STORY — Rise to the highest you know: An interview with Dorothy Maclean

Words by Charlotte Boulton

In this 1978 interview, Dorothy Maclean talks about her spiritual journey and her connection with the devas, or nature spirits, and how she first contacted them in the early days […]

Dorothy Maclean wearing a purple dress with the flowers outside in the 1970s, connecting with nature
Dorothy MacLean in the gardens

Dorothy Maclean, one of the three founders of the Findhorn Foundation, lived and worked with Eileen and Peter Caddy for five years at the Cluny Hill Hotel and then moved with them to the Findhorn Bay Caravan Park where they shared a small caravan for seven years.

During this time, Dorothy developed a strong contact with the devic forces of nature and established the foundation for the present attitude of cooperation with the nature that is held by the whole community.

This interview was conducted in 1978 and Published in the One Earth Magazine #6 after Dorothy returned from America for a month to give a series of workshops to members of the community.

Liza: would you please describe for those of our readers who have note read The Findhorn Garden how you first became aware of devas.

Dorothy: My first contact with the devas arose out of my inner attunement where I was told to tune into the forces of nature. I had no idea what they were and it seemed a very silly idea. so, I threw it aside for a while, knowing perfectly well that I would have to come back to it. I only fulfilled this once I was in a high state of consciousness and felt I could do something about it. As I attuned, I was told that everything in nature had its own essence, whether it was a stone, a pebble, a vegetable or a cloud. And so I chose a vegetable because at that time we were trying to grow a garden and we didn’t know anything, and we needed help. I chose my favourite vegetable because you can only attune to something that you are somewhat familiar with. You should have some sort of idea of what its essence is and the outer form always gives an indication of essence. I knew all about the pea plant, its taste, its shape and its colour, what it was for and so on. I loved it. So, in this high state of consciousness I tried to imagine, to focus on what the essence of this plant was, and to my surprise I got an answer…an intelligent response which to me in my thoughts and feelings, which I translated into words and wrote down in my shorthand notebook as it came. It just said that it was going about its business when I had come straight into its awareness. It wished that other human beings would do the same and realise that they were power houses, and that we could work together. In that first contact, I got the whole essence of the devic message, ‘You have these capabilities within yourself and together we can change the world.’

I began to realise that in the devic world the Beings behind nature were the archetypal forces which hold the plan and pattern of all plants and step it down through their own evolution to the blue-collar workers, the elementals. In that sense, they are our parents. They are planetary beings who have been here long before we were. We may destroy the world, but we can’t destroy them for they have brought us into form. We are their children because the forms that we have, which represent the growing tip of evolution on this earth, have been forged by them through the ages. They have forged us according to the will of Go, for they do not have the free choice that has been given to us. However, with that free will, we hold within us the capabilities of becoming greater than they, for we can create form the way they do and even more as we come into our God-give creative powers and evolved through our own choices. It is our destiny as humans to become one with all these capabilities that we have and transform the world in all its Kingdom. As it is, we have created the thought world on this earth and haven’t done a very good job of it, but now we are here to transmute it, and the emotional level too. As we clarify it and use it purely, gradually all life will be transmuted into a higher spiritual level. That is how I understand it.

Liza: Would you say that the devas stand in the same relationship to the nature kingdoms as our soul does to the personality?

Dorothy: Yes, but what I did realise through this interaction with the devas is that they are within me, as everything else is. The kingdom of heaven is within one, so is the devic world and I only contact them from my own soul level, because the soul level is a deva. I am a deva, you are a deva, we are all angels, because that is the are of ourselves which is on the same vibrational level, the soul-beingness of us. There is no difference.

Liza: Do machines have devas?

Dorothy: Everything has an intelligent divine counterpart, and so have machines which are made by man and composed of our thoughts-forms and our plans, expressions of our burgeoning creativity. Because they interact with the environment and use metal and other materials from nature, they naturally develop their own ensouling presence. However, it is not of a pure devic essence. Because of so much human thought creation in it, it is inclined to take on human likes and dislikes. It possesses a kind of darkness which the angelic kingdom does not have. To me the devas are above the pairs of opposites, above good and evil. These man-made things are hybrid.

François: What about nations? Are the souls of nations corporate entities born out of the interaction of human activity and the original energies of the land? What about those created out of artificially man-made frontiers?

Dorothy: It is we who are placed within the soul of a nation or the sould of a place. These beings themselves are not so different from each other, not so patterned and planned. They haven’t got the limits that we put on them. For instance, thinking of the soul of Canada, I feel that probably its original keynote was the vast, immense purity of the land. That was the beginning and it involved looking after all the energies brought into the land. When the humans came in the devas had then to work with the energies that the humans brought in. The vast pure origin was being changed and moulded all the time by the interactions of the humans.

To me the national identity grows from the over-lighting angel of the whole area. In Canada that came from nature. It probably did originally in Europe as well long ago before it had a lot of people established there. These beings (the devic presences behind nations) have no difficulty in becoming one or many. They haven’t got these rigid distinctions of national boundaries. They flow into each other and want to. Their consciousness has an aura of totality. The divisions between nations are partly made by man, and they will adapt because man has added an energy. For instance, if they ensoul a country, say like Belgium, or whatever energy it is which is going into that wholeness, then they’ll use that. Maybe another one will be needed some time, for example in Belgium’s relationship to Benelux countries. But always it’s a process of becoming and using energy. There is nothing in these beings that is inflexible. They always flow with the situation and use it as best as they can because their whole motive is to wield these energies in service to the whole. They feel the cultural patterns in people and are trying to wield them for the good of the whole and sometimes they do so with their sister country next door which they may merge with every now and then in their consciousness.

