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Cosmic Consciousness

What is Cosmic Consciousness?

Cosmoconsciousness, or cosmic consciousness, is a phrase employed to describe a transcendence of the limitations of self-consciousness. As an ultra-state of illumination of the senses, the concept’s origins are displayed in the search for a spiritual connection with the multi-dimensional universe.

It came to light with the book Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind. It is a 1901 text by Richard Maurice Bucke’s psychiatrist. The writer examines the idea of cosmic consciousness, which he describes as “a more elevated form of consciousness than that retained by the normal man”.

What are the forms of Consciousness?

In Cosmic Consciousness, Bucke noted that he distinguished three states, or degrees, of consciousness:

Simple consciousness- maintained by both animals and humans.

Self-consciousness- maintained by humanity, confining thought, reason, and creativity.

Cosmic consciousness- a more elevated state of consciousness than that maintained by the ordinary man.

This consciousness directs the cosmos to consist not of lifeless matter controlled by unconscious, severe, and an unintended rule; it shows it on the contrary as completely immaterial, wholly spiritual and fully alive; it indicates that death is a stupidity, that everyone and everything has everlasting life; it shows that the cosmos is God and that God is the cosmos, and that no evil ever did or ever will enter into it; a significant deal of this is, of course, from the point of view of self-consciousness, ridiculous; it is nevertheless certainly true.

Moores said Bucke’s cosmic consciousness is an affiliated way of noticing things, “additional instinctive knowing than an accurate understanding”. Moores suggested that, for pupils of the purist camp, the knowledge of cosmic consciousness is insufficient without the component of love, “which is the basis of mystical consciousness”.

Mysticism is the perception of the cosmos and its disparate entities living in a harmonious whole secured together by love.

Cosmic Consciousness in culture and literature

Cosmic consciousness maintains a resemblance to Hegel’s Geist. All this appears to propel upon us an interpretation of Hegel that would understand his term “mind” as some cosmic consciousness; not, of course, a standard conception of God as a being distinct from the universe, but instead as something more akin to those eastern philosophies that demand that All is One.

In 1913, Alexander J. McIvor-Tyndall wrote Cosmic Consciousness: The Man-God Whom We Await. Teilhard de Chardin’s idea of the noösphere also shares Bucke’s ideas.

Paul Marshall, a philosopher of religion and cosmic consciousness, takes similarities to some classic pantheist beliefs. According to Ervin László, cosmic consciousness approximates Jean Gebser’s integral consciousness and Don Edward Beck and Christopher Cowan’s turquoise form of cosmic spirituality.

Ken Wilber, integral philosopher and mystic, recognizes four forms/stages of cosmic consciousness beyond Gebser’s essential and Beck and Cowan’s turquoise levels. Paramahansa Yogananda authored broadly about Cosmic Consciousness in the Self Realization Fellowship Lessons.

What is Collective Consciousness?

The modern vision of what can be viewed as collective consciousness contains solidarity perspectives, memes, extreme conduct like group-think and herd conduct, and collectively transferred experiences during collaborative practices and dance parties. Rather than living as separate people, people come jointly as involved parties to share help and knowledge.

It does not direct to the individual moral conscience but a transmitted knowledge of social standards.

James apprehended “cosmic consciousness” to be a collective consciousness, a “more extensive reservoir of consciousness”, which displays itself in the senses of men and stays intact after the dissolution of the person. It may “contain hints of the life account of its emanation”.


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