This essay was written in 1997, and is now almost 12 years old. Much has been
learned and thought since then. For an updated look at some of these
same ideas, go here: the Songs of a True White Brother
The Mystery* of the True White Brother
an interpretation of the meaning of the Hopi Prophecy
by a member of the Elder Brother People
* sacred rite of initiation
[all quoted material in the main body is taken from the original talk given in January of 1970, by Hopi Sun Clan Chief, Dan Katchongva, and then originally published in 1972 under the title: "From the Beginning of Time to the Day of Purification". The full text of this talk may be accessed at The Hopi Prophecy , or found reprinted in its entirety in the second chapter of Robert Boissiere's book: "The Return of Pahana, a Hopi Myth"]
Some readers of this material may find certain references to the far past, a bit much to take, and wonder, as well, what rational justification could be given for certain points of view expressed there. The author's views on these understandable questions will be found at the end of this message.
The Hopi Prophecy
The essential core of the Hopi Prophecy, such as is available to the general public, is completely embeded in their complex oral history. While this history and the Prophecy are, for the most part, treated the same in various sources, many details, some of more than a little significance, are different in different sources. In general, however, the talk noted above, "From the Beginning of Time,..." is accepted by many as the most complete and authoritative version of both the history and the Prophecy.
This history begins with stories that are not dissimilar to those which appear in Genesis. First the People (the Hopi) find themsevles living in paradise. Then, after a failure to live up to the instructions of the Creator, the People's life changes and toil, suffering and death ensue. As time goes on, problems, which naturally flow from the fact that human beings are capable of great evil, manifest themselves.
Following this, the history recalls that the place the Hopi's ancestors had been living in was about to be destroyed due to the activity of evil two-hearted people. Then, after the beginning of the migrations of those who fled from this destruction, one of the principle leaders died. His two sons were then deemed capable of carrying on this Chief's mission. After some discussion the "Younger" Brother led some of the people into a new land. These people, after many years of travel, eventually settled in the Southwest of America, and the present day Hopi are their descendants.
The "Elder" Brother's task was to go to the East and to wait, for there would eventually come a time when the Younger Brother's way of life was about to be destroyed. When this time came the Elder Brother was to return and to save the remaining true Hopi from this destruction; and, at the same time, to inaugurate a new phase in the cycle of time - a phase called in the Prophecy: the "Day of Purification".
The Hopi Prophecy is not always clear. The terms Elder Brother and True White Brother seem interchangeable. One fact does seem certain, namely, the expectation that when the Elder Brother returns, he/she/they will be members of the white race.
Some statements in the Prophecy are highly symbolic, and therefore potentially very ambiguous. For example: "This third event will depend upon the Red Symbol, which will take command, setting the four forces of nature (Meha) in motion for the benefit of the Sun.''
When the True White Brother does appear, the Hopi expect to be able to recognize them. Not all the Hopi agree on the criteria, however. This recognition may depend upon how the True White Brother looks, what they do when they arrive, and whether or not they possess the other half of the "stone tablet(s)''. These tablets had the Creator's instructions on them. "The older brother was to take one of the stone tablets with him to the rising Sun and bring it back with him..."
Those who currently write or speak about the Prophecy, including modern Hopi Elders, almost universally seem to fail to recognize that the Elder Brother People will have their own point of view about what the Prophecy means. The way the Prophecy has been habitually discussed, is almost as if the True White Brother will appear spontaneously without any past, and as if they had been waiting in some kind of hidden stasis over the long centuries.
The reality is, of course, just as those who were lead by the Younger Brother have a history which eventually becomes the story of the present day Hopi, so also will the Elder Brother People have a past, a context, that arises from what has happened to them over this great period of time.
The following is, therefore, a statement about what the Hopi Prophecy means from the point of view of a member of the Elder Brother People, the True White Brother. It should be understood, however, that what is stated below is a simplification of a much wiser and more complicated world view, involving as it does an attempt to encompass the meaning of the whole of human history and evolution.
