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The religions and philosophies of the Orient and the Occident 
compared ; their chief difference ; The mistaken idea of death. 
Cosmic Consciousness not common in the Orient. Why? What 
the earnest disciple strives for. The Real and the unreal. 
Buddha's agonized yearnings ; why he was moved by them 
with such irresistible power; the ultimate victory. The identity 
of The Absolute ; The Oriental teachings ; "The Spiritual 
Maxims of Brother Lawrence ;" The seemingly miraculous 
power of the Oriental initiate; does he really "talk" to birds 
and animals? How they learn to know and read "the heart 
of the world." The inner temples throughout Japan. The 
strange experience of a Zen (a Holy Order of Japan;, student- 
priest in attaining ntukti. The key to Realization. An address 
by Manikyavasayar, one of the great Tamil saints of Southern 
India. The Hindu conception of Cosmic Consciousness. The 
Japanese idea of the state. The Buddhist "Life-saving" mon- 
asteries ; how the priests extend their consciousness to im- 
measurable distances at will. The last incarnation of God 
in India. His marvelous insight. The urge of the spiritual 
yearning for the "Voice of the Mother." His twelve years of 
struggle. His final illumination. The unutterable bliss pic- 
tured in his own words. What the Persian mystics allusion 
to "union with the Beloved" signifies; its exoteric and its 
esoteric meaning. The "Way of the Gods." The chief dif- 
ference between the message of Jesus and that of other holy 
men. The famous "Song of Solomon" and the different inter- 
pretations ; a new version. A French writer's evident glimpses 
of the new birth. Man's relation to the universe 17 


The great riddle and a new solution. The persistence of the ideal 
of Perfected Man; Has it any basis in history? The superlative 
faculty of spiritual sight as depicted by artists, painters and 
sculptors. Symbols of consciousness. The way in which the 
higher consciousness expresses itself. Certain peculiar traits 
which distinguish those destined to the influx. The abode 
of the gods ; The conditioned promise of godhood in Man. 
What is Nirvana? The Vedantan idea. The Christian idea. 
Did Jesus teach the kingdom of God on earth? Is there a basis 
for belief in physical immortality? A new explanation. The 
perilous paths. Those who_ "will see God." Evolution of con- 
sciousness from prehistoric man to the highest developed 
beings 43 


The Divine spark. Consciousness the essence of everything. Axiomg 
of universal Occultism. The great central light The teach- 



iv Contents 

ings of Oriental seers regarding the ultimate goal. Different 
stages of mankind. Births in consciousness. Physical con- 
sciousness; its limitations. Mental consciousness; the jungles 
of the mind. Soul consciousness; whither it leads. The irre- 
sistible urge. Why we obey it. Sayings of ancient manu- 
scripts. Perfecting Light. The disciple's test. _ Awakening 
of the divine man. Is he now on earth? What is meant by 
the awakening of the inner Self. Is the atman asleep? The 
doctrine of illusion; its relation to Cosmic Consciousness.. 67 


The Dark Ages. The esoteric meaning of religious practices. The 
penetrating power of spiritual insight. The mystery of con- 
version. The paradox of Self-attainment and the necessity for 
selflessness. The Oriental teachings regarding the Self. The 
wisdom of the Illumined Master. The test of fitness for 
Nirvana. What caused Buddha the greatest anxiety? Experi- 
ences of Oriental sages and their testimony. What correla- 
tion exists between Buddha's desire and the attainment of 
Cosmic Consciousness among Occidental disciples 88 



The wonderful brilliancy of Illumination. Dr. Bucke's descrip- 
tion of the Cosmic Light ; his opinion regarding the possibility 
of becoming more general. Peculiar methods of producing 
spiritual ecstacy, as described by Lord Tennyson and others. 
The Power and Presence of God, as a reality. The dissolution 
of race barriers. The effacement of the sense of sin among the 
Illuminati. What is meant by the phrase "naked and 
unashamed." Will such a state ever exist on the earth? 
Efforts of those who have experienced Cosmic Consciousness 
to express the experience; the strange similarity found in 
all attempts. Is there any evidence that Cosmic Conscious- 
ness is possible to all ? 106 



The simple religion of early Japan. The inner or secret shrine: its 
esoteric and its exoteric office. The Mystic Brotherhoods. 
Why the esoteric meanings have alw_ays been veiled. The 
great teachers and the uniformity of their instructions. Philoso- 
phy as taught by Vivekananda. The fundamental doctrine of 
Buddhism. Have the present-day Buddhists lost the key? 
Is religion necessary to Illumination? The fruits of Cosmic 
Consciousness 127 


The salient features of the Law as given by Moses to his people. 
Had the ancient Hebrews any knowledge of Illumination and 
its results? The symbol of liberation. Its esoteric meaning.. 145 


Prenatal conditions influencing Buddha. His strange temperament. 
His peculiar trances and their effect upon him. Why Buddha 

Contents v 

endured such terrible struggles ; is suffering necessary to 
Cosmic Consciousness? From what was Buddha finally liber- 
ated? The simplicity of Buddha's commandments in the light 
of Cosmic Consciousness. The fundamental truths taught by 
Buddha and all other sages. Buddha's own words regarding 
death_ and Nirvaaa. Last words to his disciples. How the 
teachings of Buddha compare with the vision of Cosmic 
Consciousness. His method of development of spiritual con- 
sciousness 151 


The astonishing similarity found in all religious precepts; the 
distinguishing feature of the teachings as delivered by Jesus. 
His repeated allusion to "the light within." The great com- 
mandment he gave to his disciples. Love the basis of the 
teachings of all Illumined minds. The "Second Coming of 
Christ." The signs of the times 163 


His undoubted experience of illumination and its effects. Was 
Paul changed by "conversion," or what was the wonderful 
power that altered his whole life? Why Paul sought seclu- 
sion after his illumination. Characteristics of all Illumined 
ones. The desire for simplicity. Paul's incomparable descrip- 
tion of "the Love that never faileth." The safe guide to illu- 
mination. The "first fruits of the spirit," as prophesied by 
Paul 181 


Mohammed a predestined Leader. Condition of Arabia at his 
birth. Prophecies of a Messiah. His peculiar psychic tem- 
perament ; his frequent attacks of catalepsy ; his sufferings 
because of doubt ; his never-ceasing urge toward a final 
revelation. His changed state after the revelation on Mt. 
Hara. His unswerving belief in his mission ; hi:; devotion to 
Truth; His simplicity and humility. His claim to Cosmic 
Consciousness 198 


Swedenborg's early life. His sudden change from materialism. 
The difficulty of clear enunciation. His unfailing belief in ths 
divinity of his revelations. How they compare with experi- 
ences of others. The frequent reception of the Light. The 
blessing of Cosmic Consciousness 217 





The way to Illumination through intellectual cultivation; Emerson 
a notable example ; The Cosmic note in his essays and con- 
versations. Emerson's religious nature. His familiarity with 
Oriental philosophy; his remarkable discrimination; 

vi Contents 


Tolstoi the strangest and most unusual figure of the Nineteenth 
Century; His almost unbearable sufferings; his avowed material- 
ism ; his horror of death ; The prevailing gloom of his writings 
and to what due. Incidents in his life previous to his illumina- 
tion. The remarkable and radical change made by his experi- 
ence. To what was due Tolstoi's great struggle and suffer- 
ing? Why the great philosopher sought to die in a hut. His 
idea not one of penance. The signal change in his life after 
illumination. What he says of this 238 


Balzac's classification as of the psychic temperament. His amaz- 
ing power of magnetic attraction. His feminine refinement in 
dress. His power of inspiration gave him his place in French 
literature. The dominant motive of all his writings. His 
unshakable conviction of immortality. His power to function 
on both planes of consciousness. The lesson to be drawn from 
Seraphita. Balzac's evident intention, and why veiled. The 
inevitable conclusion to be drawn from the Symbolical char- 
acter 244 



Poetry the language of Cosmic Consciousness. Unconscious instru- 
ments of the Cosmic law. The true poet and the maker of 
rhymes. The mission and scope of the poetical temperament. 
How "temperament" affects expression. No royal road to 
Illumination. Teaching of Oriental mysticism. Whitman's 
extraordinary experience. His idea of "Perfections." Lord 
Tennyson's two distinct states of consciousness; his early boy- 
hood and strange experiences. Facts about his illumination. 
The after effects. Tennyson's vision of the future. Words- 
worth, the poet of Nature. How he attained and lost spiritual 
illumination. How he again received the great Light. The 
evidences of two states of consciousness. Outline of his illu- 
mination. Noguchi a most remarkable instance of Illumina- 
tion in early youth : Lines expressive of an exalted state of 
consciousness ; how it resulted in later life. The strange case 
of William Sharp and "Fiona Macjeod;" a perfect example of 
dual consciousness ; the distinguishing features of the self and 
the Self; the fine line of demarcation. How the writer suc- 
ceeded in living two distinct lives and the result. Remarkable 
contribution to literature. A puzzling instance of phase* of 
consciousness .267 



The four Oriental methods of liberation. The goal of the soul's 
pilgrimage. Strange theory advanced. Revolutionary results 
that follow. How to perceive the actuality of the higher 
Self. Gaining immortality "In the flesh ;" What Revelation 
has promised and its substantiation in modern Science. The 
prize and the price. Some valuable Yoga exercises to induce 
spiritual _ecstacy. What "union with God" really means. The 
Brahmic Bliss" of the Upanashads. The new race; its 
powers and privileges. "The man-god whom we await" as 
described by Emerson 285 


Thou most Divine! above all women 
Above all men in consciousness. 

