26 August 1917|
|Died||13 December 2006
|Occupation||spiritual teacher, author|
Andrew Combe (m. 1939–53)
|Children||Richard, Jenny, Mary-Elizabeth, Suzanne, Penny, Christopher, Jonathan, David|
|Parents||Albert Jessop, Muriel Jessop|
Eileen Caddy MBE (26 August 1917 – 13 December 2006) was a spiritual teacher and new age author, best known as one of the founders of the Findhorn Foundation community at the Findhorn Ecovillage, near the village of Findhorn, Moray Firth, in northeast Scotland. The commune which she started with her then husband, Peter Caddy and Dorothy Maclean in 1962 was an early New Age intentional community, has today been home to over 400 residents and thousands of visitors from over 40 countries, today it is one of the UK's largest alternative spiritual communities, and also known as the 'Vatican of the New Age'.
She was born Eileen Marion Jessop in Alexandria, Egypt, the second of four children of Albert Jessop, an Irishman, and the director of Barclays Bank DCO, her mother Muriel was English. At six she was sent to school in Ireland, where she lodged with an aunt, and returned to Egypt in the holidays. When she was 16, her father died in Egypt of peritonitis and her family moved back to England, though tragedy struck again, when two years later her mother too died of meningitis. Thereafter she was educated at a domestic college, and later bought and ran a pub at an RAF base in Oxfordshire, with her brother for four years.
Soon she met an RAF officer, Squadron Leader Andrew Combe, whom she married in 1939, just months before the beginning of the Second World War, subsequently she travelled to London, American with him and lastly to Iraq and had a son and four daughters. Combe was a follower of the group called Moral Rearmament (MRA), and insisted that his wife follow the traditions of the group, and joined group's "quiet times" during which they would listen divine guidance. Though diffident at the time towards the practices which she found restrictive, she later acknowledged the importance of her early attunement to 'quiet times' and 'listening to inner guidance', became an important milestone on her spiritual journey.
The beginning of Findhorn
In 1952, while posted at RAF Habbaniya, in Iraq, Combe on reading an article written by Squadron Leader Peter Caddy who was also posted, met him, and got interested in bringing him into MRA folds, subsequently Eileen was introduced to Peter and his wife, Sheena Govan, daughter of the founders of the Faith Mission. Due to their shared interests in the occult and spirituality, they immediately took a liking to each other. Soon Eileen was in the circle that formed around Sheena Govan.
Peter Caddy's marriage was already in trouble. Their friend Dorothy Maclean later recalled, in one of the meetings Sheena herself earlier declared that she was no longer her husband's 'other half', and soon Peter would meet his 'true partner'.
Eileen and Peter fell in love and in 1953 after returning to England, she asked Combe for a divorce in a letter to Iraq, where he was still posted. Combe immediately forbade her from seeing her five children. It was then that a traumatized Eileen, visited a private sanctuary at Glastonbury with Peter, where she first claimed to have heard while meditating, the 'voice of God', which said: “Be still and know that I am God.” Initially she took it as a sign of her nervous breakdown but in time she began to “love the voice as an instrument from the God within us all” . Her subsequent instructions from the “voice” directed her to take on Sheena has her spiritual teacher. Sheena moved away to Isle of Mull, near Iona, Scotland, having divorced Peter Caddy. By autumn of 1956, Peter and Eileen came over to join her nascent group of followers there, along with the two children they already had together. Following a divorce, Eileen married Peter Caddy in 1957, and had one more son in 1968.
Meanwhile Sheena's group was fast gaining popularity, and was dubbed the 'Nameless Ones' by the local media, which also called her "the woman Messiah". Starting in 1957, Peter and Eileen Caddy first co-managed a run-down hotel in Scotland, the Cluny Hill Hotel near Forres, Moray, which they reportedly resurrected and turned it into a four star hotel following the practical guidance given by the 'voice'. Early in 1962, the couple along with most of the staff were sent by the management to resurrect another of their properties, the Trossachs Hotel, at Perthshire, and when they rallied to be shifted back to Forres closer to their 'mission', they were fired.
Following this period of unemployment, on 17 November 1962, Eileen Caddy, her husband Peter, the children and their colleague Dorothy Maclean, shifted to a holiday caravan in a trailer park, a few miles from Forres and a mile from the village of Findhorn. There they began practicing organic gardening as a means of supplementing their family's food supply. The garden flourished to such a remarkable extent with the help of what she claimed as plant spirit and devas that it eventually attracted national attention, and was featured in a 1965 BBC radio program. Its supporters included Sir George Trevelyan and Lady Eve Balfour of the Soil Association.
Beginning in 1965 a community, eventually known as the Findhorn Foundation community, began to form around the work and spiritual practices of Eileen and Peter Caddy and Dorothy Maclean. The community was featured in several television documentaries by the BBC, starting in 1969, when BBC TV programme Man Alive came to Findhorn, and there was no turning back since then. Soon the place began a favorite haunt for thousands of new agers from around the world and the community bought the Cluny Hill Hotel in 1975 and turned it into a college, which stand seven miles from the Findhorn Bay Area caravan park, which was bought in 1983 Most recently it was profiled by the Channel 4 documentary series, The Haven, in 2004.
In 1971, Eileen as 'guided' herself by her inner voice, stopped receiving guidance for the community and from then on remained as an inspiring figure within the community. Dorothy Maclean moved to the United States in 1973, while Peter left Findhorn in 1978 after falling for a young female community member, he married twice in the following years, even started a Findhorn-style community in California and eventually died in a car crash in 1994. Meanwhile all through the 1980s, Eileen travelled across the world speaking at spiritual gathers, and also writing several books, including her "compendium of daily guidance", 'Opening Doors Within', which went on to be translated in 30 languages. Her works include God Spoke to Me, a volume of inspirational messages published in various formats from 1966 onwards, and an autobiography titled Flight into Freedom and Beyond. Finally in 1996 at the age of 76, Eileen stopped giving workshops, as her inner voice 'suggested'.
