According to him this spiritual guidance stream, as it was active in Western civilization in the last few centuries, was under the aegis of a personality called Christian Rosenkreutz. Now factually this individual is more the stuff of legend and rumor, than a substantial historical personality about whom one can do ordinary scholarly research. If one were to go to a bookstore specializing in new age and occult literature, there could be found numerous books about "rosicrucians" and rosicrucianism". As some readers will know there exists in San Jose, California a center from which literature flows and which is called the AMORC, the Ancient and Mystical Order of the Rosy Cross. This group runs advertisements in national magazines offering courses in "cosmic consciousness".
On my desk, as I write this chapter I have a book of lectures of Rudolf Steiner given in 1911 and 1912 and collected under the title: Esoteric Christianity and the Mission of Christian Rosenkrutz. I also have three smaller, pamphlet sized books, by students of Steiner, and representing their own investigations of these matters: by Herbert Witzemann, Pupilship in the Sign of the Rose-Cross; by Carlo Pietzner, Die Geheimnen Figuren [the secret figures] of the Rosicrucians; and by E.E.Pfeiffer, The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz, A commentary. And, last but not least, I have a book by Clement A. Wertheim Aymes called The Pictorial Language of Hieronymus Bosch, a book about the rosicrucian symbols hidden in Bosch's paintings and which makes them able to be 'read', and thereby communicate rosicrucian spiritual teachings and philosophy.
The problem has been to make one's way through the stuff of legend and rumor to at least some reasonable sense of the underlying meaning of these matters and their relationship to the "Red Symbol" of the Hopi Prophecy. Easily a whole book could be written on this and related questions. Some readers, familiar with Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum, may be aware of the strange, and frankly bizarre, material that can be found on "rosecrucianism".
For the most part the activity of those individuals involved in this work has remained hidden from the eye of history. Nevertheless there has come about a partial awareness of this work resulting in the legend of a spiritual brotherhood of rosicrucians. Such activity always spawns imitators and charlatans claiming to be rosicrucians or Templars or whatever the case may be. As near as I have been able to determine the true rosicrucians have never formed any official or otherwise outwardly recognizable organization. Of course for me, it remains an idea of faith that such personalities existed, and are still active today.
Even so, it would, I believe, be somewhat disingenuous to take the position that the legends do not have their roots in some facts. And, the sceptic will, I suspect, have to admit that they possess no personal knowledge to the contrary. Let us go forward then on the basis that since we must have some kind of image of what is meant by the Hopi Prophecy's reference to the "Red Symbol", that a best guess can at least be put forward to see how well it fits in with all the other materials we have been weaving into our tapestry. Moreover, I believe we can with a degree of trust and on the basis of what has already been verified, take what Steiner and his students provide for us at face value, until such time as some contrary view forces itself upon us.
In one of Steiner's major written works on spiritual matters, (Occult Science, Rudolf Steiner Press, 1979) Steiner describes a special meditation exercise called the Rose-Cross meditation, which involves the careful inward building up of an image of a cross with seven roses arranged in a specific geometric form. While it is impossible to say with certainty, it is quite likely that thousands of people practice this exercise daily at the present time. Moreover, it is apparently the case that this practice has always been connected to the true rosicrucian work.
We have already been working with the problem of reuniting the inner and the outer, the world and the word, and this meditation exercise is suggested by Steiner for several specific reasons; one of which is that one is building up an image that, while it has aspects derived from the sense world, nevertheless requires of us an inner activity in which we ordinarily do not engage. We are required to consciously evoke our image building capacity, our faculty of imagination, of whose constant unconscious activity we are normally unaware.
As is the case with many other kinds of inner work, this exercise has progressive elements, and in the same text (Occult Science) Steiner suggests that after a while the created picture be dismissed, and the pupil learn to live just in the activity - the picture forming activity - itself. In reporting this here I am not attempting to spare the reader the encounter with Steiner's instructions on this line of meditation practice, but rather attempting to acquaint the reader with two facts. Secondarily, with the depth of instruction it is possible to study; but primarily with the fact that every person who is working to create just this image (of the Rose-Cross) is simultaneously creating in the 'inner' world a profound symbol. Remember, the 'inner' world is accessible to our 'insight', our mind's eye, in the same way the outer world is visible to our physical eye. And, while we have not gone into it with any depth yet, this 'inner' world, the world of spirit, is simultaneously an abode of Beings.
Recall then that the Hopi ancestors were the passive recipients of the inspiration of supernormal Beings, and at the same time ask the following question: In identifying the "true white brother" or those who are to "take command, setting the Four Forces of Nature in motion for the benefit of the Sun", just what kind of image will be given (especially considering the fact that the nature of the consciousness of the receivers of the Prophecy was such that what the present time means to us, could have had no meaning for them).
My idea of faith is that the same spiritual Being who inspired the Hopi prophets with the image of the "Red Symbol", is also the Being who oversees the work of those connected to the Rose-Cross stream. It is also likely that from a certain point of view the anthroposophical movement engendered by Steiner is a major aspect of the previously hidden rosicrucian stream, now become historically visible. Just as we noted with respect to the experience of the prophet, behind this spiritual stream stands a Being whose moral intention appears to the Hopi prophets as a "Red Symbol" and which appears to us as a set of earthly events linked together by a common spiritual striving centered on the image of the Rose-Cross.
If we can now understand that in large part the goetheanistic final participation movement is inspired by the Rose-Cross spiritual stream, we can then understand what it is that is referred to as the "Red Symbol" of the Hopi Prophecy.
It is the people of the "Red Symbol" - the Rose-Cross, who are taking command of the four forces of nature, i.e. evolving onlooker science into goetheanism, the embryonic final participation science.
In Pfeiffer's text on the The Chymical Wedding noted above, we find the following statement: "This is the particular mission of Christian Rosenkreuz. He is leading humanity to combine the technical and practical with the spiritual so that our technical will be a creation surviving death. Christian Rosekreuz's mission is also to prepare a state of mind so that there may be a new social order."
As we go deeper into the text, we will have ample opportunity to see whether the work of the "true white brother" does in fact conform to the statement just quoted.