This weekend I went to the National American Society of Dowsers Conference. Actually, I went up Thursday, and just got back; but I could have gone from Wednesday to Tuesday- a whole week- because while they have a full program of 24 workshops and an evening ceremony Friday through Sunday, they have other optional workshops before and after the main conference. One could spend a week there, but I didn’t.
This year, as usual since I’ve discovered the ASD con, I learned a lot of new techniques for healing and divination, talked to people with whom I don’t have to “pretend to be normal”, and had a great time. Frankly, had I known about them before Jane and I created Changing Times-Changing Worlds, I probably wouldn’t have bothered. They cover most of the same areas.
The conference is held in Northern Vermont. There’s a college there that makes not just classrooms, auditorium, gym (for dealers), but also the dorms and cafeteria available so food and lodging is very affordable (I think $28 a night for room, and less than that for breakfast, lunch and dinner), and the Lyndon College campus is gorgeous. It doesn’t have a nearby airport so people pretty much have to drive in, and they are actually trying to figure out if they should move to another venue because of that, but quite aside from how hard it is to break tradition, it’s hard to ignore from benefits of the site. Especially the energy there- for a group of people who like to open up to the energies around them, there’s a major advantage to being in the country.
I could spend paragraphs talking about the classes I went to (and probably will in my weekly letter), but to keep it brief, will just say that I learned a great deal, and felt welcome. I was very flattered that some people who took the Palmistry class asked if I was teaching it again, but, if not surprised, a little disappointed that they usually hadn’t been doing it. I think the dowsers are more into self-help and enlightenment than the pagans with whom I usually deal.
It’s an interesting combination. On the one hand, I feel that these folks are more aware and open than most, they understand that the universe is made of energy, and how we interact with it. On the other hand, sometimes some of the things they suggest make me cringe and want to disassociate myself from them. Then I wonder, “am I just resisting this information because it challenges my belief system?” True science doesn’t take the facts and make them fit a premise, it starts with a premise, tests it, and alters the theory to fit the evidence. (Thesis, antithesis, synthesis) You aren’t allowed to throw out the evidence that doesn’t support your preferred outcome (even if you should take into account variations and probabilities).
There’s a basic progression in dowsing that requires that if you are going to trust what your pendulum/ bobber/ L rods/ or other device says, you have to trust it, even when you have no immediate evidence that 300 feet below there’s an aquifer that will produce X gallons a minute, or if a certain therapy is going to help your physical (mental or spiritual) condition. Trust is a really important part of using it. The system uses belief, and works better when you have it. Also, the more you use it successfully, the easier it is to believe, which is why often beginners are less frequently accurate than old-timers. (Children, who are open to belief also do REALLY well.) I’ve seen it work a lot, I have found things by dowsing that I couldn’t find before I remembered to try it, including things under or behind other things, or otherwise hidden.
Once you realize that dowsing to find things works, that reenforces your belief in the energetic universe. Once you discover kinesiology, you are able to communicate with your body better, and be healthier. Once you accept that energy runs through your body and gathers in certain places (meridians and chakras), the techniques of acupuncture and acupressure, and vibrational medicine become possible. Parts of what the modern world tends to deny make so much more sense once you accept the energetic component, from ghosts to energy healing. Of course, we don’t understand everything by a long shot, and this is further complicated by how our filters effect our interpretations. (The old how the blind men “saw” the elephant problem.)
It can seem a “slippery slope”, appealing only to those who are also organic gardening freaks or nutrition nuts, or people who’ve had bad experiences in the mainstream. I won’t deny that there are a lot of those. Once you learn to think for yourself, it’s easier to resist getting all your information from advertising and popular media. It doesn’t take too many occasions when you discover that not only were you mistaken, you were mislead to that conclusion to begin to look (and feel) like a conspiracy theorist. Interestingly, it’s the people who want to look at the evidence personally who are usually described as credulous, that they believe anything a “snake oil salesman” will tell them. (The next thing you know you’ll be wondering about the effects of fluoride, chem-trails and vaccinations!) But just because you have seen convincing evidence for one thing (for example, it’s a lot harder to deny the existence of ghosts when you’ve seen one), doesn’t mean that you believe everything. I’ve experienced True Love, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t realize a lot of people haven’t, and that it’s hard for them to believe it could possibly be as good as I said it was.
In the “war” between the mainstream and the metaphysical subculture (as in politics), opponents try to attack an argument not by giving facts supporting their position, but by attacking the veracity of the other speaker. If someone has been wrong (or lied) about something, than is supposed to prove that you can’t trust anything else they’ve said.
Sometimes, especially when you’ve been hurt by someone you trusted, it can feel like that, but that doesn’t make it any more logical, or accurate. Even if the vast majority of all crop circles are made by farmers with strings and boards, that doesn’t mean they all are (no matter how much some people would be more comfortable to think so). Just because fraudulent mediums and fortune tellers exist doesn’t mean that everyone who does divination is a fraud or a trickster, any more than every Muslim is a terrorist, or every priest a child-abuser. Also, just because our techniques don’t always work doesn’t mean they aren’t reliable. Weather predictions and doctors diagnoses are not one hundred percent accurate, but we don’t give up on them. We have to accept the evidence before us, and frankly, there’s plenty to support the energetic world.
So when a swinging pendulum said Saturday that the reason I can’t seem to lose weight with diet and exercise is because I have a subconscious belief that I don’t deserve to, I have no way to look at my subconscious and say whether that’s true or not. But when the workshop leader uses radionics to remove that subconscious belief, I know that I’m hoping it works. ( I’ll keep you posted on that one.) I’m also willing to give the benefit of the doubt to some of the other “unverifiable” theories I’ve heard this past few days by trying them myself and seeing how they play out. In Huna there are Seven Principles, the last of which is Pono- “If it works, it’s real.” Whether it works is what I really care about. As I say, I’ll keep testing and let you know.