What The Hopi Can Teach Us About Building The Metaverse
Recently, I stumbled upon a video by Gregg Braden, a five-time New York Times best-selling author, scientist, and international educator, about an ancient Hopi prophecy:
Based on carvings on a rock called “Prophecy Rock” found in Black Mesa, a prediction was recorded about humanity and the decisions it will have to make, leading to two potential realities.
One path will be bumpy, and seem to lead upward, but then completely disappear (see top line of people in the image above).
The other path, depicted underneath, shows far less people (only one in fact). Here you can see someone who looks elderly. But notice that while everyone is shown clamored above, their path leads to nowhere. While the path below is straight and steady.
Mixed Reality, NFTs & The Metaverse
In the above video by Gregg Braden, he goes deeper into the interpretations and what they could possibly mean. There’s one particular spot where he focuses in on how the heads of the people on the top line are dislocated from their bodies. When he mentioned this, I instantly thought about the current rise in Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and the metaverse.
This new technology, although exciting, takes us out of our current physical realities and places us into fanciful virtual ones. Here’s just a snapshot of brands that are currently surging in the Web 3.0 arena:
Notice any patterns? The most popular brands are cartoonish, simple, quirky, and identity-driven. The world of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) has given a channel for people craving online avatars that are exclusive, community-bound, and own-able.
All of this is leading us into scenarios similar to those depicted in films such as Ready Player One, Avatar, and even The Matrix. For better or worse, this is where we’re at, and everyone is making choices about which path they wish to go down.
The possibilities are endless within such virtual environments, but they also run the risk of us becoming too disconnected from the “real world” around us. The reason this may become an issue is because, as we’ve already witnessed with Web 2.0 and social media, people may lose the ability to interact meaningfully in person, develop unrealistic habits and attachments to their online personas, and even forget about nature completely.
This is leading to the break-down of many structures, boundaries, and other rules (which aren’t all entirely a bad thing, but significant nonetheless).
Age of Pisces vs Age of Aquarius
In talking about the two paths outlined by the Hopi, we also have some correlations with future patterns found deep in Astrology (not the average horoscopes found in magazines).
If you look at the time of Jesus Christ (represented by the Age of Pisces ♓️ ), and the two centuries following, it was filled with all the elements and symbolism of water — primarily faith and belief.
In the emerging Age of Aquarius, a symbol of Air, we will see a reconstruction of society based on elements such as truth, intellect, community, and ideas.
What this is means is that, like the two paths outlined by the Hopi, people today are now also choosing whether to keep up with the remnants of the past (i.e. building structures around faith, hope, or belief alone), or building on top of the energies of the New Age — namely truth, intellect, reason, facts, etc.
This is important because if you look at the blockchain, crypto, DeFi, and now metaverse ecosystems, we are seeing (in real-time) the clash between “the two paths.”
Take for example, Bitcoin. Although it is technically capable of scaling unbounded — negating the need for many other blockchains out in the market today — it was commandeered by a group of people who intentionally limited its scaling ability out of fear of future centralization.
And this was the popular consensus.
Due to a lack of leadership, and the disappearance of Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin has now been limited to a system that reflects the Age we’re coming out of. How so?
Well, BTC is now “digital gold” (a “store of value”) and is made functional by something called Lightning Network (LN). LN is a band-aid solution that essentially replicates the IOU banking systems we have today.
So, in other words, we had a revolutionary technology, but crippled it into something more familiar from the past. As a result, we are yet to get real innovations from what Bitcoin enabled — micropayments. But I trust this will come in time.
At the same time, we have misleading politicians and evolving technology that is making it increasingly difficult to determine what’s true or not online globally. As a result, people snap back to what they know — religion, faith, or belief. All things still driving the technologies and ecosystems that are emerging.
It’s eerie at times, because not too long after I watched the Hopi video, I stumbled upon this post on LinkedIn. Notice one of the 18 trends that will “shape our careers in 2022”:
Just like what the Hopi foretold, there will be a large group of people who follow the “headless” path, which seems to be ascending, but is riddled with bumps and eventually tapers off.
Who knows, maybe we’ll all just “ascend” into digital versions completely (Transcendence anyone?), and that’s why the upper path leads nowhere.
Alternatively, if this prophecy is anything to be mindful of, the lower straighter path may lead us to greater longevity, continuity, and actual survival.
Like any prophecies, however, things are always in a state of flux. The future can always change. But these type of predictions provide us with cautionary tales so that, even if we are treading down a dangerous path, we can still course correct. All we need to do is pay attention.
So as we venture forth into the meta-unknown, use this Hopi prophecy to stay vigilant about what you’re building, what you’re “investing” in, and what you truly wish to leave behind after you’re gone.
The future is constantly unfolding, but the past holds clues as to how we can break free from destructive patterns. May your 2022 be a prosperous one, grounded in truth and wisdom!