Sitting here waiting for this morning’s session to begin, I realise we are at the halfway point in the conference week. It’s been a sumptuous feast so far, with today promising to hold more delicious morsels to add to the table of magic and miracles being created with love.
One of the things bringing forth my joy as I attend this conference is the many moments of laughter we have shared together thus far, beginning with Michael and Antonio’s ‘magic act’ during the opening ceremony. A sketch to introduce our next speaker, in which Beverley A’Court and Francois Monnet show us their version of the art of geomancy, has us all doubled over in our seats.
Geomancy is of course part of the life work of Marko Pogachnik, a man who 42 years ago was inspired by what he experienced here at Findhorn – the connecting of the worlds of divinity with the worlds of nature – and who later came back to spend 10 years of his life sharing his work with the community. At the end of this month Marko is to be honoured by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre as an Artist for Peace. A warm round of applause for him greets this announcement.
That the crisis situation we face is the result of our worshiping of the rational mind and the forsaking of the soulful heart is a theme that is presenting itself again and again during this conference. Marko believes that as well as being blocked by our rationality, our learned ‘looking away’ – God in the sky, the sun as the centre – is also how we are causing destruction.
Look inwards to see the earth — Marko Pogachnik
He believes we must instead look inwards to the molten centre of the earth, for there we will find the body of Gaia, an essence the likes of which can only be contained in such a fiery ball. Marko encourages us to relate from our own centre to the inner earth as the centre of all life. To turn ourselves upside down, the crown chakra becoming the root, and to honour the pull of gravity as the love of Gaia which holds all beings in their place.
What makes it possible for us to go to Gaia from the centre of ourselves is that we are beings of three hearts: the ruby crystal which is the heart of Gaia; the elemental heart, located at the end of our breastbone, which defines us as members of the devic world; and the spiritual heart, found at the centre of our chest.
Marko speaks about cycles of collaboration with Gaia, referring to Lemuria, Atlantis and today, making it very clear that our role is to be co-creators with Gaia. She has a wish to see her own creation and to develop it further. He gives as an example how Gaia creates the mountains and we in turn create the temples and cathedrals and cities. Marko emphasises that it is wrong to see ourselves as destroyers, but to recognise that if we stay on the level of consciousness we are currently on, we destroy more than we create.
Gaia is an autonomous being – not our mother
In order for evolution to continue, we must step into adulthood and accept the responsibility that comes with that role. Marko sees that Gaia doesn’t want to be a mother anymore. She is an autonomous being, taking her part in evolution by pushing out those systems that are no longer needed. The old structures are being broken down through ecological disasters and the new structures, which already exist, wait until we are able to perceive them. Our primary spiritual task is to help the planet move forward, and to do this we need to be grounded, holistic and loving human beings.
Marko finished his presentation by leading us in a meditation to connect with our Gaia heart so that we might change our relationship to our planet and to Gaia. The energy that was created in the Hall by all of us was of such beauty that at the end of the session, Marko asked for us not to clap as that would destroy what we had created.
I left the Hall and walked through The Park wrapped in the warmth of Gaia's love.
The lights of the Hall were gently dimmed and the sound of Barbara playing the harp floated softly through the air. After a few moments of silence Antonio introduced David Spangler, “An extraordinary man, with great presence.” As soon as David’s smiling face appeared on the giant screen via video link I felt great warmth for him and a deep respect for his contribution to Findhorn since the early 70s.
David Spangler – electronic avatar
“It’s wonderful to be with you like this, to show up as an electronic avatar,” his welcoming words were greeted with laughter. “Thank you for the opportunity to take part in the conference and for the privilege of addressing you.” I was struck by his humility; it felt such a privilege to be in the Hall listening to him!
The theme of David’s presentation was Everyday Magic and The Power of Partnership, and the conversation immediately touched upon the magic and miracles at work, making this moment happen. “I come from an unusual direction,” he began. “The idea of boundaries can be a good thing, to express our uniqueness where co-creativity can take place. However, some boundaries can also limit us. Conceptual, not physical, boundaries are created by the way we think, how we analyse and name the world to grasp its complexity.”
He invited us to approach the concepts of magic and miracles in ways that liberate their potential. When we talk about ourselves it’s common to identify with our various parts – mind, body, emotions, soul. Depending on the depth of our thinking, our tradition, or everyday experience, these words have certain meanings for us.
“What is not always clear is how these parts interrelate, we think of a hierarchy of different parts rather than a single, whole life.” David shared a sweet story to illustrate his point. “The caterpillar was asked by the beetle, ‘Wow, you have a lot of legs how do you co-ordinate them all?’ The caterpillar lay in a ditch and thought about it, and then couldn’t run any more.”
