On Wednesday morning, day five of our conference, we began with our customary moment of silence and Antonio invited us to honour the five pillars of future generations, ancestors, miracles, magic and love.
Michael then began his introduction of Dr Ervin Laszlo, a philosopher of science and systems theorist, twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He underscores the importance of developing a holistic perspective on the world and humanity, an outlook he refers to as quantum consciousness.
As we all looked at the screen Dr Lazlo magically appeared before us! He had originally planned to join us in person, however due to an unexpected health issue which his doctor felt needed immediate rest, we were able to connect with him via video link instead. “What was the title so I know what I’m talking about?” asked Dr Lazlo to the laughter of the audience.
“The Akasha – the New Worldview for living in the New Age,” replied Iain Davidson, who was in the Hall as our technical magician for the morning. “There is a revolution in science and evolution in consciousness,” Dr Lazlo responded. “Science is progressing beyond what most sciences recognise. The scientific paradigm is constantly being upgraded, new discoveries become an anomaly, unexplained in respect to the old.”
A paradigm shift is on the horizon. We reached a critical point 100 years ago and about 50 years ago a more holistic picture began to emerge. What is happening now? Why isn’t the old paradigm suitable anymore?
The universe is instantly connected — Ervin Laszlo
“Things cannot be confined to one place and time,” he said. “This dimension is non local, all quantum is entangled. We are dealing with a universe that is instantly interconnected, however the connection is not always apparent. In the typical consciousness of the Western world, these connections are repressed or considered esoteric.”
Information received in the brain is not limited to here and now. It could have originated anywhere in the world at any time.
The quality of our video connection varied as Dr Lazlo was linking in from the countryside of Hungary and I sometimes strained to follow his every word. Here was the founder of general evolution theory, an author of over 70 books, talking about science, (a subject that I have never been able to comprehend), and his words resonated from a spiritual perspective.
“The connections meet our brain but don’t reach our consciousness. What we see, we often don’t believe. If we don’t believe, then we tend not to see or cannot conceptualise the evidence.” He introduced the fact that our brains can pick up information from the world and emit information – they are both receiver and transmitter, this contrasts with the more classical perspective that the brain is a receiver through the senses.
“Information received in the brain is not limited to here and now. It could have originated anywhere in the world at any time, it is part of the quantum level of the information field. We have the ability to pick up on the immediate, spontaneous level.”
The ancient Indian seers had a deeper dimension, 3–4000 years ago, the Akasha dimension. This is a holographic field where everything is simultaneous. “What does this mean for our time?” In the background a brilliant series of slides were displayed as Dr Lazlo spoke, which helped deepen my understanding of the challenges we face in this era.
The evolution of complex forms
The first slide explained that a fundamental change in human societies follows the logic of the evolution of complex systems. Its principal phases and features are (1) increasing instability producing intensifying crises, leading to (2) a crisis that is no longer reversible; (3) this crisis triggers a rapid change in society of which the outcome is not determined in advance. It can lead to (4) breakdown and chaos, or (5) to breakthrough to a new world of higher complexity, greater information content, and a more evolved structure and form of organisation.
The breakdown is marked by conflict and confrontation, economic, political and cultural polarisation, escalating violence and war leading to chaos. The breakthrough still has conflict, however the response is dialogue, which leads to the spreading of peace and ecology movements, global institutional change, more cooperative lifestyles and government structures, and a more sustainable future.
“There are four main stages in the evolution of society: mythos based on sacred narrative; theos based on belief and intuition; logos based on the empirical; and holos – a holistic world view where we perceive the connections and allow our intuitive connection with the world. This is the new paradigm which is needed to establish coherence and is marked by a strong sense of seeking harmony.”
Dr Lazlo finished his talk by explaining the sixteen hallmarks of an evolved consciousness and I had a deep sense that here in the conference, here in the community, amidst all the activism taking place in the world, we are engaged in the world shift and moving from a fragmentary to a planetary, holistic consciousness.
We waved and applauded Dr Lazlo as he disappeared from the screen and Barbara invited us to end the session singing rolling Oms or Amens. Sounds gently erupted around the Hall and she then said, “You might want to open your eyes.” My attention was drawn to the skylight above as sheer fabrics began to float down, seemingly by magic. Three nymph-like young women, all barefoot, danced underneath as more colours caressed down upon them. There was a playful spirit as they wove them through the audience, draping the fabrics over heads, around shoulders, clustering people together in connection.
