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Cosmic Consciousness - A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  254 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
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 Blak ...more
Paperback, 344 pages
Published September 6th 2007 by Book Jungle (first published November 30th 1900)
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Jun 20, 2009 Oakshaman rated it it was amazing
The pioneering book on enlightenment episodes

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 t
Krista Rickert
Jan 09, 2013 Krista Rickert rated it really liked it
I liked this book. However, it is only for a certain few; Writen by man and centered on men throughout history. This book was written in the begginning of the 20th century so I believe it needs updating. There is some great truth between the pages and there is so much yet to discover and enjoy. Women do not be discouraged we are currently on the rise and will always persevere. This book can be for open minded women who are interested in understanding the ideas of cosmic conciousness. Remember th ...more
Sep 12, 2009 Dianna rated it it was ok
I am having trouble taking this book seriously. Many of the things are so outdated. I don't agree with some of his postulates. For example, he says children do not have a sense of music and I know from raising 3 children that they all developed a sense of music quite early. Some of the ideas are things I have already developed in my own belief system. The idea that humanity is developing from a baby to an adult as a person does is very fascinating to me. But I think he takes much of his argument ...more
Brother Dave Jesusonian
Oct 13, 2015 Brother Dave Jesusonian rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Truth-seekers, Theologians, Ministers, Visionaries
Recommended to Brother Dave by: Minister Dr. Sprunger, now graduated to Heaven
A classic book, original C1901 Many spiritual experiences which average 4 stars; and Doctor Bucke adds his Buddhist evaluations which I disagree with mostly, so 1 star. However, there are some spiritual experiences therein which are 5 stars or better ! You may find this book online, free to read, or buy a newer reprint or re-publication.

The spiritual experiences that I highly identify with are all in PART V

Chapter 8 Blaise Pascal (my favorite) Vision of God and Jesus Christ as One Divine Light

Mar 18, 2016 Alex rated it it was ok
An interesting work by a friend of Walt Whitman's and the executor of his will.
Bob Nichols
Bucke's book is an interesting attempt to tie evolutionary theory to expanded states of consciousness (that James also noted in his "Varieties of Religious Experience"). Bucke's thesis is that life has moved from simple (animal) consciousness to self-consciousness (human reflective), and is now moving toward cosmic consciousness. The latter, at this time exhibited by only a few individuals who he references, is characterized by a feeling of living in eternity now and by moral elevation. There's ...more
Aug 22, 2008 Rah~ri rated it really liked it
Recommended to Rah~ri by: aliens?

Read this about 15 years ago or so.
Interesting, liked it then?
It's basically about folks having "risings"(yer word here.)
Goes thought a bunch of peoples lives,
and sure, Jesus, Buddha,Mohammed, and others I don't remember at all.
Was big into this shit back then.
Now am just old and jaded and thinking the world is full of cra...
: )
But any way!
Think this was good?
Might have been one of the last books on spirituality
that really caught my attention...w
Oct 29, 2015 Aleta rated it it was amazing
A very in-depth and intriguing exploration of "cosmic consciousness" as it relates to religions and doctrines throughout time. The book was originally published in 1905, but its message is timeless. I own this book and it is a cherished part of my collection.
Ed Schulte
Apr 08, 2016 Ed Schulte rated it it was amazing
One Hundred and Ten years after its original publication and it is as relevant a reference as ever.
Dec 13, 2010 Robert rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
In this book, Richard Bucke described the common mystical experiences in a wide variety of people including Jesus, Paul, Buddha, Plotinus, Dante, Bacon, Pascal, Blake, and Walt Whitman. According to Bucke, these experiences suggest an emerging faculty within human consciousness. Cosmic consciousness has been described in various ways by all of the world's mystical traditions.
Matthew LaFave
This is a well written book from the late 1800's. A nice overview of people the author suspected of having been illumined, or being an instance of "cosmic consciousness". I believe it is the only book the author wrote in his entire lifetime, and have a feeling he spent a great deal of time on it. I have realized that Edward Carpenter looks similar to Daniel Day Lewis....
Kurt Bruder
Sep 09, 2010 Kurt Bruder rated it it was amazing
Such an important early effort (c. 1900) at identifying individuals who have evolved their consciousness to an extraordinary (even superhuman) degree. Bucke abstracts the procedures used to achieve transformation. Some few distractions (e..g., a long-winded speculation on the identity of Wm. Shakespeare & Francis Bacon) do not diminish the value of the book as a whole.
Ron Krumpos
"Cosmic Consciousness" is one of the books in the secondary bibliography of my free ebook on comparative mysticism. "The greatest achievement in life" at has been reviewed on Goodreads.
May 28, 2008 Harrison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This books helps to see, if you can believe it, where the human race is going. The next stage in evolution won't be physical, it will be mental. An increased awareness of the world is destined to change humanity permanently.
Jun 20, 2009 Ryan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: metaphysics, 2008
This book gets five stars because of pages 1-82. The rest of the book may not be worth reading, but it doesn't need to be because it's all there in the first part. Do read those pages.
Feb 01, 2013 Nikki rated it it was amazing
Wonderful and brilliant explanation of the mystical experiences. Various individuals and their experiences explored. This is one of the most important books in my library.
Oct 07, 2007 Dennis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Classic study of people who experienced out-of-the-ordinary consciousness....Fascinating
Bruce Michael  Hubbell
A foundation Source Text for understanding the evolution of Consciousness
Vincent Campa
Feb 19, 2008 Vincent Campa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Should be classified as a Conscious altering substance!
Feb 05, 2014 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A slow, meticulous read, but I'm enjoying it so far.
Oct 08, 2007 Karen added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Steve
Awesome read!
May 24, 2012 Jamie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Far out
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“Not everyone that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven [14:7:23].” 0 likes
“And being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God cometh he answered them and said: The kingdom of God Cometh not with observation; neither shall they say, Lo, here! or there, for lo, the kingdom of God is within you [16: 17:20-1].” 0 likes
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