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Cosmic Consciousness: An Experience in Oneness

Cosmic Consciousness: An Experience in Oneness

We talk about being One with all, but is it possible to experience it?

Have you ever had a moment when you felt connected to the entire world, and you knew EVERYTHING? It might have lasted only a minute or two, but you can never forget those moments…. they are life-changing!

As serendipity would have it, years ago I came across an amazing book, Cosmic Consciousness by Dr Richard Maurice Bucke, just in time to explain what had recently happened to me…. Bucke alerted me to the signficance of the experience – and also pointed me in the direction of the work I needed to do if I wanted to sustain the connection.

What is Cosmic Consciousness?

Dr. Richard Murrice Bucke (1837-1902), a friend of Walt Whitman, first coined this term is his book, Cosmic Consciousness, written more than 100 years ago. He defined it as a “Divine Illumination”, a state of grace, the next step in the evolution of humanity. His premise is that during the course of humanity’s evolutionary development there are three forms of consciousness.

  • Simple Consciousness, our instinctual consciousness.
  • Self Consciousness, that self-awareness that allows a human to realize hirself as a distinct entity.
  • Cosmic Consciousness, a new developing faculty at the pinnacle of our evolution.

A description, from Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind by Richard Maurice Bucke:

“Like a flash there is presented to his consciousness a clear conception (a vision) in outline of the meaning and drift of the universe…He sees and knows that the cosmos…is in fact…in very truth a living presence. He sees that instead of men being, as it were, patches of life scattered through an infinite sea of non-living substance, they are in reality specks of relative death in an infinite ocean of life. He sees that the life which is in 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 who passes through this experience will learn in the few minutes, or even moments, of its continuance more than in months or years of study, and he will learn much that no study every taught or can teach. Especially does he obtain such a conception of *the whole*…Along with moral elevation and intellectual illumination comes what must be called, for want of a better term, a sense of immortality.”

Bucke’s analysis led him to believe that cosmic consciousness was available to “some individuals of the male sex, between 30 and 40, and who are highly developed with good intellect, high morals, a superior physique, and an earnest religious feeling. At the time of his writing, he believed that only thirteen individuals had attainted this level of awareness: Gautama, Jesus, Paul, Platinus, Mohammed, Dante, Las Casas, John Ypes, Francis Bacon, Jacob Behmen, William Blake, Balzac and Walt Whitman. He also believed that there would be an exponential increase in the number of individuals who attain this level during the 20th century.

I can bear witness to this increase – and also to the fact that it strikes both men and women of all ages, all colours, all levels of society… most folks are shocked and confused by the experience and need help understanding what it means and then grounding after it. I recall one of my students calling me in a panic some years ago, “I felt like I was Christ last night, I was One with the world, I knew so much!!!! But I can’t believe it was real.” Kitty had had a few drinks that night and blamed the experience on the alcohol… but she had also been working very hard for several years on her soul-self, on growing and evolving spiritually, so my sense was that the alcohol simply dropped her fear barriers and thus created the opening for a real awakening..

Clients and visitors occasionallly report a moment of awakening, a highly charged, intense, and even frightening spiritual experience that can be quite overwhelming – and exciting!

In your article on the meaning of 11:11, I read this “Some of you have recognized this symbol as something of significance, yet have been unaware of its true meaning. With the advent of digital clocks many years ago, the significance of 11:11 began to make itself felt, often appearing on clocks at times of accelerated awareness. For those of you who have know that 11:11 was something special, we now need you to come forth into positions of leadership. For you are important parts of the key.” on your website. I see 11:11 everyday, sometimes numerous times (see it on correct clocks and wrong clocks…after already seeing it on correct) Everything it says about being part of a key and connecting back to one, looking around you and seeing what is REALLY happening. It all clicks in with experiences I have been having where I “learn the truth” but quickly lose it only to have fragments remain. I feel completely connected to everything I see when this happens and it feels like I am inside my actual self and he is waking up. I always get scared and never take the leap because I fear what I will wake up to. What is your take on all of this, I can write more and get specific if you would like, I have heightened senses during these experiences also and know what is going to happen next about 5 millaseconds before it happens. Thank you for your time, I await your reply. A friend, Matt

It would be a good idea for you to keep a journal with you and write down whatever fragments you remember from these experiences… the writing often brings forth more insight… and over time it all kind of “adds up”… A lot of folks are feeling this sense of awakening, but it is also often elusive as we cope with our fears… just stay with it, and learn to trust… eventually you will remember more and more of these times… also look up the term “cosmic consciousness” and books written on this subject -you will get some useful insight about what is happening for you. Lotsa LLLove, Danielle

The Mystica site, defines the experiences as:

