UFO Conjectures

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Cosmic Consciousness and the Real Reality

I suspect that most of you are familiar with Richard Maurice Bucke’s Cosmic Consciousness: A  Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind [E.P. Dutton and Company, NY, 1901/1956, my copy].
Bucke’s work is monumentally important but seems to have been lost in the vast array of books dealing with “consciousness.”

Dr. Bucke (he was a medical doctor), in Part One of the work, provides three kinds of awareness or consciousness: Simple Consciousness (attributed to the upper half of all living things), Self Consciousness (the awareness by mankind of Earthly things), and Cosmic Consciousness (an awareness of the life and order of the Universe, the cosmos.
Dr. Bucke offers list of those who have had the epiphany he calls Cosmic Consciousness, including notables such as Gautama, the Buddha, Jesus the Christ, St. Paul, Plotinus, Dante, William Blake, Balzac, Walt Whitman, et al. and lesser or “imperfect” lights: Moses, Socrates, Pascal, Spinoza, Thoreau, Wordsworth, Pushkin, et al.

Some persons (men and a few women, noted by initials, not their full names) are also included.

The persons “named” or noted were cited by events in their lives or, in the case of Bucke’s near contemporaries, detailed descriptions of what they experienced.

One notable lapse is the legendary “epiphany” of St. Thomas Aquinas, who was allegedly seen levitating, which is an apocryphal tale, as I see it, but who did have a “cosmic consciousness” moment that caused him to say that all he experienced and wrote about in his daily, real life was “as straw in the wind” and he stopped his theological discourses accordingly and removed himself from his academic endeavors.
Wikipedia [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Aquinas] puts it this way:

“On one occasion, at 1273 at the Dominican convent of Naples in the chapel of Saint Nicholas, after Matins, Thomas lingered and was seen by the sacristan Domenic of Caserta to be levitating in prayer with tears before an icon of the crucified Christ. Christ said to Thomas, "You have written well of me, Thomas. What reward would you have for your labor?" Thomas responded, "Nothing but you, Lord." After this exchange something happened, but Thomas never spoke of it or wrote it down.

“On 6 December 1273, another mystical experience took place. While he was celebrating Mass, he experienced an unusually long ecstasy. Because of what he saw, he abandoned his routine and refused to dictate to his socius Reginald of Piperno. When Reginald begged him to get back to work, Thomas replied: "Reginald, I cannot, because all that I have written seems like straw to me" (mihi videtur ut palea). As a result, the Summa Theologica would remain uncompleted. What exactly triggered Thomas' change in
behavior is believed by Catholics to have been some kind of supernatural experience of God.”

Aquinas “saw” something while in his ecstasy, something that was so profound and transcendental that it took him away from his personal existential life and theological speculations.

Bucke doesn’t mention Aquinas but Bucke’s discourse on St. Paul’s “illumination” is of a kind like that of Thomas Aquinas.

Advocates of hallucinogenic drugs try to compare “cosmic consciousness” with what users of such drugs experience. The “revelations” of drug users are far apart in description and actuality from a cosmic consciousness experience.

Near Death Experiences are said to mimic “cosmic consciousness.” They don’t.

UFO abductees (experiencers) are said, by some, to have had a cosmic consciousness experience. They haven’t.

Cosmic Consciousness is a transformational event, so profound for the person having such an awareness that it is life-altering and indescribable.

No UFO contactee professed anything like that proffered by those who’ve had a cosmic consciousness epiphany.

There are other realities, as most of you accept, I think.

And some persons from the past and near present have seen one of those realities, a reality so profoundly transcendental that it shook them to their core, causing a new and overwhelming insight to what is real and what isn’t.

Has any UFO witness had such an experience? Or an NDE participant? Not exactly.

But what is it that is seen? An hallucinogenic panorama? Or a glimpse of another dimension or universe? Or the “real reality” that Plato discusses in his cave mataphor?

How can we know?



  • RR,

    "Has any UFO witness had such an experience?"

    Perhaps. When reading reports I have noticed a number of times their final comment to be a plea for more information as in "Just what did I see?"as they were astounded in what they saw as what they experienced was out of their frame of reference.


    By Blogger Bryan Daum, at Thursday, December 22, 2016  

  • Bryan:

    You've read Bucke's book, yes? And have seen the descriptions and materials from his pre-Bibliography?

    The Cosmic Consciousness experience is like no other.

    UFO accounts pale by comparison.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, December 22, 2016  

  • UFO accounts bear no relationship whatsoever to the experience of cosmic consciousness, but some NDEs are very close indeed. And yes, I have read Bucke's book several times over a period of decades.

    One of the more clear and profound descriptions of an episode of cosmic consciousness is found in "Secret Splendor" (Philosophical Library 1973) by Charles Ernest Essert (later re-released by some jackals after the copyright had expired as a cheesy paperback with the more New Age-y title, "The Journey Within"). The trigger of Essert's experience, after a long period of searching, was simply a plant in a florist's window, but it infused him with a deep understanding of the Oneness of all of creation and the ineffability of the Divine.

    One of Bucke's personal heroes was Walt Whitman, who as I recall Bucke placed higher than Jesus on the scale of enlightenment. "Song of Myself" is a pretty good indication of what someone who has experienced cosmic consciousness sounds like.

    From what I can gather, the "experience" aspect of cosmic consciousness - the "trigger" - can be almost anything, but it is the profound knowledge of Oneness and the transformative effect that are the defining aspects. What believable NDE experiencers describe in their encounters with the Being of Light do not strike me as dissimilar.

    By Blogger LBP, at Monday, December 26, 2016  

  • LBP.....

    We are in agreement, pretty much.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, December 26, 2016  

  • >> Or the “real reality” that Plato discusses in his cave mataphor? How can we know?<<

    Here's how we can know: Platonism or classical philosophical skepticism is fundamentally flawed. We've known this since Descartes' "Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum."

    Only from the one real world do we imagine any other. Any "real reality" is merely an object of thought in this one existential reality. The noumenal world is the virtual product of phenomenal brain matter and the noumenal universe is congruent with the phenomenal Universe of strings, fields, particles, molecules, brains, suns, galaxies, clusters, branes and bulk.

    That's how we can know, Rich. We have squeezed the self-aware multiverse into a ball. See how easy that was?

    Best, ZO

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Wednesday, December 28, 2016  

  • Zoam, buddy, you make it so simple....and I mean simple.

    Luv ya.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, December 28, 2016  

Post a Comment

<< Home