Our newly formed in early 2020 Permaculture and Spirituality group chose to read a book The Magic of Findhorn by Paul Hawken at an advice of a friend. We were already several weeks into the Free Permaculture online course, just started a great Permaculture Design Course posted on youtube by Oregon State University and several other books and video series, including the Spirit Science youtube channel and some materials of the famous “sleeping prophet” and the “father of holistic medicine” Edgar Cayce. The Magic of Findhorn performed its miracle on us and produced the greenhouse effect in our group. We got inspired to share our notes about this amazing 343-page book, related videos, photos, various present day documentaries, and the current Findhorn Foundation online event that already started and continues until April 8, 2021. Our group encourages you to save the link to this post and come back to it at least several times! – With love, Natalia on behalf of our Permaculture and Spirituality group
“People settle down into the greenhouse, operating in very ordinary ways, making pottery, weeding the lettuce patch, cooking lunches when they notice internal beanstalks they did not expect, have no way of controlling, and for which they have no reference… It is as if you had slept and have now awakened to find a new world. Everything looks different and beautiful.”The Magic of Findhorn: The full, fascinating true story of a miraculous community where a modern garden of Eden grows, where people are reborn, and faith, love, and energy triumph. An eyewitness account by Paul Hawken, 1975, p. 317.
We had no idea what to expect from The Magic of Findhorn book after reading the introductory description of 40-pound cabbages, 8-foot delphiniums, and roses blooming in the snow – all short distance from the Arctic Circle in poor sandy soils in the north of Scotland. Mentioning of the legends and fairy tales about talking with plants, animals, and other nature spirits in the beginning of the book didn’t make much sense.
Surprisingly we got promptly “sucked into” seemingly unrelated histories of the main characters for about half the book. Peter Caddy, for example, who later in his life became the co-founder of the Findhorn community, in the beginning had nothing to do with growing vegetables and gardening. Up until his mid-forties, he served in the Army and then held a hotel management position. The gardening and community became an organic outcome of his spiritual journey – not unlike what happened with the other Findhorn co-founders and its many visitors.
Following an early introduction of psychic phenomenon by his parents, Peter Caddy continued his esoteric explorations through studies of Rosicrucian teachings in 1930s, training with Dr. Sullivan and Aureolis, and preparing and leading an expedition to Himalayas to meet the legendary and elusive Holy Man Ram Sareek Singh during the World War II who became Peter’s inspiration ever since their one meeting.
If something was “right”, it had to be right on all levels. It was no use talking about “love” unless it was reflected in every waking moment of your life. It was no use talking about “spirituality” unless you could demonstrate it. It was no use having your head in the clouds unless you could bring heaven down to earth in your daily life.Ram Sareek Singh (Himalayan Holy Man) quoted in The Magic of Findhorn, 1975, p. 79-80
During the same trip to Tibet, Peter Caddy witnessed a dying world of monasteries. He connected with the knowledge that “there was no religion that could bring God to man, that there was no race that would bring about peace on earth, that there was no culture that would be the pattern for a new civilization on earth… The Kingdom was within, and all wisdom and understanding must come from the God within, through each individual, not from the outside.” (p. 93)
Soon after these revelations, Peter Caddy “accidentally” met an informal spiritual teacher and the daughter of evangelist John George Govan, Sheena Govan, who later became a direct early influence on what would become the Findhorn Foundation. Of course by this time Peter already knew that “there are no random actions or occurrences. Life is stuffed with meaning, bursting like a potato sack.” (p. 72) Peter started calling this Jungian Synchronicity mixed with a Bucky Fullerism (“God does more with less – simultaneously”) as Divine Economy.
Prior to connecting to their inner Source, Peter Caddy and his wife Eileen went through a rather painful period of letting go of inner attachment to various resentments and inconsistencies under Sheena Govan’s guidance in the late 1950s. Eileen had a lot of intense suffering and hateful thoughts playing in her head like a broken record just before the voice in her heart was able to push out her mental chatter and turn it off. She heard the voice asking her to “love me with all your heart, with all your soul, and all your mind.” (p. 139) Eileen immediately connected with complete and utter stillness and peace and accepted everything. The whole of her life seemed perfect and one. From then on she regularly did her meditation, entered into this inner zone of stillness and peace and directly communicated with the Divine Source.
