Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge (1851-1940) was a British physicist, and a Christian Spiritualist who was a member of `The Ghost Club' and served as president of the London-based Society for Psychical Research from 1901 to 1903. He wrote other books such as Man and the universe,, survival of Man a Study, Reason and Belief, etc.
He wrote in the Preface to this 1916 book, "This book is named after my son who was killed in the [First World] War. It is divided into three parts. In the first part ... the spirit shown by any number of youths... is illustrated by extracts from his letters... The second part gives specimens of what at present are considered by most people unusual communications... it may well be believed that it is not without hesitation that I have ventured thus to obtrude family affairs. I should not have done so were it not that the amount of premature and unnatural bereavement at the present time is so appalling that the pain caused by exposing one's own sorrow and its alleviation, to possible scoffers, becomes almost negligible in view of the service which ... may thus be rendered to mourners... The third part of the book... is designed to help people in general to realise that this subject... is subject to a law and order of its own, and that though comparatively in its infancy it is a genuine branch of psychological science."
He begins the second part by stating, "I have made no secret of my conviction, not merely that personality persists, but that its continued existence is more entwined with the life of every day than has been generally imagined; there is no real breach of continuity between the dead and the living... methods of intercommunion can be set going in response to the urgent demand of affection..." (Pg. 83) After admitting that he feels his son has now communicated numerous times with him, he says, "the family scepticism, which up to this time has been sufficiently strong, is now, I may fairly say, overborne by the facts." (Pg. 84)
In the third part, he argues, "It may be doubted whether Materialism as a philosophy exists any longer, in the sense of being sustained by serious philosophers; but a few physiological writers... continue to advocate what they are pleased to call Scientific Materialism. Properly regarded this is a Policy, not a Philosophy..." (Pg. 284) He notes, "Life must be considered sui generis; it is not a form of energy, nor can it be expressed in terms of something else. Electricity is in the same predicament; it too cannot be explained in terms of something else. This is true of all fundamental forms of being." (Pg. 290) Later, he adds, "Life and mind and consciousness do not belong to the material region; whatever they are in themselves, they are manifestly something quite distinct from matter and energy, and yet they utilise the material and dominate it." (Pg. 317)
He says of his purported communications with his son, "In every way he has shown himself anxious to give convincing evidence. Moreoever, he wants me to speak out; and I shall." (Pg. 375) He concludes, "Let us not be discouraged by simplicity. Real things are simple. Human conceptions are not altogether misleading. Our view of the Universe is a partial one but is not an untrue one. Our knowledge of the conditions of existence is not altogether false---only inadequate. The Christian idea of God is a genuine representation of reality." (Pg. 395)
Lodge's writings were "key" to the Psychical Research/Spiritualist movement, and should be studied by anyone interested in this era.