The Understanding of the Elder Brother People
(not so brief)
In the deep past of the evolution of the human race there existed a civilization on a land mass in the middle of that area of the Earth we call the Atlantic Ocean. This fact has been remembered in modern times as the legend of Atlantis. The reader of this text is advised not to be disturbed by a reference to what seems to many to be a fantasy. Many a significant truth is recorded in the myths and legends of humanity. It is only a modern cultural bias which believes that in all cases we know better than the ancients.For example, we know today that Stonehenge is, at the very least, a remarkable astronomically oriented structure. We would do well not to assume that we have uncovered all its mysteries or even begun to truly understand the world view, and state of consciousness, of those who built it. What truths did they know? What ideals lived in their hearts? How did they move those stones? The deep past is full of mystery and we should not presume to limit its nature by our beliefs, prejudices and biases.
As is recalled in Hopi oral history, this land, and the civilization it nurtured, had to be destroyed so that humanity could progress in accord with the designs of the Gods. Just before that destruction occurred, a warning was given to certain priests (what the Hopi today sometimes call "Chiefs'') in various places on Atlantis where there existed mystery centers, places of learning and spiritual initiation. This was done so that specific groups of people, who possessed special qualities of consciousness, could survive the destruction and subsequently found the various post-atlantean civilizations.
In the resulting migrations, some peoples went to the West, into the Americas, and some to the East, into Europe and beyond. This is remembered in the Hopi oral history in the story of the two brothers, the Elder and the Younger.
The nature of the consciousness of these two groups was different, as what was intended for them required different qualities of soul and spirit. Those groups who went to the West, into the Americas, were intended to possess a form of consciousness which eventually centered itself in that orientation that finds in the processes and activities of Nature an expression of the world of the spirit. Thus, the people lead by the Younger Brother were to become the stewards these new lands, to hold them for a future time, when people of different needs and forms of consciousness would come to live there.
Out of these underlying impulses was born the various Nations of Indians, whose cosmology was centered in Nature and which related itself to the Four Directions, and the activity of the Great Spirit.
Not all the decadent (evil, two-hearted) spiritual impulses of Atlantis disappeared with its destruction. Certain types of knowledge, known in the atlantean mystery centers, and which today we would call sorcery because of their fascination with power, survived. It is this negative influence which we also find living in some of the South America civilizations and religious practices. Carlos Castenada's "Yaqui Way of knowledge" is a modern version of this dangerously one-sided view of spiritual life and knowledge.
Hidden beneath the surface of this long epoch of human history and prehistory, from the time of Atlantis to and through the creation of the subsequent civilizations that arose in Asia, and then later in Europe, was a general change in the consciousness of humanity. At the start of this period the human being was awake, although in a dreamy kind of way, to the spiritual life which surrounded and permeated him (thus, the Australian aboriginies concept of the "dreamtime'').
As this evolution of consciousness progressed, the original instinctive knowledge and direct experience of the reality of spiritual beings and causes was slowly lost to the general populace. Ultimately, it came to be that only in the mystery centers could individuals be brought into authentic contact with the world of the spirit through various processes of initiation.
It was the task of those who lead the migrations to the East, which the Hopi Prophecy remembers as the Elder Brother, to oversee the founding of the various post-atlantean civilizations, and in particular to create the centers of spiritual wisdom in which knowledge of how to contact the world of the spirit could be maintained. This was done so that even though for the ordinary human being a kind of darkness descended, civilizations could still be influenced and guided through direct spiritual contact with the Gods.
It is the descent of this darkness which is referred to in the ancient Indian (Asian) cosmology with its concept of the various ages ending with the so-called Dark Age, or Kali Yuga. It is from this past time of general spiritual knowledge that we receive the legends of the elemental spirits, the gnomes, undines, slyphs and fairies. All the great myths, from the Nordic to the ancient Greek, are memories of human understanding of spiritual realities from the time when direct spiritual contact existed, whether in the general populace or only in the mystery centers.
In the final stages of the age of darkness, even the mystery centers disappeared. In Western civilization this arose through those processes connected to the arrival of Christianity and the resultant destruction of the so-called pagan or goddess religions.
