“Scattered around the Earth are untold thousands of individuals, small groups and communities quietly creating a society based upon the unity of the human family and co-creation with the forces of nature. Part of our work at Findhorn is to link with a wide range of these centres, organisations and individuals to reveal an emerging pattern that we call the ‘network of light’.”
Reading these words recently in the Faces of Findhorn, published in 1980, I had a strong feeling this was the voice of my friend Ralph White, who I’d met two years earlier at the Holistic Centres Gathering in Hawaii. I sent him an email and he wrote straight back saying, “Yes, I recognize those words. They’re what I felt all those years ago and they’ve actually been proved true. It’s a wonderful thing!”
After a few years of living in the Findhorn Foundation in the late ‘70s, working in Cluny Maintenance with Stan Stanfield and focalising programmes, Ralph moved to the States. There he was involved in the early years of the Omega Institute before co-founding the New York Open Center, the largest urban holistic centre in the US.
In the mid ‘80s Ralph was one of the initiators of the Holisic Centres Gathering, which began with participants from the Open Center, Esalen and Omega. “A clear sense quickly emerged that there was genuine value in the Centers meeting in a relaxed spirit to exchange insights, information and best practices,” Ralph recalled. “There was a feeling of mutual support and friendship as Centers emerged increasingly as focal points for the new holistic, spiritual and ecological worldview.
The guidance of Eileen Caddy, co-founder of the Findhorn Foundation, said, “More souls are becoming aware of what is taking place and in these centres of light the love within each individual is free to grow and develop in the right environment. That is why at this time you will find more and more centres of light being established all over the world.”
In 2010 I attended the annual Gathering for the first time, met Ralph and was inspired to return to Findhorn after my Experience Week the previous year. The Findhorn Foundation is approaching its 50th birthday and I spoke to Stan and Ralph about hosting the Gathering here in 2012. Plans for this unfolded and in the meantime I attended the Gathering in California in 2011.
Feeling inspired that the Centres Gathering was an important part of the physical manifestation of the Network of Light, I read an extract from Eileen’s autobiography to the group, “We started to send out love radiances to people or groups around the world…It was becoming obvious that we were part of a bigger picture.”
Peter Caddy, co-founder of the Findhorn Foundation, first heard about the network of light when he met Anne Edwards in 1953. Peter recalled, “Prickles ran up and down my spine; I knew we’d met for a purpose. We were told in guidance that we’d been drawn together from the opposite ends of the earth because we had a lot of work to do.”
Anne was the focal point for a group near Chicago and told Peter about the network. Guided in meditation, they located and telepathically linked up with centres of light throughout the world.
Later Eileen received the guidance, “Get a globe and start marking the centres on it. You are part of a tremendous network and each member needs to feel part of the whole. This is a network of light. The strength comes through the linking up of the centres.”
Peter said, “Our early work at Findhorn was entirely on the inner planes, linking up with the network of light, tuning into centres twice a day, receiving visions and telepathic transmissions… it’s very much a communications network as well as a network of energies.”
They linked with 370 centres sharing information about the world situation. Dorothy Maclean, co-founder of the Findhorn Foundation, found the easiest group to contact was a tribe of aborigines in Australia, “They were always right there, as if their consciousness was constantly open to non-physical realms.”
Their work was done in absolute faith. “Our only confirmation that these centres existed was an inner knowing. Sometimes I received visions. One was a group of businessmen in Turkey,” wrote Eileen. “I saw them quite clearly dressed in formal suits around a central figure.”
Katherine Collis, who arrived in 1970, said, “The founder’s years of inner linking with individuals, groups and centres around the planet created a deep sense of the wider community of the consciousness of spirit emerging and radiating energy. There was a knowing that some of us would meet at some point.”
And indeed they did, after an American hitchhiker called Stephan told the manager of a Turkish youth hostel he was off to visit Findhorn next. The amazed manager had been a member of the Turkish group. He said they’d received this word Findhorn, but had no idea what it was. They couldn’t find it on the map it was so small.
Stephen came to Findhorn, and Stan remembered, “One evening a tall, handsome man with a deep voice, sang a Turkish song of greeting to the community, and particularly Eileen, from their community, as a representative from the group who had met on the inner planes.”
The network of light evolved into a conscious outward link. Peter believed, “It is very much our work to be a point of synthesis, to be able to link these centres together to see where we can unite, explore what each centre has to give to the whole. Each centre has something different that we can learn from, that they can give to us, and we can give to them.”
Peter and Eileen began to travel and give presentations in different countries about community life and their vision for the future. “Outreach was always a fundamental purpose of the Findhorn Foundation”, explained Rosie Turnbull. “Some people are called to be the pillars of the community and some are called to be here for a few years and then share the message of Findhorn with the world. Our Outreach Education diary lists Findhorn-related events and courses taking place across the world.”
Peter also felt the importance of connecting with the United Nations, whose major purpose is to be a unifying force in the world. In 1997, the Findhorn Foundation was approved for formal association with the United Nations. The new status was a sign of a great maturing of the community, which continues to provide a contemporary and evolving model of sustainable living.
The words of Ralph White remain true, “Each group’s vision is a facet in the emergence of a collective new image of planetary humanity.”
If you’re involved in a holistic center and would like to attend the 2012 Gathering, to share insights, challenges and experiences in a supportive learning environment, please click here for more details or email the co-ordinator of the Gathering firstname.lastname@example.org