Synonyms and Antonyms…

Synonyms and Antonyms

Why so many? For the last month or so, I have been giving serious consideration to the synonyms and antonyms within the poem. There are many for such a short peom. Don’t believe me? Here’s a sample:

• I/Me
• Bold/Brave
• Treasures/riches/Trove
• Meek/Weak
• Hear/Listen
• Look/Gaze
• Halt/Cease
• Go/Leave

• I/You,Your
• Alone/With
• Secret/Hint
• New/Old
• Warm/Cold
• Bold/Weak
• Brave/Meek
• Down/Up
• Below/High
• Quickly/Tarry
• Begin/End
• Just(meaning “right”)/Nigh(meaning “left”)
• Take/Leave,Give
• Put(as in “push”)/Drawing(as in “pull”)
• Far/Nigh(meaning “near”)

That list, while not exhaustive, leaves few significant words in the poem that don’t have either a similar or opposite word match. Is this coincidence? I don’t think so, it seems more like a theme to me. I’m not entirely sure what to do with this theme, but I have an idea.

Before I get to that idea, I’d like to mention something else. Many have noticed and there are some comments that have been discussed but I’ll bring it up again. Mr. Fenn has a penchant for mirrors and/or reflections. There have been numerous pictures provided by Mr. Fenn that show either his reflection in a mirror, or they are mentioned in a scrapbook and there is even the story Mirror on My Wall in Too Far To Walk . While I can’t say for certain, I am inclined to think that Mirrors/Reflections and Synonyms/Antonyms are related. How so you ask? I’ll explain.

You see, a mirror does something unique when it shows your reflection. The reflection it shows, while looking identical, actually reverses the object. If you are right-handed, your reflection is left-handed. Is your hair parted on the left? Theirs is parted on the right. So in other words a mirror is capable of showing both your identical “Synonym” and your opposite “Antonym” at the same time! It’s you, but it’s “opposite” you. I find that fascinating. If we are all “good” then we all have an “evil” twin in the mirror!

Given the above, lets get back to that idea I mentioned earlier.  What to do with our theme and how does it apply to the poem? Perhaps, not at all, but maybe, like this. In the 6th stanza there is the line “If you are brave and in the wood”.   I’m going to focus on “…in the wood”.  That phrase is akin to the common idiom “We’re not out of the woods yet!” which implies the speaker is still in danger or jeopardy. Logically then it follows that if you are “out of the woods” then you are no longer in danger. If I were to apply my theme at this point the opposite to “out of the woods” is “in the wood.” Logically then “in the wood” implies danger or jeopardy and maybe this is why we need to be brave. Perhaps the chest and treasure lie in a location that many would consider risky at first glance.

But “No, no!” you say.  Mr. Fenn has stated the chest is not in a dangerous place (MW:6Q w/FF:Over 5Y of TTOTC;Question #6).  He also goes on to state that anyplace can become dangerous. And I submit that his idea of “dangerous” is far different than what someone who is not familiar with mountains and the rivers has for “dangerous.”

I am not the person that asked the most recent Featured Question on the Mysterious Writings website where Mr. Fenn was asked about safe places, but his response and implication that no place is truly safe and his previous admonishments that excursions into the mountains requires prudence lends credence to my understanding of “…brave and in the wood”.

I have tried to not alter the poem, and only use what I found in the poem to try and understand a line.  I feel there are other interesting connections to discover using this theme of Mirrors/Reflections and Synonyms/Antonyms and will keep looking and thinking.

Ever Chasing,


75 thoughts on “Synonyms and Antonyms…

  1. Jason … interesting analysis, one that I too have noticed. But you need to carry your logic a bit further. Where does your analysis lead? What location conclusions can you draw from said analysis.

    I used the exact same logic as you to pinpoint a location in Colorado. But I had to drop the place because of something FF said.

    Extend your synonym/antonym logic to location.

    Ken 🙂

      • BEGIN it where warm waters HALT
        Alpha and Omega
        more likely
        Omega to Omega = HALT to CEASE
        Ω(door) the Journey or stage Ω(door)
        Ω(door) birth to death Ω(door)
        Ω(door) first line last line Ω(door)
        Ω(door) it’s a tunnel Ω(door)

        noun: quest; plural noun: quests
        a long or arduous search for something.
        “the quest for a reliable vaccine has intensified”
        synonyms: search, hunt
        “their quest for her killer”
        (in medieval romance) an expedition made by a knight to accomplish a prescribed task.
        synonyms: expedition, journey, voyage, trek, travels, odyssey, adventure, exploration, search; crusade, mission, pilgrimage

        • decall – Thank you sooooo much for sharing your Alpha and Omega insights with us! Excellent! I would post that Monty Python and the Holy Grail scene at the bridge now,…but I don’t want to get booted off the blog for posting TOO MANY LINKS in one post.

