Original Native American Philosophy is why this Country Worked for Eons
I am a romance author and although I try to keep my tales both light-hearted and positive at the core, my research often puts me in a melancholy state of mind. It also makes me want to share what I have learned with others of a similar mindset (for example… readers of romance or fantasy, perusers of historical accounts, piners for days of yore, and dreamers of what might have been).
Do any of these things describe you?
Once a Massive Original Society
As I research the many illustrious historical accounts – especially the ones hidden from the school textbooks- of this American landscape, I have come to realize that it was once an even greater place. A massive society of Original People was in existence. It was comprised of smaller units (over 500 distinct nations) that functioned together smoothly, prospered mightily, and supported millions of people efficiently – all without destroying a single non-renewable resource. They were healthy and hearty, and they did not have a need for prisons or taxes.
It is now believed that Native American medicine and philosophy may perhaps be as old as 40,000 years. And the inhabitants of “Modern America” have been here…oh say, 500 years maximum? Yet it is written down that we made this country great? With our European-based philosophy of Manifest Destiny – to explore, expand, and ultimately, to conquer and overcome, we have built this land of plenty? That we have a inherent right to our innumerable conquests ? And we are guaranteed the freedom to do whatever we chose with the property we conquered? Hmm. Really?
How Do We Uncover the Truth?
There are anthropologists and archaeologists with many differing opinions, but the truth about our ‘factual’ rich history may never be known. Native American culture did not develop a written language, but was based on oral tradition, so there was no real documentation until the Europeans arrived half a century ago. Within a few short decades, we began the decimation of the philosophy that sustained a thriving population for thousands upon thousands of years. In some estimations, perhaps even 400 million strong, before the diseases spread by colonization wiped out nearly 90 percent of the population. Unfortunately, this culture literally hit an end-of-days, apocalyptic scenario.
A Different Belief System
In my writing, I strive to exemplify the way of life that once was and why it worked so well. The Native Americans believed that the Earth (which means all of it – even the non-animate) was a miraculous gift. The people were not given the right to ‘own’ it, but instead, received the sacred blessings that the Earth – and the one Creator of it – chose to bestow upon them. It was difficult to even grasp the European concept of land ownership and in many cases Native peoples were swindled from their hunting grounds due to this misunderstanding. The earth itself was of God – the ultimate Creator – so how did one presume to own God? Crazy talk. Blasphemous even. And ultimately sad.
So, Is Time Travel Possible?
Although I don’t write traditional time-travel romances – where the heroine is thrust back through centuries or millennia by some paranormal event – this premise is what I try to do to the reader through the written word alone. I want you to see the flickering rays of sun as they slant through hemlock boughs and bounce upon the fern fronds that sway in the undergrowth. I want you to feel the pine needles beneath the buttery doeskin moccasins that encase your feet as you move along the trail. I wish for you to smell the spruce grove in the distance, and feel the coolness of the mist rising up off the mountain stream that lies just around the bend. Can you hear and identify the cry of the sharp-shinned hawk above the canopy, and the raucous call of the blue jay from the thicket of witch hazel ten yards away? Do these sounds leave a warning for you, to step more carefully, for there could be danger around the corner?
I won’t continue on, although I would love to, as I am sure you get the gist from my little prose-a-thon. Writing descriptively is my way of passing on the ‘feeling’ of the past – and the emotions they generate that should be shared and remembered. Intertwining romance and adventure along the twisting path is just a big-old bonus! It is my way of shaping your philosophy about love and life, and the reason we are here. Everything in our world – even today – is a gift and not a right. Live graciously, and pass this forgotten native tradition on to your family and your community.
What are your thoughts? Anyone that can add some knowledge or history to this discussion, please feel free to comment!
About the Author:
Jessica Leigh is an emerging author in the romance field, and still holds her “day job” as a free-lance writer/PR specialist for a social media marketing firm. She is also an Environmental Scientist and researcher with a degree from Penn State University. Her first historical romance release, Savage Forest, delves deep into the Native American cultural heritage of the eastern seaboard, and chronicles the life and death struggle of a feisty young Swedish immigrant thrust into a native way of life unknown to her. The sequel, Savage Journey, was newly released in June of 2014. Jessica’s 2014 contemporary romantic suspense release, Waiting for Eden, is also available on Kindle.
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