The Pure Source – or The Secret Of Apple-Cheeked Little Old Ladies

by Dan Wilson

A discussion on difficulty and error in dowsing
An important topic in dowsing instruction which is barely touched on in courses available today, so far as I am aware, is the little matter of being absolutely right every time. I am at least as guilty as any dowsing tutor in saying grandly to beginner classes, “don’t worry about getting wrong results to start with. Just keep practising and the lines will clear by themselves”. This is only partially the case. Happily most beginners are good enough to find their own safe dowsing areas where they will be able to become minor masters within a few months, but sometimes their dead areas are just where they would prefer to become experts, thankyou. Having by chance swum into the Bruce MacManaway net I could not escape getting involved in health dowsing, and that has mostly gone very well, but what I had wanted dowsing for in the first place was to be able to find telecoms equipment and cable faults, and while I was secure in doing fault location inside any building I was in, the faculty fell apart if I tried searching anywhere else. Distant location only works for me if I think about circumstance rather than place. 

A fairly thick and boring book could be written on the subject of failure in dowsing, but having started and failed to finish several articles on the subject over the years I am beginning to suspect that discussing the technicalities of dowsing “blockage” actually gets in the way of a solution we can all benefit from. I am a hypersceptical philosopher who feels we do not, at the end of the day, know much more about reality than dogs; and they are very happy not knowing anything important at all in our terms, so why shouldn’t we be ? Maybe getting too involved with supposed mechanisms of failure will prevent us grasping success. (This speculation, by the way, is typical of what marks hyperscepticism out from scientism: science supposes quite irrationally it must be possible to categorise the elements of an unknown psychological minefield like dowsing; and hyperscepticism doubts you can ever know you have it right. Doubt on this scale upsets dowsers as much as scientists so I shall now desist.) 

So. When I first joined the British Society of Dowsers in the 1970s there was a class of apple-cheeked little old ladies who tended to observe rather severely that dowsing never failed them and for over twenty years I’ve been too nervous to look into the matter. Were they deceiving themselves, had they carefully restricted themselves to dowsing areas they were good in, or did they really have a philosopher’s stone for dowsing without realising it ? 

This topic surfaces from time to time on the mostly American “email” discussions about dowsing (there are six – contact me for details) and last year one of the Americans said, oh yes, she knew an apple-cheeked little old lady of this description also; and she said you just had to “go to the pure source”. Nobody had the first idea what this meant, or how you did it, so I thought I would grasp the nettle and try and find out. 

Once the mind of an apple-cheeked little old lady is spread out on the bench (more accurately, the minds of all of them, but I don’t wish to complicate this account unnecessarily) you begin to get some encouragingly clear answers. None of them have achieved their happy condition by conscious intention or effort. They all came to dowsing through special adventitious channels which ensured that as beginners they would not be contaminated by talk, let alone expectation, of dowsing failure. Their introduction was always conducted by other apple-cheeked little old ladies (I speak figuratively, of course; perhaps I sould use an acronym, ACLOL) who naturally ensured this without trying. The most important feature of this avenue of approach was that if it had not been available, they would never have taken an interest in dowsing in the first place since a flawed system would have undermined their confidence too much. This contrasts vividly with the quite opposite attraction of faulty dowsing to grizzled engineers like myself who never expect anything to work first time and would run a mile from anything represented as perfect, whether in makers’ wrappings or not. There are no men in the ACLOL camp; dogmatic male dowsers who assure us they are always right are operating a different system – usually one where they have carefully walled off their faulty areas and restrict questions to terms which avoid them, rather like me with distant location. 

Thus “the pure source” is a cast of mind, to which everything else is subordinated. If you take a ACLOL apart with tweezers and demand to see what mechanisms are in play (and I am sufficient of an existential sceptic to doubt that mind mechanisms whether dowsed or not are really the answer to anything), you will discover that in order to achieve a “pure source” state, any dowsing blockages obtaining within the ACLOL which might impede her next enquiry are automatically and unconsciously processed out, just in neat time for her to launch her seemingly infallible quest. ACLOLs do differ amongst themselves a bit here, because they don’t all have quite the same software and may start their correction procedure anywhere between a month and 5 minutes beforehand, but that’s the general picture. 

Incredible ! And so easy ! But only for ACLOLs who have come into dowsing through their own little tunnel. How can the rest of us crowd in on their show without spoiling it ? 

As you might guess, dowsing an answer to this is not going to be secure unless you both already know the answer and have instituted it in yourself, at least for this one question. So for what it is worth, here is my answer. 

Those of us who are not ACLOLs will not be able to handle a perfect procedure at first bite. What we have to do is to start off by permitting ourselves to be fallible, but in ways which will not affect the accuracy of the dowsing response to our very next question. 

This can be done by imagining that the ACLOL psyche has an office hanging in the sky. If we wish ACLOLs well for handing us this opportunity – give them a little tiny prayer for their continued good health and fortune and, indeed, tolerance of jokey articles like this one – the office will issue us with a ticket of permission to use the ACLOL power for X number of questions, or for a certain time period. You must dowse to find out which, and for how long. 

After some false starts (I was only given a week at a time to begin with) you should find the tickets working. After that you will become on much chummier and more relaxed terms with the office and, at some stage which I would not care to predict, will be told you no longer need tickets and will have passed out as a permanent ACLOL graduate yourself. 

Personally, as a matter of taste, once you are there I would not bandy terms like “pure source” about too freely, but that is your affair. But stay respectful of little old ladies. They probably have other surprises up their sleeves. 

DAN WILSON is a chartered electrical engineer who got into dowsing to identify distant telephone trunk equipment faults and was diverted by pressure of demand into doing people. 26 years later, he is a professional dowser and “therapeutic healer” who runs his own health clinic at East Grinstead 30 miles south of London. He specializes in animal health, disturbed places and hauntings.

Reprinted with permission. 

© Copyright 2001 . Dan Wilson and “Dowsing Today” (the journal of the British Society of Dowsers)