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by David Purnell

At the last BSD Annual Conference, Sig Lonegren presented a talk entitled "Earth Energies: Why doesn't every Dowser find what I find?". Briefly, the general conclusion and way forward that he proposed is based on the concept that we all have our own ways of looking at the world, based on our own individual experiences and conceptual beliefs. Therefore, our dowsing responses are different when our concept of something as simple as "an energy line" is different. Indeed, my experiences have shown me that our individual ways of looking at and interpreting the same world, both physical and spiritual, vary greatly.

However, I am not totally convinced that this point of view is absolute in relation to dowsing. It cannot be denied that dowsing is a physical response in a physical world. Yet what we do not understand about our world is usually labelled spiritual, so dowsing (because it is a response to something not yet understood) can be called a spiritual activity. The line between the two aspects is often blurred and moving. I prefer to assume that each of the two views, the physical and the spiritual, separately encompass everything. The two views co- exist but cannot be mixed. This is the same as the quantum physics views of particles and matter; they can be described as either physical objects or pure energy, but not both at the same time.

So why am I so surprised when I get dowsing responses the same as someone else? Have they left their mark or somehow given me the response I am looking for? I would suggest that we are fortunate enough to be looking for the same thing. More precisely, our visualisation of the object of our questioning is the same. For example, having a common view of an Iron Age hut circle as the place where a few families are making their living by arranging the burials and cremations at the nearby barrow, busy looking after themselves, the barrow and the bereaved, has produced the same dowsing responses and answers as another dowser. For me, whether one of us transmitted the answers in some way to influence the other is not important. Likewise, knowing that standing stones have measurable a DC voltage according to the dowsing bands up the stone seems to provide a common perception which may assist many people to dowse the bands in the same place. It should be noted that the dowsing response is not a response directly to the DC voltage, which have high points in isolated places sometimes in the centre of the faces, sometimes at the corners of the stone.

When four members of Devon Dowsers where invited by the National Trust to see if dowsing could help determine the health of trees, our results were similar in many respects, even though our methods were different. When the two National Trust managers were taught how to dowse, they too got similar responses and results to ourselves. My experiences, especially with measuring and recording the dowsed positions of energy lines at the Hartland Stones, shows me that dowsers do, independently, get the same results. I cannot suppose that all these people had the same physical and spiritual outlook on what they were doing. Each would have had their own interpretations. The bridge between us, and therefore, between the physical and the spiritual, may be the acceptance (as in quantum physics) that both views describe the same thing. Thus, we shared a common vision although each of us would have verbalised it differently. Perhaps this is why it is still such a surprise and joy for me when my dowsing responses are the same as those of someone else, and why there is no disappointment when we are different, only more questions.

Issue No. 17 >>