The more I think about various fields of endeavour's mandate for repeatability, the less valid or achievable, I find them. Let's start with the Big One: Science. Recently I flew from Bristol to Amsterdam (on my way to Vermont to visit family), and I sat next to a Professor of Bio Statistics at Brown University in Rhode Island. Bio Statistics is apparently a relatively new field (I'd never heard of it before) that looks at different bio-medical experiences from a statistical point of view. He told me about looking at various different studies of a single medical disease. The results should be repeatable, but in many cases when using live humans rather than laboratory animals, they aren't.
The problem is that there are too many variables. Did everyone actually take the pills they were testing every time that they were supposed to? Or, is the group of participants in a particular test representative of a general cross section of the population? In one test this professor told me about, they only ran it on weekdays. Most of the study's volunteers were therefore retired or unemployed, thus excluding working people, single parents, and students etc. So the results were deemed not to be statistically accurate. Then, other studies of this same disease yielded different results. They just can not control all of the variables. Bio Statisticians explore and discover the reasons for these discrepancies (read: lack of repeatability).
Recently I received an email from someone who I don't remember ever meeting, but as he wrote about earth energies in Vermont and the vortex he had found, I found his piece about something he called "Lay Lines" interesting - especially as he was looking at the same earth energy elephant, but finding very different things. His email was a response to an email from a friend who also was into these energies entitled, "hey, this (says lay lines r manmade. huh? what do u think?"
Lay Lines? Obviously this was a new concept. I don't suspect dyslexia here. (I must disclose to you at this point that I do have dyslexia.), So what was happening?
Consequently I wrote, "As you mention Vermont, and that is where I used to live and got my MA (at Goddard in the late seventies) in the study of Sacred Space, I felt motivated to respond to your email about "Lay Lines." There are two different phenomenon that fall into the category of "leys." The email attached to his that spoke about lay lines being manmade came from an organisation that used mostly esoteric or spiritual terms found in China and India, so it was not surprising that this group (and the writer himself) was perhaps not that familiar with leys. For example, Chinese feng shui practitioners felt that straight lines were anathema, so they thought that the straight railroad tracks that the English constructed in China in the Nineteenth Century were dangerous indeed!
But I also suspect that there were two geomantic systems going on in China. I'd call feng shui a form of secular geomancy. It was used to keep the common folk happy, healthy, and under control - (It must have worked. Their governmental system stayed the same for thousands of years). But I believe that there must have been an Imperial Geomantic System in China as well that practiced another form of geomancy. Have you seen the film "The Last Emperor"? At the Emperor's Palace, one goes visually through gate after gate in a perfectly straight line to get to the Emperor's throne. Nothing was allowed to interfere with the flow of energy along (what European geomancers would call "leys' or more precisely "energy leys") that ran through the countryside to the Imperial Palace.
In any event, the term "ley" was coined in Europe by Alfred Watkins in the first two decades of the 20th century to describe a straight alignment of holy sites (today in Britain, five in less than ten miles). The initial thing that confounds academic archaeologists is that these sites do not have to come from the same time period. One ley can have a Bronze age round barrow, any number of Neolithic standing stones, and a church tower. "If they knew of these alignments for thousands of years, why haven't we seen them in the written record?" The answer is quite simple - they burned people like us who were in to the Earth Energies.
Leys are alignments of sacred sites. The other term is "energy leys." They are six to eight foot wide bands of yang energy that have a direction of flow and sometimes flow along leys - but by no means always. They are found by dowsing. And they present an even more insurmountable problem that can be best summed up in what I have been calling for over twenty years Sig's Hypothesis Number One: "Even if they were trained by the same teacher, when dowsing for intangible targets (like leys or auras) in a sacred site, no two dowsers will probably ever find exactly the same thing." Scientists love to mock this lack of repeatability. Here is that issue of everyone-should-get-the-same-result rearing its ugly head again!
But this stuff ain't science. Another word for "dowsing is "divining." In addition to finding physical targets like water and oil, dowsing can be used as a tool for exploring the Divine, the Spiritual realms.
Between 2000 BCE and 1000 CE a number of men saw God and were the founders of major religions as a result of their experiences. Some of their names where names were Confucius, Lao Tzu, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster (also known as Zarathustra), Moses, Jesus and Mohammed just to mention some of them. They all saw the One. I have no doubt of that. But they all came back and told different stories! How could that be? If, as a Christian, for example, there is only one way to God (through Jesus), why are there over two thousand different Christian denominations? Why aren't all world religions that all seek connection with the One describing that One and seeking him/her in the same way?
The answer has something to do with what one was taught to see, what one expects to find, one's level of consciousness, and what one is ready to see. This is anathema to science, but continual reality to those on the spiritual path. We all see the Spiritual Realms differently.
I don't have any expectation that all people who work with Earth Energies see these them the way I do - as the Earth's Meridian System, and standing stones are Earth acupuncture needles, but when European geomancers use Eastern geomantic terms we need to use and spell them the way, for example, feng shiu practitioners do, and in return, Orientalists need to spell European Geomantic terms correctly, "ley" being a good example.
We are never going to see things exactly the same. Just as some scientific experiments come up with different conclusions, different religions see God/dess differently, Earth Energy enthusiasts see energy leys, vortexes or Michael and Mary Lines, and Geomancers find different energies in and under sick houses and clean them in many different ways. Repeatability seems less and less important. The critical factor is, "Does it work for you?'
We're all on a great journey. I can only trust that we all will find what we seek.
Sig Lonegren M.A.
9, Bove Town
Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 8JE