Scrapbook Two Hundred Forty…


November, 2019


The Power of Dance


Joe Rivera acquired this skull for me from an Indian who said it was used in a ceremony in Greengrass Montana. I wonder what he meant, because there is no Greengrass, Montana, at least not on my map.

My recent post (SB-138) prompted some interesting comments about the Sun Dance, so I’ll tell another story.

About 20 years ago, Peggy and I went to Lodge Grass, Montana, to visit our friend Joe Medicine Crow. Since his place was just 20 miles south of Crow Agency, we had to visit there also. 

That whole country is pretty much sparse of trees, except along the Little Bighorn River and in the coulees. Off in the distance, on a rise, we saw some pickup trucks and a few horses parked in a small cluster, all by itself. Because it looked so strange and out of place, we drove over. I sensed that something special was happening, but I didn’t know what. We parked on the prairie about 200’ away, and cautiously walked over. The Crow Indians were having a Sun Dance. 

I asked an elderly Indian woman, wearing a beaded dress, if we could watch the dance. She said, “Yes, but get smudged.” (cleansed) A young Indian boy approached us swinging a large tin can that was heavy with smoke. He was burning sweetgrass. (Two of my all-time favorite smells are sweetgrass in the field, and citronella on my hand). 

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Sweetgrass maintains its pleasing smell for months, and then suddenly, its gone.

The boy feathered some smoke on us and we walked over to where 7 men were participating in the dance. A woman next to us was quietly chanting as she cut her arm with a razor blade. She was mourning her dead, and blood was spilling on the ground.

Peggy and I understood the sacredness of the ceremony and we stood reverently, without speaking, just looking. About 40 others were in a circle around the dancers watching the event with us, mostly Indians. Although the dancers were wearing modern clothing, the ceremony was ancient, and we felt blessed to witness it. 

After an hour or so, Peggy and I eased slowly back. It was time for us to go. Again, we were smudged by the cleansing smoke of sweetgrass. 

An Indian woman thanked us for coming and we spoke for just a minute. I asked her why 6 of the 7 dancers were white men. She said, “When the white man cannot find what he needs in his own religion, he come to us.” 

How can we ever have peace on this planet when every religion is correct from its own point of view? f








180 thoughts on “Scrapbook Two Hundred Forty…

  1. Forrest,

    There is a Green Grass in South Dakota. I’m planning on going there next summer. Maybe they got the state mixed up.

  2. SB238 is what Forrest means I conjure. I’m certainly going to reread 138 a few times though..

    Anyway, personally; I feel like something that is important to practice yet is rarely is forgiveness. It’s hard to do, people generally don’t like to; but it’s healthy. If folks could forgive more and faster I believe we would be a lot better off as a society.

    I’ve been to 1 native american dance and it was amazing. I can imagine that this dance was quite the sight. It would be like stepping back through history..

    Thanks for the fun day dream, Forrest!

    and thanks Dal for posting these on the site 🙂

  3. Thanks FF. I have what I think is a small bundle of sweet grass I purchased a while back. Its in a zip -lock baggie about 4″ long. I was told its special, not to be LIT until there is good reason. I’ll take it with me when/if I ever get to meet you. I’m about 23 months into my “Thrill of the Chase”. much love, honor and respect…

  4. Religion is the downfall of our world. If we all had faith in our fellow humans and simple respect that we are all born equal and are all individually unique, the world would be a better place. The amount of blood spilled in this world throughout time because of religion is unfathomable. Spirituality is not equal to religion. Maybe the ancient indians know a thing or two.

  5. Not quite the way Forrest told it the first time – wondering which version is the correct one.
    Wonderful story and regardless of the wording, the meaning can be felt.
    I think I need to smudge a bit now and then but do I use sage or sweet grass?

  6. “Peggy and I understood the sacredness of the ceremony and we stood reverently, without speaking, just looking. About 40 others were in a circle around the dancers watching the event with us, mostly Indians. Although the dancers were wearing modern clothing, the ceremony was ancient, and we felt blessed to witness it.

    What an awesome experience. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us Forrest.


  7. I have a lot of respect for the Indigenous wisdom and teachings. I once had a 3 day cultural experience put on by the Cree Nation in Northern Alberta . On day 2 was a Sweet Lodge. It was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had. The oil company I worked for asked for 12 volunteers. Some were volunt-told, like VP’s and every level. I immediately volunteered.

    Many of us came out of there wow’d and shocked , in a pleasant way, for the experience, Truly an amazing experience. I learnt the difference between knowing and believing , from that day forward. And so did many others. It was magical


    I guess you were right Lisa 🙂

    Lisa Cesari
    on November 23, 2019 at 9:10 am said:
    Alsetenash – Didn’t Forrest know Joe Medicine Crow, and didn’t he and Peggy spend time on the Crow Reservation, attending ceremonies? Great videos about Earl Biss:

    I love The Chase!!!

    IMO .

