There can be no doubt that the phenomenon of Dowsing is very ancient even if the proof for its antiquity is scarce. Neolithic man knew about its practical use, probably for locating food and perhaps therapeutic purposes. Sacred structures in a great many ancient civilisations would insinuate that the designers were familiar with and used dowsing techniques.

In Europe, according to Dr Aubrey Westlake, a one-time chairman of the British Society of Dowsers, it was not until A.D. 1240 that there is any reference in European writings, and the first reference in England was in 1638 in a book written in Latin by Robert Fludd. Dowsing in those early days was always regarded with considerable suspicion, with a whiff of magic and even an odour of sulphur.

Some serious systematic studies were made in Europe between the end of the 19th and the early 20th century, recognising the peculiar human faculty, albeit unrecog­nized by science. The scope of dowsing at that time was almost entirely limited to water and mineral ore dowsing.

The understanding gradually dawned on an increasingly larger community, thanks to associations and socieities, that the range of possibilities could be extended to a broader range of inquiry. The efforts were still dogged by a controversy between those who believed dowsing to be a physical pheno­mena, therefore to be explained in terms of modern physics, and those who held it to be a psychic phenomena. That debate continues to this day despite the evidence that there can be no differentiation between matter and spirit. Where is the need, except for the man of science with a categorical requirement for logical proof?

But it was gradually realized, and by no less authority than Sir William Barrett, that the attempt to account for dowsing on physical grounds alone must be abandoned; and indeed it is fortunate, for if physical radiesthesia were indeed all, we should be in sight of the end of dowsing for water, minerals and oil, as it is abundantly clear that in the purely material field the dowser will probably be super­seded by the development of ultra sensitive instruments capable of picking up and analyzing all material radiations.

Nevertheless apart from Maby’s and Franklin’s research works little progress had been made by 1953 in other fundamental research, so much so that such an accomplished dowser as the late Major Pogson, when asked whether there had been any major advance in technique and results in the last 30 years, said he was bound to admit there had been none.

Round about this time, as I recount in the Pattern of Health, I met Mr. W.O. Wood and had a remarkable association with him until his death in the autumn of 1957. I found that he was all out for action, as he was clear that if ever we were going to solve the mystery of radiesthesia, we should have to enlarge and re-orientate our ideas and concepts in a very vital and fundamental way. The physical and materialistic outlook is not enough. It is valid as far as it goes, as we have seen in Maby’s work for example, but beyond that is a vast world which is at once scientific and religious and can only be understood in the light of “spiritual science”, to use Rudolf Steiner’s term.

The action he was after, in the light of this, he finally instituted in the winter of 1954-55 during an intense cold spell, and proved to be an exploration in depth of the radiesthetic technique now called Q & A, which I will consider more fully later on.

The main outcome of this work apart from its intrinsic value was that it brought him recognition as a sound researcher and he was asked to give the lecture following the Annual General Meeting of the B.S.D. in 1955. He chose as his subject “Observations on Some Problems facing the Society”. As an outside observer he said he had a feeling for some time that the B.S.D. was not realizing its potentials or possibilities and had fallen into a state of scientific stagnation. Let me quote this passage from his lecture:

“The most important feature is the dowser’s apparent un­willingness to tackle the full scope of the gift of sensitivity, and his tendency to restrict his thoughts to what has been described as the hewing of wood and the drawing of water. The thinking public is now well aware that the range of sensitivity cannot thus be circumscribed. The problems facing mankind are greater than the locating of wells and matching of remedies – plumbing and plastering, so to speak – and we have to come to grips with the issues of our times and face realities as they are. It is necessary that the sights of the dowser be raised in line with those of science and philosophy – so a problem is presented: whether the urgency and magnitude of the factors facing man do not force upon the dowser the choice between widening the scope of his activities, or rejection as having failed to provide for the full flowering of the gift entrusted to him – for the principles the dowsers seek are known to others, who seek in turn the means of proving them. The dowser has the means of proving them, but appears these days to be blind to the principles.”

But there was already at this time one important exception, viz., in the field of medical dowsing, or radiesthesia as it came to be known from its French origin.

Starting as far back as the turn of the century, radiesthesia had already been practised successfully by many French priests, notably the Abbe’s Bouley and Mermet, and by other accomplished technicians such as Turenne, Lesourd, Bovis and many others.

Knowledge of all this promising work came, in due course, to England, and six years after the founding of the B.S.D., the Medical Society for the Study of Radiesthesia was started in 1939 by Dr. Guyon Richards. He gathered round him a remarkable group of qualified medical men as well as some outstanding lay members. The Society remained very alive and active for many years in spite of the loss of its founder Dr. Guyon Richards in 1946, followed by six others of the original group between then and 1952. Some years later it shed its lay associate members, since when – while still alive – it has ceased to be active.

Fortunately one member of the original group – Dr. George Laurence – has not only carried on and is still with us, but during the fifties and sixties developed and worked out a technique of diagnosis and treatment arising from clinical research work and assessment which is now known as Psionic Medicine embracing, among other things, McDonagh’s Unitary Theory of Disease and Hahnemann’s Theory of Chronic Disease, the latest work on DNA and RNA, and some aspects of Steiner’s Spiritual Science, but all depending on the functioning of the radiesthetic faculty. In 1969 the Psionic Medical Society was formed with both medical and lay membership, to foster and promote this new approach to the science and art of healing, which discovers, by the use of the radies­thetic faculty, the really basic cause or causes lying at the root of disorder or disease, and then treats these by radiesthetically indicated homoeopathic remedies – real creative medicine. In this it has been gratifyingly successful, and with a technique of the simplest – a pendulum, a diagnostic chart, and actual witnesses, these latter to give greater reliability to the readings.

