“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
– Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), principal author, from the Declaration of Independence (1776)
The above words were written by a superbly educated, extraordinarily thoughtful, and extremely punctilious young man who was only thirty-three when he became the principal author of the American Declaration of Independence. Please read those words again! They seem to be only common sense to us now, but two hundred and fifty years ago, the notion that ordinary people had the right to claim their personal freedom and to pursue their own idea of happiness was radical. And now read the rest of that paragraph, which is a frank blueprint for widespread rebellion. It claims that:
There is no petty bureaucrat, even today, who doesn’t wince to read those words! Yet the generation of giants to which Thomas Jefferson belonged was a peculiar bunch, uniquely well educated, idealistic, and determined to do it right for once. And the government that they founded, while bruised and battered, still stands today as the best-designed, longest-lived, and most resilient representative republic on earth. It even contains within itself a basic method of amendment and renewal so far-seeing that the same documents that have carried us this far can easily manage whatever more may come.
There was a time in my naive and clueless past when I considered my spirit guide’s famous prior lifetime to be my own personal property. I thought it was my right to do research and to write blog posts about Thomas Jefferson. Of course, I know much better now! And there was a time in his disciplinarian past when my spirit guide beat me about the head and insisted that I must never do anything like that ever again! But he has mellowed a lot as we have learned to work together more comfortably.
Everyone has one primary spirit guide through life. It seems to be quite literally true that you cannot be on earth without a spirit guide, just as a car cannot stay on the road without a driver. But very few people operate as I have learned to operate, as someone with a comfortably engaged and always-there co-pilot. And I have come to love living this way! At least, I am never lonely. And others who have learned, as I have learned, to recognize the voices of their primary guides, have found the same sort of joy in this relationship. There is always that voice from just behind my left shoulder. Prompting and encouraging. Correcting as I write. Commenting quietly as I speak. A smile, or sometimes even a chuckle, often unexpectedly. I depend upon the fact that if I don’t have time to do much with a blog post before Saturday, he will get it done on Saturday morning. And I never get upset anymore, because now he talks me through things. We are two people in one body.
My spirit guide is not Thomas Jefferson. I can see that they do share some traits, both loners by preference, deep thinkers, and very bright. But my dear Thomas has a lighter personality. I think he is further developed spiritually. And he is so emphatically past that life that my attempts to defend Thomas Jefferson when I first learned that through my spirit guide, I had a connection to the Founding Father, at first infuriated my Thomas, before he learned that I would respect his wishes. We had a pre-birth deal, or he never would have agreed to be my spirit guide. He would guide me for this lifetime in learning some spiritual lessons, since we are very old friends; and then, in my sixties, I would become his avatar to work on certain tasks that he had not completed during his lifetime as Thomas Jefferson. And those tasks had emphatically NOT included my wasting time and effort in defending Thomas Jefferson’s personal life against attacks by twenty-first-century philistines!
My Thomas doesn’t care about attacks on the personal life of one of his hundreds of lifetimes on earth. He has just piped up again and reminded me that Thomas Jefferson is not even the most important lifetime that he has lived. Or I have lived. Or, he says, no doubt that you have lived. He says that lifetime seems important to us now because of the prominence of the country in which some of us are now living. But my dear Thomas wants us to know that the work that we can do through Seek Reality Online in eradicating the fear of death, and thereby eradicating fear and war worldwide, and also the work that we can do for Jesus in spreading the Lord’s Way, will be vastly more important. And for eons longer! So he asks us to keep our focus on what it is important for us to be doing now. He tells us that the honor of the Founding Father will be defended in due time by the people in his life who love him, and who will speak for him once communication from their level is opened. But because my Thomas knows that speaking for Jefferson still matters to me, and he says that I have been a good soldier (cute!), he now ceases to object. He will allow me to say here what I have been wanting to say. Oh, wait: he now says that he and I together will speak to some matters that it has for a long time been important to me to address, because he was there and he has personal knowledge of those matters. Well, so here goes.
