Typed and submitted by by Mary Louise Suhm,
firstname.lastname@example.org; formatted by Jonah Winters.
Note:This book only
tangentionally mentions the Baha'i Faith; see pages
The personal story of a soldier killed in battle
With notes by
Wellesley Tudor Pole
Author of "The Silent
Sixth Revised Edition
Neville Spearman (publisher)
Wellesley Tudor Pole 1966
First Published August 1917
Third Edition November 1917
Fourth Edition October
Fifth Edition January 1943
Sixth Edition 1966
Printed in Great Britain by
Clarke, Doble and Brendon, Ltd.
Somewhere within the soul there is silence.
Attain unto it. It is a pearl of
- Private Dowding
PREFACE TO THE SIXTH EDITION
Since the first appearance
of this book, nearly half a century ago, many invaluable records have been
published purporting to describe the conditions into which we pass when the time
comes for us to leave this planet. To a certain extent 'Private Dowding' has
proved to be a pioneer in this field.
This book has become a 'period
piece' and should be read as such although in my view the Message it contains
was never more valuable than it is now.
Just as our experiences on earth
are entirely individual and personal to each one of us, so it would seem are the
experiences we meet as we pass forward into another world. In spite of this fact
it is to me both remarkable and significant that the majority of current
writings on this important subject tend largely to confirm one another in their
accounts of 'Borderland' conditions.
In regard to detail it should be
remembered that no two people living through the same event, even here on earth,
are able to describe or memorise it in the same way. It is natural, therefore
that differences of perception and of outlook should colour the various accounts
of what happens to us after 'death'.
This book contains a number of very
optimistic predictions about the future welfare of the human race. A word of
warning is necessary here. To those who live beyond the confines of time and
space it is conceivable that a thousand years of human 'time' may appear to
occupy the period of a single 'Day'. I have no doubt that the prophecies given
by the 'Messenger' in part III of this book are destined to be fulfilled long
before our planet ceases to function as a living entity. Surely it is man's
mission to do all in his power to bring the 'Golden Age' of which the
'Messenger' speaks, nearer than seems credibly possible to our restricted
vision. We should strive our utmost with this end in view, even if this end may
seem remote and almost beyond the range of our present faith and understanding.
We can take both courage and solace from the fact that a fresh spiritual Impulse
is now making itself felt in our midst and that to our Creator, working through
the hearts and minds of men, all things are not only possible but are certain to
be harmoniously fulfilled in due course, both in time and in
Private Dowding Returns.....................55
The Passing of Major P......................81
Survival: The Interlude of Silence..........93
On Monday, 12th March 1917, I was
walking by the sea when I felt the presence of someone. I looked round, no one
was in sight. All that day I felt as if someone were following me, trying to
reach my thoughts. Suddenly I said to myself, 'It is a soldier. He has been
killed in battle and wants to communicate.'
That evening I happened to
call upon a lady who possesses some degree of clairvoyant power. I had forgotten
about the soldier, until she described a man dressed in khaki, sitting in a
chair near me. He was gazing intently in my direction. She said he was mature,
wore a small moustache, and seemed somewhat sad. Not a very intelligent
character apparently, but an honest one. I came home and sat down at my
writing-table. Immediately my pen moved. Did I move it? Yes, in an involuntary
sort of way. the thoughts were not my own, the language was a little unusual.
Ideas were mainly conveyed in short simple phrases. It would really seem as if
some intelligence outside myself were speaking through my mind and my pen.
Some of the ideas are not in conformity with preconceived notions of my
The messages I received in this manner from 'Thomas Dowding,"
recluse, schoolmaster, soldier, are set down exactly as they reached me.
Further comments on these messages will be found on
pages 27, 39, and 78.
20th March 1917
One great truth has become my constant companion.
I sum it up thus:
'Empty yourself if you would be filled..'
12th March 1917, 9 p.m.
grateful for this opportunity. You may not realize how much some of us long to
speak to those we have left behind. It is not easy to get messages through with
certainty. They are so often lost in transit or misinterpreted. Sometimes the
imagination of the receiver weaves a curious fabric round the thoughts we try to
pass down, then the ideas we want to communicate are either lost or
I was a schoolmaster in a small East Coast town before the
war. I was an orphan, somewhat of a recluse. and I made friends but slowly. My
name is of no importance; apparently names over here are not needed. I became a
soldier in the autumn of 1915, and left my narrow village life behind. These
details, however, are really of no importance. They may act as a background to
what I have to say. I joined as a private and died as a private. My soldiering
lasted just nine months, eight of which were spent training in Northumberland. I
went out with my battalion to France in July 1916 and we went into the trenches
almost at once. I was killed by a shell splinter one evening in August, and I
believe that my body was buried the following day. As you see, I hasten over
events, important to me once, but now of no real
consequence. How we overestimate the significance of earthly happenings. One
only realizes this when freed from earthly ties.
Well, my body soon
became cannon fodder, and there were few to mourn me. It was not for me to play
anything but an insignificant part in this world-tragedy, which is still
I am still myself, a person of no importance, but I feel I
should like to say a few things before passing along. I feared death, but then
that was natural. I was timid, and even feared life and its pitfalls. So I was
afraid of being killed and was sure it would mean extinction. There are still
many who believe that. It is because extinction has not come to me that I want
to speak to you. May I describe my experiences? Perhaps they may prove useful to
some. How necessary that some of us should speak back across the border! The
barriers must be broken down. This is one of the ways of doing it. Listen
therefore to what I have to say:
Physical death is nothing. There really
is no cause for fear. Some of my pals grieved for me. When I 'went West" they
thought I was dead for good. This is what happened. I have a perfectly clear
memory of the whole incident. I was waiting at the corner of a traverse to go on
guard. It was a fine evening. I had no special intimation of danger, until I
heard the whizz of a shell. Then following an explosion, somewhere behind me. I
crouched down involuntarily, but was too late. Something struck, hard, hard
hard, against my neck. Shall I ever lose the memory of that hardness? It is the
only unpleasant incident that I can remember. I fell and as I did so, without
an apparent interval of unconsciousness, I found
myself outside myself! You see I am telling my story simply; you will find it
easier to understand. You will learn to know what a small incident this dying
Think of it! One moment I was alive, in the earthly sense, looking
over a trench parapet, unalarmed, normal. Five seconds later I was standing
outside my body, helping two of my pals to carry my body down the trench
labyrinth towards a dressing station. They thought I was senseless but alive. I
did not know whether I had jumped out of my body through shell shock,
temporarily or for ever. You see what a small thing is death, even the violent
death of war! I seemed in a dream. I had dreamt that someone or something has
knocked me down. Now I was dreaming that I was outside my body. Soon I should
wake up and find myself in the traverse waiting to go on guard...It all happened
so simply. Death for me was a simple experience--no horror, no long-drawn
suffering, no conflict. It comes to many in the same way. My pals need not fear
death. Few of them do; nevertheless there is an underlying dread of possible
extinction. I dreaded that; many soldiers do, but they rarely have time to think
about such things. As in my case, thousands of soldiers pass over without
knowing it. If there be shock, it is not the shock of physical death. Shock
comes later when comprehension dawns: "Where is my body? Surely I am not dead!'
In m own case, I knew nothing more than I have already related, at the time.
When I found that my two pals could carry my body without my help, I dropped
behind. I just followed, in a curiously humble way. Humble? Yes, because I
seemed so useless. We met a stretcher party. My body was hoisted on to the
stretcher. I wondered when I should get back into it
again. You see, I was so little 'dead' that I
imagined I was still physically) alive. Think of it a moment before we pass on.
I had been struck by a shell splinter. There was no pain. The life was knocked
out of my body; again, I say, there was no pain. Then I found that the whole of
myself--all, that is, that thinks and sees and feels and knows--was still alive
and conscious! I had begun a new chapter of life. I will tell you what I felt
like. It was as if I had been running hard until, hot and breathless, I had
thrown my overcoat away. The coat was my body, and if I had not thrown it away I
should have suffocated. I cannot describe the experience in a better way; there
is nothing else to describe.
My body went to the first dressing station,
and after examination was taken to a mortuary. I stayed near it all that night,
watching, but without thoughts. It was as if my being, feeling, and thinking had
become 'suspended' by some Power outside myself. This sensation came over me
gradually as the night advance. I still expected to wake up in my body
again--that is, so far as I expected anything. Then I lost consciousness and
No detail seems to have escaped me. When I awoke, my body
had disappeared! How I hunted and hunted! It began to dawn upon me that
something strange had happened, although I still felt I was in a dream and
should soon awake. My body had been buried or burned, I never knew which. Soon I
ceased hunting for it. Then the shock came! It came without warning suddenly. I
had been killed by a German shell! I was dead! I was no longer alive. I
had been killed, killed, killed! Curious that I felt no shock when I was first
driven outside my body. Now
the shock came, and it was very real. I tried to
think backwards, but my memory was numb. (It returned later.)
How does it
feel to be 'dead'? One can't explain, because there's nothing in it! I simply
felt free and light. My being seemed to have expanded. These are mere words. I
can only tell you just this: that death is nothing unseemly or shocking. So
simple is the 'passing along' experience that it beggars description. Others may
have other experiences to relate of a more complex nature. I don't know. . .
When I lived in a physical body I never thought much about it. My
health was fair. I knew very little about physiology. Now that I am living under
other conditions I remain incurious as to that through which I express myself.
By this I mean that I am still evidently in a body of some sort, but 'l' can
tell you very little about it. It has no interest for me. It is convenient, does
not ache or tire, seems similar in formation to my old body. There is a subtle
difference, but I cannot attempt analysis.
Let me relate my first
experience after I had somewhat recovered from the shock of realising I was -
'dead.' I was on, or rather above, the
battlefield. It seemed as if I
were floating in a mist that muffled sound and blurred the vision. Through this
mist slowly penetrated a dim picture and some very low sounds. It was like
looking through the wrong end of a telescope. Everything was distant, minute,
misty, unreal. Guns were being fired. It might all have been millions of miles
away. The detonation hardly reached me; I was conscious of the shells bursting
without actually seeing them. The ground seemed very empty. No soldiers were
visible. It was like looking down from above the clouds, yet that doesn't
exactly express it either. When a shell that took life exploded, then the
sensation of it came
much nearer to me. The noise and tumult came over
the border line with the lives of the slain. A curious way of putting it. All
this time I was very lonely. I was conscious of none near me. I was neither in
the world of matter nor could I be sure I was in any place at all! Just simply
conscious of my own existence in a state of dream. I think I fell asleep -for
the second time, and long remained unconscious and in a dreamless
At last I awoke. Then a new sensation came to me. It was as if
I stood on a pinnacle, all that was essential of me. The rest receded, receded,
receded. All appertaining to bodily life seemed to be dropping away down into a
bottomless abyss. There was no feeling of irretrievable loss. My being
seemed both minute and expansive at the same time. All that was not really me
slipped down and away. The sense of loneliness deepened.
I do not find it
easy, to express myself, If the ideas are not clear, that is not your fault. You
are setting down just what I impress upon you. How do I know this? I cannot see
your pen, but I see my ideas as they are caught up and whirled into form within
your mind. By 'form' perhaps I mean words. Others may not feel this loneliness.
I cannot tell whether my experiences are common to many in a like position. When
I first 'awoke' this second time, I felt cramped. This is passing and a sense of
real freedom comes over me. A load has dropped away from me. I think my new
faculties are now in working order. I can reason and think and feel and move.
Once I read a book about this after-life. It spoke of ' planes' and ' bodies'
and 'cycles' and 'auras.' I think a man
named Sinnett or Symons wrote it. It purported to
deal with the history and geography of this after-life. I cannot confirm its
descriptions from my own experience. I am simply myself, alive, in a region
where food and drink seem unnecessary. Otherwise 'life' is strangely similar to
earth life. A 'continuation,' but with more freedom. I have no more to say just
now. Will you let me return another time and use your mind again? I shall be so
13th March 1917, 8 PM
You are kind to me. You loan me a
power I do not possess any longer--the power to convey information to my human
fellows on earth. I can use your mind freely because I see you have deliberately
chained your imagination, and so I can -impress you freely and clearly. From
this you may notice that I am a little farther along my new road. I have been
helped. Also I have recovered from the 'shock,' not of my transition but of
my recognition of it. This is no subtilty, it is simply what I mean. I am
no longer alone--I have met my dear brother. He came out here three years ago
and has come down to welcome me. The tie between us is strong. William could not
get near me for a long time, he says. The atmosphere was so thick. He hoped to
reach me in time to avert the 'shock' to which I have referred but found it
He is working among the newly arrived and has wide
A good deal of what follows came to me from him; I have made
it my own, and so can pass it on. You see, I am still possessed with the desire
to make my experience,
my adventure, of, help to others who have not yet
It appears that there are Rest Halls in this region,
specially prepared for newly arrived pilgrims. I shall use your language. We can
only convey our experiences approximately. To describe conditions here in
WORDS is quite impossible. Please remember this. My brother helped me into one
of these Rest Halls. Confusion at once dropped away from me. Never shall I
forget my happiness. I sat in the alcove of a splendid domed hall. The splashing
of a fountain reached my tired being and soothed me. The fountain 'played'
music, colour, harmony, bliss. All discordancies vanished and I was at peace. My
brother sat near me. He could not stay long, but promised to return. I wanted to
find you at once to tell you I had found peace, but it is only now that I could
do so. On earth, the study of crystal formations was a great hobby of mine. To
my intense delight I discovered that this splendid hall was constructed
according to the law of crystal formations. I spent hours in examining various
parts of it. I shall spend hours and days and weeks there. I can continue my
studies and make endless discoveries. What happiness! When I have regained a
state of poise, my brother says I may help him in his work outside. I am in no
hurry for this.