Over the following six-seven years, Peter and Eileen tapped into this inner knowing in their daily life while running a large luxury hotel. They did not have any experience managing a hotel of any kind before and constantly “consulted” with the voice within. These years served as a training in group living and handling people. Instead of treating hotel staff as disposables, like majority of other hotels did in late 1950s, they created a family feeling within the staff. Clientele appreciated this and returned year after year. The national press started calling it the “Heavenly Hotel”. As a “reward” from the hotel owners, Peter and Eileen were reassigned to turn around a run down depressing hotel in another area of Britain with a reputation of being a Graveyard of Managers. After the unsuccessful attempt to instill a spirit of love and joy into this place, they were fired by the company and asked to leave.
Arrival of Peter and Eileen with their children and friends to a caravan park in Findhorn in 1963 marked the beginning of the famous Findhorn community that was also built with the guidance of Eileen’s daily messages from the Divine Source. Another co-founder of the community and a long-time friend of the Caddys, Dorothy Maclean, had a deeply rooted feeling of everything being alive, including soil, season, subtle and cosmic influences of the moon, planet, and stars. “You are a life force moving about other life forces… You are receding from the self-centered world… and are entering vast new worlds where life is one,” Dorothy received a message in one of her meditations in the spring that she did after following a guidance to cooperate in the garden by thinking about the Nature Spirits of the clouds, rain, various vegetables, and other physical forms with sympathy and understanding.
Since pea was Dorothy’s favorite vegetable, she thought specifically about the pea spirit in one of her morning meditations. Almost immediately she received a response explaining how humans usually take everything for granted without giving any thanks, which makes the spirits strangely hostile. The communications were coming through not from a spirit attached to one particular pea plant or tomato bush but rather a spirit which was the plan, the mold, and architect of all peas on the earth. Dorothy called them Devas, the spiritual stewards of the planet, and they represented archetypal thoughts or energies.
Over time, Dorothy followed Peter’s questioning and connected with the Landscape Angel (a “spokesperson” for all Devas) who told them how to prepare the soil, the compost, the watering, the plants, etc. Devas and other nature spirits expressed their delight seeing how Dorothy, Peter, and others put into action what they suggested. They advised to plant as many varieties of vegetables as possible.
At least once a day Dorothy initiated a contact which would give precise directions from Tomato Deva, Spinach Deva, etc. In many cases, these instructions were in conflict with orthodox gardening practices, for example, “it is right to have plants close together, because everything is intensified in the garden.” With an introduction of each new plant into the garden, Dorothy would welcome it and contact the individual Deva of the species.
All the gardeners were told that the most important thing they could do was to radiate from within a sense of love and appreciation to the plants and that in this way every single person there could participate in the creation of the garden.The Magic of Findhorn, 1975, p. 185
As the life forces in the soil were built up, the plants increased their resistance to insects and wilting. With eating home grown food, glowing and abundant health descended upon all members of the Findhorn community.
Over the years, a pattern emerged in the messages from Devas. They emphasized one thing that man has to do to reverse the trend of the planetary destruction: recognize within himself the Divinity and wholeness of which he is part. In that recognition, the distinction between the outer and inner is erased and vanishes. (p. 193) “Consciousness is an open book for all to share with us, for we are so much one that what we know is not separate from what our neighbor knows.” (p. 196)
Everything in nature is cooperation. After three years of cooperation with Devas, the Findhorn had a third force entering the garden in 1966 – the world of the Nature Spirits overlighted by the god Pan. It was introduced to Findhorn founders by Robert Ogilvie Crombie (Roc).
During his college years, Roc received a diagnosis of a congenital heart defect that enforced his sedentary lifestyle and stimulated even more mental development in both sciences and arts. In addition to his warm, friendly, and generous demeanor and charm, Roc sometimes unnerved people by his stillness, patience, innocence, and openness, especially when he spoke of the spirits of the Nature Kingdom with awe and wonder.
