Dowsing the Holographic Universe

Tom Lethbridge was an academic -an archeologist and 'Keeper of Anglo-Saxon Antiquities' at the Cambridge University Museum of Archeology and Ethnology. He was also a very successful dowser, who really annoyed his colleague by dowsing the right places to dig-­ and being right more often than his colleagues who used more traditional methods. Most people could accept the eccentricity of archeological dowsing: far fewer could accept the implications of him being frequently right!

Tom Lethbridge took early retirement, moved to Devon and spent 26 years, until his death in 1971, studying various aspects of dowsing and dreams and becoming a prolific writer on parapsychology and the occult. He came to some interesting conclusions about the implications of his discoveries for the nature of reality. Colin Wilson wrote in his foreword to Lethbridge's last book ­ The Power of the Pendulum' - that he was "... one of the most remarkable and original minds in parapsychology." In that foreword, Colin Wilson summarises part of what Lethbridge believed about the pendulum:

"Not only will it [a pendulum] swing in a circle over a buried object (say a silver spoon) but can also give precise information on the age of the buried object. It can answer questions - which leads Lethbridge to conclude that it actually serves as some form of contact between part of the mind that already knows these things, and our limited, everyday consciousness." [1]

What I want to do today is consider some of the areas he studied, look at the implications when related to my paper on the holographic universe and (if time allows) see whether we can replicate any of his experiments. If I say that one of his experiments strongly suggests life after death - if it is replicable without fail one might say it proves it - you might prick up your mental ears and prepare to argue.

First let us be clear about what exactly is needed. It is a pendulum of a particular kind:

A weight - Tom Lethbridge uses a piece of Hazelwood, but the evidence seems to be that anything will do (wood, a button, a cotton reel, a lump of 'Bluetack', a crystal)
A length of cord or string (about 8 feet long, either marked off in inches or with a tape measure available)
A stick to wind the cord around (e.g.: a pencil), so as to vary its length

Given a pendulum of variable length, it is possible to explain the most important part of Tom Lethbridge's findings. Everything has what he calls 'a rate' between one and forty inches. Hold the pendulum over anything, (or, if dowsing something abstract, hold the pendulum and concentrate on the objective) and the length of string at which it rotates is the first element of the rate, while the number of times it rotates is the second factorı.

Hold the pendulum over something silver - say a pure silver ring - and at twenty-two inches of cord it will rotate twenty-two times. Lethbridge would say that the rate for silver is 22/22 (while that for lead is 22/16 and that for the colour grey is 22/7.) However, as I implied, Lethbridge claims it is possible to obtain a 'rate' for anything, even abstract concepts like anger, love, death or a point of the compass.

"One of the most remarkable facts to emerge from experiment is that the pendulum deals with abstract ideas as well as concrete ones. For instance, love is provided with co-ordinates of 20/20, in the same way as iron and copper [have co-ordinates for a "rate"]. In fact the pendulum is dealing with thought forms and not the kind of thing you can measure in a laboratory. It is the idea in oneıs mind of a pin beneath the ground which it will demonstrate for you and not the solid metal object you believe it to be in ordinary life. You can dig up the pin and it will be hidden exactly where the pendulum said it was, but it was the mental impression which was shown to you in code." [2]

The speculation is that everything the pendulum finds has some sort of measurable response to a projection of thought from our minds, rather akin to radar.

"What you send out like a radar beam is a 'ray' of your own thought. When the pendulum gyrates, it is because this ray has met the obstruction (ie, the object of your thought) and has been turned back on itself." [3]

Lethbridge has a rate for East of 10/10; He says south = 20/20; west = 30/30 and North = 40/40. The concepts of death and sleep both also show a length of 40 inches. He also claims, with very far reaching implications, that if one increases the length of the pendulum beyond 40 inches, the whole cycle starts again, each response exactly the same, but with 40 inches added and, if a physical object is used, the response comes not from the object itself, but about a foot to the right. At the higher level, silver would have a rate of 62/22.

At the moment I am trying to explain Lethbridge's theories without any personal comment or expression of any reservation or difficulty. Using the methods described he obtained a rate for the cardinal points of the compass and for intangibles such as anger, love, sex,time, sleep and death. It is suggested in the book that you draw a circular chart of the co-ordinates in the form of a wheel with 40 spokes

Figure 2: The first circle

. Since the cycle continues past 40 inches, it sounds to be more of spiral than a wheel to me, and Lethbridge makes this point himself later in the book. 40" North, Sleep, Death 30" West 20" South, East 10" Lethridge does not give a full list of dowsing "rates" for various substances, emotions and ideas. Instead he invites his readers and followers to try it for themselves.

He claims that somewhere just over half the population can dowse but that at least half of those will need considerable practice before becoming any good at it. The Stanford Research Institute, which investigated remote viewing and other psi skills for the CIA, puts the proportion of the population with a degree of psychic ability much higher, but they were investigating a wide range of skills.