      • Alsetenash – My thanks to Tom Terrific for bringing up and describing the Sun Dance ceremony in a comment on Forrest’s Scrapbook #138. That is what prompted Forrest to clarify the details of his Sun Dance experience with Peggy on the Crow Reservation.

        And thank you, Alsetenash, for sharing your remarkable sweat lodge experience with the Cree Nation. Some of us may have been raised in organized white religions with our families, but are more ‘Spiritual’ than ‘religious’ in our beliefs and in daily practice. I think Indian beliefs and ceremonies resonate with me, because I also find my church in the mountains, as Forrest does. Living here in Sun Valley, I have connected with several members of the Lakota Sioux tribe, a Mohawk newspaper reporter/author, a Shoshone-Lemhi Tribal Judge and a Chief of the Northwestern Shoshone Band (now an author!). They have all been reaching out to our white culture; to find connection, common ground, forgiveness and peace. Sometimes I find that to be almost unbelievable; those that were most harmed seeking forgiveness and reconciliation from us. Reaching out to us to do that!

        There is a slightly different quote in one of the two scrapbooks above: Forrest originally ended his quote of the Indian woman’s answer after the Crow Sun Dance with, “the truth”.

        Thank you, Forrest, for sharing your Crow Nation Sun Dance story with us! It really doesn’t matter how you get there; just get there. Find your way to that highest truth. IMO.

        • Yes, I see that TT wrote about the Sun Dance. The Sweatlodge experience was fascinating-life perspective changing. We had to build the Lodge. Chopped down Weeping Willows on their property to build it. There were 13 , including the elders, and one medicine woman. 4 oil workers didn’t want to participate and manned the fire and rocks instead. There was not more that 4 inches separating us from each other and the tarp behind us. We felt touched by feathers, had dirt and grass thrown upon us from atop and even from behind us; but there was no room for someone to be there, walk around and do that , nor could they walk between us to get behind us. It was pitch dark in there.

          At the end of the third round one of the elders asked if someone could find his drum stick and the other for his rattler. He said it just disappeared after a couple minutes and he wasn’t drumming the whole time, the other guy, same thing , not rattling .Someone across the other end found it behind them . And another found the rattler beside them. The drumming never had stopped nor ever did the rattling.

          Afterwords even the Elders said that many things happened in this session that never happened before. You can tell they were all very surprised afterwards. They mentioned some other things and said that they couldnt make this stuff up. We knew what they meant because we experienced it all.

          I hope to participate in another one.

          IMO .

        • That’s cool that you have connections with some Native Americans. When I was a little kid I used to run wild with my friends on an old farm. Our favorite game was cowboys and Indians, and I was always an Indian. I had a deep connection with the song, Cherokee People by Redbone. Then I found out from my biological father years later that my great grandmother was full Cherokee from the Mississippi tribes, and couldn’t barely come out of the house in the 1940s because of such prejudice. I wish I remembered her more. And no pictures!

    • Sparrow – Yes. I thought it was helpful to have the “Green Grass” story from Vignettes at the top of this thread, as well as Forrest’s Scrapbooks #207 and #181. I re-read all 3, one of which focuses on the art of Doug Hyde. I remembered Forrest’s connection to Doug, when I found this reference in the bio of Earl Biss, Crow artist (while doing research for a Forrest’s Scrapbook #138 comment):

      “Biss was a central figure in the “miracle generation” of students at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe in the 1960s. When Earl and his fellow students – which included Kevin Red Star, T.C. Cannon and Doug Hyde – arrived at IAIA, western art was focused on cowboys and landscapes, while Native art was stylized, linear and depictive.”

      Good to see you here again at HOD, Sparrow!

  8. Forrest my father always told me the Religion is just an airline. It doesn’t matter what name is on the plane, as long as it get’s you to the proper destination. This to me was funny, not as funny is generally meant, but funny because he was raised a Catholic by devote Catholics of Northern Irish decent. He made sure all his Children had religious teachings, and he married a Fundamental Baptist who made sure we got more than 1 doctrine instilled. Maybe your friend meant Sweet Grass County Montana, birthplace of Michael Keaton.

  9. I’m lucky to have found a nice church in the mountains and along the river bottoms. I hope others may find their church as well. Why can’t we all just keep to ourselves?


  10. You’re lucky to have witnessed that sacred ceremony. My favorite religions are the ones that the members don’t kill people over.
    I really like the buffalo skulls you have shown. How many do you own?

  11. Prospector,

    My first thought was, maybe if we just left each other alone. And just today I was honestly thinking about kindness and forgiveness. That’s my next post for up above. Have a good weekend!

    • actually someone, (I think Elon Musk) calculated that the odds of our reality being just a simulation, is greater than the odds of us being “real”… what ever that means….

      A simulation means that there would need to be some “one” who “created” the simulation…. so I am going to start complaining to that “one” about the time it is going to take to understand this poem 🙂

      (time being only relevant to my selfish perception of it)

      • Writis – you are ringing my bell. I think the theory of an “exo-genesis” is very intriguing. Love the science of the universe…chaos theory if you will.

