Prologue to Legend of the Rainbow Warriors

LRW Copyright 1988 by Steven McFadden

Dedicated to
Carolyn Clay Mercer-McFadden, Ph.D (1941-1999)
Woman With Many Fires

“Throughout the inhabited world, in all times and under every circumstance, the myths of man have flourished; and they have been the living inspiration of whatever else may have appeared out of the activities of the human body and mind…Myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation.”
 — Joseph Campbell

For most of the twentieth century, and even now at the start of the twenty-first, a dominant myth in the developing world has been a version of the American Dream suggesting that most people can attain great wealth and that happiness will follow. However, the promised wealth has never been attainable for millions. Those who have attained the wealth, by and large, may now realize that this part of the dream is hollow. Material riches in and of themselves bring no peace, carry no happiness.

Tragically, the unbridled pursuit of this dream, often by people deep in sleep, has plunged us into a nightmare of environmental devastation, ethical bankruptcy, and cultural confusion. Meanwhile, many contemporary observers predict that ethnic conflict and the scarcity of clean water will be the prime causes of war in the twenty-first century.

Perhaps even more passionately than our ancestors, we yearn for a dream that can unify us and direct us again in a good way. We seem to have lost it all: our tribe, our extended families, and our geographic, linguistic, and cultural roots. Where are we in this New World we call America? What have we made of our lives together?

For the most part, we live in a high-speed, high-tech, electronically stimulated world of abstraction. The threats of nuclear or environmental annihilation hang — for the most part unseen — over each moment. While there is material wealth for some, there is spiritual poverty for most. In a sense, all this is the result of myth gone awry.

As we cast about for meaning and direction, two venerable and related myths have begun to emerge: the myth of a new age and the legend of the rainbow warriors. Though widely disparaged, the myth of a new age echoes an ancient theme in storytelling: paradise lost, paradise regained. We have lost paradise in our modern world. Is it therefore surprising that there should arise in our epoch many hopeful myths of a new age, a time when paradise may be regained?

As we move into a new millennium, many storytellers are animating these emerging myths with their words, their art, and their music. Rainbows are steadily firing the imaginations of many millions of people. But will these myths penetrate world culture sufficiently to make a positive difference? That is a question only historians will be able to answer.

This book seeks to further clarify the emerging myth of the rainbow, and to demonstrate its living connection to the news unfolding each night on the television screen. The technique for telling this story is a blend of journalism and mythic storytelling. Through journalism, I have gathered critical news stories and sought to establish how seemingly unrelated events can have a deep connection. Through myth I have taken the process a step further and offered an explanation, or meaning, for the events, thereby striving to link ancient voices with current affairs. This technique might well be called mythojournalism.

The various stories in this book are, in fact, one. Together they tell a saga that is larger than the sum of their collective parts. The thread that links them is the legend of the rainbow warriors, part, I feel, of the emerging myth of a new age. In brief, the legend of the rainbow warriors says that when the Earth becomes desperately sick through the doings of human beings, some of the people will recognize that they are steadily destroying themselves and their Earth Mother. With spiritual insight and support, the Rainbow Warriors — people of all colors and faiths — will come to the rescue, eventually establishing a long and joyous reign of peace.

As I hear it, this modern myth suggests there will be no one hero in this time, no George Washington or Joan of Arc to rescue us from the great dilemma we have created. We must do it ourselves. In that sense, the legend of the rainbow warriors is, to use a modern term, a holistic myth, wherein we all have both the opportunity and the responsibility to become spiritually awakened heroes.

The overall myth points out the general direction that we need to travel: a direction in which there is full respect for the self, for others, and for all the creations who share life with us upon the Earth. By proceeding in this direction, we will create a spiritually informed culture that uses scientific technology to maintain freedom and enhance the balance of life. From that perspective, this book is a journalistùs dispatch on how the myth of a New Age is unfolding in the world.

The news events reported within the context of the rainbow prophecies are all true. You can flip open Facts on File and verify them; they are the stuff of daily news stories from The New York Times, The Boston Globe, CBS, and other standard sources. Does this mean that there is a direct connection between them and the myth, and that the legends and prophecies are true? Who can say with certainty? I know only that people need myth in their lives and that, as myth, the rainbow legends have inspired me and helped give meaning to the chaos of the times. I have also seen how the stories inspire and uplift others when I share them in gatherings both large and small. This gives me hope.

For these many reasons, I offer this volume: to clarify the myth, to explore its connection to present reality, and to inspire people to work toward making the dream real by engaging in an ancient quest: seeking practical ways to bring heaven to Earth.

As Joseph Campbell suggested in his writings, ultimately it matters little whether a myth is based on ascertainable fact or not. What matters is whether the myth helps people to live better, more satisfying lives — not just for themselves alone, but as part of a community, as part of the fabric of life on this planet.

In this way, if people choose it out of their intelligence and free will, a myth that has been unreal can become real.

– END –

Carolyn Clay Mercer
Carolyn Clay Mercer

Carolyn Clay Mercer
Carolyn Clay Mercer

Carolyn Clay Mercer
Carolyn Clay Mercer

Carolyn Clay Mercer
Carolyn Clay Mercer

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– S. McFadden, 1988