Section 12...The New Age


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David Spangler

Carol Brooks


Early Years
Short Summary

Findhorn Foundation
The Lindisfarne Association
The Lorian Association
[Current Project]


David Spangler an American spiritual philosopher and self-described "practical mystic",  is considered one of the founding figures of the modern New Age movement, although he is said to be highly critical of what much of the movement has since become, especially its commercialistic and sensationalist elements.

Marianne Williamson calls him a “friend and colleague” David Spangler, who’s work has ‘enriched” her life for years’ [1]

Spangler’s web site [2] says that he has, since 1965, “worked clairvoyantly with a group of non-physical beings from the inner worlds of spirit”. In his book Reflections On The Christ, he portrays Lucifer as a positive influence on man who desires the best for humanity, saying

    “Lucifer is literally the angel of experience. Lucifer, then, is neither good or bad in his true essence. He is completely neutral. He is an agent of God’s love acting through evolution.”

Spangler’s view of the God of the Old Testament and His Holy Scriptures can be judged from the following remark.. 

    'We can take all the Scriptures and all the teachings, and all the tablets and all the Laws, and all the marshmallows and have a jolly good bonfire and marshmallow roast, because that's all they are worth. Once you are the law, once you are the truth, you do not need it externally represented for you.' [3].


Early Years
According to Wikipedia

    “From his earliest years, Spangler claims to be clairvoyantly aware of non-physical entities. While in Morocco at age seven, he said he had a classical mystical experience of merging with a timeless presence of oneness within the cosmos and then remembering his existence prior to this life as well as the process by which he chose to become David Spangler and entered into his present incarnation. Following that experience, his awareness of and contact with various inner worlds of spirit was heightened, though he believed throughout his childhood that everyone shared the kind of perception and experience that he had. This changed when he moved to Phoenix where he discovered other individuals who were clairvoyant or were acting as "channels" for non-physical entities and realized that his own inner experiences were not common.”

He describes the incident in an interview with Robert Gilman..

    I had been riding in the car with my parents, looking out the back window, when this happened. All at once, I felt an energy rising within me as if I were a balloon and someone were inflating me. I found myself momentarily floating in the air outside and above the car, looking down upon myself and my parents, whom I could see quite clearly as if the roof of the car were nonexistent. Then I went through a series of rapidly changing stages of awareness and perception, which culminated in my entering the domain of pure consciousness. It felt like I was in that state for a long time, but when the process reversed itself and I came back to my body, I discovered that the car had hardly moved at all. So very little earthly time had passed. [4]


Short Summary
The website of the Lorian Association has a page called “David’s Page” which answers the question …Who is David Spangler? They say

    Since 1964 David Spangler has been an author and teacher of spirituality.  He began his career at nineteen as the keynote speaker at a national conference in Phoenix, Arizona, on "Youth and the New Age." The success of that talk led to other invitations, and a year later he left college, where he was studying molecular biology, and under guidance from inner sources, moved to Los Angeles where he became a featured speaker at the Fellowship of Universal Guidance.

    This led to further invitations from other groups, and in 1966 he moved to Redwood City on the San Francisco peninsula where he taught classes and lectured on spirituality, the Western Esoteric Tradition, and practical mysticism.

    In 1970 he visited the Findhorn Foundation community in Northern Scotland where he was invited to become its co-director and to be a teacher-in-residence.  He lived and worked in the community until 1973, becoming the founder of its educational program. [5]

According to a page on Living Spiritual Teachers Project, Spangler has since 1973

    “… traveled widely within the United States and Canada giving classes, workshops and lectures. His themes have included the emergence of a holistic culture, the nature of personal sacredness, our participation in a coevolving, co-creative universe, partnering, and working with spiritual realms, our responsibility to the earth and to each other, the spiritual nature and power of our individuality, and our calling to be of service at this crucial time of world history. Many of these themes come together in his primary work, which is the development of a spiritual perspective and practice called Incarnational Spirituality”. [6] 

[For More About Incarnational Spirituality, See The Lorian Association Below]


The Findhorn Foundation
is an non-governmental organisation associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information and takes an active role at UN headquarters in New York [7]

