Transition from Fourth To Fifth World: The "Thunder Beings" Return
By Richard Boylan, Ph.D.
At the Native American Star Knowledge Conference held in
South Dakota in June, 1996, senior Oglala Sioux spiritual elder
Looks-For-Buffalo (Floyd Hand) revealed that ancient prophecies are now
coming true. These prophecies, heralding immense changes for humankind,
point to the imminent return of the Star Nations, what the white man
would call extraterrestrial cultures.
The Hopi, Sioux and other tribal traditions hold that at
this point in history, we are about to transition from the current
pattern of civilization to a radically-different way of living. This
change is so profound that it is called the passage from the Fourth
(current) World to the Fifth World! By "world", the native traditions
refer to a slow gradual rise of the human population to a period of
widely-shared cultural and technological high civilization. The
implications of these indigenous teachings are staggering. For this
means that we humans have gone through three previous Worlds, in which
our ancestors rose to a peak of civilized living, only to crash back to
a primitive level.
From halfway around the Earth comes additional
corroborative information. Mac Ruka, a Maori spiritual teacher, has
toured America at the behest of his Maori people to share their ancient
history. Ruka tells of a civilization, Mu, from which the Maori came.
This civilization once reached ascendancy in the Melanesian Pacific,
before it destroyed itself and its island empire sank beneath the ocean.
Fragmentary memory of this empire still resides in the mythic history of
the West as a place called Lemuria. And what of that other high
civilization, Atlantis, which the Greek philosopher Plato stated he
learned about from Egyptian historians? Were Atlantis and Lemuria the
Second and Third Worlds which the Native American oral histories refer
If our present "Fourth-World" high civilization is about
to fall and be swept away, we would do well to learn from the history
held by these native teachers. For, as philosopher George Santayana has
said, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Let
us examine in more detail what those master keepers of oral tradition,
the Hopi, reveal about our previous Worlds. 
The First World was called Tokpela ("Endless Space").
The First People understood that although they had human parents, their
real parents were the universal entities which had created them through
their parents: Father Sun and Mother Earth. Each learned that they had
two aspects: as a member of an earthly family and clan, and as a citizen
of the great universe. Gradually the First People forgot to respect
their creator. They began to use the vibratory centers of their body
[chakras] only for earthly purposes. They began to perceive differences
and separation between people and animals, and between different ethnic,
linguistic and religious groups. The animals began to draw away from
people. The First People began to divide up and draw away from each
other. They became warlike and fought. The First World's fatal flaw,
then, was forgetting the unifying Oneness of all creation.
But there were a few in every group who held to the
original spiritual enlightened path. These were directed by Spirit to
migrate to a special underground location. Then, the First World was
destroyed by fire: volcanoes erupting and fire raining down from the
sky, until there was nothing left but the few faithful people inside the
After a long time the world cooled off, and a Second
World emerged. There was land where water had been, and water where land
had been. When the faithful remnant emerged from underground, there was
nothing to remind them of the previous wicked world.
They emerged into the Second World, Tokpa ("Dark
Midnight"), a big land. The people spread across the land. They
communicated telepathically. But this time, the animals stayed apart
from them. As the Second World people developed material goods to
barter, they became greedy, and traded for things they didn't need and
became avaricious. They began to quarrel and fight, and wars broke out.
The Second World's fatal flaw, then, was absorption in greed and
But again, there were a few people who kept faithful to
the path of spiritual awareness. And, again, Spirit directed these
people to go to a safe underground place. Then Spirit commanded the twin
entities who safeguard the Earth's North and South Poles to leave their
posts and stop keeping the Earth properly rotating. The Earth teetered
off balance, spun around crazily, and rolled over twice. Mountains
plunged into seas with a great splash; seas and lakes sloshed over the
land. Then the world became cold and lifeless, and froze into solid ice.
Eventually, Spirit ordered the polar entities back to
the ends of the Earth's axis. With a great splintering of ice and a
shudder, the Earth began rotating again. The ice melted, and the world
warmed to life.
Spirit created the Third World, Kuskurza [meaning lost
over time][Mu?], arranging land and seas, mountains and plains, and all
forms of life. Then Spirit sent a message to the few faithful people
underground that it was time to emerge. These survivors multiplied and
created great cities, eventually countries, and a whole civilization.
But then they became completely occupied with their own earthly plans.
