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Friday, May 25, 2012

Sir Oliver Lodge - In Memory of Prof. Frederic W. H. Myers


In Memory of Prof. Frederic W. H. Myers
 - Sir Oliver Lodge -
Sir Oliver Lodge
          IT BEHOVES me who have learnt so much from the Pioneers and Founders of the Society for Psychical Research not to conclude this book, which attempts to set forth in some detail an outline of the less orthodox facts by which among other things I have been led to my views concerning the universe, without emphasising the debt I owe to those who have immediately preceded me in this study; and I can discharge the debt most compactly by quoting here the Address which I gave to the Society for Psychical Research shortly after the death of its President of 1900 - on the occasion when it fell to my lot to succeed him in the Chair.
In Memory of Myers
Frederic W. H. Myers
Who would have thought a year ago, when our Secretary and joint Founder at length consented to be elected President, that we should so soon be lamenting his decease?
When Henry Sidgwick died, the Society was orphaned; and now it is left desolate. Of the original chief founders, Professor Barrett alone remains; for Mr. Podmore, the only other member of the first Council still remaining on it was not one of the actual founders of the Society. Neither the wisdom of Sidgwick nor the energy and power of Myers can by any means be replaced. Our loss is certain, but the blow must not be paralysing. Rather it must stimulate those that remain to fresh exertions, must band us together, determined that a group of workers called together for a pioneering work, for the founding and handing on to posterity of a new science, must not be permitted to disband and scatter till their work is done. That work will not be done in our lifetime; it must continue with what energy and wisdom we can muster, and we must be faithful to the noble leaders who summoned us together, and laid this burden to our charge.
I, unworthy, am called to this Chair. I would for every reason that it could have been postponed; but it is the wish of your Council; I am told that it was the wish of Myers, and I regard it as a duty from which I must not shrink.
The last communication which my predecessor made was in memory of Henry Sidgwick: my own first communication must be in memory of Frederic Myers.
To how many was he really known? I wonder. Known in a sense he was to all, except the unlettered and the ignorant. Known in reality he was to very few. But to the few who were privileged to know him, his is a precious memory: a memory which will not decay with the passing of the years. I was honoured with his intimate friendship. I esteem it one of the privileges of my life.
To me, though not to me alone, falls the duty of doing some justice to his memory. I would that I might be inspired for the task.
I was not one of those who knew him as a youth, and my acquaintance with him ripened gradually. Our paths in life were wide apart, and our powers were different: our powers, but not our tastes. He could instruct me in literature and most other things, I could instruct him in science; he was the greedier learner of the two. I never knew a man more receptive, nor one with whom it was a greater pleasure to talk. His grasp of science was profound: I do not hesitate to say it, though many who did not really know him will fail to realise that this was possible; nor was he fully conscious of it himself. Even into some of the more technical details, when they were properly presented, he could and did enter, and his mind was in so prepared a state that any fact once sown in it began promptly to take root and bud. It was not a detailed knowledge of science that he possessed, of course, but it was a grasp, a philosophic grasp, of the meaning and bearing of it all, - not unlike the accurately comprehending grasp of Tennyson. And again and again in his writings do we find the facts, which his mind had thus from many sources absorbed, utilised for the purpose of telling and brilliant illustrations, and made to contribute each its quota to his Cosmic scheme.
For that is what he was really doing, all through this last quarter of a century: he was laying the foundation for a cosmic philosophy, a scheme of existence as large and comprehensive and well founded as any that have appeared.
Do I mean that he achieved such a structure? I do not. A philosophy of that kind is not to be constructed by the labour of one man, however brilliant; and Myers laboured almost solely on the psychological side. He would be the first to deprecate any exaggeration of what he has done; but he himself would have admitted this, - that he strenuously and conscientiously sought facts, and endeavoured to construct his cosmic foundation by their aid and in their light, and not in the dark gropings of his own unaided intelligence.