Those lead by the Elder Brother were to have a different kind of consciousness from those lead by the Younger Brother. We can see this most concretely when we notice that those, who went from Atlantis to the East, formed civilizations with a strong tendency toward ever increasing material progress, ultimately leading to the age of science and industry. While in the Americas, on the other hand, the tradition of intimacy with Nature maintained itself quiet strongly. Thus, one group (the Elder Brother's Peoples) eventually came to approach the natural world as something to own and to manipulate, while the other group (the Younger Brother's Peoples) continued to feel themselves as a part of Nature; that is, up until that crisis point, the conquest of the Americas, when these two completely different orientations toward the natural world began to encounter and to come into conflict with each other.
It is the meaning and significance of this crisis point that is the core element of the Hopi Prophecy.
The priests (Chiefs), which lead the migrations to the West, were still, for a while, initiates in the mysteries. From the resulting experiences of the spiritual world they obtained that knowledge which was to become the prophetic oral tradition of the Hopi People. Thus, in the imagery of the Hopi Prophecy is given one understanding of this anticipated encounter between the two modes of consciousness.
Let us review a few of these facts point by point. The Hopi were told that at a certain point in time there would appear among them a white race, which would claim the land as their own. This has come to pass.
The Hopi were told that the arrival of these people would precipitate a crisis in their way of life leading to its possible complete destruction. This has come to pass.
The Hopi were told that as this crisis matured the whole world would be affected, resulting in two great wars. This has come to pass.
The Hopi also were told that during this crisis someone or some group known as either the Elder Brother, or the True White Brother, could appear from the East, could save the true Hopi, and could inaugurate the "Day of Purification". This group was also to have the "life plan for the future". Further, in the most definitive statement of the Prophecy, we find this terminology: "This third event [following the two wars] will depend upon the Red Symbol, which will take command, setting the four forces of nature (Meha) in motion for the benefit of the Sun."
It is in the solving of this riddle, the meaning of the above quoted statement and in the understanding ot how this event is actually occurring in the modern world, that the significance of the Hopi Prophecy's imagery of the missing or broken "stone tablet" comes into play.
The point of view of the Hopi, the Younger Brother People, is only one part of the meaning of the Prophecy. The other part, the missing part, is the understanding of the Prophecy that is known to the Elder Brother People. Only through bringing together both views and integrating them will the truth come to be perceived.
Let us modify slightly the imagery we have already developed. The Younger Brother could be seen as the representative of that view of the world which sees itself as the "shepherd" of Nature, a nature which includes the human being within its circle. The Hopi understand that their ceremonial life is essential to maintain the world in balance.
The Elder Brother could be seen as the representative of that view of the world that sees itself as the "shepherd" of human consciousness. When the modern work of the Elder Brother is clearly understood, it will be seen to have as its purpose the true comprehension of the present and future potential of human inner life, the life of soul and spirit.
At this point we are near to entering more concretely into an understanding of who the Elder Brother People are. There remains, however, one more preliminary matter.
We have already seen that the Elder Brother's mission was to oversee the post-atlantean civilizations of Asia and Europe during the period of time when human consciousness lost its natural contact with the spiritual world, and entered into a kind of inner darkness. In the last days of this epoch, the Elder Brother work centered itself in various mystery centers. Then, when those events leading to the founding of Christianity occurred, it became necessary for even these mystery centers to cease existence.
Thus it was that initiation wisdom disappeared into the shadows, as is so beautifully described in Marion Zimmer Bradley's novel: ''The Mists of Avalon".
However, with the dawn of Christianity began something else. It is no accident that one of the early tasks of the youthful Christ religion was the suppression and elimination of the older mysteries. Remember please that the dominate theme of Earth existence for the human being, following the Atlantean catastrophe, was the development of certain forms of consciousness. Thus, in accord with the intentions of the Gods, the descent of humanity into a period of spiritual darkness is an absolute necessity for the evolution of human freedom; and this is meant not just to be political liberty, but true inner freedom, freedom of thought, freedom of the spirit.
Only a darkened consciousness can choose freely to seek again a knowledge of the world of the spirit. Only in the stark aloneness of the enclosed self can arise the will to go beyond the mists and once again into the light.
Thus it came about that, during that period when the ideologies of the Roman Church dominated the thought life Western Civilization, mystery knowledge disappeared, and only in the rumored warrens of alchemical and rosicrucian circles, or in the beautiful saga of Parzival and the search for the Holy Grail, was the way of initiation remembered.
