Forms of consciousness

(Wikipedia and Richard Maurice Bucke)

In Cosmic Consciousness, Bucke stated that he discerned three forms, or degrees, of consciousness:

  • Simple consciousness, possessed by both animals and mankind
  • Self-consciousness, possessed by mankind, encompassing thought, reason, and imagination
  • Cosmic consciousness, which is "a higher form of consciousness than that possessed by the ordinary man"

According to Bucke,

This consciousness shows the cosmos to consist not of dead matter governed by unconscious, rigid, and unintending law; it shows it on the contrary as entirely immaterial, entirely spiritual and entirely alive;

it shows that death is an absurdity, that everyone and everything has eternal life; it shows that the universe is God and that God is the universe, and that no evil ever did or ever will enter into it;

A great deal of this is, of course, from the point of view of self consciousness, absurd;

it is nevertheless undoubtedly true.