Thou in thy nearness to me 
Hast shown me paths of love. 
Yea; walks that lead from hell 
To the great light; where life and love 
Do ever reign. 

Thou hast taught to me a patience 
To behold whatever state ; 
However beautiful and joyful; however ugly 
and sorrowful. 

To know that these are all! but 
The glimmerings of the greater life 
Expressions of the infinite. 

According to the finality of that moment 
Now to come ; in the eternal now, which thou 
Sweet Presence, hast awakened me to 
I see the light the way. 

An everlasting illumination 

That takes me to the gate; the open door 

To the house of God. 


2 Cosmic Consciousness 

There I find most priceless jewels; 
The key to all the ways, 
That lead from Om to thee. 

A mistake an off-turn from the apparent 

road of right 

Is but the bruising of thy temple, 
Calling thy Self thy soul 
The God within; showing thee, 
The nita of it all; which is but the half of me. 

And as thy consciousness of the two 

The nita and the it a, comes to thee 

A three is formed the trinity is found. 

Through thee the Deity hast spoken 
Uniting the two in the one; 
Revealing the illusion of mortality 
The message of Om to the Illumined. 

AH Nomad. 


Man is essentially a spiritual being. 

The source of this spiritual Omniscience we 
may not, in our finite intelligence, fully 
cognize, because full cognition would preclude 
the possibility of finite expression. 

The destiny of man is perfection. 

Man perfected becomes a god. 

"Only the gods are immortal," we are told. 

Let us consider what this means, supposing 
it to be an axiom of truth. 

Mortality is subject to change and death. 
Mortality is the manifest the stage upon 
which "man in his life plays many parts." 

Immortality, is what the word says it is 
godhood re-cognized in the mortal. "Im" or, 
"Om" the more general term stands for 
the Changeless, Birthless, Deathless, Un- 
namable Power that holds the worlds in space, 
and puts intelligence into man. i^f^, tu^^^ 

Biologists, even though they were to suc- 
ceed in reproducing life by chemical processes 
from so-called "lifeless" (sterilized) matter, 


4 Cosmic Consciousness 

making so high a form of manifestation as 
man himself, yet could never name the power 
by which they accomplished it. 

Always there must remain the Unknownable 
the Absolute. 

"Om," therefore, is the word we use to 
express this Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omni- 
present power. 

The term "mortal" we have already defined. 
The compound im-mortal, applied to individ- 
ual man, stands for one who has made his "at- 
one-ment" with Om, and who has, while still 
in the mortal body, re-cognized himself as one 
with Om. 

This is what it means to escape the "second 
death," to which the merely mortal conscious- 
ness is subject. 

This is the goal of every human life; this is 
the essence, the substance of all religious sys- 
tems and all philosophies. 

The only chance for disputation among 
theologians and philosophers, lies in the way 
of accomplishing this at-one-ment. There is 
not the slightest opportunity for a difference 
of opinion as what they wish to accomplish. 

Admitting then, that the goal of every soul 
is the same immortality (the mortal con- 
sciousness cognizing itself as Om), we come 
to a consideration of the evidence we may 

Argument 5 

find in support of this axiom. This evidence 
we do not find satisfactory, in spirit communi- 
cation ; in psychic experiences ; in hypnotic 
phenomena; and astral trips; important, and 
reliable as these many psychic research 
phenomena are. 

These are not satisfactory or convincing 
evidences of our at-one-ment with Om, 
because they do not preclude the probability 
of the "second^ death ;" but on the contrary, 
they verify jt. 

However, aside from all these psychic 
phenomena, there is a phase of human experi- 
ence, much more rare but becoming 1 some- 
what general, that transcends phenomena of 
every kind. 

The western world has given to these 
experiences the term "cosmic consciousness/' 
which term is self explanatory. " u ^ f " ~~~ t 

The Orientals have long known of this goal 
of the soul, and they have terms to express 
this, varying with the many types of the 
Oriental mind, but all meaning the same thing. 
This meaning, from our Occidental viewpoint, 
is best translated in the term liberation, signi- 
fying to be set free from the limitations of 
sense, and of self-consciousness, and to have 
glimpsed the larger area of consciousness, 
that takes in the very cosmos. 

6 Cosmic Consciousness 

This experience is accompanied by a great 
light, whether this light ijs_manifested as 
spiritual, or^as intellectual power, determine_s 
its expression. 

The object of this book is to call attention 
to some of the more pronounced instances of 
this Illumination, and to classify them, accord- 
ing as they have been expressed through 
religious enthusiasm; poetical fervor; or great 
intellectual power. 

But we have also one other argument to 
make, and this we present with a conviction 
of its truth, while conceding that it must re- 
main a theory, until proven, each individual 
man or woman, for himself and herself. The 
postulate is this: 

Im-mortality (i. e. godhood) is bi-sexual. 
No male person can by any possibility become 
an immortal god, in, of and by himself; no 
female person can be complete without the 
"other half" that makes the ONE. 

Each and every SOUL, therefore, has its 
spiritual counterpart its "other half," with 
which it unites on the spiritual plane, when 
the time comes for attainment of im-mortality. 

Sex is an eternal verity. The entire Cosmos 
is bi-sexual. Everything in the visible uni- 
verse; in the manifest, is the result of this 
universal principle. "As above so below," is 

Argument 7 

a safe rule, as far as the IDEA goes. This 
hypothesis does not preclude perfection above, 
of that which we find below, but any 
radical reversion or repudiation of nature is 

"Male and female created he them." This 
being true, male and female must they return 
to the source from which they sprung, com- 
pleting the circle, and gaining what? 

Consciousness of godhood; of completeness in 
counterpartal union. Not absorption of con- 
sciousness, but union, which is quite a different 

Out of this counterpartal union a race of 
gods will be born, and these supermen^ shall 
"inherit the earth" making it a "fit dwelling 
place for the gods." 

This earth is now being made fit. This 
fact may seem a far distant hope if we do not 
judge with the eyes of the seer, but its proof 
lies in the emancipation of woman. Its evi- 
dences are many and varied, but the awaken- 
ing of woman is the cause. 

This awakening of woman constitutes the 
first rays of the dawn that long-looked for 
Millenium, which many of us have regarded as 
a mere figure of speech, instead of as a literal 

The argument is not that there has been no 

8 Cosmic Consciousness 

individual awakening until the present time; 
but that never before in the finite history of 
the world has there been such a general awak- 
ening, and as it is self evident that conditions 
will reflect the idea of the majority, the fact 
that woman is being given her rightful place 
in the sense-conscious life, proves that the 
earth will be a fit dwelling place for a higher 
order of beings than have hitherto constituted 
the majority. 

The numerous instances of Illumination, or 
cosmic consciousness which are forcing atten- 
tion at the present time, prove that there is a 
race-awakening to a realization of our unity 
with Om. 

Another point which we trust these pages 
will make clear is this : So-called "revelation" 
is neither a personal "discovery," nor any 
special act of a divine power. "God spake 
thus and so to me," is a phrase which the self- 
conscious initiate employs, because he has lost 
sight of the cosmic light, or because he finds it 
expedient to use that phraseology in deliver- 
ing the message of cosmic consciousness. 

If we will substitute the term "initiation," 
for the term "revelation," we will have a 
clearer idea of the truth. 

Perhaps some of our readers will feel that 
the terms mean the same, but for the most 

Argument 9 

part, those who have employed the word 
"revelation," have used it as implying that the 
plan of the cosmos was unfinished, and that 
the Creator, having found some person suit- 
able to convey the latest decision to mankind, 
natural laws had been suspended and the 
revelation made. 

It is to correct this view, that we emphasize 
the distinction between the two words. 

The cosmos is complete. "As it was in the 
beginning, it is now and ever shall be, worlds 
without end." 

A circle is without beginning or end. We, 
in our individual consciousness may traverse 
this circle, but our failure to realize its com- 
pleteness does not change the fact that it is 

We can not add to the universal conscious- 
ness; nor take away therefrom. 

But we can extend our own area of con- 
sciousness from the narrow limits of the per- 
sonal self, into the heights and depths of the 
atman and who shall set limitations to the 
power of the atman, the higher Self, when it 
has attained at-one-ment with Om? 

It is not the purpose of this book to trace 
the spiritual ascent of man further than to 
point out the wide gulf between the degrees 
cf consciousness manifested in the lower ani- 

io Cosmic Consciousness 

mals and that of human consciousness; again 
tracing in the human, the ever-widening area 
of his cognition of the personal self, and its 
needs, to the awakening of the soul and its 
needs; which needs include the welfare of all 
living things as an absolute necessity to in- 
dividual happiness. 

Altruism, therefore, is not a virtue. It is a 
means of self-preservation without this 
degree of inititation into the boundless area 
of universal, or cosmic consciousness, we may 
not escape the karmic law. 

The revelations, therefore, upon which are 
founded the numerous religious systems, are 
comparable with the many and various 
degrees of initiation into THAT WHICH IS. 

They represent the degree which the initiate 
has taken in the lodge. 

It may be argued that this fact of individual 
initiation into the ever-present truth of Being, 
as into a lodge, offers no proof that this earth 
is to ultimately become a heaven. It may be 
that this planet is the outer-most lodge room 
and that there will never be a sufficient num- 
ber of initiates to make the earth a fit dwelling 
place for a higher order of beings than now 
inhabit it. This may, indeed, be true. But all 
evidence tends toward the hope that even the 

Argument 1 1 

planet itself will come under the regenerating 
power of Illumination. 

All prophecies embody this promise; all 
that we know of what materialists call "evolu- 
tion" and occultists might well name "uncov- 
ering of consciousness," points to a time when 
"God's will," "shall be done on earth as it is in 

All who have attained to cosmic conscious- 
ness, in whatever degree, have prophecied a 
time, when this blessing would descend upon 
every one; but the difficulty in adequately 
explaining this great gift seems also to have 
been the burden of their cry. 

