The Mystery of the True White Brother:
an interpretation of the meaning of the Hopi Prophecy
The Hopi Prophecy
the People of Peace wait for the True White Brother to bring Purification
In the last chapter an attempt was made to imagine the nature of the 'experience' of prophecy, what the prophet must have had happen to him. We have now met and briefly considered the idea that the prophet's encounter was with the "inside" of nature, with super-normal intelligence. As well it has been suggested that some element of this intelligence, once having been outside the human being, has now 'contracted' into us, individualizing our natures, granting us independent creative capacities. Our next task will be to begin to seek to understand at least some aspects of the particular 'message' with which the Hopi People were 'imprinted'.

This 'message' can be found expressed in many forms, some examples of which are quoted next:

"The end of all Hopi ceremonialism will come when... "World War III will be started by those people... "The United States will be destroyed... "The war will be 'a spiritual conflict with material matters" "Material matters will be destroyed by spiritual beings..."; fragments from the Book of the Hopi, by Frank Waters

"The coming of the Hopis' lost white brother Pahana,...Whatever its symbolic meaning, the event was long hailed by prophecy." also from the Book of the Hopi by Waters

"When the people came out of the underworld there was a prophecy that a good Bahana, or white man, would some day come to the Hopi from the east to guide them and bring harmony and a good life."; from Big Falling Snow by Alber Yava

" is said that in some distant time a certain Bahana whose name is not yet known will arrive among us from the direction of the rising sun...we must be certain of his identity...let him bring this fragment of stone with him...If...the broken tablet becomes whole again, then we will recognize him as the person we are expecting"; from The Forth World of the Hopis, by Harold Courlander

In many places and in many versions we can come upon this prophecy. Not all versions agree in detail, but most agree in general. Yet, of all the revealed secrets and rediscovered truths connected to the spiritual renaissance sometimes called the 'new age', none will, I believe, prove to be as significant as the Hopi Prophecy and the enigmatic identity of Pahana (Bahana) - the True White Brother.

At the beginning of the counter-culture movement in America in the l960's there was, for awhile, greater awareness of the Prophecy's existence. Those familiar with it knew that it had predicted both world wars in this century and as well a culminating third crisis. 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."*

Time has passed since the '60's. In America much of the 'new age' has succumbed to the prevailing mercantile mentality, and few seem troubled by the incongruity of marketing spirituality, whether through channeling fees, meditation tapes, or enlightenment and empowerment seminars. With the apparent failure of the political side of the counter-culture movement, self development has become an end in itself rather then an aid in efforts to redirect the course of history. The '60's high moral purpose has been routinely demeaned by cynical media pontificators; the political right has controlled the American Presidency, making a virtue of greed; and the rape of the Earth continues. Everywhere the heart desires of indigenous peoples and the policies of their leading elites are in conflict.

Many souls are filled with questions, sadness, fear and anger in the face of the continuous inhumanity of man to man and man to the Earth and all Her kingdoms. Is it possible a Prophecy given thousands of years ago to a small, apparently obscure, Indian Nation, living in America's arid Southwest, has an answer for us? Or, if not an answer, at least the suggestion that one is to come?

It does seem clear that this ancient tradition anticipated a time of severe problems, not only for the Hopi but for the whole world. The Prophecy says in fact that there would come a time of crisis, a "Day of Purification"*, and that at the peak of these events the True White Brother might appear with a "life plan for the future"* Here again are what I have learned to understand as the key words. Everything 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."* Can we discover what this means? Has it or is it happening today? If we wish to take part can we, and how might we do that?

In this little book it is my intention to interpret the meaning of the Prophecy and as well identify the True White Brother. But it must be understood that this is a true mystery and not easily comprehended. What is involved goes to the very heart of the crisis of Western civilization. The world is not a simple place, nor is human nature free of paradox. Just consider the real implications of Barfield's observations in the last chapter.

