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Getting to the Root Cause of World Madness with Lord Dowding

Posted on 30 November 2015, 16:54

As I watch our politicians and journalists discuss all the chaos, turmoil and madness in the world today, I rarely hear or read anything relating to the underlying existential causes, the root causes.  All the discussion has to do with more surface causes, such as economic or political differences. No one dares suggest that the insanity we see in the world these days is the result of an increasing number of humans finding no meaning in life.  Nor does anyone suggest that ultra-materialism or hedonism, as promoted by the entertainment and advertising industries, is a factor.

I like the way Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding (Sir Hugh Dowding, 1882 – 1970), put it in his 1960 book, God’s Magic (recently republished, along with three other Dowding books, Lychgate, Many Mansions, and The Dark Star by White Crow Books).  “The problem of world chaos is linked very closely with the chaos in the mind of humanity,” offered Dowding,  (below) considered 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.”


But politicians and journalists do not want to get into such philosophical issues.  If they espouse the predominant materialistic view of science, they are simply endorsing nihilism and reaffirming that life has no purpose.  The only way that life has real purpose is if there is a “larger life” beyond this one, but that means the politicians and journalists have to tread somewhat in controversial religious territory.  Political correctness prevents the politicians from getting into such areas, while the journalists fear that they will appear unintelligent by discussing such unscientific matters.  Yes, some of our more right-wing politicians now take pride in mentioning God, but their fundamentalist beliefs are in shallow, murky waters and therefore not very persuasive.  They only add fuel to the fire. 

And so we continue to spiral downward, finding ourselves significantly lower than in Lord Dowding’s days in spite of significant technological and materialistic gains since his time. One recent Associated Press story discussed the decline in happiness among Americans, attributing it to growing financial pressures, also referred to as “economic insecurity.”  Another newspaper article stated that middle-aged white American males “are dying in droves,” much more than a few decades ago, as personal and financial stress gives rise to suicides and drug overdoses.  A fairly recent magazine article also mentioned studies indicating that Americans are not as happy as they were 30-40 years ago, apparently because they have reached the point of diminishing returns in realizing materialistic comforts.  It was suggested that the sowing brings greater happiness than the reaping and we have reaped so much that we have become bored and depressed.  We are perhaps nearing the point that Nero reached when Rome burned.

One reporter, Ben Boychuk of Tribune News Service, did dare to go deeper than the others in searching for reasons for the middle-aged mortality problem.  “When you have nothing to believe in but yourself, and you’re life is a misery, then it’s hardly surprising that many men – unemployed, childless, aimless – turn to booze, drugs, video games, porn, or whatever else dulls the pain,” he offered.  “Our problem isn’t just a lack of meaningful work.  It’s the lack of meaning, period.”  He further stated:  “Nihilism is in the very air we breathe.”

Lord Hugh Dowding Statue, St Clement Danes Church, Strand, London

As Dowding saw it, the belief in the survival of consciousness at death is at the core of all concerns and issues facing humankind and the remedy for the ills of the world are to be found in accepting the “overwhelming evidence” that conscious personal existence continues beyond the grave.  The wise man, he said, “will demand to know as much as possible about his future state.  If he believes that he will be snuffed out like a candle, he should believe it because he has carefully examined and deliberately rejected the alternatives, and not because it is the most comfortable thing for a selfish materialist to believe.”

Of course, there are many today who will blame much of the world turmoil on religion and belief in an afterlife, some religious zealots being in too much of a hurry to get there.  But just because various religions have gone astray in their search for meaning doesn’t mean the whole idea of afterlife should be condemned.  Dowding was critical of orthodox religion. “For several reasons the Church is not helpful to laymen in forming their opinions on the subject of individual survival,” he wrote, speaking primarily of Christian orthodoxy.  “The Church anchored its ship sixteen hundred years ago, and the capstan has rusted up. It shirks the issue, and will not openly examine and pronounce upon the mass of evidence which exists on the subject of the future life.”