Jesus sought repeatedly to describe to his 
hearers the wonders of the cosmic sense, but 
realized that he was too far in advance of the 
cyclic end; but even as at that time, a number 
of disciples were capable of receiving the 
Illumination, so today, a larger number are 
capable of attainment. If this number is great 
enough to bring about the regeneration the 
perfecting of the earth conditions, then it 
must be accomplished. 

We believe that it is. We make the claim 
that the Millenium has dawned; and although 
it may be many years before the light of the 
morning breaks into the full light of the day, 

12 Cosmic Consciousness 

yet the rays of the dawn are dispelling the 
world's long night. 

In his powerful and prophetic story "In the 
Days of the Comet," H. G. Wells, tells of a 
great change that comes over the world follow- 
ing an atmospheric phenomenon in which a 
"green vapor" is generated in the clouds and 
falls upon the earth with instantaneous effect. 

As this peculiar vapor descends, it has the 
effect of putting every one to sleep ; this sleep 
continues for three days and when people 
finally awake, their interior nature has under- 
gone a complete change. 

Where before they "saw dimly," they now 
see clearly; the petty differences and quarrels 
are perceived in their true perspective. In- 
stead of place, and power, and influence, and 
wealth, being all-important goals of ambition 
as before the change, every one now strives 
to be of service to the world. Love and kind- 
ness become greater factors than commercial 
expediency and business success. 

In many respects, Wells' description of the 
great change and its effect upon people, corre- 
sponds with the effect of Illumination. 

The sense of entering into the very heart 
of things; of growing plants; the birds and 
the little wood animals ; the intense sympathy 
and understanding of life described by him, 

Argument 13 

sounds like the effect of cosmic consciousness, 
as related by nearly all who have attained it. 

How the world's activities are resumed after 
the change, and under what vastly different 
incentives people work, form a part of the 
story, which is written as fiction, but which 
contains the seed of a great truth. 

This truth is expressed in science, as 
human achievement, and in religion as fulfilled 
prophecy, but the truth is the same. 

Both religion and science point to a time 
when this earth will know freedom from strife 
and suffering. Even the elements which have 
hitherto been regarded as beyond the bound- 
aries of man's will, may be completely con- 
trolled ; not may be, but will be. Manual labor 
will cease. National Eugenic societies will 
put a stop to war, when they come to the 
inevitable conclusion, that no race can by any 
possibility be improved, while the most per- 
fect physical species are reserved for armies. 

Awakening woman will refuse indeed they 
are now refusing to bear children to be shot 
down in warfare, and crushed under the jug- 
gernaut of commercial competition. 

Those who realize the signs of the times, 
look for the birth of cosmic consciousness as a 
race-consciousness, foreshadowing the new 
day; the "second coming of Christ," not as a 

14 Cosmic Consciousness 

personal, vicarious sacrifice, but as a factor in 
human attainment. 

"For I am persuaded," said St. Paul, "that 
neither death nor life, nor angels, nor prin- 
cipalities, nor things present, nor things to 
come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor 
any other creature shall be able to separate 
us from the love of God." 

If we interpret this in the light of cosmic 
consciousness, we realize that we shall know, 
and experience that boundless, deathless, per- 
fect, satisfying, complete and all-embracing 
love which is the goal of immortality; which 
is an attribute (we may say the one attribute) 
of God. 

We are not looking for the birth of a Christ- 
child, but of the Christ-child; we are not look- 
ing for a second coming of o man who shall 
be as Jesus was, but we are anticipating the 
coming of the man (homo), who shall be cos- 
mically conscious, even as was Jesus of 
Nazareth; as was Guatama, the Buddha. 

That there may be one man and one woman 
who shall first achieve this consciousness and 
realization is barely possible, but the prepond- 
erance of evidence is for a more general awak- 
ening to the light of Illumination. 

"We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be 

Argument 15 

changed in the twinkling of an eye," said St. 

The prophecy of "the woman clothed with 
the sun, and with the moon under her feet," 
is not of a woman, but of Woman, in the light 
of a race of men who have attained cosmic 

Nothing more is needed to make a heaven 
of earth, than that the great light and love 
that comes of Illumination, shall become domi- 

It will solve all problems, because problems 
arise only because we are groping in the dark. 
The elimination of selfishness; of condemna- 
tion ; of fear and anger, and doubt, must have 
far greater power for universal happiness and 
well-being than all the systems which theology 
or science or politics could devise. Indeed, all 
these systems are sporadic and empirical at- 
tempts to express the vague dawning of 

In the fulness of its light, the need for sys- 
tems will have passed away. 



The chief difference between the religions 
the philosophies of the Orient and those 
of the Occident, lies in the fact that the Orien- 
tal systems, methods, and practices, emphasize 
the assumption that the goal of these efforts, 
is attainable at any moment, as it were. 

That is, Oriental religion speaking in the 
broad sense teaches that the disciple need 
not wait for the experience called death to 
liberate the Self, the atman, from the enchant- 
ment or delusion, the maya, of the external 
world. Indeed, the Oriental devotee well knows 
that physical death, tnrityu, is not a guarantee of 
liberation; does not necessarily bring with it 

He well recognizes that physical death is 
but a procedure in existence. Death does not 
of itself, change the condition of maya, in 
which the disciple is bound until such a time, 
as he has earned liberation mukti, which con- 
dition may be defined as immunity from 
further incarnation. 


i8 Cosmic Consciousness 

Immortality is our rightful heritage but it 
must be claimed, yea, it must be earned. 

It is a mistake to imagine that death makes 
man immortal. Immortality is an attribute of 
the gods. But since all souls possess a spark 
of the divine essence of Brahman (The Abso- 
lute), tnukti may be attained by earnest seek- 
ing, and thus immortality be realised. 

This condition of awakening, is variously 
named among Oriental sages and chelas, such 
for instance as glimpsing the Brahmic splendor; 
mutki; samadhi; moksha; entering Nirvana; be- 
coming "twice-born." 

In recent years there have come to light in 
the Occident a number of instances of the 
attainment of this state, and these have been 
described as "cosmic consciousness;" "illumi- 
nation;" "liberation;" the "baptism of the 
Holy Ghost;" and becoming "immersed in the 
great white light." 

Baptism, which is a ceremony very gener- 
ally incorporated into religious systems, is a 
symbol of this esoteric truth, namely the necessity 
for Illuniination^ in order that the soul may be 
rom further incarnations rom further 


The term cosmic consciousness as well 
describes this condition of the disciple, as any 
words can, perhaps, although the term libera- 

The New Birth 19 

tion is more literal, since the influx of this 
state of being, is actually the liberation of the 
atman, the eternal Self, from the illusion of the 
external, or maya. 

Contrary to the general belief, instances of 
cosmic consciousness are not extremely rare, 
although they are not at all general. Particu- 
larly is this true in the Orient, where the chief 
concern as it were, of the people has for cen- 
turies been the realization of this state of libera- 

The Oriental initiate in the study of relig- 
ious practices, realizes that these devotions are 
for the sole purpose of attaining mukti, where- 
as in the Occident, the very general idea held 
by the religious devotee, is one of penance; 
of propitiation of Deity. This truth applies 
essentially to the initiate, the aspirant for 
priesthood, or guru-ship. No qualified priest 
or guru of the Orient harbors any doubt 
regarding the object, or purpose of religious 
practices. The attainment of the spiritual 
experience described in occidental language 
as "cosmic consciousness" is the goal. 

The goal is not a peaceful death; nor yet an 
humble entrance into heaven as a place of 
abode; nor is it the ultimate satisfying of a 
God of extreme justice; the "eye for an eye" 
God of the fear-stricken theologian. 

2O Cosmic Consciousness 

One purpose only, actuates the earnest dis- 
ciple, like a glorious star lighting the path of 
the mariner on life's troublous sea. That 
goal is the attainment of that beatific state in 
which is revealed to the soul and the mind, the 
real and the unreal; the eternal substance of 
truth, and the shifting kaleidoscope of tnoya. 

Nor can there be any purpose in the pursuit 
of either religion or philosophy other than this 
attainment; nor does the unceasing practice of 
rites and ceremonies; of contemplation; re- 
nunciation; prayers; fasting; penance; devo- 
tion; service; adoration; absteminousness; or 
isolation, insure the attainment of this state 
of bliss. There is no bartering; no assurance 
of reward for good conduct. It is not as 
though one would say, "Ah, my child, if thou 
wouldst purchase liberation thou shalt follow 
this recipe." 

No golden promises of speedy entrance into 
Paradise may be given the disciple. Nor any 
exact rules, or laws of equasion by virtue of 
which the goal shall be reached. Nor yet may 
any specific time be correctly estimated in 
v.hich to serve a novitiate, before final 

Many indeed, attain a high degree of spirit- 
uality, and yet not have found the key of per- 

The New Birth 21 

feet liberation, although the goal may be not 
far off. 

Many, very many, on earth today, are living 
so close to the borderland of the new birth 
that they catch fleeting glimpses of the longed- 
for freedom, but the full import of its mean- 
ing does not dawn. There is yet another veil, 
however thin, between them and the Light. 

The Buddha spent seven years in an in- 
tense longing and desire to attain that libera- 
tion which brought him consciousness of 
godhood deliverance from the sense of sin 
and sorrow that had oppressed him ; immunity 
from the necessity for reincarnation. 

Jesus became a Christ only after passing 
through the agonies of Gethsemane. A Christ 
is one who has found liberation ; who has been 
born again in his individual consciousness into 
the inner areas of consciousness which arc of 
the atman, and this attainment establishes his 
identity with The Absolute. 

