Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Does A Penny Have A Soul? continued

Journal Entry: Weight, 175.4; Money found 48¢, 23 pennies, one quarter; 17 glass bottles picked up and discarded.

Main Entry: The MoneyWalker suggest a visit to the University of Idaho’s Alumni Association home page and read Terry Armstrong’s article on “Levels of Finding Difficulty.” This is a must read for serious MoneyFinders. Terry is the Co-Founder/Co-Director of the Association's “found money fund,” a major fund raiser for the University of Idaho. He and hundreds of U. of Idaho students, faculty, staff, and alumni have been finding and collecting money for twenty–nine years. His URL and other comments can be found at:


As for levels of finding difficulty, Terry has developed a five level typology to rate the finding quality of money searchers. We will discuss all of them later, but for now, Terry’s level five has relevance to our theme of the soul of coins. Quoting Terry, “Level five finds border on the metaphysical. Psychic coin sense (P.C.S.) is rare among finding aficionados. Level five finds are common among only a very few. One sees those individuals as the Zen masters of the FMFI. Not only do they find a lot of money, they “sense” impending finds. Examples are “feeling” that one should cross the street to encounter a lost coin or “knowing” a find is imminent. One might characterize those rare people as “holistic finders”. It is the highest state of finding awareness. Some indications exist that it is possible to develop greater sensitivities to the finding mission and thus, develop a Zen rating.”

With all due respect, the MoneyWalker considers himself a coin finding aficionado, a holistic finder. But, before embracing the concept of a “Zen rating” more information is needed about the controversial nature of Zen within the Providential aspects of faith. According to the BBC: “The essence of Zen is attempting to understand the meaning of life directly, without being misled by logical thought, or language. Zen techniques are compatible with other faiths and are often used, for example, by Christians seeking a mystical understanding of their faith.”

Alright then! The MoneyWalker must admit that he does not believe that a penny, other coins, or any inanimate object has a soul. Yet, like with Terry Armstrong, the MoneyWalker often feels “lead” to alter his money searching paths and then, as a result, to mysteriously find a coin or paper currency in an unlikely place. It is if the coin was “lost” and seeking a “savior.” My favorite finds are always along the curbs of my city, and then the ones that have been “walked over” dozens or perhaps hundreds of times while waiting to be saved from the “gutter” of their existence. Incedently, what I call walking the curbs, Mrs. MoneyWalker calls walking the gutters.

Thus, what Armstrong attributes to Zen, another with a more traditional faith orientation might attribute to Divine Intervention. For the MoneyWalker, the term of choice is Providence, and sometimes money is found using extraordinary sensitivities, e.g. hunches, urges, a sudden drawing, unexplained guidance. Indeed, it sometimes seems that the pennies and other coins have a soul waited to be saved.


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