They created craft shaped like a shield that could fly, and used them to
fly to big cities and attack them. Soon many peoples and countries were
engaged in aerial warfare. These Third People also engaged in degraded
sexual practices. The Third World's fatal flaw, then, was misusing
flight for aerial warfare and misusing sex for promiscuity.
So Spirit directed the few people who lived according to
wisdom that they should build vessels and store food in them. Then
rainwater was loosed all over the Earth. Waves higher than mountains
rolled in upon the land. Continents broke asunder and sank beneath the
Meanwhile, Spirit directed the faithful survivors to
travel first to one, then to another island, until finally they reached
the Fourth World, Tuwaqachi ("Complete World"). After they had hop
scotched across the islands to arrive in the Fourth World, those islands
sank into the sea.
That Fourth World is this present world we live in. The
survivors spread across the broad lands, and gradually began building up
the high civilizations which surround us today. Since this Fourth World
is the one we have grown up in, we are aware of the behaviors of those
in it. It can accurately be said that, after an initial time of fidelity
to the path of wise consciousness, many have fallen into a low level of
consciousness. In fact, it can honestly be stated that many people of
this Fourth World have fallen into the fatal flaws of the three previous
Worlds: forgetting the Oneness of all creation, sinking into greed and
materialism, and engaging in promiscuity and aerial mass warfare. But we
have added an additional serious element: mass destruction of Earth and
its ecological systems. Thus, the Fourth World's fatal flaws are: all of
the previous Worlds' ones, plus ecocide, the killing of one's own
And now this Fourth World is coming to an end. Some of
the signs indicating this are: extinctions of plant and animal species;
poisoning of lands by toxic materials; pollution of the seas; and
thinning of the upper atmosphere, "ozone holes", letting in excessive
ultraviolet energy, which in turn is killing plant life, causing cancer
in humans, and die-offs of phytoplankton, the source of 90%of the oxygen
necessary for life. Global warming is destabilizing climates, and
upsetting the ecosystems that plants, animals and humans live in.
As the Fourth World careens towards its end, a major new
factor is entering the equation: a widespread series of contacts by
various extraterrestrial cultures with human individuals. What are these
extraterrestrials communicating when they make contact? They express
grave concern for how we are killing our planet and therefore ourselves.
Their concern extends to the warfare we are almost continually engaged
in, and the other forms of violence going on: including people allowing
whole populations to die of starvation or disease, while affluent
countries stand by. The ETs want us to take responsibility and turn
these situations around, before it is too late.
But the extraterrestrials also have come to make us
aware that we are not alone; and that our rightful place is to be
participants in the larger, cosmic family of intelligent peoples spread
across the universe. But first we must eliminate our fatal flaws and
reorder our lifestyle. We must live with consciousness of our oneness
with all creatures, and with the Creative Source. We must lay aside our
greed and materialism, and learn to live more simply and without undue
attachments. We must reject promiscuity, and exercise love with
consciousness of the sacredness of sexuality. We must set aside aerial
mass warfare, and begin to settle differences by diplomacy, by setting
good example, by positive peer pressure, and by empowering all peoples.
We need to start treating Earth and its ecosystems like our Mother, with
respect and cherishing.
As at the end of the previous Worlds, there will be a
faithful remnant of this Fourth World who will survive, while the others
perish. The Hopi Prophecies say what will happen soon. World War III
will be started in the East. Much of the United States will be
destroyed, land and people, by nuclear weapon radioactivity. The Four
corners area around the Hopi will be preserved as an oasis, to which
refugees will flee. But what about those elaborate underground shelters
which FEMA  has been secretly constructing for the elite to survive
in during the coming Earth Changes? The Hopi Prophecy says that
underground shelters are a fallacy this time. "It is only materialistic
people who seek to make shelters. Those who are at peace in their hearts
already are in the great shelter of life."
What will the Fifth World to which we are headed be
like? The Prophecy gives a brief glimpse of what is in store. "Those who
take no part in the making of world division by ideology are ready to
resume life in another World, be they of the Black, White, Red or Yellow
race. They are all one, brothers [and sisters]." As for this Fourth
World, "Material matters will be destroyed by spiritual beings, who
shall remain to create one world and one nation under one power, that of
the Creator." The Prophecy goes on to declare the stage we are in now.