All oriental religions and philosophies teach 
that this state of consciousness, is possible to 
all men ; therefore all men are gods in embryo. 

But no philosophy or religion may promise 
the devotee the realization of this grace, nor 
yet can they deny its possible attainment to 

Strangely enough, if we estimate men by 

22 Cosmic Consciousness 

externalities, we discover that there is no 
measure by which the supra-conscious man 
may be measured. The obscure and unlearned 
have been known to possess this wonderful 
power which dissolves the seeming, and leaves 
only the contemplation of the Real. 

So also, men of great learning have expe- 
rienced this rebirth; but it would seem that 
much cultivation of the intellectual qualities, 
unless accompanied by an humble and rev- 
erent spirit, frequently acts as a barrier to the 
realization of supra-consciousness. 

In "Texts of Taoism," Kwang-Tse, one of 
the Illuminati, writes: 

"He whose mind is thus grandly fixed, emits 
a heavenly light. In him who emits this 
heavenly light, men see the true man (i. e., 
the atman; the Self). When a man has culti- 
vated himself to this point, thenceforth he 
remains constant in himself. When he is thus 
constant in himself, what is merely the human 
element will leave him, but Heaven will help 
him. Those whom Heaven helps, we call the 
sons of Heaven. Those who would, by learn- 
ing, attain to this, seek for what they can not 

Thus it will be seen, that according to the 
reports offered us by this wise man, that which 
men call learning guarantees no power regard- 

The New Birth 23 

ing that area of consciousness which brings 
Illumination liberation from enchantment of 
the senses mukti. 

Again, in the case of Jacob Boehme, the Ger- 
man mystic, although he left tomes of manu- 
script, it is asserted authoritatively, that he 
"possessed no learning" as that word is un- 
derstood to mean accumulated knowledge. 

In "The Spiritual Maxims" of Brother 
Lawrence, the Carmelite monk, we find this: 

"You must realize that you reach God 
through the heart, and not through the mind." 

"Stupidity is closer to deliverance than in- 
tellect which innovates," is a phrase ascribed 
to a Mohammedan saint, and do not modern 
theologians report with enthusiasm, the un- 
lettered condition of Jesus? 

In the Orient, the would-be initiate shuts 
out the voice of the world, that he may know 
the heart of the world. Many, very many, 
are the years of isolation and preparation 
which such an earnest one accepts in order 
that he may attain to that state of supra- 
consciousness in which "nothing is hidden that 
shall not be revealed" to his clarified vision. 

In the inner temples throughout Japan, for 
example, there are persons who have not only 
attained this state of consciousness, but who 
have also retained it, to such a degree and to 

24 Cosmic Consciousness 

such an extent, that no event of cosmic import 
may occur in any part of the world, without 
these illumined ones instantly becoming aware 
of its happening, and indeed, this knowledge 
is possessed by them before the event has taken 
place in the external world, since their con- 
sciousness is not limited to time, space, or 
place (relative terms only), but is cosmic, or 

This power is not comparable with what 
Occidental Psychism knows as "clairvoyance," 
or "spirit communication." 

The state of consciousness is wholly unlike 
anything which modern spiritualism reports 
in its phenomena. Far from being in any 
degree a suspension of consciousness as is 
what is known as mediumship, this power 
partakes of the quality of omniscience. It 
harmonizes with and blends into all the 
various degrees and qualities of consciousness 
in the cosmos, and becomes "at-one" with the 
universal heart-throb. 

A Zen student priest was once discovered 
lying face downward on the grass of the hill 
outside the temple; his limbs were rigid, and 
not a pulse throbbed in his tense and immov- 
able form. He was allowed to remain undis- 
turbed as long as he wished. When at length 
he stood up, his face wore an expression of 

The New Birth 25 

terrible anguish. It seemed to have grown 
old. His guru stood beside him and gently 
asked: "What did you, my son?" 

"O, my Master," cried out the youth, "I 
have heard and felt all the burdens of the 
world. I know how the mother feels when 
she looks upon her starving babe. I have 
heard the cry of the hunted things in the 
woods; I have felt the horror of fear; I have 
borne the lashes and the stripes of the con- 
vict; I have entered the heart of the outcast 
and the shame-stricken; I have been old and 
unloved and I have sought refuge in self- 
destruction; I have lived a thousand lives of 
sorrow and strife and of fear, and O, my 
Master, I would that I could efface this an- 
guish from the heart of the world." 

The guru looked in wonder upon the young 
priest and he said, "It is well, my son. Soon 
thou shalt know that the burden is lifted." 

Great compassion, the attribute of the Lord 
Buddha, was the key which opened to this 
young student priest, the door of mukti, and 
although his compassion was not less, after he 
had entered into that blissful realization, yet so 
filled did he become with a sense of bliss and 
inexpressible realization of eternal love, that 
all consciousness of sorrow was soon wiped 

26 Cosmic Consciousness 

This condition of effacement of all identity, 
as it were, with sorrow, sin, and death, seems 
inseparable from the attainment of liberation, 
and has been testified to by all who have re- 
corded their emotions in reaching this state 
of consciousness. In other respects, the 
acquisition of this supra-consciousness varies 
greatly with the initiate. 

In all instances, there is also an over- 
whelming conviction of the transitory char- 
acter of the external world, and the emptiness 
of all man-bestowed honors and riches. 

A story is told of the Mohammedan saint 
Fudail Ibn Tyad, which well illustrates this. 
The Caliph Harun-al-Rashid, learning of the 
extreme simplicity and asceticism of his life 
exclaimed, "O, Saint, how great is thy self- 
abnegation." To which the saint made 
answer: "Thine is greater." "Thou dost but 
jest," said the Caliph in wonderment. "Nay, 
not so, great Caliph," replied the saint. "I 
do but make abnegation of this world which 
is transitory, and thou makest abnegation of 
the next which will last forever." 

However, the phrase, "self-abnegation," 
predicates the concept of sacrifice; the giving 
up of something much to be desired, while, as 
a matter of truth, there arises in the conscious- 
ness of the Illumined One, a natural contempt 

The New Birth 27 

for the "baubles" of externality; therefore 
there is no sacrifice. Nothing is given up. On 
the contrary, the gain is infinitely great. 

Manikyavasayar, one of the great Tamil 
saints of Southern India, addressed a gather- 
ing of disciples thus: 

"Why go about sucking from each flower, 
the droplet of honey, when the heavy mass of 
pure and sweet honey is available?" By which 
he questioned why they sought with such 
eagerness the paltry pleasures of this world, 
when the state of cosmic consciousness might 
be attained. 

The thought of India, is however, one of 
ceaseless repudiation of all that is external, 
and the Hindu conception of mukti, or cosmic 
consciousness, differs in many respects from 
that reported by the Illumined in other coun- 
tries, even while all reports have many 
emotions in common. 

Again we find that reports of the cosmic 
influx, differ with the century in which the 
Illumined one lived. This may be accounted 
for in the fact that an experience so essen- 
tially spiritual can not be accurately expressed 
in terms of sense consciousness. 

Far different from the Hindu idea, for ex- 
ample, is the report of a woman who lived in 
Japan in the early part of the nineteenth cen- 

28 Cosmic Consciousness 

tury. This woman was very poor and ob- 
scure, making her frugal living by braiding 
mats. So intense was her consciousness of 
unity with all that is, that on seeing a flower 
growing by the wayside, she would "enter into 
its spirit," as she said, with an ecstacy of 
enjoyment, that would cause her to become 
momentarily entranced. 

She was known to the country people 
around her as Sho-Nin, meaning literally 
"above man in consciousness." 

It is said that the wild animals of the wood, 
were wont to come to her door, and she talked 
to them, as though they were humans. An 
injured hare came limping to her door in the 
early morning hours and "spoke" to her. 
Upon which, she arose and dressed, and 
opened the door of her dwelling with words 
of greeting, as she would use to a neighbor. 

She washed the soil from the injured foot, 
and "loved" it back to wholeness, so that when 
the hare departed there was no trace of injury. 

She declared that she spoke to and was 
answered by, the birds and the flowers, and 
the animals, just as she was by persons. 

Indeed, among the high priests of the Jains, 
and the Zens (sects which may be classed as 
highly developed Occultists), entering into 

The New Birth 29 

animal consciousness, is a power possessed by 
all initiates. 

Passing along a highway near a Zen temple, 
the driver of a cart was stopped by a priest, 
who gently said: "My good man, with some 
of the money you have in your purse please 
buy your faithful horse a bucket of oats. He 
tells me he has been so long fed on rice straw 
that he is despondent." 

To the Occidental mind this will doubtless 
appear to be the result of keen observation, 
the priest being able to see from the appear- 
ance of the animal that he was fed on straw. 
They will believe, perhaps, that the priest 
expressed his observations in the manner de- 
scribed to more fully impress the driver, but 
this conclusion will be erroneous. The priest, 
possessing the enlarged or all-inclusive con- 
sciousness which in the west is termed 
"cosmic," actually did speak to the horse. 

Nor is this fact one which the western 
mind should be unable to follow. Science 
proves the fact of consciousness existing in the 
atoms composing even what has been termed 
inanimate objects. How much more compre- 
hensible to our understanding is the conscious- 
ness of an animate organism, even though this 
organism be not more complex than the horse. 

There is a Buddhist monastery built high 

30 Cosmic Consciousness 

on the cliff overlooking the Japan Inland sea, 
which is called a "life-saving" monastery. 

