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Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the…
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Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind (1901)

by Richard Maurice Bucke

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1 vote Your_local_coyote | Dec 29, 2013 |
Bucke was a mystical genius who had a direct experience of the transcendent nature of reality. One of a few people who expeerience this, Bucke spent the rest of his life exploring its meaning and wrote his magnum opus, Cosmic Consciousness. It is themost genuine account of mystical experience captured in the West in the form of a book. ( )
1 vote lamarkia | Jan 22, 2011 |
First published in 1901, this work is an investigation of the development of man's mystic relation to the infinite. In reviewing the mental and spiritual activity of the human race, Dr Bucke postulates that at intervals, certain individuals have appeared who are gifted with the powers of transcendent realization, or illumination. He proposes that these experiences are on the increase and gives details of all the cases on record at the time of writing.
1 vote Saraswati_Library | Aug 24, 2010 |
Interesting proposal that historical religious leaders, and certain individuals such as Whitman and Emerson, experienced "cosmic consciousness", and that their teachings should be understood in that light. ( )
2 vote pansociety | Oct 7, 2006 |
Cosmic Consciousness was coined by the Canadian psychologist Richard M. Bucke, in his book "Cosmic Consciousness", 1902. He describes Cosmic Consciousness as a transpersonal mode of consciousness, an awareness of the universal mind and one's unity with it. Cosmic Consciousness prime characteristic is an awareness of the life and order in the universe.

An individual who attains the state of Cosmic Consciousness is often described as 'Enlightened' and such a person is also said to have a sense of immortality, not of attaining it but of already having it. Burke saw this state of consciousness as the next stage in human evolution, very much as spiritualists have always seen it.

Bucke argues that during the course of humanity's evolutionary development there are three forms of consciousness.

Simple Consciousness, our instinctual consciousness.
Self Consciousness, that self-awareness that allows a human to realize himself as a distinct entity.
Cosmic Consciousness, a new developing faculty at the pinnacle of our evolution.

Bucke outlines the evolutionary struggle on our planet which has produced self-consciousness and then describes the appearance of a new species that possesses cosmic consciousness, a consciousness that expands to become one with all. Bucke theorizes that, with increasing frequency, persons like Buddha, Christ, Mohammed, Walt Whitman and others are making their appearance on our planet and by their teaching are helping to transform life on this planet. This evolutionary process continues up until today. Bucke studied the lives of these persons that had attained cosmic consciousness and found common characteristics such as:

intuitive understanding
elevated moral stature
loss of sense of sin
intellectual illumination
sense of immortality
no fear of death
definite moment or period of transformation

"The person who passes through this experience will learn in the few minutes, or even moments, of its continuance more than in months or years of study, and he will learn much that no study every taught or can teach. Especially does he obtain such a conception of *the whole*...Along with moral elevation and intellectual illumination comes what must be called, for want of a better term, a sense of immortality."

From his book he describes how those he interviewed had experienced the state:

"Like a flash there is presented to his consciousness a clear conception (a vision) in outline of the meaning and drift of the universe...He sees and knows that the cosmos...is in fact...in very truth a living presence. He sees that instead of men being, as it were, patches of life scattered through an infinite sea of non-living substance, they are in reality specks of relative death in an infinite ocean of life. He sees that the life which is in man is as immortal as God is; that the universe is so built and ordered that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all; that the foundation principle of the world is what we call love, and that the happiness of every individual is in the long run absolutely certain."
4 vote Dickison | May 20, 2006 |
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Verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born anew he cannot see the kingdom of God.
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What is Cosmic Consciousness?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140193375, Paperback)

First published in 1901, this work is an investigation of the development of man's mystic relation to the infinite. In reviewing the mental and spiritual activity of the human race, Dr Bucke postulates that at intervals, certain individuals have appeared who are gifted with the powers of transcendent realization, or illumination. He proposes that these experiences are on the increase and gives details of all the cases on record at the time of writing.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:16 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Prompted by his own experience of a life-altering insight, the author explores the phenomenon of transcendent realisation, or illumination. The book also includes numerous case studies which offer intriguing, real-life particulars of other individuals who experienced their own personal epiphanies.… (more)

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