A milestone in Norwegian parapsychological research
Lodvar Kaarstad, from Lomen in Valdres, is currently 85 years. He was orphaned early, and at confirmation age he moved to Upper Riste, one of the largest farms in Lomen, working initially as a farmhand. The Riste family were to appreciate him so much for his great efforts and for his kindness and faithfulness, that they came to regard him as a member of the family and offered him the opportunity to stay with them for life. Today he is known throughout the country for his psychic abilities and also abroad.
From divining rods to clairvoyancie
From a young age, he was interested in finding water for people with a divining rods but soon found he was able to 'see' where the water sources were remotely. In his forties, his abilities began to develop further, and from there on increased continuously; mostly after he retired. He became increasingly renowned and received more and more calls from people who had lost pets or things they missed.
Torsten T. Royne's effort
Strangely enough, nobody made efforts to record the great achievements of this psychic man before a young radio journalist, who lived a few miles away, felt how important it was to collect documentation of his abilities. Alone, and without financial support from any one, Royne began his impressive research.
He was aware that if the accounts should be taken seriously in Norway, he had to employ appropriate recording methods. Between 1982 and 1992, when he presented his findings in his book on Lodvar Kaarstad, he used all the technical aids that were available, audio cassettes, video and written records. This data was sorted with the aid of computers.
In addition to the recording of requests that came in to Kaarstad and his answers, he went through letters Kaarstad had collected from the mid 1950s. Altogether Royne registered between 600-700 cases, representing an unparalleled research effort, in Norway.
A multitude of phenomena
The questions concerned a wide variety of phenomena including finding people who have gone astray or lost pets, lost the jewelry or money. Detection of water sources have been an important part of his work, and he has saved people many hours work because he has been able to identify the locations of water sources and how deep they had to dig.
Lodvar Kaarstad - the analyst
The part of Kaarstad's work concerning helping people with purely practical things, is relatively well known, but his work as a counsellor and in medical diagnosis is less well known. Royne tells us that it is reasonable to believe that he has used at least as much time in this work as he has used to answer questions concerning missing persons, livestock and objects.
People with major mental health problems could come to him after having tried many kinds of help elsewhere. Kaarstad was able to 'see' what lay beneath the symptoms, often including events they may have forgotten which might be preventing them from finding solutions. The feeling of being understood on a deeper level, felt liberating to many and helped them to make progress.
Royne paints a picture of the human friend and helper Lodvar Kaarstad. In one chapter he discusses the paranormal phenomenon, its nature and how it raises some interesting questions. Concerning a case where Kaarstad was consulted after some time to 'see' where a child had gone and what the child was doing, Royne discusses the way in which the event leaves an impression which Kaarstad could see. Finally he asks the question of why we hesitate to research these phenomenon.
Royne's book may prove to be a new milestone in the history of para-psychology in Norway - a successor to Harald Schjeldrup's book The hidden man from 1969 and George Hygen's new and expanded edition of the same book from 1984. We will follow with excitement Torstein T. Royne's further research.