The priests who preside over this temple, 
possess the power of extending their con- 
sciousness over many miles of sea, and on a 
vibration attuned to a pitch above the sound 
of wind and wave, so that they can hear a call 
of distress from fishermen who need their 

This fact being admitted, might be account- 
ed for by the uninitiated, as a wonderfully 
"trained ear," which by cultivation and long 
practice detects sounds at a seemingly mirac- 
ulous distance. 

But the priests know how many are in a 
wrecked boat, and can describe them, and 
"converse" with them, although the fisher- 
men are not aware that they have "talked" 
to the priest. 

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, the latest 
incarnation of God in India, and the master 
to whom the late Swami Vivekananda gives 
such high praise and devotion, lived almost 
wholly in that exalted state of consciousness 
which would appear to be more essentially 
spiritual, than cosmic in the strict sense of the 
latter word, since cosmic should certainly 
imply all-inclusiveness, rather than wholly 

The New Birth 31 

spiritual (spiritual being here used as an ex- 
tremely high vibration of the cosmos). 

We learn that Sri Ramakrishna was a man 
comparatively unlettered, and yet his insight 
was so marvelous, his consciousness so ex- 
alted that the most learned pundits honored 
and respected him as one who had attained 
unto the goal of all effort liberation, mukti, 
while to many persons throughout India to- 
day, and indeed throughout the whole world, 
he is looked upon as an incarnation of 

It is related of Sri Ramakrishna that his 
yearning for Truth (his mother, he called it), 
was so great that he finally became unfit to 
conduct services in the temple, and retired 
to a little wood near by. Here he seemed to 
be lost in concentration upon the one thought, 
to such an extent that had it not been for de- 
voted attendants, who actually put food into 
his mouth, the sage would have starved to 
death. He had so completely lost all thought 
of himself and his surroundings that he 
could not tell when the day dawned or when 
the night fell. So terrible was his yearning 
for the voice of Truth that when day after day 
passed and the light he longed for had not 
come to him he would weep in agony. 

32 Cosmic Consciousness 

Nor could any words or argument dissuade 
him from his purpose. 

He once said to Swami Vivekananda: 

"My son, suppose there is a bag of gold in 
yonder room, and a robber is in the next room. 
Do you think that robber can sleep? He can- 
not. His mind will be always thinking how he 
can enter that room and obtain possession of 
that gold. Do you think, then, that a man 
firmly persuaded that there is a reality behind 
all these appearances, that there is a God, that 
there is One who never dies, One who is In- 
finite Bliss, a bliss compared with which these 
pleasures of the senses are simply playthings, 
can rest contented without struggling to 
attain it? No, he will become mad with 

At length, after almost twelve years unceas- 
ing effort, and undivided purpose Sri Rama- 
krishna was rewarded with what has been 
described as "a torrent of spiritual light, delug- 
ing his mind and giving him peace." 

This wonderful insight he displayed in all 
the after years of his earthly mission, and he 
not only attained glimpses of the cosmic con- 
scious state, but he also retained the Illumina- 
tion, and the power to impart to a great 
degree, the realization of that state of being 
which he himself possessed. 

The New Birth 33 

Like the Lord Buddha, this Indian sage also 
describes his experience as accompanied by 
"unbounded light." Speaking of this strange 
and overpowering sense of being immersed in 
light, Sri Ramakrishna described it thus : "The 
living light to which the earnest devotee is 
drawn doth not burn. It is like the light com- 
ing from a gem, shining yet soft, cool and 
soothing. It burneth not. It giveth peace 
and joy." 

This effect of great light, is an almost in- 
variable accompaniment of supra-conscious- 
ness, although there are instances of un- 
doubted cosmic consciousness in which the 
realization has been a more gradual growth, 
rather than a sudden influx, in which the phe- 
nomenon of light is not greatly marked. 

Mohammed is said to have swooned with 
the "intolerable splendor" of the flood of white 
light which broke upon him, after many days 
of constant prayer and meditation, in the soli- 
tude of the cavern outside the gates of Mecca. 

Similar is the description of the attainment 
of cosmic consciousness, given by the Persian 
mystics, although it is evident that the Sufis 
regarded the result as reunion with "the other 
half" of the soul in exile. 

The burden of their cry is love, and "union 

34 Cosmic Consciousness 

with the beloved" is the longed-for goal of all 
earthly strife and experience. 

Whether this reunion be considered from 
the standpoint of finding the other half of the 
perfect one, as exemplified in the present-day 
search for the soul mate, or whether it be 
considered in the light of a spiritual merging 
into the One Eternal Absolute is the question 
of questions. 

Certainly the terms used to express this 
state of spiritual ecstacy are words which 
might readily be applied to lovers united in 

One thing is certain, the Sufis did not per- 
sonify the Deity, except symbolically, and the 
"beloved one" is impartially referred to as 
masculine or feminine, even as modern 
thought has come to realize God as Father- 

In all mystical writings, we find the 
conclusion that there is no one way in which 
the seeker may find reunion with The Beloved. 

"The ways of God are as the number of the 
souls of men," declare the followers of Islam, 
and "for the love that thou wouldst find de- 
mands the sacrifice of self to the end that the 
heart may be filled with the passion to stand 
within the Holy of Holies, in which alone the 
mysteries of the True Beloved can be revealed 

The New Birth 35 

unto thee," is also a Sufi sentiment, although 
it might also be Christian or Mohammedan, 
or Vedantan. 

Indeed, if the student of Esotericism, 
searches deeply enough, he will find a surpris- 
ing unity of sentiment, and even of expression, 
in all the variety of religions and philosophies, 
including Christianity. 

It has been said that the chief difference be- 
tween the message of Jesus and those of the 
holy men of other races, and times, lies in the 
fact that Jesus, more than his predecessors, 
emphasized the importance of love. But con- 
sider the following lines from Jami, the Per- 
sian mystic: 

"Gaze, till gazing out of gazing 
Grew to BEING HER I gazed on, 
She and I no more, but in one 
Undivided Being blended. 
All that is not One must ever 
Suffer with the wound of absence; 
And whoever in Love's city 
Enters, finds but room for one 
And but in Oneness, union." 

These lines express that religious ecstacy 
which results from spiritual aspiration, or they 
express the union of the individual soul with 
its mate according to the viewpoint. In any 

36 Cosmic Consciousness 

event, they are an excellent description of the 
realization of that much-to-be-desired con- 
sciousness which is fittingly described in Occi- 
dental phraseology as "cosmic consciousness." 
Whether this realization is the result of union 
with the soul's "other half," or whether it is 
an impersonal reunion with the Causeless 
Cause, The Absolute, from which we are earth 
wanderers, is not the direct purpose of this 
volume to answer, although the question will 
be answered, and that soon. 

From whence and by whom we are not pre- 
pared to say, but the "signs and portents" 
which precede the solution of this problem 
have already made their appearance. 

Christian students of the Persian mystics, 
take exception to statements like the above, 
and regard them as "erotic," rather than 

Mahmud Shabistari employs the following 
symbolism, but unquestionably seeks to ex- 
press the same emotion: 

"Go, sweep out the chamber of your heart, 
Make it ready to be the dwelling-place of the 


When you depart out, he will enter in, 
In you, void of yourself, will he display his 


The New Birth 37 

The "Song of Solom'on" is in a similar key, 
and whether the wise king referred to that 
state of samadhi which accompanies certain 
experiences of cosmic consciousness, or 
whether he was reciting love-lyrics, must be 
a moot question. 

The personal note in the famous "song" has 
been accounted for by many commentators, 
on the grounds that Solomon had only partial 
glimpses of the supra-conscious state, and that, 
in other, words, he frequently "backslid" from 
divine contemplation, and allowed his yearn- 
ing for the state of liberation, to express itself 
in love of woman. 

An attribute of the possession of cosmic 
consciousness is wisdom, and this Solomon is 
said to have possessed far beyond his contem- 
poraries, and to a degree incompatible with 
his years. It is said that he built and conse- 
crated a "temple for the Lord," and that, as 
a result of his extreme piety and devotion to 
God, he was vouchsafed a vision of God. 

As these reports have come to us through 
many stages of church history and as Solomon 
lived many centuries before the birth of Jesus, 
it seems hardly fitting to ascribe the raptures 
of Solomon as typifying the love of the Church 
(the bride) for Christ (the bridegroom). 

Rather, it is easier to believe, the wisdom 

38 Cosmic Consciousness 

of the king argues a degree of consciousness 
far beyond that of the self-conscious man, and 
he rose to the quality of spiritual realization, 
expressing itself in a love and longing for that 
soul communion which may be construed as 
quite personal, referring to a personal, though 
doubtless non-corporeal union with his spiritual 

Although the pronoun "he" is used, signi- 
fying that Solomon's longing was what theol- 
ogy terms "spiritual" and consequently im- 
personal, meaning God The Absolute, yet we 
suggest that the use of the masculine pronoun 
may be due entirely to the translators and 
commentators (of whom there have been 
many), and that, in their zeal to reconcile the 
song with the ecclesiastical ideas of spiritu- 
ality, the gender of the pronoun has been 
changed. We submit that the idea is more 
than possible, and indeed in view of the 
avowed predilections of the ancient king and 
sage, it is highly probable. 

He sings: 

"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth 
For his love is better than wine." 

Again he cries: 

"Behold thou art fair my love, behold thou 
art fair, thou hast dove's eyes." 

The New Birth 39 

The realization of mukti, i. e., the power of 
the at man to transcend the physical, is thus 
expressed by Solomon, clearly indicating that 
he had found liberation : 

"My beloved spoke and said unto me, 'Rise 
up my love my fair one, and come away. For 
lo, the winter is passed, the rain is over and 

" 'The flowers appear upon the earth ; the 
time of singing of birds has come, and the 
voice of the turtle dove is heard in our land. 