As Dowding saw it, the “hereafter” offered by religion is much too vague and “deliberately wooly,” so much so that it makes absolutely no sense to the ordinary person.
“The result is that when the time does approach the man is frightened.  He fears death.  And when he wakes up on the other side he often won’t believe he is dead because he feels so much the same as he did before he died.”

As a result of his investigation of mediumship, Dowding became a Spiritualist.  He recognized that there were charlatans attempting to dupe the public, but he was equally certain that spirit communication took place through genuine mediums.  He also recognized that there were many inconsistencies and contradictions coming through these genuine mediums, but he came to understand that this was the result of many factors, including subconscious coloring by the medium’s mind, attempts to explain celestial matters in terrestrial terms, and by misinformation coming from low-level spirits.  However, there was enough consistency in certain areas, such as the many dimensions or levels on the other side, the awakening of the spirit body with the same consciousness with which it left the physical world, and an afterlife of activity and progression, that he believed that it was a subject every intelligent person should study.  “My assertion is that a man who will study what has been made available to us by ancient and modern revelation can build up for himself a picture of the Scheme of the Universe and of the Progress of Humanity, which is perfectly acceptable to a rational intelligence – making allowance, of course, for the fact that there are certain aspects of multidimensional life which are quite outside the scope of our three-dimensional brains,” he explained his view.

As for the oft-heard advice that we should “live in the moment” and not concern ourselves with what might come or not come after death, Dowding countered that the person who has the conviction that he will live on after death in a meaningful way will enrich his life.  “If and when he accepts the overwhelming evidence that conscious personal existence does continue beyond the grave, he will wish to treat his continuing life as a whole, and modify in thought, word and deed the natural and instinctive expression of his personality so as to accord with a long-term policy, instead of thinking only of the little period which he spends on earth,” he wrote.  “This is my definition of Religion, and indeed Religion in its widest sense is desperately needed today.”

Many Mansions, Lychgate, The Dark Star, and God’s Magic are now published by White Crow Books and available from Amazon and other online bookstores.

Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die is published by White Crow Books. His latest book, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife is now available on Amazon and other online book stores.
His latest book Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I is published by White Crow Books.

Next blog post:  December 14


regarding reincarnation into a new body on earth:  I’m guessing that the earthbound hungry ghost-type spirits are propagating this dogma enthusiastically because they want so much to get back into a physical body to satisfy their physical hungers.  Who in their “right mind” would want to come back here, when the higher afterlife levels give you so much more freedom and expansion of consciousness (that is, if you’re not a hungry ghost)?

Sheila Martin, Fri 1 Apr, 13:28


As viewed from eternity, what’s one moment of getting your head chopped off?

As Walter Stinson said, our perception of such things is as crude and narrow as the vision of a frog in a well.

Michael Tymn, Sun 13 Dec, 00:58


Thank you for providing this information.  I am a bit over-committed at the moment but will peruse the website as soon as I can.

Immediate questions come to mind. 

This information makes it clear that there is a finite structure of authority which has the power to mandate reincarnations on the basis of complying or not complying with established rules.

One must then ask who or what established these rules, who or what decides, on the basis of these rules, who has to reincarnate.  Have these rules ever been communicated to our here and now?  Has it ever been made clear who or what makes these rules?  My reading is probably deficient but I have seen nothing so far that answers these questions.

It is very inconsistent that many discarnate entities are keen to communicate with us but such vital information has never been so conveyed.

There follows a further question.  If reincarnation is dictated by the minute by minute behaviour of a person throughout their entire life, who or what monitors this behaviour?  The world population is now more than 7,000,000,000; it must take at least an equal number of discarnate entities to perform the monitoring.

Questions, questions, questions but so little information!!

Leslie Harris, Sat 12 Dec, 22:23


As an overall view, that could be valid.  At an individual level, it is less likely and it is even less likely again that the victims of brutal murder see themselves as just playing a role.  Islamic State makes a speciality of hacking off the heads of innocent people with blunt knives.  Do we therefore assume that they die with a smile and a shrug, saying ‘Hey, I’m only playing a role’? 