        • Sadly, most people won’t even explore this type of angle – they are too wrapped up being “sheep” to the dictates of other men/women.


      • The smartest of us fall down the craziest of rabbit holes. I calculate that Elon was tweeting under the influence when he came up with that one.

    • I did see where Up And Away wrote a little history about WWII battleships, namely 4 Iowa class ships. It was posted at 6:15 on the Juniper story page.

      I had another ID but like this one best.

      I always thought that if I were doing a puzzle like this I would have a big wooden door with a nice round door knocker and have people knock in Morse code to get in. Funny.

  12. A Will Rogers Quote:

    “There is no argument in the world that carries the hatred that a religious belief does.”

    My own philosophy in addition to this:

    “If there is one certain way to lose a friend, discuss the possibility of salvation for those who may be spiritual but aren’t necessarily religious.”

    • I’m not religious, but I have religious friends and religion is all they want to talk about.

      It used to bother me, until I became a treasure hunter. Now treasure hunting is all I want to talk about.

  13. Thank you Forrest! I love your comforting words and look forward to every scrapbook. I also like looking for hints and clues sprinkled about to give me some brain teasers to decipher. I hope Willie is keeping you warm with cuddles.

  14. Most religions have a self-humbling aspect, it’s just that people forgot.
    I see them as regional and sometimes continent-wide, that is, where firsthand or original power of some beliefs reside. I believe I have felt a presence of something specifically North American; this Great Spirit of animals, geology and thinking. Western North America is still a raw form. Its terrain undergoes gigantic icing and warming changes every 10,000 to 35,000 years. Volcanic upswings to the order of every 75,000. This is unique. I’ve shown people around the Gila Forest, pointed at trees and plants; told them this forest was relatively the same 74,000 years ago, after the volcanism went cold in the area.
    The Rocky Mountains will be the tallest in the world in tens of thousands of years.

  15. Forrest – Why the stripes on the Buffalo skull? One of the most beautiful Buffalo skulls I’ve ever seen had a wonderful glow to it.

  16. Forgiveness…I was literally thinking about this very thing earlier today.

    Here’s the most powerful act of forgiveness I have seen in a while. A black man forgiving her brother’s killer…

    The sentence was met with boos and jeers by a crowd gathered outside the courtroom. But Jean’s younger brother, Brandt Jean, in a victim impact statement after the sentence, told Guyger he forgave her and loved her as he would any other person. He asked the judge if he could hug Guyger, and the two embraced as Guyger sobbed.

    …this totally blew me away. Think about it. I do quite often. Many days go by and I struggle, internally.

    Maybe we should just stop judging one another and be a little more forgiving of one another. That’s why I try to find the good in people. It’s easier to smile than it is to frown, I think.

    And here’s possibly another thing along those lines…maybe the slip-up about the elevations was actually a clue in that interview? Instrad of 5,000 feet he started to say 7,000 feet (if I remember correctly). Well, 7,000 feet was the lower elevation he could have been “reflecting” on. I’m surprised the upper elevation wasn’t well over 30,000 feet, to tell ya the truth.
    IMO only…


    • ByGeorge, well said!

      Forgiveness nowadays seems to be a widely-accepted enemy, rather than a godly virtue. Thankfully, we still have a few good people that understand the moral difference.

    • Yes, I saw that, too, and felt that guy really had a handle on his spirituality. I felt sorry for the victim and the shooter’s family, but this guy was the only real man there! The rest were out for vengeance.

  17. The problem seems deeper than religion; every person believes that they’re right about everything!
    But world peace does come right after world love shows up. Until then let’s just do the best we can to love each other, forgive each other, and have peace with each other especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Have a blessed Thanksgiving everyone!

  18. Thanks dal and Mr. Fenn,
    My heart skipped a beat when I read what you tacked on the end. That should keep us all thinking a little longer.

  19. Hello Forrest, In this SB you ask, “How can we ever have peace on this planet when every religion is correct from its own point of view?” I think this is a very thought provoking question, which Einstein gave us a great answer to when he said,

    “A human being is part of a whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.

    This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” (Albert Einstein in a letter to a grieving father, 1950)

    I think the Sun Dance is a Native American form of mysticism (seeking oneness with the Universe, or God, however you envision the Great Spirit). Many Christian mystics resorted to forms of extreme physical pain and deprivation to feel closer to God, but yet we are shocked when Native Americans do the same.

    I don’t necessarily think we need to resort to such painful techniques, but I do think we should seek this experience of Oneness. It may be the only thing that will save us, and almost all religions offer a vision of it, if we only dig deep enough, past the superficial outer layers, to the inner core where there is a living fountain of wisdom, peace, and harmony.

