Gerald Heard's Legacy to Psychical Research

by Rhea A. White, Hon. Ph.D.

Heard wrote that parapsychology was at the 'growing edge of human thought... the most advanced outpost in the exploration of human nature and of the universe.

A biographical sketch of Heard is given, followed by a discussion of the following ideas espoused by Heard: (1) Human consciousness is evolving. (2) Both science and religion have important roles to play in forwarding the evolution of consciousness. (3) Science is as much a creation as is art. (4) Every insight into the outer world must be balanced by a corresponding increase in knowledge of the inner world. (5) Science is not static but is also evolving. (6) What we see, the data confronting us, depends upon our powers of conception and imagination. (7) The universe is set up to favor those who attempt to grow and evolve. (8) To evolve we must consciously cooperate with the process. In order to do so we must alter the aperture of consciousness. Contemplative prayer is the best way to accomplish this. The author emphasizes that only by taking these steps can parapsychology advance significantly.

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Gerald Heard Recollections, 1952-1956

By Rhea A. White

After I had heard him speak or received a letter from him, my energy level was higher, my spiritual resolve was more deeply centered, my intellectual capacity was heightened, and my willpower was greatly strengthened.

By far the person that has influenced me most is the former BBC science commentator and practicing mystic, lecturer, and spiritual advisor, Gerald Heard. I write about him in the present tense even though he died in 1971. The day of his death was something I frequently thought of and dreaded even when I no longer was in contact with him. I would search the brief listings of deaths of notable persons in Time, always relieved when his name was not there. I still quote him even though I knew him and read his many books and articles mainly in the mid-1950s. It was not only his ideas that influenced me but his very being, which was distinctly numinous and unlike anything I had previously experienced or have since.

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