Many reports indicate that reincarnation is all about development – no matter what the cost, apparently.  I put this in the same category as the fall-back explanation commonly used by religious people when an infant dies.  They claim this to be their particular deity/god testing the parents.  Translated into plain English, this reads: ‘Our particular deity/god regularly tests parents by murdering babies.’ 


Leslie Harris, Tue 8 Dec, 23:00


“For me, reincarnation is the only logical answer for the apparent anomalies that occur in life. I have attended and participated in spirit sessions for over 40 years and this (is) what the spirits say, “We reap what we sow, whether in this life and/or in the afterlife, and…. in future existences. We suffer things that cannot be explained in this life, due to indiscretions and poor choices we made in past lives. It is the Divine Law of cause and effect.”

This could be so.  If so, all those millions upon millions upon millions murdered by Hitler and Stalin must have been unspeakably evil in a past life to incur such brutal deaths in this life. 

And, hovering above all of this is that there is a power in the next realm that inflicts this on apparently innocent people.  That’s a REAL worry!!

Leslie Harris, Tue 8 Dec, 22:58

In response to Leslie Harris’ comments (below mine):
My initial comments:
Each spirit generally chooses to incarnate into successive existences in search for happiness and to be nearer to the Creator.
The law of progress (evolution on material and spiritual levels) exists.
When spirits are in the afterlife (how ever long it takes) they finally make the decision to be born again to make amends, expiate any wrongdoings (from past lives) and to learn further lessons and perform small or large missions that can only be effectuated in the material world.
Articles from our website based on information from Allan Kardec’s “The Spirits’ Book” and “Heaven and Hell.” Spirit communications have, to me, corroborated this information. 
The Law of Cause and Effect

- Spirits (in their evolutionary process) start and end at the same place. In this regard we are all equals before the Creator. A spirit’s goal is to progress ever towards relative perfection, devoid of all materiality and towards superior morality and intellect. It accomplishes this through reincarnation (soul evolution), through successive incarnations in material worlds. It is only in the material world that a spirit can put into practice, through trials and tests, its good intentions and evolve to its final purified state. It cannot accomplish this after one material existence and then continue evolving solely living in the spirit world.

- A purified spirit no longer suffers or must undergo reincarnations. They assist in the Divine order and harmony of the Cosmos and are the messengers of the Creator in the exercise of the Supreme Will.

- Happiness belongs exclusively to a state of relative perfection; this is the state of a spirit’s complete purification. Every imperfection is a source of suffering and the deprivation of enjoyment.

- The acquiring of knowledge and of goodness brings with it an increase of enjoyment and diminishes the sources of suffering.

- Every imperfection of the spirit produces its own inevitable consequences of suffering. Every good quality of the spirit produces, by virtue of the same law, its own natural and certain fulfillment of happiness. This is the Law of Cause and Effect.

- Therefore, the amount of a spirit’s suffering is exactly proportioned to the degree of its imperfection, and, the amount of a spirit’s happiness is exactly proportioned to the degree of its intellectual and moral advancement.

- Each spirit, through the force of its will and the effort it makes, has the power to acquire the good qualities it lacks and rid it of the bad traits it has.

- Each spirit receives the merits or suffers the consequences of all their deeds but the path to redemption and total purification is open to all.

- We (spirits) find our own unhappiness (our “Hell”) or happiness (our “Heaven”) wherever we may be, whether in the material world or the spirit world.

- The good or wrongdoing that we commit is the result of the good or bad qualities that our spirits possess. Not to do all the good which we have the power to do is also the result of an imperfection on our part. Consequently, since every imperfection is a source of unhappiness, we suffer not only for all the wrongdoing we commit, but also for any good we could have done but did not do.
The Law of Reincarnation:
- The aim of reincarnation is the progressive improvement of spirits (and with it mankind).