"The emergence to the future Fifth World has begun. It is being made of
the humble people of little nations, tribes and racial minorities. You
can read this in the Earth itself. Plant forms from previous Worlds are
beginning to spring up as seeds. The same kind of seeds are being
planted in the sky as stars. The same kind of seeds are being planted in
our hearts. All these are the same." 
We are entering the time of Great Purification, as Earth
prepares to transition to the Fifth World. This is a period of Earth
Changes: major earthquakes, tidal waves, many volcanoes erupting, land
subsidence, emergence of new land, climatic changes, disease pandemics,
and widespread starvation. Catastrophes of human origin are also in the
offing, including: warfare involving weapons of mass destruction,
including nuclear, rioting and looting, collapse of monetary systems,
and forced migrations. As with the previous Worlds, there will be those
who want to cling to the old ways of the Fourth World and resist the
need to change. We see them all around us now. And just as surely there
will be those who seek to live in harmony with the rest of creation.
Sensitive co-existence with other life is not ecological romanticism or
fuzzy metaphysics. It is recognition of the true extent of family.
During this transition more than ever before, each of us
is being called to serve the Great Spirit, that Center of Consciousness
from which everything derives its being. Each of us has an important
role during this Great Purification. We need to help find ways for
nations, races and tribes to put aside differences, and join together
for the good of everyone. We need to help plant and animal species
survive. We have to bring to an end the pollution of Earth, and return
to our proper role as caretakers of Earth's ecosystems. We need to lay
aside the "success" lifestyle of greed and materialism, and learn to
adopt a lifestyle of "just enough" and "good enough". We need to move
away from the twin follies of promiscuity and Puritanism, and learn to
reverence sex as the delightful yet sacred activity of appropriately
joining opposites to create a higher truth. And we need to lay aside the
weapons of war, and operate with that compassion, understanding and
economic justice which make for peace.
Where ultimately is this human voyage through a
succession of Worlds headed? The Prophecy says that at the center of the
universe, there is a place where all the nations originated. It is in
the Star Nations galaxy. Before we arrive there, we will transit through
Native American tradition honors the existence of
Thunder Beings. These Thunder Beings are understood by Native Americans
to be messengers from the powers on high, the Star People
(extraterrestrial visitors). The Thunder Beings are a force for both
dissolution and re-creation. In the Plains Indian tradition, a person
who has a visit by a Thunder Being, in person, in vision or in dream,
becomes a heyoka, a "contrary".  This heyoka then customarily soon
starts behaving in a way opposite to the conventions of the dominant
culture. The heyoka does so, precisely in order to wake up society to
see that there are other and fresher ways of doing things. Thus, the
heyoka is the human counterpart of the Thunder Beings, who repeatedly
dissolve the existing order and fashion a new arrangement from the
As we transition from the Fourth into the Fifth World,
it occurs to me that not all heyokas are Plains Indians. Some have
yellow skin, others black, others white. These heyokas of every color
are experiencers, and have been changed by their experience of
extraterrestrial contact by messengers from the sky (Thunder Beings). As
modern-day heyokas, experiencers are charged to live as active witnesses
against the ignorance and corruption of the Fourth World, and to live as
witnesses of the Fifth World which is emerging. In doing so, modern
heyokas honor the Thunder Beings, the extraterrestrials, who have come
as cosmic midwives to help us birth the Fifth World.
And there are others, too, who have not had a personal
extraterrestrial encounter, but who are actively helping humanity move
towards cosmic citizenship, and helping usher in the Fifth World
society. These are heyokas as well.
In Winter, 1996, high in the Rockies west of Fort
Collins, Colorado, a Star Visions Conference was convened by
Lakota-Dakota spiritual advisor Standing Elk. There numerous speakers
talked about our imminent transition from the current Fourth World to a
new Fifth World. On the evening of November 9th, Conference ceremonial
leadership switched from Native American males to the women. A Cherokee
grandmother recited Crazy Horse's prophecy about these very times, as
the Old Age (Fourth World) closes. Then, after a series of moving
prayers and ritual declarations, the grandmother elders made a startling
official ceremonial declaration: the old era (Fourth World) was ended,
and the new age (Fifth World) was being born! A joyous explosion of
tumultuous celebration broke out all over the conference auditorium.
