“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Matthew 7:15, (KJV)
Many of us know the story of Snow White: A princess who had recently lost her father, whose step mother has deep envy towards due to Snow White’s beauty. An envy so deep, that the step mother seeks to kill the beautiful Princess in order to be the fairest in the land. In the Brothers Grimm version of the tale the Evil Queen attempts to trick Snow White three times:
- Old Peddler: She first comes to the cottage where Snow White has taken refuge among the seven dwarves and offers Snow White a colorful, silky laced corset as a present; the queen laces her up so tightly that Snow White faints, but the dwarfs return just in time, and Snow White revives when the dwarfs loosen the laces.
- Brush Salesman: Next, the queen dresses as a brush seller and convinces Snow White to take a beautiful brush as a gift; she brushes Snow White’s hair with the poisoned comb and the girl faints again, but she is again revived by the dwarfs when they remove the comb from her hair.
- Poor Woman: Finally, the Queen disguises herself as a poor woman, and offers Snow White a poisoned apple to her; at first Snow White is hesitant to accept it, so the queen cuts the apple in half, eating the white (harmless) half and giving the red poisoned half to Snow White; the Princess eagerly takes a bite and falls into a state of Unconsciousness; causing the Queen to triumph. This time, the dwarfs are unable to revive Snow White. Assuming that she is dead, they place her in a glass casket.
Snow White, in her desperation to find new, wonderful things in life, was an easy target for the Queen’s tricks. Snow White isn’t a lone though–she represents all of us who are trying to get into a better position in life. Our hopeful hearts jumping towards opportunities that are good for us, or advice that might help us achieve more.
“Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” Matthew 7:16, (KJV)
The Dark Queen was a false prophet. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. But how do we ourselves avoid the same mistakes that Snow White did?
We can avoid biting into the poisonous apple by identifying the False Prophets through their traits:
- Do not practice what they preach: This is the most obvious way to spot a False Prophet. If they don’t excel in the area they are coaching, it’s clear you should stay away from this person and ignore their advice.
- Don’t have a history in the subject or take any action on the advice given: Look at their history, have they any proof or evidence that they can help you?
- Have a hidden agenda: Think about their stake in the advice; do they actually want to help you, or is there a deeper, sub-conscience reason for their kindness?
Had Snow White looked into the history of the three ‘people’ the Queen disguised herself as, it would’ve been easy to spot her evil attempts. That being said, the goal is not to be paranoid, but to know who we should get advice from and when we should seek it.
WHEN TO SEEK THE MAN ON THE MOUNTAIN
There’s really good news for everyone who seeks good advice; the master comes with the student is ready. That means what we need to do as students is make sure we are in a state ready to learn, and focused enough on what we would like to achieve in order for the master to know how to guide us. The best time to seek the man on the mountain is when we are stuck on an objective that leads to our personal legend.
Remember: There are many stars in the sky–if you simply ask the man of the mountain where to find stars, he points up. If you are lost and ask which way to go: he will point you to the North Star.
NORTH STAR PROPHET
In business the term for “the path” to success for an individual is often referred to as the “North Star.” It’s a great analogy because North is still North no matter where you are coming from, and all of us have different backgrounds that give us unique pathways to our own successes. There are three North Star Prophets:
- Mentor: A mentor is likely the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Prophets. They are wise, and have seen similar paths to our own–what truly separates them from the other North Star Prophets is that they hold us accountable for our actions.
- Collective: The collective are those in society either out of reach–or too busy to have direct contact with us. That does not make their message irrelevant, just not as customized as a mentors. Podcasts, interviews, and even books are ways to tap into the collective.
- Inner Man: Definitely the most overlooked of the Prophets is Inner Man. Our subconscious holds valuable insight and treasure: meditation and journals are the tools one can use to discover the Inner Man’s visions.
THE FALSE PROPHET REWARD
In the final act of the Brothers Grimm Snow white tale there are two true Prophets: the magic mirror, and the prince. And in the end, the two of them do battle: Thinking that Snow White is dead, the Queen asks the Magic Mirror one final time who is the fairest in the land.
The mirror responds that the Prince’s bride is the fairest.
Not knowing that the Prince’s bride is her stepdaughter, the queen arrives at the wedding to investigate and is shocked to find that the bride is Snow White. She is frozen with rage and fear, but when the Queen was about to start a pandemonium, the prince, who recognizes her as a threat to his kingdom, orders for her to wear a pair of red-hot iron slippers and dance in them until she drops dead for the attempted murder of Snow White, so that the wedding will peacefully continue. Like a real prophet; he used the Stepmother’s history to determine the evil future that the Queen sought for Snow White, and took action in order to keep his bride and their future safe.
While the story is grim, (pun intended), it paints how important prophets are, and how dangerous false prophets can be.