During one of his walks at Edinburgh Royal Botanic Garden, Roc sat on a bench under a large beech tree leaning his shoulders and head on the tree trunk and becoming aware of its sap movement and even slow growth of the roots. An odd feeling of exhilaration came over him that something was going to happen. The surroundings looked intensely beautiful. Suddenly he noticed a small three-foot high figure dancing around a tree not far away. Roc pinched himself because he couldn’t believe that he saw a real boy with shaggy legs and cloven hooves, pointed chin and ears, and two little horns on his forehead. After dancing around a couple of trees, this incredible being sat in front of people on a bench and examined them, then sat cross-legged in front of Roc. When Roc said hello to this being, the faun got startled, jumped and asked if Roc could see him. From there, a series of meetings and conversations with faun Kurmos without saying words aloud continued for many years with a wonderful sense of companionship. Kurmos shared that his work was to help the growth of the trees. When Kurmos visited Roc’s apartment with his 7,000 books, he was perplexed at the explanation why people need books at all and commented that “you can get all the knowledge you want by simply wanting it.” (p. 211)
A few months later one evening in April 1966, Roc crossed the Meadows on the south side of Edinburgh castle and walked into an extraordinary “atmosphere” in which he felt like he had no clothes on and in a medium that was denser than air but not as dense as water with tingling of pins and needles of an electric shock. A figure taller than Roc, a large faun radiating a tremendous sort of power asked if Roc was afraid of him before letting him know that he is the god Pan and engaging in a conversation about man and nature spirits.
During another meeting in May 1966, Pan said: “I am the servant of Almighty God, and I and my subjects are willing to come to the aid of mankind in spite of the way he has treated us and abused nature, if he affirms belief in us and asks for our help.” A few months later in Sept. 1966, their trust for each other resulted in Pan’s demonstration how the world looks and feels like from the nature point of view. Pan “walked into” Roc and became one with him. Roc saw the surroundings through his eyes. The woods became alive with myriads of beings – elementals, nymphs, dryads, fauns, elves, gnomes, fairies from tiny to 3-4 ft. making Roc feel as if he was outside time and space (in the Now) – feeling joy and delight and peace at the same time. Most were dancing as they worked and responded to Pan’s pipes melody.
We may think of the Devas as angelic beings, and it seems that they design the archetypal pattern for each species and channel down the required energies for its manifestation on earth. The Nature Spirits, on the other hand, may be regarded as the builders. Working according to the archetypal design, they form and build up what may be called the ‘etheric counterpart’ or ‘body’ of the plant from the energies channeled down by the Devas.The Magic of Findhorn, 1975, p. 223
Cooperating with Nature Spirits and convincing them of reasonableness of human-proposed nature modifications (not simply for expediency) would transform our horticulture and agriculture in accordance with our spiritual ideals discarding any harmful methods that were forced by humans on nature without cooperation with these divine forces.
Similar to our own spiritual “light bodies”, elves, gnomes, and fairies working in the garden also have a nebulous mist-like vortex of energy in constant motion glowing with light of one or more color of the rainbow (without mixing them) in a liquid-like flow that forms changing patters of incredible beauty (usually not visible by our eyes). This energy with intelligence can become visible to us when we are receptive to this idea and have positive intentions toward it. To communicate with us these thought forms often take on an etheric body built from something like the etheric shell of the Earth. An elemental entity wishing to assume a body can ‘put on’ any of the thought forms from our tales and appear personified as that particular being – Greek or Norse god, elf, gnome, faun, fairy, and so on. (p.227)
Man lost the sensitivity and awareness of these beings in order to develop his intellect. The time has now come when the sensitivity is gradually being renewed, a time in which man will retain his intellect while heightening his awareness. The being referred in tales as Pan is not restricted to one place. The word “pan” means “all” and “everywhere”. It is a universal, cosmic energy which is constantly found throughout the whole of nature. He could appear personified in many different places at the same time.
