Monthly Archives: November 2013

An Intertwining of Thanksgiving and Mourning

Thanksgiving Thoughts #2-

A dear Wisdom Grad student, Diane, is crossing over the great mountain as I write. In my tribal teachings a person is given a song that carries them through the journey. Death is just a phrase for a phase, and the sound of music, the music of the spheres, can carry her along and across a distant mountain range, the great divide. Diane sang many songs, and we sing some today we shared with her in various intensives to propel her on the way.

As the morning sun breaks over limestone hills where we live, Judith and I also blow a conch shell in celebration of Diane’s life and in thanksgiving for all she meant to our community. And in thanksgiving for you, seekers of wisdom, all.

At times like these I am aware of a strange intertwining of love, mourning, and gratitude. In 1970 an organization of American Indians(preferred name by my tribal background and training) designated the holiday the mainstream calls “Thanksgiving” as a Day of Mourning. The mourning is for the unbelievable damage done to native peoples by invading European-Americans. My friend and colleague, Jim Garrison, responded to my thoughts along this line and added a need for mourning for the damage we are doing to Earth as we invade the future with the greedy hands of our current culture. All of us. None are exempt.

So, on Thursday, I will continue to give thanks for the harvest of 2013, for Diane’s life, and for yours. Then, on Saturday I invite you to join me in a day of fasting until sundown, a fast that mourns the death of our loved ones, our past damages to indigenous peoples around the globe, and our crimes against the future.

In this way of experiencing the intertwining of gratitude, mourning, and love, perhaps we can birth anew a generosity that reaches out with gentle hands to seven generations in the future.

THE FIRST THANKSGIVING REVISITED 1.0

Greetings on this Thanksgiving week!

I want to pause a moment and acknowledge the roots of thanksgiving in North America;namely, USA and Canada. Our mainstream USA history tells us one story, which we all know too well. It mostly is a fabrication in a long line of historical fiction that justifies the invasion of the Americas.

Indigenous peoples tell quite another story.

In the Fall of 1521(some sources say, 1523),the Wampanoag people observed a settlement of starving invaders from Europe. These pilgrim/invaders were starving because of their ignorance of the local landscape. The tribal Wampanoag decided to assist. The indigenous folk were not savages whose innocence prevented them from seeing that the pilgrims were likely to pillage land and people.

No. This local tribe had already experienced European slave traders raiding their villages for two decades, had seen the population of the Atlantic Coast reduced drastically through rampant disease, and tasted the bitter drink of broken promises by these Puritans who saw Western Civilization as superior. The tribal people were already sick, wounded, and disappointed. Their brilliantly sustainable forests were already growing thick with underbrush because of the decimation of their populations. Still, they chose to help.

And, it didn’t occur to the pilgrims to question the extreme transcendence of their theology which estranged them from the bounty of the eco-field where they had settled. They didn’t understand that their arrogance and ignorance was the seat of their plight.

So, why did the Wampanoag help!

Why? Because the Wampanoag operated in an economy of generosity. The people most esteemed in their society were those who were most generous. Storage, ownership, and accumulation were foreign to them. So, they gave and gave thanks even in the face of an invasion which would eventually aim at exterminating them and their kind.

I choose to make this profound generosity the focal point of my Thanksgiving.

I will explore with you through the week, both here and on my Earthtribe website, further reflections on this story.

Will Taegel,
Dean,
Wisdom School of Graduate Studies
Ubiquity University

Humans, listen to the Pacific Ocean

PACIFIC OCEAN SPEAKS TO HUMANS

 I want to address a very important question: how I came to be. If we are to know each other our genesis is always a good launching point. I don’t really have that beginning clearly in my awareness, and neither do your human scientists. But such a mystery doesn’t keep us from speculating, does it? And these speculations are informed by your ongoing research. As I think about it, your curiosity is a characteristic I treasure about you. It just may be part of your ticket back into the cycle of life.

Three billion years ago, I was just a large container that resulted from the collision of another planet, a process I mentioned earlier. Then, about 4.1 billion years ago, the water started arriving as a gift from outer space. Yes, water is largely an gift of outer space. There were a billion years or so when a large bombardment of meteors hit Earth, and these meteors were composed mainly of rock and frozen ice. It is difficult for me to imagine how many meteors it took to create me since I wasn’t fully awake at the time. We can assume it was a massive delivery of snow and ice since the resulting waters that compose my body cover nearly half of the globe. When the meteors delivered the ice, they soon began to melt and turn to liquid because the temperature of Earth was such that the melting could occur.

I am deeply grateful to the meteors for delivering the frozen water. Yes, I am a star child. I literally was birthed by extraterrestrial comets hurtling through our atmosphere creating a fiery friction.The snow and ice then turned to liquid water, because Earth has the right temperature to maintain water in a liquid rather than just ice form. Once in a liquid state,the water flowed to the lowest points on Earth, and I was one of those low points, in fact the largest one. I opened my whole body to hold the waters.

I have a special affinity with fire because it was fire that melted the ice meteors and made possible my being. There are other sources of my water which now roam around in my being and which have an intricate relationship with fire. For instance, volcanoes erupt with bursts of fire and outgas. Hydrogen and Oxygen are common in these eruptions and combine easily, especially when they contact lightning in storms. While my crust remained volatile and hot, water vapor remained in the atmosphere as the lager planet cooled. When I, and the rest of Earth, cooled down, the water vapor stirred into storms, and it rained.

Oh my, did it ever rain. It rained hard for thousands of years. About the time a general coherence and near equilibrium would be established, another large brace of asteroids would hit. The energy from the collisions heated me up, and almost all of my water would evaporate in the blazing heat that ensured. Then, eons passed, and it started all over as my crust cooled down. In the cooling phase prodigious storms erupted and released torrents of rain once again. This cycle repeated itself over and over until I was formed into a large body you call the Pacific Ocean. These massive hot flashes are kin to a prolonged menopause occurring over four billion years, so you will forgive me if I am a bit curt with you from time-to-time.