Geocache

Geokarma

While on a business trip to CA, I introduced several people to Geocaching. At one point I headed out to Geocache with some free time we had. I had only prepared for finding microcaches. Microcaches are generally small containers that hide in the landscape and contain only a small slip of paper to sign. In this case, however, I happened across an actual cache box. Cache boxes give geocachers the added bonus of trading an item. The item you put in the box should be of equal or greater value of the trinket you take out. As a bonus, it should represent something about your character and/or augment the theme of the geocache. I pulled out a trinket then looked over the possessions in my arsenal to trade. Other than my ID, credit card and pen I had a Scooby-Doo band-aid. “Cool enough” I thought (trying to convince myself that this was an even trade… which is wasn’t).

Coworkers teased, and I kept saying “but it was a cool bandaid” (again trying to rationalize the bad trade).

A week later, while I was home working, my wife and kids went geocaching in Angelfire, NM and came across what promised to be a big cache. When they opened the box it was filled with business cards and bandages! They were all so disappointed. I then told my kids about what I did in CA to which my eldest said (without any prompting) “at least you left a cool bandaid. These weren’t like that. They were boring.”

Nevertheless, I vowed never to leave something like a bandaid in a Geocache again. And certainly wouldn’t leave a business card. (What type of person does that?! If I find your business card in a cache, I’ll call you to find out!!!)

The Human Soul and the Denial of Monsters

The pain of denying ourselves the Supernatural comes in the price of becoming vulnerable without knowing it. Like poorly drawn statistics, we find explanations and evidence where in actuality there are none. As I browse through a series of UK shows one series entertains the belief of ghosts while professing to have the goal of disproving them. Another goes through a series of horrific creatures from folklore such as zombies, vampires, witches, werewolves and even demons with such an angle that anyone who does believe in their existence is reportedly uncivilized and stupid.

Derren Brown, the psychological illusionist mentioned during one of his shows that the power of suggestion is its greatest on those who don’t have strong foundational faith – particularly one rooted in God. Those who are atheist, agnostic, Wiccan, Buddhist or otherwise are more susceptible to being influenced through suggestive forces.

Life is more than living like an animal. Animals live in the immediate with little regard of long term consequence. Banks would like little more than to reduce the admirable qualities of being human to that of a base creature so that people live solely for immediate gratification; having a population seasoned to practice debt for pleasure enslaves them and sets them on a leash by which they can be guarded and controlled.

Without control, we are civilly untamed, wild like werewolves and vampires in a fury who grapple bankers and lawyers and politicians with an eye for fodder. In this, there is no other course of action than to allow the chaos to settle in and the public have our way. But indebted, we are subdued into a trance where we become the meat dinners for monsters.

All legends have their beginnings. Some are reasonably seasoned over time until their roots are unrecognizable in a shroud of myth. Others are still new enough that they are debated among scholars and conspiracy theorists. But given enough time, things that should not have become forgotten are erased from the records leaving only the lore behind. Did St. George really slay a dragon? Was there really a King Arthor? Do the spirits of the Nephilim walk the Earth today?

Lore and legends are important to decipher because they reveal our innermost needs. They attempt to answer questions that mold and shape our world view. What is a soul? At what point does the animal part of man end and the spiritual part of man begin? What happens to man when he dies? Is there life after death? If so what is it like? What is the purpose of man? Are we accountable to a higher power for our actions? Does God continue to be involved in the world today and how? There are many more questions at the root of our existence, but one common trend is a clear battle between good and evil. We don’t see that in the dumb beasts, though their fate is wrapped up in crossfire.

Our need to battle and conquer evil may invoke the creation of monsters, or perhaps the monsters that make up the contents of Pandora’s Box creates the need to battle and conquer such evil. We do know, however, that an evil exists out there and only those who treasure the liberty and goodness of God’s grace find purpose in fighting it while the rest of us… the rest of us placidly watch the outcome of zombies, vampires, witches, werewolves and other powers of darkness on the silver screen as the real monster counterparts close in.

Dismal

Sometimes I need a kick in the head … or at least in the pants. With middle age comes a more present awareness of our mortality.

Washington Irving was 36 years old when he published “The Sketch-Book”, including tales of old age (Rip Van Winkle) and death (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow). Although these were satire in nature, they were clearly aimed at the darker forces that envelop men even today. In these two stories he addresses pride and antisemitism under the guise of patriotism and covetous greed that’s fed under an heir of intellect and stature.

The first is an obvious snobbery that taunts and threatens every outcast to the point that outcasts wouldn’t exist without it. The second is more subtle and makes for a great study on literature. Even the smartest and most learned individual can fall into ignorance by the simplest and stupidest lack of moral character.

When these works were published they were touted by England as the first true sense of unique American literature in history. This is 30 years after the United States Constitution had been fully ratified and the government operations described therein realized. Our nation was still in its infancy.

Other works of literature that emphasized the dismal state of our mortality both physically and spiritually seem to have been developed at or past mid-life. Edgar Allen Poe wrote the Raven when he was 36, just four short years before his untimely demise. Dracula was written when Bram Stoker was 50. At 34 and 36, respectively, Stevenson wrote the Body-Snatcher and the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

The only strong literary works that I could find of similar gruesome content written by authors at younger ages involved the Year without a Summer. On July 1816, the inception of Frankenstein and The Vampyre occurred on a creative dare instigated by Lord Byron after reading Phantasmagoria. Mary Shelley was 19 and John Polidori was 21.

No man can know when his time is up. Luke 12:20 paints a dim picture of a rich man who swells with pride at his accomplishments, destined to die that night.

So in our mortal state, what do we do? Gravestones rot and break away. People are only remembered two or three generations at best, then forgotten. Each marker tells a story, but each story – like the fires that smoldered the great Alexandrian Library – are lost and unrecognizable.

My dad considered the brevity of life and suggested that our brief time on Earth is meaningless without good relationships. It won’t be an intelligent and powerful person who finds worth in your ability who will hire you when you lose a job, it will be the friend who see a friend in need. Getting along well with others is essential to life, and living life in isolation brings a cold demise … there will be enough isolation as we’re buried alone.