Posts Tagged ‘test’
If you have ever wanted to ask me, what are the best kinds of experience that I have had, this post is the kind. Why is that you might ask, let me enumerate…
- they are interesting
- they step out of the box into new territory
- they provide evidence for what previously was belief only
- they are fun to do
- and they are practical
Here then is the tale. As you may recall, a couple of times I have mentioned the termConception Energies. What I have meant by them is the energy that is created in a place where a child has been conceived. Now I have to note that it is where it has been conceived, not where sex has occured. An important distinction.
I had spoken with a friend about my findings and some time later she caught up with me. Whilst we were out for a coffee she told me that she had in turn mentioned what I had said to a friend of hers and that friend had told her that she knew exactly where her 3 year old daughter had been conceived and that this would be an excellent test to see if such energies existed and whether I could find them.
What an excellent idea. I wanted to go there and then, but logisitics meant I had to wait a few days. Nevertheless a few days later, my friend and I arrived at her friends place. Let’s call her Julie. I asked Julie, how she knew where her daugter was conceived (bit of a personal question but I felt I had the right to ask, given what we were about). She said that her husband worked away from home and he had been back only one possible occasion when Lucy (her daughter) could have been conceived. Excellent.
As almost always, with house dowsing I began just inside the front door. The house was a 3 bedroom semi. Downstairs was a front room, a kitchen/diner and a conservatory. Upstairs was a bathroom, a master bedroom, a guest room and a small room.
My friend and Julie wanted to follow me as I dowsed but a thought occured to my scientific brain. “I don’t want to get any subliminal clues of you” I said to Julie and they left me alone (grudgingly). I asked the most important question….
- Are there any Conception Energies in this house? Yes.
Actually I stopped there with a start and redefined my question. Are there any Conception Energies that relat to Lucy conception? Ah see…good point, right? Again the answer was Yes.
- Can I dowse for these energies? Yes. Excellent!
I followed the dowsing rods as they took me into the kitchen, then the living room, then up the stairs into the master bedroom (Oh no was this going to be obvious?) But no, the rods, swung out of there and then into the small room. I was expecting them to cross but they didn’t. They swung out of that room and headed back down the stairs.
One of the frustrating things about dowsing for places is that the rods in almost every occasion take you on a circateuos route. Why? I have no idea, but they do.
As I came down the stairs the rods crossed. What? Oh no. I double and triple checked. But that’s where they crossed, about 6 steps up. I had an aha moment. This had happened to me before. I looked to the ceiling for an atic hatch, there was none. Maybe there was a cellar? There was no space under the stairs. I was dejected.
My friend and Julie were in the kitchen as I came in. My friend asked me excitedly, “Did you find it?” I sighed and replied yes. Although my friend had pestered Julie she hadn’t told her. I asked Julie if there was an atic or celler. The answer was no. From the look on her face I knew she thought I had messed up. So I said, let me show you where I think it is.
Julie, Lucy and my friend followed as I took them up the steps. I stopped abruptly. “Here” I said pointing at the 6th step. To my utter amazement Julie blushed. My friend gasped. “Julie!” she said in mock shock. Julie shrugged and smiled sheepishly ruffling her daughters hair. “Yes, that is where it was.”
I think that I was more stressed taking my degree exams than this, but the amazing confirmation was worth it. And another good thing that came out of it was that Julie has asked me to do a full dowse of her house so stay tuned for whaat happens with that.
Kal Malik exploring the beyond.
ps: link to Conception Energy posts
This weekend I did a bit of scouting. In a recent blog post I raised the issue of putting dowsing to the test. I had been baffled by just how wrong dowsers were, who were put to the test by scientists and skeptics in a televised experiment. This weekend I found what I hope is a good spot for our experiments – the circles and stones above the village of Penmaenmawr, near Conwy in North Wales.
Having found the route up to the circles I was fully intent on dowsing the sites for at least an hour or two to get the feel for the place, but bad weather swept in making any attempts impossible as the wind swung the rods and the rain soaked M and I with a cold shower that just got colder.
