Oakshaman's Reviews > Cosmic Consciousness - A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind

Cosmic Consciousness - A Study in the Evolution of the Human ... by Richard Maurice Bucke
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's review
Jun 20, 2009

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 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.

Having experienced a simular event in my mid-thirties (remember, it happens to varying degrees), I found this book to be immensely personally relevant- as it has proven to be to many of us for over one hundred years now.
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Started Reading
February 19, 2009 – Finished Reading
June 20, 2009 – Shelved

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message 1: by Ken (new) - added it

Ken year.

btw, the increased no of epiphanies due to increasing human population is another possible reason.

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