You evidently know nothing about crystals., I cannot
impress your mind with the wonders of this place. What a pity ! This place is so
different from any earthly edifice that I fear it is useless to attempt
description. As it is, people will say I am romancing. Or else they will say
that you, my faithful scribe, have let your imagination run away with you.
Please let me return again later. I still have much to say.
14th March 1917, 5 PM
I am beginning to meet
people and to exchange ideas. Strange that the only person I came across for a
long time was my brother. He tells me that I have never been really alone. The
mist around me, shutting me off has emanated from myself, he says. This fact
rather humiliates me. I suppose my loneliness of life and character whilst on
earth have followed me here. I always lived in books, they were my real world.
And even then, my reading was technical rather than general.
I begin to
see now that my type of mind would find itself isolated, or rather would emanate
isolation, when loosed from earthly trammels. I shall remain near earth
conditions whilst learning lessons I refused to learn before.
dangerous to live to and for oneself. Tell this to my fellows with emphasis. The
life of a recluse is unwise, except for the very few who have special work that
requires complete silence and isolation., I was not one of these. I cannot
remember doing anything really worth while. I never looked outside myself, My
school? Well, teaching bored me. I simply did it to earn my bread and cheese.
People will say I was unique, a crabby, selfish old bachelor. Selfish yes, but
alas! far from being unique. I was thirty seven when I came over here-that is,
my body was. Now I feel so ignorant and humble that I don't feel I've begun to
have any age at all.
I must dwell on this. Live widely. Don't get
isolated. Exchange thoughts and services. Don't read too much. That was my
mistake. Books appealed to me more than
life or people. I am now suffering for my mistakes.
In passing on these de tails of my life I am helping to free myself, What a good
thing the war dragged me out into life I In those nine months I learned more
about human nature than I had conceived possible. Now I am learning about my
poor fossilised old self. It is a blessing I came here. Though I do not regret,
I like to hear what is going on in the region you inhabit. It seems a long way
off already. I told my brother I wanted news about events on earth. He took me
to visit an old gentleman who had been editor of a newspaper. Why do I call him
'old'? Because. he died at eighty-one and has not thrown off earth conditions
yet. He therefore surrounds himself with these conditions. His son on earth runs
the paper, a French journal. The old man can read his son's thoughts and so
divines the world's news through his son's mind. He has built himself an office,
full of telephones and tape machines. These machines are in a way illusory, but
they please the old gentleman. He received me courteously, and insisted on
hearing details of my crossing. He was disappointed that I did not know his
paper by name or reputation, and surprised that I knew so little about earthly
affairs. 'I want to get back. I cannot get along without my paper. My son often
uses my ideas in his editorials without knowing it.' This fact was the cause of
much amusement to him. I asked him for some current news. This is what he told
'Something interesting is going on, for my son stays at the office
all night. There is 'war as usual.' There is some commotion about food. I saw
Guilbert writing an article for the paper on 'World Shortage.' England seems to
scared about it. They have suddenly remembered the
existence of the land they are fighting for, and they are digging it about.
Something must have stopped food supplies or destroyed them.
more important now than shells. The rest of the world seems coming into the war
at least, Guilbert thinks so.
'I see an article headed 'America and
China.' Are they short of food too, or are they to fight ? I think they are
going to side with France. Turkey must be having a bad time. I see the
'headlines 'Turkish Debacle.' Guilbert seems full of excitement about Russia. I
see into his mind. He is evolving an article on 'Russia: the Coming World
Power.' Russia must have won a. big victory somewhere. Yes, I think the war is
going on all right. Our circulation has increased again, but alas! Guilbert
cannot get enough paper. I wish I were down there. I would have laid in a big
stock months ago.'
The old gentleman was still rambling on about his
paper and its prospects when I came away. How awful to be chained to an earthly
property like that! Tell people to control their worldly interests from
outside, If you identify yourself heart and soul with some material
project or undertaking, you will find it hanging on to you over here. it will
obsess you, blot out the view, make progress impossible. This old French editor
came over a good many years ago. He still lives on earth in mind, so far as he
is allowed to do so. Take a bird's eye, dispassionate view of all your worldly
interests. Master them or, they will Master you. In the latter case, when you
get here you will be miserable. Life will seem empty, a wilderness. Earth ties
their grip, yet you will be unable to respond.
Confusion will result--that is purgatory.
There are many forms. Each of
us creates his own purgatorial conditions. If I had my time over again how
differently I should live my life! I was not one of those who lived only for the
purpose of satisfying ambition. Money was a secondary consideration. Yes, I
erred at the other extreme, for I neither lived enough among my fellow-men nor
interested myself sufficiently in their affairs., Well, I have created' my own
purgatory. I must live through it somehow. Good-night. I will return
14th March 1917, 8 PM
I want to tell you what I have been
doing. On returning to my alcove in the Rest Hall I found someone else there. He
told me he was a messenger from another sphere, higher up. Certainly wisdom
shone from his eyes. I think he had just come in for a little quiet. I made as
if to go away, but he beckoned me back. 'You are speaking to earth. Do not hurry
to describe your new life and surroundings. Take my advice: do a little living
first.' I think he saw surprise in my face. Do you know,' he continued, 'that
most of what you have conveyed to your friend at the matter end of the line is
quite illusory?' 'What do you mean?' I cried. 'You will gradually find out for
yourself. Remember what I have just said.' This conversation has perturbed me. I
try to dismiss it from my mind, but it sticks. It makes me feel. smaller still.
Am I really the fool rushing in where angels fear to tread After all, what do I
know about my present life? I have not mastered the natural laws of this place.
I have not even mastered myself. I remember meeting a man in a railway train
when I was a young student in London.
He was full of the theory that all 'phenomenal'
life, as he termed it, was merely illusion. He called it 'maya'. I thought the
fellow mad. He said he had read up the whole subject at the British Museum. How
I scoffed! Now that I come to look back upon my 'phenomenal' life on earth, I
begin to see that it consisted mainly of 'maya.' A long chain of illusory
episodes with my poor little self in the centre. Was there anything permanent in
the earth conditions through which I passed during my thirty-seven years? I
begin to think not. That idea does not worry me any longer. My past illusions
may be buried out of sight with my body, for all I care.
I don't like to
think that my impressions about myself and my present life are
mere illusions too! That rankles. it humiliates. Unfortunately, I fear it may be
true. I have given the matter much thought. Evidently I am in a state of
consciousness not far removed from earthly existence. I am journeying towards a
wider, truer life, but I am not yet there. I have no right to speak with any
authority of my experiences here. I am ashamed of having troubled you. One
thought consoles me. If this really is a state of illusion, or illusory ideas,
in which I find myself--well, others must pass through it too. Perhaps the ideas
I have tried to express may help some of those who are not yet here. Anyway, my
life seems quite as real as it did on earth, even more real. There is something
that lives and moves within me that is not illusion, That something will forge
its way out into the light some-day. I can but go on trying. Meanwhile perhaps I
had better not come to you again. Let me thank you for your patience. You have
helped me through difficult purgatorial hours. I may return. I do not know.
Meanwhile Good night.
you would dwell in peace, learn to love deeply.
I hardly expected to hear from my soldier friend.
again. I had asked him previously why he enlisted so early in the war. He told
me he was tired of being a schoolmaster, and the war fever would not leave him
alone. Never have I met anyone less like a soldier! The poor man must have
endured much hardship during his training, owing to his very sensitive and
retiring disposition. He had told me that his name was Thomas Dowding, that in
earth life he was a little short-sighted, prematurely grey at thirty-six, and
that he walked with a stoop. One wonders how he came to be accepted in those
early days of the war, when so much fine physical material was available. He was
evidently a scholar in his way; apparently well read in science, and
mathematics. All his acquired learning seems to have dropped from him at death,
and he becomes a little child groping his way amidst strange surroundings;
lonely, bewildered. It is not easy to believe that I have imagined the whole of
this experience; that Private Dowding is a figment without reality. This
explanation is possible. I do not wish to brush it aside lightly, but it does
not appeal to me. I can but record the experience as it came to me, and let my
I now set down the next series of notes exactly as they
16th March 1917, 5 PM
You will be surprised.
I did not expect to speak to you again. I will tell you how it has come about. I
have met the 'Messenger' again. I fancy he was looking for me. He wanted to know
how I was getting on. I told him I had broken off communication with my earth
friend, on his advice. He said he had been speaking to my brother and had learnt
my history. My brother had told him how much consolation I derived from speaking
to you. He then said that perhaps he had spoken a little hastily, without full
knowledge of the facts. He did not think there would be much harm if I kept the
channel open a little longer. He impressed on me the importance of reminding you
that the conditions now surrounding me are impermanent, and to that extent,
unreal. From his standpoint, the value of such messages as these depended upon
the emphasis placed on this fact. The spiritual world is everywhere. the life of
spirit is eternal, perfect, supreme. We humans hide from the light. We grovel
among the illusions created by our thoughts. We surround ourselves with
misconceptions. We refuse to rise into the Christ Sphere. The Christ Sphere is
everywhere, and yet, by some strange paradox, we were able to shut it out from
view. All these thoughts were new to me. I begin to see what is meant. If I did
not do so, I could not pass the ideas on. You say these thoughts are quite
familiar to you. I am surprised at this. What a little world I have been living
This Messenger evidently came from the Christ Sphere. Religion never
meant much to me. Now I begin to see that one cannot live without it.
great deal was said about reflection; how we can clear
out our own poor thoughts illusions and. allow the
Christ power to reflect through us. Evidently this power is wonderful. The
Messenger seemed to love to speak of it; yet he was in awe of it. It clears away
illusions as the sun clears away fog. He said I am still living in a fog, a fog
of my own creation and design. Well! well! Once I thought I knew a lot. Then I
was sure I knew a little. Now I know I know nothing. It appears that the war is
based upon an illusion. I wonder what my old Parisian friend would say to that!
Since the Great War began, I believe people have thought it was the only reality
on earth! Now I am told it is all based on illusion. I am told that lust for
wealth (of one material kind or another) was the real cause of the war.
Nevertheless, as a result of the war, all the nations engaged will be far poorer
than they were before.
This idea had not crossed my mind. I was told
another thing. Your war down there is being turned into a into a celestial
instrument. it was put to me like this. Material forces are becoming
exhausted--that is to say, the more they are use the less they achieve. Strange
thought! People will realise that material force leads nowhere, is indeed an
illusion. I cannot quite grasp the idea yet.
Apparently the impotent
clash of conflicting material forces is creating a kind of vacuum. The Messenger
said this fact implied a supreme mystery. Into this vacuum spiritual power is to
be poured and poured. He had seen with his own eyes the Reservoirs. He spoke of
these Reservoirs with bated breath. The light of Heaven is reflected in them.
The Water of Life fills them. This Life is still beyond our conception. Our
human life is but a shadow. High beings, God's messengers, guard the sluice
await the Word of command. Then will the Water of
Life be released. Already it is available to many. Do you remember that passage
in Revelation about the river of the Water of Life, bright as crystal,
proceeding from God? The Messenger told me that we are entering into the period
of revelations, when all prophecies will be fulfilled. These things are beyond
me. While he was speaking, I felt as if I were suspended in space, without
visible support. Those high and holy matters are of a spiritual nature. They do
not belong to the realms of illusion. I cannot attain to such ideas. I hardly
dare to contemplate them. I pass them on because I believe they may justify me
in keeping the channel open between us. If I only report matters that interest
me, connected with my present illusory surroundings, the avenue between us will
close up. We cannot live on the celestial heights until we have completed our
work in the valleys. That is how I feel. A friend of mine once tried to climb
Mont Blanc. He turned back long before the summit was reached. He could not
breathe in the rarefied atmosphere. The guides and the rest of the party went
on. Alas that I should be one of those forced I to turn back. I never used my
opportunities during earth life. My spiritual nature atrophied. You must excuse
this self-analysis. . . . How wonderful it must be to be among those who never
turn back! God willing, I will begin to climb. God willing, I too will never
turn back! God willing, the whole human race will never turn back, now it has
begun to climb. The Messenger said that a cycle was ending, that human life had
just entered an upward arc. This conveys very little to me, but I pass it on. .
. . I am sad. I am worth so little. I will come again.
16th March 1917, 8 PM
When I left off
speaking to you, my brother came up. He said I needed rest. He blamed the
Messenger for telling me more than I could stand or understand. William took me
to a Hall of Silence. I had never been there before. Heaven's dome was above me.
