Thanksgiving


Some thoughts on the history of Thanksgiving.

The earliest record of any observance of Thanksgiving within the territory that now comprises the United States, was held by the Popham colony settled in Sagadahoe, Maine. That was in 1607.

They did not celebrate the whole day like we do now, then it was just an observance that took a few hours.

The real origin of Thanksgiving as a whole day set aside for prayer and rejoicing is attributed to Governor Bradford, The first governor of the Massachusetts Colony. In gratitude for a plentiful harvest in 1621, he proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving, to be observed on December 13th.

History tells that Governor Bradford also sent out four hunters in search of game and it is here, in 1621, that the turkey makes an early appearance in celebrating the day. The hunters were reportedly more than successful, they bagged so many wild turkey’s it was enough to feed the little colony for a week.

Through the years a thanks-giving was celebrated if there was sufficient reason. Some years there were two celebrations, and other years there was none.

The Continental Congress recommended eight days of Thanksgiving, divided and celebrated in various months, but they were only recommendations, for state governments were far more powerful then and the idea never caught on.

General George Washington issued a couple of proclamations for a Thanksgiving during the revolutionary war, but it was not until 1789, as President, did he issue a proclamation appointing November 26th, as Thanksgiving day, eventually it was celebrated on the last Thursday of November.

Washington’s proclamation, incidentally, was the first ever issued by a President of the United States.

A Story


Once upon a time in a land far away there was a gathering of like-minded souls who once listened with praise and affirmation to the truths of a great teacher.

But, as with all masters, mystics and mentors, the teacher passes when the body dies and the chelas are left to interpret collected words and wishes on their own. The interpretation is sometimes brilliant and sometimes disastrous, but lovingly allowed under the law of free will.

In the mind-fraction of “free-will” the denominator is principle and the numerator is consequence. All choices are acceptable, however unintended consequences can result despite the fact that no judgment is possible when unconditional love is on the other side of the equation.

Reinterpretation of truth is never advisable, but always attempted by the cast in life’s play and when successful, dogmas are born and the original truths obscured in didactic and reformed beliefs.

The moral of this story, if there is one, is when the responsibility for sustaining specific teachings passes to a collective crowd for dissemination an amalgamation results and truths are lost.

The angels on high are sad for once again in the collective history of spiritual exploration a chalice of attainment is cast aside.

The End.

The Power of Thought

A colleague asked me the other day, “How can an individual respond when a leader calls for help?”

Helping to solve a global or national or even a group problem by individual action seems so insurmountable at times that we often shrug our shoulders with a resignation of helplessness.

There is a way through the constant abyss of need.

Within the human spirit there is an intrinsic, yet often-obscured desire to be of service. Service can be defined as “instantaneous response to need”. We see it all the time in selfless acts of courage when heroic action is spontaneous in saving a life or some other act of bravery. Philosopher Joseph Campbell calls it “a moment when you and the other are one” and nothing could change it even to the point of death.

Somewhere deep within our soul being we acknowledge that we are individuals existing in the illusion of time and within an earthly density of a created and collective oneness. We are individual drops in the amniotic ocean of being. We are the individuation of the indivisible. We subconsciously, spiritually, know that life experience is not singular, but collective and somewhere in our awareness we know that if even one of us minutely achieves, all of us do.

Response to need is a simple process, but difficult to sustain on a daily basis when we have to contend with the duties of living, myopic worry and the ego’s constant harassment for self-aggrandizement. There are ways around the ego’s chicanery, but not many of us choose to be a mystic and master the art of meditation and its precipitate subjugation of the ego self.

So, how to be practical in the request to help?

One way is to believe that “thought” has a power or energy. Good thoughts have positive power and bad thoughts have negative influences. These thoughts, these pieces of energy, can be sent by the mind, in the envelope of good will, to any recipient and it will have an impact. Religions would call it prayer, but holistic physician Dr. Larry Dossey, in his book “Healing Words” calls it a general sense of well being for another and has proven the power of positive thought with scientific experiments.

Our sending energy does not have to be specific, but should have the imprimatur of well-being. Since we are part and parcel of the creating Source, we can leave the specifics of the solving to the omniscience of unconditional love, but the power we create and send through graceful thoughts becomes a free will energy to manifest as solutions, compromises and accomplishments.

Another way to answer the call to help is to do so within our sphere of influence for that too will affect the whole. To the observant not a single day passes without numerous opportunities to serve. There’s the story of the little five-year boy who wanted to help an elderly neighbor whose wife just died. Upon returning home his Mother asked what did he do to help. The child replied, “I sat on his lap and helped him cry”.

Service is as simple as that. Poet William Wordsworth wrote, “…Even the daisy by the shadow it casts, protects the lingering due drop from the sun.

Opportunities abound in each moment for us to be of service. Seeing them is important. Feeling them is even better for empathy is often a greater motivator than intellect. Perform each act of service with the unconditionality of the Source, and the exponential component of service will then manifest for the greater good of all.

Dallas 1963


The tributes will be many this weekend, but as usual the Kennedy family will not publicly participate. They understand the need and desire of many to honor the fallen president, but they prefer the memory of JFK be focused on the day of his birth, May 29th, rather than the day of death.

It may take a long time, for there are so many of us alive today who remember that day 45 years ago tomorrow.

I was home in my apartment in Syracuse, New York getting ready to go to work at a local television station. I heard the news from my Uncle who was working in a downstairs residence. It was a shock and I immediately turned on the television. Walter Cronkite was on CBS. Huntley – Brinkley on NBC and on ABC it is was Murphy Martin. Television coverage of live events at that time was primitive, but surprisingly successful.

When the generation is gone to whom the torch was passed by Kennedy during his inauguration speech, then the memory of JFK may move from his death to his birth.

We honor Lincoln on his birthday and not the day he died, April 15th.

Very few remember that assassinated President James Garfield died on September 19th.

William McKinley’s assassination date is now generally forgotten. He died on a September 14th.

It takes time to bury pain and change an ache to honor. It takes time to have a tragic memory stand without sorrow. The Kennedy family has learned, through many tears, that once you acknowledge the death, you must let it go and remember the life.