Cosmic Consciousness

( 7 )

Overview

2010 Reprint of 1905 edition.This work is the magnum opus of Bucke's career, a project that he researched and wrote over many years. In it, Bucke described his own experience, that of contemporaries (most notably Whitman, but also unknown figures like "C.P."), and the experiences and outlook of historical figures including Buddha, Jesus, Paul, Plotinus, Muhammad, Dante, Francis Bacon, and William Blake. Bucke developed a theory involving three stages in the development of consciousness: the simple consciousness ...
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Cosmic Consciousness

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Overview

2010 Reprint of 1905 edition.This work is the magnum opus of Bucke's career, a project that he researched and wrote over many years. In it, Bucke described his own experience, that of contemporaries (most notably Whitman, but also unknown figures like "C.P."), and the experiences and outlook of historical figures including Buddha, Jesus, Paul, Plotinus, Muhammad, Dante, Francis Bacon, and William Blake. Bucke developed a theory involving three stages in the development of consciousness: the simple consciousness of animals; the self-consciousness of the mass of humanity (encompassing reason, imagination, etc.); and cosmic consciousness - an emerging faculty and the next stage of human development. Among the effects of this progression, he believed he detected a lengthy historical trend in which religious conceptions and theologies had become less and less fearful. A classic work.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585092802
  • Publisher: Book Tree, The
  • Publication date: 11/8/2006
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Maurice Bucke was born March 18, 1837, in Methwold, a village on the edge of the Norfolk fens, in England. When he was one year old, his father moved to Canada and Richard was subsequently educated at London Grammar School. He studied medicine at McGill University, graduating in 1862.

He continued his studies in England and France, before returning to Canada in 1864 to take up medical practice. In 1876 he became medical superintendent of the insane asylum in Hamilton, Ontario, and in 1878 was medical superintendent of the insane asylum in London, Ontario.

Bucke passed away after slipping on a step on February 19, 1902, in London, Ontario.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2003

    A Pioneering Work on the Evolution of Human Consciousness

    This study is from the early days of the psychiatric profession when its practitioners could still write seriously of spiritual and mystical matters without being ostracised or ridiculed as 'unscientific.' Briefly, the author personally experienced a sudden episode of enlightenment and rapture that, while it was only of brief duration, changed his outlook on life forever. He spent the rest of his life, he was in his mid-thirties at the time, trying to figure out what had happened to him, and if there were any others. What he found was that such sudden occurances of enlightenment, these epiphanies, had been occuring to mystics, philosophers, writers, and artists all through recorded history. Not only that, but they were occuring with increased frequency as time went on. Bucke concluded that this marked an evolutionary trend. Carried out to its logical conclusion, he postulated that one day 'cosmic consciousness' as he termed it, would be as common in the human race as self consciousness currently is. He based this on the manner in which the ancestors of man slowly climbed from the simple consciousness of animals to an almost universal state of self consciousness.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2001

    In Defence of Theological Flakes...I mean Blakes...

    Bucke is a wonderful crackpot, and this is just one of many things he accomplished. This was the 'serious' book that Whitman's literary executor wrote as a diversion of his day job directing an insane asylum. Among his other intellectual persuits include the Shakespeare-Bacon controversy. Oddly, he died slipping on his veranda.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 11, 2011

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    Posted October 10, 2011

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    Posted January 11, 2011

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    Posted March 25, 2009

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