After a half-hour, the grandmother elders were finally able to call the
conference back to order. The elders then declared that this new Fifth
World would have as its hallmark the attributes of positive feminine
energy. They explained that the Fourth World, which had been hallmarked
by male energy dominance, had had its time, and made its contributions.
Now that World is passing away. The grandmothers pointed out that the
Fifth World being born must not be one of separatist female dominance,
but rather one of forming a renewed society of women and men as equals.
Fifth World society is shaped by the feminine paths of cooperation,
non-aggression, inclusiveness, non-competitiveness, service rather than
dominance, use of psychic and spiritual gifts as well as technology, and
living in conscious harmony with nature's ways. 
The next morning, a major Colorado newspaper, the Rocky
Mountain News, carried the story that "a bold group at Estes Park Center
[Star Vision Conference] had declared an end to the current era and the
beginning of a Fifth Dimension [World] reality." Word of formal
declaration of the birth of the Fifth World was beginning to spread out
to the wider society. This process will take time. But it is important
to realize that the Fifth World has already begun. Just as the Period of
Purification which will end the Fourth World has already begun. During
this painful but exciting period of transition, each of us must stand up
and choose: status quo, or helping usher in the Fifth World.
Finally, permit me to share with you a personal Thunder
Being experience, and then my understanding of the role of heyokas in
the Fifth World.
Some years ago I did a hanblechia (vision quest) in the
desert near Death Valley. During my isolation, I was presented with a
image of a Thunderbird formed by the shadow of a cloud on a snowfield
atop a nearby mountain. The image remained a long time, then finally
dissipated. The skeptical part of my mind at first tried to minimize
this event. However, an hour later another identical Thunderbird image
appeared on the same snowfield, and persisted a while. I could not
escape the implication for my vision quest: a calling to the path of the
heyoka. Later my encounter with Star People confirmed this heyoka
Any and all of you who choose to work to bring in the
Fifth World are in my opinion heyokas. Recognize your calling in your
behaviors. And then let's get down to work in fashioning this Fifth
World. The negative power of the Fourth World cannot be annihilated. It
can only be transmuted, by being confronted by the simplicity and cosmic
consciousness of the Fifth World's midwives, the heyokas, you (if you
wish). We are not alone in this task. The Thunder Beings (ETs) have come
to awaken us, test us, and help us transmute. As heyokas, our role is to
confront the Fourth World's negative energies, channel and transmute
them into cooperative, spiritual, non aggressive, inclusive,
noncompetitive, service-oriented, dominance-rejecting, psychic,
highly-conscious, natural and harmonious energies.
As we do so, and thereby evolve forward, the vibratory
rate of the biological and consciousness energy fields within us
increases. I have noticed that people of like vibratory rate can "hear"
and feel each other's inner consciousness level. And here is a miracle.
A higher-vibrating person (or heyoka, if you will) is like a tuning
fork, tending to create a higher matching (sympathetic) vibration rate
in others around who are functioning at a lower (Fourth World)
vibratory/consciousness level. Just like a soprano's high note can cause
a crystal glass to vibrate, heyokas can cause Fourth Worlders around
them to tend to increase their vibratory rate. But Fourth Worlders have
choices. They can go along with the higher vibratory/consciousness rate,
and transition into the Fifth World. Or they can resist and, like the
glass, "shatter", as their outlook is increasingly dissonant with the
emerging Fifth World. If they remove themselves from all contact with
Fifth World people, they may buy some little time, but in the end they
will still have to choose.
As for the heyoka midwives of the Fifth World, recognize
that your role is in harmony with your fundamental way of being, and is
therefore unavoidable. Therefore, I encourage you to operate at your
highest vibration, and help usher in the Fifth World.
[In a following article, Dr. Richard Boylan will explore
some of the aspects of what this Fifth World will look and operate like,
which is now being created.]
1. Waters, F. (1963, 1977). The Book of the Hopi.
Penguin Books: New York.
2. The Federal Emergency Management Agency.
3. Waters, ibid.
4. Thunderhorse, I. and Le Vie, D., Jr. (1990). Return
of the Thunderbeings. Bear & Co.
Publishing: Santa FE, NM.
5. Boylan, R. J., (1996). Worlds In Transition: Report
on the Star Visions Conference,
Dr. Richard Boylan is a behavioral scientist, university
instructor, certified clinical hypnotherapist, and researcher into