Bucke determined that cosmic consciousness most often occurs between the ages of 30 to 40 years. It produces a permanent purifying, strengthening and exalting effect, with a general increase in spiritual level that lasts for the rest of one's life.
He described cosmic consciousness as follows: "The person, suddenly, without warning, has a sense of being immersed in a flame, or rose-colored cloud, or perhaps rather a sense that the mind is itself filled with a cloud or haze.... [H]e is...bathed in an emotion of joy, assurance, triumph, `salvation.'" There is an "ecstasy, far beyond any that belongs to the merely self-conscious life.... There is an intellectual illumination quite impossible to describe. Like a flash there is presented to his consciousness a clear conception (a vision) in outline of the meaning and drift of the universe.... [H]e sees and knows that the cosmos, which to the self-conscious mind seems made up of dead matter, is in fact far otherwise--is in very truth a living presence.... He sees that the life which is in man is eternal, as all life is eternal; that the soul of 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. The person...will learn in the few minutes, or even moments, of its continuance more than in months or years of study,...especially does he obtain such a conception of THE WHOLE...." One develops a sense of immortality, loses any fear of death, and also loses the sense of sin.14
Bucke indicated that this supraconsciousness state would appear more and more frequently until it became a regular attribute of adult humanity. This state represented the next level of higher consciousness in our evolutionary ascent.15...He believed that the human race was developing a "new kind of consciousness, far in advance of the ordinary human consciousness, which will eventually lift the race above and beyond all the fears and ignorances, the brutalities and bestialities which beset it today.".16...He concluded that the "growth, evolution, development...has...always gone on, is going on now, and...will always go on.".17
Following his supraconsciousness experience, he spent years researching other individuals whom he concluded had also had similar transformational experiences. He believed that he had identified at least 14 such people, most of whom are famous, including Gautama (Buddha), Jesus, Paul, Plotinus, Mohammed, Dante, Francis Bacon, Walt Whitman and others. His book offers the supporting evidence of these conclusions.
Netscape CTRL + D
MAC Command + D