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 appals, 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 minornity 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.