To me it has seemed that most philosophers suffer from a dearth of facts. In the past necessarily so, for the scientific exploration of the physical universe is, as it were, a thing of yesterday. Our cosmic outlook is very different from that of the ancients, is different even from that of philosophers of the middle of last century, before the spectroscope was invented, before Darwin and Wallace wrote, before many discoveries connected with less familiar household words than these: in the matter of physical science alone the most recent philosopher must needs have some advantage. But this is a small item in his total outfit, mental phenomena must contribute the larger part of that; and the facts of the mind have been open-it is generally assumed-from all antiquity. This is in great degree true, and philosophers have always recognised and made use of these facts, especially those of the mind in its normal state. Yet in modern science we realise that to understand a thing thoroughly it must be observed not only in its normal state but under all the conditions into which it can be thrown by experiment, - every variation being studied and laid under contribution to the general understanding of the whole.
And, I ask, did any philosopher ever know the facts of the mind in health and in disease more profoundly, with more detailed and intimate knowledge, drawn from personal inquiry, and from the testimony of all the savants of Europe, than did Frederic Myers? He laid under contribution every abnormal condition studied in the Salpetriere, in hypnotic trance, in delirium, every state of the mind in placidity and in excitement. He was well acquainted with the curious facts of multiple personality, of clairvoyant vision, of hallucinations, automatisms, self-suggestion, of dreams, and of the waking visions of genius.
It will be said that Hegel, and to some extent Kant also, as well as other philosophers, recognised some ultra-normal mental manifestations, and allowed a place for clairvoyance in their scheme. All honour to those great men for doing so, in advance of the science of their time; but how could they know all that we know to-day? Fifty years ago the facts even of hypnotism were not by orthodox science accepted; such studies as were made, were made almost surreptitiously, here and there, by some truth-seeker clear-sighted enough to out-step the fashion of his time and to look at things with his own eyes. But only with difficulty could he publish his observations, and doubtless many were lost for fear of ridicule and the contempt of his professional brethren.
But now it is different: not so different as it ought to be, even yet; but facts previously considered occult are now investigated and recorded and published in every country of Europe. The men who observe them are too busy to unify them; they each contribute their portion, but they do not grasp the whole: the grasping of the whole is the function of a philosopher. I assert that Myers was that philosopher.
Do I then in my own mind place him on a pedestal adapted to the needs of an emancipated spirit, a wider field of service, - a gradual opportunity of re-uniting with the many who have gone before. So he believed, on what he thought a sure foundation of experience, and in the strength of that belief he looked forward hopefully to perennial effort and unending progress:
"Say, could aught else content thee? which were best,
After so brief a battle an endless rest,
Or the ancient conflict rather to renew,
By the old deeds strengthened mightier deeds to do?"
Such was his faith: by this he lived, and in this he died. Religious men in all ages have had some such faith, perhaps a more restful and less strenuous faith; but to Myers the faith did not come by religion: he would have described himself as one who walked by sight and knowledge rather than by faith, and his eager life-long struggle for knowledge was in order that he might by no chance be mistaken.
To some, conviction of this kind would be impossible - they are the many who know not what science is. To others, conviction of this kind seems unnecessary-they are the favoured ones who feel that they have grasped all needed truth by revelation or by intuition. But by a few here and there, even now, this avenue to knowledge concerning the unseen is felt to be open. Myers believed that hereafter it would become open to all. He knew that the multitude could appreciate science no more, perhaps less, than they can appreciate religion; but he knew further that when presently any truth becomes universally accepted by scientific men, it will penetrate downwards and be accepted by ordinary persons, as they now accept any other established doctrine, - such as the planetary position of the earth in the solar system, or the evolution of species, - not because they have really made a study of the matter, but because it is a part of the atmosphere into which they were born.
If continuity of existence and intelligence across the gulf of death really can ever be thus proved, it surely is a desirable and worthy object for science to aim at. There be some religious men of little faith who resent this attempted intrusion of scientific proof into their arena; as if they had a limited field which could be encroached upon. Those men do not realise, as Myers did, the wealth of their inheritance. They little know the magnitude of the possibilities of the universe, the un-imagined scope of the regions still, and perhaps forever, beyond the grasp of what we now call science.
