PART ONE First Words PART TWO Evolution and Devolution Chapter 1. To Self Consciousness 2. On the Plane of Self Consciousness 3. Devolution PART THREE From Self to Cosmic Consciousness PART FOUR Instances of Cosmic Consciousness Chapter 1. Gautama The Buddha 2. Jesus The Christ 3. Paul 4. Plotinus 5. Mohammed 6. Dante 7. Bartolome las Casas 8. John Yepes 9. Francis Bacon 10. Jakob Bohme 11. William Blake 12. Honore de Balzac 13. Walt Whitman 14. Edward Carpenter PART FIVE Additional - Some of Them, Lesser, Imperfect, and Doubtful Instances Chapter 1. The Twilight 2. Moses 3. Gideon 4. Isaiah 5. Lao-tsze 6. Socrates 7. Roger Bacon 8. Blaise Pascal 9. Benedict Spinoza 10. James Gardiner 11. Emanuel Swedenborg 12. William Wordsworth 13. Charles G. Finney 14. Alexander Pushkin 15. Ralph Waldo Emerson 16. Alfred Tennyson 17. J B B 18. Henry David Thoreau 19. J B 20. C P 21. H B 22. R P S 23. E T 24. Ramakrishna Paramahansa 25. J H J 26. T S R 27. W H W 28. Richard Jeffries 29. C M C 30. M C L 31. J W W 32. J. William Boyd 33. Horace Traubel 34. Paul Tyner 35. C Y E 36. A J S PART SIX Last Words
Richard Maurice Bucke was born March 18, 1837, in Methwold, a village on the edge of the Norfolk fens, in England. When he was one year old, his father moved to Canada and Richard was subsequently educated at London Grammar School. He studied medicine at McGill University, graduating in 1862. He continued his studies in England and France, before returning to Canada in 1864 to take up medical practice. In 1876 he became medical superintendent of the insane asylum in Hamilton, Ontario, and in 1878 was medical superintendent of the insane asylum in London, Ontario. Around 1872 Bucke had what became for him a life-changing mystical experience which he called an "intellectual illumination." He spent the next thirty years seeking out other people who had a similar experience and reflecting upon the significance of such altering of consciousness. The literary result of his study, the book Cosmic Consciousness (1901), became a classic work on the subject. He theorized that a higher consciousness was a natural faculty in man at a certain state of development. Bucke passed away after slipping on a step on February 19, 1902, in London, Ontario.