“Transformation is already happening,” said Barbara as she began to play the piano accordion. The music became faster and faster, we began to clap, the nymphs enticed people onto the floor for an informal Scottish jig accompanied by yelps and squeals of joy, and shades of green, orange, blue, purple and pink, sixteen different colours which Francois explained would be part of the celebration on Friday.
There was an extended tea break for the signing of the new book, Messages from God, by our only remaining co-founder Dorothy Maclean. A steady flow of people lined up for a handwritten message, accompanied by a beaming smile. I overheard Dorothy say to one person, “God comes first” and those three words seemed to capture her very essence.
Life is a pilgrimage — Geoff Dalglish
South African Geoff Dalglish gave the final presentation of the morning called Life is a Pilgrimage and shared a stunning slideshow. It began with a quote by the Peace Pilgrim, Mildred Norman, an American pacifist who walked across the United States for 28 years, “Life is like a mirror. Smile at it and it smiles back at you.”
“We are all walking our own paths,” Geoff began, “and it’s our choice whether to be conscious or unconscious. Living on the edge has been my passion, adrenalin my drug of choice. I was a news reporter, war correspondent, race and rally driver, 4×4 instructor and overland expedition guide. My life was all about cars and speed and it’s funny to be standing here now.”
Along the way, Geoff has driven over two million kilometres, often at speeds over 250km/h and spent much of his life on aircraft. “I had a huge carbon footprint,” he admitted. “If everyone lived the way I did, we’d be trashing the planet much faster than we already are. I knew something had to change.”
Geoff came to Findhorn and joined the month long Findhorn Ecovillage Experience programme. This was one in a series of inspirations that marked his transition from petrolhead to pilgrim and he now walks as Earth Pilgrim Africa with the message of treading lightly and lovingly upon the earth. He began his own pilgrimage last year on the sacred Isle of Iona and has so far walked 7000km.
“When I wrote my book, Lost and Found*, lots bubbled up, it has been an incredible journey with so much pain. The slideshow will introduce you to some of the people, landscapes and events that have shaped and inspired me.”
The poignant image of a single footprint in the sand begins our visual journey. We accompany Geoff into the high Himalayas, on his trek to the base camp of Everest, mother goddess of the world. “I had led the first overland expedition from China to South Africa, and afterwards just had to walk to connect my feet with the earth. For 16 days I didn’t see a single wheel, neither bike nor wheelbarrow.”
Why would God give me Ferraris?
Geoff had held the belief, “Why would God give me Ferraris, Porsches and 4x4s to play with, if She expected me to walk?” We see a photo of him in the Ferrari F40, in the 80s the fastest car on the planet, and then in a 4×4 in Namibia amongst the world’s tallest dunes. He witnessed and photographed the racing fatality of a grand prix driver he much admired and eventually his love affair with the car was over and he turned his attention to walking long distance instead.
He met two friends, David and Braam, who ran the Great Wall of China, the mind-blowing achievement of the equivalent of 98 marathons in 98 days. Later he arranged for them to run 90km on the 90th birthday of Nelson Mandela, starting from his prison cell on Robben Island, to raise money for a children’s charity offering surgery for facial disfigurements.
A photo of a young African girl with a disfigured cleft is displayed on the big screen. “I’m really squeamish with blood, but I spent 11 hours in surgery with little Zama and other children. After the operation they handed her a mirror and this changed her life in an instant. Soon she was tucking all the other children into bed, reassuring them their operation would be fine. My life then became about service, rather than just me, me, me.”
The photographic journey took us to the melting snowcaps of Mount Kilimanjaro, and on a Timbuktu expedition that included the Grand Mosque that is the largest mud building in Africa. Along the way we witnessed the rape of the rainforests and the decimation of wildlife.
Love for the natural world shone through in Geoff’s slideshow. “I’ve always felt totally connected in nature and find peace there,” he said. Three years ago, 50 pilot whales beached near his Cape Town home. He was involved in helping to guide them back out to sea but they kept coming back. “I contacted the animal communicator Anna Breytenbach for help. She said they had swum through pollution and many of them had been poisoned. They had chosen to die on the beach together to make a statement.”
Geoff also spoke about his love affair with elephants and a charge that was the most frightening experience of his life. “Hiding behind a tree, I tried to communicate telepathically that I was not there to harm them. If I survived I vowed to dedicate the rest of my life to Gaia.”
He began his pilgrimage on the 7th July 2011 to honour the life of Peace Pilgrim who had died exactly 30 years earlier. “There are times when I’m walking that every step is a prayer and a blessing. I’ve realised that the luminosity of first light is love itself and feels to me like an early morning hug from God herself. Or a gentle caress from an infinitely loving Creator.”