There was a little science in my youth which prided itself upon being positive knowledge, and sought to pour scorn upon the possibility, say, of prayer or of any mode of communication between this world and a purely hypothetical other. Honest and true and brilliant though narrow men held these beliefs and promulgated these doctrines for a time: they did good service in their day by clearing away some superstition, and, with their healthy breezy common-sense, freeing the mind from cant, - that is, from the conventional utterance of phrases embodying beliefs only half held. I say no word against the scientific men of that day, to whom were opposed theologians of equal narrowness and of a more bitter temper. But their warlike energy, though it made them effective crusaders, left their philosophy defective and their science unbalanced. It has not fully re-attained equilibrium yet. With Myers the word Science meant something much larger, much more comprehensive: it meant a science and a philosophy and a religion combined. It meant, as it meant to Newton, an attempt at a true cosmic scheme. His was no purblind outlook on a material universe limited and conditioned by our poor senses. He had an imagination wider than that of most men. Myers spoke to me once of the possibility that the parts of an atom move perhaps inside the atom in astronomical orbits, as the planets move in the solar system, each spaced out far away from others and not colliding, but all together constituting the single group or system we call the atom - a microcosm akin to the visible cosmos; which again might be only an atom of some larger whole. I was disposed at that time to demur. I should not demur now; the progress of science within the last few years of the nineteenth century makes the first part of this thesis extremely probable. On the latter part too there is more to be said than is generally known. Physics and astronomy are rapidly advancing in this direction.
Nor was it only upon material things that he looked with the eye of prescience and of hope. I never knew a man so hopeful concerning his ultimate destiny. He once asked me whether I would barter - if it were possible-my unknown destiny, whatever it might be, for as many aeons of unmitigated and wise terrestrial happiness as might last till the secular fading of the sun, and then an end.
He would not! No limit could satisfy him. That which he was now he only barely knew, - for to him not the whole of each personality is incarnate in this mortal flesh, the subliminal self still keeps watch and ward beyond the threshold, and is in touch always with another life, - but that which he might come to be hereafter he could by no means guess. Gradually and perhaps through much suffering, from which indeed he sensitively shrank, but through which nevertheless he was ready to go, he believed that a being would be evolved out of him, - "even," as he would say, "out of him," - as much higher in the scale of creation as he now was above the meanest thing that crawls.
Nor yet an end. Infinity of infinities-he could conceive no end, of space or time or existence, nor yet of development: though an end of the solar system and therefore of mankind seemed to him comparatively imminent
"That hour may come when Earth no more can keep
Tireless her year-long voyage thro' the deep;
Nay, when all planets, sucked and swept in one,
Feed their rekindled solitary sun;-
Nay when all suns that shine, together hurled,
Crash in one infinite and lifeless world:-
Yet hold thou still, what worlds soe'er may roll,
Naught bear they with them master of the soul;
In all the eternal whirl, the cosmic stir, All the eternal is akin to her;
She shall endure, and quicken, and live at last,
When all save souls has perished in the past."
Infinite progress, infinite harmony, infinite love, these were the things which filled and dominated his existence. Limits for him were repellent and impossible. Limits conditioned by the flesh and by imperfection, by rebellion, blindness, and error, - these are obvious, these he admitted and lamented to the full; but ultimate limits, impassable barriers, cessation of development, a highest in the scale of being beyond which it was impossible to go, - these he would not admit, these seemed to him to contradict all that he had gleaned of the essence and meaning of existence.
Principalities and Powers on and on, up and up, without limit now and for ever, - this was the dominant note of his mind; and if he seldom used the word God except in poetry, or employed the customary phrases, it was because everything was so supremely real to him; and "God," the personified totality of existence, too blinding a conception to conceive.
For practical purposes something less lofty served, and he could return from cosmic speculations to the simple everyday life, which is for all of us the immediate business in hand, and which, if patiently pursued, seemed to him to lead to more than could be desired or deserved
"Live thou and love I so best and only so
Can thy one soul into the One Soul flow,-
Can thy small life to Life's great centre flee,
And thou be nothing, and the Lord in thee."
This is an expression of himself: it was not so much his creed as himself. He with his whole being and personality-at first slowly and painfully, with many rebuffs and after much delay and hesitation, but in the end richly and enthusiastically - rose to this height of emotion, of conviction, and of serenity; though perhaps to few he showed it.
