Update October 2017
Dowsing from ‘the wrong end of the telescope’
In 2010, two Americans – Robert Lanza MD (a biologist and leading light in stem cell research) and the respected astronomer, Bob Berman, published a book simply called Biocentrism. It must have made some impact across the Atlantic, as seven years later the sequel Beyond Biocentrism emerged to expand on their ideas, to include new scientific data and to address some of the criticisms previously generated.
The reason for including their work on this website is that Biocentrism, as the name suggests, looks outwards at the cosmos from the perspective of human perception. What exactly is it that we see, feel, hear, etc.?
To cut a long story short (and the latter book is only a brisk 200 pages), when they stood back, they realised that the world we think of as reality really only exists in our heads. Perception is only our interpretation of the information available to us – even basic assumptions that we have about our everyday world and beyond are just brain-generated constructs. Colours, sounds, distances, chronology, sensations of every kind, are just what we make of them. They don’t exist – at least not in the form we usually understand them – outside of our minds.
This doesn’t demolish our current worldview altogether, as even using this model, we are still perceiving something coming in. However, it would appear that what we think we know is only an interpretation – and, to some extent, it is a unique and an individual experience. Under this scenario, the fact that dowsing of any sort appears to give slightly different results from person to person would not be too surprising. Applying this hypothesis to the project in hand, some subjectivity in dowsing (structured intuition) would become the logical expectation, not the fly in the ointment.
Using this perspective, Lanza and Berman go on to postulate that both time and space are actually human constructs – ways in which we make sense of the world around us – but are not inviolate and monolithic aspects of the actual reality we are encountering. If this is so, then all the objections to remote and map dowsing, and to dowsing through time, would effectively disappear.
When trying to put this proposition into a wider context, the duo came to realise that the elephant missing from the room is consciousness. As it becomes ever clearer that matter arises out of mind (consciousness), rather than the other way around, then a ubiquitous and all pervading consciousness would make far more sense than some film generated inside the skull being projected outwards on to who knows what. That would accord more with our personal experiences, and it would certainly chime much closer with the routine output from dowsing in practice. Interestingly, the word ‘dowsing’ doesn’t appear anywhere in their work, yet the biocentric hypotheses could be a vital link in coming to terms with the raison d’être of the craft.
The authors take great pains to explain the implications of the ongoing quantum theory based ‘observer affecting the observed’ experiments, which point to a continuity of being – rather than a hard duality of one from the other. This leads on to imply that if, at some deep level, we are all part of the same entity and, at the grandest of scales, that we are all part of The One, we would already have access to all information – throughout space-time. In turn, this leads to the conclusion that dowsing as structured intuition just ought to work, even if it didn’t already exist.
Lanza and Berman are clear that they don’t have all the answers, and that even these giant virtual leaps are only a direction of travel. They don’t claim to understand the nature of consciousness, nor to guess at where it originated. Consequently, both atheists and deists emerge from the maelstrom largely unscathed!
What it would imply, however, is that the findings of our sound dowsing investigations, far from proving that we -Bill and Nigel – are quite mad, suggest that a modest distinction in sound perception would be an anticipated effect of differential data interpretation.
It would further suggest the possibility that ‘hearing’ notes and noise on recorded music at an informational level might well give rise to sounds which don’t actually seem to appear on the played CD, but were there in the recording studio!
Lanza and Berman’s paperbacks and ebooks are quite accessible to the general reader, and are well worth a perusal. As they say, read a section, then have a cup of tea and mull over the implications. It may turn your previous perspective of reality head over heels, but the resulting picture may well be much clearer than when you started!
Thoughts, it seems, may genuinely create the world, as many eminent dowsers – and other oddballs – have repeatedly suggested.
Nigel Twinn and Bill Kenny October 2017
The Original Site
The fabled Sufi Master Mullah Nasreddin is walking home. On reaching his house, he seems to be upset about something, until a young man comes along and sees his distress. “Mullah, what’s wrong?” the young man asks.“Ah, my friend, I seem to have lost my keys,” says Nasreddin. “I know I had them when I left the tea house.”
So, the young man diligently helps with the search for a while, but no keys are found. Then he looks over to Nasreddin, and finds him scouring a very small area underneath a street lamp. “Mullah, why are you only searching there?” the young man enquires politely.
“Well, there’s no sense scrabbling around in the dark,” says Nasreddin.
This site is about the arcane craft of dowsing (otherwise known as divining, as in water divining) and how it can help us understand human perception. Our starting point on this journey is sound – specifically musical sound – and the often uncharted differences between listening and hearing. From this beginning we explore some elements of what dowsing might show us about a wider view of reality.
The idea came about after one of us (BK) heard the other (NT) giving a talk about Billy Gawn, the well known dowser from Northern Ireland. NT had recently worked with Billy on writing and publishing a biography, Beyond the Far Horizon: Why Earth Energy Dowsing Works: The Life and Work of Billy Gawn.
Unbeknown to NT, BK had been working quietly (note the pun) for some years on ideas developed originally by Peter and May Belt of PWB Electronics in Leeds, UK. They had shown that anyone could improve the perceived sound from almost any domestic hi-fi equipment using unconventional and even bizarrely ‘unscientific’ methods.
The Belts’ breakthrough discovery was that even the most expensive audio equipment under-performed because adverse energies found in almost all modern environments interfered with human hearing – or at least with our everyday perceptions of sound. BK had written some articles about this for the MusicWeb International web site, way back in 2005 and his own researches followed on from the original work with some modest practical success. Sadly, very little progress in understanding how the Belts’ peculiar interventions worked had been made: the means by which the ‘sounds’ from compact discs or radio signals were noticeably improved by Belt ‘devices’ remained a nagging and puzzling mystery.
A Eureka Moment – Of Sorts
One of Billy Gawn’s important contributions to dowsing theory has been a suggested change of emphasis from trying to find specific targets – like the Sufi’s lost keys, power cables or underground water for example – to searching actively for relevant information about these targets.
Billy is a hugely experienced intuitive ‘deviceless’ dowser – someone who no longer requires rods, pendulums and or hazel twigs. Instead he has taught his eye muscles to show him the ‘informational knowledge’ he needs.
Billy’s idea suggests that information could be a key to understanding why our ‘dowsing for sound’ actually works. The approach has helped us think carefully about human perception – and we now wonder if the actual mechanisms of perception have more than a few elements in common with the sensitivities activated in dowsing than have been considered previously.
Needless to say, in choosing to look in this particular direction, we have stumbled into ever more complicated areas of human experience where good questions are more common than decent answers.
Because orthodox science has been very little help here, we have dug fairly deeply into theories and speculations from ‘alternative’ explorers. While most seem reasonably well thought out to us, they are all relatively unusual and fairly hard to digest. To make the task easier, we suggest exploring the site in sequence by opening the pages shown left to right in the ‘sliding door’ images at the top of each page.
With one significant exception, the items in the secondary menu are generally less demanding – and the DIY page contains some little exercises that readers can try out for themselves.
Bill Kenny and Nigel Twinn 2015