There is an interesting story told of Findhorn and David Spangler

    “In 1970, Spangler journeyed to Britain where he visited the spiritual community of Findhorn in northern Scotland. Before leaving the United States he had been told by his own non-physical, spiritual contacts that he would find his "next cycle of work" in Europe; nevertheless, he was surprised when he arrived at Findhorn and was told that one of the founders, Eileen Caddy, had had a vision three years earlier that he would be coming there and would live there to work in the community. Not knowing who David Spangler was, Eileen and her husband Peter Caddy and their colleague, Dorothy Maclean, the three founders of the Findhorn Community, had been waiting for someone with that name to show up. Upon Spangler's arrival, he was offered--and, following his own inner direction, accepted--joint directorship of the community along with Peter”. [Wikipedia].

While much of what Findhorn does is certainly to be admired, ie.

    “Concepts, tools and techniques for creating sustainable human settlements… ecovillage-based education, ecological building, renewable energy systems, waste water treatment, local organic food production” etc. [8]

It is certainly tempered by the fact that founder  Peter Caddy attributed the initial success of the community to his spiritual practices. And that friend Dorothy Maclean, one of the original three adults at Findhorn was a writer and educator on spiritual subjects, known for her work with devas, which in this case means the intelligences overseeing the natural world. Dorothy Maclean left Findhorn in 1973 and subsequently founded The Lorian Association in North America with David Spangler and several other friends and colleagues from Findhorn.

It is the “other services” Findhorn offers to complement their courses and “further a connection” to the community that are troubling. Taking a “non-judgemental approach”,  Findhorn offers “Spiritual Mentoring” if you would like to develop and maintain or even “deepen” your spiritual practice. Or simply “have access to a variety of perspectives on spiritual matters”.

A variety of perspectives is right. One of their mentors, Judi Buttner’s

    “journey began with Transcendental Meditation. She has also been a student of Advaita Vedanta, Buddhism, quantum theory, and Nisarga yoga. Strong influences have been Ramana Maharishi, Ram Dass, Eileen Caddy and Caroline Myss. Her work has included leading workshops on personal and spiritual development, particularly in the area of accessing intuition; guiding and training in the Transformation Game; compiling and editing Eileen Caddy's book Waves of Spirit; director of our Education Department” [9]

Spangler has also been a Fellow of The Lindisfarne Association since 1974.


The Lindisfarne Association
is David Spangler’s current project. Called “an association of scientists, artists, philosophers, economists, and spiritual leaders working at the cutting edge of scientific and cultural transformation” [http://www.lorian.org/davidspage.html], Lindisfarne was founded by the American writer William Irwin Thompson, in New York City in December of 1972, reportedly helped by David Spangler, which is not hard to believe considering they co-authored Reinagination of The World. Anyway William Irwin Thompson was seeking

    “new ways to broaden the humanities by exploring the mystical roots of Western science and by bringing meditation into the thinking of philosophy and the practice of science and art.”

 Learning from models such as “Paolo Soleri's Arcosanti in Arizona, Sri Aurobindo and Mira Richard's ("the Mother") Auroville in India, C.F. von Weizsaeker's Research Foundation for Eastern Wisdom and Western Science in Starnberg, Germany, and the Findhorn Community in Scotland”,

    “Lindisfarne began its activities in a working relationship with the Zen Center in San Francisco and the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York”. [15]

Among other programmes, Lindisfarne

      established a contemplative retreat with meditation and classes in hatha yoga, Tai Chi Chuan, and philosophy in the Hamptons in 1973.

      set up a program on Buddhism and Cognitive Science In Manhattan from 1976-1979,

      set up a School for Sacred Architecture in Crestone in 1980.

      From 1985 to 1988, Lindisfarne directed a Program for Biology, Cognition, and Ethics at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York that explored the political and cultural implications of the Gaia Hypothesis and the implications of Buddhist psychology and meditational practice for European phenomenology and American cognitive science.