- The spirit, in purifying itself, undergoes a transformation, but in order to effectuate this transformation, it needs the trial of material life. In each new existence, the spirit takes a step forward in its evolutionary progress and when it has stripped itself of all of its impurities, it has no further need of the trials of material life. It enters the state of happiness as a purified spirit.

- Reincarnation, in keeping with the Supreme Justice of the Creator, is the only process that can explain the apparent inequities of life. We suffer wherein we have committed wrongdoing. Our freewill in this life determines our future life and our present situation is the result of our past life. We also cannot learn or experience everything we need to evolve to the state of a purified spirit in only one lifetime.

- Reincarnation explains why there are geniuses and prodigies. It also explains why all the peoples of the earth are at different levels of intelligence and morality.

- The doctrine of Heaven and Hell goes against reason and the Perfect Justice of the Supreme Intelligence. Why should those who were not that good go to “Heaven”? How can the justice of a God be reconciled with a doctrine that would condemn wrongdoers eternally to “Hell” without hope of redemption? We forgive our own children, would not the Creator Forgive us Infinitely and Give us the means to improve and redeem ourselves no matter how long it took?

- Reincarnation is one of Hope - for the doors of redemption are never closed and we alone determine through our own conduct how many lifetimes we must fulfill. The amount of personal responsibility involved in this process is too much for many to accept or handle. Nevertheless, reincarnation is a universal law. Other religious beliefs seem to provide an easy pathway to God yet still do not answer the question, “Why does a good person suffer?” Only reincarnation can answer this, for we do not know what faults or crimes that “good person” may have had or committed in a past lifetime for which now they may be atoning for, by their own choosing, in order to spiritually and morally progress.

- The inequitable situations seemingly good people find themselves in exist only in appearances as they are considered only from the perspective of the present lifetime.

- If we agree that the Creator is Infinitely Just, all suffering must have a just cause. The Creator does not punish, we do it to ourselves through the law of cause and effect.

- Suffering can be from the immediate and obvious actions we have committed in this lifetime.

- Suffering can be from the effects of wrongdoing we have committed in past lifetimes. It is this last type that confuses many because we see people suffer seemingly for no reason (example: those with terrible diseases, born with deformities, those with mental and emotional disorders, those born in horribly poor or violent circumstances, etc.).

- It is only through the plurality of existences that we can see the Supreme Justice of the Creator and can explain the apparent inequities of the distribution of happiness and unhappiness upon the earth.

- All suffering does not necessarily mean a person has a certain fault or is expiating a wrongdoing. Sometimes a spirit has requested a trial in material life with a particular suffering for further purification of its soul. They elected the trial for further moral and spiritual advancement.

- In addition, many spirits ask for difficult missions, small and/or great, for which they will be properly compensated if they carry it out successfully.

- In order to obtain merit for any trials and tribulations we undergo and progress, we must suffer them with calm resignation as much as possible, praying to our spirit guides and the Creator for moral and spiritual strength to support whatever we may be going through. Otherwise, we will have to repeat the lesson all over again in another lifetime.

- Material life may be compared as somewhat similar to a school were we learn lessons and past tests at each grade level. We never retrograde but we can mark time in the same grade and repeat the same lesson over and over until we finally get it right. Some spirits work faster at this then others. We all have our freewill to do, or not to do, good or bad, and can only blame ourselves for our actions or inactions.

