We entered into the richness of the final day with a few moments of silence. Becky and Niko, young musicians in the community, then performed a beautiful rendition of I Dreamed a Dream by The New Troubadours, a group formed here by David Spangler in the early 70s.
Niko played the wooden flute while Becky strummed the ukulele and sang the lyrics that reached out to us all, “Where the trees stand in silence yet singing their song… I know what a wonderful world it will be, when we each learn the part that we play.”
The song was greeted with delight, before Dorothy Maclean gave a warm introduction to the talk of the morning offered by Judy McAllister: Myth and Reality, Legend and Legacy. “Judy has a vast and deep inner connection with herself and with Findhorn, over many decades,” said Dorothy. “She has a quiet and clear wisdom, and is a great friend and support to me.”
Findhorn is Gaia’s response — Judy McAllister
“To have Dorothy introduce me is a privilege and a pleasure,” said Judy. “It’s Friday, the end of a long, full week. I’d like to thank all of you for telling me about your miracles. I did indeed lose count.” She began her talk by saying it was not to be a history lesson, as that has been recorded many times, rather an attempt to draw out some of the threads.
Having arrived in the community 35 years ago, we were blessed to hear Judy’s insights and perspective on the past. “On my travels people would always ask questions. The word Findhorn is recognised all over the word and it’s a privilege to live in and be part of a global phenomenon.”
I think Findhorn was one of the many responses that grew out of the soul of Gaia in response to the challenges and despair over the future.
Almost fifty years ago to the day, the world saw the publication of Silent Spring, written by Rachel Carson, a book widely credited with helping launch the environmental movement. We faced a nuclear threat through the Cuban missile crisis and the very soul of the planet was under threat. These events occurred around the anniversary of the sudden firing of Peter and Eileen Caddy from their positions of managing The Trossachs Hotel.
“Dorothy, Peter, Eileen and the boys realised they had only one place to go – their small caravan on the Findhorn peninsula. There are many stories of these three individuals and Peter embellished many of them to make a point, however, the truth is worthy of a legend in itself.” Judy knew all three of them well and through her innate curiosity asked many questions, wanting to know what had really happened.
Life with God at the centre
All three had consented to living life with God at the centre. They had each spent nearly ten years honing their connection to that divine source, with love as the common thread. The clear inner voice of Eileen, the telepathic guidance of Dorothy and the intuitive sense of Peter all led to the community we know today.
Years ago in one of Judy’s meditations, she was asked to reflect upon the scream from the soul of humanity. “I think Findhorn was one of the many responses that grew out of the soul of Gaia in response to the challenges and despair over the future.”
Judy shared a five-minute slideshow of then and now which we contemplated together in silence. The landscape was sandy, barren and windswept. Slowly the area transformed into a green and vibrant Garden of Eden. What struck me most were the trees that have grown up over the years. The show ended with the provocative caption, “and we’ve only just begun…”
There are two main principles involved, the first that we can all have a direct and personal connection with the divine. Getting people to talk to God again, and listen, we seem to be doing pretty well. The second, co-creation with the intelligence of nature, seems to need some more work. “What happens if we all believe the subtle realms want to co-operate with us?” she asked. “Not if only, but what if? To act from this place, day-by-day, moment-by-moment. This is the essence of Findhorn, a centre of incarnation.”
The invitation is extended to us all…
We can choose an active co-creative relationship with nature
The nature beings have emphasised one message over and over again, “We have to approach them,” explained Judy. “We’re the ones gifted with free will and can choose to engage. They tell us that we have no idea who we really are, magnificent human beings, the peak of evolution on the planet. It is time to step into our potential; we’re on the verge of becoming Gaian human beings working in equal partnership with nature in conscious co-creation. The subtle, invisible realms require us to stand in our largesse so they can meet us. This is the creative partnership that will make miracles, as we currently understand them, ordinary.”
How do we enter into an active co-creative relationship? We need to break free from the tyranny of denial and lack of hope. “If you think you’re too small to make a difference you’ve never been in bed with a mosquito,” said Judy to the laughter of the audience. It is our choice. “Fifty years ago three adults chose to follow a certain path and made a commitment. Miracle is not a big enough word to express the transformation that took place. It wasn’t just thousands of hands and hearts, it was a constant cooperation between our human kingdom and the other non physical realms.”
My understanding of co-creation with nature continued to deepen and my hope soared as Judy spoke. “We do ourselves and Gaia a disservice if we stop here. Let’s allow ourselves to entertain the reality that there are larger forces at work. The subtle beings welcome our partnership. We have the creative brain and imagination; they do what they do in joyful harmony with one another. Together we can create something entirely new if we engage their power and energy.”
This is not a moment where God is coming to the rescue; it is about us working creatively to find solutions and form a new sense of balance on the planet. It is a challenge and an invitation with which we can all engage. Judy shared about her visits to Brazil last year, into the 3% of the remaining Atlantic rainforest. Each morning she would follow the path to a waterfall nearby the house without electricity where she was staying.
