A person placed an advertisement in the local newspaper, asking anyone who was interested in psychic phenomena to contact her. As a result some thirty people attended a meeting, out of which just under half decided to meet regularly to pursue the matter further. They were all strangers to each other and as individuals covered a wide social spectrum. Certainly none among them had any idea that the meeting would develop into anything beyond a general interest in the so-called supernatural and unexplained. Probably the one thing they had in common was curiosity. However, after meeting for a number of times they established contact with an entity calling herself ‘Gwineva’, from whom they eventually received a number of communications. Pieced together these communications constitute what is now known as ‘The Book of Gwineva’, a body of teachings and instructions. The plan laid down for the propagation of the teachings and the administrative set up proposed far exceeded any aspirations within the group, which was told that all this could come about with help from ‘the other side’, provided the individuals were prepared to ‘become bigger and better people’, and the way to do this was to abide by the teachings. So here was a group of very ordinary and actually somewhat ill assorted people who had assembled to pursue a topic of common interest and who now were presented with a task seemingly beyond their capacity and certainly outside their aspirations. So these average people reacted as any similar grouping probably would, they set out to do their best. Undoubtedly they were inspired by what had happened and it was this inspiration that carried them through the early years; but the struggle to live up to Gwineva’s exhortations, to her high expectations, proved too much for some of those who had not expected to become examples to their fellows in the first place. Had a group of people come together with the intention of propagating a high form of spiritual knowledge and to activate certain social ideals, then they may have fitted the bill with comfort. As it was very ordinary people were called upon to undertake something which might well have daunted more stouthearted people. The original group held together well enough during the initial testing periods, surviving the rigours of the campaign for religious tolerance and the antagonistic powers of the press. They withstood the challenge of an alliance between the fundamentalists and a group of Satanists seeking to eliminate any opposition to their villainous activities, and effectively cleared the area of Satanists who were promoting drug addiction and obscene ceremonies. However, they
were less able to deal with the stresses and strains from within, they found difficulty in rising above their averageness. Gwineva told the members of the original group that she came with a challenge and what that challenge was has been interpreted in several ways. However, it seems, from subsequent guidance, that the challenge was to their averageness, their mediocrity. What she required from the group was proof by example that the average person can reach out towards greatness and aspire to the attributes of divinity which reside in all of us but generally lie buried under an overburden of materiality. It is significant that each of those who most actively sought to develop themselves metaphysically, as they reached the culmination of their efforts were presented with specific personal challenges and failed the test. Those who had great potential for spirituality and leadership likewise failed to surmount the challenge of materiality. They were called upon to undertake something which, in the normal course of events, they would never have considered. Yet, from knowledge subsequently gained it can be said that each had a date with destiny, each was ruled by the decrees of fate and fulfilled a kharmic role. Their struggle was between their average mediocrity and their inherent potential, and that is the challenge that continues to be presented to everyone who joins the Culdians. As an organization the Culdians have survived and surmounted their initial difficulties; others have replaced those who have withdrawn and the new blood has brought the bright prospect of revitalization. However, each new member should be conscious of the challenge and understand the nature of the struggle they must endure if they are to reach the goal of the Mastery of Life. The Culdians who are now carrying the standard of the Culdian concept recognize the contributions made by the foundation members who have ceased to travel the road with them, a road which they are welcome to rejoin at any time. The word ‘Culdian’ is derived from the name ‘Culdees’ or ‘Kailedy’, which was given to the early followers of Jesus when they arrived in Britain after the crucifixion. The word ‘Culdee meant ‘Wise Strangers’; it was also interpreted as ‘Servants of God’.