â€œKatherine, please don't tell me you actually believe in the miracles. I mean, seriously . . . turning water into wine, healing the sick with the touch of a hand?â€ Katherine took a long breath and blew it out slowly. â€œI have witnessed people transform cancer cells into healthy cells simply by thinking about them. I have witnessed human minds affecting the physical world in myriad ways. And once you see that happen, Robert, once this becomes part of your reality, then some of the miracles you read about become simply a matter of degree.â€ Langdon was pensive. â€œIt's an inspiring way to see the world, Katherine, but for me, it just feels like an impossible leap of faith. And as you know, faith has never come easily for me.â€ â€œThen don't think of it as faith. Think of it simply as changing your perspective, accepting that the world is not precisely as you imagine. Historically, every major scientific breakthrough began with a simple idea that threatened to overturn all of our beliefs. The simple statement `the earth is round' was mocked as utterly impossible because most people believed the oceans would flow off the planet. Heliocentricity was called heresy. Small minds have always lashed out at what they don't understand. There are those who create . . . and those who tear down. That dynamic has existed for all time. But eventually the creators find believers, and the number of believers reaches a critical mass, and suddenly the world becomes round, or the solar system becomes heliocentric. Perception is transformed, and a new reality is born.â€ Langdon nodded, his thoughts drifting now. â€œYou have a funny look on your face,â€ she said. â€œOh, I don't know. For some reason I was just remembering how I used to canoe out into the middle of the lake late at night, lie down under the stars, and think about stuff like this.â€ She nodded knowingly. â€œI think we all have a similar memory. Something about lying on our backs staring up at the heavens . . . opens the mind.â€ She glanced up at the ceiling and then said, â€œGive me your jacket.â€ â€œWhat?â€ He took it off and gave it to her. She folded it twice and laid it down on the catwalk like a long pillow. â€œLie down.â€ Langdon lay on his back, and Katherine positioned his head on half of the folded jacket. Then she lay down beside himâ€“two kids, shoulder to shoulder on the narrow catwalk, staring up at Brumidi's enormous fresco. â€œOkay,â€ she whispered. â€œPut yourself in that same mind-set . . . a kid lying out in a canoe . . . looking up at the stars . . . his mind open and full of wonder.â€ Langdon tried to obey, although at the moment, prone and comfortable, he was feeling a sudden wave of exhaustion. As his vision blurred, he perceived a muted shape overhead that immediately woke him. Is that possible? He could not believe he hadn't noticed it before, but the figures in The Apotheosis of Washington were clearly arranged in two concentric ringsâ€“a circle within a circle. The Apotheosis is also a circumpunct? Langdon wondered what else he had missed tonight. â€œThere's something important I want to tell you, Robert. There's another piece to all this . . . a piece that I believe is the single most astonishing aspect of my research.â€ There's more? Katherine propped herself on her elbow. â€œAnd I promise . . . if we as humans can honestly grasp this one simple truth . . . the world will change overnight.â€ She now had his full attention. â€œI should preface this,â€ she said, â€œby reminding you of the Masonic mantras to `gather what is scattered' . . . to bring `order from chaos' . . . to find `at-one-ment.' â€œ â€œGo on.â€ Langdon was intrigued. Katherine smiled down at him. â€œWe have scientifically proven that the power of human thought grows exponentially with the number of minds that share that thought.â€ Langdon remained silent, wondering where she was going with this idea. â€œWhat I'm saying is this . . . two heads are better than one . . . and yet two heads are not twice better, they are many, many times better. Multiple minds working in unison magnify a thought's effect . . . exponentially. This is the inherent power of prayer groups, healing circles, singing in unison, and worshipping en masse. The idea of universal consciousness is no ethereal New Age concept. It's a hard-core scientific reality . . . and harnessing it has the potential to transform our world. This is the underlying discovery of Noetic Science. What's more, it's happening right now. You can feel it all around you. Technology is linking us in ways we never imagined possible: Twitter, Google, Wikipedia, and othersâ€“all blend to create a web of interconnected minds.â€ She laughed. â€œAnd I guarantee you, as soon as I publish my work, the Twitterati will all be sending tweets that say, `learning about Noetics,' and interest in this science will explode exponentially.â€ Langdon's eyelids felt impossibly heavy. â€œYou know, I still haven't learned how to send a twitter.â€ â€œA tweet,â€ she corrected, laughing. â€œI'm sorry?â€ â€œNever mind. Close your eyes. I'll wake you when it's time.â€ Langdon realized he had all but forgotten the old key the Architect had given them . . . and why they had come up here. As a new wave of exhaustion engulfed him, Langdon shut his eyes. In the darkness of his mind, he found himself thinking about universal consciousness . . . about Plato's writings on â€œthe mind of the worldâ€ and â€œgathering Godâ€ . . . Jung's â€œcollective unconscious.â€ The notion was as simple as it was startling. God is found in the collection of Many . . . rather than in the One. â€œElohim,â€ Langdon said suddenly, his eyes flying open again as he made an unexpected connection. â€œI'm sorry?â€ Katherine was still gazing down at him. â€œElohim,â€ he repeated. â€œThe Hebrew word for God in the Old Testament! I've always wondered about it.â€ Katherine gave a knowing smile. â€œYes. The word is plural.â€ Exactly! Langdon had never understood why the very first passages of the Bible referred to God as a plural being. Elohim. The Almighty God in Genesis was described not as One . . . but as Many. â€œGod is plural,â€ Katherine whispered, â€œbecause the minds of man are plural.â€ Langdon's thoughts were spiraling now . . . dreams, memories, hopes, fears, revelations . . . all swirling above him in the Rotunda dome. As his eyes began to close again, he found himself staring at three words in Latin, painted within the Apotheosis. E PLURIBUS UNUM. â€œOut of many, one,â€ he thought, slipping off into sleep.