An Interview with Dorothy MacLean, co-founder of Findhorn
by Tanis Helliwell
(Excerpted from a conversation in 1998).
“The key is love, the action is service, and the joy is knowing the grandeur that is God in us and in everything.”
Over 30 years ago, Dorothy MacLean in her well-known book To Hear the Angels Sing told us of her work with the nature spirits and angels in the Findhorn Community which she co-founded. She is now 95, and after travelling around the world teaching for years, she is back living in Findhorn.
I was fortunate to get to know Dorothy over 30 years ago when she and I were both living in Toronto.
Tanis: How long ago was it that you moved to Findhorn to begin your work with the nature spirits?
Dorothy: Eileen and Peter Caddy and I moved to Findhorn in 1962 to practice what we had been learning together. We had been studying for ten years with who was a Scottish Quaker who taught us how to attune to our inner divinity. It was at Findhorn that I was told in meditation that I had this job to do with nature. I suppose basically what the angels were saying is that there are presences on the planet which we are ignoring and that the Earth needs all beings to live in cooperation with each other. It doesn’t matter so much that we have wonderful gardens. What matters is how we do the garden or anything. I found that the angels weren’t turning me towards them for help but towards God because God is their consciousness. To angels work and play is the same thing.
T: Where do the elementals such as faeries, elves and leprechauns fit into this system?
D: The angels/devas have the blueprint of nature and that the nature spirits are the hands-on workers. The three kingdoms of angels, humans and nature spirits all need to work together. For example, many years ago I was told that it was essential not to cut down the mature trees because there is work that they can do for the planet that only they and not young trees can do. This is one way that humans and the nature spirits can work together.
T: You mention in your book Choices of Love that humans need to work with all four elements of earth, air, fire and water because we are made up of these elements. Could you share your ideas about how to do this in our lives?
D: These four elements are the first great angels that are formed by God. I think we need to develop the qualities that come under these elements and we can choose to attune to these by asking for courage, asking for patience. I’ve also found that at the bottom of all of these qualities is love. If you have enough love you have enough courage, enough love then you have patience. I had to become more loving in order to tune into these four great angels. I couldn’t have comprehended them otherwise. I’ve always thought that we have to bring our spirituality into our everyday life such as even brushing our teeth with God. This helps our divinity grow so that we see God in more places and by doing this even the beauty of nature grows. Eileen, Peter and I linked with the soul and ignored the personality. By being with the soul our personality got transformed because it was immersed in God’s love. Later we started to deal directly with the personality.
Lately, I have been contacting the angel of the soul of various countries and many of them have difficulty working with the personality of that country. For example, the angel of Canada is both French and English. When all of us understand and approve of this, we won’t have a problem in Canada.
T: You said in Choices of Love that there are three stages in the growth to human consciousness, could you comment on these?
D: Instinct, choice and no choice are the three. The first one is instinct which is where some of the tribal cultures still are at. I found this clearly when I was with the Maoris in New Zealand. I thought it was wonderful to be accepted by them until I realized that I couldn’t go for a walk alone. Then, I couldn’t take it. It was too closed for me. The second stage in human development is to move into our realm of choices. In the west we learn through trial and error and searching and making choices until we finally realize that the “only” choice is love. This is the third stage of development. In this third stage we choose to be whole because the love is within us burning to come out.
T: Have you anything to say about our planet Gaia and her evolution right now?
D: I have tuned into her as a him. In Japan the moon is a her and the Earth is a him. There is no doubt that the planet is going through a transformation where all of us are learning to recognize our wholeness. The soul is being grounded in a new way. As we bring love into all things we transform the planet into a higher vibration. We need to accept the situation as it is and resist saying everything is going too fast and I can’t do it. Stress is caused by our resistance to what already is. Even our difficulties we need to accept. My greatest wish is to do God’s will. In the past I tried to find out what that was but part of the new paradigm is that we have choice in this and God’s not just telling us what to do. It’s time to stop being an obedient child and to do it ourselves. I choose not to have a special time to meditate because I want to be open at all times in every moment. It’s just to be more and more aware.
T: You broach the subject of evil in your book and that a person you met had been surprised to see a Christ light in Hitler’s eyes. Could you explain your comment?
D: We judge everything as good or evil and forget that resistance, pain and difficulties are there so we can learn when we leave balance. These help us to find wholeness. You can’t have one without the other, light without the dark. We have a shortsighted view and think only of this one life and expect to have all the answers. We need to learn lessons each life and give service. Whatever our circumstances, it’s right for our soul. In India it’s said that there is a net of Indra where everyone is connected to everyone else. We draw to ourselves automatically what we need for our development. It doesn’t mean that we lose our discernment but we see difficulties for what they are—to help us. And when we see people doing something we don’t agree with we need to realize that they are acting from their learning place and not to impose our knowingness on them but respect them where they are.
T: What’s your greatest place of learning right now Dorothy?
D: Learning not to judge. Our living companions are our closest relationships but God knows what we need. People don’t realize that they have this inner wonder inside of themselves and this is one point I’d like to make. We need to find our own love and power and not look for it outside ourselves.