Findhorn Birthday Book

Findhorn Birthday Book: celebrating 50 Years of Findhorn

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Editorial Text

Posted by findhornbirthdaybook on August 15, 2012 at 2:35 PM


The book is not a history book about 50 years of Findhorn, or The Findhorn Foundation Community. And yet it is. It is full of history. And it is not complete as such, as it was not made with that intention. So you might not recognise your Findhorn experience, but your own story might come to the surface while reading and leafing through, even if you have never physically been here.

This project started because I felt strongly called to mark these 50 years by creating a beautiful book from, with and for the community and its worldwide circle of friends. I answered the call and set up a first meeting. I have used all my skills in organising, editing, photography and graphic design. The task became much more than that.

The start in July 2011 was slow, with hesitation from the official bodies and lots of meetings before the project was supported. Margot Henderson, Angus Marland and I made the book’s first structure, starting with the three pillars of our community and then a chapter per decade. Hopes that the community creative writing evenings with Margot and Harula Ladd would get people writing their stories were not fulfilled. Then Margot had to withdraw from the project with no one to take her place to manage the text. I felt outer resistance to making it happen and did not feel very trusted. Confronted with personal issues it became a painful process for me. At one point I wanted to give up the whole idea, forgetting why I had started it. 

While talking with Jonathan Caddy in my studio, the penny dropped: this is not just a book, this is about Transformation! A personal transformation. This is what Findhorn is about for the many who come here: the transformation of human consciousness. It is no coincidence that astrologically I am going through a Saturn return and transits during the production of this book.

Findhorn, turning 50, is going through its own transformation; what has its soul come to heal? We’re not just the hippies from the 70s any more; we’ve achieved a lot to be proud of and can stand fully in the effect we have had in the world.

I realised that to make this book happen, I first had to say ‘yes’ to the book, totally, do the inner work and step in full-time. My role expanded to coordinate and focalise the whole project; manage the budget; do the marketing and set up a website.

From that point onwards it started to flow. One after another, professional editors appeared as if by magic and volunteered to start the intensive and sometimes challenging editing process with the authors. For some gaps in history the things I thought we absolutely must cover — we interviewed people. Without the support and amazing hands on work of the editing team it would not have been possible.

Because many initiatives started in the 70s and existed through many decades, the chapter set up did not work and was changed into themes. There were some subjects about which it was not easy to find someone willing to write. “I don’t want to do it, if I can write only about the good things and successes as if it was in a pink cloud!” I was told. Our past held mistakes. And the Angel we worked with for the book was the Angel of Honesty! So I encouraged people to write about the challenging subjects, so that others might learn from our weaknesses and how we have dealt with them. We’re human, each with our cultural and personal baggage and some times we have reinvented the wheel. The Community has at times been disorganised and frustrating to live in. At other times it has been, and is, a paradise and utopia for many of us.

The process over the last six months of the book production has been fascinating. Not only to go through a personal transformation, but at the same time help the history of 50 years become more alive. I have witnessed a book being born. It has been a great honour to do this work.

The book is my gift, our gift, to the community. It is full; maybe overwhelming sometimes; maybe intense — just as the community is.

Enjoy it.

Adriana Sjan Bijman, 2012

Categories: Updates on the FIndhorn Birthday Book Production

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