Please Share With Others:

Titles By Richard Maurice Bucke

Google Translate

Translate This Page
Printer Friendly

Print Friendly and PDFCLICK HERE

Richard Maurice Bucke [1837 – 1902] was a Canadian psychiatrist and student of the human mind who became one of Walt Whitman’s most devoted friends and supporters in the poet’s later years. Always a wide-ranging reader, Dr. Bucke first encountered Whitman’s work in 1867. He read Whitman’s poetry with intensity and fascination for several years, committing much of it to memory.

In 1872, while in London, Dr. Bucke had the most important experience of his life, a fleeting mystical experience that he said consisted of a few moments of cosmic consciousness. Dr. Bucke did not record the details and interpretation of his experience at that time. This was not done till years later, and only after he had researched much of the world’s literature on mysticism and enlightenment and had corresponded with many others about this subject.

Dr. Bucke’s magnum opus was his book Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind. The book is a compilation of various theories rather than a simple record of his original mystical experience. He borrowed the term “cosmic consciousness” from Edward Carpenter, who had traveled and studied religion in the East. Carpenter derived the term “cosmic consciousness” from the Eastern term “universal consciousness”. Dr. Bucke describes his own experience, the experiences of contemporaries (most notably Walt Whitman), and the experiences of historical figures, including Jesus, Saint Paul, Plotinus, Dante, Francis Bacon, William Blake, Buddha, and Ramakrishna.

Dr. Bucke created a theory that posited three stages in the development of consciousness: the simple consciousness of animals, the self-consciousness of the mass of humanity, encompassing reason and imagination, and cosmic consciousness, an emerging faculty which is the next stage of human development.

Dr. Bucke’s biography of Whitman was an unconventional book, as much an anthology of documents about the poet as biography. It was also a collaboration. Whitman advised throughout, revised Dr. Bucke’s text, and wrote significant portions of the book himself. Cosmic Consciousness was in a sense the book that Whitman would not let him write in the biography, because it does not merely present Dr. Bucke’s theory of moral and spiritual evolution but also uses Whitman as central example.

In 1880 Whitman spent the summer with Dr. Bucke at his home in Canada. His observations of religious service at the asylum are recorded in a haunting entry in Specimen Days (1882). They traveled together down the St. Lawrence River, and the following year, in preparation for the biography, they visited places important in Whitman’s earlier years in Long Island and Manhattan. The 1880 visit was the basis for an engaging but factually unreliable Canadian feature film, Beautiful Dreamers with Rip Torn as Whitman and Colm Feore as Dr. Bucke.

Please Share With Others:

Join Our Mailing List

To Receive Periodic Cosmic Awareness Communications news bulletins related to possible events on our time line that we feel are important, as well as news related to products or services being offered on our web site that we feel will benefit our interested web visitors.....  CLICK HERE

Thee Links

Featured in "From Me To Thee", Vikki T's informative cover letter that accompanies every issue of C.A.C.'s monthly newsletter...  CLICK HERE

Recommended Sites Directory

Cosmic Awareness has told us to question everything, but to stay open, to look around us for what is happening. There is so much available now. To that end, the links in this directory may be of interest....  CLICK HERE

Affiliate Disclosure Statement

Please Note: Some or all of the links posted on this page are 'affiliate links'. If you click on an 'affiliate link' and make a purchase, CAC will receive an affiliate commission. Please know we only recommend products that we believe will be of value to our members, subscribers and web visitors. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: 'Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.'

FREE Kindle Reading App For Phone, Tablet or Computer

You will be helping to support CAC: For everyone who downloads a Free Kindle Reading App through the link on this page, CAC will earn $1.

Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

After 30 days, get 1 Audiobook each month for $14.95/month and 30% off the price of additional Audiobooks. Cancel anytime, and the Audiobooks are yours to keep, even if you cancel. You will be helping to support CAC: For everyone who gets a Audible Free Trial through the link on this page, CAC will earn $5.

Share
Tweet
Pin
+1
Email