Beyond the Threshold-Hamish Miller at North Hill Village Hall
It isn’t obligatory to come back from the dead to be a decent dowser, but it does give you a distinct advantage.
Having already passed over once, on the operating table in 1982, Hamish Miller later reached the point of arranging his impending funeral, after suffering a life-threatening illness in the Far East. Both events clearly affected his view of life profoundly and, in a strange way, made him the man he has become. Whilst many would be traumatised by near-death experiences and bury them deep in the psyche, HM now regards them as blessings that have brought him a sense of clarity and purpose.
Hamish Miller was once a successful, if workaholic, furniture factory owner, but his first brush with the divine turned him away from the world of commerce and manufacturing – and caused him to re-evaluate what his life was all about. His first inclination was to return to his tools and, in the autumn of an eventful life, he has become a very accomplished blacksmith. But the real breakthrough was his introduction to the arcane art of dowsing.
There are those for whom dowsing is a useful, if inexplicable, practical talent - and there are others who find that the insights provided by dowsing help to make sense of, and give impetus to, their spiritual journey. A third strand of modern dowsing is represented by the path followed by Hamish Miller and, to a much lesser extent, myself. This thread of thought is less interested in the practicalities of the skill - important though they are - but concentrates instead on what insights it allows into the world beyond the five senses. If you can do this, or sense that, through dowsing, where does that take your understanding of reality?
HM is best known for helping to rediscover the trans-continental earth energy lines, which were clearly known to ancient peoples. After all, they built so many of their sacred sites on them - perhaps in an effort to harness their subtle power, or maybe in sheer reverence for whatever forces caused them to come into existence. It is all too easy now to take the ‘Michael’ & ‘Mary’ and ‘Apollo’ & ‘Athena’ lines at face value, but, before Miller and Broadhurst wrote The Sun and the Serpent, this was knowledge that was beyond the imagination of all but a tiny band of initiates - and certainly right off the radar of the rest of us.
Similarly, Hamish rediscovered the sense of the earth being an interactive entity - where organic shaped energy signatures evolved over time in response to the activities of the dowser, and could be traced out with physical markers on terra firma. He observed and engaged with earth energy - and measured the ebb and flow of energy spirals and radial spikes at sacred sites and significant places. On one level, it reinforced Lovelock’s contention of Gaia - the world as a living organism. Even more profoundly, it enabled even the journeyman dowser to sense the living form of the cosmic energy body. This is just about as close as any of us are likely to get to shaking hands with the divine - this side of the pearly gates, anyway.
Intuitive insight is an emerging and indistinct field of endeavour in the West. It has all the rough edges and wild ways of any new frontier. Yet in many parts of the ancient world it was an integral part of the way people made sense of the world around them. Hamish Miller may not be the only one to realise that there is more to folklore than fantasy, but his work with native South Africans and pre-colonial New Zealanders has taken this research into new realms. Linking myths and legends to events and places can be a fascinating academic process - understanding that they could be one interconnected social, psychological and spiritual matrix is a revelation.
Once engaged, the force of enlightenment gathers its own momentum and the evolving philosophy that HM is forging is taking him into new areas of activity year by year. Many people who have seen even the briefest glimpse of the ephemeral light feel impelled to draw it back to the here and now. While there are many reactions to this understandable desire, the response of Hamish Miller was to form a group of like-minded souls to campaign for a more positive and caring way of life. What he had not bargained for was the depth of the entrenchment of the existing world view amongst those in authority and in their media militia. It soon became apparent that traditional campaigning was, at best, a blunt instrument for change. So, he is now seeking to transcend the pitfalls of polemic politics, by taking a subtle side-step and bringing into being a Parallel Community that lives in the workaday world but draws its inspiration from far beyond it.
Dowsing has made Hamish, and many of his fellow travellers, acutely aware of the inter-relationship of all things - the impact and the influence of the animate and the ostensibly inanimate on each other, and on the world around them. If a lone dowser can cause that much of a reaction on the energy field of a standing stone - and a tree or a stream can elicit that much of a sensation in a beast or a man - what does that say about the power of intent and, even more, about the power of a community with intent? In a world where people and societies are drifting away from each other like galaxies in deep space, we ignore this energetic interdependence at our peril. We have elevated individualism, when we should have venerated individuality. We have replaced communal long-term contentment with personal short-term gratification. Society is not yet dead, but the pulse is weakening under the incessant pressure of a consumerist society. There has never been a more pressing need for people with insight, like Hamish Miller, to raise the awareness of those with a less direct experience of the transcendental.
Hamish has vowed to take a sabbatical from his burgeoning stream of lecturing engagements. He talks about it being perhaps a permanent retirement from the podium, to provide much-needed time for writing, thinking and practical dowsing. If so, we will miss his cheery presence, but eagerly await his next regeneration. If this talk really was his last appearance, of this series at least, then I consider it a privilege to have been there to see it - and even more so to have landed the plum job of warm-up act.
Many thanks to all those who helped to make this event happen, to those who helped with arrangements and those who served the multitude - especially to Ruth, who became de facto treasurer and membership secretary for the day, with no warning whatsoever. But most of all our thanks go to Hamish and Ba for keeping this talk to the TDs in their overburdened schedule. It was a fitting finale to our dowsing year.