Somewhere within the soul there is silence.
Attain unto it. It is a pearl of great price.
- 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
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'
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
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 Eternity.
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
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 own.
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.
I am 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 disfigured.
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 these unimportant
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 unfolding.
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 passing through
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 is.
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 slept soundly.
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
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 condition.
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 impossible.
He is working among the newly arrived and has wide experience.
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
my adventure, of, help to others who have not yet arrived here.
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
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
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.
It is 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
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 be
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.
'Food seems 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 will tighten
their grip, yet you will be unable to respond. Confusion will result--that is
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 again.
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
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.
If 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 readers judge.
I now set down the next series of notes exactly as they reached me:
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 in!
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.
A 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
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 gates. They
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.
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 conception is
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
It 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 its radiance.
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 PM
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
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 yet.
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 again.
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 it
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
It appears that evil is not real or permanent. Its power
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 example.
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. P.
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
inspirationally in a manner akin to the experiences with which we are now
dealing. The interior evidence of the Christ in You
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
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
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
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.
Because 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
] 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
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
Bahá'u'lláh. 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. Bahá'u'lláh'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 1917.
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 special
May I ask a few questions ?
I am here to answer them.
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.
Democratic 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
This is all very wonderful. How will this new spiritual radiance
make itself manifest?
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
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
Why do you tell me a this ?
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 around
Will the barriers between this world and the next be broken
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,
Will a new religion become necessary?
The spirit will re-illumine all religious faiths. The new
religion will be one of service and fellowship and unity.
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
How long will this take?
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
Who are you?
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 shore.
Was Thomas Dowding one of them ?
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 work.
What about the Far East ?
A 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
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
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 midst?
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 purity.
. Will your words be understood or believed?
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 understanding.
What about social evils and injustices, poverty and ignorance,
lust and greed? Can all these become transmuted?
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
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 brotherhood.
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 world.
What about food?
. Grossness 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.
The 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.
. 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
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 our eyes.
W. T. P.
Bournemouth, 20th March 1917
PRIVATE DOWDING RETURNS
H.M.T. Inderra, Mediterranean
22 May, 1919, 10 AM
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
I will 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 the mists.
I will tell you their stories later. I promised them I would. They have been
profoundly interested in those first messages I sent you.
I will tell you what we learnt in the hall of instruction; how we were prepared
for 'Active Service' on the 'battlefields' between the worlds...
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 work.
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 the mind.)
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
'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.
The 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
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
I 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 PM
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
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
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 you.
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 army.
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
light through our every
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.
24th May 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 life.--W.T.P]
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
[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
It 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
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...
There are dangers in the present situation. Thousands of untrained eager souls
both here and with you are tearing at the veil. They use any 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 well.
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.
People on 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 here).
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 breast--W.T.P]
'I was a regular soldier and went out to France in 1914
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 simply,
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
'Conditions are improving and I am told the chaos in your world is to be
stilled. We will do our best from here.'
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 unsuccessful.
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
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
The Messenger is with me now. Have you any question you would like to ask
Do you wish these further messages from P.D. published?
It 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 strange.
The thoughts and experiences of my son, known to
as Private Dowding, should prove useful to many among you.
Was this why he was allowed to speak to me again?
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.
. How do you view the present campaign among Spiritualists to
break through the veil hiding your world from ours?
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 here.
. 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.
Break again...Conditions 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
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 understood!
The Messenger is here and will speak to you.
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?
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
Will this work be carried on by the religious organizations of
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 Messenger withdrew--]
Note by W.T.P.
28 May 1919, 10 AM
The 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
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 understood.
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 death.
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
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 clairvoyance.
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 P.
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 life?
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.
If 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 themselves.
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 currents
passing up through these two cords and as the physical body grows more
lifeless, the form hovering above seems to become vital.
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 life.)
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 consciousness.
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
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
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 phenomenon.
4 PM. I can see two great luminous 'wings' outstretched over Major P.'s
sleeping form, and they appear to be providing protection against some possible
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.
24th March, 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
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
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.
6:30 AM. Movement and impulsive semi-unconscious response to 'thought-waves'
from this side. Prayer and protection though are invaluable at such a time.
10 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 security.
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 fuller
consciousness seems imminent, and the breathlessness of first impressions is in
3 PM. More complete consciousness and an anxiety to use and to understand new
powers and possibilities.
For the 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.
7 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.
There 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
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 perceived.
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 made.
'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
'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 beyond.
'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 later)
'The rushing waters are still about me, but I am still!
'Thank God for that! To rest and listen, and no longer be afraid, to feel
; 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 beauty.
'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
'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 past.
'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 next?
'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 extensive being.
'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
'But I will sleep first, and wait and watch. All will then come my way, and I
shall become all things.'
Here the fragment ended, and it became impossible to secure any further
SURVIVAL: THE INTERLUDE OF SILENCE
Many research students in this field will have met with the same
question that so often comes my way. It is this:
During 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
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
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
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 understanding.
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
'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
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).
Written in 1966