According to Lethbridge's research, almost everything on the first level - ie: up to forty inches - has its counterpart on a second level, between forty and eighty inches. Concepts which DO NOT appear on this second level, include sleep, time and death. Extend the cord over eighty inches and the cycle begins a third time. Silver also has a rate of 102 inches, as well as 22 and 62. Time, he says, reappears on this third level, but death does not. I quote from his book The Power of the Pendulum:

"Now, always supposing that I have not made some silly error in my reasoning, this is surely something very dramatic. The pendulum seems to be telling us that there is another mental level above the one to which we are accustomed. This level you appear to reach when sleeping and probably go to permanently when you die. On this level the mind appreciates silver and gold, red and blue, love and light, almost anything you can think of, as it does on earth; although the intensity of appreciation is apparently higher." [4]

When I first planned this paper I was going to stop before this point, try some dowsing and then continue with this paper only as a guide to our discussion. I decided not to do that. Firstly, we would be unable to achieve much in the available time; secondly, those not taking an active part or unable to produce instant results would be less than convinced; thirdly, there are several other issues which arise from Lethbridge's studies which it would be more productive to cover thoughts I have had about the holographic nature of reality, explored in my paper two years ago.

If half the population can dowse, it follows that you have a 50:50 chance of being able to prove to yourself by dowsing the nature of the reality of life after death (though perhaps a 1 in 4 or less chance of doing it straight away without practice) ­ assuming that you are sufficiently interested to try. Tom Lethbridge invites the attempt - says he wants his readers to try it for themselves and I repeat his invitation: don't knock it, try it!

A fascinating discovery Tom Lethbridge claims to have made is a connection between pendulum rates of insects and animals and their principal foods and (though he does not specifically say so) between certain esoteric 'correspondences', suggesting that they have may have a scientifically provable connection.

I want to apparently digress here and repeat part of a paper I gave two years ago on the holographic universe. I am not going to repeat the whole of a lengthy and complicated paper and will assume that you have read either my paper or a more complete study in one of the books on the subject. I will, however, remind you of a couple of points I made.

I said then that throughout the first half of the twentieth century it was assumed that a memory had a specific location in the brain, as a book has a specific location in a library. Karl Pribram, as young research student, helped his professor, the great neuropsycholo-gist Karl Lashley. Lashley had experimented with teaching rats to run through a maze and then removing parts of their brain. With Primbram he established that no matter what part of the rat's brain or even (up to the point where movement became impossible) how much of rat's brain was removed, it still remembered the way through the maze. It appears that memory does NOT have a location in the brain and may not even take place there.

The puzzle continued until in the mid-1960s, Pribram read of the first holographic picture. To understand his comprehension it is necessary to digress a second time and review how a hologram is made. When you drop two pebbles simultaneously into a still pond the ripples move outwards as rings. When the ripples touch they cause a complicated pattern of waves and troughs, scientifically called "interference". Light behaves in the same way. A beam of light from a laser is split. Part falls directly on a photographic plate and part bounces off the subject and then onto the plate. The Holographic picture appears when a laser beam is shone one the interference patters from the same angle as the original beam.

Figure 3: How a hologram is formed

There are two properties of a holograph that need to be pointed out. Firstly, the negative of a holograph is not a reversed picture, like the negative of an ordinary photograph: it is an interference pattern, like the ones you can see on the pond. The second is more important to this paper. Every part of the negative of a holograph contains every part of the picture. Cut a negative of a photograph of a banana in half and you have a picture of half a banana: cut the negative of a holograph of a banana in half and you still have a hologram of a whole banana when you shine the laser beam through it, though less sharp. Cut off a tiny corner of the negative, shine the laser through it, and there it is: the whole banana - fuzzier and less distinct, but the whole banana. You can see how this applied to Pribram's rats. They remembered holographically!

Karl Pribram is now a neuroscientist at Stanford University and, as a result of his work, he theorizes a "primary reality" which is a "frequency domain", an "invisible matrix" that produces the universe as a hologram. Pribram developed his theories and has both his committed supporters and his fanatical opponents. The latter tend to dislike the implications of Pribramıs work and ignore or dismiss much of the evidence.

The turning point was when he met up with the ideas of Bohm, a quantum physicist who also thought the entire universe could be holographic. David Bohm took his doctorate at the University of California and moved to Princeton, where he encountered Einstein. It is necessary here to make a third digression and mention a paradox set out by Einstein and others. According to Einsteinıs Theory of Relativity, nothing can move faster than light (which may not be true in practice anyway) but two particles, which have been in contact but are moving apart at the speed of light, behave as if they are communicating - theoretically impossible.

