About the Mariner's Log
The symbol that you kindly readers see on the cover of every Navigiary volume is among the worst kept secrets in the world. It is such because God wants everyone to know about it and so it tends to be divinely propagated far beyond my own use here. It is simply an upended and stylized version of ten ASCII characters, each symbolizing one part of a larger journey that each of us makes toward our ultimate reward. Once you understand the Log, it can make your life full of hope and purpose, for it speaks to who we really are, why we pass through this sometimes difficult "earth life", and what we may potentially become. In religious circles, this is called "God's Plan of Happiness" or "The Plan of Salvation".
Here, in its simplest form, is the Log: 03IXI8E0OC
You will see each of these symbols as dividers of the ten sections of this particular volume of the Navigiary Allegory.
The Origins of the Log
I travel a lot and I was contemplating how to really do something useful and needed. I have known about God's Plan for Happiness for many years, preached it (with varying success) to many people, and gone on to a somewhat normal (at least for me) life where I share it only occasionally when I felt it was right. I decided I needed to share it more often and wanted a unique and somewhat compelling way to do it. Thus came the Mariner's Log.
Once upon a time, digital communication was strings of simple text that were sent from here to there. Computers need everything codified, so ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) was created to facilitate this. Being creative, people began to draw pictures using the characters of the ASCII code to express themselves, which has been called "ASCII art." A more modern and simple form of this is the emoticon, which uses a few ASCII characters to express sometimes complex emotions.
In short, people were using computerized letters and numbers to symbolize things far beyond the original intent of just numbers and letters.
I wanted to explain God's plan for Happiness in a way that was compressed and easy to transmit, with a typewriter, a URL, an email tagline, or just a few characters scrawled somewhere. I also wanted it to be an identifier of a believer in the God's Plan.
Among my travels with work, the concept of the Log came to me. On the way back home after one trip, scrawled on a blank piece of a bag from a Wendy's restaurant, I created the Log itself. It took almost no time at all to actually do it.
The First Results
I shared the Log with my wife the morning after I created it. It came into my mind that the test of whether it would be a good thing was if the person who was taught the Log could remember it after one telling. She could reproduce the Log (hey, it really looks like a random string of letters and numbers!) after only about seven minutes of exposure! My oldest daughter got it in about the same time. My mother had it as well but it took my mother-in-law a bit longer. I think it really helped that all of these people are very conversant in God's Plan and only needed to tack the symbols onto what they already knew. I would figure that it wouldn't "take" quite as well with someone who was being exposed to the Plan at the same time.
It does say that once you see the symbols for what they are, it tends to stay in the mind, which is what was wanted. My daughter shared it with an LDS Church Seminary class and it seemed to "catch on" there.
How It Came to Be in the Navigiary Allegory
The Mariner's Log initially had nothing to do with Navigiary. It was originally called "the Salvation Code" and was propagated through email signatures and a webpage. In an experience not unlike Mullicynda and other characters in the story have when they are influenced by God, I was shown that it would be a good addition to a writing project I had been toiling with for years and could never quite get off the ground, which was then named "Godsend". Ultimately, the Salvation Code became the underlying metaphor of the subsequent renditions of Godsend and expanded that story into what you are reading right now. Put very simply, the Mariner's Log (Salvation Code) transformed "Godsend" into "Navigiary", much as God's Plan for Happiness transforms wandering souls into purposeful people on a journey toward the defined goal of life with God.
I hope in some way to try to convey the feelings that my own personal journey, to which this story is but a poor metaphor, has brought to me through this story and these characters. My greatest wish is that you patient readers will somehow catch a small bit of the vision and, as God speaks to your soul, you will take up the journey that the Mariner's Log represents.
I hope you enjoy this part of the journey.