But, like everything else ("and this to shall pass''), the, at one time necessary, control of Catholicism over Western minds began to wane. Science arose, and, with that excess which everything youthful engenders, all ideas of spirit became for many mere systems of belief or superstition. Yet, a science empty of the spirit is poor food for the hungry soul, and thus, in spite of the apparent command of the direction of our civilization by scientific materialism, people began to seek again for meaning and transcendence, even to the point of trying to resurrect all the old gods.
From this hunger then, begins that search for the spirit which first appeared at the transition from the nineteenth to the twentieth centuries, beginning with theosophy, spiritism and Gurdjieff work, then later Indian Yoga adepts, Tibetan Buddhist Llamas, and Zen Masters, until in America, especially, the Goddess Herself resurfaces in the company of a renewed interest in shamanism.
The question could be put this way: Among all this richness of tradition, which spiritual "stream" is the one that bears the responsibility for the evolution of consciousness which is the hallmark of the mission of the Elder Brother People?
The answer to this question is not simple. For example, we have hardly examined the realities of Christianity, such as they relate to the matters under discussion. Much that claims to be Christian today is not. Some churches do not even really believe in the Christ, because the idea they hold of God is no different from that which the Jews held concerning Jehovah. For such "theologies", even though they mouth the words, it is as if the Christ events never occurred. Other churches only consider Jesus the man. For these, there is no understanding any longer of the cosmic elements of spiritual life. For them Christianity is only a wise philosophy.
But, as we noted, when Christianity appeared in the world it eclipsed the older mysteries. Just as these older paths had to pass away so that the darkening of human consciousness as regards the spiritual world could be complete, so Christianity came, destined to be the religion of the future, the religion whose yet to be discovered depths contain the seeds for the maturation of the human spirit in complete freedom.
However, if we look at what exists today, such a Christianity is hardly apparent. The current leadership of the Roman Church still seeks to determine exclusively the question of what is moral. The fundamentalist and evangelical protestant churches play dangerous games in the political realm. While at the same time, the ''religion", which is science, professes to answer all the deep questions of the human soul in terms completely without spirit.
It is no wonder then that the Hopi. Prophecy calls the age we now enter the "Day of Purification".
Among the many spiritual voices active in modern life are two personalities whose work stands head and shoulders above all the others. In saying this, I am not attempting to diminish other visions, for many of the active traditions are deep and rich in their wise understanding. Rather, I am attempting to point toward work which belongs more than any other to the realities and characteristics of the modern age. It is more a matter of what most meets the needs of modern humanity, then any other criteria.
In the 1960's in America, when a certain intensity of spiritual renewal rose to the surface, an idea floated around concerning the possibility of the reuniting of science and religion. This was to be one consequence of the arrival of the so-called age of Aquarius. In this hope was expressed a sense of the great inner disunity underlying modern culture. What was reason in the soul, which appeared most strongly in the methods of science. could not be integrated with the soul's capacity for devotion, for religious life, for the seeking of the spirit. While even deeper, hidden in even this desire for the unification of reason and devotion, was the sense of the loss of the imagination, that aspect of the soul which appears most strongly in art.
Reason, imagination and devotion, the three corner stones of soul life. Nowhere in modern life were these found in a clear unity.
In answer to this need to heal modern consciousness and soul life there arose the work of two personalities. From the side of the ideals of science, reaching toward the realm of religion, comes the work of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy (sometimes called Spiritual Science). From his genius has come Waldorf Schools, biodynamic agriculture and much else which has yet to be appreciated by the wider culture.
From the side of the ideals of religion, reaching toward the realm of science, comes the work of Valentin Tomberg. His anonymously written, "Meditations on the Tarot: a journey into Christian Hermeticism", stuns each reader who honestly encounters it, with its depth and breadth of understanding, in particular the illumination it brings to the deeper inner meaning of the three vows: chastity, poverty and obedience.
Both personalities are from the East, from the rising sun, and are European: Steiner from Central Europe and Tomberg from European Russia ("I am forever looking to the rising sun, for my True White Brother to come", Dan Katchongva, Hopi Sun Clan Chief). What marks them especially is that they are, unquestionably, true initiates. That relationship with the spiritual world, formerly cultivated in the mystery centers, and which then disappeared during the domination of European thought by the Roman Church, comes again to bring its gifts to bear on the problems and needs of modern humanity. Amidst the dust and debris of modern culture, the Elder Brother returns.
