The word Radiesthesia (the perception of waves) a word was coined by a reputed French dowser in 1920. The French were very prolific in their literature on dowsing in the early 20th century. A schism soon developed with fundamentally one group wanting to have the support of science, and the other of a more mystical nature, these two schools of radiesthesia are:

1/ “Physical” radiesthesia, those who believe that all objects emit radiation, and the radiesthesist (operator) enters into cellular resonance with the object searched via some ultimately unknown physiological process, that stimulates tiny neuro-muscular movement and so moves the pendulum or divining rods. The bedrock here is made up of largely unproven but prolific scientific theories, especially those of physics.

2/ “Mental” radiesthesia, where the mental action of the radiesthesist is entirely subject to the unconscious mind which answers the call of the individual’s desire or will. Because of the predominance of the compulsory and essential mental action involved in research, radiesthesia in this approach belongs to the domain of psycho-physiology.

“The result of a research is due neither to the divining rods or the pendulum, they are simply visual indicators of muscular reflexes, it is due to my active desire to find the answer. It is my instinct or unconscious that may answer in the form of nervous or muscular reaction, of which I am unaware, causing the instrument to move.”

Antoine Luzy, p.258, La Radiesthésie Moderne.

The whole issue of “knowing vs. not-knowing”, “yes/no” can be boiled down to an understanding of consciousness. At the end of the day the intuitive element seems to be of the essence.

Who does one ask – apart from Google – when you do not know the answer?
A quick look at what is involved reveals that the conscious cerebral mind, with its apparent seat in the brain, receiving information from the senses then processed thanks to memory, emotion and experience, finds itself at a loss. I don’t know! If you believe that there is more to life than the five senses, such as a capacity to communicate other than via the human sense organs, then please read on, if not, godspeed!

Quite what is the nature of sense-input is beyond the scope of this paper. Clearly of a frequential nature, magnetic, electromagnetic, …. In all probability you have personally experienced what we vaguely refer to as an intuitive moment. A premonition, déjà vu, the ability to know what someone is thinking and so on. The lack of familiarity with such surprising instances can soon undermine their reality and you begin to doubt even their very existence.

If, however, you can eliminate – even temporarily – the constraints of scientific empirical education, you are confronted with the idea of there being a totality, a cohesion in all that exists. A connection enabled by existence and consciousness if you like. We do not need to be told of the relativity of all that exists in Nature, there is a place and role for one and all. Such a scheme involves an order, a structure and intelligence so that bananas grow on banana trees rather than oranges, summer follows spring and so on. We can only perceive part of the picture for the simple reason we are part of it.

We spend most of our lives as humans involved in the manifestation of the structural aspect of this remarkable construct of life. By observation of the order spread by Nature before our eyes permanently and generously, we catch a glimpse of the underlying intelligence. That is what dowsing is about. Connecting to the underlying structure, allowing a connection between the thought-free cerebral mind with the all-conscious. There are many different words to express these concepts and they are all as useful and real as the next.

If asked to define dowsing, perhaps “It is the act of directly and deliberately calling upon the all-conscious to search for answers that cannot be discovered by other means”. It is essentially simple and totally dependent on the mental activity of the operator, who, however, must understand how to create the vital relationship between the all-conscious and conscious mind.

Fundamentally, there is nothing more to it. It would be vain and damaging to try and incorporate false theories and to impute them to foreign phenomena. What is discovered mentally, although the process may be explained in terms of electro-magnetic brainwaves with a certain frequency, should not then be appropriated and interpreted as something other than what it is. Modern teaching encourages, perhaps dictates, us to orient our thought processes in a certain direction so that everything potentially falls into the domain of the empirical, a field where science operates very well and where phenomena can be analysed.

The last thing we need in radiesthesia is for information coming from the all-conscious to be altered, as it will inevitably be, by conscious thought. If the objective is to perceive the information devoid of suggestion, we need to break the habit of predominantly logical thought and reasoning, so carefully instilled over the years. Discrimination between what comes from the all-conscious mind and what we commonly accept as the phenomenal world must be nurtured. They are both no doubt necessary, but should not be deliberately confused, at the risk of spreading further misunderstanding.

This frontier is of great consequence in the image and understanding of the art, radiesthesia is an art and physics is a science, even if the paradigm of the latter is being constantly revised. Radiesthesia has nothing whatsoever to do with empiricism (experience based on observation of the five senses), we are in the domain of totality. Anyone who tells you otherwise is not only ignorant but doing radiesthesia a dis-service. There is no need to attribute irrelevant extraneous factors to it, whether physical or magical. There is no reason to claim scientific approval for what we are doing, the realm of the all-conscious cannot be contained by mere chimera.