    A great source for comparative religion are the books of Joseph Campbell who wrote about the common themes in world religions. He was particularly fond of the image of the hero’s journey. I thought of you, Forrest, when I read this quote from Campbell,

    “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: The hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”

    ― Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces

      • By George, I think a lot about the ancient human evolution. Many times I put myself in a place 1000 years ago. I suppose you can call it dreaming. There isn’t a day people come up to me ask me what am I thinking about. They say I think to much and they are right. It is pretty exhausting at times.
        When I am out in the desert southwest, I will go to one of my special places and just sit there. Then I watch the desert come to life with a story. I can hear ancient children running and laughing. I can see animals that walk right by me not knowing I am even there. Recently I have been thinking about going back 1.9 million years in Africa and that is a feat all in its own.
        What we as humans take for granted is the senses we are born with. I would say, many humans cant grasp why we have these senses, especially how they actually evolved. As far as I can tell in my research we my of only been able to see only in the grey scale.

        Every single human has some sort of psychological disorder. It is so very true that there is a name for person who loves ART has its own disorder classification called Stendhal syndrome. So those like Campbell and Einstein that focus only a specific fields are what many call and I call nut jobs. That goes along with religion but at the end of the day or at your final moment you will be calling out for your savior.

        The chicken bones is a metaphor for a witch doctor or one who practices to physio analyze human behavior. So that makes me a nut job as well. Aren’t we all?

        Well, I just finished my second book about the chase and it is a real dozzy to say the least.

        Well, I made my point and I can sleep better now.

        • GEYDELKON,

          For what it’s worth, we are on the same page but at a different level with the thinking. Never stops. I don’t go back that far but I want to thank you for sharing your visions. The mind is a powerful tool.

          During my drive to my locations I look at ridges and such and wonder WHO could have been up there scouting back in the old days? So much to think about if we allow the time and have the desireto do so.

          I totally enjoy your input and wisdom. Thank you.


      • No need to be rude. You can state your opinion in a much nicer way if you chose. I hope Dal deletes your post because you just sound like you don’t care about hurting other people’s feelings. Does that make you feel better?

        I got of of the other forums because of people like you who attacked others to make themselves feel better.

  20. Life is about choices. It’s your choice to believe or not to believe. And it’s your choice as to whom you choose to believe in.

    In the end, when it comes, it will have been your choice. No more pointing fingers at others. It was your choice! The bible speaks of false profits and worshipping false idols? It’s your choice, I believe.


    • ByGeorge, absolute words of wisdom. Everyone has a choice to believe as they desire.

      How can we point the finger of judgment at others when we haven’t even realized our own faults?

      Thanks Forrest for the topic! Thanks Dal for the freedom to post!

  21. Forrest,

    I don’t know if you have ever been to Wash. D.C. but you can see tribal Indian dances there. The Indian Nations converge on the Mall and in front of the Capitol Building when there is legislation that they oppose. It is a sight to see. They opposed the pipeline that was put in recently, I don’t blame them. One man was dressed in beautiful leather clothing and three women had beaded outfits. I just can’t imagine making them by hand. I figured that I could check out two places while I was there but I got caught up in the dances and ran out of time.


  22. When I made those comments on SC 138 that Forrest is talking about I was sure it would spark a chord in his heart, well it did Cha Ching! Below I will explain more about the test just to witness the Sun Dance, a test which Forrest and Peggy passed, it is such an honor to witness a ceremony as this, few understand the significance of the power of witnessing. THE SUN DANCE,

    Look back at what was said in the post now that Forrest is describing above. In The Ritual Renewal called Spirit of the Sun Dance, FF is being kind when he says that blood was let on the ground by A woman next to us (who) was quietly chanting as she cut her arm with a razor blade. She was mourning her dead, and blood was spilling on the ground.
    Peggy and I understood the sacredness of the ceremony and we stood reverently, without speaking, just looking.

    If you had family ties to these tribes like Paul Dyck in order to be accepted by them, this is a requirement for men in particular, I know of some who have experienced this and most will tell you it is all about commitment, and sacrifice to prove yourself worthy to be called a tribal member. I am brave, but like Paul maybe Arizona sounds better for this old warrior..

    Forrest and Peggy were obviously recognized and embraced by the “Crow” how else can you know these SECRETS? Had they not been known and seen as sincere and worthy to be marked, or smudged, cleansed with the sacred smoke they would not be allowed there to see this, speaking of seeing see: “A Man Called Horse, 1970” in the late 60’s and early 70’s there were a string of such movies, Billy Jack, classic Jeremiah Johnson with actor Robert Redford. These helped in embracing of the culture and art and spirit of Native Americans just took to the skies. Famous line in a Man Called Horse, When I met the Sioux U were savages to me, now you are see the trailer..

    The Penitentes of the Southwest do a similar flagellation and they meet at remote locals, like the Morada at Abiqu NM they are IMHO an entirely different religion (Catholic) but the symbolisym and commitment are the same, so Forrest hit this one square when he said:

    How can we ever have peace on this planet when every religion is correct from its own point of view? f

    Forrest makes a point here that is profound beyond normal recognition, Christians also know that it took a great sacrafice to cleansed them, it was a gift to us, it took pain, blood and suffering, sometimes in a Morada the Penitente Brotherhood that springs from Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1821 they, the Brotherhood, like these Crow, Sioux/Lakota also practice flagellation, even Crucifixions near the point of death, so what is the key for all people to see that our ways are not so different, but we must embrace each other and find truth. Real Truth, and Love, or we are doomed to history repeating itself over and over. Wars upon wars and religion that does not give peace.