"Either we cannot or we hardly dare Breathe forth that vision into earthly air And if ye call us dreamers, dreamers then Be we esteemed amid you waking men; Hear us or hear not as ye choose; but we Speak as we can, and are what we must be."
Not that he believed easily: let no man think that his faith came easily and cost him nothing. He has himself borne witness to the struggle, the groanings that could not be uttered. His was a keenly emotional nature. What he felt, he felt strongly; what he believed, he believed in no half-hearted or conventional manner. When he doubted, he doubted fiercely; but the pain of the doubt only stimulated him to effort, to struggle; to know at least the worst, and doubt no longer. He was content with no half knowledge, no clouded faith, he must know or he must suffer, and in the end he believed that he knew.
Seeker after Truth and Helper of his comrades
is a line in his own metre, though not a quotation, which runs in my mind as descriptive of him; suggested doubtless by that line from the Odyssey which, almost in a manner at his own request, I have placed in the fore-front of this essay. For he speaks of himself in an infrequent autobiographical sentence as having "often a sense of great solitude, and of an effort beyond my strength; 'striving,' - as Homer says of Odysseus in a line which I should wish graven on some tablet in my memory, striving to save my own soul and my comrades' homeward way.'"
But the years of struggle and effort brought in the end ample recompense, for they gave him a magnificent power to alleviate distress. He was able to communicate something of his assurance to others, so that more than one bereaved friend learned to say with him
"What matter if thou bold thy loved ones prest
Still with close arms upon thy yearning breast,
Or with purged eyes behold them hand in hand
Come in a vision from that lovely land,
Or only with great heart and spirit sure
Deserve them and await them and endure;
Knowing well, no shocks that fall, no years that flee,
Can sunder God from these, or God from thee;
Nowise so far thy love from theirs can roam
As past the mansions of His endless home."
To how many a sorrowful heart his words have brought hope and comfort, letters, if ever published, will one day prove. The deep personal conviction behind his message drove it home with greater force, nor did it lose influence because it was enfranchised from orthodox traditions, and rang with no hollow professional note.
There are those who lament that with his undoubted powers as a man of letters he to some extent deserted the sunny fields of pure literature for the rugged tracts of scientific inquiry; but indeed the two were closely blended. It is, as Dr. Walter Leaf has said, impossible to appreciate Myers without insisting on this interfusion:
The essay on his best-beloved Virgil is perhaps that of all his utterances which gives us most of his literary self. And the very heart of Virgil was to him in the famous speech of Anchises to AEneas in Elysium (AEn. vi. 724-755), where the poet "who meant, as we know, to devote to philosophy the rest of his life after the completion of the "AEneid'" propounds "an answer to the riddle of the universe in an unexpectedly definite form."
This ultimate subordination of form to substance, of art to thought, is the whole story of Myers's literary work. His art gained all the more because it was not pursued as a primary aim, and the obvious rewards of it were little sought. Those only who followed the working of his aspirations will adequately recognise his mastery, and see how for him style was but the expression of his inmost soul. In his wonderful fragments of Virgilian translation he reached his height. The poet who was ever his truest ideal is transfused till the Roman and the Englishman blend in one passion, human and divine, and the triumphant song is taken up and proclaimed again after two thousand years -
"To God again the enfranchised soul must tend,
He is her home, her Author is her end;
No death is hers; when earthly eyes grow dim
Starlike she soars and Godlike melts in Him."
On the Subliminal Self and on the Book Human Personality
 - Oliver Lodge -
          MR. MYERS' great conception of the subliminal self has been adopted, explained, parodied, and paraded, by several writers, usually in the garbled and misleading form that man has a dual nature or duplex soul, that sometimes the more usual, and sometimes the less usual aspect of his personality comes to the front and influences his actions and thoughts. In the form of a contest between two rival principles, this idea is extremely old; and in the form of a divided soul or bifurcated personality, a version of the conception has been elaborated by Mr. Thomson Jay Hudson in an ambitious book extensively read in America called The Law of Psychic Phenomena(1), wherein it is sought to explain everything, from the Christian miracles downwards, by a crudely stated hypothesis of duplex personality or a double soul: an idea which seems to have been borrowed, without acknowledgment, from Mr. Myers' papers in the Proceedings, and spoiled in the borrowing.
(1) Reviewed in Proceedings SPR., Vol. ix, p. 230.

