ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Thanksgiving in an Apparently Infinite Web of Causation

Updated on November 24, 2011

Great Chain of Being


Maybe we've got this whole thanksgiving thing wrong. I'm not talking about the obvious rewriting and white-washing of historical events - the nostalgia inducing cultural propaganda myth thinly veiling the dark and bloody truth of our nation's true genesis - no, I'm talking about the fact that we go around saying, "happy thanksgiving", instead of just "thank you."

Just think about it for a second... thanks giving, giving thanks, saying thank you, they're all the same thing. The purpose of the day seems to be about giving thanks, and how do you do that? By saying "thank you."

Now of course, there are already traditions in place that are supposedly about giving thanks, the prayers, the sharing of the meal, the part where everybody takes a turn naming off all the things they're thankful for -"I'm thankful for my dog, my cat, my family, my friends, my significant other, the blessing of (insert name of deity), my material possessions, my career, my country, blah, blah, blah." But these all skirt around the main issue, which is giving thanks. At most you're doing it indirectly. You don't actually have to engage the person or thing directly and give them your thanks.

Why do we go through this ritual, instead of taking the more simple, direct, and literal approach of just saying "thank you" to these things? Go up to your dog, your cat, your family, your friends, and say "Thank you" right to their faces, looking them dead in the eye. You can also tell them why you're thankful for them if you feel like it.

You can thank inanimate objects if you want to, I don't see why not. After I'm done thanking my cup of coffee, I'm gonna go say thank you to my guitar. While I'm thinking about it, thank you bed that I'm sitting on, and thank you computer that I'm typing on.

If you really want to get into the spirit of things, you can try to thank every person and object that you come across, and even every thought that comes into your head. If the thing isn't directly present, thank it in your mind, or try thanking it telepathically. You can thank the past, and all that went into making it, and you can thank the future, and all the things that will going into making that. I especially recommend you try thanking your enemies and things you hate.

The point of all this is that thanks is just as important for the giver as the receiver. When you can thank things, even the things that cause you pain, you acknowledge that all that happens, all experience, is aiding in the unfolding and enriching of consciousness. There are no problems, only situations, experiences, and states of being that provide us with opportunities for growth and learning as evolving conscious beings.

Giving thanks naturally puts a person in a more appreciative, peaceful and open state of mind. Giving thanks acknowledges that you are not alone, not an island to yourself, but a part of all that is around you, and you owe thanks to the things that have helped make you what you are, and made you what you were, and the things that are helping to shape what you will be. Without them, you would not be you, and you and them are all a part of the same fabric.

Logically, giving thanks entails an infinite regression. If you are thankful for A, don't you also have to be thankful for B, which caused A, and C, which caused B? And D, E, and F for causing C? Since all things are part of a single, enormously complex, apparently infinite causal chain, every time you thank one thing, you logically have to thank everything else for its contribution to that one thing, ad infinitum.

Giving thanks therefore acknowledges the oneness of things. You can give thanks to everything, or give thanks to the one thing, its the same either way. You can thank every individual quanta of existence, or you can thank all existence together.

The best way, in my opinion, is to shift back and forth, to thank whatever pops into your mind or crosses your path, while alternately or simultaneously thanking all that is. (disclaimer: If what crosses your path is a speeding automobile, get out of the way first, then offer the automobile your thanks. Safety first!)

So, thank you reader, whoever you may be. Whoever you are, if I don't see you in person, I will be thanking you telepathically, either as an individual I have had the opportunity to interact with personally, or as an as yet unnamed contributing factor to all that is. Thank you.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)