It is hard to believe one month of 2012 has past. It seems like yesterday we celebrated New Year's Day and here we are in the month of February and what is even most unusual is we really did not have a major snowstorm all month. While this may seem like an anomaly to most people, it really is not the first time we have had a practically snowless January. To add to it many have commented about how warm this January appeared to feel, but in actuality from what I read on some weather sites the temperatures really were not record setting although they were a bit warmer than usual.
Unfortunately January brought quite a sad start with the death of college coaching legend Joe V. Paterno. I'm not a Penn State historian and definitely not a huge college football fan, but I really still respect Paterno for his long and mostly successful career at the college he loved. I'm a bit disappointed that he failed to realize until it was way too late that he might have been able to do more, but after I pondered the whole situation for a while, I've come to the conclusion I do not have enough information to support the decision the board of trustees made in firing him.
I am not a sports oriented person and that does not bother me, but I think Joe Paterno transcended sports. We all make mistakes and he made a rather major error in judgment in not pushing the envelope, but he admitted it and he accepted the decision made on terminating his career without much comment. I think his actions in the end shows the level of class he had and it was far above the class of the board of trustees and our governor who want this state to believe they knew nothing at the time. If they were going to truly act in a just manner, then some of them should have looked in the mirror and fired those persons as well.
Be that as it may, this tragic ending of a career should not lead us to discard the long, successful decades of this beloved coach, mentor and friend to Penn State, its students and especially his players. It is extremely rare to witness one who humbly worked, selflessly gave of himself and tirelessly strived to create thousands of better men who reflect his tutelage in their varied careers. While several naturally went on to successful careers as professional football players, many, many more made JoePa proud by becoming successes and upholding his principles in their lives.
I sincerely believe Joe Paterno's legacy will shine beyond the slight tarnish of his career's conclusion and he will be remembered for the thousands of young men who reflect his ideals and values and in the end that will be what is important as it relates to Paterno. He was a victim in a different sense, and it is too bad emotions outweighed impartial judgment.
As a paranormal investigator, I have wondered if the emotions and devotion to Penn State have embedded itself in the hallowed halls of University Park. Perhaps some of Coach Paterno's energy will remain as a part of the campus. It is not unusual for those with such devotion to return to the places they loved. There are several documented cases of encounters with the departed in the places where they once worked, lived and loved.
One example of such a case is found in the investigations I have performed as a member of Blue Mountain Paranormal Society. At Broney's Hotel, we have documented several times visually and through recordings a patron nicknamed Uncle Joe who was a regular. He lived at one point in the upstairs and was a daily visitor in the bar. In fact when he passed away upstairs in one of the hotel rooms, his spirit appeared to have never really left the bar.
There are scores of anecdotes from various historical and religious locations of encounters of ghosts that once worked, lived and died at those places. Gettysburg each year produces tales from its visitors of soldiers who appear to still be fighting the battle. My friend Bob relates running into the ghost of Mary Packer Cummings in St. Mark's Church. In his book, "Ghosts in the Ville", author Jeffrey Wargo relates tales of a long dead pastor's wife regularly seen on the church grounds and in his home. Those are just a few examples.
Regardless of what religions state in a philosophical sense, I believe our souls are a form of energy just like every particle of the physical world and time is irrelevant without a human body. We only mark time on this planet because our bodies have an expiration date. We may not know when that date is, but we know it exists and we are born to die, but I think our spirit never dies. That energy remains behind once the body is no more and at some point in its own time it eventually becomes one with God, the ultimate source of energy.
People get hung up with God by humanizing the concept, but if we accept that God is an all-encompassing force that binds the universe together intelligently then perhaps from a philosophical view, heaven is that state in which our individual spirits merge with that energy from which we were divested when we became individuals.
The fascinating part of the whole matter is once we learn this ultimate truth it really becomes irrelevant. How ironically humorous.
Til next time…