    My answer is when we know and understand others through art, culture and love we might have the chance to find happiness and peace that our leader Forrest Fenn speaks of, it is worth a try..right? Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone…


    • Tom, excellent commentary and interpretation of Forrest’s SB!

      The finality of one’s life – or should I say, afterlife – is dependent upon one’s life in the here and now. In visualizing the perspective of our end, it also guarantees that we know where we are.

      Just as we set our own choices in life and determine our point of destiny, that destiny follows us after. Accordingly, we should recognize where we really want to go and where not to go. Of this venture, reality is created.


    • I have no direct knowledge of any of the Native American ceremonies, but I have recently been delving a little into the Hopi Prophecy. There is a fascinating multi-part examination of how it attempts to reunite old world and new world philosophies here:

      What is particularly interesting in the linked essay is the attention paid to Owen Barfield’s work, “Speaker’s Meaning,” which looks at how the flux of words’ inner and outer meanings illuminates the passage of human history and evolution, from a broad, collective and connected consciousness to a narrow, focused and isolated one. One begins to understand how most of us have lost touch with our source (nature), and how we can regain that without giving up our analytical, science-informed worldview. The result might be a far more enlightened humanity, with a deep appreciation of, and connection to, the natural world, and one in which science becomes a servant of good.

      Unfortunately, if the Hopi Prophecy is correct, chaos will ensue before we reach that new harmony. Perhaps we’re already witnessing the start of that. And a big part of the problem seems to be encapsulated in the final sentence of this SB: “How can we ever have peace on this planet when every religion is correct from its own point of view?” Not only do we see this in religion but also in other aspects of our current culture. We are locked in some kind of tribal warfare where only our viewpoint is correct, and everyone who disagrees is a degenerate enemy, only worthy to be ridiculed or eradicated. And one of the first casualties of this sickness is human kindness.

  23. That is quite the profound question. What we ought to do is written upon our hearts. In part, we are to love one another. Peace on earth? I suppose it will come in it’s due time.

  24. This is true, Forrest, (Divine Religion is correct, & indivisible). It is often, (our interpretation of); or, (misrepresentation of), that is lost or altered. Priests & clergy are no longer needed today, for all should be given the opportunity to read, & learn the teachings of God for themselves.

  25. Beautiful quote, Forrest: “every religion is correct from its own point of view”. On a similar but much more trivial note, I believe that no one should be able to access their own Facebook/social media account. They should be allowed to create it with their relevant data; name, age, etc. but then they should be locked out of it and everyone else on the planet, except themselves can post to it. We’d get a much more more honest and accurate depiction of that person’s character, accomplishments, not to mention physical appearance(no more pics from 2004 when you were 15 pounds lighter and your face wasn’t drooping yet, trying to convince people that’s how you look today!). How many people can honestly depict themselves and their lives as other people see them? I’ve always been surprised, in both good and bad ways, how others really see me on those rare occasions when humans deign to be honest with each other(scary word: “honest”). Sample Facebook post from Warlock62’s universe: “These are pics of Tony’s two kids, Jimmy and Jenny. They are average looking and scholastically mediocre. I would encourage them both to read more often as they have both inherited the athletic prowess of their father Tony(my former little league teammate (and alternate right fielder)). But I believe their winning smiles and positive outlooks will see them through. They will persevere and succeed on their own merits, once they learn to ignore the shallow measurements of their peers and well-meaning adult interlopers”

  26. Many interesting and diverse opinions freely expressed, yet mine which attacked no one, was on point, and shared thoughts germane to Forrest’s scrapbook—was deleted. I think that perfectly exemplifies the message In Forrest’s last question.
    Now that’s irony.

  27. Remember, all the ‘white man’ and “black man” groups also have tribal roots.

    And for most, also a history of sacrifices and rituals.

    IMO, it is wise to learn of mystics, miracles, martyrs and the mysticism of these traditions too.

    These days the spiritual depth of many faiths are glossed over and heaped with cynicism. So it is refreshing to experience people who still revere the transcendental.

    But being inclusive is not the same as being dismissive. Maybe all faiths should be seen with with an open heart…

    Love Life

  28. In the late 1800’s, Helena Blavatsky, founder of modern Theosophy, wrote a book called “The Secret Doctrine”. So philosophically we could say that this knowledge may lead to world peace.

    Life in general, humanity, creation, and “divine wisdom” addresses unseen realities that we all experience, but often don’t understand.
    Perhaps Native Americans and all peoples of the old world, had a better understanding spiritually of God and “of God” then we do today in this space of time. But don’t forget that even in the Old World, mankind went to war on one another fearlessly. So the bigger question for me is “does religion even play a part in finding World Peace” or is Man just predisposed to create war on one another because he can, regardless of religion.