" The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, 
and the vine with the tender grapes gives a 
goodly smell. Arise my love, my fair one, 
and come away.' ' 

It is assumed that these lines do not refer 
to a personal hegira, but rather to the act of 
withdrawing the Self from the things of the 
outer life, and fixing it in contemplation upon 
the larger life, the supra-conscious life, but 
there is no reason to doubt that they may 
refer to a longing to commune with the beau- 
tiful and tender things of nature. 

Another point to be noted is that in the 
spring and early summer it is with difficulty 
that the mind can be made to remain fixed 
upon the petty details of everyday business 
life. The awakening of the earth from the 
long cold sleep of winter is typical of the 

40 Cosmic Consciousness 

awakening of the mind from its hypnotisms 
of external consciousness. 

Instinctively, there arises a realization of 
the divinity of creative activity, and the mind 
soars up to the higher vibrations and awakes 
to the real purpose of life, more or less fully, 
according to individual development. 

This has given rise to the assumption, predi- 
cated by some writers on cosmic conscious- 
ness, that this state of consciousness is at- 
tained in the early summer months, and the 
instances cited would seem to corroborate this 

But, as a poet has sung, "it is always sum- 
mer in the soul," so there is no specific time, 
nor age, in which individual cosmic conscious- 
ness may be attained. 

A point which we suggest, and which is 
verified by the apparent connection between 
the spring months, and the full realization of 
cosmic consciousness, is the point that this 
phenomenon comes through contemplation 
and desire for love. Whether this love be ex- 
pressed as the awakening of creative life, as in 
nature's springtime, or whether it be ex- 
pressed as love of the lover for his bride; the 
dove for his mate ; the mother for her child, or 
as the religious devotee for the Lord, the key 
that unlocks the door to illumination of body, 

The New Birth 41 


soul and spirit, is Love, "the maker, the mon- 
arch and savior of all," but whether this love 
in its fullness of perfection may be found in 
that perfect spiritual mating, which we see 
exemplified in the tender, but ardent mating 
of the dove (the symbol of Purity and Peace), 
or whether it means spiritual union with the 
Absolute is not conclusive. 

The mystery of Seraphita, Balzac's won- 
derful creation, is an evidence that Balzac had 
glimpses of that perfect union, which 
gives rise to the experience called cosmic 

It is well to remember that in every instance 
of cosmic consciousness, the person expe- 
riencing this state, finds it practically impos- 
sible to fully describe the state, or its exact 

Therefore, when these efforts have been 
made, we must expect to find the description 
colored very materially by the habit of thought^ 
of the person having the experience. y 

Balzac was essentially religious, but he was 
also extremely suggestible, and, until very 
recently, Theology and Religion were supposed 
to be synonymous, or at least to walk hand 
in hand. Balzac's early training and his envi- 
ronment, as well as the thought of the times in 
which he lived, were calculated to inspire in 

42 Cosmic Consciousness 

him the fallacious belief that God would have 
us renounce the love of our fellow beings, for 
love of Him. 

Balzac makes "Louis Lambert" renounce 
his great passion for Pauline, and seems to 
suggest that this renunciation led to the sub- 
sequent realization of cosmic consciousness, 
which he unquestionably experienced. 

Nor is it possible to say that it did not, since 
renunciation of the lower must inevitably lead 
to the higher, and we give up the lesser only 
that we may enjoy the greater. 

In "Seraphita" Balzac expressed what may 
be termed spiritual love and that spiritual 
union with the Beloved, which the Sufis be- 
lieved to be the result of a perfect and com- 
plete "mating," between the sexes, on the 
spiritual plane, regardless of physical proxim- 
ity or recognition, but which is also elsewhere 
described as the soul's glimpse of its union 
with the Absolute or God. 

The former view is individual, while the 
latter is impersonal, and may, or may not, 
involve absorption of individual consciousness. 

In subsequent chapters we shall again refer 
to Balzac's Illumination as expressed in his 
writings, and will now take up the question 
of man's relation to the universe, as it appears 
in the light of cosmic consciousness, or 



The riddle of the Sphinx is no riddle at all. 
The strange figure, the lower part animal; the 
upper part human; and the sprouting- wings 
epitomize the growth and development of man 
from the animal, or physical (carnal), con- 
sciousness to the soul consciousness, repre- 
sented by woman's head and breast, to the 
supra-conscious, winged god. &-*- ^u.,-*- 

No higher conception of life has ever ema- 
nated from any source, than the concept of man 
developed to a state of perfection represented 
by wings (a symbol of freedom). These winged 
humans are sometimes called angels and some- 
times gods, although the words may not be 

The point is, that no theory of life and its pur- 
poses seems more general or more unescapable 
than that of man's growth from sin (limita- 
tions) to god-hood freedom. 

Whether this consummation is brought about 
through an unbroken chain of upward tenden- 
cies from the lowest forms of life to the high- 


44 Cosmic Cautiousness 

est; or whether it is symbolized by the old the- 
ologic idea of man's fall from godhood to sin, 
the fact remains that we know no other ideal 
than that represented by perfected man; and we 
know no lower idea than that of man still in 
the animal stage of consciousness. 

Artists, painters, sculptors, wishing to depict 
the beauty of spiritual things, must still use the 
human idea for a model refined, spiritualized, 
supra-human, but still man. 

It is a truism that man epitomizes the uni- 
verse. Therefore, the law of growth, which 
science names evolution, may be studied and 
applied with equal precision and accuracy to 
the individual; to a body of individuals called 
a nation; and to worlds, or planets. 

The evolution of an individual is accom- 
plished when he has learned through the 
various avenues of experience, the fact of his 
own godhood; and when he has established 
his union with that indescribable spiritual 
essence which is called Om ; God; Nirvana; 
Samadhi; Brahm; Kami; Allah; and the 

A Japanese term is Dai Zikaku. The Zen 
sect of Japanese Buddhists say Daigo Tettei, 
and one who has attained to this superior 
phase of consciousness is called Sho-Nin, 
meaning literally "above man." 

Man's Relation to God 45 

Emerson, the great American seer, ex- 
pressed this Nameless One, as The Oversoul, 
and Herbert Spencer, the intellectual giant of 
England, used the term Universal Energy. 

Emerson was a seer; Spencer was a sci- 
entist, which word, until recently, was a 
synonym for materialist. 

But what are words? 

Mere symbols of consciousness, and subject 
to change and evolvement, as man's conscious- 
ness evolves. The student of truth will recog- 
nize in these different words, exactly the same 
meaning. The "eternal energy from which all 
things proceed" is a phrase identical with "The 
Oversoul," or "The Absolute," from which all 
manifestation comes. 

Man's evolution, then, is an evolution in 
consciousness, from the subjective azvareness 
of the monad to a realization of the entire 

Each phase of life is a specific degree of 
consciousness and each successive degree 
brings the individual nearer to the realization 
of the sum of all degrees of consciousness, into 
godhood the highest degree which we can 

Such, briefly, is a statement of that phenom- 
enon which is attracting the attention of 
occidental students of psychology, and which 

46 Cosmic Consciousness 

has been fittingly termed "the attainment of 
cosmic consciousness." 

The phrase expresses a degree of conscious- 
ness which includes the entire cosmos not 
only this planet called earth, and every- 
thing thereon, but also the spheres of the 

Not that this degree of consciousness carries 
with it the power to express in words, that 
which it is. In fact, the one who has had this 
marvelous awakening, cannot adequately 
describe, or even retain, a full comprehension 
of what it signifies. 

All-inclusive knowledge would indeed, pre- 
clude the possibility of expression. Therefore, 
even if it were possible to retain in the finite 
mind, the full realization of cosmic conscious- 
ness, words could not be found in which to 
express it to others. 

Thought is the creator of words, but thought 
is but the material which the mind employs, 
and cosmic consciousness transcends the mind, 
engulfs the soul, and reaches to the trackless 
areas of Spirit. 

It may be doubted if any one may retain a 
full realization of cosmic consciousness, and 
remain in the physical body. 

Great and wonderful as have been the ex- 
periences of those who have sought to relate 

Man's Relation to God 47 

their sensations, it is probable that these 
flashes of insight have been in the nature of 
cosmic perception, and have lacked full 

Of those who have had glimpses of that 
larger area of consciousness which includes 
an awareness of eternal unity with the cosmos, 
there are, we believe, many more than 
students of the subject have any idea of. 

This century marks a distinct epoch in what 
is called evolution. 

The end of a kalpa, or cycle of manifestation, I 
is symbolized by the presence on a planet of j 
many avatars, masters, and angels. 

By their very presence these enlightened 
ones arouse in all who are ready for the ex- 
perience a glimpse of that state of being to 
which all souls are destined, and to which all 
shall ultimately attain. 

A time when "gods shall walk the earth" 
is a prophecy which all nations have heard and 
looked forward to. 

That time is now. We see the effect of 
their presence in Peace Conferences; in aboli- 
tion of child labor; in prison reform; in the 
amalgamation of the races; in attempts at 
social equality; in National Eugenic Societies, 
and above all, as we have before stated, in the 
Emancipation of Woman. In fact, it is seen 

48 Cosmic Consciousness 

in all the various ways in which the higher 
consciousness finds expression. 

One of the characteristic signs of this awak- 
ening, the Millenium Dawn, as it has been 
\ named, lies in a very general optimism shining 
through the mists of doubt and unrest and in- 
expressible desire, which accompany the new 
birth in consciousness. 

Amid the seeming chaos of present day con- 
ditions is it not easy to discern the coming 
of that dawn of which all great ones of earth 
have foretold a time when "the earth shall 
be made a fit habitation for the gods"? 

