You are only new to this world, so just take my hand, & we’ll tip toe to the edge & there we shall look at how beautiful it all is until you are ready to take flight.
I had a lot of first impressions of the Findhorn community. One was of a couple of hundred really nice, caring, thoughtful people of all ages and nationalities, who were having a lot of fun, and who were earnestly and deeply committed to a shared vision of what was possible for humanity and the world.
Another impression, soon after I arrived, was formed in a community-wide conference about setting a path for the next year: It was “OMG.”
I remember sitting in my small discussion group with my head on my knees, thinking “Where am I? These are the same discussions about difficult interpersonal human interactions in community and relationship that I just left in Chicago!”
And, over time I found, even in the spiritual world, something that I had noticed in the political movement—there were some people who had learned the jargon, spiritual jargon in this case, but who didn’t always embody what they talked about.
But at the same time I could feel the truth of the vision of community, and partnering with the earth, and learning a sense of personal sovereignty, and I loved that. It felt alive in my heart. There were many good people there. It was a good place to belong to. Being a naturally kind, honest, intelligent, creative, responsible, sensitive and thoughtful person :), I was good at living there, held key positions, and was able to make a contribution… while the place turned me inside out and rewired me completely.
Findhorn was built on following the inner voice of God. Lots of people there were having experiences of hearing inner guidance from “higher” beings, seeing fairies and nature spirits, having visions. None of that ever happened to me. I always wondered if I was just spiritually slow. Or…did spirituality live in me in a different way?? It felt right to be there, but…
When I had been at Findhorn for not quite a year, I had an experience that changed how I framed my being there, and my whole life, really. I was leading a discussion among 20 or so visiting guests from all over the world who were participating in what was called the Findhorn Experience Week. A community member volunteered each week to be a sort of panel of one to tell the guests what it was like to live there, and how the place was organized, and the spiritual principles on which it functioned.
So there I was, talking blithely away about all that, when I had a funny sort of out-of-body experience of being over here to the side of myself watching myself talk. This disembodied self was saying, “Huh. You sound like you know what you are talking about. I know you don’t totally believe what you are saying. If you really believe that what you are saying is true, you need to commit to it fully and find out how it is true for you. If you are just going to be saying the words in the right way, that sounds good but it is not enough and you should leave.” Ooops. Busted.
I thought a lot about that experience. The next afternoon I went to the community sanctuary, where everyone met each morning to meditate. At this hour no one was there but me. I sat down and said, out loud but quietly, to whoever unseen presences might have been listening… “OK. I don’t know what this means. But I agree to be here. As fully as I can. With the intention of finding out how this spirituality stuff works for me. Help me to learn this. I promise to pay attention.” Nothing happened. I sat there for awhile, and then got up and left.
I made my way down to the shop at the center of the community . As I walked in, I saw a stack of newspapers on the counter by the cash register. The top paper had the headline in huge letters “JUMP INTO THE UNKNOWN!”
I went to sit on the grass by the trailer (British term is caravan…you probably know that!) I was living in. All around me there were baby grasshoppers, jumping wildly in all directions. I sat watching them, marveling that they could just take off into space like that, with no plan, no destination, just a lot of intention to move on up, and unconscious trust that when they landed it would be the right place, the earth would be there to receive them, and they would be able to scramble into a steady place to jump off from again.
In the weeks and months and years after that lots of things turned upside down in my life, slid sideways, changed. I did my best to…hmmm…as a friend of mine recently said about me…float a few inches off the ground, with a smile and slightly closed eyelids, pursuing (my) own path.
I am still doing that!