The spectrum of dowsing belief

I’m sitting in Luton airport where I have a few hours to kill before my flight back to Glasgow, following a very successful BSD Tutor Orientation weekend. Eleven potential tutors were present, including one chap who had come all the way from Kathmandu and had been waiting over two years to attend the course – such is the kudos that the BSD Training courses have these days.

During a discussion around the topic of Universal dowsing truths vs. personal beliefs, I came up with the concept of a ‘Spectrum of Dowsing Belief’. At one end of the spectrum, we have the tangible target dowsers – those who dowse for archaeology, water, or other practical features – who adopt a rational, materialistic paradigm to explain dowsing; e.g. it must be due to some sort of electromagnetic disturbance over the target that we are picking up with our rods, and any other opinion is simply New Age fluffiness and is bringing dowsing into disrepute. There has to be a rational scientific explanation, even if we don’t understand it just yet.

At the other end of the spectrum, where you will find the intangible target dowsers – those who dowse for earth energies, auras and such like – you can find some individuals who will attribute the dowsing ability to a ‘gift from God’ or some other higher source, spirit guide, guardian angel or whatever; and who say that dowsing needs to acknowledge this spiritual aspect more in order to survive.

This dichotomy has been quite prevalent in BSD membership for some time; there are those who are adamant that we have lost sight of the roots of the Society and we should get our focus back into the traditional aspects of dowsing; and those who want us to publicly embrace the more esoteric, spiritual and even magical aspects of dowsing. Such is the church that the BSD inhabits, and as you can see it’s rather broad!

In reality, most dowsers (and indeed most BSD members) fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. I’m definitely somewhere towards the esoteric end of the spectrum myself, but I don’t have any problem with accepting that in all probability we see only a small part of the overall picture, and that there is undoubtedly a larger truth behind the whole. It’s a quantum Universe out there, and reality can be something of a non-Newtonian fluid these days.

The point for the Tutors is that they cannot afford to pitch their teachings towards either end of the spectrum, no matter what their personal paradigm may be – their students in all likelihood will have a different perspective and spiritual belief system, and they have to be encouraged to assimilate the dowsing experience into that in their own fashion. We need to remain objective and acknowledge that there are many paths to the ocean of Truth. The important thing is that dowsing will help them to find their own path.

Grahame Gardner
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