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