It is important for the future of mankind that belief in the Nature Spirits and their god Pan is reestablished and that they are seen in their true light and not misunderstood. These beings, in spite of the innumerable outrages man has committed against nature, are only too pleased to help him if he will seek and ask for their cooperation. They must be believed in with complete sincerity and faith. They must never be taken for granted and should be given love and thanks for the work they do. With such cooperation, what could be achieved would seem miraculous to many. It has been sought and asked for at Findhorn, and the results have been given.The Magic of Findhorn, 1975, p. 229
Traveling throughout the land, Roc feels that the Nature Spirits are withdrawing from plants, farms, and gardens. The plants draw nourishment from soil, air, and water, interacting within a complex relationship of bacteria, microorganisms, and animals. Similar to orphan children who suffer emotional and spiritual deprivation without parents, the plants in factory farm of agribusiness, mechanical and chemicalized forestry, or any situation where plants are manipulated, forced, and exploited lose their “parent” Nature Spirits who are withdrawing from these situations. Like orphans, these plants are weakening, become sterile, and get infested by insects. The same “vital” energy is withdrawn from man at the same time. “Unless there is cooperation between men and plants, man destroys himself.” (p. 251)
To have dominion means to understand completely, to have sympathy, to love, to enter into a state of wholeness and perfect harmony with all of creation. Roc’s introduction of Nature Kingdom and Pan to Findhorn resulted in Pan’s advice to introduce a “wild area” in the garden to serve as a sanctuary for the Nature Spirits, an area that was allowed to grow naturally without any tending.
Following the guidance to make the garden a place of great beauty, Peter, Eileen, Dorothy, and the Findhorn team purchased additional land and planted trees, bushes, and flowers. A disaster struck when Peter cut the overgrown gorse in the “wild area” during the spring bloom instead of winter. These blossoms were homes of the elves who became homeless as a result. Only Roc’s interference and explaining that this was a mistake in learning cooperation convinced the elves to return to the garden.
Another incident involved ordering and planting 600 deciduous trees of southern varieties that in ordinary circumstances had no chance of surviving in Northern climate and poor soil at Findhorn. Nature Spirits immersed them into “life’s elements” energy/radiation, especially around the roots. Roc thanked them for this special effort, and not one of the trees died. In joy and exaltation, everyone in the garden knew now that in cooperation and harmony with these Kingdoms, miracles could be accomplished.
Since establishing this cooperation in the garden, a great many spiritual leaders, seekers, organic gardeners, and other experts visited Findhorn, tasted the abundant vegetables, and saw the vibrancy of a great variety of flowers.
They are literally demonstrating that the desert can blossom as the rose… There is virtually no limit if Factor “X” can be brought into play on top of our organic methods. This phenomenon is so remarkable that it calls for open-minded and unprejudiced investigation.Sir George Trevelyan wrote in a memo after staying in Findhorn at Easter in 1968. – The Magic of Findhorn, 1975, p. 265-266
Findhorn became known as the “place to go,” a spiritual center. The publication in 1968 of God Spoke to Me by Eileen Caddy sent out tendrils all over Britain and the world. In 1970 the first booklet describing the garden was published and included pieces by Peter, Roc, and Dorothy. The flowers continued to grow, the trees to flourish, the vegetables to nourish, but from thence forward, Findhorn was not to be a garden of plants, it was to be a garden of people. The lessons of the plant world were to be brought into the world of souls, spirits, and beings. (p. 283)
David Spangler arrived to Findhorn in early summer of 1970 together with Myrtle with whom he counseled and gave lectures in California. They shared a dream of starting a community or an educational center that would be based on their spiritual teachings. David had seen New Age communes and communities forming and failing across the United States. They seemed to have “old age” qualities: egoism, competition, visionary impoverishment, lack of discipline and faith. Findhorn was different.
Peter and Eileen Caddy read David’s booklet about the Christ Experience in the New Age in 1967 and expected his visit since then. David had his first experience of oneness with everything in the Universe in his childhood and vividly remembered at age seven a sense of the eternality and different consciousness in which he was both the stars and the grass without limits. He and Myrtle intended to visit Findhorn for five days but within hours became aware of powerful vibrations of creativity and new direction that were grounded in the community where God was a living presence, a guiding reality joining with man in a creative partnership to bring Heaven down to Earth. The five days were extended to three years.
Within six months, the community doubled in size to 45 people, with young people outnumbering all the others. Some performed, others did arts, several formed a vocal group The New Troubadours that wrote and recorded forty songs. Some of their recordings can now be found on youtube.
David Spangler lectured several times a week in an adjacent to Findhorn park, and this “College” series became the basis for tapes and publications.
