Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913)
Scientist and Spiritualist
One day, in our circle, Harry, a trance medium, saw a vision of a three-masted sailing ship in full sail. As he watched, it caught fire and sank beneath the waves. We had no idea what this meant.
Sometime later, I borrowed a book from the Exeter City Library, ‘Miracles of Modern Spiritualism,’ by Alfred Russel Wallace, published in 1886. I already knew that Wallace had given a lecture on Spiritualism in Exeter in the 1880’s. At our very next meeting, the great man spoke to us himself, saying,
“I used to try and interest people in this subject. Your healing is progressing very well but others are concerned with that.” He said that he wanted to speak of the search for higher things, the consciousness of man, or as you would call it, the super -consciousness. He asked, “Why are you searching for these things? Is it for your own ego or is it to help? In your meditation do you get the upliftment from it, and a more caring attitude to mankind, or do you keep it to yourselves? The mind of man will develop and more and more will be revealed.”
One lady, (not a medium), could always tell when he was with us, because she could smell his leather gaiters and Harris Tweed jacket.
Some months later, we watched a programme on BBC 2 about Alfred Russel Wallace. It explained, among other things, that when Wallace returned from exploring the natural history of Brazil, the sailing ship caught fire, his collection of rare specimens was lost, and that he and other survivors were only rescued after ten days adrift in a leaking lifeboat. We now saw the meaning of the vision that Harry had seen.
When he died in 1913, Wallace was, perhaps the most famous scientist alive, the last of the great Victorian thinkers - Huxley, Malthus, Darwin, Kelvin, Lister etc. He is forever associated with Charles Darwin, and the presentation of their joint papers to the Linnaean Society in 1858, on, ‘Evolution through Natural Selection.’ These papers, which were based on brilliant observations of nature, by two of the greatest students of Natural History ever known, exploded the Biblical account of everything having been created originally by God, never afterwards to be changed. They showed how living things had changed and evolved over time and that man’s body, itself, was descended from an early branch of the ape family.
These epoch making discoveries outraged the Churches, but the ideas eventually won the acceptance of nearly all educated people, including many Churchmen.
Wallace was the founder of many later sub-branches of science, such as, evolutionary theory, ethnology, zoogeography, bio-diversity and ethology. He also started the use of statistics in medicine and the rational studies of the planets. He was a Spiritualist, a Socialist and a supporter of the emancipation of women – a very unpopular idea in a male dominated world.
In one important respect, Wallace’s ideas differed from Darwin’s theory of evolution. He felt there was something especially different about the evolution of mankind, compared to the evolution of plants and animals. He did not think that the blind forces of, ‘Natural Selection,’ and the ‘Survival of the Fittest,’ could have produced such traits as, the loss of protective hair and musical, artistic and mathematical ability and concepts such, ‘Love your Neighbour as Yourself’. He felt that, in some way, an unseen force guided human evolution, and, being a convinced Spiritualist, he felt that this force might well be the Spirit World.
Nearly all Wallace’s ideas won acceptance except this one, the idea of spirit influence in evolution. Materialist scientists, who had just removed God from their studies, shunned this idea like the plague, although they praised his groundbreaking research in Brazil and his sixty fact-finding expeditions to the Malay Archipelago.
Wallace’s idea that that the Spirit World might be the guiding hand behind both the creation and evolution of Nature has received recent confirmation from the work of Dr Michael Newton, the author of two popular books, ‘Journey of Souls’ and, ‘Destiny of Souls’. Having found a method of intense hypnotism which enables his clients to access memories of many past lives, both on earth and in the Spirit World, he has heard from people, who as spirits remember learning to create rocks and simple plants out of energy in special ‘practice worlds’. When Dr Newton said, “I thought Nature did that”, the spirit, Nenthum, said, “What do you think Nature is?” – one of the most momentous and meaningful remarks ever made! If accepted, this remark could revise our whole concept of nature and the universe! Nenthum also implied that the ‘Big Bang’ and all that followed from it, was caused by, “The Old Ones” who work with the “Source”.
When the startled Dr Newton said to an advanced spirit, “Let me understand something. Do you just go to a physical world and build a mountain while someone like Hyanth concentrates on life forms, such as a tree?”
