The Survival of Man -
A Study in Unrecognised Human Faculty
Sir Oliver Lodge, F.R.S.
Methuen & Co. Ltd. 36 Essex Street W.C. London
to the Founders of the Society for Psychical Research
Truest and Most Patient Workers in an Unpopular Region of Science That I Have
THE author's conviction of man's survival of bodily death - a conviction based on a large range of natural facts - is well known; and in this volume some idea can be gained as to the kind of foundation on which in the future he considers that this belief will in due course be scientifically established.
The author gives an account of some of his own investigations into matters connected with psychical research during the last quarter of a century, with an abridgement of contemporary records, selecting not necessarily the most striking but those with which he has himself been in some way concerned. His inquiry, following the lines of the Society for Psychical Research, began with experimental telepathy; but the largest section of the book treats of automatic writing, trance speech, and other instances of temporary lucidity, for in this department of the subject he considers that the most direct evidence for continued personal existence and posthumous activity will be found.
Very few examples of actual communication were quoted even in the larger edition, and some of these have now been omitted, because if they are to be useful they must be supplemented by others, and would require another volume. The present book is intended to show that telepathic communication may come through from the other side, and that this view is entitled to critical and careful consideration.
to the Cheap Edition
"It is mere dogmatism to assert that we do not survive death and mere prejudice or inertia to assert that it is impossible to discover whether we do or not. We in the West have hardly even begun to inquire into the matter; and scientific method and critical faculty were never devoted to it, so far as I am aware, previous to the foundation, some quarter of a century ago, of the Society for Psychical Research. . . "
"Alleged facts suggesting prima facie the survival of death. . . are now at last being systematically and deliberately explored by men and women of intelligence and good faith bent on ascertaining the truth. . ."
"I am asking you to take seriously a branch of scientific inquiry which may have results more important than any other that is being pursued in our time."
Ingersoll Lecture on Immortality, at Harvard, 1908
"And assuredly the religious implications of all these phenomena are worthy of any man's most serious thought. Those who most feel the importance of the ethical superstructure are at the same time most plainly bound to treat the establishment of the facts at the foundation as no mere personal search for a faith, to be dropped when private conviction has been attained, but as a serious, a continuous, public duty. And the more convinced they are that their faith is sound, the more ready should they be to face distrust and aversion, - to lay their account for a long struggle with the vis inertiae of the human spirit."
W. H. Myers, Human Personality, ii. 225