We had started half way up the steep slope in perfect sunshine, but by the time we were walking along the ridge above the village we were seeing dark clouds whipped in towards us by a bracing sea wind. Dowsing became the least likely thing to be doing in those conditions and I quickly abandoned even the merest readings at The Druid’s Circle – only using it to get us there, and then to quickly find a good place to shelter!
It was obviously not the right conditions to be playing around today. Let’s hope we can find a calmer day. M had been scouting further and reported back that there were avenues of stones and more circles just beyond this one. Coupled with the small circle we had passed on the way to the Druid’s Circle, and the standing stone conveniently placed next to the wide track on the way up, this held a lot of promise for performing our dowsing trials. Easy to get to – varied sites – not too far away – a site neither Kal nor I had dowsed already. It bodes well. We should start at the next clear weather.
All we need now is someone who will be our ‘never-dowsed-before’ participant, and someone else to guess the answers. Oh, and we the obligatory skeptic to pour bad vibes on the whole enterprise. Volunteers?
Hoping we all find a path
I was talking to Kal last week about an experiment I had seen hosted by James Randi, the infamous debunker of new-age and paranormal phenomena. An introduction to the video states:
“In controlled tests, dowsing fails every time. Dowsing is actually nothing more than an example of the ‘ideomotor effect’ – a known psychological phenomenon in which the dowser moves/tips the dowsing apparatus entirely unconsciously, giving the powerful illusion that the device moves of its own accord.
This is also the explanation behind the ouija board and automatic writing.“
Now, there are some things to say about this. Firstly, that both Kal and I would agree that the movement of dowsing rods is probably contributed to by minutely small movements of the hand, wrist or arm in order to facilitate the movement of the rods. That is a strong possibility, and in some bad dowsers this is more than a minute movement – it becomes a gross movement that the dowser claims to be unaware of, despite the fact that everyone observing can see it! The idea that these movements are mostly unconscious to the participant seems to be true as well – or perhaps they’re just not very aware of their proprioceptive capabilities.
Secondly, we are also aware that the “source” of the movement is us. Consciously, semi-consciously, unconsciously, whatever – we feel that we are either an aware channel for the motivation for the rods to move, or we are interpreting the reaction and perhaps even responding to it at some level. Yes, it’s US folks – it’s not God, Nature, evil forces, electromagnetism, or any of the usual explanations. It’s US doing it. That is not the point in question – the question is HOW and WHY – in response to WHAT are those rods moving, because WE don’t know (yet)! We may never know. We may not even need to know.
Thirdly, the test that is always done is a test that I have tried myself, and failed in just the same way! Oh yes. I have done the test for finding a hidden object while bring scutinised, and with the aim of proving that dowsing really works. It didn’t. I got no better than chance. Just like the double-blind hidden object tests which are used to discredit dowsing. And yet I continued to dowse. WHY???
Well, because I know that when I am out in nature, dowsing for energies, I find patterns that I don’t believe I could create myself. My expectations are constantly overturned, and my arrogance or pride is ALWAYS overturned in the most embarrassing way. That much I can guarantee you! Try to impress with dowsing and you’ll come a cropper – I assure you of that much! Something, somewhere, somehow prevents its “abuse” for fun and crushes the ego when it gets involved in the activity. So, we need tests that both include and exclude the ego. We need tests of many varieties, in different conditions, for different aims.
Are the debunkers right?
Debunkers love to have their “controlled test” and to “prove” that activities such as dowsing are poppycock. It gives them a feeling of self-righteousness, I’m sure. “See – you’re far better off with just your plain old boring five senses. We were right all along – don’t be fooled again!”
Agreed. Don’t be fooled. And I have no intention of being a fool. I treat rational thought as a truly important development of the human consciousness. But it doesn’t have to end there. It doesn’t have to be the be-all-and-end-all of all thought, as some would have you believe. Mainly people who are very successful in that sphere of human intelligence – Mr Richard Dawkins, I’m talking to you. Dawkins did a programme for TV recently called “Root of all evil?” in which he countered organised religion, new-age thinking and all manner of ‘erroneous philosophy’. Honestly, I was with him 95% of the way, as inevitably the charlatans in the various fields were shown up as the cynical exploiters that they are. I have no argument with that.