In the late 1960s, Eileen had reconciled with her first family and in 1997 all her eight children came together for the first time to celebrate her 80th birthday. In 2001, she was named one of the 50 most spiritually influential people in Britain on Channel 4's ‘The God List. For services to spiritual inquiry, Eileen Caddy was in 2004 awarded the MBE by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. The award was presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Moray, Air Vice-Marshal George Chesworth.
Eileen Caddy died on 13 December 2006 at Findhorn, after leaving instructions that her death "be a cause for thanksgiving, rather than mourning.". Today, the original Caddy caravan of the 1960s, stands preserved as a shrine, amidst trees and flowers within the Findhorn Ecovillage.
- “Life without a high aim, is like a ship without a rudder.”
- "Don't force anything. Let life be a deep let go."
- "Have no fear of moving into the unknown".
- "Seek always for the answer within. Be not influenced by those around you, by their thoughts or their words."
- The spiritual and eco-community has been .. BBC News, 31 December 2003.
- One of the founders of an international spiritual community and ecovillage near Forres has died BBC News, 18 December 2006.
- Unconventional spiritualist who helped to found Findhorn, the 'Vatican of the New Aage', in northeast Scotland The Times,20 December 2006.
- Eileen Caddy The Daily Telegraph, 19 December 2006.
- Chapter 3 – The Nameless One:Small groups of the nuclear age Children of the New Age: A History of Spiritual Practices, by Steven Sutcliffe. Routledge, 2003. ISBN 0-415-24299-1. Page 56-58.
- Eileen Caddy, 86, set up the Findhorn Foundation.. The Telegraph, 30 December 2003.
- An Interview with Dorothy Mclean livingnewstories.com, 6 May 2008.
- Eileen and Peter, by then parents of two sons, had moved to Scotland to be part of a little community in which Sheena was spiritual queen.. The Independent, 5 January 2007.
- Obituary – Eileen Caddy The Guardian , 8 January 2007.
- History of Cluny Hill
- Modern Environmentalism: An Introduction, by David Pepper. Published by Routledge, 1996. ISBN 0-415-05745-0. Page 28.
- The Findhorn Foundation New Age: A Guide : Alternative Spiritualities from Aquarian Conspiracy to Next Age, by Daren Kemp. Published by Edinburgh University Press, 2004. ISBN 0-7486-1532-6. Page 101-102
- Findhorn Foundation founder mourned by community Forres Gazette, 20 December 2006
- A tribute to Eileen Caddy New Statesman, 21 December 2006.
- Worldwide Laws of Life: 200 Eternal Spiritual Principles, by John Marks Templeton. Published by Templeton Foundation Press, 1998. ISBN 1-890151-15-7. Page 335 .
- The Matter at Hand... Lessons About Life, Love, Hate and Human Experience, by Ifeanyi Egerue, Chebem Felix. Published by AuthorHouse, 2008. ISBN 1-4259-9875-5.Page 7.
- Eileen Caddy Quotes brainyquote.com.
- Children of the New Age: A History of Spiritual Practices, by Steven Sutcliffe. Routledge, 2003. ISBN 0-415-24299-1. # Chapter 3: The Nameless Ones.
- Obituary in The Scotsman newspaper, by Gordon Casely – 20 Dec 2006.
- God Spoke to Me (originally published in serial format beginning in 1966), Findhorn Press, 1992.ISBN 090524981X.
- The Findhorn garden (1975, contributor)
- Footprints on the Path (1976). Findhorn Press. ISBN 090524980
- The Spirit of Findhorn (1976). Findhorn Press, 1994. ISBN 0-905249-97-6.
- Living word (1977). Findhorn. ISBN 0-905249-69-0.
- Foundations of Findhorn (1978). Findhorn. ISBN 0-905249-29-1
- The Dawn of Change (1979). Findhorn Press. ISBN 0-905249-87-9.
- Opening Doors Within (1986, with Mike Scott). Findhorn Press. ISBN 1-84409-108-2.
- Flight into freedom (1988, with Liza Hollingshead), Published by Element. ISBN 1-85230-021-3.
- Foundations of a Spiritual Community (1991). Findhorn Press. ISBN 0-905249-78-X.
- Bringing More Love into your Life (1992, with David Earl Platts). Findhorn Press, 1992. ISBN 0-905249-75-5.
- Choosing to Love: A Practical Guide for Bringing More Love Into Your Life, (David Earl Platts). Findhorn Press, 1993. ISBN 0-905249-90-9.
- Waves of spirit (1996). Findhorn. ISBN 1-899171-75-4.
- Divinely Ordinary, Divinely Human: Celebrating the Life and Work of Eileen Caddy, by David Earl Platts. Findhorn Press, 1999. ISBN 1-899171-87-8.
- Flight into freedom and beyond (2002, with Liza Hollingshead). Findhorn. ISBN 1-899171-64-9.
- The Findhorn book of Learning to Love (2004, with David Earl Platts). Findhorn Press. ISBN 1-84409-033-7.
- Small voice within (2005, audio CD re-issue of cassette tapes from c. 1981)
- Opening doors within (2005, DVD, with Mike Scott)
- Official Findhorn Foundation website
- Unofficial site devoted to Eileen Caddy
- Times Obituary
- Eileen's books at Findhorn Press