The silence of the spheres surrounded me. The loneliness of the desert was my
only companion. There I seemed to remain a very long time, but time also is an
illusion. The meaning behind this word still rouses conflicting emotions within
me. Shall I be forever the slave of my own illusions? It is impossible to tell.
I shall visit the Hall of Silence regularly. Strength and consolation came to me
within its walls. All that the Messenger had said came back to me. Understanding
of many truths dawned within me. One great truth has become my constant
companion. I sum it up thus: 'Empty yourself if you would be filled.' The Waters
of Life can never flow through me until I have surrendered my whole self. I
begin to see the wisdom of this. To you it may convey nothing. I have begun to
try to pour myself away. It is a strange experience. Jesus talked of the
children. They entered heaven. The gateway was barred to the wise men. Children
have little to unlearn. Although I know nothing, yet have I much to unlearn.
This is indeed a paradox.
I believe this Hall of Silence is available to
you also. Try to find the road that leads there. War roars through your lives.
The thunder of it is everywhere. I am still unable to shut out its rumbling
completely. Somewhere within the soul there is silence. Attain unto it. It is a
pearl of great price. I speak of what I know. I do not think the importance of
silence is dwelt on sufficiently in the Christian
scriptures. I never remember being taught its vast
import when on earth. I begin to realise what is meant by the Still small voice
of God! I am now more myself. My brother has offered to let me help him in his
work: I am glad. Good-night.
17th March 1917, 5 PM
I have looked
into hell! I may have to return to that region. I shall be given my choice.
Grant that I may be strong enough to offer myself freely. Hell is a thought
region. Evil dwells there and works out its purposes. The forces used to hold
mankind down in the darkness of ignorance are generated in hell! It is not a
place; it is a condition. The human race has created the condition. It has taken
millions of years to reach its present state. I dare not tell you what I saw
there. My brother needed help. A soldier, who had committed very evil deeds, had
been killed. I will draw a veil over them. He was a degenerate, a murderer, a
sensualist. He died cursing God and man. An awful death. This man was drawn
towards hell by the law of attraction. My brother had been told off to rescue
him. He took me with him. At first I refused to go. Then I went. . . . An angel
of light came to protect us, otherwise
we should have been lost in the
blackness of the pit. This sounds sensational, even grotesque. It is the truth.
The power of evil! Have you any idea of its mighty strength, its lure? Can that
power be an illusion too? The angel said so. The angel said the power of hell
was now at its supreme height. It drew its power from man! As man rose toward
spiritual life the powers of darkness would subside and finally become
extinguished. 'Extinguished' is my word. The angel said 'transmuted.' That
quite beyond me. We descended gloomy avenues. The
darkness , grew. There was a strange allurement about the atmosphere. Even the
angel's light grew dim. I thought we were lost. At moments I hoped we were lost,
so strong is the attraction. I cannot understand it. Something sensual within me
leaped and burned. I thought I had emptied myself of self before undertaking
this great adventure. Had I done so, I should have been safe. As it was, I
should have been lost but for the angel's and my brother's help. I felt the
giant lusts of the human race. They thrilled through me. I could not keep them
out. We descended deeper. I say 'descended.' If hell is not a place, how can one
'descend'? I asked my brother. He said we were not moving in the physical sense.
Our progress depended on certain thought processes evoked by the Will.
is all very strange to me. I now remember that the Messenger told me I was not
to dwell on what I saw and felt in this dark region. Therefore I will hurry on
and not dwell upon details. As a matter of fact, I never reached the point where
the rescue was attempted. The angel and my brother went on alone. I waited for
their return in what seemed to be a deep dark forest. There was no life, no
light there. One felt stagnation everywhere. The angel said that was the most
insidious kind of hell, stagnation, because no one recognised it as such.
Contrary to belief, hell itself, or rather that part of it visited by my brother
and the angel, is brilliantly lighted.
The light is coarse, artificial.
It keeps out the light of God. In this awful glare the angel's light nearly lost
All this my brother told me afterwards. Those who die
filled with thoughts of selfishness and sensuality
are attracted down the grey avenues toward this hell of the senses. The darkness
of the deep forests appalls, the loneliness is intense. At last, light is seen
ahead. It is not the light of heaven, it is the lure of hell. These poor souls
hasten onwards, though not toward destruction; there is no such thing. They
hasten down into conditions that are the counterpart of their own interior
condition. The Law is at work. This hell is a hell of the illusions and is
itself an illusion. I find this hard to credit. Those who enter it are led to
believe that the only realities are the sense passions and the beliefs of the
human 'I'. This hell consists in believing the unreal to be real. It consists in
the lure of the senses without the possibility of gratifying them. I was told a
great deal more about this awful region, but I must not pass it on. The angel
said that the 'condition' would ultimately dissolve into nothingness. Hell or
apparently that part of it we are speaking about, depends for its existence on
human thoughts and feelings. The race will never rise to greatness until the
passions are controlled. This refers to nations and to individuals. On earth I
was never interested in such matters. I did not realise the existence of the
sexual canker at the heart of human life. What a terrible thing this is! Do not
wait until you come over here. Set to work at once. There is no time to lose.
Gain control of self. Then retain control by emptying yourself of self. All the
thoughts of lust and passion, greed, hatred, envy, and, above all, selfishness,
passing through the minds of men and women, generate the 'condition' called
hell. Purgatory and hell are different states. We all must needs pass through a
purging, purifying process after leaving earth life. I am still in purgatory.
Some day I shall rise above it. The majority who come
over here rise above or rather THROUGH purgatory
into higher conditions. A minority refuse to relinquish their thoughts and
beliefs in the pleasures of sin and the reality of the sense life. They sink by
the weight of their own thoughts. No outside power can attract a man against his
will. A man sinks or rises through the action of a spiritual law of gravity. He
is never safe until he has emptied himself completely. You see how I emphasise
this fact. Some of these thoughts came to me whilst I waited in that gloomy
forest. Then the angel and my brother returned. They had found him for whom they
sought. He would not come away. They had to leave him there. Fear held him. He
said his existence was awful, but he was afraid to move lest worse conditions
should befall him.
Fear chained him. No outside power can unchain that
man. Release will come from within some day. Sadly we returned to our own
places. I began to realise what power King Fear holds over nearly all of us. The
angel said that Fear would be destroyed when Love came into her own. He said the
time was coming. . . . I have much to think about. I am going into the 'Hall of
Silence. If I can return again, I will. Good-bye.
17th March 1917, 8
Soon after returning from the states of hell I met the Messenger
again. He said I had not learned sufficient of the spiritual life to visit such
dark regions with impunity. He took me with him toward a Mount of Vision. The
light was dazzling. No doubt he thought such a pilgrimage would prove an
antidote to my journey toward the demon realm. It was almost too much for me. I
can remember little of what I saw. I gazed upon the Reservoirs of Illumination.
They were afar off. They nearly blinded me. The
Messenger told me many things concerning the manifestations of God to man. He
said a prophet of the Most High was in charge of each of the gateways to these
Reservoirs of Light. When darkness and ignorance grew apace among men, the
'Word' was uttered. Then the prophet, whose turn it was to descend among men,
made deep obeisance and opened wide his own gateway to the Reservoirs of Light.
He descended to earthly regions that he might guide the spreading of the new
illumination. The Messenger told me that one of these holy prophets fulfilled
his divine mission during the last century. He said the illumination then
released was about to spread through East and West. The prophet has returned to
heavenly spheres--his work accomplished. His work would become manifest when the
war was over. The war itself was an outward manifestation of the powers of evil
in their attempt to obstruct. the inflow of the light. It was very interesting,
but beyond me. He said a spiritual revival was destined to take place within all
the great world-faiths.
He said that unity would become established,
that universal peace would become an accomplished fact. He seemed to imply that
the golden era was at hand; nearer indeed than we could realise. He asked me to
return to the Mount of Vision with him, but I feel I cannot, dare not do so. I
am unworthy. I cannot unself myself sufficiently. Such heights are not for such
as I am! I returned to my own place alone, by the force of an interior gravity.
But I ask you to mark the Messenger's words. He spoke of what he knew. Let his
words blaze forth a channel through the minds of men.
I ask this of you:
to make them known.
18th March 1917, 8 PM
I have returned once
more. There are several things I want to say. I find it difficult to tell you
what they are.
I will tell you why. I am a person who cannot pretend to
teach or preach, I do not wish to do so. I am not sure enough of my own faith
I feel it my duty to tell you some thing of what the angel and the
Messenger said, not because I understand or believe it all, but be cause they
have been good to me. They have recognised my ignorance, have not scoffed at my
unworthiness. I have not come to you to preach, to show the way to heavenly
states. I do not know my way there, so how could I guide you? You are probably
nearer heaven than I, though still on earth. Because I pass on what has been
told to me, do not think I am a 'superior' person. Do not think that all I say
must be true. It may be. I cannot tell myself. I am grateful to you for
listening to me. I am grateful to my brother for meeting me over here. Above
all, I thank God for the Messenger who deigns to come and talk to me at
intervals. I have met other people over here, and have been allowed to help one
or two distressed souls. But I remain a lonely person, working out my own
salvation in fear and trembling. Put fear behind you! That is one of the things
I must say. I try to do it! Fear is a power opposed to life; it is the weapon of
the Evil One. It is illusion. Can you believe what I say? Fear has no reality of
its own. Its power is generated from within ourselves. Cast it out. Never fear
I want to say a few words about love--very few, because I know so
little. Also because love is spoken about too
much already, whereas it should be lived. If you
would dwell in peace, learn to love deeply. Never cease from loving. Jesus said
a good deal about love, if I remember rightly. Look up what He said and live
Love God by pouring yourself away. Love your fellows by giving
them all you possess of light and truth.
Love LOVE for her own blessed
sake. Such love will bring you nearer heaven.
I have spoken about
illusion several times. I return to it once more. I begin to see that phenomenal
existence, whether on earth or here, is so impermanent as to be unreal. This is
a hard saying. I do not yet understand it.
Live above those conditions
which, after much meditation, appear to you to be illusory. That is the best
advice I can give.
The Messenger has spoken several times about evil. I
cannot entirely shake off the effects of my visit to the lower regions, where
evil reigns as lord and king.
It appears that evil is not real or
permanent. Its power is permanent, but this power can be transmuted,
until it serves ends that are divine.
More than this I cannot say,
because I do not know. If you can realise that evil has no real existence and
can be eliminated entirely from human life, you will have learnt much. Remember
what was said about stagnation. Keep moving in some direction all the time. How
was it that I lived so stagnantly whilst on earth? --Let my life be an
One other thought I wish to leave with you. The Messenger told
me that we have entered the period of period of revelations.
The childhood of the race is nearly over. Vast
spiritual purifying powers are waiting to be poured forth. Create vessels for
this purpose! Make yourself a vessel that you may receive the gift of the
Spirit. You will then require no teaching from outside. Revelation will come to
you from within. Retire into the Hall of Silence. Think on these things. Think
on these things. . , . The time has come for my withdrawal. I will ask the
Messenger to bless your life and work. You are a soldier too. Your life will
bring you many opportunities. You will be protected, safeguarded, illumined.
Should it be your fate to come across to this region soon, I will try to meet
you. I may be useful. But I do not think you are coming yet. I have said so much
about myself! Only now, as I am leaving, do I speak of you. Forgive me. Once
more, my friend, I thank you. I owe you more than I can repay. In some special
manner you have buoyed up my faith when it would have failed me otherwise. God
grant you understanding. God grant you peace. Good-bye.
Note by W. T.
I have not heard again from my friend. He has evidently passed beyond
my ken. Probably he is already free from earth conditions and has entered upon
the pilgrimage of selfless service. I can quite believe that this is possible.
His nature was au fond humble and childlike. The humility of the man was
indeed very splendid. I hope we may meet again some day. There are several
points in his narrative worthy of comment. I must treat the whole experience as
real. Otherwise it would not have been worth while setting down. To me,
my communications with Thomas Dowding were so real
that he seemed to be in the room sitting at my elbow, prompting my pen. I know
there have been many books written containing messages said to have been passed
down from another plane of existence. One cannot doubt the possibility of
'spirit communion,' as it is often called. It seems to me that there can be no
final proof concerning these matters. One must be guided by the interior worth
of the messages themselves. I tell you, for instance, that I am satisfied I have
been speaking with a soldier who was killed in battle seven months ago. I have
set down the experience in writing exactly as it came to me. I cannot, however,
prove the genuineness of the experience to anyone else. I cannot even prove it
finally to myself.
I will now comment upon Thomas Dowding's statements
and beliefs, in the search for interior evidences of their genuineness. It is
evident that these messages come from a mind in a state consciousness not far
removed from earthly existence, and not from any more spiritual source. I
believe that the messages set down in a little book called Christ in You
were received inspirationally in a manner akin to the experiences with which we
are now dealing. The interior evidence of the Christ in You
communications certainly points to their being genuine. The spirit of truth
breathes from these pages, and therefore their actual source is a matter of
little moment. Can the same be said of the messages from Thomas Dowding? They
belong to a different order of communication and must be considered in light of
their own internal worth.