Now work such as this influences others. This is its real power. Around Steiner and around Tomberg others gather. The work multiplies, grows and develops. It "streams" into modern life, giving birth to much that has yet to be noticed in the main centers of human learning, the great universities of Western Civilization.
As this resurrected initiation wisdom is communicated, certain themes dominate. How to achieve initiation in modern times, as a free individual, is taught. The confusing relations between initiation wisdom and Christianity are resolved. That the core of this modern path of initiation follows the Seven Stages of Christ's Passion is explained. How to develop science so that it finds the spirit in Nature is elaborated. The fruit of initiation wisdom is poured out over education, medicine, art, social science, psychology, and much else besides.
The result is, that hidden among the seemingly spiritually empty way of life of the white race, that had rolled so imperiously over American aboriginal cultures, is the spiritually full work of the "True" White Brother, the Elder Brother of the Hopi Prophecy.
Even so, a most serious question does remain. The true Hopi wait expectantly. Someone is supposed to come personally to them bringing this knowledge, this "life plan for the future". But more importantly, of what value is that to which the true Hopi held so dear, their ceremonies and their simple way of life. Is this new wisdom supposed to just replace all that the Hopi are and have been? Or, is there some special meaning latent in these traditions, justifiying their preservation? For according to Hopi oral history, when they arrived in the Southwest, near where they now reside, it was the Great Spirit Himself who was there waiting for them and set them on their course, saying to them: "All I have is my planting stick and my corn. If you are willing to live as I do, and follow my instructions, the life plan which I shall give to you, you may live here with me, and take care of the land."
Recall the imagery we used earlier. The Younger Brother People were the "shepherds" of Nature, the caretakers of the land. Their piece of the "stone tablet'' is the practical knowledge of the simple way of life. The Elder Brother People were the "shepherds'' of human consciousness, the caretakers of the inner life of humanity. Their piece of the "stone tablet" is the knowledge of the way of initiation, of how to have an awake and conscious relation to the world of the spirit.
We ought to, in fact, expand our imagery of the Younger Brother People. In truth they are not just the Hopi, but all the original peoples of the Americas and elsewhere, throughout the modern world. Further, they are not just the wise caretakers of the surrounding circle of Nature, but they are also the holders of a deep understanding of community, the practical workings of the circle of individuals who combine to make up a People. In a very true sense we could say that the American Indian possesses (along with all still surviving aboriginal cultures) , as living tradition, the "pattern" for the integration of human community with the natural world.
We should also expand our imagery of the Elder Brother. With the splitting of the two "streams", the Younger Brother going one way and the Elder another, the "pattern" of integration was separated out from the "pattern" of initiation. With the result that the once instinctive unity with the world was sacrificed to the needs for the development of new forms of inner life. The civilizations founded by the Elder Brother constantly fell into opposition with the ways of Nature, even while maintaining "intercourse" with the world of the spirit.
We need, as well, to understand where to fit in the older, more mature, initiation paths, for example, the striving for enlightenment typified by Tibetan and Zen Buddhism. Recall that in the deep past, the Elder Brother stream was responsible for the founding of the European and Asia cultures, so that those initiation wisdoms are, in effect, the progeny of prior work of the Elder Prother.
The world is a very complicated place. Serving the spiritual needs of billions of individuals, who are each fundamentally unique, requires a great variety of Paths and Ways. If we will just notice it, in fact, in America at present it is the current Elder Brother work which is presently still hidden. Far more individuals are aware of the older traditions.
One way of picturing the reality is to conceive of the work of the Elder Brother, over the long epochs following the destruction of Atlantis, as having been the planting and nurturing to healthy life of a variety of spiritual ways. With the passage of time these paths mature, differentiate and grow. They develop their own needs, as do the cultures in which they live.
Members of the modern stream of the work of the Elder Brother, while predominately Christian, because they have been awakened to its hidden depths, nevertheless are well aware of the need to come into contact with these other paths, such as (continuing the example) Buddhism. Books have been written dealing in detail with the relevant questions, and where communities of different orientation exist side by side, dialogues have been initiated and do progress. The necessary work goes slowly forward.