So in this field there has been much research and definite basic progress thanks to the full use of the radiesthetic faculty.

But medical dowsing also had an influx from a completely different source, this time from America, in the work of Dr. Albert Abrams whom Sir James Barr described as “by far the greatest genius the medical profession has produced for half a century”. He produced, after an incredible amount of research and fortuitous good luck, his famous “Box”, from which was developed in due course the Drown diagnostic and treatment instruments, and later those of de la Warr, which later in turn gave birth to Radionics – instrumental radiesthe­sia – and the Radionic Association formed in 1943 “to assist scientific investigation, and the propagation of its findings”. Unfor­tunately as had happened with straight forward water divining, under­standing was badly hampered by the desire to explain the phenomena in terms of orthodox physics and to get the approval of orthodox science, and even when later the Association was re-formed as a breakaway from the de la Warr set-up, and took a new lease of life, it was, in its early days, still bogged down in and with gadgets and gadgetry, and the true nature of the phenomena and this form of diagnosis and healing largely missed. But gradually the unique role of the radiesthetic faculty has been recognized as will be clear when we come to the technique of Q & A.

But apart from this development of medical dowsing in its two forms of radiesthesia and radionics there seemed to be a state of relative stagnation on the dowsing front and wider implications of Wood’s warnings remained unheeded.

It appeared to me at this time that the important thing which must be done was to switch our attention from the mechanics of dowsing to the one factor essential to the phenomena however it was operated, viz., the dowsing faculty; and so in 1959, at the Congress held in July, I read a paper entitled “The Radiesthetic Faculty” which was an attempt to understand the essential nature and function of this mysterious sense.

I do not propose now to go over my findings which in any case you can find in Chap. XII of the Pattern of Health, and my later thoughts on the subject in Chap. XVI of Life Threatened, but let me quote this summary.

“I believe that the rediscovery of the radiesthetic faculty in these modern times is not fortuitous, but that it has been vouchsafed to us by Providence to enable us to cope with the difficult and dangerous stage in human development which lies immediately ahead, for it gives indirect access to the supersensible world, more particularly to the etheric, thus raising our level of consciousness and extending our awareness and knowledge. The faculty should be regarded as a special and peculiar sense halfway between our ordinary physical senses which apprehend the material world, and our to-be-developed future occult senses which – in due course – will apprehend the supersensible world direct.”

It is moreover a faculty which can operate on various levels, particularly the subconscious or Huna Low Self level, but also on the superconscious or Huna High Self level and higher ones still, according to the requirements of the situation and the training, discipline and knowledgability of the operator. This will I hope become clear when we come to discuss Q & A.

In my book Life Threatened, written some years later, I discussed again what I thought was the modus operandi of the faculty and suggested that the proprioceptive nervous system was directly involved, but further work would suggest that this was erroneous and that the working sequence is – etheric formative forces – > red blood cells – > the circulatory blood -> the autonomic nervous system – > voluntary muscles -> the move­ment of the pendulum.

This said, let us go back to Wood’s lecture. If he at that time felt so strongly that the problems of 1955 needed “the full scope of the dowser’s sensitivity”, to use his own words, the need must be very much greater today with the vast and additional problems of 1972. Let us consider some of those to which it would appear we can make a very special and probably unique contribution to their understanding and solution in these modern times and one moreover now accep­table, if recent books like Arthur Koestler’s The Roots of Coincidence and Edward Russell’s Design for Destiny are any indication of public interest and concern. Here is a tentative list, but one which can and doubtless will be added to:

  1. The search for water, oil and mineral deposits. This is the well-known traditional field of dowsing and has in fact been, and still is, well covered though not as much as it should be by both professional and amateur dowsers.
  2. Archaeological exploration. A more limited field at present but of considerable and increasing importance for historical research and the recovery of vanished prehistoric remains.
  3. Architectural uses, such as site dowsing, in which must be included detection of harmful earth rays and detection of cavities, pipes and drains etc. No dwelling should be built until the site has been properly dowsed. Also the actual building materials are important, and also the substances used in the furniture; steel, for example, dulls the brain – it is a mineral hypnotic.
  4. The locating of law-breakers and criminals, missing persons, dead bodies, and lost or buried property and money. Increasingly important with the great increase in crime of late years. Should be used far more than it is in civil and criminal cases needing such aid.
  5. Agricultural and horticultural uses. In such things as the determination of optimum soil conditions, seed fertility and germination, plant health, and of good husbandry in general including the value of all additives both organic and inorganic. Determination of quality, aliveness and wholesomeness in all foods whether natural, manufactured, processed, or artificial and synthetic.
  6. Personality assessment, by measurement of “brain radiation” as discovered and used by Dr. Oscar Brunler. It has manifold uses, educationally and industrially, in estimation of talents, aptitudes, personality problems and mental potential, etc.
  7. Medical and Veterinary application. Apart from water divin­ing, medicine has received more radiesthetic attention as I have already pointed out, but there are still innumerable problems to solve, and the only answer to many of them is in Psionic Medicine both diagnostically and therapeutically. Already enough is known to change the whole pattern of medical treatment but the public is being deprived by entrenched orthodoxy of this help and know­ledge and of what can be done both curatively and prophylac­tically.

In veterinary practice, if used more extensively it would undoubtedly help to prevent the gradual deterioration of vitality, stamina and resistance in farm and domestic animals.