Dorothy MacLean

Liza: Is the soul of a country also affected by the collective thoughts of its people?

Dorothy: Yes. The angels are always trying to wield thoughts for positive uses. Negative thoughts they really can’t do much with and they need a lot of help sometimes, especially devas of cities, where there are so many negative thoughts. Once I was tuning into the deva of San Francisco and it said: ‘I need love…love.’

François: What can these beings teach us in our efforts at building a new world order?

Dorothy: In my contact with the deva level I became aware of the qualities which make up their realm, such as love. At first, I didn’t think it was love because it was so universal and not personal enough for me to think of it as love, but I realised it was as they told me that they live in a sea of love, which is a realm of pure love, a realm of joy, a realm of flexibility and change and lightness. They are living those qualities all the time and nothing can put them off it. Admittedly they haven’t got the physical level reality to oppose them as we have, but I can see that these qualities, which we also have within our soul-bodies, are the ones we are going to use for building the new civilisation. The devas are an example of how to live those qualities, how to live in complete harmony and not even fuss about borders but simply think of the whole whenever we get together. It’s living in those qualities and looking at any situation, be it politics or economics or whatever, from a perspective of whole-ness which gradually works down and integrates the lower levels that will always bring things together.

François: You have written a booklet called ‘The soul of Canada’. Would you care to share what led to this?

Dorothy: At one point in my life I felt I was a planetary citizen with no national roots and that I had gone beyond national identity which was an inferior part of myself. Then I went back to my own country after being away for thirty years and I could see it from a different viewpoint. You have to het away from something before you can see it clearly. (That is to me the reason for the so-called Fall.)

I had read something about the danger of a split in Canada and that in this eventuality there might be a military confrontation in the Canadian West between major world powers. I immediately thought of the USE and Russia or something like that but I didn’t know what it was. That was all that was said. I suddenly realised that I did care a great deal that this should not happen, that I cared for my country, that I was a Canadian and that I would do what I could to prevent this sort of thing from happening.

So I held a workshop to explore this. It was a mixture of immigrants and native Canadians, all sorts of people feeling their nationality at all. Canada does not have a distinct nationality, a distinct identity like many other countries, for it is a new country. Canadians don’t know what they are and have been worrying about this for a long time. One girl for example was very proud of her Welsh background and didn’t want to lose it, and because she could be a Canadian. She loved Canada too, but she didn’t want to lose her Britishness. So, she had no feeling of of what she was. Another one had been brought up in Quebec and being in the only English speaking family in her town she felt she had had to battle all her life. She didn’t know what to do, so she left Quebec to get back to her Englishness. She felt that never the twain could meet. Then in the workshop we started exploring what our identity was, our real indentity as human beings, and that, of course, comes down to our divinity. Our divinity has no nationality and we started seeing nationality in a different way. We saw that the personality that we are all given is being used to express our soul in a certain place and is moulded by the place. In Canada there are many nationalities. You can be French and still be Canadian. You can still be Ukranian and Canadian. There are a lot of nationalities that are holding on to their original national identity because they feel lost, like the Ukranians, the Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians. Because the Russians took over their land, they are afraid of losing their identity again in Canada, and so they are trying desperately to maintain it in another country and they have kept to their own language. Yet they are Canadians too. There exists a multiculturalism which to me is an opportunity for a country to accept its diversity and use it for the good of the whole. We can accept all the gifts we have. Instead of saying ‘No, we don’t want this; we just want to be Canadians,’ we can say ‘Yes, we wants this. We are different from you and we can help you. We have more facets to our diamond than other countries. We are lucky.’

This made all the difference to the English girl. She suddenly felt Canadian for the first time in her life, and she felt that she was both.

I feel that we have to accept what our birthright is, whatever it is. The qualities that we have in our birth-right are specific and different from any other county. We can accept them, use them and glory in them because they can be used for good or for ill. For instance, I think I am very typical of many of the Canadian characteristics, the sort of middle-man, balancer which I have always been, half way between the American and the British. I am a Libra anyway, and I don’t push myself forward because I don’t have an idea of what my destiny is in this sort of thing. Even this lack of identity, this lack of knowing what you are, can be turned to good use. You can use any characteristics positively or negatively. It means that you are not going to push yourself on people all the time. And this means that you can be a middle-man and use your role to mediate. So, any characteristic we have in our personality or national make-up can be used for good or for ill. But first we have got to see it. We can’t go around oozing our Americanism thinking we are lords of the earth or whatever it is if we don’t know what we are doing and don’t realise that we are putting other people off.

To me it is the same with the nations of the world: they will only find their true groupness when they are not threatened by losing their identity, not threatened because they don’t know what they are. For this to happen they have got to know and be what they truly are, in their own unique way.

François: A final question: How does one make contact with the devic level?

Dorothy: Rise to the highest that you know, to a transcendent state. You may want to use the mind as a bridge between spirit and matter; you can use the imagination of the mind to bring you back into memory of a moment of transcendence, whether it’s a touching of the fringe of divinity or a feeling of the divinity within a flower, or those moments when we somehow lose our limitations and get into a greater wholeness. One can recapture that and try to go to that level again, or one may use a quality such as joy or light and invoke that in one’s self, the one gets into a higher state than we normally do. The more we practice it the more ways we can find how to do it.

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