What the Prophecy, what the mystery requires, is that we get beneath superficial ideas about the world; that we see not just with our heads but with the eye of the heart as well. This means, oddly enough, coming to terms with science, something many in the 'new age' would like to pretend does not exist; and about which the ordinary citizen lacks a critical understanding. For many people science is either an anathema - something to be disliked or ignored because it conflicts with what one 'wants' to believe; or science is a new faith, a scientism - something accepted without really appreciating its limitations and its all too human frailties. Science means a great deal to modern mankind; it is very important to us, and its fundamental impulses are (in spite of the oft times connected atheism and agnosticism) essentially spiritual in nature. The core moral imperative of science - that any discovery must be reproducible - is a principle that is equally valid as regards art and religion as well. It is, in fact, one of the tasks of the 'true white brother' to show how this is possible.

In like fashion the mystery means discovering genuine Christianity, which is nothing at all like the rigid moral posturing of the fundamentalists. It means recognizing that not all spiritual paths are the same (although many can work together and none should be judged by the other). It means learning to celebrate the mundane and redeem the base, even politics. It means acknowledging mistakes and being willing to learn new things. Most importantly, comprehending the meaning of the Prophecy requires a real mystery consciousness, an attitude of reverence and a sense of wonder toward the unknown and the unknowable.?

Why is this? If we want to appreciate the meaning of the Prophecy we must live into it in a certain, rather delicate, fashion. It is not just a matter of ideas, but rather a question of experiences.

All along, beginning even in the Overture, I have attempted to wake the reader up to something which is happening within their own consciousness. It is how we act here, what we pay attention to inwardly that is crucial to our ultimate understanding. Our new friend - our 'true white brother' - Owen Barfield, says the following in the introduction to his classic work on language and the imagination, Poetic Diction: a Study in Meaning (McGraw-Hill, 1964 - originally published in 1929):

"Science deals with the world which it perceives but, seeking more and more to penetrate the veil of naive perception, progresses only towards the goal of nothing, because it still does not accept in practice (whatever it may admit theoretically) that the mind first creates what it perceives as objects, including the instruments which Science uses for that very penetration. It insists on dealing with 'data', but there shall no data be given, save the bare percept. The rest is imagination. Only by imagination therefore can the world be known. And what is needed is, not only that larger and larger telescopes and more and more sensitive calipers should be constructed, but that the human mind should become increasingly aware of its own creative activity."

[The role of the imagination in human consciousness is a special theme of this little book; but, for the moment we will just be able to touch it in passing.]
"...the human mind should become increasingly aware of its own creative activity" - this is the problem of the meaning of the Prophecy in a nutshell. We must be as awake as possible to what truly goes on inside our own minds in the process of interpreting the Prophecy. The Hopi ancestors were 'imprinted' with the Prophecy, it was a given, they had no choice. We who are to interpret it, freely, must be able to follow inwardly, quite exactly, the path we take in arriving at our conclusions as to its meaning, and as to its application and significance for our time.

"...The word determines the event. The word puts limit on the event and shapes it. Without the word the event is merely a random happening. That's the whole purpose of what you call prophecy - to separate the significant from the random." (David Eddings, through his character the 'dry voice' in his novel Enchanter's End Game, vol. V of the Belgariad)

the thematic heart of the Prophecy
"everything will depend upon the Red Symbol which will take command setting the Four Forces of nature in motion for the benefit of the Sun"
Let us begin with the phrase: "...the four forces of nature...". These are to be set in motion by the "Red Symbol", which will have taken command. I have come to understand that this refers, in part, to what science has accomplished, although not in the way scientists habitually think.

One of the culminating deeds of Western civilization has been that science has laid open to man's will the manipulation of previously hidden forces of Nature. While it is intriguing that modern physics now recognizes just four forces (gravity, electromagnetic, the weak and strong nuclear forces), I am not suggesting that these are the four forces as contemplated by the Prophecy. Nonetheless, science has made it its intention to seek the hidden dynamics of Nature, and it is this activity of science, this desire for knowledge of Nature's secrets, which is the thrust of the Prophecy, in so far as we may understand it at this point.