    It’s possible that Mankind will never experience World Peace until we All find Truth of God.

    Or thinking philosophically may just be the key.

  29. Forrest,

    You are a wonderful story teller. I can only wish that I had experienced one or two of the
    multitude of experiences you have had in your life. I have a great reverence for the native people, after all, they were here first. What we did to them is an outrage, in my opinion, and there is no amount of money that we can give them to make up for their losses. How can this world be so great and so bad at the same time?

    Not to make light of the subject, but when I was a kid, one of my neighbors raised a baby crow chick. It must have fell from the nest and the mother left it to it’s own demise. My neighbor, Johnnie, raised it from a little chick. Once it grew to the stage that it could fly, that crow followed us around every where we went. To school, to the swimming pool. It would land beside us and just “caw, caw, caw”, as if to say I want to be part of what you guys are doing. Sometimes when Johnnie was out of town, he would fly over to our house and land on the picnic table outside my bedroom window and make a racket until I came out to say hello or feed it something. I can remember seeing it flying over us as we rode our bicycles all over town.

    I can’t remember his name but he was black.


  30. How can we ever have peace on this planet when every religion is correct from its own point of view? f

    That is my problem with much of organized religion. People love to “cop out” on their decisions, saying God’s will be done. In reality, I believe, our most important decisions have been left completely to us. Those decisions are what we believe and how we respond based on our beliefs.
    So if we are given the option to choose the most important decision, then we are “in charge” of others as well.
    Then some of “those religions” get aggressive, thinking and trying to take our right to choose to agree with them or not away. Many have lost their lives or have been persecuted based on their choice which should have been theirs to make.
    The true honest religion should affect those that follow it in such a way as to inspire and attract followers….Those followers should stand out like a light in a sea of darkness. Those people are rare but exist in varying degrees in several denominations.
    I have been lucky to have met a few in my lifetime.

    • I think Robert Heinlein’s Valentine Michael Smith (born on Mars, raised by Martians) summed it up pretty well in “Stranger in a Strange Land”: “Thou art god, I am god. All that groks is god.” That, to me, is a more spiritual attitude about religion.

      Question for the blog: has Forrest ever written a Scrapbook that contained no numbers in written or numerical form? (Exclude SBs that were written by Dal, which was many of the earliest ones.) Since “one” and “two” are among the 100 most frequently used words in English, exclude them.

      In this SB, for instance, that would still leave 6, 7, 20, 40, 138 (sic) and 200. What conclusion(s) would you draw about Forrest’s abundance of numbers?

      • Zap, for me it was necessary to use numbers to find out that numbers were secondary – if you can draw. However, I do believe that numbers are extremely helpful towards the end, and the poem provides what you need. IMO It helps enormously to have understood HOW the numbers are used right back at the beginning.

        And if you’re talking about SB aberrations, I don’t believe we should overlook them. It’s easy, as many do, to put these anomalies down to a slip of the pen (keyboard?), or a moment of forgetfulness – don’t believe it!

      • Zap…I think we all agree that Forrest has an exceptional memory. The capacity for exceptional memory can take several forms.
        Hyperthymesia or hyperthymesitic syndrome is superior autobiographical memory, the type of memory that forms people’s life stories. The term thymesia is derived from the Greek word thymesis, meaning “memory”. In Forrest’s case, numbers may be included in those memories and past, present, and future numbers are a very important aspect of his memory function. This type of exceptional memory was probably extremely beneficial as a pilot, businessman, archeologist etc. In my observations, the most successful people have exceptional memories.

    • Only Forrest knows for sure, and he’s not telling, but I think he is really concerned about world peace. Remember, in SB 210 Forrest asked when the madness of war will end? I think he is hinting that peace starts with each individual and their attitude towards other people, especially those different from them. We can disagree and still be kind to each other.

      I also think, and this is just my opinion, that buffalo somehow play into the Chase. I wonder if Forrest might have found a buffalo skull at his special spot?

    • It’s probably about learning/knowing something about Forrest. See what Spallies posted and read that Vignette combined with this one. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a hint to understanding some of the reasonings behind some of the contexts of some of these scrapbooks. Like the previous SB, perhaps the message in some not straight forwards up, perhaps it’s more so looking at it sideways.

      Perhaps though sometimes, the message goes sideways.

      IMO .

    • I think it’s about keeping an open mind to things we know we may never understand ourselves, but that we can see hold value to others.

      You could easily relate that to The Chase. We all have ideas about how all this is supposed to work. Some of those beliefs originate all the way back to its creation. The first days.

      But nearly ten years has passed and still, nothing. Not even a wholly substantiated lead.

      Clearly, something amazing is happening. We can all feel it. It’s happening right now.

      I think we are supposed to figure out what that thing is.

      Why change up a long standing publishing sequence? Why is f writing and posting these scrapbooks day of? Why is this happening in real time? No delay?

      I bet that once we figure it out, and if we choose to work together, we will start to see the real magic of The Thrill of the Chase.

