The Grail Code 
A car, an idiot–gee!

Why are you just sitting there reading this? You could be earning yourself a million pounds sterling by solving the mystery of the Holy Grail.

That’s about two million dollars in our comical American money.

All you have to do is plod through a little puzzle book called Maranatha Et In Arcadia Ego Cave Canem. Oops—my mistake: I should have stopped at “Ego.”

The authors of this little volume have discovered the long-suppressed secret of the Holy Grail, and it will destroy the foundations of all the world’s religions. Buddhism will fare no better than Christianity once this secret is in the open. Then we’ll all be better, more spiritual people, once we’ve got rid of all our, um, hang-ups. The world will be saved.

But the authors aren’t quite ready to enlighten us yet. We have to figure it out for ourselves.

Imagine Kofi Annan using his last speech at the UN to announce that he’s finally found the key to world peace. “But I won’t tell you what it is,” he says. “My successor will be a better Secretary General if he figures it out for himself. Meanwhile, go on killing each other as usual. Bye all!”

It’s something like that.

So it looks like it’s up to us to solve the mystery. And actually, since I’m fatally hampered by apathy, it looks like it’s up to you.

But I have a proposition for you. The official rules of the contest say that, if simultaneous correct answers are received, the winner will be the one who best completes a couplet of which the first line is

Worthy am I read this book

“Worthy am I read this book” sounds like it was written by a foreigner who doesn’t understand how English infinitives work. But if that’s what I have to work with, I’ve got the tiebreaker already:

Worthy am I read this book:

Not like you, you stupid schnook.

You may use this couplet in your submission, and if you win, I’m asking for only 30% of the prize. I think that’s very generous of me.

(It occurs to me now that perhaps correctly punctuating the first line is part of the challenge. For example, perhaps it’s supposed to read, “Worthy, am I? Read this, book!” If that’s the case, don’t forget who gave you the hint.)

Now, you may be wondering about the Latin subtitle Et In Arcadia Ego, which looks as though it was put there by a random subtitle generator. That’s because you haven’t spent much time among the Grail-conspiracy cultists. Good for you.

In Grail-conspiracy lore, the Latin saying “Et in Arcadia ego” is an anagram for something far more significant, like maybe “arcane age idiot.” (I’ve put another possible solution in the title of this article, just to puzzle you and to see whether anybody ever reads this far. I don’t know why all the anagrams I come up with have the word “idiot” in them.)

Why an anagram? We know it must be a code because, by itself, it’s an incomplete sentence. Look: no verb!

Now, this argument may come as a surprise to those of you who remember that pithy Latin sayings often come without verbs. “In vino veritas” comes to mind, or (speaking of comical American money) “e pluribus unum.” But the absence of the verb really bothers them over there in the conspiracy cult.

Usually the phrase is taken to mean something like “I” (meaning death) “am even in Arcadia.” Poussin painted a couple of pictures in which he interpreted it as “I” (meaning the person memorialized) “have also been in Arcadia.” At least that’s how you’d interpret Poussin’s interpretation if you were a boring old art historian, but since we know now that the phrase is really an anagram, we know that Poussin was really giving us a clue about where to find the Holy Grail. (I’ve left out a few steps in the argument, but don’t think you’d be any happier if you knew what they were.)

As for the rest, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that Leonardo da Vinci is also in it up to his neck, and that there will be more anagrams to decipher before the thing is over and done.

Now that you know all that, you’re well started on your million-pound quest, and once again I remind you that 30% of the take will be thanks enough.

But I should warn you not to expect much help from The Grail Code. Our book deals not with conspiracies over the centuries, but with the true meaning of the Grail quest. And you won’t find a million pounds sterling at the end of that quest—only eternal life, which, if you were only looking for the million pounds, may turn out to be a bit of a disappointment.

9 Responses to “A car, an idiot–gee!”

  1. Greg Says:

    Completely hilarious and cynical. I’m up to my neck in this as well. It’s curious that Priory set an estimated 6 month solve date and now it’s been going on 2 years.

  2. Fr. James MN. Deschene Says:

    I was always told that the “ego” or “I” in the phrase meant Death itself, and the whole phrase was a kind of Memento Mori spoken by Death, implying that, even in Arcadia, he (Death) was present, i.e., inescapable.

  3. The Grail Code» Blog Archive » One year Says:

    [...] Arcadia [...]

  4. myspace chips Says:

    i was beginning to contemplate i might possibly end up being the sole student whom thought about this, at least now i learn im not outlandish :) i will make sure to see a number of various other articles immediately after i get a tad of caffeine in me, it really is stressful to read without my coffee, I was until the wee hours of the morning last evening grinding facebook poker and after downing a few brewskies i wound up losing all my zynga poker chips cheers :)

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(C) 2006 Mike Aquilina and Christopher Bailey