As it is, scientific knowledge is a two edged sword. We have discovered medicines that cure and at the same time irrevocable ways to harm ourselves and the Earth upon whom we depend. The fact is that it is not so much the knowledge itself which is problematic, but rather the moral use made of these discoveries.

The problem runs even deeper. Science as presently practiced is long on technological success, but short on understanding. Manipulating Nature and understanding Nature are two different acts. In fact it is our failed understanding which disorients our moral compass.

It is beyond the scope of this small work to provide the reader with the necessary re-education needed to believe and appreciate these facts, except in certain fundamentals. This should be known, however. One of the central deeds of the True White Brother has been to make possible a moral understanding of Nature. The reader who is genuinely willing to take up a proper self education will be glad to know that books exist (see appendix) which can guide the soul to a real perception of the spiritual basis of Nature, yet remaining all the while true to the higher ethical standards of mainstream science; namely, that any discovery be reproducable.

While this book cannot undertake the task that properly belongs to self education, hints can be given, works can be cited, and various practices encouraged. In the main, however, only summaries can be provided regarding the treasures brought into being through the activity of the True White Brother. There is a considerable difference between being told about something, which is necessarily a rather inadequate process, and having a direct personal experience of it. This is especially true with regard to the remarks which immediately follow.

Self education includes self knowledge. Our modern university education does not really contemplate self knowledge of this kind, especially as embraced within the ancient Greek admonition, "Know Thyself". The idea of a relationship between the microcosm and macrocosm, which has been a staple of metaphysical thought for thousands of years, has to the modern scientific thinking become passe'. Nevertheless, objective introspection (self knowing) is a process leading to the discovery of the universals of human and cosmic nature as those appear in the actual dynamics of our inner being.

For example, we can find through introspection that the course of our thinking is entirely determined by our moral intention. If we sleep inwardly in this realm, that is if we have no conscious moral intention our thoughts will flow pulled by the dynamics of our feelings, our likes and dislikes, our prejudices and our passions. This need not be. In fact thinking, as a fully willed act, can become a sacrament. The thinker then receives from spiritual sources those ideas proper to his intentions and capacities. "It thinks in me" is how one True White Brother puts it. Or as another says: we must learn to "think and pray", to "think on our knees".

This understanding comes from the yet to be known depth Christian meditative wisdom.(by whom?) On the other hand, in Buddhist meditation for example, the act of thinking is not investigated; instead one watches the oscillation of the citta (the movement of the thoughts on the waves of semi-conscious feeling). For Buddhism, since the ego is to be abandoned, its role in the act of thinking is considered superfluous - the whole question sidestepped, as it were. In Yaqui sorcery (Castenada), to give another example, one abandons any cognitive activity at all, (and thus any moral judgement) in order to release powers from the double (the shadow side of the soul).

Such spiritual paths as these will not lead to a true 'new age', to a renewal of civilization, because they do not focus spiritual efforts on the act of thinking. It is this act which informs science and it is science in large part which presently leads history by determining how we conceive ourselves, Nature and the meaning of existence. This is why the Prophecy states that the "Red Symbol" will take command, setting the "four forces of nature" (science) in motion for the benefit of the "Sun". This means that the True White Brother will (has) taken the scientific impulse and transformed it for the benefit of higher purposes.

It is the gift of the True White Brother to show how to produce a metamorphoses of the act of thinking itself, to reveal its spiritual potential, and thus make it capable of perceiving the moral element of the Universe, and the invisible Being of Nature.

"And you can fly high as a kite if you want to / faster then light if you want to / speeding through the universe / thinking is the only way to travel..." (verse from the English rock group, Moody Blues, from their song Voices in the Sky on the album In Search of the Lost Cord.)

This new thinking then leads to an appreciation of the artistic and moral structure of the Universe. Yet all this is done in accord with the ethical ideal of science, which requires reproducible methodologies and conclusions.

Thus we now have before our imaginations the theme in brief, the song pointed to by the Prophecy. But much else remains to be considered and, insofar as is possible within the confines of this work, to be understood.

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