In the field of consciousness exploration, Steve Taylor is one of the more exciting authors I have found of late. His book about the birth of the patriarchy, "The Fall: The Evidence for a Golden Age, 6,000 Years of Insanity, and the Dawning of a New Era"*, was one of the most exciting must reads for me in 2009. This year, he's done it again with his exploration of the shifts in consciousness today entitled "Waking from Sleep: Why Awakening Experiences Occur and How to Make Them Permanent." Experience"**. The author explores a number of different paths that seekers are using to open to spiritual awareness.
Before I go any further, I must begin by admitting that I have never found the guru path to be mine; however, in his discussion of the Hindu practice of Satsang, I felt a strong connection with dowsing and a possible more focused direction that dowsers might choose to take as a result.
But first, what is Satsang? ( According to Wikipedia, Satsang is "(Sanskrit sat = true, sanga = company) and in Indian philosophy (1) the company of the "highest truth," (2) the company of a guru, or (3) company with an assembly of persons who listen to, talk about, and assimilate the truth.) From Taylor's own experience, he became aware that there was something much more important going on than just a Q&A (Question & Answer) session. According to Taylor, "The guru provides an extra input of energy which may intensify our life-energy to the point that we experience an 'Intensification and Stilling of the Life Energy', or an 'ISLE' state and therefore, an awakening experience." (Taylor. 2010. p. 162).
Geomancers gnow that the concentrated energies in Sacred Space also provide an "extra input of energy" that can assist participants to do the work they needed to do in, or with the assistance of, the Intangible Realms (a.k.a. 'Spiritual World").
While the path of the guru is not mine, the spiritual teacher of the type that Taylor writes about does more than Q&A. They give the participants more than what our Western understanding of what the orthodox teacher gives (mostly factual left-brain facts - via Q&A). In the Hindu path this kind of teacher is called a guru. or "Bhodisatva" - someone who has been there and chooses to come back and tell others. The guru's resulting heightened spiritual awareness enhances the possibility of the seeker's finding the connection - the direct personal experience of the Spiritual realms.
When Taylor went to a Satsang Society, he sat with a spiritual teacher named Russel Williams. In the beginning, it was the Questions and Answers/discussion that Taylor was focusing on, but he began to notice that a number of those who had been there longer than he had didn't seem to be paying attention to that. They were looking elsewhere, and seemed to BE elsewhere. When he eventually experienced the energy rather/in addition to the Q&A that Russel Williams was sending out, he began to have ISLE experiences himself. When he spoke to one of the people who had been coming for much longer than he had of the 'strange experiences' he had been having in the past few months, the old hand laughed and said, "So now you know why we've all been coming here for so long! Now you're really a member of the Society!" (Taylor. 2010. p. 161)
So what does this have to do with dowsers? Experienced dowsing instructors (I'm not sure I like that last word) know that a really good way to help a neophyte who is having difficulty to experience that first pull of the Y rod, is to have them hold the Y rod pointing upwards with their hands well above their head. This technique does tend to make the rod a bit more unstable and helps some beginners to experience that pull.
But it is another technique that can also help the beginner to experience the dowsing response that interests me here. It can really assist the beginner to simply ask them, "May I put my hand on your shoulder?" Or another way is to hold one hand of the beginner and one arm of the Y rod in your free hand, and have your student hold the other arm of the Y rod. Then look for, say, a vein of water where the pull can be felt. For most of us, that first time the Y rod seems to "work on its own" is a real "Ah Ha!" experience.
I have long thought that this was due to the belief and experience of the teacher that somehow made it easier to "feel the pull." And I am now more convinced that that is exactly what it is - a break-through from the totally rational world of science that we all learned in school, into a personal experience that the rational mind can not explain. This is what I believe that Taylor would call and ISLE experience. To paraphrase Taylor, the dowsing instructor's heightened awareness of the reality of dowsing enhances the possibility of the novice experiencing, through the apparent independent action of the rod, that connection - the possibility of having a direct personal experience of the intangible realms.
And even more importantly, while admittedly, this is a low level/first step on this path, dowsing is not just a one-off experience. This bridge to the other side can be experienced anytime you pull out your pendulum or other dowsing tool. As such, this is really a valuable gift dowsers can use to help others to awaken, and through its on-going use, a way of staying connected.
I am hyper-ecumenical. I don't believe anyone who says that there is only One Way to connect with the Spiritual. (Though I would defend to the death their right to say that their particular way is the only one for them.) But is seems to me that a new direction that geomantically inclined dowsers of sacred space might move in to is to not only utilise the Earth energies in sacred space (especially at that time of year when the astronomy indicates it is at its highest), but also to learn to consciously act as a personal channel to assist others to experience this connection with the other side.
Marx would said, "Workers of the World Unite!" That one didn't quite work. So, I would suggest that it is time for a new appeal: "People of Earth Wake Up!
As dowsers, we can assist with this process.
Somerset BA6 8JE
*Taylor, Steve. 2005. "The Fall". Winchester, UK & New York: 0 Books. ISBN 1 905047 20 7. The subtitle of this book says it all: "The Evidence for a Golden Age, 6,000 Years of Insanity, and the Dawning of a New Era." A must read.
**______, 2010. "Waking From Sleep: Why Awakening Experiences Occur and How to Make Them Permanent."<http://www.geomancy.org/#resources/bibliography/anthropology-mythology/index.php> U.S.A., U.K. et al: Hay House. ISBN: 9 781848 501799.