We can now, perhaps, better understand the coming direct meeting of the Younger and Elder Brothers. The "pattern" of integration and the "pattern" of initiation are to be reunited. The broken "stone tablets" are to be rejoined. When in the near future, members of the Elder Brother People come to the Hopi mesas, and ask the Younger Brother for permission to live there, to come "home" to Nature, then the "pattern" of integration, symbolized by the Circle, and the "pattern" of initiation, symbolized by the Cross, will begin to be reunited, as has been consciously and unconsciously hungered for by many through all the long ages since the time of their separation.
There yet remains one last element - the elaboration of a preliminary understanding of the Prophecy's key statement: "This third event will depend upon the Red Symbol, which will take command, setting the four forces of nature (Meha) in motion for the benefit of the Sun.
Just as Tibetan and Zen Buddhism represent deep paths of enlightenment (initiation) , so Christianity has its corresponding Way. However, when Christianity first appeared in the world, the needs of the moment required that the exoteric wisdom had to be separated from the esoteric. Thus, for most of Christian history the teachings given to Paul dominated, and the teachings given to John remained hidden.
With the return of the Way of John to modern life, as expressed in a living way in the work and lives of the two initiates Steiner and Tomberg, there came to expression what could be called: the Christian-Rosicrucian path of initiation, the Seven Stages of the Passion of Christ.
A major meditation exercise, taught to students on this path, is the Rose-Cross meditation, This is a complicated exercise, which is well elaborated in Steiner s book: ''Occult Science". It involves, in its initial stages, the careful building up, inwardly through the forces of the imagination, of an image of a rose-cross, a black cross on which are placed, in a certain pattern, seven red roses. I will refrain here from giving more details, since any one who may wish to do the exercise needs to trouble themselves to learn its dynamics directly from the above source (see also "Meditations..." Arcanum XIV, Temperance).
For our purposes the import of the above facts is to give a content to the term: "the Red Symbol". It is the People of the Rose-Cross, the People following the most modern path of initiation, whose task it is to "take command".
Now one of the main elements of the work of Steiner and his students is that struggle which reaches from the scientific impulse in the soul outward toward the religious. Steiner's Anthroposophy (also called "Spiritual Science") includes, as a major component, the foundations for the scientific understanding of the so-called life force, or, what is more properly called the ethereal realm.
These forces, which work into the Earthly realm from the Cosmic Periphery, and which are the polar opposite of the forces of gravity, are, like gravity, invisible. Yet, without a knowledge of the ethereal formative forces, humanity will never come to understand the true dynamics of organic life processes and much else besides.
The American Indian, with his cosmology of integration within the circle of Nature, paid homage to these forces from the cosmic periphery, and those spiritual beings connected to their creation, in all those ceremonies and ideas by which the "powers" of the Four Directions were acknowledged.
Thus, when the Hopi Prophecy speaks of the People of the Rose-Cross taking command of the four forces of nature, it is making us aware that this "third event'' will involve the elaboration of a genuine science of the ethereal realm.
We need now to recall that when the Younger Brother migrations began, it involved, among other elements, the fleeing of the destruction of Atlantis under the guidance of atlantean initiates. In these circles of initiation was a certain kind of direct knowledge of the Gods, of the great Cosmic Beings upon which Creation rests.
As part of this knowledge was an awareness that the Creator Being Himself had an abode in that realm of the spiritual world which was called the Sun Sphere. Thus, the Hopi Prophecy sees the work of the People of the Rose-Cross, in their elaboration of a science of the ethereal, as being for the benefit of this High Individuality.
Later initiation wisdom realized that this same Being eventually descended into incarnation as a human being, to suffer and to die, in the individuality of Christ Jesus. All the deep mysteries of Christianity are completely true, although far from being well understood or applied.
An element of these mysteries, which is necessary for our understanding, is connected to the statement of Saint Paul: ''Not I, but Christ in me." Just as some of the deep wisdoms of the far East have an understanding that each human being has a Buddha nature, so the modern initiation wisdom of the West recognizes that each human being also posseses a ''Christ Impulse".