  1. Homoeopathy. The introduction of radiesthesia into the practice of homoeopathy would unquestionably mean a great revival in homoeopathic medicine, either as its own specialty or more sensibly in the form of a comprehensive medicine such as Psionic Medicine. Radiesthesia in this context solves the vexed and difficult question of remedy selection and potency.
  2. Here we come to our modern dilemma – the whole vast problem of pollution and contamination particularly in its sub­tle and more intangible aspects of the present ubiquitous paratoxic environment in which we all now have to live or exist.

Out of the innumerable toxic factors let me mention two groups, firstly, the low level radio-activity of Tritium (a radio­active isotope of hydrogen 3H) and Carbon 14, also radio-active, as expounded so brilliantly by David Rawson in his monograph Radiation and Nuclear Homoeopathy. The menace from these two began to be serious in 1954 and is steadily increasing thanks to the thermonuclear testing and the so-called peaceful use of atomic energy. The menace arises from the fact that in every hydrological and carbon cycle in Nature these radio-active isotopes are now present, even in the hydrogen bonds which hold together the intricate helical structure of DNA and RNA in our bodies – a truly frightening thought.

Secondly the increasing toxic menace of Lead, Mercury and Cadmium in our ordinary environment, in human and animal bodies, and in the rivers, seas and oceans of the world.

Radiesthesia can be of inestimable value in giving us the knowledge and techniques of how to detect and deal with the subtle poisoning effects of all the polluting factors, for as Dr. Weinberg, Head of the Oakridge Atomic Energy Establishment said publicly: “The problems at one rad are not amenable to the scientific method. Other approaches are necessary.” He tables those questions which are beyond in­vestigation with present assay methods as “trans-scientific.”

Psionic medicine already provides one of these “other approaches” for dealing with the effects in humans and animals; and doubtless other approaches, using the radiesthetic faculty to discover them, will also be forthcoming.

  1. And so to the last in our list – Question and Answer. Q & A. In which the operator must learn to use faculties of intellect and intuition, applying either at will and never confusing them – the intellect for the formulation of questions and the evaluation of answers, and the intuition, using the radiesthetic faculty, to obtain the truth. Q & A is eminently the instrument of scientific radiesthetic research.

This I regard as the most important use of the radiesthetic faculty as it provides a bridge between two worlds – the sensible and the supersensible.

The elements of seeking and finding are of course inherent in all radiesthetic and dowsing work, but it is only in Q & A that they become a deliberate technique, and there is conscious “asking”.

As far as I know the first recorded use of the radiesthetic faculty in this way for deliberate research was carried out in 1956 by the group whose activities I recorded in my book Pattern of Health. The success of the group was undoubtedly largely due, in the first place, to Mr. Wood whom I described as “an ideal question-master”:

“His skill at this was quite remarkable, as he had exceptional flair for framing precise and correct wording of the question, and following it up with exactly the right supplementaries. He had a quick and agile mind, yet at the same time it was balanced and usually under the control of his highly informed reason. An ideal combination.”

In the second place success was due to the two sensitives who were sufficiently developed to be able to work on the levels required.  Invaluable insights were vouchsafed us at this time particularly in regard to the levels of consciousness on which the radiesthetic faculty operates, and the fact that “pattern” appeared to be of great importance in this work, which in this instance emerged in the seven healing patterns, of which the first three – the Diamond, the Celtic Cross and the Star of Bethlehem – gave such remarkable therapeutic results. The conditions governing legitimate use of Q & A were also worked out.

But there the matter rested and has remained dormant for some years now, as with the death of Mr. Wood in 1957 the group dispersed and no further group research was done.

Just recently however it has blossomed forth again in an enhanced form in the work of two talented researchers in the radionic and radiesthetic fields of study.

The first is Mrs. Jane Wilcox who most fortunately was able to draw on the experience and informed advice of Major Blythe Praeger (one of the members of the original group) and who proved to be a very apt pupil. So much so that at the recent Conference of the Association in March this year she gave the closing lecture entitled “Question and Answer”, with the intriguing sub-title of “A Bridge Between Two Worlds”. This was cast in the form of query and answer, her husband asking the questions. This proved to be an out­standing contribution. All who were fortunate enough to hear it felt that here was a great advance in our understanding of the role and scope of the radiesthetic faculty.

What impressed me particularly was that her own investigation of the technique confirmed our original findings, but also produced some most important additions; for example she started off originally simply to improve the reliability of her own radionic healing work but found, to quote her:

“That the whole process of the art of Q & A is a vastly larger subject than a means of obtaining specific information in any one specialized field. I see it as a means of integrating the personality and of learning how to construct a bridge between the conscious and unconscious worlds in relation to life as a whole. In short, Q & A can be used as a process of self-development.”

Understanding and integrating herself as a personality she found necessitated the awareness of her subconscious – the Low Self in Huna philosophy – that as it can be a good servant but a bad master, it had to be properly instructed and disciplined, otherwise it gave the answer that it thought the conscious self wanted, or else played up, or in certain instances gave false answers, for unconscious emotional reasons.

But equally and more importantly it meant a recognition and realization of the existence of the super-conscious or Huna High Self, how to contact it and how to differentiate between the roles and functions of the two selves, as well as the relationship of the conscious or Middle Self to the other two, and the need for the acquisition above all else, in this relationship, of clear and responsible thinking.