In the first place, Dowding, or whoever is
speaking, has no clear idea of what truth is. He emphasises the fact that he
knows nothing. He passes on the information he
receives from the 'Messenger' and the 'angel', but
he cannot very often endorse the truth of such information in the light of his
own experience. In one place, he says he is helping to 'free himself'
(presumably from ignorance) by passing on the details of his life. As the record
proceeds, one is forced to the conclusion that our friend finds the shackles
dropping from him. The tone of his remarks begins to change. A new and more
spiritual note becomes apparent. He takes more interest in what the Messenger
tells him. He realises more and more the worthlessness of human 'knowledge,' and
proceeds to empty his mind, that it may begin to reflect spiritual rather than
earthly ideas. In a way, his humility and his confidence grow together, yet a
certain diffidence is noticeable right to the end. One does not know why he felt
impelled to communicate with earth, nor why he chose to 'speak' to one who was
an entire stranger to him. He does not seem to think that doubt will be cast
upon his story; indeed, he goes out of his way to say that my imagination has
been 'chained,' and that his ideas are correctly taken down. The Messenger warns
our friend against communicating with earth at all.
'Do you know that
most of what you have conveyed to your friend at the matter end of the line is
quite illusory?' This is a very perturbing thought to Private Dowding, but he is
told that he will gradually discover the truth of what the Messenger tells him..
Towards the end he does begin to disentangle that which is real in his life from
the unreal, and does his best to tell us how he reaches his conclusions. On this
point his final dictum is this: 'Live above all those conditions that appear to
you, after much meditation, to be illusory.' He is forced to the
conclusion that very little of his own earth life or
of his present life can be termed 'real' in any final sense. Nevertheless, his
faith in a spiritual life gradually grows, until he is able to exclaim: 'There
is something that lives and moves in me that is not illusion. That
something will forge its way out into the light some day.' It will be noted that
I have called my friend Thomas Dowding. It is very difficult to get through
names correctly. Dowding may have been our friend's earth label, but I doubt if
it is a matter of any importance. The only name he himself mentions is that of
William, belonging to his brother, who meets him on the 'other side.' Names are
evidently of no moment over there. Finally, let me say a few words on the
teaching that comes to our friend as he wanders about seeking for truth. To my
mind, there is much of value and real beauty in the spiritual lessons conveyed
to him by the personage he calls the 'Messenger.' Evidently only fragments of
these messages have been passed on to us. I think our friend was unable to grasp
the import of a great deal he was told, and feared to pass it on. Evidently he
originates no teaching himself and is careful to point this out. He says: 'I
cannot pretend to preach or teach. . . . I am not sure of my own faith yet.'
Then he goes on to explain why he feels it his duty to pass on the teaching of
the angel and the Messenger. Personally, I consider that this teaching, whatever
its actual source may be, is well worth careful attention and study. It
certainly does not emanate from my own mind, conscious or, subconscious--that
is, so far as one is in a position to judge. I realise that the mysteries of the
subliminal and subconscious regions are still beyond our grasp.
of this, I say, study the teaching itself. Accept
or reject it according to its own interior worth.
Again and again I would urge the importance of studying the teaching in its
relation to life as we now know it. Except in that aspect, no such communication
from the other side can have any practical value.
Do not confuse the
teaching with the simple record of Private Dowding's surroundings. He tells us
that from the standpoint of the Messenger the value of the messages depends upon
the emphasis placed upon the fact of the impermanence of the conditions
described, and it must never be forgotten, if the teaching in this narrative
seems incomplete, that Private Dowding does not pretend to teach. He himself is
still seeking, and that somewhat blindly. He says he knows nothing. His was not
an enlightened soul. He passes on fragments of a teaching which he only dimly
understands, and the value of these fragments to us must lie in our reading of
their deeper meaning in relation to our own lives. If his loneliness is not at
first understood, we have to bear in mind that he made no profession of faith
here, and consequently his vision of higher things must have been very dim on
crossing over. It may be that all those who are without an appreciation of inner
values, are, in a sense, in the same spiritual loneliness, shut off as they are
from the perfect inviolable whole 'by the fragmentary bodily senses, and by the
limitations of the sense-intellect--that is to say, by the intellect that
recognises only the testimony supplied by the senses and reasons from that
alone' [J.Bruce Wallace in Brotherhood] and probably the 'fog of our own
creating' is but the dark veil of separateness arising from this blindness of
the soul. The man who lacks reverence is blind, for if he
could see, he would have reverence; and the man who
does not love is blind, for if he could see, he would love. In the Hall of Rest
there came peace, and in the Hall of Silence there came understanding. These
Halls are available to all here and now. If we can but enter the Hall of Rest,
the senses are stilled, and we can then enter into the Silence, there to hear
the 'still small voice,' and to understand. 'Somewhere within the soul,' we are
told, 'there is silence. Attain unto it. It is a pearl of great price.' To enter
into the Silence, to have vision, is necessarily to have reverence, to love, and
to serve. He urges us to control our affairs from without, to live widely, to
pour ourselves away, not to live for self. 'The spiritual world is everywhere;
the life of spirit is eternal, perfect, supreme.' The Christ spirit is,
everywhere, and yet, by some strange paradox, we are able to shut it out from
our view.' 'We are unable,' says Private Dowding, 'to clear out our own poor
thoughts and illusions and allow the Christ power to reflect through us.' And
here the remark, 'You evidently know nothing about crystals. I cannot impress
your mind with the wonders of this place," is of far-reaching interest as
indicating the need of the faculty of understanding before the interior
realisation of any truth becomes possible. In the presence of the " powers of
darkness" he finds it necessary to empty himself of self. Gain control of self,"
he tells us, " then retain control by emptying your self of self.' On the Mount
of Vision the Reservoirs of Illumination nearly blind him. He says: 'I feel I
cannot, dare not, return. I cannot unself myself sufficiently.' In the first of
these experiences, the self he speaks of, the self that is illusion, the sense
self, is drawn by the lure of the power of evil,
and in the other it is blinded by the Light of the
Reservoirs of Illumination. He returns to his 'own place alone, by the force of
an interior gravity.' There is nothing indefinite, and there is much to ponder
over in these experiences. We are told with the same certainty that vast
spiritual purifying powers are waiting to be poured forth. 'Create vessels for
this purpose,' says Private Dowding. 'Make yourself a vessel that you may
receive the gift of the spirit. . . Retire into the Hall of Silence. Think on
these things. Think on these things.' It is difficult to place too high a value
on this teaching.
On page 36 he says, ' I ask you to mark the
Messenger's words. He spoke of what he knew. Let his words blaze forth a channel
through the minds of men. I ask this of you: to make them known.' What is it
that he is so definitely anxious to make known? The message of the existence of
Reservoirs of Light, of the uttering of the Word, of the illumination about to
spread through East and West, or of the establishment of unity and universal
peace? Perhaps all of these things. And whether the Reservoirs of Illumination
be the latent but unawakened and therefore unexpressed spiritual strength and
capacity of the races we cannot tell, but the uttering of the Word and the
coming of the Revealer of the Word brings illumination nevertheless surely to
the hearts of men.
It is true that great spiritual movements were
initiated last century. One of the most remarkable of these has centred in the
East round the Persian prophet Baha'u'llah. This Messenger of God has returned
to his own high place, but his message of brotherhood and love begins to stir
the hearts of men. Many of his prophecies have already been fulfilled. The
ideals of unity and brotherhood for which he
stood are spreading widely, despite the war. His
Book of Laws remains to be made known to the world, but the inspiration which
called it forth is certainly divine in origin. Baha'u'llah's son, the explainer
of the message, whose name is Abdu'l Baha Abbas (servant of God), still dwells
among men, controlling and directing the promulgation of a spiritual movement
that seems likely to encircle the globe with the great ideal of unity. And in
the West there is, among others, the wonderful spiritual movement known as
Christian Science. It is perhaps the most remarkable religious revival initiated
during last century in the Western world, and its growth and influence,
particularly in America, is little short of marvelous. The Messenger tells us
that the light dawns within individuals first, and that its radiance spreads,
that outwardly its influence will show itself in many great reforms, and that
'great lamps will shine forth in East and West.' Again I would say in Private
Dowding's words: 'Vast spiritual powers are waiting to be poured forth. Create
vessels for this purpose. Make yourself a vessel that you may receive the gift
of the spirit.' I would close by repeating what he says with reference to love,
which, in my opinion, seals the whole experience with the stamp of truth. If you
would dwell in peace, learn to love deeply. Never cease loving. Love God by
pouring yourself away. Love your fellows by giving them all you possess of light
and truth. Love LOVE for her own blessed sake. Such love will bring you nearer
W. T. P.
Bournemouth, 19th March
20th March 1917, 8 PM
Not long after
Private Dowding's farewell visit, it began to dawn upon me that , as he could
not return himself, he was trying to set up direct communication between the
being whom he called the 'Messenger' and myself. I have therefore held myself
receptive in the hope of securing some further news of my friend, and I now set
down the message that has reached me., I will reserve comment until later. * *
Yes, I am the Messenger, and am speaking to you 'at your friend's
W.T.P. May I ask a few questions
Messenger. I am here to answer them.
W.T.P. A Do
you really see brighter times ahead for the human race?
My son, you need have no fear. Your world is now plunged in grief and chaos. The
hour is dark, the outlook strangely gloomy. We can see the light behind the
thunder-clouds. Improvement in world conditions is already taking place despite
the war. Few kings will be left in Europe or, for that matter, anywhere. Russia
will lead her people toward peace and joyful emancipation. The illumination of a
New Day will be reflected in the soul of the Slavonic race and will become
apparent everywhere. In time to come
the dawn will break over Germany and the Northern
peoples, sweeping before it the cruel darkness of ignorance and despotism.
Tribulation will be great; revolutions must be expected, but nothing can
withstand the light. Vast changes lie ahead. Were I to tell you of these
miracles, you would not credit them. We see regeneration in Persia,
transformation in India; uprisings in the Far East and new discoveries;
revolutionary events in the New World, North and South; but the light will
France rises again, purified, up-lifted, and becomes the inspirer
of the world in arts and sciences. Ireland comes into her own at last and
becomes the cradle for great men and women. England joins hands with many
nations in raising the standard of unity and fellowship among the peoples of the
world. She will be called upon to make immense sacrifice, East and West, but she
grows to a new greatness through her acts of renunciation.
republics will rule the world with free and peaceful intercourse between the
nations. Peace does not yet come into her own, but the floodgates of God's love
have been opened, and the divine power is for all nations.
Fear not the
breaking down of barriers everywhere. Make the paths straight! The Lord of lords
is destined to make a divine progress, and the ways must be
W.T.P. This is all very wonderful. How will this new
spiritual radiance make itself manifest?
Messenger. You are
already witnessing its leavening power. The world is not in such darkness as it
was even five years ago, and this despite the warring of the nations.
The light dawns within individuals first and then
the radiance spreads. Outwardly its influence will show itself in many great
reforms. In time the very air will become purer. Climates will improve;
disasters caused by earthquakes, sea and air, will slowly diminish; but there
will be cataclysms first. Conflicts between religions will cease the bitterness
of sect will die away.
Women will hold equal rights with men. Great
women, inspirers of the race, will rise up in East and West. Diseases
--physical, mental, political, social--will gradually disappear. This must sound
incredible to you. Remember that a spiritual remedy is becoming available for
human sins and discords. It will veritably prove the elixir of the new age and
will be within reach of all mankind. The Christ spirit will dwell among men with
healing in its wings.
W.T.P. Why do you tell me a this
Messenger. Eyes must be opened ears must be attuned to the
message of the coming day. Knowledge of the joy and peace that lie ahead will
help you through these days of sore distress. By a consecrated act of faith
bring understanding and wholeness into your own life and the lives of those
W.T.P. Will the barriers between this world and the
next be broken down?
Messenger. The veils are already thinning. As
the race becomes regenerated from within, all need for barriers will disappear,
and death will lose its awful sting.
The piercing of the veils must come
about through spiritual and natural processes of mind and heart, and not through
the employment of magic, ritual, or trance.
W.T.P. Will a new
religion become necessary?
Messenger. The spirit will re-illumine all
religious faiths. The new religion will be one of service and fellowship and
W.T.P. And Egypt?
Messenger. The great land
of the Pharaohs has still a part to play in the evolution of the race, but it
may not be through British influence. There are vast preparations now being made
for the enlightened progress of the whole Moslem world.
How long will this take?
Messenger. I am not a very high
being; and to me are not revealed details of all these wonderful happenings. So
far as I am allowed to see, peace will be re-established during 1919. Although
actual fighting may end in 1918, it will take many years to bring poise and
peace into actual and permanent being.
W.T.P. Who are
Messenger. I am one of those commanded to direct the new
illumination into the avenues leading down towards the hearts and minds of men.