Those, who are familiar with the esoteric doctrine "as above, so below", will understand that the human being is a microcosm, an "image and likeness" of God, the Macrocosm. Now the macrocosm is simultaneously a unity and a multiplicity. It is an aspect of this mystery which is elaborated in the Christian understanding of the Trinity, the Mystery of the Three in One: God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Thus, in accord with the rule "as above, so below''' the Cosmic Sun, the Christ, has a corresponding "seed" in human nature, the Christ Impulse. Further, just as the knowledge of the ethereal realm comes to expression out of a "scientific" endeavor under the stewardship of Rudolf Steiner, so does knowledge of the Christ Impulse come to expression out of a "religious" endeavor under the stewardship of Valentin Tomberg.
Now we can better understand the statement in the Prophecy. The People of the Rose-Cross are to elaborate the introduction of the science of the ethereal into human evolution for the benefit of the Sun, of the Christ, in both His Cosmic aspect, and as well His "seed", which appears in the individual human being as the Christ Impulse. "The stone tablets will be the final acknowledgement of their true identity and brotherhood. Their mother is Sun Clan. They are the children of the Sun."
This process, this work of the Elder Brother, and the People who ally themselves with this stream of spiritual wisdom, as it plays itself out in human history, will awaken in the human being direct knowledge of the life of the soul and the spirit, which had previously disappeared during the descent of the dark age. Now, just as physical existence has undergone an "evolution", so also the life of soul and spirit evolves. Mystery knowledge, which was at one time appropriate in prior ages, is no longer valid. The dynamics of human inner life have become different. Consciousness itself has evolved. For this reason, the attempt to reanimate older traditions is, very often, to direct the soul towards its past instead of toward its future.
As these dynamics play themselves out in human civilization, in human political and social life, such as in the tension between old and new spiritual knowledge and the tension between science, religion and art, both individual human beings and communities will experience crises. This great struggle, between the light and the dark of the human soul, is already upon us. But as modern initiation knowledge more and more comes to the fore, humanity's ability to sleep, before these great issues of the day, will cease.
Thus we have the Hopi concept: the "Day of Purification'', to describe the age we now enter.
It remains then to close this message with a brief elaboration of some of the deeper aspects of the symbolism of the Cross and its relation to the Circle.
The individual human being stands at the crosspoint of two fundamental relationships. 0ne relationship is the vertical one, between the individual human spirit and the spiritual world, the world of great and small invisible Beings .
The other relationship is the horizontal one, between the individual and all other individuals in the earthly social realm. It is this relationship we experience most strongly in our daily lives, whether it involves the intimate members of our families, the circle of friends and acquaintances and bosses and co-workers, or lastly the strangers who we encounter in passing through the busy intensity of our 1ives.
Both the vertical and the horizontal relationships force us to face moral dilemmas. We can choose the path of the "seed", of the Christ Impulse, and accept suffering and sacrifice as our gift to these relationships, or we can choose sleep. to give over the conduct of our 1ives to our unredeemed lower nature.
Now, normally the Cross, the symbol of these vertical and horizontal relationships, is seen by itself. In that we suffer and sacrifice in these relationships we become individual cross-bearers. But when we join this symbol to the Circle, other elements can begin to be acknowledged.
The World is a whole. Nature, humanity, spiritual beings, all are connected, joined. When the Cross is inside the Circle, joined to it, then we can see that the various impulses turn just where the ends of the Cross meet the inner edge of the Circle. This shows that our vertical relationship reaches around into our horizontal, and our horizontal into the vertical. The Circle, the symbol of Community and the Unity of nature, humanity and the world of the spirit, this Circle unites individual cross-bearers with each other.
We all bear crosses. Human beings, Nature beings, Cosmic beings. Our greatest strength, in all the trials we are to face during the Day of Purification, is to be found in our working together: The Way of Initiation and the Way of Integration, the "stone tablets", rejoined.
The principle danger to this reunification, which is happening in many places, not iust the lands of the Hopi, this danger is that we will go into the future seeking to reanimate the past, whether it is by occupying ourselves with an older initiation system, or in believing that we can heal the illnesses of the natural world, and of our communities, by going back to nature, or by holding on to tradition.