The construction of the “bridge” required:­

  1. A mode and code of communication i.e. the movements of the pendulum and their interpretation.
  2. The nature and formulation of the questions to be asked which requires:
  3. a)    finding out in any given case whether the question is legiti­mate e.g. idle curiosity is out, as are questions about the future, and inadequate formulation due to insufficient knowledge.
  4. b)    if it is legitimate, the need for clear and precise thinking based on adequate knowledge so that there is no ambiguity or double meaning which in its turn means
  5. c)     finding the right word or words to exactly express the thought. This requires a large vocabulary, and English with its richness of language and abundant synonyms is ideal for this purpose, and the book which is essential is Roget’s Thesaurus; and to help in this task of exact selection, Q & A can be legitimately used.
  6. The answer then requires intellectual assessment as to whether it makes sense or not – if it does this will lead to other questions and the elucidation of the given problem. Or it may make nonsense or there may be no answer at all. If this latter, Mrs. Wilcox says that at the beginning she looked for interfering emana­tions usually paranormal, but gradually came to realize this was too facile an interpretation and that it meant something was to be learnt; that the “teaching element” of the High Self was trying to draw her attention to something important and thereby broaden her ability to understand the truth. She found in this situation she had to ask four questions;
  7. a)    Am I allowed to ask this question?
  8. b)    Am I asking the wrong question?
  9. c)     Are ‘You’ trying to teach me something?
  10. d)    Do I need to ask a subsidiary question before you can answer me?
  11. It is necessary to realize that the answer may come from two levels, from the subconscious or the super-conscious. Apart from the nature of the content of the answers there is an essential difference which one comes to recognize; the answer from the super-conscious sources have, to quote Mrs. Wilcox: “an authenticity and simplicity of quality which just does have a true ring about it”. But on this level ask and ye shall receive holds good, but you must ask; but clarity of thought in framing questions is a must -neither source can answer muddled questions.
  12. Finally the most vital realization of all is “that no help will be forthcoming unless and until one has first done one’s very best to answer the question by utilizing one’s natural gifts and faculties”.

The second researcher in this field is Mr. Malcolm Rae who in­terestingly enough came to Radionics from a life of wide experience both in commerce and business. But being a very practical and inventive type he thought at first that advance would come from improved and more sophisticated radionic instruments, and in fact he produced a very successful 40 dial instrument. But he soon came to see that it was not so much this that was wanted, as an improved human operator whose essential requisites are:

  1. That he or she is a seeker after truth
  2. Has a trained and disciplined intellect
  3. Has a wide and varied knowledge
  4. Has a well developed and trained radiesthetic faculty.
  5. Has a simple instrumental technique and that the research undertaken should be based on actual problems confronting the investigator whether in medical work or indeed in all the other fields already mentioned.

I find myself in a difficulty in trying to record his work, for as more supersensible knowledge has come through it is constantly changing both in form and content in order to incorporate the ad­ditional truth revealed. Such advances come about as a result of pegging away at the cases he is treating which do not respond to treatment, and thus the endeavor to find out why; what has been missed; had there been a wrong interpretation; or does the problem require looking at from a new angle?

But in this way a truer and truer pattern of healing has begun to emerge with proportionally less and less failures. This however has required a very flexible approach and the rethinking of a number of things, e.g. the real nature of those mysterious radionic rates, as well as many other things apparently accepted as gospel truth.

In February this year he gave a paper to the Medical Society for the Study of Radiesthesia entitled ‘Radiesthesia and Thought’ which is an excellent example of how, employing the radiesthetic faculty in the technique of Q & A, it can be used as the instrument par excellence in basic scientific radiesthetic research.

He found that one of the first essentials is to distinguish between truth, i.e. facts, and opinion, and he suggests that if the usual intellectual assessment of relative truth is used it is very difficult to do this, but using radiesthetic assessment the task is far more sure and conclusive. This he found could be done by a suitable designed truth chart on a base of magnetic rubber, which latter tends to reduce the interference of the intellect.

Working with this and Q & A it has been possible to determine certain fundamental axioms such as, and I quote Malcolm Rae:

“Everything in the universe, as far as I know, consists of a system of energies operating within boundaries. The boundaries describe structure and the energies describe functioning within the structure.”

This led to the concept, and I quote again:

“Any deviation from the planned function of anything in the universe is caused by an alteration in the pattern of boundaries and energies. Any detrimental deviation is due to the displacement of a boundary, and a displaced boundary becomes a barrier. The introduction of a barrier into a system of boundaries and energy flows tends to turn all boundaries into barriers and all energies into stresses.

“As the radiesthetic faculty would appear to detect boundaries and/or barriers it can therefore be used to measure the difference between a boundary and a barrier and this would represent the degree of deviation from normality or health.”

This difference or deviation can be expressed in mathematical terms in what would appear to be sets of co-ordinates of a very complex nature, and in the case of Man involving six sets in the given frame of reference which can be determined radiesthetically in detail, and which describes all facets of Man in his environment.

This introduction of mathematics is very interesting for as Canon Galzeswki in a paper entitled “The Human Field in Medical Prob­lems” said, and I quote:

“In 1946 Prof. Mayer Ibach from the medical faculty of Hamburg University came to see me and spent five hours in discussion, insisting that maths should somehow be introduced into medical problems. He was at that time, as he said to me, writing a history of medicine, and that whenever maths was used in this branch of knowledge medicine was rapidly developing, and has declined in its absence. It was for both of us a problem how this could be effected properly.”

Malcolm Rae has it seems provided an answer.

These sets of co-ordinates would appear to be the old radionic rates in a new and vastly more accurate form and frame of reference.

But Malcolm Rae has gone further and has investigated how this whole process appears to work in a human being.