      I’m excited for it and I know once all of it is revealed, everyone will be able to say that they were correct in some fashion, for one reason or another.

      That’s going to be as close to a perfect day as it gets.

      • Delays are often a blessing in disquise; &, (collaboration), is unadvised with the ungodly: (as they tend to be untrustworthy, & untruthfull). Forest should have his own Live Channel! Well maybe after the chase is finished first. P.S. (he would probably slip up; (with the ton of questions that would be cascading down upon him)! A perfect day is when the divided; are undivided again. “Indivisible, with Liberty, & Justice for all” on a good day.

        • And how do you work towards making a change David? Pick and choose who is worthy of hearing the message? Everyone is evil, they were born that way, right? Not their fault. It just is and always has been.

          Not us though, obviously. We are different.

          Give me a break. What if some people don’t know how to cooperate with others simply because no one has ever shown them a way? Maybe some are just waiting for the right opportunity.

          I’d risk a box of gold to give a stranger a chance to see the beauty in the world. Especially when it isn’t even my gold. Not a whole lot of risk in that endeavor.

          And you can watch me do it.

  31. “peace on this planet”
    That’s an awful tall order, Mr. Fenn. And One I’ve been working on for forty-five years, maybe longer. Meanwhile, in the short-order… you’ve managed to elude us of “peace” for 10 years with just 24 lines of script. Eye’s wonder which one will arrive first before its unanimous? 🙂

    • Mia, it is a very tall order and I think about it everyday around 5:00 PM. Peace does comes in different flavors for all of us. I find it funny though we all carry the same DNA and it seems more common around here to just copy and paste. Now who is the fake here?

      • Gey – some people just can’t find the right words but they can take solace in the word of others. And so they use them. I find that is a mighty great compliment to the authors who penned those first words.

        Can there really be a “copyright” on words once they are spoken?

        • wwwamericana,

          I am a little lost. Copy and paste are traits from one word to another. Everyone does great research and I find it very educational.
          Somewhat like the first clue in the poem. Its not the words they speak, it is the semicolon at the end. The (;) is all one needs to understand the final clue and not the last clue. There is a difference. The answer can not be found with it.

          I better say, in my opinion.

  32. The caption of the sweetgrass photo seems to me like a good metaphor for life in general.

    I wonder how the cow skull was used in the ceremony? Was it held in one’s hands while dancing around, or was it somehow worn, or was it set on the ground and danced around as a focal point?

    The shadow of the skull almost seems to look like the body of a dancing person or bird with the skull being its head. It’s a sharp photo, and I like it.

      • Zaphod – I think you’re correct about that. I just looked up the differences between the two, and I guess the eye sockets stick out a lot more on buffalo skulls like the one shown here, whereas the eye sockets on cow skulls are recessed into the main shape of the skull. Learned something new this morning!

  33. Religion and spirituality are very personal in nature. Conflict arises when people judge others based on their own “correct” ethics. The way we achieve peace on the planet is everyone stay out of everyone else’s business.

    • I’m with you Goldi. But we still have to find common ground. All of the best things happen when people choose to work together. Especially when those people have differing beliefs that offer unique perspectives to complex problems that we all share.

      Like going to the moon. The man who invented the Saturn 5 was a Nazi at one point in time. Had he been executed or imprisoned, we would not have many of the technological advances that we take for granted.

      Just like The Chase. I would consider it a great injustice if someone had an opportunity to share the adventure with the world but failed to do so simply because that person couldn’t get anyone to believe it was possible.

      The journey is the treasure and is worth far more than the gold because it creates opportunity for cooperation through competition. Just like life. If we help one succeed, then we all end up benefiting from that success.

      Would you rather have someone find the chest and have it all end with an explanation or would you have the story of the find told in real time and follow along, maybe making guesses and offering advice as one person takes us all on the adventure.

      That’s what I think the next scrapbook will be about. Common ground and triumph through cooperation.

      • Y’all will prob say this doesn’t pertain to the Chase but I’m gonna tell you anyway….

        We have a group of individuals here in town called the Twelve Tribes. They were not accepted well into the community. But they stayed. The men are excellent carpenters. A few years back, they opened a restaurant and renovated the building – handcut woodwork throughout. It is a sight to see. Anyway, because we are a small town and the choice of restaurants is few, the people of the town decided to give them a try. A little bit different menu but good and you should try their homemade bread. The restaurant became an instant success and most nights it’s difficult to find a seat. The relationship between this “different” group of people and the community has melded together with time (and of course great food) and I hope they are here to stay. The name of the restaurant, by the way, is called COMMON GROUND.

    • Sweetgrass is the hair of our Mother;
      separately, each strand is not as strong
      as the strands are when braided together.
      ~ quote by Mary Ritchie

      • I read when it’s braided it represents peace, healing and spirituality. It’s a beautiful meaning. It says you are never suppose to cut it with metal, but I can’t locate the reason why.

