The five steps a terminally ill patient goes through are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These don’t go in order and they can come back at anytime. These feeling will continue until acceptance wins out and time helps to move on.
I have been experiencing this phenomenon everyday since the death of Forrest Fenn’s Treasure. I try not to comment on these feelings but I do make plenty of comments under my breathe. I have to check myself and look deep into my shadow side where many a demon lives. Jung would remind us that we are more a like than different and we all have are shadows. It is not for me to clean the speck in my brothers eye while there is a log in my own. So lets look at these parts of moving on and see where we could get not get the full experience of our actions.
The best way to measure my statements will be through your own experiences. The hardest thing anyone will do is see themselves, shadow and all. As you read you will feel your shadow and it will come out, likely in one of the states mentioned earlier.
First hard issue is that of addiction and the way it works. Dopamine and other neuro-chemical rewards are created with the intention of creating behavior to receive more of the same. Pavlov’s dog experiment will do well as an example. Here a bell was rung every time a dog was fed. Soon the dog would salivacate to just the bell sounding. Most of us see dog trainers feed a treat to dogs after they perform a trick using this same reward type system. Our social internet system is set up the same way. Do you have notices sounding off on your phone? Can you ignore those the bells? Every time one of us got verification that any part of our solve could fit the poem we got belled. Every time a search on the web made us think we were closer we got a bit of those wonderful chemicals. I could go on but there are lots of books on this and my intention is not to teach psychology.
Did you know that thinking about a future reward is always better at producing those feel good chemicals than getting the reward? If you ever have had a problem while dieting you will have a way to test this for yourself. Remember that day you cheated the diet and you eat that one thing you were craving. Thinking about that food item actually rewarded you and drove you to cheat but when you ate it, did it really satisfy you. Not me I would have over eaten and only disappointment would follow my indiscretion. Ask a smoker what smoking did for them when they went back to it. Just not the same as no mater how many smokes a person has they aren’t satiated. In days these people can find themselves smoking more than they smoked before they quit. Addiction is very illusive as it can happen in many ways. I treated people with addictions and the things that addict us are endless. Sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, eating, cutting, working, running, web searching, games and treasure hunting. To deny this is to lack personal insight and comes from a need to feel better than others who have been injured from addiction. The first thing is to understand how you were rewarded in the chase for the Dead Treasure and dying story. To accept the idea of moving on takes a personal effort and introspection. See it in yourself and things will improve ignore it and you will act out your unconsciousness and unexamined feelings.
Denial the first step is not always the first step for everyone. If you don’t look hard you won’t see your own denial, after all, your in denial. Obviously those who say he never hide the chest or that the whole thing is a hoax are in denial as that cannot be proven. Some say they already moved and don’t care about its death or are they in denial? Here is a tough one to see. Remember anger is key to seeing your shadow. There is no reason to get angry about someones opinion it hurts because of your shadow. If you are alright hearing this you probably didn’t get very attached to the chase and you got little reward looking for it or studying about it. On the web we see the obvious denial as people like myself say the Dead Treasure may never of been real. Claims of a hoax and special pets or Forrest sending someone to get the chest are all forms of denial. The hard one to spot ( a good self test) is all the over-joyed you-tubers out there ready to party. Do you see it? Everything is fine . Blind faith truly blind faith no need for closure nothing to see here move alone.
Anger is next on the list and after writing the above I feel angry. Angry because the Treasure is dead but my shadow directs my attention to the lack of integrity demonstrated by this open ended fiasco with no honest way to discover the truth as this dying story loses any validity and looks more like a state fair game with the barker claiming his game can win big. I sure lost my share of money to those carnival carnys. Do you see the denial in what I just wrote? If you did then you have a chance to see your own shadow. The anger has to be directed to the one who is angry. I am the one who choose to believe in the Dead Treasure; Forrest didn’t make me believe. I am the one who committed the time effort and money base on my faith, be it right or wrong. Yes, I am angry. I was angry 9 years ago when Forrest wouldn’t tell me if my spot in a hollow tree was where his Dead Treasure was hid. I was angry any time Forrest’s story didn’t check out or when someone showed pictures they said prove the Dead Treasure had been recovered years ago.
Bargaining is next on the list. I bargain when I show a logical way to give the solve without giving the exact place away. Others do it by starting another treasure hunt. Nothing wrong with starting treasure hunts but never will you start this dead treasure’s heart, this treasure is the Dead Treasure and its story is dying quickly. Start or join any new hunt you would like. This is a good idea for some, just know why you are joining and know the Dead Treasure is dead and the story is dying. Bargaining is going on all over the web. Hide it again, leave a piece for the others to find, give us a party or a place to come and see the Dead Treasure. It seems at this time the treasure is Dead and the story is dying and if you don’t like it tough. And here comes the anger.
Depression is the next thing to jump on board. All of these feeling come with every individual search. It always takes me about a week to get over the failed attempts at finding the treasure. I have always felt I got my moneys worth because of the beautiful places I went. Camping and hiking will always be a privileged for me. Of course it could have been places that interested me rather than where Forrest’s dead story took me but all in all he went into some cool places. Depression comes sometimes because we see things in a way that we cannot get resolve. Sometimes our perceptions are wrong and with help we can change our beliefs and improve our mood. Sometimes things are real and we need to change our situation but either way we must first allow ourselves to be depressed. Seriously if you feel bad for this Dead Treasure finish off this dying story. Cry or have a ritual hurt first and then when you are ready move on it is just a dead carcass here, soon it will be forgotten. For me I am going to my annual fishing expedition where I am going to hide objects from my years of searching. Some arrow heads a Forrest coin silver and numbered, a signed book, and some odds and ends. I will write a poem for them to use in their search and follow the search with a campfire. There in that fire I will ask that my spirit rise out of the ashes and like the Phoenix. There we will drink a toast to adventures and pray we don’t get fooled again.
Finally , Acceptance will come but not as fast as most of us would like. We need to feed our addictions. My addiction wants a healthy dose of adventure with an eye opening story. Soon I hope I will be celebrating the death of an unfaithful partnership from an uncaring promoter and be free yes free again to find that rare place where the game is not fixed. Perhaps I will have grown up enough to stay away from the carnival barker but not jaded enough to avoid the next great adventure. To all the readers thank you. I truly wish you comfort. Let’s get through our denial, get pass our anger, stop making bargains and get into and out of our depression so we can accept the Dead Treasure for what it is ; a dying story of what was possibly a good example of mountain man exaggeration, something for the old western magazine readers to use their imagination as they look for the next adventure.
Maybe we can all meet up at Candy Mountain and sing of tasty treasures.