We are born according to him, and I quote: “With an enormous number of sets of co-ordinates related to the many requirements of living on this planet, and we add to them subsequently by the experience of living.” These co-ordinates can be activated when conscious attention is focussed on them, but – and I quote:

“Conscious mentation could not compute the required com­binations of co-ordinates (and thus relative intensities) rapidly enough to sustain life in an environment which is liable to almost instantaneous change; and whatever it is in the subconscious that serves this purpose, in combination with the sets of co-ordinates available to it, is plainly able to achieve feats of mathematics which would confound our most sophisticated computers tended by their most competent programmers. Radiesthetic Q & A yielded, firstly, that that which is responsible for energizing the appropriate co­ordinates to sustain life within those changes of environment which man was designed to withstand, is a Principle; and secondly, that the most accurate verbal description of it is ‘the Essential Simplicity’.”

and he comments:

“What an inspiring description that is too – the essential simplicity – the simplest and thus the most efficient employment of man’s essence in conducting the behaviour of his substance!

These two, i.e. “Attention” in the conscious and “Essential Simplicity” in the subconscious as designed by the Creator, should work perfectly together in harmony but since we are human beings we are constantly interfering and upsetting the programming. “The attempts of the ‘essential simplicity’ to cause the individual to take such steps as are required for bodily well-being, and to avoid those that are detrimental to it – culminate in complexities of compensa­tion dis-intergative to the wholeness of the man.”

In the light of all this, “therapy” becomes clear, and I quote: “In men, a boundary which has become a barrier, once it is correctly measured, may be treated with the appropriate corrective message in the form of a remedial pattern carried by an oral remedy or projected from a suitable instrument.” This is where homoeopathy with its potentization comes into its own, as it provides the correct therapeutic patterns which are necessary to once more restore whole­ness.

This is only the barest, and, I fear, inadequate outline of this important paper, which of course contains more than I have men­tioned, so it should be read in full, as these results of years of research work, appear to be basic truths as measured by the truth chart. There is a part of a prayer by Thomas Aquinas which runs like this: “Grant me penetration to understand, capacity to retain, method and facility in study, subtlety in interpretation and abundant grace of expression” which expresses what Rudolf Steiner saw as necessary to modern times and I quote: that “. . . it is not by mystical experience which divorces itself from reason and despises logic, that man returns to his spiritual heritage, but by the path of pure, con­centrated thinking in which logic is never contradicted.”

Jane Wilcox and Malcolm Rae would not have arrived at these important discoveries and conclusions if they had not exercised increasingly clear, precise and exact thinking – the formulation of true thoughts – in all this Q & A work. Their aim was the pursuit of truth, and so they learnt to ask creatively for the truth and therefore received it, obeying the injunction “Ask and it shall be given unto you”.

But there is still a difficulty.

On the title page of Part II of my book Life Threatened, I have this quotation:

“Two thousand years ago, Christ initiated human feeling and devotion into faith in the spirit-world and in the reality of man’s spiritual destiny, and so made possible the evolution of his ego-consciousness and the development of his powers of thought. Today He would make possible for man the recovery in clear knowledge and understanding of his true spirit-heritage, by initia­ting his thinking into direct spirit experience. The redemption of thinking is the completion of the spirit-initiation of mankind by Christ.”

I put it there because I felt it to be profoundly true and of the greatest importance, yet I could not see that any but a very small minority could attain to sense-free thinking which was said to be requisite if this was to be done and which only adepts such as Steiner could accomplish. It seems to rule out the vast majority of us, bogged down as we are in our material values and ways of thought, and yet it seems essential we should try, so that we too could discover, to quote Steiner “that besides powers and possibilities of thinking as an instrument of knowledge it had functions of which man had lost all knowledge, viz., a creative function – that it operated as a creative formative force in the life of man both in the spiritual and physical world”.

In meditating upon all this it came to me that perhaps in the technique of Q & A we had already been given an answer, that all who practice Q & A in spirit and in truth are in fact bringing about the redemption of thinking and recovering its lost creative functions, with all the incredible consequences for good that would ensue, such as the complete transformation of science so that it becomes “a science of Reality, which would embrace both material science and spiritual science in one majestic whole – a true science of the cosmos”

So maybe in the end the ultimate role and scope of the radiesthetic faculty in the modern world is the redemption of thinking – a bridge between two worlds.

Let me end with this quotation from my book the Pattern of Health written in 1961 in which I appear to have foretold the role and scope of the radiesthetic faculty, as it had unfolded in the last 11 years:

“All human thinking, since the Fall of Man, is liable to error and untruth, only through the Spirit of Truth can we be preserved in this materialistic age from falsehood and destructive thinking. I believe it is literally true, insofar as science is the search for truth, that Christ – the Way, the Truth and the Life – is a scientific necessity, and this applies equally, strange as it may seem, to such a humble science as Radiesthesia.

“‘God hath chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty;

“‘And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are.’

“In the eyes of the world Radiesthesia is a thing of no account compared with, say, nuclear or astro-physics or atomic research, and yet, as I have tried to show, it can, when properly understood, open to us the mysteries both in this world and the world in­visible. It can reveal to us the Truth in so far as our finite minds can comprehend it.

“I believe profoundly that it is the privilege of Radiesthesia to make its very special and, in some ways, unique contribution to the reintegration of material science and spiritual science, and to that restoration of wholeness of vision and outlook, of feeling and thinking which is the task of this age.”

