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Miracles and modern spiritualism Kindle Edition
|Length: 312 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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At the time he was working on his theory of evolution,
Wallace was a complete materialist. "I was so thorough and confirmed a materialist that I could not at that time find a
place in my mind for the conception of spiritual existence, or for any agencies in the universe than matter and force," he
writes in the preface.
Wallace came to believe in the reality of spirit
communication and became an ardent Spiritualist. Many mainstream scientists of the day scoffed,sneered, and snickered, but Wallace remained steadfast in his beliefs. "I assert without fear of contradictionn that whenever the scientific men of any age have denied the facts of investigators on a priori grounds, they have always been wrong," he answered his critics.
Wallace gathers together the best evidence of the 19th Century and the testimony of esteemed scholars and scientists of that era who also investigated mediumship and spirit phenomena.
The words and wisdom of this book are as applicable today as they were 106 years ago. It makes one wonder why mainstream science has made so little progress in awakening to the Truths discovered by Wallace and others, suggesting perhaps that Truth is beyond absolute proof and that spiritual evolution requires constant seeking, searching, and striving.
To further quote Wallace: "My position, therefore, is that the phenomena of Spiritualism, in their entirety do not require further confirmationn. They are proved quite as well as any facts are proved in other sciences."
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.