By conference convener, Stephanie Mines.
“Evolution is the natural landscape where salvation is situated”
— Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
At the Findhorn Foundation’s Co-Creative Spirituality gathering in Sept 2018, I discovered a new roadmap to hope through heightened communication with subtle and natural realms that wait eagerly for our invitation to lend us their remarkable assistance. Most revelatory, was the recognition that I had been friends with the subtle realms my entire life. As a neuroscientist, I understand this from the standpoint of the expanded consciousness that unfolds from a variety of causes, including trauma, and allows humans to experience spiritual dimensions, sometimes very early in life. This connection with less obvious aspects of consciousness can be called intuition or imagination as it evolves. At times of crisis the contact with subtle resources seems more accessible because the need for it is stronger. Crisis and catastrophe promote humility and evoke a cry for help. The lament is heard and there is a response. All relationships flourish with communication and erode when communication is halted or non-existent, including spiritual relationships.
Crisis helped Findhorn Community founder Dorothy MacLean become a pioneer in making contact with the living spirits of the natural world. She, along with Eileen and Peter Caddy, were facing a turning point. Parked in their caravan on sandy soil with limited income, they needed a source of sustainability. Dorothy employed the inner fine tuning she had been cultivating to perceive the nature spirits that she called “devas” who were ready and available to help. Thus the abundance of the gardens of the Findhorn Foundation was born.
This story is now well known but in need of highlighting and reframing at this turning point in human and planetary history. Despite human-caused violations of the natural world, the forgiving and generous spirits of nature are ready and available to assist us in reconnecting with them to restore the innate alliance between the human and subtle worlds. Gaia’s empathic and sensitive emissaries are among the forces that motivated both Co-Creative Spirituality (CCS) and Climate Change & Consciousness: Our Legacy for the Earth (CCC19). The two missions are the right and left hands of the same wondrous being named Gaia. Together they are one message about the meeting of science and spirituality that culminates in the very title of Climate Change & Consciousness. Out of this fusion comes Our Legacy for the Earth.
Co-Creative Spirituality and the Power of Curiosity
Co-Creative Spirituality is really not as esoteric as it sounds. It is not reserved just for those educated about the subtle realms. It only requires entering a state of inquiry and receptivity. Above all else it is about authentic, open hearted, transparent communication. Those who speak truth to themselves will be able to feel and speak truth to the subtle realms. Indeed, it is very difficult to separate the insights of our most brilliant scientific minds from the experiences of spiritual adepts. The only difference is in the language and syntax.
The parallel discoveries of Dorothy MacLean and Rachel Carson are cases in point, demonstrating how access to interspecies communication is available and flows out of true openness and curiosity. Curiosity is driven by the neurohormone dopamine that lessens and sometimes even antidotes fear. It is not restricted to those who practice meditation or isolate themselves either in practices or study. True curiosity is free of expectations and foregone conclusions about anything. You could say it requires the ability and willingness to enter a state of pure listening and deep presence. This is the core of the scientific method.
Rachel Carson (left) and Dorothy MacLean (right)
The sixth guiding principle of Climate Change & Consciousness (see here) says that everyone attending will have an opportunity to establish and cultivate a direct, intimate and personal relationship with the natural world. Out of this connection comes a key component of the “consciousness” we reference. This consciousness is individual and personal as well as collective. It is an embodied experience of our essential birthright to be in kinship with the natural world. When we feel we are at the end of our rope in terms of accelerating climate change, it is to the natural world and the spiritual dimensions that we turn in all our vulnerability for real help and guidance. Those who do are met with surprising resilience and mysterious shifts that seem to occur of their own accord.
World Crisis and Spiritual Collaboration
While Dorothy MacLean was investigating formative energies and the architecture of the devic worlds Rachel Carson was integrating the implications of what she had written in The Sea Around Us and Silent Spring. Rachel Carson knew that the world was at risk because of environmental contaminants. She had influenced many people, like my husband environmental attorney Bob Yuhnke who told me that reading The Sea Around Us as an adolescent ignited environmental activism as his passion and direction in life. Rachel Carson would probably not say that she communicated with nature spirits, but she was nevertheless unquestionably directed by strong inner guidance that came to her as a very young girl to be a voice for the protection and preservation of the natural world. Rachel Carson wrote her first essay on the environment at the age of 13. She is described by one of her biographers (Sarah Fabiny) as a child who considered all creatures her friends and who spent long hours alone in the Pennsylvania countryside where she was born.
Like Rachel Carson, Dorothy MacLean was not someone who sought the limelight. She was born ten years after Rachel Carson in southern Ontario, Canada but her life led her to explore first the outer and then the inner worlds. The two had insights so powerful that they were compelled to overcome shyness and share their discoveries with a general audience. They could not do otherwise. They spoke from their embodied experiences and they were simply and directly themselves, without pretension of any kind. They were not only in vibrant contact with the natural world; they were intent on communicating about it to others. Their audiences encompassed the whole world. Each, in their own ways, expressed the guidance to include everyone and to avoid being selective.
These courageous women tapped into the messages of Mother Earth from what appears to be different perspectives but in fact they were instruments of one voice: the voice of Gaia. The same can be said of other scientists and spiritualists like Thomas Berry, Teilhard de Chardin and Jane Goodall, to name a few. Both Co-Creative Spirituality and Climate Change & Consciousness are in good company in building a movement that acknowledges how humans can work hand-in-hand with other levels of consciousness to save humanity from the disaster it has created. That movement will reach its apex at Climate Change & Consciousness in April 2019. The voices in the room that are illustrated by the sectors demarcated on the CCC19 website are not the only ones that will be present. Representatives of all the dimensions that wait for contact with us will also attend out of their love for humanity.
In hosting Climate Change & Consciousness as well as Co-Creative Spirituality the Findhorn Foundation stands as a leader in a global lineage of valuing communication with all the dimensions that support life on Earth. This includes the elemental Taoism of the East, the indigenous teachings of many cultures including the Native American, Maori and Amazonian, and the earth honoring connections described by and for the West through the writing of Teilhard de Chardin and Thomas Berry, to name only two. This is hardly an airy or ungrounded tradition. Quite the opposite. It harkens back to antiquity and is rooted in timeless wisdom.
Thomas Berry (left) and Teilhard de Chardin (right)
When we blend this rich history with the cutting edge science, global and multi-sector understanding of impacts and climate activism that are represented at Climate Change & Consciousness the result is the most comprehensive movement possible to meet the evolutionary challenge of the Great Turning. This is the mission and vision of Climate Change & Consciousness and everything that flows out of it.
Though our on-site participation is close to maximized this is a gathering worthy of a much larger level of exposure. Live-streaming hubs are key to reaching the many thousands who will benefit from the emergent understandings and action based networking that will evolve organically from Climate Change & Consciousness. From its inception this event was not intended to speak only to those with physical seats in the iconic Universal Hall. We want to communicate globally, multi-dimensionally and thoroughly. The message is that we are ready to receive, believe, celebrate and act on the resilience that is available to us from our collaborations with each other, with science, with all dimensions and all wisdoms.
This is an all-or-nothing time.