” A consciousness of the cosmos, knowing the life and order of the universe. It is considered a higher, yet at present an exceptional peak in human evolution which the race is expected to reach in a distant future. The experience comes suddenly without warning with a sensation of being immersed in a flame or rose-colored cloud and is accompanied by a feeling of ecstasy, moral and intellectual illumination in which, like a flash, a clear conception in outline is presented to the mind of the meaning and drift of the universe. The man or woman going through this experience knows that the universe is a living presence, that life is eternal, the soul of man is immortal, the foundation principle of life is love, and the happiness of every individual in the long run is absolutely certain. All fear of death, all sense of sin is lost, and the personality gains added charm and is transfigured. In a few moments of the experience the individual will learn more than in years or months of study and will learn much that no study will teach. Walt Whitman described cosmic consciousness as “ineffable light, light rare, untellable, light beyond all signs, descriptions and languages.” Dr. Bucke, whose conclusions was presented in his remarkable book Cosmic Consciousness, was a descendent of Sir Richard Walpole, and was in the position of superintendent of the Asylum for the Insane at London, Onterio, Canada, for 25 years. Distinctly there are many degrees of higher consciousness from the elementary awareness of shared consciousness with other individuals to the perception of profound scientific insight, and the transcendental experience of the mystic. These represent the varying degrees of creative intelligence of the cosmos, the infinite divine principle represented in the anthropomorphic symbolism of “God” in the many religions of the world. A.G.H.

I often speak of the sensation of receiving an entire book in my mind in a matter of a few minutes – and then spending the next six months pulling all of the pieces of the book out of my mind… that’s what cosmic consciousness feels like…

wikipedia defines this state in a somewhat different way:

“Cosmic consciousness is the concept that the universe is a living superorganism with which animals, including humans, interconnect, and form a collective consciousness which spans the cosmos. The idea bears similarity to Teilhard de Chardin’s conception of the noosphere, James Lovelock’s Gaia theory, to Hegel’s Absolute idealism, and to Satori in Zen. It is reminiscent of Carl Jung’s collective unconscious. Cosmos refers to the universe as a whole, which is conceived to be an orderly, harmonious system; a complex orderly self-inclusive system; inconceivably extended in space or time. Consciousness refers to the complete alert state of the mind, and its sensory systems. Often considered the upper state of existences, in which self-awareness and individuality originate within the brain. Various religions and concepts of existence accept the idea that a cosmic consciousness exists, and through various forms of conditioning of the body, it is possible to interconnect with this cosmic consciousness and interact with it.

In every case that I have encountered, the awareness of cosmic consciousness has come spontaneously, but there is a sense of “the seeker” in all of the individuals I have connected with…. each person has been reaching for something more, a greater meaning in life, a greater purpose in their own and all of existence. they have been people “on a mission”, a mission of self-discovery.

plotinus.com offers a highly spiritual description of cosmic consciousness:

“Thus, when by the Grace of God, the process of awakening happens in a seeker, then Self-consciousness turns gradually into Cosmic Consciousness and the seeker becomes an anointed Sonship of the Divine Light… Thus, the seeker becomes an enlightened being working from within the inner Spheres where the Spirit of Christ Consciousness dwells. We, as self-conscious seekers are living in a world of duality, a world created by our mental and emotional patterns, a world in which we feel alienated and divided between “me and you” – between “good and evil”. This is called in certain circles “the Fall”, which simply means that at the level of the Fall, consciousness is still slumbering and unconscious of its own Source…of its own possibilities. Christ Consciousness comes to restore the Perfect IMAGE – the PERFECT MODEL and the semblance that was lost, and this spiritual BLUEPRINT or DNA unfolds in Intuition… New horizons… New possibilities… New threshold gates – A new Initiation that reveals the actual Garment of Light that was for eons inactive and latent in our Spiritual Blueprint and DNA… When the hour of our Redemption happens, then, this Garment of Light unfolds the SON of Man… the AWAKENED ONE… in the flesh (which is the original Adam Kadmon).

The experience is often called a Christ Consciousness because of the religious/spiritual energy that comes in with the opening. In fact, many religious communities actively strive for this pinnacle experience.

When you have felt this awakening once, you naturally want more, not just because of the intense feelings of love and wholeness, the Oneness, that come with it, but more especially because of the flashes of knowledge and insight that it triggers… but it isn’t easy to return to or sustain this state of cosmic consciousness… it requires a deep commitment to change – to apply what you are learning in your own life… to literally Be Love, to manifest an evolved consciousness in the way you live your life. To be the Best You Can Be, to Make the Most of Your Talents and Gifts… For each person this translates to something different… but at the end of the day it all adds up simply to Value Fulfillment – fulfilling your value as an evolved soul in whatever ways make sense for you, given your experience, knowledge and interests.

If you think you are ready to jump up a notch on the evolutionary ladder, you will need to achieve a cosmic connection to the One… meditation is one way to trigger the opening, but to keep the doors open, you need to also be ready for deep soul work, perhaps to work harder than you have ever worked before…. Although you can’t go back when you are blessed with Cosmic Consciousness – once you know what you know, there is no turning back – you can refuse to go forward, to neglect the inner work needed to sustain the connection. It is all up to you… but I can tell you, it’s the most valuable work you will ever choose to do in your life and leads to more inner joy than you imagined possible…

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