See the Spirit Science section of Spiritist Society of Florida
Feel free to email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Yvonne Limoges, Tue 8 Dec, 20:39

Someone once said that “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.. . . . ”  Each play must have its protagonist and antagonist, its hero and its villain.  Some of us are part of the audience and some of us are on stage acting out the parts.
Maybe there is no ‘good’ or ‘evil’ just roles that we all play to entertain ourselves and experience life in many forms, in different times and different cultures. Perhaps from a larger perspective life and death are the same, of equal importance and significance.  Death may be of no consequence if the soul simply shuffles from one reality to another and back again. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 8 Dec, 04:45

I have been reading a highly interesting web site ( recently and found a lot to prompt a lot of further cogitation.  The author has a lot to say about reincarnation, much of it very similar to my views.  Some of Yvonne’s comments stirred me to further thinking and one of the matters that came to mind was to wonder what authority lies behind this.  What is it that has the power to force hapless souls into many or endless reincarnations, allegedly to achieve further enlightenment through experiencing pain and suffering.
In order to help my thinking, I often look for extreme examples as a means of establishing the breadth of a field of consideration.  A very fertile field for this approach is the actions of Hitler and Stalin in very recent history.

Early in his reign, Stalin deliberately starved a reputed six million to death when they refused to be party to the collectivization of their agricultural lands.  He followed this with purges that killed more millions and then killed unknown millions in slave camps.  Hitler was a bit milder but managed to murder many millions by his own acts.

If all this emanates from the next realm, what was it that required these hapless millions to suffer extreme deprivation and eventual murder?  What was it that put Hitler, Stalin and their willing followers into positions such that they could engineer these millions upon millions of deaths? 

If this is indicative of the power of whatever mandates reincarnation, I am deeply concerned.  I cannot see any advancement of enlightenment but I can see an application of power no less murderous, malicious and masochistic that that of Hitler and Stalin.

Or is it, as Yvonne suggests, no more than the matter of chance?

Leslie Harris, Sun 6 Dec, 22:14

Dear Mike,

Excellent article as always! I agree with the points you make.

But, I have found people still need more…for even among people who DO believe in an afterlife, there is still the issue of dealing with the apparent unfairness of life, especially when any kind of tragedy strikes out of no where, to good people they love.

Why do apparently good people suffer? (and the cause cannot be found in this life)

Many people feel that although there may be an afterlife, many believe things happen by chance, and they should just enjoy material life to its fullest and as much as possible, and not worry too much about their morals because they can accept Jesus as their Savior (or figure its ok anyway if they believe they are a relatively good person) and all is forgiven, and they’re good to go…when they reach “heaven” or the afterlife.

So many of these NDE publicized stories have revealed such a wonderful place….with wonderful feelings. (We know from many wise spirit teachings that tell us that how we behave here will determine what we will experience things in the afterlife, and it isn’t all wonderful!)

For me, reincarnation is the only logical answer for the apparent anomalies that occur in life. I have attended and participated in spirit sessions for over 40 years and this what the spirits say, “We reap what we sow, whether in this life and/or in the afterlife, and…. in future existences. We suffer things that cannot be explained in this life, due to indiscretions and poor choices we made in past lives. It is the Divine Law of cause and effect.”

We do it to ourselves, but it is so we can learn from our errors and progress. If as a child, we are told not to touch the hot stove because we will get burnt, but we do it anyway, we get hurt, we remember this and hopefully we will not be foolish enough to do it again. 

And, more and more of the spirit communications coming through are expressing this teaching (and not from just Spiritists, either).

I met with a group of Spiritualists a couple of years ago that wanted their Church to accept reincarnation as one of its principles.They said they are receiving spirit communications talking about reincarnation and they were conflicted because they are taught as mediums to relay the spirit message to a person, unfiltered. If reincarnation is not one of their tenets, they feel this is a real conflict. Are they then to hold back? They were out voted and very upset.

It appears to me that there are three very basic groups: there are the very traditional religious persons, then the so-called atheist/agnostics (whether via thoughtful choice or because they have not been educated or have not educated themselves), and those who are not religious traditionalists but tend to be what they call “spiritual” (this last group are seekers looking for faith/God and some find it in many
different places - they either seek out, believe in and/or are practicing meditation, conferring with psychics, and trying to experience their own psychic/paranormal/spiritual experiences.

Interesting book to read, is by Diana Butler Bass, with a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Duke University:

      Finding God in the World
        A Spiritual Revolution

She states in her book, “The theological ground is moving; a spiritual revolution is afoot.” 