(Source: David Tansley: Dimensions of Radionics)

  1. The search for water, oil and mineral deposits. This is the well-known traditional field of dowsing and has in fact been, and still is, well covered though not as much as it should be by both professional and amateur dowsers.
  2. Archaeological exploration. A more limited field at present but of considerable and increasing importance for historical research and the recovery of vanished prehistoric remains.
  3. Architectural uses, such as site dowsing, in which must be included detection of harmful earth rays and detection of cavities, pipes and drains etc. No dwelling should be built until the site has been properly dowsed. Also the actual building materials are important, and also the substances used in the furniture; steel, for example, dulls the brain – it is a mineral hypnotic.
  4. The locating of law-breakers and criminals, missing persons, dead bodies, and lost or buried property and money. Increasingly important with the great increase in crime of late years. Should be used far more than it is in civil and criminal cases needing such aid.
  5. Agricultural and horticultural uses. In such things as the determination of optimum soil conditions, seed fertility and germination, plant health, and of good husbandry in general including the value of all additives both organic and inorganic. Determination of quality, aliveness and wholesomeness in all foods whether natural, manufactured, processed, or artificial and synthetic.
  6. Personality assessment, by measurement of “brain radiation” as discovered and used by Dr. Oscar Brunler. It has manifold uses, educationally and industrially, in estimation of talents, aptitudes, personality problems and mental potential, etc.
  7. Medical and Veterinary application. Apart from water divin­ing, medicine has received more radiesthetic attention as I have already pointed out, but there are still innumerable problems to solve, and the only answer to many of them is in Psionic Medicine both diagnostically and therapeutically. Already enough is known to change the whole pattern of medical treatment but the public is being deprived by entrenched orthodoxy of this help and know­ledge and of what can be done both curatively and prophylac­tically.

In veterinary practice, if used more extensively it would undoubtedly help to prevent the gradual deterioration of vitality, stamina and resistance in farm and domestic animals.

  1. Homoeopathy. The introduction of radiesthesia into the practice of homoeopathy would unquestionably mean a great revival in homoeopathic medicine, either as its own specialty or more sensibly in the form of a comprehensive medicine such as Psionic Medicine. Radiesthesia in this context solves the vexed and difficult question of remedy selection and potency.
  2. Here we come to our modern dilemma – the whole vast problem of pollution and contamination particularly in its sub­tle and more intangible aspects of the present ubiquitous paratoxic environment in which we all now have to live or exist.

Out of the innumerable toxic factors let me mention two groups, firstly, the low level radio-activity of Tritium (a radioactive isotope of hydrogen 3H) and Carbon 14, also radioactive, as expounded so brilliantly by David Rawson in his monograph Radiation and Nuclear Homoeopathy. The menace from these two began to be serious in 1954 and is steadily increasing thanks to the thermonuclear testing and the so-called peaceful use of atomic energy. The menace arises from the fact that in every hydrological and carbon cycle in Nature these radio-active isotopes are now present, even in the hydrogen bonds which hold together the intricate helical structure of DNA and RNA in our bodies – a truly frightening thought.

Secondly the increasing toxic menace of Lead, Mercury and Cadmium in our ordinary environment, in human and animal bodies, and in the rivers, seas and oceans of the world.

Radiesthesia can be of inestimable value in giving us the knowledge and techniques of how to detect and deal with the subtle poisoning effects of all the polluting factors, for as Dr. Weinberg, Head of the Oakridge Atomic Energy Establishment said publicly: “The problems at one rad are not amenable to the scientific method. Other approaches are necessary.” He tables those questions which are beyond in­vestigation with present assay methods as “trans-scientific.”

Psionic medicine already provides one of these “other approaches” for dealing with the effects in humans and animals; and doubtless other approaches, using the radiesthetic faculty to discover them, will also be forthcoming.

  1. And so to the last in our list – Question and Answer. Q & A. In which the operator must learn to use faculties of intellect and intuition, applying either at will and never confusing them – the intellect for the formulation of questions and the evaluation of answers, and the intuition, using the radiesthetic faculty, to obtain the truth. Q & A is eminently the instrument of scientific radiesthetic research.

This I regard as the most important use of the radiesthetic faculty as it provides a bridge between two worlds – the sensible and the supersensible.

The elements of seeking and finding are of course inherent in all radiesthetic and dowsing work, but it is only in Q & A that they become a deliberate technique, and there is conscious “asking”.

As far as I know the first recorded use of the radiesthetic faculty in this way for deliberate research was carried out in 1956 by the group whose activities I recorded in my book Pattern of Health. The success of the group was undoubtedly largely due, in the first place, to Mr. Wood whom I described as “an ideal question-master”:

“His skill at this was quite remarkable, as he had exceptional flair for framing precise and correct wording of the question, and following it up with exactly the right supplementaries. He had a quick and agile mind, yet at the same time it was balanced and usually under the control of his highly informed reason. An ideal combination.”

In the second place success was due to the two sensitives who were sufficiently developed to be able to work on the levels required.  Invaluable insights were vouchsafed us at this time particularly in regard to the levels of consciousness on which the radiesthetic faculty operates, and the fact that “pattern” appeared to be of great importance in this work, which in this instance emerged in the seven healing patterns, of which the first three – the Diamond, the Celtic Cross and the Star of Bethlehem – gave such remarkable therapeutic results. The conditions governing legitimate use of Q & A were also worked out.

But there the matter rested and has remained dormant for some years now, as with the death of Mr. Wood in 1957 the group dispersed and no further group research was done.

Just recently however it has blossomed forth again in an enhanced form in the work of two talented researchers in the radionic and radiesthetic fields of study.

The first is Mrs. Jane Wilcox who most fortunately was able to draw on the experience and informed advice of Major Blythe Praeger (one of the members of the original group) and who proved to be a very apt pupil. So much so that at the recent Conference of the Association in March this year she gave the closing lecture entitled “Question and Answer”, with the intriguing sub-title of “A Bridge Between Two Worlds”. This was cast in the form of query and answer, her husband asking the questions. This proved to be an out­standing contribution. All who were fortunate enough to hear it felt that here was a great advance in our understanding of the role and scope of the radiesthetic faculty.