Everything dies. The future is always born out of processes of destruction. The dark age is necessary before there can be attempts to found an age of light. The rejoining of the pattern of integration and the pattern of initiation is meant to produce something new.
Knowledge of the ethereal realm, or to put it another way, etheric consciousness, will change the way we see our interrelationship to the world of Nature and the Cosmos. In the same way, knowledge of the Christ Impulse will change how we understand human nature and the nature of Cosmic Beings.
For example, the Hopi tradition, along with many other traditions, has tended to see history and evolution as cyclical, as containing patterns which constantly repeat. The reality is, however, that these processes are spiral in nature. Yes, there is a circle like process of return, but that return is intended always to occur at a higher stage of development.
In a concrete sense this means that what is crucial to maintain out of the pattern of integration, is not a specific way of simple living, and a specific system of ceremonial life. But rather, that the life of a community integrated with the surrounding world is most healthy when it is simple and when it is filled with ritual. These "qualities" of the Circle are then most supportive of inner growth.
Likewise, inner growth is sterile if it is not productive in the world. If all that inner growth does is separate us one from the other, or from the world of nature as if that was no concern of ours, then this inner growth is limited. The ''qualities'' of the Cross are only fruitful if they engender sacrifice directed at the redemption of the social and natural worlds.
Thus, the reunification of the Cross and the Circle is not a return to a prior condition, but rather a gateway to a future possibility. It is not what the Elder and Younger Brothers were once upon a time, but what it is that they can be together in the present and beyond. At least for some time to come, each day is potentially a day of purification.
We have one last small act; to touch the core of the ''Mystery" of the True White Brother. This is not, as pointed out initially, a mystery in the sense of a puzzle or a riddle but rather a mystery in the more archaic sense, something whose contemplation belongs usually only in the kiva or in the private time of prayer and meditation.
Just briefly was mentioned above the modern path of initiation, called at one point the Way of John, and at another the Christian-Rosicrucian Path of the Seven Stages of the Passion of Christ. The first act on this path is expressed in the Gospel of John in the story of Christ's washing the feet of the disciples. Here the God-Man taught by His Own Deed that act which is the true foundation of all spiritual development: the practice of humility.
The true Hopi will have no trouble understanding the "washing of the feet", because, as their oral history remembers, it is precisely due to their humility that they received their name.
It is in this mood of soul that the two patterns must begin their process of reunification. There can be no higher or lower knowledge, no better or more perfect way of life, no individual or group to be in charge, no one to lead and no one to follow.
Only those who meet in the spirit of genuine service to the other, and to that which they hold Higher, by whatever name, only these can begin the work.
- comments on method -
Some readers will understandably wish to know how such facts, as alleged above, are to become known; and, by what method and with what justification does the author of these words assert their truthfulness.
Two pages, elsewhere on this part of the loom, contain writings of the author about these matters in some detail, although not specifically as justification for the above material. These are: The Quiet Suffering of Nature and Pragmatic Moral Psychology.
In the first, an attempt is made to show by what method the being and consciousness of nature could be rediscovered by modern thinkers. In the second, the practical problem of the necessary moral preparation for authentic spiritual communion is introduced.
Even so, the author of the above must confess that faith has yet played a part in the Message of the Elder Brother People. Practitioners of authentic spiritual communion, whose skills for exceed the author's, have been relied upon, and for this reason, the author does not expect the reader to be bound by the same impulse. Nevertheless, the reader is asked to test the fundamental hypothesis of spiritual science through entering practically into that which is outlined in The Quiet Suffering of Nature, and as well the fundamental impulse of faith through entering practically (again) into what is outlined in Pragmatic Moral Psychology.
Were the reader to dismiss the above thesis (the Message) out of hand, without personally verifing the efficacy of the method, would violate the fundamental principle of truth used in our time, namely, that principle of science which requires that one who asserts a truth must provide the key to their method of knowledge and that one who wishes to dispute such a truth must test the hypothesis according to its stated methodology.
So much for the problem of method.
A much deeper, but slightly different, discussion will be found in the original book, which I wrote on this matter in the early '90's: The Mystery of the True White Brother: an interpretation of the meaning of the Hopi Prophecy.