I agree.

Yvonne Limoges

Yvonne Limoges, Wed 2 Dec, 21:40

Yes, Leslie, you are so right. There’s a really unwholesome level of interaction going on and it feels like it’s warping the subtle fabric of the universe - if it isn’t met with knowledge of the broader realities of spiritual life (as Lord Dowding describes), we are really in for it.

Bonnie, Wed 2 Dec, 12:04

A marvelous piece of writing and research, Mike.  Thanks so much, as always, for sharing your knowledge with us.

John F. Miller, Wed 2 Dec, 08:14

~You have touched on something that bothers me a lot.  We know from many reports that there are malicious discarnate entities ever ready to cause trouble. 
~This leads me to wonder (and worry!) about the current crop of barbarians inflicting random murder on the rest of the world in the name of an otherwise respected religion.  (The last thing this planet needs is the rise of Wahhabi as a significant power!!) 
~It is reasonable to assume that they will not find themselves in Paradise with 72 virgins at their disposal but they will no doubt congregate.  Given that the lower entities (including the malicious ones) can more easily reach back to our realm than the higher entities, what manner of bastardry might they get up to?

Leslie Harris, Wed 2 Dec, 01:21

There are very few people in history for whom I have great respect but Dowding is one of those few.  This is based on his service history in the RAF, which culminated in the Battle of Britain.  Dowding was the head of Fighter Command.  Hitler knew that he had little hope of a successful invasion of England unless he had command of the air.  Goering, who had a planet sized ego but very little practical knowledge, told Hitler that the Luftwaffe would destroy Fighter Command “in four days”. 

From the first day of the Battle of Britain, Dowding faced overwhelming odds; his Fighter Command was outnumbered many times to one every day but he out-thought and out manoeuvred the Luftwaffe every day.  After many months of ever-increasing Luftwaffe losses, Hitler realized that Goering’s “four days” was a total fantasy and pulled the plug.

Dowding is another example of an incontestably brilliant mind turning to critical examination of the survival of the consciousness.  I have not read all of his books – my reading is years behind! – but I notice that he appears to try to explain this subject in the light of Christian dogma.  Some other writers have a similar approach, perhaps understandable in the light of their upbringing.  I had a similar experience in that it took a long time before I was able to dissociate myself from the dogma and examine matters from a 100% critical standpoint.

Leslie Harris, Wed 2 Dec, 01:02

Another great post from author Mike Tymn. It does seem that the world is spinning out of our control, and we need to re-ground ourselves in something deeper than consumerism and fake happiness. Being an eternal optimist, I still think there’s a chance.But we’ll see!

Michael Schmicker, Mon 30 Nov, 20:58

Concomitant with the negative state in which a materialistic, externally-oriented viewpoint places us, I think that crowds of disaffected, angry and unbalanced spirits are currently poised at the gate of the astral plane, finding abundant opportunities to obsess and possess incarnate beings. A vicious cycle flourishes today, whereby a coarse, unnuanced approach to life invites madness, which attracts and manifests more of the same. I shudder to think what it might take to disrupt that pattern.

Your books and blogs help to sustain me. Thank you, Michael!

Bonnie, Mon 30 Nov, 19:39

Very nicely written Michael.  There is a lot of wisdom there. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 30 Nov, 17:35

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The Only Planet of Choice: Visitations – Many people use the word ‘Alien’ to describe a visitor from outer space. Extra terrestrial is another word, which is rather more user friendly. For the sake of the question and answer format, the word used by the questioner has been left, though even Tom questions our use of‘Alien’. Should we wish to foster openess between all beings of the Universe perhaps we should also look at our vocabulary? In a discussion between Andrew and Tom many years earlier, Andrew had asked Tom about UFOs and whether they were created manifestations. Tom had replied: “Many of the flying things that you call UFOs come from our place, but they come from other places also, and they do come in physical form. But many of them are not physical. They are like your movie screen”. Read here
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