THOMAS JEFFERSON WAS NOT THE FATHER OF ANY OF SALLY HEMINGS’S CHILDREN
The father of her Jefferson children was his younger brother, Randolph, which is something that any honest researcher easily can conclude, simply by considering the fact that a highly fertile woman bore many children during her long life. Yet her Jefferson children were conceived only during the brief period between the death of Randolph’s wife and Randolph’s decision just a few years later to leave the neighborhood and head west. I further address the Sally Hemings nonsense in one of the articles linked earlier in this post. And the former President himself attended one of my nightly meetings with Thomas that I was allowed to remember that next morning. He said to me then in his soft southern voice, “I could not have been intimate with Sally Hemings because she was my property so she could not have consented.” Spoken like a gentleman. That a servant’s room has lately been found near Jefferson’s bedchamber at Monticello tells us nothing more than that an old man wanted a servant at night within the range of his voice.
THOMAS JEFFERSON WORRIED THAT SKIN COLOR MIGHT SIGNIFY A DEEPER DIFFERENCE
I have a husband and two children with Asperger’s syndrome, which is a form of autism; and it is thought that Jefferson also was a high-functioning Asperger’s person. For example, for his whole life, Jefferson told a story from his childhood of having watched a gang of slaves trying unsuccessfully to pull down a shed. And then his own father picked up the rope and pulled that shed over all by himself. So his father was stronger than six slaves together! People with Asperger’s often lack the ability to understand how other people feel, and it is likely that Jefferson never realized why slaves might not want to try very hard. These odd (to him) differences between people of differing status seemed to trouble him for his entire life.
THOMAS JEFFERSON WAS CONVINCED THAT HIS SLAVES WERE BETTER OFF LIVING WITH HIM
During Jefferson’s lifetime, freedmen lived miserable lives on the edges of the stronger white society. And for much of his life, freedmen in Virginia were at continuous risk of re-enslavement. Jefferson freed those few of his slaves that he thought could live comfortably on their own; but for the most part, he was convinced that they were better off living with him. His slaves occupied a village of comfortable homes on individual plots where they could grow vegetables, chickens, and eggs that they consumed themselves or sold to Jefferson’s kitchen. (And yes, he did pay them! The account books that he kept with them still exist, and I – Roberta – have seen them.) He gave his slaves weekends off except at harvest time, he allowed no whipping or abuse, and until his old age, he still hoped that he would figure out some way to free all the slaves. More and more, he became convinced that an emancipation that offered all the slaves legal protection from the stronger white society would be necessary before he could safely free his own. He was paternalistic, to be sure, but he took good care of “his people.”
PATTY’S DEATH DERAILED THOMAS JEFFERSON’S PLANNED PRIMARY MISSION
Jefferson considered it to be the greatest failure of his life that he never solved the slavery problem. His personal life-plan included front-and-center the frank abolition of slavery, and to enforce this mission, his planned wife for that lifetime even inherited her enslaved stepmother and enslaved half-siblings. So Jefferson’s own enslaved family members, whom he loved, were to have given him added incentive. But his adored wife died before the Revolutionary War ended, and Jefferson was so bereft that he never remarried, and he abandoned Monticello for decades. If Patty had lived, it is likely that Jefferson would have retired from public life at the end of the Revolutionary War. And with Patty by his side, he would have made abolition his one great cause, and he might well have succeeded in ending slavery in the United States by the early 1800s. So:
If Martha (“Patty”) Jefferson had lived a normal lifespan, the United States of America might well have seen slavery ended peacefully more than two hundred years ago. And today, the probably somewhat expanded but still smaller United States of America would be a happier and far more equal nation in which shade of skin would be of as little remark as eye color or shades of hair.
And now, the final, hopeful words of the Declaration of Independence to which that generation of giants set their quills almost two hundred and fifty years ago….
“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
– Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), principal author, from the Declaration of Independence (1776)