The usual explanation was to say that particles only exist when they are observed, therefore they cannot be thought of as independent "things". Bohm challenged this view and pointed out that science ignores the implications anyway. As a fourth digression, may I point out that one implication is that, since the observer and the observed interact, the first principle of empiric science is proved faulty - you canıt have an empirical experiment or an impartial observer if the observer is part of the experiment! The whole edifice of traditional science is thus threatened.

Returning to David Bohm, he was working with sub-atomic particles in the form of "plasma" - a gas of charged ions. He noted that trillions of "independent" particles acted as though independent of each other while all being interconnected and reacting in unison. He believes that our almost universal tendency to fragment the world and ignore the dynamic interconnectedness of all things is responsible for many of our problems, not only in science but in our lives and our society as well. In his writings Bohn argues passionately that our current way of fragmenting the world into parts not only doesn't work, but may even lead to our extinction.

Let's return now to Tom Lethbridge, his view of the universe and to dowsing. If the whole universe is a holographic projection, it follows that we are ourselves part of that projection. If we are a very small part of the hologram, it also follows that somewhere in each of us we contain the entire hologram.

This would explain dowsing and might explain every other psi skill. Dowsing, Remote Viewing, Clairvoyance and so on, are all ways of contacting the hologram of the whole of creation. The vision-creating psychedelic drugs of the Shaman, the "correspondences" of the magician and so on, are all ways of helping the individual mind to reach the hologram too.

Compare this with the summation of Lethbridgeıs ideas given by Colin Wilson in the foreword to The Power of the Pendulum. It serves as "...some form of contact between a part of the mind that already knows these things, and our ordinary, everyday consciousness." Lethbridge is saying exactly the thing that can be inferred from the theories of Karl Pribram, David Bohm and others: that, as part of the hologram, we already have access to the entire cosmos.

Dale Graff MSC is a very interesting man. He was originally an aeronautical engineer and astrophysicist, but for 22 years he was Director of the US Military's Operation Stargate studying Remote Viewing. He spent that time studying the phenomenon from a practical viewpoint (as Tom Lethbridge began with dowsing studied from a practical viewpoint.) Graff came to accept the veracity of several psi phenomena, remained open minded about others, and concluded that the universe was essentially holographic in nature. He says:

³Š that Hologram is not in the three dimensional world of appearance; it is outside of the three dimensional reality in a region that is wavelike and may be similar to the "waves" we experience as electromagnetic. The region or space would be essentially timeless and spaceless as we define time and space; something like a continuous "now" that is everywhere." [5]

This seems very similar to what Tom Lethbridge discovered by dowsing and to the ideas of Primbram, Bohm and other quantum physicists who think on similar lines. It is also like many of the traditional religious concepts, developed by our ancestors.

My own first introduction to the idea of a holographic universe came in the book of that title by Michael Talbot. Talking about David Bohm and the far-reaching implications of his theories the author says:

"The idea that consciousness and life (and indeed all things) are ensembles enfolded throughout the universe has an equally dazzling flip side. Just as every portion of a hologram contains the image of the whole, every portion of the universe enfolds the whole. This means that we could find the Andromeda galaxy in the thumbnail of our left hand. We could also find Cleopatra meeting Caesar for the first time, for in principle the whole past and implications for the whole future are also enfolded in each region of space and time. Every cell in our body enfolds the entire cosmos. So does every leaf, every raindrop, and every dust mote, which gives new meaning to William Blake's famous poem:" [6]

To see a World in a Grain of Sand  
And Heaven in a Wild Flower,  
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand  
And Eternity in an hour.  

The Emerald Tablet of Hermes sets the esoteric maxim 'As above, so below' - which is another way of expressing the same thing. It's perhaps a pity that Bohm, Lethbridge, Pribram and others did not have the benefit of the teachings of the SRIA!




[1] Colin Wilson The foreword to The Power of the Pendulum page xii
[2] T.C. Lethbridge The Power of the Pendulum page 29
[3] Ibid   page 29
[4] Ibid   page 58
[5] Dale Graff River Dreams page 142
[6] Michael Talbo The Holographic Universe page 50



BOHM, David; Wholeness and the Implicate Order; London, Routledge & Kegan Paul; 1980

GRAFF, Dale; Footprints in the Pyschic Wilderness; Boston, Mass: Element Books; 1998

GRAFF, Dale; River Dreams; Boston, Mass: Element Books; 2000

LETHBRIDGE, T.C.; ESP: Beyond Distance and Time; London, Routledge & Kegan Pau; 1965

LETHBRIDGE, T.C.; The Power of the Pendulum; London: Penguin Arkana; 1984

PEAT, David F; Synchronicity: The Bridge Between Matter and Mind; New York, Bantam Books; 1987

TALBOT, Michael; The Holographic Universe; London: Harper-Collins; 1996


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