I greet and protect certain souls, chosen for special work, as they reach this
W.T.P. Was Thomas Dowding one of them
Messenger. We met by what you would call 'accident.' He is
making quick progress, and his power of service to his fellow-men will be great.
It is often the most unexpected people who are chosen for important
W.T.P. What about the Far East ?
great leader rises up in the time to come, and will avert many dangers. This one
is long expected, and will bring about moral and social progress in China and
elsewhere. The flames now visible between the Orient
and the Northern hemisphere of the New World will be transmuted, purified, and
harnessed to fine ends.
Her hour of tribulation is at hand. A splendid destiny will come into view. So
long as material wealth remains the idol, so long will the light be held back.
You must expect revolutions of a peculiar order at no distant
W.T.P. May we return to Germany?
Already the world faintly perceives the probable progress of events in that
land. Germany as an empire ceases to exist, but as a federation of independent
states her future and ultimate well-being are assured. The days are still dark,
but remember this: the greater the darkness of the night the greater the
brilliance of the dawn.
W. T. P. And how are all these wonders to
be brought about? Are we to expect prophets and teachers in our
Messenger. Great lamps will shine forth in East and West.
The period of revelations is upon you. The light is for the whole race, but
individuals must reflect it within themselves, that it may become readily
available for all.
Rise up and proclaim the dawn of the New Day! You can
all become prophets and seers in this new dispensation. 'The people that walked
in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow
of death, upon them hath the light shined.'
Physical birth and death are
not forever. Generation and dissolution as known to you will be transformed,
transfigured. Herein dwelleth a mystery that cannot yet be unveiled.
The road to its unveilng is the pathway of spotless
W.T.P . Will your words be understood or believed?
Messenger. The wonders soon to be revealed are such that the
peoples' vision will become unclouded and the sun's rays will shine through the
minds and hearts of men and women. Then belief will become
W.T.P. What about social evils and injustices,
poverty and ignorance, lust and greed? Can all these become
Messenger. My son, have faith. Realise that the love
of God is indeed all-powerful. The Golden Age will not be ushered in the
twinkling of an eye, as is thought by some. The law of evolution must be
respected and cannot yet be overruled.
Extremes of wealth and poverty
will disappear. Yes, this is so. The war itself has become a 'celestial
instrument,' as you have already been told. Governments will become simpler,
less unwieldy, localised, filled with the ideals of justice and
The Oneness of Humanity, as emphasised by the great prophet
who manifested last century, will become recognized, and as a result of this,
vast reforms, social and ethical, will gradually be introduced throughout the
W.T.P. What about food?
will disappear. The race will learn to live more simply on the blessed fruits
and herbs and cereals. Unless the race learns this important lesson, it will be
found that the earth cannot support the populations now inhabiting it.
Over-eating and over-indulgence in the sense desires must cease.
inspiration of the spiritual in life will take away the
domination of the grosser appetites. Set the
example! Fight the good fight! Increase your faith. To the God-endowed man all
things are possible.
W.T.P. Your utterances are so utopian that I
fear it impossible to secure a fair hearing for them.
Compare 1817 with 1917. Compare 1900 with 2000 A.D. The latter comparison is
only possible through the exercise of faith and vision. Much that I have
foreshadowed will have become visible before the year 2000 A.D. My son, I give
you my blessing and wish you God-speed.
N.B.-I have set down these very
utopian sentiments and prophecies exactly as they flowed through my pen; but,
although I am an optimist, I find it difficult to believe that the race is
nearing the realisation of all its ideals.
The prophecies are
interesting despite their vagueness and extreme optimism. It is useless for me
to do more than place these prophecies before my readers, and allow time to set
its seal of truth or faIsity upon them. Certainly we live in strange times, when
all things are possible, when even the wildest dreams are being fulfilled before
W. T. P.
Bournemouth, 20th March
H.M.T. Inderra, Mediterranean
22 May, 1919,
I am allowed to return to you at last. will you bear with me? There
are many things I wish to say.
I am not enrolled among those who are
attempting to pierce the curtain that separates your world from where we live.
this work is being carried on from your side too. When I spoke to you before I
had just arrived here. I was confused, bewildered. I was filled with shame and
humiliation, my life on your side had been so useless.
The story of my
passing across the barriers must have sounded confused, yet I am told that it
has proved useful to many. I am glad if this is so. I have met a soldier
recently arrived, who tells me he has read my book! He said it had been sent to
him in Mesopotamia and was read eagerly by many of his pals. When he was dying
of fever, feeling that his end was near (he now knows it was the beginning) he
determined if life continued to search me out. And we have met!
not repeat this soldier's description of his arrival here. In some ways his
experiences were similar to my own. I was glad I could help him. It was this
soldier who persuaded me to try to speak to you again. His confidence in the
value of the previous messages inspired me to search you out once more.
I asked the Messenger if I might try to find you. He
told me to follow my own instincts--then I met your friend J.C. He said he was
in touch with you. He brought me to your boat upon the Nile. We met again and
you promised to listen for my message during your voyage from Egypt to England.
I am here. J.C. promises to keep the channel open so that my thoughts may reach
you clearly. He works with a group of officers among those emerging from the
mists of your earth. I will take up my story from the time I left you. There may
be those among your friends to whom the story of my life and training here may
prove helpful. I was bitterly disappointed when I could no longer see or speak
to you! The mists rose up between us. Now I see how well it was--I was befogged,
not fit to speak to you, unlearned and unresigned. Do not be afraid of
disappointments. The personal self puts inn the sting without which
disappointments would not cause depression. When disappointments descend upon
you, look up, until your vision clears. Then you will understand and be at
peace. The Messenger came for me. He told me he had spoken to you direct, that
you had listened to his words. He said my message and his forecasts would be
given to your world. I asked him to let me help break down the barriers. He took
me to a hall of instruction that I had never seen before. The hall was crowded.
Those present wished to learn how to return to the realm of mists between the
worlds, to help new arrivals and to prepare the way for communion between souls
already here and their friends on earth. It will be useful to tell you how we
were trained to do this work. I give you my own experience, not because it has
special value, but because it is my own. The Messenger led me to the centre of
the hall. There the Teacher stood with
pupils sitting around him, in ever widening circles,
in eastern fashion.
The Teacher was dressed in a shining robe of flaming
blue. When he spoke, orange and violet rays of light spread from him throughout
the hall. He was an initiate. I hardly dared to look at him. I bowed my head. He
took me by the hand The Messenger told him of my desire. I was led to a seat in
the fourteenth circle and sat down.
I cannot tell you all that happened
and must leave much to your imagination. Do not be afraid of imagination.
Correctly trained it proves a useful servant--I found myself sitting in a row of
soldiers who had come over early in the war. They were all strangers to me. Two
sitting near me have become my constant companions and we now work together in
I will tell you their stories later. I promised them I would.
They have been profoundly interested in those first messages I sent
I will tell you what we learnt in the hall of instruction; how we
were prepared for 'Active Service' on the 'battlefields' between the
The Teacher 'spoke' to us through signs and symbols, by
pictures and by colour rays, and by what seemed like etheric photographs upon a
screen. Our training was divided into three parts. It has lasted a long time and
is not yet over, although some among us have already taken up our
In the first lessons we were instructed how to discipline our own
emotions and desires. This is very difficult. No worker is allowed to return
into the mists for service until the emotions have been disciplined. We were
instructed on the relation between the mind and the will. We were told
how to empty ourselves until God's Mind and Will
could be reflected through us without thought of self.
It was very
difficult for me. It still is. Oh, my friend. I have much to learn--I have gone
such a little way since we met last! I am glad to be allowed to speak to you
again. Never mind if people tell you that 'Private Dowding' has no existence
outside your own imagination. It does not matter. The message matters,
fragmentary though it is. Give it and leave the rest...The Teacher showed us his
own mind. It was polished like crystal and reflected many pure rays of light
from the celestial sphere. He showed us how to empty our minds of useless
thoughts, poor ideals, and vain images. He showed us on a screen the mind of a
man still living within the fleshly veil. (Screen is the wrong word: it was an
oval crystal globe in which we say the movements of chains of thoughts within
This man represented a type. He was a successful merchant full
of desire to make more money, ambitious, without thought for the spiritual wider
worlds around him. His mind revolved for us to study. There is one trail of
thoughts I followed:
'If peace is signed soon I will visit New York and
open a branch there; that will come in useful when Jack comes into the business;
lucky he was too young to fight, wish the school bills were not so heavy; shall
cut out the University now; wish I had a second boy, too many girls; it can't be
helped now, must try and get them married soon; what was that Ada (his wife)
told me this morning about young Mr. Morgan? Wonder what his father's worth? I
might find out, used to be on 'Change, but the war may have broken him; Johnson
may know, Johnson hasn't paid that bill, must ring him up, wish I could afford a
rest, this life
is killing me and I cannot afford a partner or I'd
take in Gorge (his wife's brother), but then he's always been a rolling stone;
suppose I must take him to the Club, I promised I would, but he plays rotten
golf and is not too presentable; where did I leave my clubs? Must have been at
Brighton, will telephone and find out, a man is given no peace and all those
bills to meet on Saturday. Must see the bank again; so Warren's boy has been
killed, hard lines; than God my boy's safe at school...'
That trail of
thought went on a long way. This man's mental life was made up of almost endless
chains of thoughts leading nowhere in particular. His mind ws filled with
unessentials. he had no time for thoughts beyond those which revolved
continuously around himself, his worldly interests, and his people. His was not
a vicious mind, simply uncontrolled, self-centered, unillumined. It was shown to
us as a common type. The Teacher then showed us a similar mind belonging to a
man who had just come across. He was lost in the mists. Some of the senior
students among us went out into the mists to help him. He was a wanderer,
without home or peace. It was long before the chains would be broken and the man
released from the meshes of his mind. Now he is a student here, filled with the
desire to make his life of service to his fellow-men. By this and similar
examples, showing the working of the human mind, we were instructed. Human
will-power and its relation to the emotions; the cleansing of the human mind
from sensuality; how to reflect within ourselves God's Will, and through that
Will (and not our own) to harness and purify the emotional life--all this we
learnt gradually. Sometime you shall hear more. It is full of interest. I will
return each day while the voyage lasts.
23rd May 1919, 11 AM
Before telling you about
the second and third part of our training I should like to talk to you on other
matters. About yourself: you have come through the war not unscathed but safe.
How wonderfully you have been protected. At one time I expected you over here,
but it was a mistake. Then I asked to be allowed to speak with you again. So the
war is over! Is it really over? Here it looks as if the struggle were still
continuing: not perhaps on outer battlefields but in men's hearts and minds.
This struggle will go on for a long time. What absorbs my thoughts is the
wonderful development of interest in what you call the unseen now going on in
English-speaking lands on earth. We hope to pierce the veils, to break down
useless barriers, but this work needs careful training. I will speak more of
this. Balance minds are so essential. How rarely found! But who am I to speak? I
know so little and am still a child! Many warnings have been given us as to the
methods of our work. Some of these warnings I shall pass over to you. Make them
known or the good work will be delayed. These warnings may be voiced by me
through you, but they come from my Teacher and the Messenger.
Messenger has become my guide, am I not fortunate? He comes to me at times when
I am resting.
My life is now divided into three parts: one spent in the
hall of instruction, another in the land of the mists helping to dispel the fog
and tumult, and the third in the gardens of rest, where I have a little house
and garden of my own. We construct our own surroundings here by the creative
power of our own thoughts. You are doing the same although it is not so apparent
to you. I repeat: you
construct your own surroundings even in that opaque
and circumscribed outer world by your own thinking. Where do you chains of
thoughts lead? Are they chains holding you down or are they threads of light
leading you upward? I still find myself involved in my own chains--the after
effect of my useless life on earth. Take warning from my experience. When I come
again I will tell you more about the School.
23rd May 1919, 9 PM
will not give you an account of the instruction given to us by our Teacher. I
cannot remember it all. Some of the thoughts left in my mind as the result of
time spent in the hall of instruction will leave their trace upon you and
through you upon others who may read what you set down. Many of the lessons in
selflessness, self-control, the relation between reason and intuition, between
intellect and emotion, are lessons which we should have learnt while still on
earth. I spoke to you before about the supreme importance of emptying oneself of
self in order to reflect the Divine Mind--and this lesson was drilled into us by
the Teacher as of immense importance. Only those of us who had achieved some
measure of understanding ere allowed to leave the hall of instruction and spend
some time as novices among the workers in the intermediary realm. The Teacher
often accompanied us on those occasions. He showed how to protect ourselves from
turbulent sensual and fearful thoughts which shot in and out among the mists
like crimson darts. Until we could protect ourselves from such attacks we were
unable to protect others.
The darkness caused by fear and hate and lust
forms itself into pungent gases (I must use your terms) so that
we often nearly lost consciousness. It is difficult
to protect oneself against these dense vibratory conditions brought over into
the mist realm by human souls in torment. The torments suffered by so many
result from ignorance, from fear of the passage from one world to the next, also
from what I call soullessness. This latter condition is only apparent and does
not last for ever It is seen among those who have lived utterly selfish or evil
live on your earth. I do not wish to dwell upon such conditions. They are met
over here by purgatorial tests which gradually purify and ultimately release the
souls in torment. Purgatory, unlike Hell, is a condition to be welcomed, to be
bravely faced and lived through. I am beginning to rise above my own purgatory;
otherwise I could be of no real service to others.
