From Veritas
Jump to: navigation, search

Frederick William Henry Myers (B. February 6, 1843 - D. January 17, 1901), was an English poet and essayist. He was the son of Frederic Myers (the author of Lectures on Great Men (1856) and Catholic Thoughts (first collected 1873)).

In 1882, after several years of inquiry and discussion, Myers took the lead among a small band of explorers (including the Sidgwicks and Shadworth Hodgson, Edmund Gurney, and Frank Podmore) who founded the Society for Psychical Research. He continued for many years to be the mouthpiece of the society, a position for which his perfervidum ingenium, still more his abnormal fluency and alertness, admirably fitted him. His proficency in the neo-hermeneutic ways evolved by the society excited the admiration of all who frequented the psychical meetings in Westminster town hall. He contributed greatly to the coherence of the society by steering a mid-course between extremes (the extreme scepticism on the one hand, and the enthusiastic spiritualists on the other), and by sifting and revising the cumbrous mass of Proceeedings, the chief concrete results being the two volumes of Phantasms of the Living (1886).

Myers coined the term methetherial, meaning "beyond the ether", the transcendental world in which the spirits exist.
Like many theorists, he tended to generalise plausibly while producing striking formulae. His long series of papers on Subliminal Consciouness, the results of which were embodied in a posthumous work called Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death, constitute his own chief contribution to psychical theory, and this, as he himself would have been the first to admit, was little more than provisional.