So, why did the dowsing experiment from James Randi, and the one performed by Richard Dawkins, both fail so miserably? I have an idea why, but I don’t really know. So I have come up with what I believe is a much fairer, more comprehensive, and equally rigorous (if not more so) series of tests that will once and for all prove, if only to myself, whether there really is something in this dowsing lark.
Here is what I propose:-
AIM: To test dowsing skills in a number of conditions to determine the accuracy and consistency of results.
- All tests must be done on the same day and in the same place to exclude the influence of as many variable factors as possible.
- Any feelings of uncertainty, or more than one answer or outcome, should be vocalised by the dowser and recorded during the test as they occur, so that they can be reviewed afterwards.
- The degree of certainty in the result of the dowsing should be rated and recorded on a simple scale.
- The tests should be performed by someone who has never dowsed before as well as experienced dowsers to note any variance or similarity.
- All tests should also be done by someone without the use of dowsing rods – just picking an answer.
- The questions to be asked by the dowser should be explicitly stated before the test is attempted so that all dowsers ask the same question and agree the phrasing is suitable to produce results.
- Any feelings within the dowser should be vocalised and recorded so that the effect can be analysed later.
- Finding an earth energy line at a sacred site never visited by the dowsers before
- Asking a question about the past, the present and the future
- Finding a hidden sample of water (holy well water/tap water), crystal (charged and uncharged), and an object treasured by someone (something someone has invested emotion into) in a double-blind test
- Finding a tree’s aura
- Dowsing a standing stone at a sacred site never visited by the dowsers before
- Unpressured and alone
- Observed by a sympathetic observer who is willing the tests to work
- Observed by a cynical or hostile observer who is willing the tests to fail
- Watched by a crowd of random people whose sympathies are unknown
- Watched by a crowd of sympathetic people willing the tests to work
This is our starting point. From this other tests may suggest themselves, and we can take the experimentation further. However, if it turns out that none of these tests produce anything more than random chance, then we will have to consider our position! It’s make or break with this one! No excuses!
Taking it further
ADDENDUM: 13th November 2009
As you can see this original post was written over a year ago. Since that time we have discovered so much more about the concepts of dowsing. One of the important things we have learned is that IT CANNOT BE TESTED. Now, that seems so much like a cop-out that it just HAS to be explained. Here is my explanation of why this is the case, for me at least, and, judging by the dismal failure of all other dowsing tests, why it appears to be generally true.
Dowsing is NOT the interaction with an as-yet undiscovered energy force that is simply waiting for science to discover its particulars. It is about interacting with the life force of Nature itself – with “chi”, vouivre, newifre, awen, ki, od, and all the other names that have been given to it since the beginning of recorded history. Anyone who approaches dowsing with the expectation of unveiling this layer of existence using probes, measures and a set of guidelines is setting themselves up for a lifetime of frustration.
Dowsing IS the interaction of a human mind with the life force of Nature. As such it is subject to so many variables that are uncontrollable, especially in combination with each other, that predicting an outcome is as likely as winning the lottery. In this interaction there are such elements as: your emotional state, your skill in dowsing, your pre-conditioning to the response, how you programmed the response of the rods, how intuitive you are on the day, your ability to achieve the state of “no-mind” without stress when under pressure, the quality of the question being asked (i.e. how binary is the answer), and so on.
And that’s just YOUR side of the equation. The other side is how you have developed your relationship with The Other that is producing the response, whatever you understand that to be. How will The Other respond? In my experience it will not be commanded. What is a “scientific test”, if not a requirement to produce a consistent response ON DEMAND? Nature, or The Other, will not yield to being asked to respond as YOU will it to be. You may only ASK graciously for her compliance with your request, and then trust to hope.
“It’s a cop out!” I hear some people cry. Good. Cry away. I now have the authority of experience, and I know this to be so. What is YOUR experiencial evidence in this field?
Needless to say – no test as described above will be being performed by us. You may take it and use it if you wish, but you will not succeed. Or rather, as is often the way, you will trial it by yourself, succeed, then try it again when other people are watching, and it will go hopelessly wrong. That I can guarantee!