What impressed me particularly was that her own investigation of the technique confirmed our original findings, but also produced some most important additions; for example she started off originally simply to improve the reliability of her own radionic healing work but found, to quote her:

“That the whole process of the art of Q & A is a vastly larger subject than a means of obtaining specific information in any one specialized field. I see it as a means of integrating the personality and of learning how to construct a bridge between the conscious and unconscious worlds in relation to life as a whole. In short, Q & A can be used as a process of self-development.”

Understanding and integrating herself as a personality she found necessitated the awareness of her subconscious – the Low Self in Huna philosophy – that as it can be a good servant but a bad master, it had to be properly instructed and disciplined, otherwise it gave the answer that it thought the conscious self wanted, or else played up, or in certain instances gave false answers, for unconscious emotional reasons.

But equally and more importantly it meant a recognition and realization of the existence of the super-conscious or Huna High Self, how to contact it and how to differentiate between the roles and functions of the two selves, as well as the relationship of the conscious or Middle Self to the other two, and the need for the acquisition above all else, in this relationship, of clear and responsible thinking.

The construction of the “bridge” required:­

  1. A mode and code of communication i.e. the movements of the pendulum and their interpretation.
  2. The nature and formulation of the questions to be asked which requires:
  3. a)    finding out in any given case whether the question is legitimate e.g. idle curiosity is out, as are questions about the future, and inadequate formulation due to insufficient knowledge.
  4. b)    if it is legitimate, the need for clear and precise thinking based on adequate knowledge so that there is no ambiguity or double meaning which in its turn means
  5. c)     finding the right word or words to exactly express the thought. This requires a large vocabulary, and English with its richness of language and abundant synonyms is ideal for this purpose, and the book which is essential is Roget’s Thesaurus; and to help in this task of exact selection, Q & A can be legitimately used.
  6. The answer then requires intellectual assessment as to whether it makes sense or not – if it does this will lead to other questions and the elucidation of the given problem. Or it may make nonsense or there may be no answer at all. If this latter, Mrs. Wilcox says that at the beginning she looked for interfering emanations usually paranormal, but gradually came to realize this was too facile an interpretation and that it meant something was to be learnt; that the “teaching element” of the High Self was trying to draw her attention to something important and thereby broaden her ability to understand the truth. She found in this situation she had to ask four questions;
  7. a)    Am I allowed to ask this question?
  8. b)    Am I asking the wrong question?
  9. c)     Are ‘You’ trying to teach me something?
  10. d)    Do I need to ask a subsidiary question before you can answer me?
  11. It is necessary to realize that the answer may come from two levels, from the subconscious or the super-conscious. Apart from the nature of the content of the answers there is an essential difference which one comes to recognize; the answer from the super-conscious sources have, to quote Mrs. Wilcox: “an authenticity and simplicity of quality which just does have a true ring about it”. But on this level ask and ye shall receive holds good, but you must ask; but clarity of thought in framing questions is a must -neither source can answer muddled questions.
  12. Finally the most vital realization of all is “that no help will be forthcoming unless and until one has first done one’s very best to answer the question by utilizing one’s natural gifts and faculties”.

The second researcher in this field is Mr. Malcolm Rae who interestingly enough came to Radionics from a life of wide experience both in commerce and business. But being a very practical and inventive type he thought at first that advance would come from improved and more sophisticated radionic instruments, and in fact he produced a very successful 40 dial instrument. But he soon came to see that it was not so much this that was wanted, as an improved human operator whose essential requisites are:

  1. That he or she is a seeker after truth
  2. Has a trained and disciplined intellect
  3. Has a wide and varied knowledge
  4. Has a well developed and trained radiesthetic faculty.
  5. Has a simple instrumental technique and that the research undertaken should be based on actual problems confronting the investigator whether in medical work or indeed in all the other fields already mentioned.

Working with this and Q & A it has been possible to determine certain fundamental axioms such as, and I quote Malcolm Rae:

“Everything in the universe, as far as I know, consists of a system of energies operating within boundaries. The boundaries describe structure and the energies describe functioning within the structure.”

This led to the concept, and I quote again:

“Any deviation from the planned function of anything in the universe is caused by an alteration in the pattern of boundaries and energies. Any detrimental deviation is due to the displacement of a boundary, and a displaced boundary becomes a barrier. The introduction of a barrier into a system of boundaries and energy flows tends to turn all boundaries into barriers and all energies into stresses.

“As the radiesthetic faculty would appear to detect boundaries and/or barriers it can therefore be used to measure the difference between a boundary and a barrier and this would represent the degree of deviation from normality or health.”

This difference or deviation can be expressed in mathematical terms in what would appear to be sets of co-ordinates of a very complex nature, and in the case of Man involving six sets in the given frame of reference which can be determined radiesthetically in detail, and which describes all facets of Man in his environment.

This introduction of mathematics is very interesting for as Canon Galzeswki in a paper entitled “The Human Field in Medical Problems” said, and I quote:

“In 1946 Prof. Mayer Ibach from the medical faculty of Hamburg University came to see me and spent five hours in discussion, insisting that maths should somehow be introduced into medical problems. He was at that time, as he said to me, writing a history of medicine, and that whenever maths was used in this branch of knowledge medicine was rapidly developing, and has declined in its absence. It was for both of us a problem how this could be effected properly.”

Malcolm Rae has it seems provided an answer.

These sets of co-ordinates would appear to be the old radionic rates in a new and vastly more accurate form and frame of reference.

