ROC(Robert Ogilvie Crombie): An Appreciation

There are many ways in which I could appreciate Robert Ogilvie Crombie. He was a loving and gentle man, an artist, a thespian, a wondrous storyteller, an embodiment of the best of Scottish (and Edinburgian) charm. He was an embodiment as well of the wise old man, the grandfatherly figure whom children adore and who guides heroes and heroines on their paths of accomplishment. He was a man of culture who lived a spartan life and who had one foot in this world and one foot in the worlds of spirit and mystery, a courageous explorer of supersensory realms.

I loved being with him. I loved his humor, his twinkle, his smile. I loved that he went swimming in the Moray Firth even on the coldest days of winter. (I also loved that I did not!) Visiting his flat in Edinburgh was always a treat. It was a book-lover's dream, filled with bookshelves from floor to ceiling that groaned under the weight of countless volumes of the most fascinating lore. He was a self-taught mythologist, psychologist, historian, and esotericist, though his early training had been, like my own, in science. Entering into his living room, with its grand piano and its comfortable chairs, was like stepping into a temple dedicated to quiet, study, and contemplation. I loved it, probably more now in retrospect as I share my house with four rambunctious and lively children!

But what I most remember about ROC is not about him alone but about the Group of Four : Dorothy, Peter, Eileen, and ROC. Lawrence of Arabia wrote a book on the seven pillars of wisdom, but these individuals were the four pillars of Findhorn and its service to the world. Dorothy, the mystic attuning to God first, and through the love that came from that attunement opening a portal into the angelic kingdom of nature to begin Findhorn's famed experiment in gardening; Eileen, the mystic pouring herself into God and opening to the still small voice of the sacred as a source of guidance and love available to every person in his or her own way; Peter, the man of action and intuition and of unconditional surrender to the will of God in his life; and ROC, the friend and companion of the elemental worlds and the nature spirits.

These four sounded the note of Findhorn's central purpose: to demonstrate the cooperation of the three kingdoms--humanity, angelic, and elemental--blended in co-creativity through the love and presence of the sacred. In the convergence of these four--the sacred, the human, the angelic, and the world--a powerful creative and transformative spiritual fire is released, one that can be birthed and expressed within each and any of us, whether part of Findhorn or not.

This is how I most remember ROC, as part of that convergence of talent, skill, consciousness, dedication, and purpose that gave birth to Findhorn and even more significantly, to the vision of a new humanity living and acting as a spirtual force upon the earth in service to and in cooperation with all life everywhere.

The greatest tribute we can pay to him--and to all the founders of this magical place--is to find our own sovereign way to let that spiritual force, that spiriutal fire, arise in our lives. It is to find the ROC within, the Dorothy, Eileen, and Peter within, the co-creative and sacredself within. The way we do so as individuals will be uniquely our own and may look nothing like how ROC, Dorothy, Eileen, or Peter did it as individuals, but it will share in the same planetary purpose and the same inspiration that arose in their hearts and led to this wondrous and transformative place we call Findhorn. What they founded in a place, we can find and found in our hearts and minds.

That is their legacy. It is in that context that I most remember and appreciate ROC.

David Spangler - November 2002 Findhorn Foundation


Findhorn Ecovillage The Park Findhorn IV36 3TZ, Scotland, UK