Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) was the co-creator of the theory of Natural Selection, and his pending publication of his ideas prompted Darwin to finally publish his own book in 1859. However, he was also a very influential figure in the Spiritualist movement of the 19th century.
He wrote in the Preface to this 1874 book, "The Essays which form this volume were written at different times and for different purposes... I am well aware that my scientific friends are somewhat puzzled to account for what they consider to be my delusion, and believe that it has injuriously affected whatever power I may have possessed of dealing with the philosophy of Natural History... I was a confirmed philosophical sceptic... Facts, however, are stubborn things... The facts beat me. They compelled me to accept them, as facts, long before I could accept the spiritual explanation of them... I am surely following a scientific course, in seeing how far this doctrine will enable us to account for some of those residual phenomena which Natural Selection alone will not explain... This view... is in no way inconsistent with ... Evolution... although implying... that it is not the all-powerful, all-sufficient, and only cause of the development of organic forms."
He rejects the skeptical argument that so-called Spiritual phenomena follow no law, and therefore are to be discounted: "The essence of the alleged phenomena ... is, that they seem to be the result of the action of independent intelligences, and are therefore deemed Spiritual or superhuman. If they had been found to follow strict law and not independent will, no one would have ever supposed them to be Spiritual." (Pg. 26)
He states, "It is the 'spirit' of man that is man. Spirit is mind; the brain and nerves are but the magnetic battery and telegraph, by means of which spirit communicates with the outer world." (Pg. 101) He argues, "Spiritualism allows us to believe that the oracles of antiquity were not all impostures; that a whole people, perhaps the most intellectually acute who ever existed, were not all dupes." (Pg. 200)
Wallace's little-known book will be of great interest to anyone studying the history of the Spiritualist movement---or for scientifically-minded persons who want to find out about this "suppressed" part of Wallace's thought.