The unchecked growth of the community in the next two years attracted over 120 people to Findhorn, and personality conflicts and organizational challenges started to creep in. Myrtle’s tireless sessions of quiet counseling and sensible advice saved the day by bridging the gap between imbalanced youth and older generation. The almost-bankruptcy of the community stimulated the emergence of a new structure. Departments became “groups,” and heads of groups became “focalizers.” Unity was sought through group “attunement.” The creative burst that almost tore it apart passed, and Findhorn became a roaring community with 12 gardeners, 170 people, and a large international mailing list. Its story was featured on BBC and other media. After Peter Tompkins published extracts of his book The Secret Life of Plants in Harper’s Magazine, word began to circulate. Findhorn and lectures of 28-year old David Spangler also inspired William Irwin Thompson to include a whole chapter about Findhorn in his book, Passages About Earth.
To avoid the potential for “devotional patterns,” David Spangler returned to California to form with Myrtle and ex-Findhornians, the Lorian Association to carry out educational work oriented to the New Age. Lorian Association has grown since its establishment in 1970s and is still led by David Spangler and his colleagues (more information is on the Lorian website). Lorian is one of the major organizers of the Fairy Congress. The latest gathering happened online in January 2021, and its recordings are available for the registered online community members.
David had a sense that the same new vibrations reflecting the new patterns of thought enveloping the whole planet can create a profound sense of discomfort and conflict in those who resist and also give an overwhelming sense of harmony and peace to those who accept these new energies. It is a new myth for man, projected into the collective consciousness, that will ultimately be transformed into reality.
The institutions of the old culture are dead branches and cast-off leaves, while the tree remains, stripped to its trunk, seemingly dormant while renewing itself from the depths below. The old rots and becomes humus, soil for new growth.The Magic of Findhorn, 1975, p. 302
David Spangler from early on in his life connected with a presence called Limitless Love and Truth that contains all Beings in our universe. David was revealed that this presence attracted new energies from beyond our system (“beyond the stars”), and we unite with these energies internally within the consciousness of each individual. The New Age is a seed point within every consciousness, and the exploration begins whenever you wish – without waiting for a sign like a cataclysm, or Edgar Cayce land shifts, or a steaming Atlantis rising from the ocean.
Any form is a reflection of consciousness (not the other way around). The recognition of the divinity within all makes the authoritarianism and pyramidal patterns of control and leadership obsolete. In its place, a synergy emerges – a state of being, a social state, an energy state in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Instead of sublimation of an individual to the “highest good” (in old sacrificial modes), synergy does not see the highest good beyond the individual but sees each of us embodying that highest good and bringing that embodiment into the greater whole, thereby enhancing it and the individuals belonging to it. No one unit of the whole wins out over the others and no one unit loses out to the others, but everyone gains; and as a result the whole is stronger, more efficient, better organized, and more life-fulfilling than it would otherwise be.
To accomplish a greater oneness of social synergy (greater whole) between two or more individuals requires a constant reexamination of oneself and of one’s awareness and attunement – deep inner reflection and demonstration of Christ Consciousness (or higher spiritual laws). The resulting joy is not in “we can do this better” but in knowing that it can be done by any group anywhere in the world.
David’s advice about achieving this: “Re-cognize. Know again.” There must be this openness of consciousness identifying itself with the divine flow within – free to be the living process of the Divine in the moment and allowing everything else to take place accordingly. We are not an effect of the process and not a product of the process. We ARE the process.
It is a time when man comes home to his spirit and from that point accepts his crown and throne as the steward of life and the king of life, the king of his own life, and takes his place as a creative partner with God. Then we recognize that the change is the same thing as unfoldment of what is within us and the reorganization of matter to clear the way for that unfoldment and to allow it to express itself perfectly as a dance of being “one.” (p. 309-311)
Many Findhorn visitors admitted that they didn’t believe that people could open up to each other and share their very essence so easily and lovingly. Jesus is seen here as an experience of Christ consciousness, of giving oneself over to Christ. In other words, Jesus is not somebody nailed to the cross but a joyous messenger of God, a person who embodies and signifies transformation without requirements for guru, holy figures, dogmas, meditations, or physical exercises. Spiritual teachers at Findhorn are all spirit: Devas, Pan, Father Andrew, David’s contact “John”, the Archangel Michael, Saint-Germain, space brothers, and so on. The overall approach is both eyes on heaven, both feet on the ground, or “Bring heaven down on earth.” (p. 316) The result of this “greenhouse effect” of rapid inner growth is often unnoticed until unexpected “inner beanstalks” sprout and throw people for ecstatic loops of tears or laughter. Eileen Caddy had seen this often and received a guidance describing this process.
