This classic study in the evolution of the human mind is a pioneering work as valuable today as when it was first published in At that time, it was enthusiastically acclaimed by both William James and P. It has long been accepted as a landmark in the field of mysticism. In reviewing the mental and spiritual activity of the human race, Dr. Bucke discovers that at intervals certain individuals have appeared who are gifted with the power of transcendent realization—or Illumination. Moreover, the author shows from available records that this transfiguring endowment of Illumination is on the increase, and he gives full details of practically all the cases on record up to the time when the book was written.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. 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. 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.
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. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published September 6th by Book Jungle first published November 30th More Details Original Title.
Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Apr 17, Fergus rated it liked it. Doctor Richard M. Let me explain. I believe some very compassionate psychiatrists hold such a high degree of empathy for their patients that they symbiotically assimilate their quirks.
Happened to me - in reverse - in the nineteen eighties. The doctor who gave me my monthly prescribed dosage of tranquilizers actually began to emulate Doctor Richard M. The doctor who gave me my monthly prescribed dosage of tranquilizers actually began to emulate my tastes in music and reading.
Patient-psychotherapist identification is a two-way street, perhaps. What is perceived as intellectual acumen in a patient is often, as in my own case, symptomatic of an overcharged brain. But to an unwary observer it can be perceived as brilliance.
Rapid-fire neurones tend to jump synapses. And I cut logical corners: I needed to be stopped dead in my tracks Not encouraged. Doctor Bucke seems to have fallen into the same trap. But seriously, doctor. The worldly-minded among us will know enough to avoid this book. But more jejune readers would be well-advised, if they start it, to take it with more than one grain of salt!
I know, it makes for fascinating reading Jun 20, 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.
He spent the rest of his life, he was in his mid-thirties at the time, trying 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. 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. View 1 comment. Jan 08, 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 I liked this book. Remember that the Women's Rights Movement only just started around the time this book was written. Women we are like books that have been ignored for far too long, take the book of your life off the shelf, read it, and proclaim your life to the world because it is the 21st century and we now have the power to shine!!!
Feb 10, Ryan rated it it was amazing Shelves: metaphysics , This book gets five stars because of pages 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. Jul 31, Dianna rated it it was ok Shelves: transcendentalist-lit. 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 I am having trouble taking this book seriously. But I think he takes much of his argument for granted without giving much real scientific evidence. I will keep this book and may use it as a reference. View all 4 comments.
Classic study of people who experienced out-of-the-ordinary consciousness Feb 01, Nikki Grace 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. An early Western treatise on the evolution of human consciousness to a higher spiritual plane.
Published in , Bucke's magnum opus exudes faith in human reason and potential, and is unashamedly positive in its view of humanity's future. This perspective, still riding high on the rationalist impulses of enlightenment thought, is what makes the book a compelling alternative to more recent literature on consciousness expansion. Bucke is more sober in his analysis of religious experience, as he p An early Western treatise on the evolution of human consciousness to a higher spiritual plane.
Bucke is more sober in his analysis of religious experience, as he predates the accumulated hocus-pocus and create-your-own-reality thinking that has been clogging the field over the past half-century. The data points in Burke's study are the lives of men and women who report having experienced a state of cosmic consciousness, which is marked by a radical reinterpretation of one's assessment of life. A few of the hallmarks of this transformation include the abolition of the fear of death due to a felt sense of the indestructibility of consciousness, and the apprehension of a greater cosmic order, among other things.
Some are historically inferred examples, beginning with the obvious ones Christ, Buddha , proceeding to some less obvious ones Francis Bacon, Balzac , and concluding with Burke's contemporaries, including both luminaries like Walt Whitman and Edward Carpenter, as well as anonymous individuals leading ordinary lives who volunteered their cases to assist in Burke's research.
The book is delightful for its insights and conclusions, and also for the dated turns of phrase that ally it so firmly with 19th century thought and rhetoric, despite its early 20th century publication date.
Cosmic Consciousness - A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind
Richard Maurice Bucke 18 March — 19 February , often called Maurice Bucke, was a prominent Canadian psychiatrist in the late 19th century. An adventurer during his youth, Bucke later studied medicine. Eventually, as a psychiatrist, he headed the provincial Asylum for the Insane in London, Ontario. Bucke was a friend of several noted men of letters in Canada, the United States, and England. Horatio Walpole Bucke a parish curate and his wife Clarissa Andrews.
Richard Maurice Bucke