August 26, 2017 would have marked Eileen Caddy’s 100th birthday. Millions of people around the world still turn to her guidance for inspiration, many through her books, which have sold millions of copies worldwide and been translated into over 35 languages. By the time of her death in 2006, this self-effacing woman had been named one of the 50 most spiritually influential people in Britain. She had also received the Order of the British Empire for services to spiritual inquiry and co-founded the Findhorn community. One note resonates through her life journey. That is to turn within and find guidance.
Eileen described herself as an ordinary woman whose extraordinary life was the result of choosing to follow God. As her son Jonathan notes, ‘Her life was not easy but for 53 of her life she heard and listened to what she called the still small voice within. That voice explained, “My teaching is simple, BE STILL. Go within and find that centre of peace and stillness within, the God-source, and then live and move and have your being from that centre within. Be consistent with this. Try it and see how it works with you!”’ Famously, she even made time to hear the inner voice by going to sit in a freezing caravan park public toilet early in the morning.
She persisted in her determination to listen to and obey her inner guidance throughout a life of strange and arduous trials. At various times she had to deal with separation from her children, a period of extreme privation on the island of Mull and the inner discomfort of not being able to plan or predict the next turn her life would take. Her guidance often didn’t seem to make sense and sometimes led to unexpected results. Penniless in a barren caravan park, she heard instructions to buy several bungalows for then-nonexistent guests. After she asked to learn unconditional love, her husband Peter told her he was ready to leave their relationship.
Despite the confusion her guidance often brought at first, she continued to follow it. After years of sharing her guidance with the community she had helped grow, she let go of this role. Eileen saw that it would benefit community members more if she encouraged them to turn within, instead of relying on her guidance, and she did so. They made mistakes and sometimes influenced her beloved community “child” in damaging ways. Losing her role this way, she wondered what place she had in the world. But as before, she turned within for her next phase.
And the higher consciousness that gave her consciousness did not fail her. After Peter purchased caravans on credit, following her guidance, people drawn by their radical spiritual experiment came to fill them. The barren caravan park her guidance had led her to blossomed into a thriving community. Later, after Peter left, she followed her guidance to forgive him and discovered a new balance within herself.
Again and again her commitment to following the still, small voice asked her to deepen her love. In her autobiography, she notes she had to ask herself ‘Can I be myself at all times? Can I allow others to be themselves without judging, condemning or criticising them? … Can I love someone enough to let them go to grow and mature? Can I love someone enough to stop helping them because I know if I continue to help, I will hold up their evolution?’ Releasing layer after layer of possessiveness and partiality, more and more she came to understand and embody a truly universal love.
As Eileen continued to serve the inner voice throughout her life, her relationship with her guidance changed. ‘When I first heard the voice it was like a very loving father with a child and it would start off with ‘my child’. As time went on I felt tremendous love for this voice, but with separation between voice and myself, and it would start with ‘my beloved child’. I got closer and closer to this voice and eventually it was ‘my beloved’. Then a time came when I could say there was no separation, that God is within me; that God within me is the voice, the highest part of my being.’ ‘Instead of sharing my guidance, I now had to learn to be it.’ She wrote.
Now the community Eileen co-founded continues to evolve and find ways of manifesting the highest potential for our world, alongside millions of fellow workers inspired by her messages. Her deep, persistent dedication to love continues to serve as a guide. And surely one of her greatest gifts is one particular conviction that grew in her throughout the continual changes, miracles and upheavals of her life. As she worked and released fears to bring a more and more universal love into every aspect of her being, her vision expanded. As she grew, she repeated one of her central messages with increasing certainty:
All is very, very well.
Eileen’s books include
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