          FYI to all: Three links or more causes work for Dal and Goofy,…because that post will go into moderation via a WordPress file until they review it. More than that,…and you may just lose the great post you created,…when it goes into oblivion. I had that experience yesterday. And some posts just don’t go through at all,…because sometimes text or a link just doesn’t fly in the system (for no apparent reason!)

          My apologies to Dal and Goofy for ALL those attempts that disappeared on my end yesterday. And thank you BOTH for ALL you do!

          Love, E*

        • Decall, I actually do have the omega symbols as a door. Well, entry way. To WWWH. lol, I might just stop in Vegas before I go up. Another month or so…

  2. I don’t want to look in the mirror to figure this poem out… it’s hard enough dealing with just one of me. 😯

  3. I find this very interesting. Trust me I synonym almost every word because it explains so much about what that word means. Forrest always uses words that I have never heard of. 🙂

  4. I have a totally different meaning for “in the wood” and I don’t believe is has anything to do with danger or a dangerous place. The reverse image, as in the mirror, is key to the location.
    Just my opinion of course.
    I hope this makes Slurbs happy that I didn’t just type sub. JK= just kidding

    • A mirror reflects back exactly what is in front of it. It does NOT reverse right for left, and left for right, we just perceive that it has done so because of the way that our brains have “learned” to perceive the world around us.

      But then again, what do I know? NADA


      • JD – I am really enjoying your insights and the way you communicate them! I was thinking this morning about that video Forrest suggested we watch,…the one with the bicycle in it (are we getting back in the box or thinking out side of it on this thread?)::

        What if:

        Forrest left his tepid bathtub (WWWH) at his summer home in West Yellowstone,…got on his bike and took it in the “canyon down” (Madison Canyon),…rode 20 miles (TFTW) to Ojo Caliente,…then “put in” there “below the home of Brown” (Nez Perce Creek, where they first introduced Brown Trout in the late 1800s)?

        That video and Jason’s post both inspired me to do a reverse or mirror on my thinking…

        • E* the bike and box videos were interesting. IMO he wants us to keep our minds open to adjust solutions ‘within’ his poem’s box.

        • @E ff didn’t suggest the bike video specifically, he only suggested the youtube link ‘smarter everyday’ IMO…..lots of other videos that make us think on that site….IMO it was a few bloggers that suggested the bicycle video.

          • Cholly – Yes,…you are correct,…but I was thinking about a comment I had just read that day that Dal posted,…about how Forrest said something to him about how Dal couldn’t ride his new bike! So that’s the one I went to. 🙂

          • When I first went to the site, the first video to come up was the bicycle video. This happened with Firefox and Internet Explorer. To me this validated the fact that Forrest intended us to watch THAT video.

            Right = left; Left = right. Be willing to take a second look, consider the opposite was what I took from the video.

            We are conditioned to look at the world in a particular manner. We CAN be taught to look at it from a different perspective. If we are looking at solving a particular line in the poem one way, and it JUST isn’t working, mentally, take a side step to the right or left, and look at the line with a slightly different perspective…. or even turn around at view it from a completely different angle.

            Forrest recently posted the “What IF” post. Asking us to ask ourselves “What IF” something were different?.

            Right = left; Left = right is asking us to do more than just change perspective, but look at the problem from the exact opposite position.

            Don’t get stuck in the mud – from the week before, find another route.

            These are just my impressions and thoughts.

            Take care and TRY to STAY SAFE.


    • By the way Pip, the answer to your question is it hasn’t. Here is the answer ” The mirror doesn’t “know” anything about your position; it simply reflects the light that hits it, doing so as objectively as any inanimate object knows how. Why, then, when that reflected light reaches the photoreceptors in your eyes, has your mirror image been reversed from left-to-right?

      The short answer is that it hasn’t. In fact, the question of what makes the horizontal axis so special in the context of mirrors is itself flawed. That’s because a mirror does not reverse images left-to-right or top-to-bottom, but from front-to-back. In other words, your mirror image hasn’t been swapped, but inverted along a third dimension, like a glove being turned inside out.”

  5. Wow…really good, thought provoking post. Today is my 3rd day as “guide” and driver for a new searcher from North Carolina. He’s a math teacher so is using total logic and a straight forward linear approach to solving the poem and finding the treasure. Haven’t found it yet, though, so maybe I should suggest he read this, and we will “mirror” his location. Lots of beautiful scenery and cooler weather at 9000 feet the past 2 days. We are meeting Desertphile for breakfast at Abiquiu Inn. No doubt he will provide this morning’s entertainment. I will “listen good.”