"The heavens" is a term employed to 
specify the Constellation which is composed of 
planets and stars, but we use the term 
"Heaven" also to mean a state of happiness 
and bliss attainable through certain methods, 
a consideration of which we will take up later. 

The immediate point is that this planet is 
being prepared for a position in the solar sys- 
tem consistent with that which is the abode 
of the gods Heaven. 

This proposition is made in its literal mean- 
ing. Corroborative of this statement, which 
is consistent with all prophecies, is the infor- 
mation recently given to the world, by Camille 
Flammarion, and other great astronomers, 
that "the earth is changing its position in the 

Man's Relation to God ^ 49 

heavens at an astonishing rate." The idea 
that "there shall be no night there," is fore- 
shadowed by the estimate that this change 
will give to the earth a perpetual and uniform 
light, and heat. ^-7 "^-~ 

The New Thought preachment of physical 
immortality is but a faint and imperfect per- 
ception of this time, when "there shall be no 
death," because the animal man, subject to 
change, shall give place to the changeless, 
deathless, spiritual man; not through cata- 
clysms, and destruction, but through the 
natural birth into a higher consciousness. 

The Occidental mind is easily affrighted by 
a name. Perhaps we should not specify the 
Occidental mind, but rather the mind of man 
among all races is easily put to sleep by the 
hypnotism of a word. 

The word Pantheism is a bugaboo to the 
Occidentalist. He fears the destruction of the 
Monistic faith, if he admits that man is in 
essence a god, and that therefore there are 
many gods in the one God, even as there are 
many members to the one physical organism. 

Nevertheless all literature, whether sacred 
or profane, teaches the attainment of godhood 
by Man. This can not mean other than the 
attainment of realisation of godhood, by the 
individual and the retention of this realization 

50 Cosmic Consciousness 

to the end that reincarnation shall cease and 
identity with the cosmic principle, be estab- 
lished, beyond further loss, or doubt, or strife, 
or death. 

This is what it means to attain to cosmic 
consciousness. It is inclusive consciousness. 
It is not absorption into the vast unknown, in 
the sense of annihilation of identity. It is 
consciousness plus, not minus. 

An ancient writing- says: 

"And .thou shalt awake as from a long 
dream. Thou shalt be like the perfume aris- 
ing from the flower in which it has been so long 
enclosed. And thou wilt float above the opened 
flower. And thou wilt say 'There is time be- 
fore me in eternity.' ' 

There is nothing in the testimony of those 
who have described, as best they could, their 
emotions upon attainment of this conscious- 
ness, which would argue the absorption of the 
individual soul into The Absolute. 

There is no testimony to argue that the 
attainment of cosmic consciousness, carries 
with it anything approaching annihilation of 

Rather it would seem to testify to an accel- 
eration of all the higher faculties. 

That this would be a more apt interpretation 
may be seen by comparing the different re- 

Moris Relation to God 51 

ports of those experiencing the phenomenon 
of Illumination. 

Nevertheless there has been much contro- 
versy regarding the meaning of the terms nir- 
vana; samadhi; dai zikaku, etc. words ex- 
pressing the condition which we are consid- 
ering under the phrase cosmic consciousness. 


Let us consider briefly, what is meant by 
Nirvana, and see if it is not highly probable 
that the word describes the state of conscious- 
ness which we are considering, referring later 
on to the question, and its interpretation by 
the various schools of religion and philosophy. 

It is apparent that the most learned sages 
of the Orient fail to agree as to the exact mean- 
ing of Nirvana. Occidental writers and leaders 
of the Theosophical philosophy, differ some- 
what as to its import, but at the same time we 
find enough unity on this point to make it evi- 
dent that the state of Nirvana is a desir- 
able attainment the goal of the religious 

Going back for a moment, to a consideration 
of the earliest recorded religion of Japan, we 
find that Sintoism means literally "the way of 
the gods," meaning the way in which men who 
have become god-like, found the path that led 

52 Cosmic Consciousness 

thereunto, but as to exactly what conditions 
are represented by godhood, how indeed, is it 
possible for man to know, much less to 

Since we are conscious of a divine and irre- 
sistible urge toward the attainment of this 
state of being, it is hardly consistent with what 
we know of merely human nature, that the way 
lies in the direction of loss of identity, or in 
other words, in what is popularly compre- 
hended as absorption. That this idea prevails 
in many Oriental sects of Buddhism and Ve- 
danta we are aware, but we are confident that 
this idea is erroneous, and comes from the 
fact that it is impossible to describe the condi- 
tion of consciousness enjoyed by the initiate 
into Nirvana, which term we believe, is 
identical, or at least comparable with 
cosmic consciousness. 

The very fact that external life represents 
so universal a struggle for attainment of this 
state of being, or higher consciousness, indi- 
cates at least, even if it does not actually 
guarantee a fuller, deeper, more complete state 
of consciousness than hitherto enjoyed, rather 
than an absorption or annihilation of any of 
that dearly bought consciousness which dis- 
tinguishes the self from its environment, and 
which says with conviction "I am." 

Man's Relation to God 53 

It is admitted that those who have expe- 
rienced liberation, illumination, mukti, have 
reported their sensations with such relative 
vagueness and with such apparent variance of 
conclusion as regards the meaning of the expe- 
rience that the reader is left to his own inter- 
pretation of the character of that state of 
being, other than a general uniformity of 

Referring to the pleasure which the lower 
nature feels under certain conditions, the late 
Swami Vivekananda says: 

"The whole idea of this nature is to make 
the soul know that it is entirely separate from 
nature and when the soul knows this, nature 
has no more attraction for it. But the whole 
of nature vanishes only for that man who has 
become free. There will always remain an 
infinite number of others for whom nature 
will go on working." 

But did Vivekananda employ the phrase 
"nature has no more attraction for him," to 
describe the sensation of unappreciativeness 
of the wonders of the natural world? We 
think not. Rather the gentle-hearted sage 
meant to report the fact that the soul is no 
longer held in bondage to the external world, 
when it has once attained supra-consciousness. 

If this expression referred to the pleasure the 

54 Cosmic Consciousness 

true lover of nature feels in the out-of-doors, 
he might well say "I trust that I shall never 
attain to that state of consciousness. Or if 
attainment be compulsory, then shall I pro- 
long the time of accomplishment as long as 

And who would blame him? Why should 
we strive for the attainment of a state of be- 
ing described so unattractively as to give us 
the impression of entire loss of so enjoyable 
and unselfish a sensation as love of nature? 

The Vedantic idea, according to interpreted 
translations is that out of The Absolute, the All 
(Om), we come, and therefore back to it we go, 
being now in our present state of conscious- 
ness, en route, as it were to return. 

But returning to what? That is the un- 
answerable problem of all religions; all 
philosophies; all science. If we return to a 
void, such as some interpreters of the Vedas 
declare, then surely this urge within mankind 
toward this annihilatory state would hardly 
be expected. It would be inconsistent with 
that instinct of self-preservation which we are 
told is the first law of nature. 

Compared to this Vedantic concept of the 
Absolute, the Christian's simple, and very 
empirical ideal of eternal happiness is 

Man's Relation to God 55 

To walk streets paved with gold and play 
a harp incessantly while chanting doleful 
praises to a Deity who ought to become 
wearied of the never-ceasing adulation, would 
still be a more desirable goal of our strife, 
than that so inaccurately and unattractively 
described by many students of Oriental reli- 
gions and philosophies as the state nirvana, 
or samadhi. 

Again quoting from Vivekananda's Raja 

"There are not wanting persons who think 
that this manifest state (our present exist- 
ence) is the highest state of man. Thinkers 
of great calibre are of the opinion that we are 
manifested specimens of undifferentiated Being, 
and this differentiated state is higher than the 

Although as Vivekananda says there are 
thinkers who make this claim, the idea does 
not find ready acceptance among theologians, 
either Eastern, or Western. Neither do philos- 
ophers, as a general thing incline to adopt this 
view. The reason for this general disinclina- 
tion is not difficult of discovery. It is due to 
the present state of man on this planet. 

If man, as we see and know mankind, is 
the highest state of Being (not merely of 

56 Cosmic Consciousness 

manifestation, but of Being) "then," they say, 
"we have nothing to hope for." 

But have we not? May we not hope that man 
will manifest, on this planet a fuller realization, 
of that which he is in Being, and that, far from 
dissolving what consciousness he has, he will 
but plus this consciousness by a larger an all- 
embracing consciousness that shall make earth 
a fit habitation for god-like men ? 

In Vivekananda's Raja Yoga we find the 
following : 

"There was an old solution that man, after 
death, remained the same; that all his good 
sides, minus his evil sides, remained forever. 
Logically stated, this means that man's goal is 
the world; this world meaning earth carried 
to a state higher and with elimination of its 
evils is the state they call heaven. This 
theory, on the face of it, is absurd and puerile 
because it cannot be. There cannot be good 


without evil, or evil without good. To live 
in a world where there is all good and no evil, 
is what Sanskrit logicians call a 'dream in the 
air.' " 

It is not necessary to argue here that there 
is no such thing as positive evil. 

St. Paul said: "I know and am persuaded 
that nothing is unclean of itself; save that to 

Man's Relation to God 57 

him who accounteth anything to be unclean, 
to him it is unclean." 

And again we are assured that "there is 
nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it 
so;" which means that evil has no more 
foundation in reality than has thought, and 
thought is ever-changing; transitory. Evil 
therefore may be entirely eliminated by 
thought, since it is created by thought. 