They add

    that the ecological and contemplative approaches to cultural transformation that Lindisfarne helped to initiate in the early seventies are fully implanted in American culture and exist as programs at several colleges and universities, as well as at several traditional religious centers, and now that one can look to an Obama administration to support new programs in green technologies and ecological stewardship, the initiatory programs of the Association are fading away with the graying generation of the seventies. Lindisfarne, however, still continues to encourage the collective work of the Fellows by bringing them together once a year at the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe. [16]

By the way Roshi Joan Halifax, Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of the Upaya Zen Center and Founder and Director of the Upaya Prison Project that develops programs on meditation for prisoners, is “a distinguished invited scholar to the Library of Congress and the only woman and buddhist to be on the Advisory Council for the Tony Blair Foundation”. [17]

David Spangler returned to the United States in 1973, and joined with several friends and colleagues from Findhorn to create ...


The Lorian Association,
located in Issaquah, Washington is “a non-profit educational and spiritual organization fostering a new consciousness of wholeness and interconnection.”

Lorian’s fifteen initial founders, which included David Spangler and Dorothy Maclean, all lived and worked at Findhorn for a period of about three years in the 70’s. In their words [All Emphasis Added]

    “As a group they felt a deep bond of spirit and friendship that shaped itself around a call to serve the birth of a new emerging planetary spirituality…. Out of their experience at Findhorn, they were drawn into collaboration with many institutions and intentional communities, from religious organizations such as The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, to small ecological communities, to academic institutions such as the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Their work grew and evolved, yet always held to its core intent - to enable the incarnation of a new spirit into form by fostering an applied, integrated spirituality that could help to shape a new awareness of the Sacred within individuals, groups, and in the world”. [10]

Lorian Center for Incarnational Spirituality, (LCIS) “Presents basic and advanced concepts of Incarnational Spirituality for both new and experienced spiritual-seekers” [11].

According to Lorian …

    “the human soul incarnates into the physical world so that through a body it may connect to this world in ways that promote and further wholeness and evolution”.  [12]

Which makes Incarnational Spirituality “part of a larger emerging worldview” …”very much needed in our time”

     “The crises of our time, from global climate change to the depletion of critical resources, from pollution to terrorism, from economic failure to social upheaval, may all be seen at root as failures to understand, maintain, or create wholeness.” [12]


     “.. the dynamic process of connectedness and interaction that not only makes me part of something larger but enables me to be a participant in its unfoldment and wellbeing. I become a co-creator, helping that environment achieve a state of optimal performance and being that I call wholeness”. [13]

They go on to say that one of the seven elements that make up Incarnational Spirituality is “Working With Spiritual Forces, One of whom told Spangler that humans were not incarnated enough [12]

    “It is a spirituality that affirms the reality of the non-physical worlds and the existence of spiritual allies”. [http://lorian.org/anewspirit.html#gpm1_3]  “Incarnational Spirituality recognizes the non-physical or spiritual realms as part of the larger wholeness and coherency of the world and teaches methods of forming alliances with spiritual forces that can enhance and promote this greater wholeness for the blessing and benefit of all.” [14]


All URLs were accesses in January 2009

[1] http://www.mwblog.com/journal/archives/2005/01/a_new_years_ref.php

[2] http://davidspangler.com/

[3] David Spangler, 'Emergence: Rebirth of the Sacred', Findhorn Publications, pg. 144

[4] http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC34/Spangler.htm

[5] http://www.lorian.org/davidspage.html

[6] http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/teachers/teachers.php?id=247

[7] http://www.findhorn.org/whatwedo/ecovillage/un_findhorn.php

[8] http://www.findhorn.org/whatwedo/ecovillage/ecovillage.php

[9] http://www.findhorn.org/whatwedo/education/mentoring.php

[10] http://lorian.org/aboutlorian.html#gpm1_2

[11] http://lorian.org/aboutlorian.html#gpm1_4

[12] http://lorian.org/anewspirit.html#gpm1_3

[13] http://lorian.org/anewspirit.html

[14] http://lorian.org/anewspirit.html#gpm1_2

[15] http://www.williamirwinthompson.org/lindisfarne/history.html

[16] http://www.williamirwinthompson.org/lindisfarne/history.html

[17] http://www.upaya.org/roshi/


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