And in a 1903 number of the Nineteenth Century Mr. Mallock, getting hold apparently of this version of Mr. Hudson's, has skilfully set it forth as if it were an explanation or summary of Mr. Myers' own theory; and has pointed a flippant finger of scorn at the triviality of the evidence, and at the futility of a life-work which has this conclusion for its result. Few essays which bear a superficial resemblance to the truth could readily be more misleading or less illuminating than this article of Mr. Mallock's, and I am content to caution any student not to accept that ostensible summary as giving any adequate or true idea of Mr. Myers' comprehensive treatise.

The doctrine which Mr. Myers arrived at, after years of study, is that each individual as we perceive him is but a small fraction of a larger whole, is as it were the foliage of a tree which has its main trunk and its roots in another order of existence; but that on this dark inconspicuous and permanent basis, now one and now another system of leaves bud, grow, display themselves, wither, and decay, while the great trunk and roots persist through many such temporary appearances, not independently of the sensible manifestations, nor unassisted by them, but supporting them, dominating them, reproducing them, assimilating their nourishment in the form of the elaborated sap called experience, and thereby growing continually into a more perfect and larger whole. Many metaphors could be suggested, but this is the one which occurs to me now, and it carries us a certain distance.

As the tree periodically buds and blossoms into an aerial life, so we bud and blossom in a terrestrial life, clothing ourselves with material particles for a time, assimilating and utilising the sunshine and the dew, realising the existence and the neighbourhood of other organisms in a like stage of development, and joyfully availing ourselves of the consequences that flow from proximity and contemporaneous specialised existence.

The mystery of incarnation and of gradual development, of the persistence of existence beyond bodily death and decay, and even some glimmerings of the possible meaning of the vague dream of so-called re-incarnation, all become in some sort intelligible on a basis of this kind - the basis of a full and never wholly manifested persistent self, from which periodically sprouts a terrestrial manifestation, though never twice the same. Each terrestrial appearance flourishes and assimilates mental and moral nutriment for a time, and the result of each is incorporated in the constant and growing memory of the underlying, supporting, but inconspicuously manifesting, and at present barely recognised, fundamental self.

And whereas we, the visible manifestations, exposed to sun and air, can signal to each other and receive impressions through rays of light and sound and heat, our transcendental portions with roots in another order of being must be supposed capable of communication too; they are individualised but not isolated, being welded into the framework of things in such way as to receive nutriment from subterranean moisture and from dying relics of the past, even from things which to the aerial portion seem useless or noxious; and they may thus send up to the leaves strange streamings of sap laden with the common wealth of mother earth.

The metaphor constantly breaks down, as all metaphors must sooner or later; for some purposes it would seem better that the tree should be inverted. The adjective "subliminal" contains no reference to what is beneath, except in the sense of foundation and support; in every other aspect the subliminal is probably the more real and more noble, more comprehensive, more intelligent, self, of which the supraliminal development is but a natural and healthy and partial manifestation.

The products of the subliminal are to be regarded as "higher," in a definite sense, than those of the supraliminal. The supraliminal is that which is the outcome of terrestrial evolution, and so is able to manifest itself in a planetary manner; the subliminal has a cosmic existence, which may play a part in terrestrial evolution hereafter, but at present only shows signs of doing so in the supernormal uprushes which are known as the inspirations of genius; signs which may be taken as anticipatory of the course of evolution in the future.

In this way sleep, death, genius, insanity, hysteria, hypnotism, automatism, clairvoyance, and all other disintegrations, abnormalities, and supernormalities of personality, fall into a consistent comprehensive scheme; and it is the object of Myers' book to elaborate this hypothesis and to unify all these strang features of human personality, features which have so long afforded an exercise alternately to resolute credulity and to blatant scepticism, and have so perennially perplexed mankind.

The book begins with an explanatory and properly prosaic Introduction, and closes with a more poetic Epilogue.

Successive chapters deal with the following subjects:

First. Disintegration of personality, such as Multiple personality, and other hysterical and pathological cases.

Second. Genius; which is one of the most illuminating and brilliant chapters in the book, where the man of genius so far from being regarded as afflicted with any form of nascent insanity is regarded as the standard or norm of the race - a product of a higher stage of evolution than the average man has yet attained.

