Methodology for subjective investigation

At last finished our article for Time & Mind – final title is “‘Spirit of Place’ as process – archaeography, dowsing and perceptual mapping at Belas Knap“, and should be out in their July 2009 issue. (Many thanks also to editors Paul Devereux and Neil Mortimer for help in getting it completed in time.)

Probably the key idea there is a systematic methodoology for subjective investigation – mapping feelings, sensing and so on. Most of the illustrations we’ve used for this have been either in dowsing – as in Disciplines of Dowsing, which, like the Time & Mind article, I co-authored with Liz Poraj-Wilczynska – or ‘perceptual mapping’ for archaeography, which we described in Time & Mind. But it’s actually generic: with a few tweaks to customise to each context, it could be used for any type of subjective investigation.

In essence, we split the context across two axes – inner/subjective <-> outer/objective, and ‘value’ <-> ‘truth’ – to give four distinct modes or dimensions, which we label ‘Artist’ (inner value), ‘Mystic’ (inner truth), ‘Scientist’ (outer truth) and ‘Magician’ (outer value). The point is that the rules and tactics we need to use in each dimension can be inherently incompatible with those of the others; but we need all of them to make sense of the whole. The methodology describes how to handle this conceptual juggling-act.

There’s a two-page summary (somewhat dowsing-oriented) at , and a lot more detail (but even more dowsing-oriented) in Disciplines of Dowsing, at .

But I’d be very keen to adapt this to other fields of subjective research, such as we’ve already done for archaeology and archaeography. Could apply it in futures, for example, or marketing, or knowledge-management, or any part of the sciences in general wherever feelings or sensings or subjective impressions play any active part.  If that’s likely to be of interest to you, perhaps get in touch?

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