But Malcolm Rae has gone further and has investigated how this whole process appears to work in a human being.

We are born according to him, and I quote: “With an enormous number of sets of co-ordinates related to the many requirements of living on this planet, and we add to them subsequently by the experience of living.” These co-ordinates can be activated when conscious attention is focused on them, but – and I quote:

“Conscious mentation could not compute the required combinations of co-ordinates (and thus relative intensities) rapidly enough to sustain life in an environment which is liable to almost instantaneous change; and whatever it is in the subconscious that serves this purpose, in combination with the sets of co-ordinates available to it, is plainly able to achieve feats of mathematics which would confound our most sophisticated computers tended by their most competent programmers. Radiesthetic Q & A yielded, firstly, that that which is responsible for energizing the appropriate co­ordinates to sustain life within those changes of environment which man was designed to withstand, is a Principle; and secondly, that the most accurate verbal description of it is ‘the Essential Simplicity’.”

and he comments:

“What an inspiring description that is too – the essential simplicity – the simplest and thus the most efficient employment of man’s essence in conducting the behaviour of his substance!”

These two, i.e. “Attention” in the conscious and “Essential Simplicity” in the subconscious as designed by the Creator, should work perfectly together in harmony but since we are human beings we are constantly interfering and upsetting the programming. “The attempts of the ‘essential simplicity’ to cause the individual to take such steps as are required for bodily well-being, and to avoid those that are detrimental to it – culminate in complexities of compensation disintergative to the wholeness of the man.”

In the light of all this, “therapy” becomes clear, and I quote: “In men, a boundary which has become a barrier, once it is correctly measured, may be treated with the appropriate corrective message in the form of a remedial pattern carried by an oral remedy or projected from a suitable instrument.” This is where homoeopathy with its potentization comes into its own, as it provides the correct therapeutic patterns which are necessary to once more restore wholeness.

This is only the barest, and, I fear, inadequate outline of this important paper, which of course contains more than I have men­tioned, so it should be read in full, as these results of years of research work, appear to be basic truths as measured by the truth chart. There is a part of a prayer by Thomas Aquinas which runs like this: “Grant me penetration to understand, capacity to retain, method and facility in study, subtlety in interpretation and abundant grace of expression” which expresses what Rudolf Steiner saw as necessary to modern times and I quote: that “. . . it is not by mystical experience which divorces itself from reason and despises logic, that man returns to his spiritual heritage, but by the path of pure, con­centrated thinking in which logic is never contradicted.”

Jane Wilcox and Malcolm Rae would not have arrived at these important discoveries and conclusions if they had not exercised increasingly clear, precise and exact thinking – the formulation of true thoughts – in all this Q & A work. Their aim was the pursuit of truth, and so they learnt to ask creatively for the truth and therefore received it, obeying the injunction “Ask and it shall be given unto you”.

But there is still a difficulty.

On the title page of Part II of my book Life Threatened, I have this quotation:

“Two thousand years ago, Christ initiated human feeling and devotion into faith in the spirit-world and in the reality of man’s spiritual destiny, and so made possible the evolution of his ego-consciousness and the development of his powers of thought. Today He would make possible for man the recovery in clear knowledge and understanding of his true spirit-heritage, by initiating his thinking into direct spirit experience. The redemption of thinking is the completion of the spirit-initiation of mankind by Christ.”

I put it there because I felt it to be profoundly true and of the greatest importance, yet I could not see that any but a very small minority could attain to sense-free thinking which was said to be requisite if this was to be done and which only adepts such as Steiner could accomplish. It seems to rule out the vast majority of us, bogged down as we are in our material values and ways of thought, and yet it seems essential we should try, so that we too could discover, to quote Steiner “that besides powers and possibilities of thinking as an instrument of knowledge it had functions of which man had lost all knowledge, viz., a creative function – that it operated as a creative formative force in the life of man both in the spiritual and physical world”.

In meditating upon all this it came to me that perhaps in the technique of Q & A we had already been given an answer, that all who practice Q & A in spirit and in truth are in fact bringing about the redemption of thinking and recovering its lost creative functions, with all the incredible consequences for good that would ensue, such as the complete transformation of science so that it becomes “a science of Reality, which would embrace both material science and spiritual science in one majestic whole – a true science of the cosmos”

So maybe in the end the ultimate role and scope of the radiesthetic faculty in the modern world is the redemption of thinking – a bridge between two worlds.

Let me end with this quotation from my book the Pattern of Health written in 1961 in which I appear to have foretold the role and scope of the radiesthetic faculty, as it had unfolded in the last 11 years:

“All human thinking, since the Fall of Man, is liable to error and untruth, only through the Spirit of Truth can we be preserved in this materialistic age from falsehood and destructive thinking. I believe it is literally true, insofar as science is the search for truth, that Christ – the Way, the Truth and the Life – is a scientific necessity, and this applies equally, strange as it may seem, to such a humble science as Radiesthesia.

‘God hath chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are.’

“In the eyes of the world Radiesthesia is a thing of no account compared with, say, nuclear or astrophysics or atomic research, and yet, as I have tried to show, it can, when properly understood, open to us the mysteries both in this world and the world invisible. It can reveal to us the Truth in so far as our finite minds can comprehend it.

“I believe profoundly that it is the privilege of Radiesthesia to make its very special and, in some ways, unique contribution to the reintegration of material science and spiritual science, and to that restoration of wholeness of vision and outlook, of feeling and thinking which is the task of this age.”

Goethe: Reason does not ask: for what? Intellect does not ask: where from?-Reason rejoices in evolving. intellect wants to hold everything fast so that it may use it.