As a citizen of the United States it’s hard not to feel the proverbial elephant in the room during the “Thanksgiving” season. This massive elephant tries to hide behind turkey decorations and pumpkin-spiced everything. I say tries. But everybody feels it.
It is a charged topic, creating yet another polarizing factor for Americans. Why do we observe this day in the way that we do, when we know the brutal facts of its history? Why should we change a long-standing tradition when it means so much to so many people now?
Well, the fact is – the history of this holiday is brutal. As a culture grows and matures, part of that maturation is coming to terms with the truth, including the ugly truths of its history. It doesn’t erase our history to reconsider how best to observe or memorialize it. Nor does it erase our history to learn from it.
The tragic story of the colonization of this land was swept under the rug and glossed over, rather irresponsibly. But this country is scarcely 200 years old, so it is only recently that the voices oppressed by this willful ignorance have begun to be heard and heeded.
The colonization of the Americas, and not only the United States, is a tragic folly of grand proportions. Rather than ignore the truth of our history we ought to examine it closely. Study it carefully. For it is only through understanding and completely bringing them to light that we can actually learn from mistakes made in the past.
How exactly was the conquest of the Americas executed?
What were the motivations of those who perpetrated this?
Did they feel that what they were doing was right? If so, why?
Who profited the most from the whole thing?
I don’t have answers to all of these questions. But have you heard of the Doctrine of Discovery?
“The Doctrine of Discovery” of 1493 was an abomination of a document which claimed to grant unobstructed right to the Catholic conquistadores to disavow any non-Christian of their land. This religious document, issued by Pope Alexander VI, even became the basis for encouraging the further expansion of the United States.
It’s unbelievable that we give any credence to or excuse for this history. We know that this was a baseless action perpetrated in absolute contradiction to the most basic of human rights. So, why do we continue to uphold such a caricatured narrative of the truth? I mean, we have kids make cute art projects based on it – and from some perspective that’s not a little unsettling.
Following the enactment of the Doctrine of Discovery was the imposition of the Julian calendar upon those cultures who had been colonized (read: raped, pillaged and plundered). The word “calendar” comes from the latin calends, meaning “account book.” In other words: “Hi! You aren’t Christians. So, your land is now ours. Oh, and here’s our calendar so you know when to pay your taxes.”
Except for the slight modification of the calendar in 1582, this same calendar is still in use today! This ridiculous history has no good reason to be so tightly guarded. This is all just unconscious adherence to the status quo.
The Law of Time makes conscious what was unconscious. The 13 Moon Calendar attunes human consciousness to the Law of Time. And making conscious what was unconscious is the only way the human species can evolve any further.
I hope you’ll join me in bearing these things in mind. Not to foment conflict with your neighbor or family. But, to compassionately represent the truth and see if we can individually help our collective to learn a little bit more from its past.