The second part of our
training was carried on in the mists which hang over the great River separating
your world from ours. All soul must pass through these mists on leaving their
physical form for the last time. Three times I have succumbed to the influence
of that dark sphere; my light has become shrouded and my mind darkened. On each
occasion two of my fellow-workers carried me into a hall of healing where I
slowly recovered consciousness and was able to return to my own home. Had I been
selfless the evil conditions could not have overcome me. We must train ourselves
so that fear and sensual thoughts will find no response within our minds and
fall annihilated by their own inherent lifelessness. Remember that all evil
thoughts and forms have no life of their own. They disappear soon as this truth
is recognised and applied. The task of workers in the mists is to destroy the
(apparent) power of conditions created by discordant human thinking; to light up
the avenue leading them from one world to the next with the torches of love,
truth and wisdom. These Avenues need not be full of sorrow, ear, and darkness.
They must become illumined by the true joy of life and understanding so that the
sting of death shall disappear. I have more to tell you about this region. Many
still in the flesh are called upon to work there with us during both waking and
sleeping hours. I want to impress upon you the importance of such work. Next
time I will speak of the third portion of our training.
24th May 1919, 9
Beyond the hall of instruction a great avenue of trees leads up a
mountain-side. Upon the hill is set a mansion known to us as our temple of
initiation. When the group or circle to which I belong had been tested in the
mists and had been taken through the under world (where further tests awaited
us), the Teacher called us together in the hall of instruction, and were each
given a new robe to wear, a sign that we were on the path toward the first
gateway of initiation. This language is symbolic. A thread of actual events runs
through the symbolism. I wonder whether this has any value for you? I fear to be
misunderstood. The conditions of life here cannot be explained in terms of time,
space, or form, as you know these. Set down what I tell you, pass it on if you
feel able. Despite much that will seem confused, here and there may be found a
helpful thought. There is much cause to hope! Ever since I spoke through you two
years ago (according to your measurements of time) the veils between us have
thinned and many on both sides are now engaged upon this splendid
The teacher arranged us in our new and living robes and spoke of
what lay ahead. We prayed together for illumination
and the power to make our lives of greater service.
It was a solemn happy moment.
I must not dwell upon the various tests put
to each one of us before we were allowed within the temple. Nor can I tell you
much that happened there. These experiences will come to many of
There were nine of us in the group, all that had passed the tests
out of eighty-one in the fourteenth circle in the hall of instruction. We were
welded into an instrument of succour--we were initiated into spiritual
mysteries--we were shown a portion of the plan, a small fragment of which we
were destined to fulfill. Each one of the nine was allotted a special task and
place in the ranks of the army of liberation. Our task is to free souls from the
chains of their selfish thoughts which hang around them miserably upon their
arrival on the borderland. You and many like you are members of this glorious
In the hall of initiation our teacher handed us over to a Master
who opened the doorways of our inner understanding. Of this I can tell you
nothing now. Remember how sad and broken I was when I first came over here! Now
I have my use and can share my joy with you. Take heart, all who still find
themselves enshrouded in the gloomy canopies of self!
At the Master's
bidding an angel showed us the conditions surrounding the various states of
Illumination, the variations of light and colour that could most effectively
destroy the various kinds of darkness.
We were shown how to protect our
own minds from gloom and fear, how to reflect light through our
thought and deed. We were instructed how to meet and
transmute the evil gases let loose in the purgatorial regions by thoughts of
fear and sensuality. We were taken up into the temple tower and shown a vision
of the glories of the seven celestial spheres.
I am only allowed to
indicate vague what it means to pass through the first gateway of initiation on
the path of selfless service. Is it not wonderful that I am here? Am I not
fortunate to have been chosen for such glorious work? Do not wait until you come
over. Start at once upon the pathway that will lead you to the temple of
initiation. All true worlds are one and interpenetrate...The Messenger is with
me now. He says I must not speak further of this temple and its Master and the
angels who help forward our interior illumination. Next time I will take you to
my own home. We will talk of simple homely matters. Good night.
1919, 10 PM
Greetings! Come home with me. When I spoke through to you two
years ago I had no settled home. I was a lonely wanderer, almost friendless and
very sad. You helped me then. I often think of that with gratitude. Some day you
must let me help you. I have been told something of the group to which you
belong. You are doing useful work [Private Dowding took me by the hand and led
me along one of the main thoroughfares of the country region to which he
belonged. I was quite conscious of my external surroundings sitting writing on
the deck of a great liner on a stormy sunny sea, but I was also conscious of
that inner journey in thought regions in company with my friend who still
prefers to be known as Private Dowding. Let the scoffers
scoff! The time is coming when such experiences as
these will be freely shared by many men and women, while still on earth. I am
not afraid to speak of them as part of my normal and natural
I love my little home. The Messenger helped me to create
it. This path leads to it. Are not these mossy banks green and restful? A brook
runs down one side. I have made friends with many of the water-fairies in the
spring up on the mountain-side. Here is my little wood. I found it here when I
first came. It was created by a radiant soul who has now passed joyfully to a
higher sphere. The Messenger told me I could call it mine. It was a time when
words 'mine' and 'thine' still had meaning for me!
Here above the wood on
the hillside I have built my home. I want you to come in with me. That is my
dog, my one faithful companion upon your earth. Have I never told you about him?
He died while I was in France. I found him by accident soon after I came here.
He recognized ma and followed me. From that time all real loneliness has left
me. I do not know if animals have immortal souls. I have much to learn. I can
but related my own experiences, and there is 'Frisker' full of life and spirits.
[Frisker was a Manchester terrier who certainly seemed as alive as any dog could
be, full of spirits and intelligence. W.T.P.]...Come into my home so that you
can tell your friends about it!...
[Private Dowding led me through a
garden filled with trees and flowers into a small bungalow.--(I must use these
terms although they are quite inadequate and are only symbolical). Steps led up
into a wide porch through which we passed into a circular hall with a fountain
in its centre.
There were flowers and pictures everywhere and deep
comfortable seats in alcoves. A crystal globe stood upon a pedestal in a great
hearth. What seemed like fire or some form of illumination played through the
crystal globe from the hearth behind, filling the house with radiance. There
were only four rooms in the bungalow, two on either side of the hall. The first
we entered was filled with books. Between the bookcases on the walls were
mirrors--strange mirrors about which I will speak later. It is in this room that
Dowding works and studies. The next room is where he rests and dreams and renews
his strength. The bow window gave upon a wonderful vies stretching across the
garden down the hillside over the tree-tops to a sapphire lake in the green
I did not go into the two rooms on the left of the hall,
but Dowding told me they were guest chambers often used by his two soldier pals
who are now working in his group of nine. He has already promised to introduce
me to them so that I may hear their stories.--W.T.P]
I am so pleased you
like my home. Come and sit in the hall. That crystal has only been given to me
recently. It reflects many of the events going on around me in this part of the
country. The mirrors in my study reflect in symbolic form the effects of great
events and movements taking place in your world. One recent event in London has
produced profound effects here, in the crystal globe you are now looking at. I
refer to the Albert Hall Meeting held by Spiritualists to demonstrate the
nearness of our world to yours and your world to ours and to act as a memorial
for the soldiers killed in battle. I was in the hall with my own group. We were
among many similar groups. Thousands of disembodied soldiers were present. We
were greatly moved.
The Messenger returned home with me when the meeting
was over and gave me interesting advice and guidance. I will tell you some of
the things he said next time we meet.
25th May 1919, 10 AM
appears that there are two methods by which you can lift the curtain and
communicate with our world. The first is the one more commonly in use at
present. I am repeating the Messenger's words, they are not my own. It is the
automatic method, i.e. the use of trance mediums, certain mechanical
devices, and automatic writing. The second method consists in the development of
normal clairvoyance. This is safer. It leads to the best results. You are using
what the Messenger calls the normal clairvoyant method of talking to me
The Messenger dwelt upon the dangers connected with automatic
communication and the possibilities of fraud. The veil should be lifted by
natural methods, by trained clairvoyant vision and clairaudience. It can also be
safely lifted during sleep. Public sittings organized professionally with
entrance fees should be discouraged. Remember the Messenger's words when with
you last: 'The piercing of the veils should come about through spiritual and
natural processes of mind and heart, and not through the employment of magic
ritual or trance.'
There is usually one member of a family with deeper
vision than the rest. There should be family groups everywhere.
They should sit together in prayer and silence for
half an hour on each Sunday or holy day, creating conditions that will enable us
to approach. If one member of the family group passes over here, the other
members should await his or her return, sitting together quietly in the usual
way. When the time is ripe, communion will be established safely...
are dangers in the present situation. Thousands of untrained eager souls both
here and with you are tearing at the veil. They use an methods that suggested
themselves. Their thoughts and actions are uncontrolled. Desire out-runs reason.
Emotion upsets the will. 'Fools step in where angels fear to tread.' The
Messenger feels strongly about this. I have been carefully trained before I
could be employed on useful work. Schools of instruction are needed on your side
too, Beware of a reaction from the present impetuous wave of interest in
communication between the worlds. Telepathy between members of a family on earth
should be practiced. If A in London is able to speak to B in Sydney and B of
Sydney passes over here, then direct communication can be set up very quickly. B
remains asleep awhile, then awakes and thinks of A in London. If A has not
forgotten B, he will 'hear' B's call, and conscious communication will be
established. That is the natural way. It can be practiced without danger of
pulling B back into earth conditions. Contacts brought about through mediums are
liable in time to delay the disembodied soul and to hold him near the earth
atmosphere. I am speaking to you now from my own home which you have visited and
described. I am sitting in my study impressing m thoughts upon your mind. You
are visible to me on the mirror on my wall. I see you sitting at a table on a
ship's deck. You
are writing in a notebook. I can watch you clearly
yet I am not earthbound nor am I dwelling in the land of mist. I am at home. You
are where you are. We communicate by a natural method, by telepathy. It is
25th May 1919, 9 PM
The Messenger tells me that some of his
forecasts are being fulfilled. I asked him to send you more to include with the
messages I am sending you. He does not think it necessary.
earth, he says, already live too largely either in the past or in the future.
Prophetic utterances are interesting, sometimes serviceable, often dangerous.
Man must live the day and do his best uninfluenced by sad memories of the past
or fearful thoughts of the future.
It is not easy. The present is the
only real there is. If you but knew, both past and future and contained within
it. I asked the Messenger for advice on healing work, as you suggested. He says
the time has not yet come for him to speak of this. I am becoming interested in
spiritual healing work.
Now I will tell you the stories of my two
friends, as promised. They do not wish their names disclosed. I will call them
Captain Y and Sergeant Z (these ranks they held while fighting before coming
Captain Y shall tell his own story:
[ was conscious of
another figure sitting with Dowding in his study--a tall man, wearing a similar
cloak and robe to Dowding's and the same group star symbol on his
'I was a regular soldier and went out to France in
among the first. I was "killed" before the year was
out. I cannot tell you much about it. It was at night, we were retreating, m
horse had been shot beneath me. I was standing looking down upon him when a
shell exploded near me. Nothing seemed to happen. I was still looking at my
horse but he was alive again, which struck me as very strange. I took him by the
bridle, mounted, and rode away. The whole action was mechanical. I cannot give
you many details. I was joined by another man I knew, also riding (a brother
officer who had been stunned by the same shell and his horse was killed, I
discovered later). He asked me where we were. I could not tell him. We soon knew
that something must have happened, but we did not think that 'death' had
overtaken us. We both thought we had lost our way in the retreat and were
wandering in strange country, dazed by fatigue and lack of food. We had had no
proper sleep or food for four days. I was too dazed to wonder what would happen
next. Soon I fell asleep. I could not keep awake, although I feared to sleep
lest I should fall off my horse. I awoke to find myself in what I now know to be
a hall of rest. My horse had disappeared, my companion also. It was only
recently that I learned he had not been killed at all, but rendered unconscious
by the shell that killed me. While senseless he was able to be with me, riding
on his own horse that had been killed. He was taken prisoner but is now released
and well. I am trying to get through to him. There is little more to tell you. I
rested until my own guide found me. He brought me to the hall of instruction
where I have spent much time. I learned slowly, it was all strange to me. Then
Dowding joined our circle and he has brought me to you. We work together.
Dowding will tell you about it. There is no moral to my story. I come here quite
without distress. I was very sorry to leave your
world, but I have many friends here and can work usefully. I have no more
regrets and shall hope to be of service in the borderland where thousands remain
in ignorance and misery.