      • Well what’s the purpose of any conclusion paragraph
        1)Conclude by linking the last paragraph to the first, perhaps by reiterating a word or phrase you used at the beginning.
        2)Restate the main idea of your essay, or your thesis statement.
        3)Summarize the three subpoints of your essay.
        4)Leave the reader with an interesting final impression

        So with that being said, I believe Stanza 6 describes what “in there” is. IMO, of course

    • Hi JoeKing

      Alone in there…

      That line is stanza 1, and could mean anywhere obviously we have to solve the clues to find out but here is the point, ff could be applying that phrase over and over. There doesn’t have to be a definitive “in there”

      I agree that “alone in there” is also “brave and in the wood” but it isn’t where the treasure is. “Title to the gold” and “secret” are the same thing.

      “Treasures” refers to two separate treasures…the chest and a jar. Forrest has never been forthright about anything in this chase. When asked if he hid anything else beyond the treasure (of monetary value) he refused to answer that question. Someone should ask him where he thinks his 100,000 IOU is right now!

      So back to my earlier point!
      Alone in there is a mirror that repeats over and over. Eventually the “trove” will be “in the wood” 🙂 but which wood is that? Anyone?

  6. Several things this brings to mind.
    1) Is that my evil twin in the mirror, or my good twin?
    2) This reminds me of the backwards bike.
    3) Would “Evil Spock” find the treasure before “Good Spock”?

    • What if instead of polar mirror opposites (good or bad, etc.), we are to look in the middle (the grey). After all, life is a balance that regularly kicks my a$$ when I go to extremes. Thoughts?

  7. Interesting…it doesn’t surprise me, I’ve had this worked out last yr. But, to my uncertain knowledge, it has not been mentioned here before, as a possible angle to solving the puzzle. I will start listening to the whispers more often, and this helps confirm my location.
    The 2nd and 3rd stanzas also mirror each other. I’ll let y’all chew on that one awhile! 《*_*》
    Be safe
    ¥Peace ¥

  8. Silly book I’m reading says “It is not the Master that the ‘secret ‘ depends but on the hearer on pg. 3.

    Another silly thing on pg 15: Doubt is an incitement to research, and research is the Way which leads to Knowledge.

    Silly book.

  9. Jason I think you have a very clever interpretation. And this is how I think it implies. Forrest says a lot of peculiar things but the one that has stuck out to me is “don’t go where an eighty year old man wouldn’t go”. So I think your analogy is when you come to that fork in the road and it appears you should go right, then you should think of going left. Also, my interpretation of “brave and in the wood” is where ever the chest is, that it is camouflauged in a brown background. Wood in this sense is a color.

  10. “..I have tried to not alter the poem, and only use what I found in the poem to try and understand a line…

    Why would you not try altering the poem? Because of peer pressure?

    I don’t think it is wise to let other people limit your game.

  11. Jason – Thank you for that excellent topic and analysis for us to discuss here!

    You wrote:

    “I am not the person that asked the most recent Featured Question on the Mysterious Writings website where Mr. Fenn was asked about safe places, but his response and implication that no place is truly safe and his previous admonishments that excursions into the mountains requires prudence lends credence to my understanding of ‘…brave and in the wood’.”

    For new searchers especially,…and those like me without Forrest’s books,…I thought I’d call up Forrest’s blog site:

    “I categorically deny some of the things I’ve done, and my greatest regrets are the chances I didn’t take.”

  12. E*

    You said, “and those like me without Forrest’s books,…” Why, oh why, would you chose to not have his books? If it is money, I do not have much, but I would gladly buy them for you.

    Although Forrest has said that you only need the poem, he has also said, ““Here is what I would do. Read my book in a normal manner. Then read the poem over and over and over, slowly – thinking. Then read my book again, this time looking for subtle hints that will help solve the clues.”

    To me, and this is just my opinion, trying to solve the riddles in the poem, without the aid of the books is like going to a cooking contest without any knives. It just doesn’t cut it.

    Please let us know why you choose, like Seeker, to not have the books.

    As I said, I will buy them for you.

    Good luck in your search – especially without books – and TRY to STAY SAFE


    • JD – I found the details of my main solve in April 2013,…and didn’t read the books until Oct/Nov 2013. I did read his blog, though,…where many of the stories from TTOTC were posted. I am here to prove the point that you don’t HAVE to buy the books. Many kind searchers have offered to do so also. My goal is to locate and retrieve the bronze chest,…call Forrest,…arrive at his house with BOTH new books,…and have him inscribe them in person. 😉

      • GLAD that you do have the books. GLAD that you have read them at least once. The hints that I found were not only in words, but in pictures and illustrations as well. NOT MANY, but a few, or a scant number, am I talking in circles?

