This is Your Life Dorothy

The theme tune for the remarkable life of Dorothy Maclean might well have been a chart-topping Beatles’ song, John Lennon famously touching millions of hearts with the simple lyrics of the 1967 love anthem: ‘All you need is love, love; Love is all you need.’


Dorothy today

On 14 February – St Valentines Day – the Findhorn Foundation community surprised our sole surviving co-founder with a version of the famous TV series: This is Your Life! It was an outpouring of love and a celebration of a life of contribution – now in its 95th year – that has been about love of the nature kingdoms and all beings.

“The secret is to love and to love more,” Dorothy explained.

But on this momentous evening she was at a momentary loss for words, taking her place in a front row of the Universal Hall without ever suspecting that she was to be the star attraction of an inspiring collection of tributes from around the world. Her friend John Willoner had jokingly explained that she was attending a history lesson.

Australian community member Will Russell and his wife Angie orchestrated a lively programme of tributes delivered in person and on a giant screen, which were interspersed with historic video clips and a slideshow spanning nine decades.


A three-year-old Dorothy wrapped up against the cold

In perhaps the most famous TV interview, a youthful Dorothy and co-founders Peter and Eileen Caddy, answer questions from legendary BBC presenter Magnus Magnusson in a 1973 broadcast that took the Findhorn community into the homes and hearts of many thousands of viewers.

The soundtrack for the evening incorporated iconic songs like ‘Love One Another’ performed by The New Troubadours band formed by spiritual teacher David Spangler and his friends during their Findhorn adventure in the early 1970s. The music captures the spirit and creativity of the era, and is resonant with the spiritual values that accompanied the birth of the Lorians in North America, of which Dorothy is a member.

The Findhorn founders were emphatic that ‘God is Love,’ and Dorothy said: “God is this exploding universe that we are seeing through science at the moment; and love is just as great as that, just as vast as that, and we know so little of it.


A teenage Dorothy enjoys a day on the beach

“As I grow older, or more experienced shall we say, I realise the power of love. It can make anything happen. And it’s appropriate in any situation. When nothing else works, it works.

“Love? To me it’s the founding energy … and it’s like the white light that is split into all the colours. Only love is split into everything that is. Light and dark are polar opposites but love contains the dark – it contains everything, it embraces everything.”

Looking back on early beginnings in the caravan park, she says she was told in meditation “that I had a job connected with nature. I thought this is a wonderful excuse to go for a walk, to lie in the sun. But when Peter saw the guidance, which I always shared with him, he said: ‘Maybe you can help in the garden.’ He was having a hard time growing vegetables in the sand dunes.

“I tuned in the next day and was told that everything in nature had an ensouling intelligence, whether it was a planet, or a cloud or a vegetable. And I was to attune to and harmonise with the essence of that intelligence.”

Her immediate reaction was that she couldn’t do it and didn’t know how to, although Peter insisted with characteristic confidence that it would be easy for Dorothy.


Dorothy on her wedding day in 1942

“But one day I was doing a meditation when I got into a stream of power when I felt I could do anything. So ‘Ah,’ I thought, now is the time to tune into the intelligence of nature. I chose a vegetable we were growing – which I loved to eat – the garden pea, and I tried to attune to its essence.”

To her astonishment, she received an immediate response and began an enduring communication.

“I think in that very first message it was what nature is still trying to tell us humans – that we are all great beings of light and we can work with them, attune with all life.”

She realised that the intelligent energy she was attuning to was not from one pea plant. “It was the soul level of all peas on Earth – the soul of the pea kingdom – and that as such it was a planetary being. I was communicating with an intelligence that was aware all over the Earth at one and the same time.”


Dorothy with the Caddy family in the early pioneering days

“Peter gave me a long list of questions to ask various vegetables in the garden, which kept me busy for years,” she remembers with a laugh.

She said the messages always brought her back to Oneness. The angels – or devas (a sanskrit word meaning ‘shining ones’ that has now become known and acceptable to many) – are messengers of God who stressed the interconnectedness of nature and humanity and the necessity to work together. They told her that love is the key and the bridge between kingdoms.

Years later, when she was no longer working just in the gardens, the team of gardeners came to her and asked questions, and she insisted that they turn to their own inner guidance. “What do you feel?” she asked. “They told me and were generally accurate. They were loving landscape gardeners and sought the truth, though they probably wouldn’t have called it attunement with nature. Love is the key to all these things.”

Geoff Dalglish

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