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Book: Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death, F.W.H. Myers

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ISBN: 1-5717-4238-7. Softcover.
Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.
Classics in Consciousness
Russell Targ Editions
Foreword by Aldous Huxley
Interpretive Introduction by Jeffrey Mishlove
Human Personality and
Its Survival of Bodily Death

by F.W.H. Myers

       F. W. H. Myers (1843-1901), the son of an English clergyman, was a classics scholar turned scientist by his interest in psychic phenomena and mediumship. An after-death communication from his first wife confirmed Myers' belief in the survival of human consciousness. In 1882, he cofounded the Society for Psychical Research and was a major contributor to its success for the next twenty years.

       Myers wrote Human Personality, the culmination of his research, at a time when scientific pioneering was proceeding toward materialism—when simply expressing the belief that man possesses a soul was a very daring act. Risking even more, Myers declared the soul able to survive the death of the body. The object of his work was, in his mind, "to do what can be done to break down that artificial wall between science and superstition."

  • A landmark analysis of mediumship, psychic abilities, and life after death from one of the greatest forerunners of modern psychic research
  • One of the first scientific studies to recognize extrasensory perception as a natural, observable phenomenon
  • Describes the paranormal experiences of persons awake, sleeping, and hypnotized
  • Applies scientific methods of observation and discussion to one of the universal mysteries of humankind-the survival of the soul
  • Illuminated the path of consciousness exploration for some of the greatest minds of the last century

       We gradually discovered that the accounts of apparitions at the moment of death--testifying to a supersensory communication between the dying man and the friend who sees him—led on without perceptible break to apparitions occurring after the death of the person seen, but while that death was yet unknown to the percipient, and thus apparently due not to mere brooding memory but to a continued action of that departed spirit. The task next incumbent on us therefore seemed plainly to be the collection and analysis of evidence of this and other types, pointing directly to the survival of man's spirit.

From the Introduction, F. W. H. Myers

"Frederic Myers will always be remembered in psychology as the pioneer who staked out a vast tract of mental wilderness and planted the flag of genuine science on it."

-- William James

"For six decades, since its original publication in 1903, Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death has been the most highly esteemed work in the field of psychical research. During the brief history of scholarly writing on this subject, Frederic W. H. Myers' monumental study has often, and with justification, been referred to as a classic."

-- Susy Smith, from the preface to the 1961 edition (University Books, Inc.)
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