Much has happened in the last eight years - geopolitically, scientifically, financially and philosophically. But, as the French novelist Jean-Baptiste Karr is reputed to have said, ‘Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose’ - Everything changes, but it remains (much) the same thing.
So it seems with neurophysiology. The study of the brain, and how it functions - and the growing awareness of the mind not being just an epiphenomenon of our thinking process, is advancing that branch of science in leaps and bounds. Yet, when it comes to brainwaves and their relationship to mental states, including the meditative and the dowsing state, not a great deal has happened. Exeter-based researcher and TD Facebookmeister, Paul Gerry, is still ploughing the same fertile, fascinating, if a little lonely, furrow - much as he did when he last gave a talk on this subject to the group back in 2014.
Given the level of stress associated with modern living, and the prevalence of mental and psychological issues during, and in the wake of, the pandemic, this seems a little surprising. Certainly, the benefits of achieving deeper states of consciousness, as evidenced by brainwave monitoring, has taken off - particularly across the Atlantic. But Paul’s research still seems to be unique in terms of documenting and analysing the impact of changes in brainwaves this side of The Pond.
Here, Paul updated his introduction to the work of the British biophysicist, Maxwell Cade, who mapped the brainwaves of thousands of subjects from the 1970’s onwards. Cade’s work was later taken on by Amercian humanistic psychologist, Anna Wise.
PG is the proud owner of one Max Cade’s original Mind Mirror brainwave measuring devices, of which less than a dozen were ever made. And another tenuous link to the neurophysical pioneer is that in the audience was TD member Anne Hughes, who had actually attended a lecture by MC several decades ago.
Paul had obtained several copies of the books written by both Cade and Wise - and generously passed them on to those attending the presentation for a fraction of their asking price on eBay.
Paul’s presentation included an extended meditation, designed to help all of us move from a more agitated state to a calmer, more reflective one. It was worth attending the session for this bit alone!
However, this was just a precursor to ‘wiring up’ two experienced local dowsers and TD members, Ann Lodydowski (above) and Annie Holland, for them to manifest live on screen what was happening to their brainwaves, particularly when they were actively dowsing.
Whilst this was not a controlled experiment in the laboratory sense of the word, there was enough positive output, demonstrated electronically, to indicate what we can achieve when we drop into the zone when we are dowsing.
I have banged on for years about dowsing being The Virtual Bridge (between science and spirituality). Here, Paul was demonstrating one of the key foundation piles of that bridge, as approached from the scientific bank of the river. We were witnessing our colleagues moving, albeit a little erratically, from generating predominantly busy Beta waves, through the deeper Alpha and on towards the meditative Theta. No-one could expect the deep sleep
of Delta in such a public performance - and the
self-healing ‘bonus’ waves of Gamma was to be source material for another day.
This was not just a good demonstration of the way in which brainwaves can be displayed and recorded, but also provided an excellent showcase for how biofeedback can have a beneficial impact on the participant. A mind over matter manifestation - in real time and with real people.
The animated discussion that followed Paul’s talk and demonstration was testament itself that many of those present had appreciated the benefits of self-controlling the mind to produce a more benevolent sense of being - and that this could lead on to improved well-being, both in a psychological and in a medical sense.
Many thanks, as ever, to Paul for such an interesting and challenging talk. He may be working largely on his own professionally, but the implications of his work are both global and profound.