Richard Maurice Bucke - Cosmic consciousness - And the sudden insight
Type of Spiritual Experience
This experience occurred after Bucke had had an evening of poetry with friends. He was being driven home in a hansom cab
A description of the experience
Cosmic consciousness - Richard Maurice Bucke
I was in a state of quiet, almost passive enjoyment, not actually thinking. . All at once, without warning of any kind, I found myself wrapped in a flame-coloured cloud. For an instant I thought of fire, an immense conflagration somewhere close by. . . the next, I knew that the fire was within myself.
Directly afterward there came upon me a sense of exultation, of immense joyousness accompanied or immediately followed by an intellectual illumination impossible to describe.
Among other things, I did not merely come to believe, but I saw that the universe is not composed of dead matter, but is, on the contrary, a living Presence; I became conscious in myself of eternal life. It was not a conviction that I would have eternal life, but a consciousness that I possessed eternal life then; I saw that all men are immortal . . . The vision lasted a few seconds, and was gone.