Clearly a genius is one who can draw more than others on his central and sustaining subliminal organisation, one who can breathe out products obtained not from sun and air alone, but from roots driven deep into the heart of the universe: one whose existence is not planetary merely, but cosmic, and in whom subliminal uprushes of fructifying sap are frequent.

The next chapter deals with sleep, or the state when the supraliminal activities are dormant: when the sun has ceased to awaken full activities, when the whole self is more massed together and partially withdrawn from its active planetary existence; and when by dreams and visions some reminiscence of a wider though dimmer purview can sometimes be retained for a time and carried over into the waking or terrestrially conscious existence.

This leads up to the chapter which deals with the artificial or experimental induction of this state, the chapter on Hypnotism; a process whereby the deeper strata of personality can be reached, and suggestion and other influences implanted, which may subsequently bear fruit in waking life. One may liken this to gardening operations, such as grafting and manuring and other systems of treatment, applied not to the leaves or flowers of a tree direct, but to its branches and roots; operations which nevertheless influence those leaves and flowers in a subsequent and unmistakable manner.

The chapter on Sensory Automatism deals with those conditions of hallucination of the senses under which clairvoyance or pseudo-sense-impressions of various kinds are generated: furnishing avenues whereby telepathy, crystal vision, and other perceptions, not received through the normal organs of sense but by some ill-understood subliminal reaction, become possible.

And chapter viii. in the second volume, on Motor Automatism, expands this same region into the muscular or efferent output of the same kind of faculty; resulting in automatic writing, and other physical manifestations of subliminal activity, whether of the nature of inhibition or of propulsion, up to such strenuously active but subliminally guided lives, as for instance those of Socrates and Joan of Arc. Between these two is interpolated a chapter on Phantasms of the Dead: those hallucinatory appearances or visions of departed persons, which are here treated as an example of sensory automatism on the part of the percipient, excited however in many cases veridically by external influence, and capable of conveying real information.

And the chapter on Motor Automatism is similarly followed by a chapter on the developed form of the same, viz., a chapter headed "Trance Possession, Ecstasy," in which certain well-known cases of veridical trance utterance are partially included, though with many serious omissions, due to the recent occurrence of some of the cases, so that insufficient time had been afforded for their complete digestion and for a final decision as to their place and purport. This, together with sensory and motor automatisms, may be regarded as the part of the subject-matter which has attracted most popular attention, and the part which when stated by itself seems to excite nothing but scepticism on the one hand and superstition on the other. It was Mr. Myers' plan to so gradually build or lead up to these strange phenomena that when reached they should be realised as a fitting and natural consequence of what had gone before, leaving them no longer as an inaccessible or aerial structure without foundation, but as the upper storey of a large and lofty building through which a fairly sound staircase had been constructed.

Myers' life-work either achieves this unification or it does not. If it does, this book, as I suggested last January in my Presidential Address to the Society, will stand as a Novum Organon in psychical science. If it does not, it may mean either that the attempt is impossible, or that it still remains for some future pioneer to achieve a task which for the present generation has turned out too difficult.

Myers himself took a modest, but I think hopeful, view of his labours. He must have felt, at any rate his friends felt for him, that by the industry of himself and Gurney and the other founders of the Society, he had, amassed and ready to his hands, a fund of material to draw upon, such as no philosopher or psychologist had ever had before; and although he himself would have seriously deprecated any comparison with the sages of the past, some of us felt that, building on their foundation, utilising their work, and fortified with such a vast mass of modern information, aided also by his classical learning and by a great natural scientific insight, with the opportunity of consulting many scientific men, some hostile, some sympathetic to his researches, and with the nineteenth century of science behind him, gifted also with considerable leisure, persistent enthusiasm, and industry, he was a man supremely fitted to push back the barriers of ignorance in this region farther than had been accomplished before, and to give to the human race an insight into the hidden faculties and destiny of man such as not even the gigantic genius of Plato, nor the profound insight of Kant had been able to bestow.