Be at peace. It is the opening of the heart center which makes you feel everything so deeply. You find that tears flow easily? These are the tears of joy – let them flow. They are the tears of recognition of Truth and Love Divine. This brings a feeling of elation, of thanksgiving, of a new and deep understanding. It is as if you had slept and have now awakened to find a new world. Everything looks different and beautiful, as if you went to sleep in winter when everything lay dormant and awakened to spring in its full glory.Guidance received by Eileen Caddy describing the process of transformation in The Magic of Findhorn, 1975, p. 317
The energy field that all visitors feel and notice at Findhorn is described by some as “love,” by others as “Christ energies,” or changes in the “etheric web” of the planet, or “being home” (comfortable and joyful) with such a diverse collection of people. The message from Master Rakoczi transmitted through David Spangler stated: “You are each here to demonstrate the reality of the spiritual nature of man and of its possibilities and potentials released through an attuned consciousness and through action guided by intuition and love and wisdom.” (p. 321) Here is an example of the Findhorn Foundation brochure from 2015.
In his Iona Report, David Spangler introduced a concept of “power points” connected together by “ley lines” all of which are the extensions of an “etheric web” encircling the globe. Just as the body has certain centers, chakras, and acupuncture pressure points where this energy concentrates and accumulates, the earth is dotted with power points where the etheric energy is grounded into the earth and where two dimensions meet. Because the veil is thinnest at this interface, man can most easily experience contact with other forms of consciousness there. At these points, the etheric energy can be used and transformed by human beings into vital energies of growth and development.
David uses an analogy of converting a home from coal to electricity, and how different fittings and devices have to be used for receiving a new kind of energy. Tuning the “radio” dial of internal consciousness to the “channel” of love, peace, and harmony can easily transform a regular office manager, minister, architect, plumber, screenwriter, nurse, electrician, physician or any other worker into this New Age energy consciousness. The personal revelations are enhanced by the greater whole at this new level, and unfoldment speeds up without the need or requirement for full comprehending of what is happening spontaneously and with full faith.
Anxious mothers and fathers who have flown in from the States to investigate their daughters’ latest folly in Findhorn have been transformed within hours and have left weeks later more dedicated than their offspring. Everyone is expected to be his own priest and king – there are no subjects, followers, or chelas. There is nothing to preach, nothing to defend, nothing to hold on to. It is not what they do – it is the manner in which everything is done – with the extraordinary care, love, and dedication – living daily lives, serving the whole, knowing that God and they are one in the deep and silent peacefulness (stillness). (p. 330-331)
These centers are developing around people and places relatively uncontaminated by the thought forces, energies, and patterns of the past that have inertia. None of the individuals decided on anything, they co-created it, seeing with clarity the vision that existed there, and acting as one with the emergent organism to bring it to life and fruition. The world of plants brought the world of spirit into a dimension that could be comprehended. “You cannot describe Findhorn, you must experience it.” (Peter Caddy, p. 330)
Additional Resources from Findhorn Foundation in present time
Look within. All starts in the individual. As you change your consciousness to love, peace, harmony, and unity, the consciousness of the whole world will change.Guidance through Eileen Caddy quoted in the documentary The Change Starts within You
Can anyone connect with Angelic and Nature Spirit realms? Please feel free to open up to this idea with the help of Dorothy Maclean and other authors featured in the documentary Opening to Angels (1 hr).
If you are ready to “jump in” to a mystical journey of self discovery, please feel free to watch the Findhorn Foundation documentary A New Story for Humanity (1:42 hrs) and participate in the Living the New Story online experience from September 3, 2020 to April 8, 2021. Unfold your own myth and open to the magical, the miraculous.