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Originally published as “All races walk into the light” as a Guest Commentary in the Aspen Daily News April 20, 1011. http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/columnist/146469 The book “Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History:” is creating quite a stir as noted by Chuck Thompson in his interview with the author S.C. Gwynne. http://www.cowboysindians.com/western/old-west/2011-04/empire-of-the-summer-moon.jsp I would like to comment on a review written by Jonathan Bastian in The Aspen Daily News, Aspen, Colorado on Friday April 1, 2011. http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/entertainment/146121 In his review Jonathan has brought something important to the table: our predilection for “making absolute moral judgments.” He is referring to the current politically correct tendency to demonize the white man and glorify the Indian, which robs the Indian of their shadow, and the white man of their light. The truth will set us free, and freedom is the ultimate evolutionary goal of the human saga. S.C. Gwynne, author of “Empire of the Summer Moon,” liberates us from the stereotype of “the noble savage” made popular by Rousseau in the 1700’s, and indelibly stamped in the minds of the current generation by the counter-culture in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. That important birthing of a new consciousness saw in the cosmology and way of life of the Indian the pathway to balance and the realization of the human potential. This has been fueled by the rise of revisionist history initiated in Plymouth, Massachusetts with the so-called “National Day of Mourning” on Thanksgiving Day 1970. The victim/perpetrator model becomes reinforced every Thanksgiving as historical untruths perpetuate and breed blame, shame and guilt amongst our children, both Native and white. Instead of using the extraordinary first 50 years of peace and friendship between the Mayflower Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians as a model of multi-cultural synthesis (resulting in the unique American Mind and Spirit), the internet and bookstores are full of erroneous tales of “The Real Thanksgiving.” In these versions of history, which couldn’t be further from the truth, the Pilgrims – moms, dads and kids seeking to create a society based on freedom of conscience appear as a blood-thirsty lot out to devour everything in their path, particularly the Indian (who, surprisingly, shared their world-view). If we take an unbiased look at the entire history of humanity we will see that every race has a shadow and every race has light: the white, the black, the red, the yellow. Please show me a time in history when fear, greed and power has not led to violent, unconscionable behavior in every race amongst each other and between races. Bastian and Gwynne make this point – that we all descend from warring tribes. All races have played out their shadow in one way or another. We’re all familiar with the white man’s shadow
in American history and the victimization of the peaceful Indian. Gwynne has shattered that false image and brought a great gift to the Indian – the violent past of the warring tribes, their shadow, the truth – a pathway to balance. Henry David Thoreau, who had a life-long resonance to the Native American, became one of the top ethnologists of his time on the Algonquin Indian. He hired Indian guides on his forays into the Maine wilderness, and his final dying word was “Indian.” He expressed this dichotomy eloquently. His statement does much to level the playing field:
“What an evidence it is, after all, of civilization, or of a capacity for improvement, that savages like our Indians, who in their protracted wars stealthily slay men, women, and children without mercy,… what a wonderful evidence it is, I say, of their capacity for improvement that even they can enter into the most formal compact or treaty of peace, burying the hatchet, etc., etc., and treating with each other with as much consideration as the most enlightened states. You would say that they had a genius for diplomacy as well as for war. Consider that Iroquois, torturing his captive,...; and now behold him in the councilchamber, where he meets the representatives of the hostile nation to treat of peace, conducting with such perfect dignity and decorum, betraying such a sense of justness. These savages are equal to us civilized men in their treaties, and, I fear, not essentially worse in their wars.” JOURNAL December 30, 1856. (Please note that the word “savage” to Thoreau denoted “wild man” and to him the “wild” in man is to be nurtured and will be our salvation. “In wildness is the preservation of the Earth”)
Why do we all hold on so desperately to the notion of the Indian forever living peacefully in balance with the Earth with the White man ravaging all in his path? Having spent the last 3 decades exploring the cause of the paradox within the human race – our amazing capacity for love and compassion on the one hand, and our violent and ruthless behavior on the other – I have discovered that fear and the attendant concepts of scarcity and separation have contaminated our behavior despite the Indian cosmology of abundance and oneness, and the Western concepts of “E Pluribus Unum” –“ From Many, One,” “All men are created equal with inalienable rights endowed by the Creator” and “In God We Trust” All races have dreams and high ideals, but have fallen short in applying these ideals to life at home and between nations. The six warring tribes now known as the Iroquois, inspired by the Peacemaker, drafted “The Great Law” and united to become the most powerful and dreaded military force in the Northeast long before the European arrived. Similarly, centuries later, the thirteen American colonies came together with various inspired freedom documents and ultimately became the dominant military power in the world. Ultimately, if we step back, fly high and take a look at the evolution of the human race, we will see that we are all one species playing out our light and our shadow. Fortunately, as quantum physics illuminates our personal power, and prophecies speak of a shift in consciousness, many see that we are now at a time when we can choose to open our hearts and minds to each other, walk forward into the light, and together create a world of peace and abundance for all our children – to the 7th generation and beyond. Connie Baxter Marlow, filmmaker and writer, is a Mayflower descendent who has spent extensive time with visionary indigenous elders throughout the United States and Mexico. She has been creating forums for them to share their cosmology for 30 years in films, books, lectures
and ceremonies. Her film with partner Andrew Cameron Bailey, “IN SEARCH OF THE FUTURE. What do the Wise Ones Know?” on the origin and future of humanity with indigenous elders, quantum scientists and futurists is currently screening at select locations around the country.www.InSearchofTheFutureMovie.com. She has produced a DVD series on little-known aspects of the life and thinking of Henry David Thoreau and will speak at the Thoreau Annual Gathering held in Concord, MA in July on “Thoreau, The Futurist and the Emerging Human.”www.ThoreauSociety.org. Her book/workshop, with partner Bailey, ‘THE TRUST FREQUENCY: 10 Assumptions for a New Paradigm”, an indigenous cosmology/quantum science synthesis, will soon be published. www.TheTrustFrequency.net
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