'Conditions are improving and I am told the
chaos in your world is to be stilled. We will do our best from
Private Dowding. My sergeant friend is not here at present
but I will tell you about him. He was drowned when the transport he was
traveling in was mined. He says he made a big struggle to reach a raft but was
He does not remember any feeling of distress whilst
drowning, when once he had given up the struggle. He told me the actual sinking
into unconsciousness was not unpleasant. Sergeant Z does not know how long he
remained unconscious. He says his passing over was gentle, that he travelled
through the land of mist without mishap whilst still in a dazed condition. It
seems that his brother found him quickly and brought him through. A bond of
great affection linked these two; a year separated their coming over. A bond of
love between two souls, if it be unselfish, will achieve much. Through it the
passing-out experience can be robbed of danger, made pleasant instead of
fearful. Had I been met when I arrive my troubles would have been less severe. I
was met, but I was too self-centered to pierce the fog of my own selfish
thoughts which shut me in on all sides.
Sergeant Z now works with us. You
can watch our group at work on the borderland where most of our time is spent.
Keep in touch with us and when one in whom you are interested passed across, we
will be there to make the pathway easy. I will return later..
26th May 1919, 10 AM
I would like to speak on
spiritual healing. I am beginning to study this subject. I believe it will
ultimately supersede drugs and surgery in your world. Here all healing work is
accomplished through allowing the mind to reflect healing rays of light from
higher spheres. It could be the same in your world.
The Messenger tells
me this is a subject in which you are greatly interested. I hope you will give
me your ideas. I firmly believe that the healing of physical infirmities by
spiritual methods and the unbarring of the gateways between our world and yours
will do more than all else to bring about the speedy progress and happiness of
the Race. Do all in your power to bring this about!
The Messenger is with
me now. Have you any question you would like to ask him:
you wish these further messages from P.D. published?
is our wish that every possible step should now be taken to arouse interest
among you in the realms in which we dwell.
Mankind has concentrated
thought too long upon what can be felt and seen and heard in the material world
to the exclusion of all other interests. Life on earth can but last a few score
years at most. Men must prepare and train themselves for the wider life whilst
still on earth. Call attention to the conditions on this side of the veil so
that men may come over to their homes and not into a country that is
The thoughts and experiences of my son, known to
as Private Dowding, should prove useful to many
W.T.P. Was this why he was allowed to speak to me
Messenger. It is no longer a question of 'allowing'.
Private Dowding has a settled abode among us and is doing good work. When he
first arrived here he was not in a fit condition to communicate with your world
because he had no understanding of his surroundings.
W.T.P. How do
you view the present campaign among Spiritualists to break through the veil
hiding your world from ours?
Messenger. It is a natural outcome of
the war. As the Race grown is spiritual understanding the need for the veil will
disappear. It is part of the Divine Plan that this should be so. ***Breaks off
Private Dowding. I see that the conditions around you make
it difficult for the Messenger's thoughts to reach your mind. (I was in the
smoking-room which was crowded and noisy.) He will speak to you tonight when
your body sleeps, and you can translate his thoughts into your language when
conditions around you are more tranquil.
I have just returned home from
the land of mist. I find work there most interesting. I left a man who was very
anxious to return to your earth. He was killed in a street accident and is
totally unprepared for his new life here.
impossible. P.D. promises to return tomorrow...
27th May 1919, 10 AM
I am sitting in my study
resting after a period of strenuous work in the borderland. It is important that
this sphere should cease to be a land of mist and gloom. When the radiance from
the realms above has become diffused throughout the borderland, a great task
will have been achieved. Think what it will mean! I can tell you best by
illustration. You have seen London enshrouded in thick yellow fog. Imagine this
fog lasting day in, day out, so that all activities of life become subservient
to it. Would not the whole life of the city, and its inhabitants become
transformed? When the thick mist lifts from the borderland between your world
and ours, a new and more spiritual era will begin. The soul arriving will bathe
in light and gravitate immediately to his own heaven of rest and harmony. The
fear of death will disappear. Man will pass across the river joyful and
unafraid. Those he leaves behind him will watch his journey with eyes undimmed
by tears. They will see the friends waiting to welcome him into the wider world.
He will be allowed to relate his new and wonderful experiences to those he has
left behind. There will be no fog between. Materialistic thinking and the fear
of death have raised the barriers separating our life here from yours. All this
must go. The fog has begun to lift! Help us to spread the radiance that will
life it altogether. The task is not impossible. Your world needs inspiration
from higher realms. Often our best endeavours to pierce the veils and illumine
dark paces in the minds
of men have borne no fruits. The fog has shut out
the light and men on earth have lived in darkness, or at least in twilight. This
is, of course, symbolic. When the borderland becomes freed from gloom, filled
with illumination, then a new era will begin on earth. Wars will cease. Disease
and hatred will abate. Physical climates will improve. Discords of every kind
will be replaced by harmony and progress. Men's vision will extend so that
selfishness and greed will no longer seem attractive. Cannot you see what an
important task this is: the thinning of the veils and the lighting of the
borderland? The new era is upon us. The forces of evil are far spent. Light
begins to pierce the gloom with which the minds of men have been filled so long.
These are not empty words. The task before us remains stupendous, but the word
has gone forth and we must obey our guides and masters. The powers of evil on
your side and ours have fought to withstand the Light. At one time it seems as
if they would succeed. The danger is over now. The clouds that hid the sun will
disappear in rain. This rain will purify the borderland, wash away impurity, and
flow into the minds of men as new rivers of life and truth. The Messenger bids
me tell you this. He speaks of what he knows. Make his words
The Messenger is here and will speak to
W.T.P. Reference has been made to the formation of schools of
instruction in our own world for training men and women to help bring about the
spiritual transformation to which Dowding has just referred. How are these to
come into existence?
Messenger. Every group of earnest students
banded together on your side can attract to itself a guide from our spheres who
will train and instruct them during waking hours and whilst the body sleeps.
Each group should ask for unseen guidance and instruction. This will be given in
various ways. It may come through books or friends at first. Soon a guide will
gravitate to the group and make communication possible. When this has been
brought about, the road will become easier. The guide will illumine the pathway
to be trod by each member of the group. New groups will be formed, with each
member of the older groups as a centre. Gradually the world will become
encircled in this way. Each group will find itself in touch with a group of
students already trained on our side of the veil. Purify and illumine your own
thinking so that the mists may be cleared away. This work is directed and
blessed by beings from the highest spheres. Once having set your hand to the
plough do not turn back.
W.T.P. Will this work be carried on by
the religious organizations of our world?
Messenger. This new
campaign will be carried forward within existing organizations and without. Its
progress will not be dependent on creeds or dogmas. It will shake itself free
superstitions and bigotry. Your task is to carry on your own work without let or
hindrance from other groups.
As time goes on the groups of workers on
your side and ours will be linked harmoniously. The Light will spring from mind
to mind. Nothing can withstand the coming illumination. [At this post the
Note by W.T.P.
28 May 1919, 10 AM
return of Private Dowding was not altogether unexpected by me. I had been
conscious for some time past that he wishes to communicate again. When he first
spoke to me in March 1916, I found no difficulty in setting down what he wishes
to say. He seemed to stand beside me while I wrote his story down. On the
present occasion the task has been more difficult. It is as if I had to catch
Dowding's ideas as they fell from a great height. It is not always easy to
translate the ideas into intelligible words.
Personally I am satisfied
that it is Dowding who is communicating with me again, but I can offer no proof
of this statement. I set down this record for what it may be worth but claim
nothing for it. I have been in the habit of sitting in silence in the 'quiet
room' on my Nile boat each Sunday. On these occasions many friends from the
wider world have visited me and my companion F.L.
On the first Sunday in
June 1919 a regular visitor, J.C., spoke to me about Dowding and said he would
bring him to the boat. On a subsequent occasion Dowding came. He was no longer
dressed in a private's uniform but in a blue cloak with flowing robe beneath and
the star emblem of his group upon his breast. Dowding seemed delighted to find
that he could speak through to me again. He promised to tell me about his
present life, and when I told him I was going home by long sea route he promised
to visit me daily during the voyage. This promise has been carried out, and
although the ship is so overcrowded that conditions are not good, yet I hope I
have been able to clothe Dowding's thoughts in words that can be
I do not know that there is anything very new or
striking about the present series of messages received from Private Dowding.
They are interesting in that they show how his outlook has widened since he
first arrived in a new world. I also think that his remarks about the borderland
are useful and may help to clear up misconceptions about that strange place.
Dowding's outlook on life has grown more optimistic and the Messenger still
seems satisfied that the Race is approaching a new and golden era. All my
experiences in the intermediary realm that separates (whereas it should join)
our world from the wider world, lead me to the conclusion that Dowding is
correct in what he says on page 62 about materialistic thinking and the fear of
There is one other subject I should like to comment upon. On page
68 the Messenger dwells upon the dangers connected with automatic communication
between the worlds. He strongly urges the need for the development of what is
called normal clairvoyance and clairaudience if the best results are to be
I have had some experience of both the automatic and the
natural methods to which both he and Dowding refer and can thoroughly endorse
all that is said in this connection.
The greater my experience of group
work (referred to on page 77 and elsewhere) the surer I am that this is by far
the sanest and safest method for piercing the veils and for developing natural
May I be allowed to repeat the warming given in the first
part of Private Dowding's messages as to the time factor?
That a new era
is dawning upon this sad and storm-tossed world is now apparent. The dawn will
still be dawn
and not full daylight for many years to come.
References made to the swift progress of the Race must not be interpreted too
literally. The time factor cannot be gauged with any degree of accuracy even by
the denizens of the wider worlds. Finally, may I be allowed on Private Dowding's
behalf to thank all those people who have written to express their appreciation
of the messages that he has given to the World. I hope that the present message
will receive as friendly a reception as the previous one. W.T.P.
THE PASSING OF MAJOR
To the January and April numbers of The Quest
(1915), Mr. E. E. Fournier d'Albe contributed two illuminating articles on the
'Negative Evidences for Survival' of life after the dissolution of the physical
body. He sums up his case by saying that 'Death is the cessation not of life,
but of our communication with it.'
Now the question arises as to whether
there is any necessity for this communicaton to cease? If we take it for granted
that there is no negative evidence against the possibility of survival, is it
possible to discover any positive evidence for survival?
At the outset of
any attempt to investigate the conditions of life immediately following physical
death, the student is faced with almost overwhelming difficulties. What would
appear to be first-hand and positive evidence to the investigator himself
becomes of necessity second-hand and therefore almost valueless to those who
attempt to follow his researches. In other words, the individual can prove the
continuation of life beyond physical dissolution only by his own personal
experience; the experiences related by his fellows cannot be considered by him
as either final or conclusive. This fact raises a barrier that cannot easily be
broken down, and greatly complicates all research work into the regions that lie
just on the other side of physical death.
After that, the crucial
question is: Can you or I actually
obtain first-hand evidence of such survival? For who
can watch beside a death-bed or on the battlefield the passing away of life from
the body, without speculating on the after-death conditions of that
The province of the present writer, however, is not to construct a
theoretical thesis or too enter into an argument in favour of survival or
otherwise, but rather to give an account , in language as simple as possible, of
certain experiences that recently fell to his lot. The scientific explanation of
the phenomena to be described pertains to a future generation; at present no one
can presume to dogmatise. But surely the time has come for attempting to some
measure to grapple in a positive and reasonable manner with this great
The writer was recently brought into close touch with the case
of an officer who in the prime of life was struck down by a fatal disease and
the following description of his 'passing-over' is taken from notes made by the
writer at the time. He felt in close touch with the dying man for several weeks
both preceding and following the actual passing away.
The writer cannot
attempt to explain how or why the following experiences came to him. Whether
they were telepathic or otherwise, it is impossible for him to say. The are
simply set down in the exact order in which they were 'seen' or
Before going further, it should be stated that the editor of
The Quest has in his possession full details of the case--Major P.'s
name, the address of the house in which he died, and so far as is practicable
has satisfied himself as to bona fides of these experiences.
the notes that follow were not an actual first-hand account
of the passing-away of life from the physical body,
what are they? Hallucination? Yes, probably, but after all that is simply a
label and not an explanation in itself. In any case, the writer has set down
exactly what he believes actually did take place, both just before and just
after the physical dissolution of Major P., and readers are left to form their
own conclusions. The notes naturally fall into two divisions:
- A descriptive account of the phenomena, observed by the present writer
during Major P.'s passing-away.
- Experiences purporting to be of those of the dying man himself, and so far
as was possible to ascertain them, what seemed to be his sensations after he
actually passed out of the physical body.
Major P. had been ill for several
months, but was in full possession of his faculties until a few days before
death, when repeated injections of morphia produced a state of coma. The
following account is set down from the writer's rough notes, which as stated
above, were made at the time--that is within a few hours of the actual events
22nd March, 3 PM. Death seems very close at
hand and there is no apparent sign of consciousness. Directly above the dying
man I can see a shadowy form that hovers in a horizontal position about two feel
above the bed. This form is attached to the physical body on the bed by two
transparent elastic cords. One of them appears to be attached to the solar
plexus and the other to the brain. As I watch this form it grows more distinct
in outline, until I can see that it is exact counterpart, so far as form is
concerned, of the body on the bed. I can see what look like spiral
passing up through these two cords and as the
physical body grows more lifeless, the form hovering above seems to become
3:15 PM. Two figures have no appeared and stand one on either side
of the bed against the wall. They are tall and radiant, but these forms seem to
my vision to be of some finer form of 'matter' than the 'double' that is
hovering above the bed.