Walking in a living prayer
“Walking through the forest I was almost unable to breathe. There was an overwhelming energy of exaltation, walking through this ancient, pristine forest,” Judy said. “I realised I was walking in a living prayer and I became part of that prayer.” She described both laughing hysterically at the joy and also weeping at the sheer beauty of this rarefied land as she encountered the ‘voice of the forest’.
Sitting in meditation on the last morning she received a letter by dictation and was asked to share this where and when she could. Taking the leaf of action from the book of our founders, she chose to share with us these precious words.
She took a few moments to find the letter amongst her notes, as sharing it was unplanned. “Dear child of the earth,” it began. “We call to you from this heart of green, from tree-clad slopes and mountain tops… We call to the nature in you… We call out our welcome. Will you hear?” These are brief extracts from the longer, more beautiful letter. “Will you walk silently amongst us, listening to the sounds of the forest? Will you come with your eyes open and see the beauty? Will you come with your hearts open and allow them to break openly fully with wonder? Will you come that you may know yourself; that we may know each other?”
The invitation is extended to us all. Will we come and enter the potentiality of partnership and play our part? “If we live a life with God at the centre, we may do strange things, find ourselves out of sync with the norms of society. Eileen, Dorothy and Peter were way outside the box of their time. What would it be like if we were all willing to do that?” Judy asked.
She left us with an evocative question in her own heartfelt way, “And what will the next 50 years bring us?”
We were asked to return to the hall in silence after the break in preparation for our completion. When we came back, Barbara was playing the harp and thoughts disappeared from my mind as the presence of music entered my heart.
Judy invited us to close our eyes as she led a meditation to extend our gratitude and blessings. “Imagine in your lap a small bowl and into that bowl begin to gather memories, associations, moments of magic, insights, moments of healing, of forgiveness, and gifts of kindness.”
We are all a superhero
We then imagined ourselves becoming a superhero, beginning to collapse the bowl the way the earth collapses coal to make a diamond, transforming all the contents into a gem, and placing all that we hold precious into our hearts. “Know it’s within you for recall, anytime, anyplace,” Judy said. “When it’s anchored sufficiently in yourself, gently open your eyes and bring yourself present into this time and place.”
Slowly all that we had created was gently dismantled. The five banners were lowered and a few people from the audience removed the colourful messages that had been pinned to them in our opening ritual. Francois had created an almost egg-shaped container from willow and paper as a vessel for our messages to be offered up to spirit this evening in ceremonial fire. Everyone sitting stepped into the power of the witness, silently connecting with the invocations represented in each message.
Once again we entered into a meditative space, “In honour, respect and gratitude of our ancestors. In appreciation for the people who represent love, magic, miracles and remain present within us, and with awareness of those who follow after us, the future generations.”
Francois carried ‘a bowl of semi-precious treasures’ into the centre of the hall, making a rustling sound reminiscent of the waves against a pebbly shore. The bowl, draped in silk, was delicately unwrapped and placed upon a fabric on the floor, with tiny squares of different colours all around. “Come and choose one,” he said. “Make it more holy by wrapping it in colour.”
Everyone in the Hall made their way down into the centre, lining up in three directions from the bowl, as Barbara played the familiar sound of Over the Hills to Skye on the piano accordion. “Allow the hands to hold the semi-precious stones and fabric, allowing the sense of touch to move into a deeper level of awareness,” Judy said. “This is a gift from Gaia, held by the great cosmic angel of stone than spans the galaxies. Ultimately we’re all made of stardust.”
We were asked to enter a relationship with the piece of stone and imprint into it our hopes, commitments and dreams; the essence of all that we take away from here. “The stone holds in partnership with you that dream. Be aware the stone joyously accepts whatever you ask it to carry for you. Great angels and great forces gather in these seemingly small pieces of the earth.” Then came the great element of surprise…
Sacred fire of mysticism and activism
“Know you have given the most precious of dreams,” said Francois. “Now you’re going to release your stone and offer it to someone else, as an expression of our interconnectedness. Taking care of each other, praying for each other.” I looked at my beautifully shaped stone of deep green one last time and then released it almost ruefully to the friend next to me. I received his small stone wrapped in bright red. That’s not a colour I would have chosen I pondered to myself, later realising it symbolised the sacred fire of mysticism and activism that will forever be with me as a soulful gift from this week.
As we had done in the opening ritual, we sang the song that is part of the Hopi Prophecy. “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for… This is the time and this is the hour, all together we have the power.” The energy in the hall was even greater this time, the voices imbued with our collective belief and joy in the future of Gaia and all of humanity. Mid way through the song we were asked to turn around in the same direction and face outward with our palms outstretched.
“Send the energy into the past, to our ancestors that it may heal, integrate and release. Move the energy out into the world; into the community that it may continue its work. Gather grace and miracles and move this energy out into the global network of light sustaining our world and evolution.”
There was an incredible sense of power and strength as everyone faced in one direction, preparing to move out into the world and share the richness of the week, in their lives beyond here. May all beings everywhere benefit from the blessing of this magical time together.