    • Hi Goldilocks: braids are usually comprised of 3 separate strands (as they are in the sweetgrass braids above), and we know Forrest has often drawn attention to the number 3. There is of course the unusual detail mentioned in “Important Literature” while Forrest is at Borders: “That little lady probably knew where every book was in that whole store, and when we arrived at the exact spot she pulled down two books and just handed them to me and walked away, tossing her thick braids back and forth like they had purpose.”

      • Without delving into the nether regions or speculating in the political or religious arenas… it all boils down to social conflict in the most simple form. Two or more participants competing for the resources…. conflict will inevitably ensue.

        • I don’t believe that. There are many places in the history books where people have come together to overcome an obstacle in the face of dwindling resources.

          All it takes is to make the choice. Give a little to get a little. Treat others as you would want to be treated.

          If you knew where the treasure was, and the process of finding it changed you for the better, would you simply go get it?


          Would you share that knowledge, that adventure, with as many people as you could before it was lost forever?

        • I guess so, Ken. I just see that once the divine is divided you have division. I don’t get mathematically involved in those types conversations that then becomes pictures drawn of the divide and conquer portrayal. I prefer to be a DaVinci painting and just smile at it all.

          This SB story combined with the Vignette-Green Grass- , is very insightful to all these scrapbooks . IMO .

  34. How can we ever have peace on this planet when every religion is correct from its own point of view?

    Religion has done some good for some people. I think the better question here is why do so many “religious” people feel that theirs has to be correct while others must be wrong, and that this assumption should result in some form of violent emotions and behaviors?

  35. I was in Charleston once and I bought a spiral sweet grass basket from a Gullah woman at the central market there. The end of the spiral looped into a single handle. It was a pretty little green thing with a delicate scent. I think I paid 14 dollars for it. The aroma lasted a while but did fade.

  36. That last statement reminds me of a couple of songs, Imagine by John Lennon and Belief by John Mayer. Belief is a great thing when wielded correctly and destructive when not.

  37. Wow, These comments are profound and eye opening. Kudos to Searchers every one.

    I think Forrest knows that everyone here is gifted, not so much with a “religious belief” but gifted with a spiritual relationship with the cosmos, creation, macrocosm, nature, universe, our world. In one way or another we are all or we all should be feelin it, that connection that part of this journey that says “Good Tidings of Great Joy” for this is the gift, the treasure we all seek, it has been hidden for too long and we are starting to SEE IT: SEE IT BELOW..

    “I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth. Banks are going bust. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

    Now I want everyone here to get up, out of their chair and go to the window and yell as loud as they can…WE ARE MAD AS HELL AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!

    (well not really) but I want you to sit up, open your minds to a Mount Rushmore sized Idea, that things have got to change…. But first, you’ve got to understand that it only takes one good psychologist to fix a broken light bulb, but that bulb has gotta wanna change.

    I have not shared a big secret with everyone that I found some time ago, in fact I found it and shared it with ff in 2017, I wish that anyone who does not have Google Earth (PRO) would download it today and find an image that is as large as a Mt Rushmore figure, on Google Earth it can be seen from 20,000′ or from an aircraft going due north on a flyby about 90 miles fro Santa Fe, NM Airport, clearly this image is of Forrest Fenns favorite animal….it is large, huge and brown. THE Co ordinates are 106.31 X 36.984 USE YOUR IMAGINATION. can you see it? Its Horns are the RR TRACKS now where do you think ff hid the TC?


    • Firehoses shooting out millions of shiny objects, coupled with hundreds of small talk conversations amongst good people having fun amongst all the bling. With every one of those conversations needing to be visited (and enjoyed).

      Needles get lost amongst all those haystacks. But eventually the intrepid conversationalist ends up at the one he finds most interesting.

      Hear that drumbeat off in the distance? That’s no drum my friend, that’s the steady beat of someone chopping his last chord of wood for winter.

      Tip of the cap to you sir.

    • Answer – I could, if I were still sculpting. I have pretty much stopped sculpting – at age 76, it takes too much effort – sorry. Thanks for asking – JDA

  38. There are two things that I really love about this scrapbook.
    Firstly, I love the buffalo skull. I can picture it lying somewhere in the Rocky mountains, deep in a canyon, on green grass near a creek. Maybe this is the ‘no paddled up your creek’?

    Secondly, I also love SB 138. I think, Mr Fenn meant SB 238 but accidentally pointed us to SB 138. I read the SB138 before, but rereading it again gave me even greater appreciation what he went through. The vivid description of being shot at, bailing out of the fighter jet and then trying to land at the top of 1000′ karst pinnacle gives me goosebumps. I was always wondering by how much did you overshoot the summit by? It must have been at least 200′?

  39. “Sweetgrass maintains its pleasing smell for months, and then suddenly, its gone.”

    I just learned that when sweet grass is handled too much by men it loses its natural sweetness and aroma prematurely. Try leaving it alone. Some wild things aren’t meant to be plucked, braided into men’s designs…they like to be left alone so to speak. Worth thinking about anyway.

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