It’s not every day that a dowsing presentation starts with a card trick. It was a simple trick, expertly and accurately delivered, with a real
pack of cards, in full public view and with
nothing up the sleeve. And what on earth does
that have to do with dowsing? . . . read on.
Alan Jones uses intuition as one of the critical arrows in a tightly packed quiver of skills and abilities. The unspoken theme for this particular talk was one of warning. We may think we see the world around us as it actually exists (an objective reality). Yet with just a few slight scratches of the veneer, we find that it is anything but - and we are left feeling that we are making most of it up ourselves (a subjective reality). To those who have been dowsing for some time this may not be an entirely new concept, but even to the experienced diviner, to see it presented in such a graphic manner is something of a wake up call.
Alan’s slides, showing optical illusions, were interesting enough in themselves. Some showed objects in apparent motion, while the slide itself was two dimensional and quite static. Others showed the old conundrum of seeing two images constructed out of one set of visual information - with the vision of the viewer being switched, uncomfortably and uncontrollably, from one perceived picture to the other.
Striking though these were, they were just a precursor to a similar, and much less familiar, scenario using audio clips. After playing a short piece of sound constructed out of robotic squeaks (and containing no human or artificial words), Alan then played a similar piece of spoken text using the same cadence and sound frequency. On replaying the first clip, suddenly the brain ‘hears’ it as a series of words comprising an audible sentence. The first pair of these couplets elicited an intake of breath and much laughter, but by the third or fourth, head scratching and mental confusion was setting in.
These might seem harmless party tricks, yet they portray an alternative worldview that seems to nest inside the one we rely on. It is, at one and the same time, both fascinating and a little disconcerting. Alan was showing us that the world around us might not be all that it seems. This may be fairly obvious to even the rookie dowser – but it does throw down the gauntlet to the whole idea of using our senses (including intuition) to make sense of reality itself.
Every practitioner understands that one of the greatest elephant traps that can bedevil any successful dowsing sortie is the danger of finding what you expect to find - or, worse still, dowsing what you have been asked to find. If your rational mind tells you that you are standing over a water pipe, there is next to nothing you can do to find where it ‘really’ is located. If you desperately want to find your neighbour’s lost pet, you will doubtless get a response of some sort, somewhere. The sensual illusions that Alan displayed so clearly relating to the five gross senses apply only too well to our intuition too.
For the earth energy dowser, this is a particular issue, in that most of us can find energy lines of various sorts all over the place. Some are probably geological, some appertain to landscape features and yet others are more psychic in nature - probably remanences in the ether, left by former structures or their inhabitants. In certain places, these lines and swirls have apparently been used to shape and site ancient structures, many ‘sacred’ in nature. Some have even been described in chalk (as in the white horses of Wessex) or, arguably, in the format of some of the more pictorial crop formations. Yet there are any amount of similar lines that have not been used in this way.
Were the community leaders and advisors of those arcane societies – who were probably far more sensitive to the flows of natural energy in the earth than most of us today – able to sense, or even to see, actual pictures or patterns in the ether? Or were they making anthropomorphic images out of a ‘random’ distribution of leys, currents and spirals? Were the animals and demi-gods that littered the pristine darkness of the night sky of ancient Greece, Egypt and Sumaria just the distant precursors of the Long Man and The Cerne Giant of the Britons? And were they all cultural interpretations of the runes in the ground or the air?
Even if this was indeed the case, it takes little of the mystery or magic away from those features. It implies that even without the modern perspective of mind, brain and illusion, people were sensing intangible forces and striving to make rational sense of the subtle tableaux in their presence. Furthermore, they then went on to venerate the icons they had extracted from the background of energetic noise, which in turn affected the energies themselves. Was the template there to be discovered and modified by the shamen and wise-women of times gone by - or were they the ones that constructed the forms of their choice themselves, which in turn attracted the energies? Either way, it’s fascinating stuff and we are deep into the unwritten history of social philosophy.
Behind Alan’s deliberately cage-rattling theatrical style, there were serious issues arising from this talk for the dowser to consider. Separating the rational ego from the more perceptive aspects of consciousness has always been the dowser’s mantra. Alan was demonstrating why it is so important. The show ended, as it had begun, with the same card trick. This time, not only in full view, but with a running commentary as to how to use the totality of perception to interpret the subtle and inadvertent responses of the ‘volunteer’ - and it still worked in spades (or was it hearts?)!
This was a very appropriate, and very different, type of presentation - ideally invigorating for a grey January Sunday. With 50 people in the hall for the first time in ages, the event was buzzing with energy - and during the tea break the animated conversation was so intense that I had trouble retrieving the assembled multitude for the Q and A session at the end. I almost had to resort to borrowing Alan’s booming Shakespearian delivery.
Many thanks to Alan for a lively and constructively challenging presentation - and, as ever, to all those who worked so hard to make the concept a reality.