Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind
BUCKE, Dr. Richard Maurice
First published in 1901, Cosmic Consciousness contains the Canadian psychiatrist Richard Maurice Bucke's exploration of what he called "a higher form of consciousness than that possessed by the ordinary man" (p. 1). Those who have possessed the quality include Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed, but also Francis Bacon, William Blake, Honor de Balzac, and Bucke's friend Walt Whitman. Citing instances of sudden enlightenment experienced by mystics, philosophers, writers, and artists throughout history, Bucke notes an increasing frequency suggestive of an evolutionary trend. The author himself was head of the provincial Asylum for the Insane located in London, Ontario. In his work with asylum inmates, he was a reformer who encouraged organized sports and what is now called occupational therapy. It was in 1872, while in London, that he had a fleeting mystical experience that he later called cosmic consciousness; it consisted of a subjective experience of light ("inner light"), moral elevation, intellectual illumination, a sense of immortality, loss of a fear of death, and loss of a sense of sin. The moment led to this magnum opus.
Publisher: Innes & Sons
Date Published: 1905
Place Published: Philadelphia
Dust Jacket: No
Jacket Condition: n/a
Details: xviii, 318 p. 26 cm. Frontispiece portrait. Cloth hardcover. Respined with original spine overlaid. Corners a little bumped and cloth soiled. Bookplate for Henry Steigner on front pastedown with his signature on front free endpaper. Tape repairs to Notice page and pp. 4-5. Dampstains to page tops p. 290 to end. A few minor stains elsewhere.