It is not a matter on which an opinion of mine would be of value, nor would I be understood as expressing one; but the glorious sense of having accomplished a work worthy of the serious attention of humanity has blossomed in an Epilogue where the cosmic import and religious significance of the whole vista of human faculty is eloquently set forth. This specially written epilogue is happily completed and supplemented by his one Presidential Address to the Society, and this is further supplemented by two, short essays, one on the "Decline of Dogmatism," wherein the ultimate upshot of the messages which claim to come from another order of existence are briefly summarised, and another on "Prayer and Supplication," regarded from the illuminating point of view of the telepathic law. From this last I extract the following quotation:
"In the law of telepathy, developing into the law of spiritual intercommunication between incarnate and discarnate spirits, we see dimly adumbrated before our eyes the highest law with which our human science can conceivably have to deal. The discovery of telepathy opens before us a potential communication between all life. And if, as our present evidence indicates, this telepathic intercourse can subsist between embodied and disembodied souls, that law must needs lie at the very centre of cosmic evolution. It will be evolutionary, as depending on a faculty now in actual course of development. It will be cosmic; for it may - it almostmust -, by analogy, subsist not on this planet only but wherever in the universe discarnate and incarnate spirits may be intermingled or juxtaposed."
One other portion of the book must be mentioned, for it was a laborious attempt at a synthesis or conspectus of the whole, viz., his "Scheme of Vital Faculty" - sadly buried by the arrangement of the book between pages 505 and 555 of the second volume - a scheme wherein the usual orthodox view of the tripartite nature of man is utilised, and each vital faculty is displayed under the aspects appropriate to the three heads, somatic, psychic, and pneumatic; or, as he styles them, supraliminal, subliminal, and spiritual. The scheme was the result of a great deal of thought, but it is open to question in many points of detail, and Myers would have been the last to insist that each subject is classified precisely in the most appropriate manner, or that it always fits the niche provided for it. At the same time it would be well for future students to realise that Myers had a reason for his system of classification, and that though it may be changed, it is worthy of being changed not lightly, but after due consideration.

How far such a scheme as this soars above the range of the orthodox science of to-day is apparent from the fact that few of the faculties catalogued and classified in it, beyond those in the first category, are as yet generally recognised as existing at all. A few from the second or middle category are coming into recognition - such as suggestion, hyperaesthesia, psycho-therapeutics, and telepathy - but the greater part even of this second list is still only on the outskirts of recognised knowledge; while in Myers' view it is the third and at present wholly ultra-scientific category which lies in the path of future knowledge and development, and constitutes the most pregnant portion of his message to mankind.

It is not to be claimed for a moment that these volumes will convince a reader of the survival of personality beyond bodily death, if he was previously hostile to or otherwise fortified against such an idea. Perhaps they will convince nobody: I see no reason why they should. The main object of the book is not edification and finality, but stimulation to enquiry; convictions of any value are seldom attained by mere reading: they can only be formed by soaking one's mind in a subject for years, by "continually thinking unto it," as Newton said. As the outcome of such a process it became Myers' undoubted belief that intelligence and human personality persist beyond bodily death; and that, between the two states or conditions of being, intercommunication though extremely difficult was not altogether impossible. But this conclusion of his has been popularly seized and over-emphasised till to many contemporaries it seems that an easy credulity on this point was his characteristic attitude. Nothing could be further from the truth. Easy credulity does not lead to a life-long labour and evolution of a comprehensive scheme such as this. To those who have not been through it, the assured conviction which was the outcome of his long training may seem like easy credulity; just as the physicist is often twitted for believing in the reality of an "ether," which to the onlooker is a mere hypothesis - a blank form to be filled up arbitrarily at pleasure, and with no more reality than the figment of a dream.

This is one of those cases, and there are several, where the onlooker does not see most of the game, where the man in the street with all his conspicuous ability is not an ultimate authority, and where the profound gibes of the clubs, or of a monthly magazine, are not the conclusion of the whole matter.

For people who are immersed in such an atmosphere it is difficult to realise the strenuously-acquired full-bodied certitude, or the clear-visioned perception and what one can hardly help calling, in some sense, knowledge, whether it be concerning the "ether" or concerning the problem of what is known as human "immortality," which may be possessed by a specially trained man of science. That is the position in which the author of these two volumes seems to me definitely to have acquired the right to range himself; and in this estimate of his position I believe that scientific posterity will acclaim agreement. It is by the name of Man of Science that I wish to hail our late chief and leader, Frederic Myers.

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