Spirit: “No we work with physical worlds which are forming and we set in motion the geologic forces which will build a mountain. My structural projects don’t have to have life. Also Hyanth doesn’t create a forest of adult trees on worlds suitable for life. Her people would design the cells which might eventually grow into the trees they want.”
Some of Dr Newton’s clients say there are billions of planets on millions of galaxies where life could exist.
Is there other testimony to the fact that there is a spiritual influence on evolution, and a spiritual cause of all existence? Even materialists who deny the existence of Spirit must admit that in the something called ‘life’ there appears to be a tremendous force to survive, multiply, vary and advance to more highly developed forms, yet they are still unable to say what this force is.
The writer, mystic, and friend of Dr Raynor Johnson, Ambrose Pratt, came back through the writing medium, Miss G. Cummins, to say, “I am one of many souls who work at the breath of life in regard to birds to be born each spring. The old pattern has to be conserved and there has to be a collective drive in regard to the launching of the young of each species every Spring. Another time I shall tell you of this creative work.” Ambrose Pratt had been a prime mover in the movement to preserve Australian wildlife when he was on earth. He said that his aspiration was become, eventually, one of the Divine Hierarchy of souls who maintain and conserve the material universe. -
On his return through the medium Grace Cooke, Conan Doyle commented on the nature spirits he could now see, who care for living things. He said, “How wonderful it is to see little fairy creatures, busily carrying life force and sustenance to the plants. Lacking this fairy aid your plants would soon wither and die. Without plant life, man would soon die, likewise. Without the major powers, controlled by lords of nature, by the devas, your physical world would fall into chaos!”
Perhaps the reader is disbelieving? I must admit that I, too, would have laughed at idea of ‘fairies’, out side of Shakespeare’s plays, but, as often happens, one has to have ones own experience to be convinced. One afternoon in our rescue circle, we were helping a lost one who spoke sweetly through a trance medium. Incredibly, by her answers, we realised we were talking to the spirit of a ‘dead’ fairy, whose work had been to succour green plants, and who was still doing the same in her next dimension. She was saddened that humans were destroying so much that they had cared for, for so long. We reunited her with some of her old group who had passed and she thanked us in a sweet, gentle, voice for she had been lonely after passing. The medium did not believe in fairies and was surprised at what she had transmitted. About a week later, another medium told me that my deceased wife was ”delighted that I had found out about the fairies”. Perhaps some of our readers would like to write to P.W. if they have had contact with the ‘little people’ that Sylvia Browne says inhabit the ‘Underworld’.
Geraldine Cummins was perhaps the most distinguished ‘writing medium’ of her day. These extracts from her family scripts bear on the question of creation.
“Do you know what Hilda’s and Harold’s task will be at some far distant date? To look after the life behind all the flowers that spring up, grow and die on your earth! Guardian Angels of the flowers!”
Hilda later wrote herself, “Harold and I are making beautiful plants, shrubs and trees in this world after death, so that, sometime, we shall be fit to become Guardian Spirits of plants, shrubs and trees that grow on earth – as we advance into the Greater Life, we become more and more part of the Divine Creative Spirit. The Divine Creative Spirit is behind the birth and growth of everything on earth”.
Our first major teacher, the Tibetan, said that, “Mankind, as a whole, are undergoing evolutionary development in order that they may become conscious creators in matter”.
Two modern scientific theories seem to possibly relate to this question. One is the Anthropic Principle, which finds that of all possible universes, this one seems peculiarly designed to support life. The other one is the Gaia Hypothesis that the earth is a living spiritual, being and all life forms are its children. Many people like the Gaia idea but as a whole, the scientific community looks askance at such ideas. Hey still prefer the orthodox model, which holds that mind is a product of the brain, and when the body dies all consciousness ceases – there is no life after death. It will be a bit of a shock for most of them when the pass – not ‘out’ as they expect, but ‘over’, to a world they dismissed as fantasy.
To me, it looks as if Wallace was indeed correct, and modern scientists are exploring the hidden secrets of a universe, which was created, under God, by spiritual beings whose very existence scientists dismissed from their calculations. Once passed, however, they may eventually become part of that Divine Hierarchy themselves.
If scientists were to accept Wallace’s idea, it would cause as big an upset in the scientific world as his original idea of ‘Evolution through Natural Selection’ did in the churches did in 1858.
Check out "Dead Rescue" by Michael Evans
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