Go into the world looking more deeply for magic and miracles. Become more connected and learn how to be a loving partner with the subtle worlds.
There is an organic wholeness to things we do naturally, he explained. “If we overanalyse it we lose the felt sense of that wholeness. We need to enter into a state of awareness that is free of naming, free of concepts, and feel beyond them.”
Miracles are a natural process
He spoke of the wonderment and spaciousness of miracles, saying, “We hunger for this natural state of who we really are. Daily life builds up a sense of constraint, a loss of mystery that we intuitively know we are connected to. Magic and miracles are taken into the territory of extraordinary and we overlook them in the ordinary world.”
There is a tendency to think that miracles transcend natural law and cannot be explained, rather than recognising them as emergent phenomena, an unexpected process of a completely natural process, such as a newborn coming into the world. “Our conceptual boundaries isolate magic and miracles.”
David’s words were infused with such clarity I had a sense that parenting his four children, with his wife Julie, which he describes as his ‘primary spiritual practice,’ had simplified his teaching in a way that made his understanding accessible for all, more so than his earlier work and I felt incredibly grateful for this.
“Go into the world looking more deeply for magic and miracles. Become more connected and learn how to be a loving partner with the subtle worlds,” he encouraged us. “There is no healing power, what exists instead are healing relationships and the power of love.” The most fundamental aspect he shared is that everything is alive and sentient – a living presence.
Our task is to connect in a loving way with this living presence. How can we do this if we have no natural affinity? David then shared with us a series of steps to help us love unconditionally: A simple acknowledgement of what’s there; Respect and the right of the other to exist; Appreciation for this presence in my life; Liking the other through learning more; Loving and the holding of the other, seeking to enhance connectedness. “We need to recognise how deep the threads of partnership go and the profound collaboration of beingness.”
Everyday magic is an energetic, loving place. “Every day is another opportunity for our love to reach out, connect, engage and enhance the natural unfoldment,” David said as his talk reached its conclusion. “The more we align with that, the more we enter into the willing empowerment of life around us.”
Our everyday experiences hold natural magic — Thomas Moore
Continuing with the theme of magic, our speaker for this evening is Thomas Moore, perhaps known more for his books and talks on caring for the soul. Tonight he delivers an enlightening and often humourous presentation on what he terms natural magic, revealing the deep connection that exists between living a soulful life and living
a life of magic.
But before we enter the world of magic, miracles are once again brought to our attention as Sheila Pettit shares with us a song that came to her when she asked John of God for healing. Sheila’s voice is that of an angel, and with the words of her song she invites us to ‘listen to the silence within the temple of your soul’.
Thomas gives us his definition of natural magic, using the words ordinary and unexpected. It is to be found in our everyday experiences and in the material things with which we interact. Thomas illustrates this through the story of how he chose the topic for his doctoral thesis, introducing at the same time a particular form of magic which he calls book magic. You know, it’s the magic that happens when just the book you need at a certain time in your life appears from the most unlikely place.
Language and words also have magic. Thomas explains that our words have within them a daemon (spirit) power that we can feel, and reminds us of how when we need to express something painful or difficult, we often find ourselves seeking for the right words. He also points to the importance of recognising when words are more than rational by relating the story of how, beyond all reason, he was not offered tenure at the university where he was working. He heard the angel in the voice of his department head and knew this was fate talking to him. He didn’t fight the decision and his life went in a direction he could have never imagined. Thomas inspires us with the words, “I never looked back.”
Thomas points out that music too has magic, something that I think we have all felt at one point or another during this conference, given all the beautiful music that has been shared with us.
Thomas suggests that part of living in a soulful world is to read it. Here he gives the examples of using tea leaves or an obsidian mirror to receive information. His experience of the mirror is that through it a whole world opens up to him. His intuition is ablaze and when a question is asked the answers immediately come. He also gives the example of going to a client’s house and reading what’s there in terms of colours, feelings, the type of furnishings, in order to help the client move forward in life.
Thomas then shares with us some images to illustrate natural magic and its connection to soul. One of these images is of a medallion, created for a 15th century Italian magician named Pico della Mirandola, which has as a description of his life the Three Graces of beauty, love and pleasure. Thomas points out that soul likes pleasure, and he elicits laughter from the audience when he expresses how much he likes pleasure.
As a finish to the session, Thomas offers the music of his daughter’s chanting. Listening to her voice is a sublime experience, a gift that is indeed magical.
I join those around me in honouring Thomas with a standing ovation.