3:40 PM. This 'double' has become still more
distinct; I can see that the 'cords' are still attached to Major P.'s body, and
the currents referred to above have now gathered considerable upward momentum.
The life-force is apparently passing into the form above.
3:55 PM. The
two figures stoop down over the bed and seem to break off the 'cords' at points
close to the physical body. Immediately I see that the form or double rises
about two feet from its original position, but remains horizontal, and at this
same moment, Major P.'s hart stops beating. (Footnote: For several hours before
this, there had been no apparent consciousness or outward sign of
So far as I can see, Major P.'s 'life-currents' have been drawn
out from his body and have passed up through the two luminous cords into the
'double' or subtle body that has just been described. This form is still
hovering above the bed but the life within it shows no sign of outward
4:30 PM. I can no longer see the two figures that were
present before and at the moment of death, but what I take to be the 'soul' of
the dead man seems to be asleep within its new garment, and is totally
dissociated from the body on the bed.
10:30 PM. Dissolution of the material body has
already begun. I can still see the 'new' body in the death-chamber, but it is no
longer quite so distinct in outline. It appears to be asleep. (Footnote: For the
sake of convenience from this point onward, the term Major P. is to be taken as
referring not to the dead body, but to the life within what might be called the
'ethereal body' that has just been described.)
No further notes were
recorded until about 10 AM on 23rd March.
23rd March, 10 AM. There seems
to be some disturbance in the conditions around Major P., but he does not wake
to a realization of his new state of 'consciousness'.
12 midday. The
sleeping form is drawn back toward earth-conditions and becomes more 'opaque' in
appearance. A sort of 'fluctuation', an ebb and flow, is going on, but I cannot
explain in detail what I mean by these terms as applied to a purely non-physical
4 PM. I can see two great luminous 'wings' outstretched over
Major P.'s sleeping form, an they appear to be providing protection against some
7 PM. I can no longer see Major P., either in the
death-chamber or out of it, but I am quite conscious of his 'existence', and am
fully aware, in some remarkable manner, of the conditions by which he now
appears to be surrounded. For instance, I am fully convinced that the form in
which he now fins himself has become more luminous (while it still resembles in
outline the physical body he has just left' but I cannot prove to myself, or to
anyone else, from what source this conviction has reached me.
8 AM. Major P. seems to be drawn back until he again appears as actually present
in the house and
in the death-chamber itself. His form is still
'lying' in an apparently reclining position.
4 PM. The 'wings' are still
there, full of light and colour--rose and violet, clear orange and royal blue;
they seem to prevent the approach of evil influences and also to act as a
protection against the loving but inevitably mistaken desire of those left
behind that he should return to them.
7 PM. Another figure is watching
and waiting near Major P., who is not yet fully awake. It seems to be that of a
friend who died some time ago. He will, I feel, be useful in explaining the new
conditions of life to the new arrival.
It is curious that I cannot
communicate with this figure.
25th March. 2:30 AM. There are signs of
waking. The 'guardians' (the two 'figures"_ return; there is movement of the
form and probably there will soon be semi-consciousness. I am fully aware of all
this, although physically speaking, I can no longer 'see' anything.
AM. Movement and impulsive semi-unconscious response to 'thought-waves' from
this side. Prayer and protection though are invaluable at such a time.
AM. A state of quiescent semi-consciousness. No memory of illness or death, but
a hazy sensation of lying asleep in bed at home. There is no curiosity, very
little memory, only rest and peace, and a curiously subtle feeling of
12 Midday. Slight memory returns, and with
it a vision of home. A slight feeling of distress, probably sue to the great
grief and suffering of some loved one. Now for the first time curiosity and
speculation begin to assert themselves, but more sleep follows. An awakening to
consciousness seems imminent, and the breathlessness
of first impressions is in the air.
3 PM. More complete consciousness and
an anxiety to use and to understand new powers and possibilities.
first time conscious volition and movement are noted. Then a sudden wave of
memory relating to earth-life matters, and as suddenly as a flash the wave is
gone, leaving no apparent trace. While it lasted it was possible for the writer
to arrest certain impressions that related to those on earth. They took the form
of messages to his own family, and being of a private and personal nature are
not inserted here.
4 PM. More sleep follows, but Major P. is getting
accustomed to his new 'garment' and surroundings, and although all memory of the
past is wiped out temporarily at least, yet perhaps it is more merciful so,
because otherwise the memories of earth-life might draw the soul back to
earth-conditions, making progress and development difficult. Probably memory
will return, but in a more subtle and less crude form, and he may be
unconsciously (or otherwise) allowed to help his people in their great grief and
loneliness. But it unlikely, and not very wise, that there should be any
definite or direct messages nor should these be asked form, because nothing can
be gained on either side by drawing the soul back to earth-conditions.
PM. The 'guardians' are still there. Also the other watcher, referred to above,
is trying gradually to obtain response and recognition. It is becoming difficult
to 'sense' the conditions around the newly awakened soul, and still more
difficult to describe them adequately in an intelligible manner.
seems to be no memory of the earth-life, nor of
the body left behind, and the soul, whose
passing-over we have been trying to describe, has o knowledge of his own body's
funeral, nor of earth-conditions generally.
The foregoing notes will
probably appear more intelligible when considered in relation to the experience
that is given under the second heading.
As explained earlier, the
following account is based upon the dying man's own experiences and sensations,
so far as it was possible to gather them, and is given exactly as
The account is chaotic, vague, and somewhat hysterical, but is
this to be wondered at in the circumstances? Who could give a careful analysis
and controlled descriptions of such, for them, stupendous happenings?
I have been laid up a long time,
and am becoming indifferent to matters of material moment that used to be of
such absorbing interest to me. The pain of illness is at times acute, and on the
whole I rather look forward to dying, even if it should only give me restful
sleep. I have no idea of what dying means, but as the days go on I seem to be
standing in an open doorway, and on the side which I am still facing, all the
events of my life are portrayed before me in symbolic form.
'I can see
myself as a child, as a boy, as a man, and it is as if I were watching myself on
a stage, when suddenly all the threads of the past gradually gather themselves
together and shoot past me as one whole through the doorway in which I am
standing and into the beyond.
'What beyond? I turn round to look, and as I do so
an overpowering feeling that I am about to sever my connection with earth-life
comes over me. Yet I am still myself, and still, physically speaking, in bed,
surrounded by those I know and love, quite conscious of pain and movement,
although only dreamingly interested in the remarks that are being
'If the doctor tells me I shall live, it will make me smile, for am
I not actually standing on the threshold of real life? How can he talk of life
and death like that, when he cannot know what I know? And so I turn almost with
relief and with my back to the past, face through the doorway, towards the
strange country of light and life. Why have the threads of my life rushed past
and left me standing on the threshold? Why do I seem powerless to take a step
forward into the strange and varied land that looks so interesting, so near and
yet so far away? (Footnote: The threads of life referred to may have shown
themselves thus to the dying man, because his life-force was passing out of his
physical body into his new body, via the luminous cords or channels referred to
earlier. These cords evidently appeared to him as a door, a long way
'Now I see...myself; but can that be myself? (Footnote: This
must refer to the body or form into which he is about to pass.) That form lying
there asleep among the trees by the moss-grown stream in that fair land? I am
distant still, and far from that self that looks so restful; sleeping, yet so
much alive. I stand waiting and wondering upon the threshold, and see those
threads from the past shoot by and through me into the future, until they seem
to focus upon that distant form, which is myself yet not myself. What is this
mystery? And still I am in bed, and they have injected something, and I
am being forcibly held down. If they only knew, and
would let me go! I can be of more service there to them all, when once the
wrench of apparent parting is over.
'Their voices sound faith, and the
room recedes. I am as if I were extracting the real "me" from the unreal "me";
yet not that either, but as if I were rushing through myself and through myself,
and through running water, rushing air and..is it really me? I must find
the door for me, the only safe entrance to the beyond, to that country
where I can rejoin myself.
'Yes, I will go, yes I will give up earth-life
or whatever it is that I have just been through. Have I been on earth? What
earth? I cannot remember...There is the doorway, right ahead, and I am
travelling fast, rushing towards it, the one and only door for me into the
'Am I there? It is so dim, there is the sound of rushing waters,
and I only wish and pray for rest and sleep and peace...
At this point
physical "death" took place.
(Received some hours
'The rushing waters are still about me, but I am
'Thank God for that! To rest and listen, and no longer be
afraid, to feel safe; it is wonderful. I cannot see the door, but I
know I am on the right side of it now, (Footnote: This probably refers to
the snapping of the earth-cords; these cords evidently play an important part at
the time of death.) and that is closed behind me. What door? Where am I? Who was
I before I found myself? Is this my real self, lying
so quietly here with flowers and green around me,
great strong trees, and sunlight diffused into many colours everywhere?
(Footnote: It is interesting to note that Major P. described this scene to his
nurse some days before his death and quite unknown to the present writer, who
only heard of the fact some time after these notes had been set down.) The air
is not air; it is colour, but such colour; and it keep changing as I lie
and watch it...changing until I can no longer fathom its mysterious
'I have slept again; I am where I am, yet I am everywhere! I am
myself; yet I am a self that is far greater and vaster than what I thought and
felt to be myself.
'I am quite still, yet I am swiftly moving; I am
neither, yet I am both. The sensation grows of the past whirling itself away
into itself; yet it is here where it never was, because there is no
'It is stupendous; yet it is humiliation. For how dare I stir all
the wonderful mechanism in and around me into motion and activity? Who was I?
Where was I? Where am I now? Are these part of me? These symbols that I see
before me in countless shades and lights: colour-forms, swiftly merging
themselves from one great vibrating whirl into the vortex of the
'Are these my lives, my life, myself? What mystery is this?...Every
time I feel, or think, I quiver intensely and my surroundings change, and I lose
myself and lose my surroundings, and stir up all kinds of colours, signs, and
symbols. Why do I travel when I think? Cannot I think and remain myself and
still? Am I yet sure that this is myself? I see, but cannot understand these
forms that seem alive and flash past me. Is it speech, or the reflection of my
thought, or the thought of others? God grant me rest and peace and
'What is this? What are these flashes? Is it a
sudden answer to my prayer? For I seem to know now who I am, or rather
who it is that controls this mechanism to which I belong, which vibrates and
flashes, lives and moves, and evidently is a part of me. Now I see more, and
understand more; I am no longer so entirely lost within the bosom of my own
'If I rest again and wait, it will be easier, then I
will move, or rather, as I see it, make those others move to me, for I am here,
and all there is can evidently be here for me.
'But I will sleep
first, and wait and watch. All will then come my way, and I shall become all
Here the fragment ended, and it became impossible to secure any
SURVIVAL: THE INTERLUDE OF
Many research students in this field will have met
with the same question that so often comes my way. It is this:
serious illness there is often a sense of the nearness of the next world which
is felt both by the patient and those around him. It is as if the two states of
consciousness were approaching one another and at times even
If, however, the illness proves 'fatal' (to use the
customary phrase), then an interim period follows, during which the 'silence of
the grave' descends upon those who are left behind. No longer does the next
world appear to be close at hand but 'contact seems to have been broken,
followed by a vacuum or a sense of void.
This experience does not hold
good where those concerned have lost all fear of 'death' and are familiar to
some extent upon the conditions into which we pass when we go away from life on
earth. Nevertheless, the temporary void felt by the bereaved is a distressing
and still far too common an experience.
Why should this be so? In my
view, the explanation is both simple and consoling.
Firstly let us
realize that the silence of the grave is not a negative condition but a silence
filled with the qualities of healing and tranquility.
The primary need of
the soul on arrival 'over there' is to be free, free first to sleep and then to
learn how to use
the new form not clothing him, and to begin to
understand the strange conditions by which he finds himself surrounded. For
these purposes it is imperative that all emotional disturbances should be
avoided, especially those caused by the grief, depression, regret (and sometimes
fear), of those he has left behind. This is especially important in cases where
belief in after life is faint or non-existent.
It is here that Providence
steps in and acting at her most merciful, screens the soul (temporarily) from
all these mundane contacts, which could disturb or delay progress and
For those who do not realize the need for this protective
screening process, what appears to be loss of contact can prove distressing. The
'Interlude' in question may last for weeks or even months of our 'time' and
varies with each individual.
'Prayers for the Departed' during this
period should avoid regretful thinking or attempts at communication and should
be directed toward holding the loved one up in the Light and the Grace of the
Creator's love. At such a time there is no better way for those who are left
behind to be of real service and true help.
Very real relief is
experienced so soon as it is realised that Providence knows her own business
best, the result being that the 'Interlude' in question can be shortened and
communication becomes possible once more. Feelings of sorrow and separation will
fall into the past and love will have triumphed over 'Death' (which in any case
is a Gateway and not a goal).