Dowsers out to prove themselves
Posted on Thursday, 16 September, 2010 | 4 comments
Columnist: Geoff Ward
A new study aimed at proving how the ancient art of dowsing actually works and bringing it to the attention of a wider public is being launched under the aegis of the British Society of Dowsers. Dowsers Adrian Incledon-Webber and Hugo Jenks announced their study at the British Society of Dowsers annual conference, held on the weekend of September 10-12 at the Royal College of Agriculture, Cirencester, Gloucestershire.
They will be working with medical electronics specialist and biophysicist Giovanni Orlando, and the investigation will last for at least a year and possibly two. It will focus on a study group of 10-12 people – a mixture of experienced dowsers, healers and non-dowsers – and, using brain and body scanning techniques, will measure their neuro-physiological responses as they wield rods and pendulums.
‘It’s not about why it works, but how,’ said Adrian, chairman of the BSD’s earth energies group. ‘We’re not trying to prove it to scientists - they are such a sceptical bunch anyway - but rather to bring in the public and perhaps stimulate interest among scientists. We want to find out where the dowsing response comes from. We know there’s a muscular response but we want to find out why it happens.’
Adrian says he has begun the study ‘probably out of curiosity more than anything else’. He added: ‘Many people really deserve to be able to dowse. People still tend to think of it as devil worship, something they shouldn’t be dealing with, but we want to bring it into people’s lives so they can benefit from it, and to try to take away the mystery and mystique from it.’
Hugo received an award at the conference for an invention which links a dowsing rod to a laptop computer and a GPS receiver so that the patterns of energy lines it detects in the earth can be shown immediately on-screen. ‘It is still very much at the prototype stage,’ he said. ‘There are a number of further improvements that I would like to make, before I would feel comfortable with making it generally available.’
Various scientific studies of dowsing have been made since the 1940s, in New Zealand, the USA and Germany but, generally, they were inconclusive as to evidence for the efficacy of dowsing. Often, success rates at finding water, for example, were found to be no better than chance.
BSD director John Moss admitted that proving dowsing worked was ‘a very thorny issue’. It just didn’t seem to work under laboratory conditions. ‘The over-riding requirement is that there has to be a real purpose,’ he said. ‘It’s about a genuine need to get the information asked for. Scientists find that very difficult. They like repeatable results.’ Some dowsers didn’t care how it worked; others were obsessed with how it worked. ‘Many are investigating what we’re dealing with here,’ said John. ‘I think we’re rediscovering a skill innate in human beings.’
Dowsing’s new ambassadress is Elizabeth Brown, a former model from Worcestershire who worked with David Bailey and Terence Donovan in the 1980s, received the BSD’s Bell Award - named after the society’s founder Colonel A H Bell - for her acclaimed new book, Dowsing: The Ultimate Guide for the 21st Century, in which she describes how dowsing demonstrates the existence of an invisible realm of energy beyond our everyday world, and how it can optimise health, well-being and our quality of life.
‘We are hurtling towards 2012 and a raising of consciousness,’ she said. ‘Dowsing is an enormously empowering tool for people. You are accessing truth.’
Elizabeth looks to the latest ideas in quantum science and information theory to validate the wide-ranging applications of the ancient art, and offer an explanation of how it works.
‘Dowsing has an interesting, colourful and somewhat chequered history,’ she said. ‘Unfortunately, people can feel rather uncomfortable about it. The Church used to say dowsers were communing with the Devil. But it’s a very exciting time now for dowsing because we have the science to support it.
‘Latest discoveries in quantum physics support not only the mechanics of dowsing but also the way the information comes through. An information-carrying field permeates everything in the universe, and we are accessing that field in moments of concentration, creativity and inspiration. Quantum physics suggests we live in a holographic universe which means simply that all information is everywhere at one time. It was thought that the holographic universe happened only at the microcosmic level, not the macrocosmic, but the latest suggestion is that it happens there, too.’
Here, Elizabeth is citing Ervin Laszlo, the Hungarian philosopher and systems theorist, who has posited a field of information as the essence of the universe, and which he names the Akashic field, or ‘A-field’, after the Sanskrit and Vedic term for space. He sees the quantum vacuum as the fundamental energy and information-carrying field.
‘That information comes through the brain cells into the nervous and muscular system which then prompts a reaction in the arm, wrist and hand,’ said Elizabeth. ‘It’s not the rods or pendulum but the muscular response in your own body.’
Elizabeth, who lives in Umbria, Italy, but will soon be moving to the south of France, has herself worked with biochemist Dr David Hamilton to identify key biological processes disrupted by electromagnetic pollution and geopathic stress (the effect of negative earth energies on people in their own homes).
With many testimonials to the effectiveness of her practice available on her Gentle Powers website, Elizabeth, who works alongside doctors, therapists and clinics, dowses a series of health readings to discover the ‘trigger factors’ behind a person’s condition, and arrives at a list of things needed to ‘put the body back into balance’. This was done by asking her dowsing rods to respond to specific questions about the person’s health.
She said: ‘Once I’ve identified the factors, they have to be addressed. I’m simply a dowser of information. I refer the client back to the specialist in the field that they need. Dowsing is very empowering and enlightening for people’s health, in promoting your own health and the individual needs of your own body, such as diet and healthy lifestyle.’
The BSD, founded in 1933, has moved a long way from its traditional practices of water and minerals divining to tracing earth energies (its largest growth area since the 1990s), improving people’s health and well-being, locating archaeological remains and even to archaeo-astronomy.
British Society of Dowsers
Adrian Incledon-WebberArticle Copyright© Geoff Ward - reproduced with permission.