Tag Archives: Findhorn

Is nature spiritual? Listen to AEWCH 212 on How To Live: Beyond Nature Worship with legendary spiritual teacher, David Spangler!

31 Jan

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Welcome to the How To Live Beyond series of eps on AEWCH! To open 2023, each episode in this series will consider a set of tools or way of thinking that are useful but that we’re ready to go beyond in 2023. We’ll be looking at abundance and manifestation, magick and entheogens, the wellness industry, and more. The first episode (AEWCH 208) featured Mitch Horowitz on How To Live: Beyond the New Age. The second (AEWCH 209) featured Lisa Romero on How To Live: Beyond Psychedelics & Sorcery. The third (AEWCH 210) featured Pilar Lesko on How To Live: Beyond Money Magic. And on the fourth (AEWCH 211), we went beyond wellness with Fariha Róisín.

These are the techniques and traditions we use to cope with and confront the challenges of our time, but risk –  if we can’t consider them deeply – getting us stuck in those challenges or worse, funneling their strengths back into those challenges. These episodes arent a call to forget about these techniques and traditions, but instead a call to bring forward what theyve offered without the barbs of the problems they’re tangled up with.

This time:

Everywhere we turn, there are conversations of ecology and disaster, the environment and its needs, the planet’s and humanity’s shared future. If they are not purely materialistic conversations (and the majority are), they often offer only a shallow sense of the spiritual. People talk about “nature” as having its spiritual work removed from relationship with us, as if no more exploration into its actual spiritual orientation is needed. Or we have (some, not all, of course!) neo-pagan views that don’t go much further than translocating the names of old gods and onto the natural world. Or we have neo-primitivism and object oriented ontology which in which humans are supposed to somehow be de-centered, even though humans are the ones coming up with these concepts and pretending to the magically decenter themselves.

So how can we approach nature from a spiritual perspective? And how can we work with the being and being-ness in nature in a real way? For example, should we engage with the trees? The formative forces of the trees? The postmodern assemblage of “tree” or “becoming-tree?” The “dryads” in the trees? The tree gods? The “nature spirits”? We don’t have the taxonomy or the navigational aptitude to even know what we’re encountering, so how can we hope to know how to help?

So I invited David Spangler onto the show. David’s huge and generous body of work includes being the person who coined the term “New Age;” being a prime developer of the Findhorn Community in Scotland; popularizing the concept of manifestation as long ago as the 1970s; founding the Lorian Association, which helps people encounter the lessons developed by David and others on the path of Incarnational Spirituality, authoring many books (including the one we touch on the most here, Techno-elementals); and more.


I went into the exploration of fairies (particularly fairies in Ireland), and why we don’t take them seriously enough, with anthropologist Dennis Gaffin on AEWCH 187.

Although David does some of the best work expressing the many different kinds of elemental beings, for a one of the greatest expressions of how the elemental beings intermingle, no one to my mind does it in plainer, easier-to-udnerstand language than Cypriot healer Daskalos. I recorded an episode of the show – AEWCH 67 – with one of Daskalos’s students, Daniel Joseph. His book, Swimming with the Whale: The Miracles, Wonders & Healings of Daskalos & The Researchers of Truth is very helpful in this area.

Many of David’s books (and related books) are available from Lorian Press, which David developed in conjunction with the Lorian movement. You can also find self-study modules on David’s site here. David’s lectures on manifestation, written decades ago, are so far advanced that they move us beyond most people’s current writings on the topic. You can find them in this book The Laws of Manifestation. And one of my very favorite books by David, which is not so easy to find these days, is Reimagination of the World: A Critique of the New Age, Science, and Popular Culture.

A photo I took earlier this month at the stone circle in Drombeg, Co. Cork