Setting Context for the New Story Summit

Excerpts from Kosmos Interviews with Yvonne Cuneo and Nancy Roof

Kosmos: Please tell us a little about the Findhorn community.

Yvonne Cuneo: The Findhorn Foundation is a community of about 120 people that run the learning programs. Yet there is a larger community of which we are a part. The Findhorn Foundation Community has been through many deep community building processes. We’ve laughed together, cried together, had conflict resolution, had dance. I feel essentially connected with these people on a very deep level. And that nourishes me—that level of soul nourishment with people.

The founders didn’t know they were starting a community, they were just experimenting with what happens if you sit and deeply listen to that inner wisdom and then you make the daily choice to act on that. And they had been experimenting with that for ten years before they ended up here. November 17th, 1962, windswept, desolate, winter coming on to a very remote peninsula in the north wilds of Scotland; What on earth were they doing? Three adults, three children and a caravan ended up on the rubbish dump ‘cause there were no other sections of the caravan park. They had no idea that it was going to lead to this amazing eco village international spiritual community—founders of the global eco village network, an NGO at the United Nations, a learning center where people come from all over the world. It was totally unintentional. I think that’s what’s so lovely about it.

Their only agenda was to sit and listen and to follow that. And when they found that they could not only receive that inner wisdom, Dorothy Maclean found that she could telepathically connect with the intelligence of nature, receive messages and act on them. Growing this amazing garden they realized that what humanity needed was to cooperate with the subtle worlds. There are things unseen that really support us and that we can partner and cooperate with.

That vision and the living of that, of bringing spirit into matter, is what this community has constellated around. And that’s still, in all its diversity, all its nationalities, creeds, personality types, that’s the core, the deep listening, the co-creation with the rest of nature and the subtle worlds, and to be of world service. Community is powerful when there is a common vision and also when we stay in the difficult moments together and transform them.

Kosmos: Please talk about the New Story Summit.

YC: Everything is a learning opportunity. And actually if you’re not outside your comfort zone a lot of the time then you’re not living the curriculum here because the curriculum is growth. There’s an inner pressure to evolve consciousness. I think it’s in everybody, but I think it’s dumbed down or numbed down generally.

I’ve never felt that the Foundation was more on purpose with an event than The New Story Summit. The founders wanted to create a new way of being in the world—about co-creation,

partnering with nature, collaborating with all life. It’s about supporting the wider web of life on the planet.

Kosmos: So it sounds as though this participatory process is driving a lot of these changes in the world—do you think that’s what the new story is about?

YC: There is another way. I think there’s definitely a sense that we can all participate in that improvement. And that’s what I like about the Findhorn Foundation. Eileen Caddy, one of the founders, says if you want world change then start within. When you’ve created a sense of unity and harmony and peace and kindness within, then that will follow without. How can I live differently? What can I do? And of course it’s in the little things. Just how we treat each other in every moment and how we deal with stuff when it goes wrong or how we deal with conflict. Can we open our hearts that little bit more and not close it down? And of course the singing and the dancing and—you know, even the crying together and the stress and the over work sometimes is very heart opening.

Kosmos: Share more fully the lead-up to this New Story Summit and how the Findhorn Community is holding it.

YC: What I’ve learned is how to guide something and help birth it without getting in the way—to hold it in a responsible manner and to understand that it has a life of its own, and that actually I’m not controlling it. I am not only creating the event, the event’s also creating me. It became gift economy. And then we threw out the schedule. We realized that you cannot say top down what’s going to happen during the week at an event that’s an inquiry into a new story for humanity. And you can’t invite 330 people into a room and know what’s going to happen.

The new story is about emergence. You know, Eileen and Peter and Dorothy did not have a five or ten year plan. If you’re listening to inner wisdom it’s always an unfolding. We live in a paradigm that asks us to have a business plan and to put out annual reports and be responsible for how we work with money. There is a tension between that and just following the heart and seeing what wants to happen.

It’s the most emergent thing I have ever had anything to do with. I think it’s an even more powerful experiment that we are functioning as a gift economy. It’s like okay, let’s just trust, let’s just stand with our principles here. Let’s see if the world’s consciousness is ready for a sharing of financial wealth. Let’s see if we can hold an event where we don’t actually know what’s going to happen, but we can set up a container for what will unfold.

Kosmos: Nancy, why did you choose to attend the New Story Summit?

Nancy Roof: I came to the Summit because my life work is the new story. We call it by many names, the new story, the new paradigm, the great transition, global transformation; by whatever name, something is happening in the world that is transformative and Kosmos is dedicated to telling that emerging story.

Kosmos: What is the relationship of the new consciousness and the new story?

NR: The new consciousness is really a major expansion of both our inner and outer reality. On the outside it’s an awareness of the whole globe, all of humanity, and the universe. Because of the internet we’re now able to work with, communicate, commune and find neighbors all around the world. There’s also an expansion of inner awareness. People are now aware that we have to transform our inner worlds so that we are at peace with ourselves. Then there is the whole area of our relationship to others and our relationship as a collective, an integral part of the New Story. The first wave of the New Story in the western world came in the ‘60s where we were all involved with personal transformation. And then around 1987 there came another call. This is not enough, folks. You have to go globally. You have to create not only collectives in your communities, but a worldwide collective so that we begin to talk about the one humanity, the interconnection of all.

Further, there is a new realization of our relation and responsibility to other kingdoms in nature—the animals, the plants, the minerals which is related to the erosion on our plant, for the lack of recognition of this beautiful planet that we live on. Because of crisis we’re beginning to recognize we really have a relationship to the plant kingdom; that the animal kingdom is sensitive, has feelings just like we do; and that we are responsible for what we are doing with the mineral kingdom, especially in countries in Africa, where many minerals are mined. We are all one life. Kosmos has expanded into this consciousness, this new story, as we are now asking “What is global transformation in harmony with all Life?”

Kosmos: What is the essential message through the emerging New Story?

NR: When I think of what is that overarching umbrella that’s really powerful and strong, I feel at least one of those very important ones is the transition from the I, me, my ego, to the sense of the interconnectedness with other people. So it’s the movement from the I to the We. Both are necessary. The learning edge is with collective groups because we don’t yet know how to bring all this diversity together. And this New Story Summit brought together a very diverse group of participants. It brought together artists, those primarily who bring the message to us through the heart, those who bring us the message through the head, those who are practicing in the world from different cultures, different countries—all of this within mixed age groups. I have watched with great excitement to see what will unfold with this amazing group.

One of the really exciting things to me was when the group began to show dissatisfaction with the process. Despite all the attempts of the organizers there was too much structure for this New Story group. We know that in personal transformation we go through a period where the old story no longer works. It’s a void. We don’t know what to do. We see this happening at a collective level now and we don’t have the skills yet to get us through the void to transformation. We learned at this conference everybody had different needs and wants and there was an opposition between structures of the old story and content of the new story. We can now expect to see this dynamic played out in the world. There it was, right in front of us.

Facilitators will need new skill sets to deal with collective transformation. The New Story is about major systemic and collective transformation. There will be chaos, opposition, even anger.

We will get through and on the other side is the tremendous joy of creativity and experimentation. It is such an exciting period to be born into. We have a chance to have the joy of creating the new and knowing that we’re helping all of humanity to advance one more step.

Yvonne Cuneo is co-organizer of the New Story Summit.
Nancy Roof is Founding Editor, Kosmos Journal.