        I applaud your effort to solve the riddles with only the poem and your TOPO’s and GE, but it would be a shame if you missed the TC because you failed to look at a PIC or two, or look closely at an illustration or two.

        Just sayin’

        I do wish you luck and TRY to STAY SAFE

        JD P.S. thanks for your response.

      • I feel like the ultimate point to prove, is to find the chest. What if you never find it, simply because you refused to use the book, trying to prove a point? So you trying to prove a point, could damage your overall chances of finding the chest.. You have two separate challenges.. If you end up finding the chest without the book, the point you are trying to make, by not using the books, becomes no point at all to make, since you found the chest… So maybe your ego is getting a bit in the way, since there is no possible way to make a point, without first finding the chest.

        Things like this, is what I do not understand.. Why not just give it 100%, one hundred percent of the time, so you dont have to worry about failing? You do know that you have a chance at failing more, if you leave stuff on the table right? Not using the book, as prescribed by Fenn, would definitely be leaving stuff on the table..

        Im just blabbering though.. Good luck in all your searches..

        • Hammertime – Thanks for your post. Here’s the quote from Dal’s Cheat Sheet:

          “All of the information you need to find the treasure is in the poem. The chapters in my book have very subtle hints but are not deliberately placed to aid the seeker. Good luck in the search.”

          And I don’t worry much about failing. I am in this for the great learning experience and to share that with others. Some are just hunting down the gold. 🙂

  13. Since the thought of the people is leaning my way of thinking for 2 years now and finding myself right back where I didn’t want to be.Running in circles over and over.Let me start by asking who else has watched expedition unknown with Josh gates on forrest fenn???If you answer yes?have you watched it 500 times like I have?if answer is yes?have you focused??if answer is yes?then tell me what you’ve seen and I will show you what you have missed.

  14. Good thinking Jason. I like the simplicity to it as well.

    Just to add, could we actually mirrorize the whole poem and read it in the opposite/reverse?

    I guess the first stanza wouldn’t quite fit, but then again, I believe the second stanza starts the quest and clues.

    Good luck.

  15. All,

    Warm/Cold or is it Warm/Hot? or maybe Warm/freezing, Warm/Scalding Hot, or wait is it Warm/Lukewarm, Warm/Sorta Cold…

    Hmm no real antonym for that warm, but i digress.

    Have a nice vacation.


  16. Hey Jason,

    It’s gonna be hard press to push synonyms or antonyms with the straightforward crowd. I myself don’t understand how so many can call fenn a wordsmith and so easily dismiss alternative word usages, when fenn hmself has shown/told of example in Q&As and in the book doing just { use words that aren’t in the dictionary… bend words that are… twist word definition to make it work etc. } I would also consider Idioms as a possibility Jason, when thinking along these lines of thought. I see your small list above ~ I’m sure you have noticed many more and kept the list short for space and typing ~ yet I would be interested if you have ever considered the possibility of “the word that is key” to actually be its synonyms usage itself?

    I don’t see the words that is key to be anything that ‘unlocks’ the poem like a coded message, but more to help understand how we should read the poem as and the word choices fenn used. An example would be today’s WW; “Be mindful of nature and your health, but not in that order. f ”

    I see the ” but not in that order ” interesting. If he didn’t want it his words to be in that order, why place them as such in the first place? For my line of thinking Parts of the poem may do the same. Such as “In there” or “keep my secret where” as word choices and usages to relate to Time more than the Physical. Or warm and cold not so much as temperature but the usage of their synonyms meanings… such as close and far. And maybe “put in” to explain where this needs to be placed within the poem itself. Which inadvertently may make “from there” to have a new start or location.
    But to be honest… using these alternative word usage needs to carefully considered in the relationship to the poem as a whole. If we attempt to see the poem as written by a ‘wordsmith’ … straightforward because a different usage itself, other than simple, easy, not complicated etc.

    We have been warned the poem will not be direct for those who had no certainty beforehand… Told “over complicating” by knowing unknowns will not assist us in solving the poem. As well as, try not to “over simplify” words in the poem… such as WWH. Its “difficult but not impossible” ~ If it was easy anyone one could do it. For myself… “Over complicated” doesn’t mean we should dismiss what a “wordsmith” does best. I for one don’t believe we need to “find Forest Fenn” but more to the fact, we need to find ff intention of word choices and usages. Or as I like to call is Multiple Meanings.

    Good thought provoking post Jason, to what A poem is designed for. But then again… a hard press to sell to the straightforward hopefuls.

Leave a comment here...