The Lower RealmsResidents of the life after this life speak often about “thought regions” where people who were degenerate on earth are together because of their common attitudes. They indicate that these people are still bent upon impeding humankind’s growth to spiritual maturity. As such, they sometimes use the word “hell” to describe the thought region, but never suggest that it is a place of torture. That hell with fire and brimstone is a myth. This is an account Mike Tymn had on his always-fascinating and informative blog of a deceased soldier’s description of the thought region where some degenerate people remain of their own choosing: 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.”[i]This thought region, he explains, “depends for its existence on human thoughts and feelings.” People are there because they choose to be there, but “Release will come from within some day.” When any person chooses to mature out of the condition, they rise from it immediately. [ii] When people leave Earth School, they enter an environment that suits their mental condition, attitudes, and spiritual level of growth. Those who have been selfish and cruel in Earth School will be on a sphere or plane with others who are also selfish and cruel. It happens automatically, without deliberation.
That isn’t a punishment and it certainly isn’t a hell. It’s a condition they create by their own expectations for the way life is and ought to be. These realms are created by the negative thoughts and attitudes of the inhabitants. They expect life to be dog-eat-dog, full of greed and selfishness, so that is the way it is for them. And they are with others who have the same inclinations. These lower areas are described as being dark, dank, and unpleasant. There are unpleasant sounds, such as mad, raucous laughter and shrieks. The beauties of the higher realm are not present there. James M. Peebles, considered the father of the Spiritualist movement, received this communication through a medium from a resident of the life after this life.
I have seen in the lower spheres of darkness clusters, societies, and cities of moral degradation, in the streets of which undeveloped spirits were engaged in disputations, quarrels, enmities, and pitiful ravings. They delighted to annoy and torture each other—delighted to live, in a measure, their earthly lives over again, and to influence gamblers in their dens, inebriates in their wretched retreats, and debauchees in their haunts of crime.[iii]Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson describes through Anthony Borgia descending into the lower realms.
As we proceed slowly from our own realm towards these dark lands, we shall find a gradual deterioration taking place in the countryside. The flowers become scanty and ill-nourished, giving the appearance of a struggle for existence. The grass is parched and yellow, until, with the last remnants of sickly flowers, it final disappears altogether, to be superseded by barren rocks. The light steadily diminishes until we are in a grey land, and then comes the darkness—deep, black, impenetrable darkness; impenetrable, that is, to those who are spiritually blind. Visitors from a higher realm can see in this darkness without themselves being seen by the inhabitants, unless it becomes vitally necessary so to indicate their presence. The inhabitants were variously occupied: some were seated upon small boulders, and gave every appearance of conspiring together, but upon what devilish schemes it was impossible to say. Others were in small groups perpetrating unspeakable tortures upon the weaker of their kind who must, in some fashion, have fallen afoul of their tormentors. Their shrieks were unbearable to listen to, and so we closed our ears to them, firmly and effectively. Their limbs were indescribably distorted and malformed, and in some cases their faces and heads had retrograded to the merest mockery of a human countenance. Others again we observed to be lying prone upon the ground as though exhausted from undergoing torture, or because of expending their last remaining energy upon inflicting it, before they could gather renewed strength to recommence their barbarities.[iv]The residents remain on that lower plane of life until they grow out of it. No one put them there; no one demands they change; no one punishes them. They remain there until they choose to grow into a higher spiritual level. Then they simply evolve into a higher level naturally. Residents of the lower realms are continually urged to rise out of the unpleasant region by loved ones and guides. Alice Stringfellow received messages from her cousin Bettie in spirit about these darker regions.
They are what you would call the scum of the earth and have passed their lives in vice and crime. There is but one such place for this class, but its extent is incredible and its population immense. They live in discord and misery and everything is dark and forbidding, a dull, leaden fog pervades the air at all times. … Every good spirit who has friends there goes often to see them and makes every effort to awaken in them sorrow for their past lives and the desire for the pure and higher life. But such efforts are usually a thankless task, for many of them are so wedded to their terrible life that they actually take pleasure in it, and resist every effort that is made in their behalf. But some see their error and are brought to feel the wrong of such a life, and embrace the first opportunity to escape. They have no settled occupation, but live in idleness and it is sad to think how many, by their lives on earth, are preparing a residence for themselves in this dreadful place [v]Reverend Charles Drayton Thomas, speaking through direct-voice medium Leslie Flint, describes going to those living in ignorance in the lower levels to help them rise out of their circumstances. You can listen to this and more of Rev. Thomas speaking about going to the lower levels to counsel people at this link: www.earthschoolanswers.com/thomas1/.
A lot of these people, they stay on this, sort of, odd, strange level of consciousness—which isn’t terribly far removed from earth—but they are living in a kind of dream-state in which they need jerking out of. And that’s what we try to do.
Many of us, we go and we enter into their homes and into their lives and we even try to make them appreciate the power that they have within them, that they can manifest that power in that particular environment. Even if they cannot yet aspire or at that moment, as it were, aspire to something higher.
In other words, we try to give them a rejuvenating force which, in itself, will make them start to think more deeply and with more concern about themselves and the possibility of change. You see, there’s this great, this is a great sort of atmosphere and attitude of mind with a lot of these people. They are quite, in their own fashion and way, content to stay on that level of consciousness. And some of them haven’t, of course, met souls that, they were drawn to or attached to when on Earth.[vi]
[i] Tymn, “A Glimpse of Hell.”
[ii] Tymn, “A Glimpse of Hell.”
[iii] James M. Peebles, Immortality and Our Employments Hereafter: With What a Hundred Spirits, Good and Evil, Say of Their Dwelling Places (London: Forgotten Books, 2015; originally published in 1907), 91.
[iv] Borgia, Life in the World Unseen, 120-123.
[v] Betty, The Afterlife Unveiled, 30-31 (citing Stringfellow, Leslie’s letters to his mother).
[vi] “The Charles Drayton Thomas séance.”