In 4.5years with the Foundation, I was always struck by older Ecovillage members’ different — not always positive — remembrances of practical encounters with the founders’ M.O.’s. But even saints[mfn]like me [/mfn] aren’t perfect! This year I’m lumping (with all possible respect) my own understandings about them into one ‘anniversary post.’ Wise people say it is important, for a consistent trajectory, to review one’s point of departure more than once in a while. In Findhorn’s case, the three main roots are Eileen&Peter Caddy and Dorothy MacLean.
I didn’t know this trinity personally, but experienced their overall positive CARE in action through the Foundation, the Ecovillage, their (auto)biographies and oeuvre, and gravitating towards those whom I believed best represented their Findhorn Work in action. Of this list the people are the most important, because they are conscious, developing individuals as opposed to conceptually designed entities&things.
Deep down you might be the great guy you used to be. But it’s not who you are ‘underneath’ that defines you; it’s what you do.
— Bruce Wayne’s best friend.
It is people who get things done: their every dream, courage, will, and industry. And when that unique, individual, “right” effort is positively multiplied by fellow dreamers and determined colleagues, I believe that Matthew 18:20 kicks in: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” It is that ought-not-to-be-defined/limited positive multiplier effect, which exists in ecology, biology and physics too.
If it isn’t challenging, nothing will change.
The three Findhorn founders each had their own strengths which harmonised and challenged the other two in multiple ways — the way people-issues (culture, not systems) always will. These three unique personalities and characters in their entirety, formed the first ‘Findhorn’ community together with the powers and virtues of their ‘Group Angel’ and local ‘Landscape Angel.’ And surely all five entities (and maybe more) chafed, scoured, strengthened and polished the founders’ individual beliefs and rough edges over time. This development process entails the real purification of relationships, which in turn is the health-inducing whole-creation at the heart of life’s Mystery School, by way of our falling down and getting up again&again.
All the while, each of the three was attended by her/his own specific higher guides by means of a vivacious spiritual practice. And Spiritual Practice in action is the key to everything in life! That is: patiently training one’s attention and awareness in order to bring one’s mental processes into the right perspective,[mfn]yes I believe there is an objectively “right” goal that can inform our every choice: the “highest and the best for all planetary entities…”[/mfn] and under ever greater voluntary control. This also has the material advantage of causing reduced psychological distress, better emotional health, better cognitive abilities, better physical health, and the further flowering of one’s spiritual experience on this plane.
Self-developing through multiple layers of human Angst (eg. the ‘insurance mentality’) towards true LOVE in action (the ‘unconditional gift mentality’), all three founders followed their unique spiritual practice(s), the fruits of which developed very expansively thanks to the previously mentioned multiplier effect. That unity lasted (physically) from 1952 at Cluny Hotel until 1973 and 1979 (Dorothy’s and Peter’s respective departures from Findhorn). Interestingly in 1971 her inner voice told Eileen to stop sharing her guidance with the community, to encourage each member to attune to their own inner knowing and to act from this deep place within. Until 2006 Eileen continued to quietly carry the community by her presence, prayers and her Foundation[mfn]established 1972[/mfn] workshops and talks.
Nothing can and should be said about the spiritual practice of any member of any community. Are we not, each of us, to be the only competent judge of that practice? However we can speak on the results we actually achieve together — an annual report as it were. Judging those is of course easy to do in a Bull Market, however in adversity we come face to face with the skeletal results of our true principles, of our unadorned character. How can we better accept bald facts? Perhaps — in bad and good times — by admitting
- there’s no going back, ever; we can only confront what’s right in front of us
- it’s our mind rather than our circumstances that determines the quality of our lives
- we can’t ever be happy just focussing on ourselves, because, just as the pandemic hit everyone, so happens to everyone irrespectively[mfn]and even more so when we wield our fear-based separating judgments, condemnations and attacks against ‘our mistaken competitors’ …[/mfn]
- that tending to seek ceaselessly some new state of being while at the same time striving for permanence, is really to expose ourselves to growing (mental turning into physical) frustration
- ordinary pleasures seem the opposite of suffering, but a truly thoughtful person knows empirically that they only bring suffering by being seasonally fleeting and addictive, leaving us even more discontented when we lose them![mfn]There’s an im direct link here to our personal consumption habits (especially of those more or less unhealthy products/services).[/mfn]
In the final analysis how we act, in community-, work- and home-life, in adversity and in prosperity, reveals our true character. We cannot immediately change the external reality, but we can change how we perceive it and thus how we react to it.[mfn]Our core beliefs (which instigate our reactions) create our tomorrow.[/mfn] Organisations, communities, families and individuals must #1 remain positive and loving in all we do (one of Peter Caddy’s core messages). Spring inexplicably comes by every year! #2 Find our own divine inner self and spiritual truth at all costs (one of Eileen Caddy’s core messages). Autumn too, inexplicably follows summer! #3 “In the centre of [our] heart lies the seed of every moment’s new life, that in increasing beauty radiates out, when [our] life does all to adorn that centre” (one of Dorothy MacLean’s core messages; from her book ‘Come Closer’ published in 2007).
[vertical-spacer]Happy Labour (ie. work) Day, Beltane, and beginning of the Month of Mary. May this month, when all nature shows obvious signs of life, stand witness to our continued respect for and honouring of all life-givers, and our active participation in all life-giving processes!