November 26, 2020
In this signal year of 2020, we join our American family in the traditional national holiday of Thanksgiving to celebrate God’s gifts in deepest gratitude.
We thank Him for the gift of this continent of unparalleled resources and possibilities, a land capable of welcoming all to its shores, a land that can offer everyone the opportunity for new beginnings unencumbered by the patterns of the past. To the European settlers it was “the New World”, to the Pilgrims it was “the Promised Land”; Chinese immigrants called it “Gold Mountain”, the legendary land of plenty to the East. All of these long-held intuitions about this land reflect a recognition that this continent has been specially chosen and specially prepared over many cycles of time for a divine destiny. Meher Baba affirmed that this was true. He said that America had an important role to play in his Avataric mission to forge a New Humanity. He even proclaimed, “America is destined to lead the world spiritually.” So in a very real sense, America is a Promised Land – and a land that holds the promise of the spiritual future of mankind on this Earth.
We thank Him for the inspiring beauty of this continent, “from sea to shining sea”. Baba himself was captivated by the loveliness of its soil. You may recall that his drive across the country in 1952 took him through the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee, the ancestral home of the Cherokee nation. Stopping to admire the view of Lake Ocoee there, Baba told Mehera, “I have been all over the world, but I have never seen more beautiful scenery. It has a spiritual atmosphere also.” Presumably, that atmosphere was associated, in part, with the Cherokees’ devotion to this forest, which was their home for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years.
Lake Ocoee, Tennessee
We thank Him for summoning the Native American peoples to serve as stewards of this land, a role they occupied faithfully for 10,000 years. If we look carefully beneath their diverse beliefs and social systems, we will find that the idea of guardianship permeates their culture. It expresses itself in four central ideas: protection of individual liberty, care of the community, preservation of tradition, and conservatorship of the land and all that lives upon it as a sacred obligation. For example, they knew how to manage the forests with controlled burning, so much so that the first European settlers compared its woodlands to their city parks, as they could even drive their carriages among the widely spaced trees. In the coming centuries, as the United States moves toward maturity as a nation, we will witness increasing care and concern for the land. It will emerge out of the same spiritual energies of this continent that nurtured these ideals in the Native Americans, energies that Meher Baba came here to quicken, amplify, and give a fresh direction.
And we thank Him for arranging on this continent a bold experiment in nationhood, never before seen in recorded history: a nation founded not on a single ethnic, cultural, or religious identity, which are qualities of separateness or manyness associated with the lower personality, or ego, but on attributes associated with the new epoch to come – on higher principles of unity, such as freedom, equality and inclusion, service and self-sacrifice. Our nation’s history is the record of this ambitious divine experiment, the story of how these principles applied to a nation have been – and continue to be – explored, tested, tempered, and refined. To what purpose? A high and noble one: to enable this nation and its people to join the broader goals of Divinity, which will over time aid all humanity everywhere and serve the divine purposes of the entire Earth. God so loves this land and its people that He Himself journeyed here six times, to consecrate this nation with His presence, His purpose – and even His precious blood.
On this day of thanksgiving, we bow to our Divine Beloved in gratitude for the supreme gift of His love, flowing to all in measureless abundance; for the unbounded depth of His compassion, embracing all life; for the wonder of His universal work that transfigures humanity and transforms the world; and for the unknowable immensity of his suffering and sacrifice for our sake, undertaken so that this land may be prepared as a birthplace of the New Age, for the benefit of all His children, now and to come.
In His Overflowing Grace,