The Magic of Findhorn is a magical book. I first read it when it came out in paperback more years ago than I care to remember. For more than a decade, I reread it now and then to savour Hawken’s sweet distillation of the spirit of the time. Those were the heady days of pot-smoking hippies, smiling flower children, and idealistic communes. Findhorn added fairies, giant cabbages, and bushes that got out of the way when you wanted to make a path through them. It was wonderful to imagine that I might run off and join the small band of romantics building a new kind of community on what was once a garbage dump. I never did, of course. Sometimes I think I missed a great chance. Findhorn still exists, although it is now a foundation and calls itself a “New Age” community. Naturally, there is a website.
An enchanting look at an early New Age community in Scotland.
Hermann Hesse used simple doors to symbolize the entrance to hidden realities in his controversial novel, Steppenwolf. (Photo: Wikimedia)
For centuries, philosophers have made mention of a “hidden reality” and then speculated as to its nature and how one might dispel illusion and bring what is hidden within sight. Those given to metaphysical speculation posit another world reached by passing through a portal. We have all seen the movies and television series inspired by the old tales of magical caves or fairy rings that, once entered, transport one to another place not of this Earth. Spiritual types speak of supernatural beings inhabiting spirit worlds “beyond” our normal ken. The belief gave rise to some of the world’s largest religions.