The 64-minute Follow the rainbow to Findhorn documentary has been more than two years in the making and is a deeply moving story of love, faith, commitment and belief in miracles.
The love that talented German film-maker Markus Werner feels for this celebrated international community in the north of Scotland shines through as he traces the history of the Findhorn Foundation from incredibly modest beginnings in 1962; honours the founders Peter and Eileen Caddy and Dorothy Maclean; and talks to residents today of all ages and from all walks of life.
It is an invitation to examine another way of living that is embraced by more than 400 people who see their role as custodians of a belief system free from religious dogma that centres on taking time to be quiet and go deep within, while co-creating with nature and regarding even the most mundane work as ‘love in action.’
What is the Findhorn Foundation? We know it to be a pioneer within the Global Ecovillage Network and the community with the lowest recorded ecological footprint in the developed world. It is also a respected educational centre and spiritual community that runs more than 250 courses a year, attracting thousands of visitors. But perhaps more than that, the documentary shows that Findhorn is also a state of consciousness.
Nearly half a century after the original founders parked their caravan alongside a rubbish dump in a bleak, windswept dunescape, a veritable Garden of Eden has been manifested with the film interspersing early photographs with contemporary footage.
And all was achieved by extreme perseverance, hard work and faithfully following inner guidance and the promptings of nature, without ever knowing where the journey would lead, as sole surviving co-founder Dorothy Maclean, 90, can attest.
Findhornians interviewed contrast fulfilling lives of purpose today with those in their former worlds of materialism and consumerism that were ultimately found to be devoid of meaning and joy.
Michael Mitton, who grew up in Findhorn and was named Young Scottish Thinker of the Year in 2007, talks of the decade he spent in an American town with an astonishingly high living standard but abysmal quotient of happiness. “We don’t have to live this capitalistic, materialistic give me more-more-more life. Instead it is possible to live a low-carbon, simpler, more joyful lifestyle.”
Gabrielle Hamm, a focaliser for the Ecovillage Training Programme (EVT), describes the joy and nurturing of growing up in a safe, loving environment where everybody knows you and is looking out for you. Later, after getting involved in an EVT course, she remembers: “I was completely overwhelmed and inspired and amazed at how fantastic the ecovillage training is and what a fantastic resource this place is.”
Dürten Lau, a former Cullerne Garden focaliser, says: “It is always about putting the sacred, whatever that means to you, in the centre and from there relating to life.” She describes the immense joy and pride in planting a seed and watching it grow, with so much thanksgiving and appreciation for the abundance at harvest time. “We will never fully understand this miracle of life that we are surrounded by.”
She adds that what feeds us is not only the organic vegetable matter bought in a shop or supermarket, but the loving energy put into nurturing and harvesting the plant.
Mari Hollander, education manager of the Findhorn College, recalls arriving for Experience Week in 1976 for what she thought would be a quiet time in a relaxed garden environment. “I found this chaotic jamboree of people of all ages, costumes and languages constantly singing and dancing and moving quite fast. I was pretty distrustful of people and liked it to be natural and peaceful. It was really quite crowded and I had an Experience Week of about 35 people which is about twice as big as we’d have now. But it was early days and everybody was experimenting.”
For many Findhorn has been transformational.
The youngest person interviewed, student Alexander Chapman-Campbell, says: “When the visitors come I can see the magic – I can see the way they change and open up. I’ve seen people just crying and crying and saying: ‘I’ve never experienced something like this. It’s just so beautiful.’
Neale Donald Walsch, author of the best-selling Conversations with God series, sums it up: “There is a unique energy here… it makes it easy for people to access a different level of knowing, understanding and experiencing of some of the higher truths of life and how it is.” He believes that special something is the cumulative energy of its founders combined with the energy of those others who have lived here for many years, along with the continuous stream of visitors who stay for days, weeks, or months, infusing Findhorn with their unique consciousness. Here people are encouraged to always question, knowing that it is at the edge of our comfort zone that life begins.
“Come to the edge,” Walsch invites. “What Findhorn brings to the human spirit is the possibility of flight!”
To view the trailer of the DVD, please click on the image below.