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  Private Dowding: The personal story of a soldier killed in battle
Wellesley Tudor Pole

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Private Thomas Dowding, a 37-year-old British soldier, was killed on the battlefield in WWI. On March 12, 1917, he began communicating through the mediumship of Wellesley Tudor Pole. After floundering in the ethers, not even realizing he was dead for a time, as time goes on that side, he was met by his brother, William, who had died three years earlier, and began his orientation.

“Hell is a thought region,” Thomas Dowding communicated on March 17, 1917. “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.”

Dowding explained that his brother needed help on a rescue mission in what humans call hell. It involved a very depraved soldier who had been killed – a degenerate, a murderer, a sensualist, who died cursing God and man. He was drawn towards hell by the law of attraction. “My brother had been told to rescue him,” Dowding wrote through Pole’s hand. “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.”

To be safe, Dowding was instructed to empty himself of “self” before undertaking the project. However, he failed to completely empty himself of self and felt a “strange allurement” about the atmosphere and hoped they might stay there. He “felt the giant lust of the human race. They thrilled through me. I could not keep them out…I cannot understand it. Something sensual within me leaped and burned.”

Seeing his attraction to the area, the angel and his brother refused to let him continue. “I waited for their return in what seemed to be a deep dark forest,” Dowding recorded. “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 recognized it as such.”

Dowding waited for his brother and the angel to return. “The darkness of the deep forests appalls, the loneliness is intense,” he continued. “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 the 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…Hell, apparently, or that part of it we are speaking about, depends for its existence on human thoughts and feelings.”

Purgatory and hell, Dowding learned, are different states. He was in purgatory. “We all must needs pass through a purging, purifying process after leaving the 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 own will. A man sinks or rises through the action of a spiritual law of gravity.”

And so it was that his brother and the angel failed in their rescue mission. “He would not come away,” Dowding communicated. “They had to leave him there. Fear held him. He said his existence was awful, but he was afraid to move for fear worse conditions befell. Fear chained him. No outside power can unchain that man. Release will come from within some day.”

Dowding returned to the Hall of Silence to ponder what he had just witnessed, determined not to return.

Michael Tymn

About the author

Major Wellesley Tudor Pole O.B.E. (23 April 1884 – 13 September 1968) aka TP, was an English writer, philosopher and mystic. He authored many essays and books and was a life-long spiritual truth seeker, being particularly involved with spiritualism and a movement devoted to the preserving the Chalice Well and Bride’s Mound of Glastonbury, England.

On a visit to Istanbul (then known as Constantinople) prior to the Young Turk Revolution in 1908, he heard of `Abdu’l-Bahá head of the Bahá’í Faith.

In November 1910 TP met `Abdu’l-Bahá  and had the privilege of interviewing him over a nine day period in Cairo and Alexandria. The meeting must have had a profound effect on Tudor Pole, because he embraced the faith and for the following decades he would remain active in the Bahá’í Faith.

While a major in the British army Tudor Pole (in collaboration with Sir Winston Churchill) came up with the idea for ‘The Silent Minute’ which TP claimed was divinely inspired, and during World War II, all over Britain and the Commonwealth, millions of people joined together every evening at 9.00pm just before the news, to the chimes of Big Ben, to pray for peace.

Tudor Pole remarked at the time; “There is no power on earth that can withstand the united cooperation on spiritual levels of men and women of goodwill everywhere.  It is for this reason that the continued and widespread observance of the Silent Minute is of such vital importance in the interest of human welfare.”

In 1917 he wrote Private Dowding: The personal story of a soldier killed in battle. In the introduction Tudor Pole explains how this encounter with the Deceased entity who called himself Private Dowding, was his first experience of clairvoyantly inspired automatic writing;

On Monday, 12th March 1917, I was walking by the sea when I felt the presence of someone.

I looked round, no one was in sight.
All that day I felt as if someone were following me,
trying to reach my thoughts. Suddenly I said to myself,
‘It is a soldier. He has been killed in battle and
wants to communicate.’ That evening I happened to
call upon a lady who possesses some degree of clairvoyant
power. I had forgotten about the soldier, until
she described a man dressed in khaki, sitting in a
chair near me. He was gazing intently in my direction.
She said he was mature, wore a small moustache, and
seemed somewhat sad. Not a very intelligent character
apparently, but an honest one. I came home and
sat down at my writing-table. Immediately my pen
moved. Did I move it? Yes, in an involuntary sort of
way. The thoughts were not my own, the language
was a little unusual. Ideas were mainly conveyed in
short simple phrases. It would really seem as if some
intelligence outside myself were speaking through
my mind and my pen.

Wellesley Tudor Pole continued to author several books including, The Silent Road, A Man Seen Afar, and Writing On The Ground, and in the 21st century, Private Dowding is still as enlightening as when it was written and considered by many, a ‘classic’ in afterlife literature. 

Publisher: White Crow Books
Published August 2012
106 pages
Size: 229 x 152 mm
ISBN 978-1-908733-52-8
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World Madness and Nihilism go Hand-in-Hand – The madness, craziness, and turmoil we see in the world today seems to have slowly developed in line with the growth of mass communication during the twentieth century, reaching an unimagined deep crater in recent years. As Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding (Sir Hugh Dowding, 1882 – 1970), put it in his 1960 book, "God’s Magic," “The problem of world chaos is linked very closely with the chaos in the mind of humanity.” Dowding is considered by many as the man most responsible for Great Britain’s victory in the 1940 Battle of Britain during World War II. “Man insists on looking outward for causes instead of looking inward. As with the individual, so with a nation. An individual who has an unquiet spirit will have an unquiet environment.” Read here
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