That there is a condition of mankind which 
has been alluded to as "evil" is self-evident. 
The term has been employed to describe a 
condition of either an individual, or a society, 
or a nation or a race, wherein there is ih- 
harmony; disease; unhappiness. Anything 
that makes for suffering on any plane of con- 
sciousness, may be termed "evil" as here used. 

Let us consider for a moment if it be illogi- 
cal to imagine a world in which this inharmony 
has been eliminated. Imagine a family in 
which all the members radiate love and unsel- 
fish consideration. Add to this, or we may say 
complementary to this, we have perfect health 
and prosperity; and over and above all we 
have a conviction of immortality, eliminating 
doubt and fear and worry as to future sorrows 
or partings, with no knowledge that there are 
others in the world suffering. 

Do we not find it quite possible, to say the 

58 Cosmic Consciousness 

least, and even desirable, to live in such a 
family, particularly if we had previously 
acquired a knowledge of that which is evil and 
that which is good merely terms used to de- 
scribe limited, or enlarged consciousness. 

If we admit the desirability of living in such 
a family, why not in such a world ? "Logically 
stated," says the Hindu swami, "this means 
that man's goal is this world (earth planet) ; 
carried to a state higher and with the elimina- 
tion of its evils, this world is the state (place) 
they call heaven." 

Again we must question. Why not? 

This planet we call earth, is a great and 
marvelous work, whether it be the work of an 
abstract God, or whether it be the work of the 
god in Man. 

And whether this earth be the gift of an 
abstract God, or whether it be the generating 
bed of the life now upon it, the fact remains 
that we have no business to despise the gift, 
or the work of self-generation. Our business 
is to enhance its beauties and eliminate its ugli- 
ness. Why have we prayed that the will of 
God which is Love, "be done on earth as it is in 
the heavens," if we despise the planet and 
hope to leave it? 

Although the general impression given in 
all religious systems is that the perfected soul 

Mail's Relation to God 59 

leaves this earth, yet there is nothing in any 
of them to prove that it does so, or if it has 
hitherto, that it shall continue so to do. We 
have no right to assume that the outer life 
the external, manifested life which we per- 
ceive with our physical senses, is all there is 
to this earth and that when we leave this 
outer life, we go to some other place. The 
invisible life on this planet is unquestionably 
far greater than the visible but both visible and 
invisible doubtless belong to the planet earth. 

The Absolute, presumably occupies all 
space, and therefore it may as reasonably be 
postulated that this state of Nirvana or Samadhi, 
may be entered within the area of this planet's 
vibrations, as in that of the other planets. 
The finite mind cannot conceive of a state of 
being apart from motion, space or time, even 
though these concepts are crude in their rela- 
tion to the state of consciousness to which the 
sum of all consciousness is tending, whether 
the individual would, or not. 

We speak of "the heavens" when we refer 
to the immeasurable, and little known region 
of the solar system, and we use the same term 
when we refer to a state of being in which the 
perfected soul of man will finally enter. And 
this term implies that when we are thus in 

60 Cosmic Consciousness 

heaven, we are with God, if not absorbed into 

Jesus, the master, taught the coming of the 
kingdom of God on earth and urged mankind 
to pray for its coming, asking that the will of 
God (or gods) be done on earth as it is in the 
heavens, from which it is not illogical to infer 
that the earth itself, as a planet, is not outside 
the pale of that blissful state which we ascribe 
to God, and which, at the same time, we ex- 
pect to enter without being swallowed up in 
the sense that we lose that consciousness 
which cognizes itself as an eternal verity. 

If then, the "heavens" as applied to the 
planets revolving above the earth in the solar 
system, and "Heaven" as a term used to de- 
scribe a state of happiness, bliss, samadhi, 
nirvana, or "life with God," be synonymous 
it may reasonably be inferred that in the solar 
system are planets upon which live sentient 
beings, in a state to which we on earth, are 
seeking to attain; a state wherein so-called 
evil has been eliminated and the good retained. 

In fact, we may see with none too prophetic 
eyes the elimination of evil right here in the 
visible. All who have attained a glimpse of 
Illumination have reported the loss of the 
"sense of sin and death," and have retained 

Man's Relation to God 61 

this feeling of security and "all-is-well-ness" as 
long as they have lived thereafter. 

From the old conception of "evil" as a posi- 
tive, opposing and independent force, modern 
thought, in all its branches, namely science; 
religion; social evolution, and philosophy, has 
arrived at the conclusion that evil is not a 
power or force in and of itself, but that it is 
evidence of a limited degree of consciousness 
which sees only one side of a subject only a 
limited area of an infinitely wide and varied 
manifestation of the one supreme conscious- 
ness. Therefore, it is, that evil per se, does not 
exist as power, but that it is the effect of a 
misapplication of power. 

The cure then, for this state of Relativity, 
is found logically enough, in an extension of 
individual consciousness. 

That this idea is logical may be deduced 
from the fact that as the mind expands, 
through the various channels of learning; 
observation; contact with each other, and by 
the many roads of Experience, altruism be- 
comes more general. Almost every one 
readily admits that the world is "growing bet- 
ter," as they express it. 

This means that the individual conscious- 
ness is becoming broadened, deepened, en- 
larged; and this enlargement makes it possible 

62 Cosmic Consciousness 

to show that the happiness of each one, means 
the happiness of all, and that no one human 
life can reach the goal of freedom and eternal 
life (muktij which can mean nothing less than 
godhood) unless he does so by some one of 
the many paths of selflessness. 

Up through the perilous paths and the de- 
vious ways of brute consciousness toward a 
more or less perfect perception of that blissful 
state which the Illumined have sought to de- 
scribe, each individual has come to his present 
state; and it is only by virtue of the ability to 
look back over the path, and to look onward a 
little into relative futurity, that each may 
record the fact of his gain in consciousness, 
and what this gain means to the future of this 

But who is there who cannot see that each 
step in attainment of consciousness brings 
with it a corresponding freedom from 

The planet itself does not make us suffer. 
The latest discoveries of astronomers indicate 
that as the standard of morality (using the 
term "morality" in its true sense), becomes 
higher, the position of the earth itself becomes 
changed, in its relation to the solar system. * 

In this way, it is expected that a uniform 
temperature will prevail all over the earth's 

VI. . ^ / 

"^ ' <-+^~s-^s- rf-Ve^-" tV^Lt> &*-Ct,~ ^<-^^ 

Man's Relation to God 63 

surface; and with the cessation of war, and 
of competition (which is mental warfare) 
cataclysms, storms, and earthquakes will cease. 
When we come, as we will, in succeeding 
chapters of this book, to a review of the experi- 
ences of those who have attained cosmic con- 
sciousness (mukti) we will find that, in each in- 
stance, there has come a realization of the nothing- 
ness of sin and consequent suffering. 

The trouble then, is not with the earth as 
a planet, but with the lack of consciousness of 
earth's inhabitants, which lack makes possible 
all the suffering which afflicts human life. 

Those who have attained to the state of 
cosmic consciousness in both Occidental and 
Oriental instances of this perception, have 
reported an abiding sense of rest and peace 
and satisfaction a condition which we asso- 
ciate with accepted ideals of heaven as taught 
in Occidental creeds and among some schools 
of Oriental philosophers, and sects of religious 

There is a far greater unity of idea between 
the Oriental and the Occidental methods and 
systems, as to the goal of ultimate attainment 
than is generally believed, or understood. 

The highest expression of Japanese Budd- 
hism differs from Hindu Buddhism and from 
Vedanta, and the many other forms of Hindu 

64 Cosmic Consciousness 

philosophy and religion, in the same way that 
the Japanese, as a nation, differ from their 
Hindu brothers. 

The Japanese emphasize, more than do the 
Hindus, the preservation of the nation, and to 
this end, they are called more "practical" 
minded, but with the Japanese, as with all 
the Orientals, we find an intense contempt for 
any one who would seek to preserve his physi- 
cal existence, or hesitate at any personal 

This unwritten code has its origin, as have 
all Oriental traditions and concepts, in the 
teachings of religious systems. According to 
Oriental ethics, the person is very low in the 
scale of consciousness, when he considers his 
physical body as of comparative consequence, 
when the question of expediency, or of the 
welfare of his country, is in the balance. 

Nevertheless, Japan has offered, far more 
than has India, a fertile field for the growth 
of materialism, owing to the fact that underly- 
ing the apparent observance of and loyalty to, 
religious practices, the Japanese temperament 
inclines to a practical application of the wis- 
dom attained through religious instruction. 

Therefore we find among the Illumined Ones 
of Japanese history, sages who taught the 
attainment of liberation through paths which 

Man's Relation to God 65 

are not generally accepted by interpreters of 

For example, among the orthodox Sintoists, 
(the original religion of the Japanese, before 
the advent of Buddhism), we find that cleanli- 
ness of mind and body, was taught as the 
prime essential to attainment of unity with 
Kami, rather than contemplation, meditation 
and isolation, as with the Hindus. 

And in the Christian world we have a corres- 
ponding admonition in the phrase "cleanliness 
is next to godliness." 

Simple as this rule of conduct is, it neverthe- 
less embodies the key to the situation, inas- 
much as we are assured that "blessed are the 
pure in heart for they shall see God." 

Again Jesus told his hearers that they "must 
become as little children," evidently meaning 
that they must possess the clean, pure, guile- 
less mind of a little child, if they would reach 
the goal of liberation, from strife; death (re- 
peated incarnation) ; and all so-called "evil." 

To this end man is striving, whether by rites 
and ceremonies of religion; by worship; by 
contemplation; by effort and struggle; by in- 
vention; by aspiration; by sacrifice; or by 
whatever path, or device, or system. 

What, then is the goal, and how may it be 

66 Cosmic Consciousness 

Before taking up this question, let us go 
back a little over the history of human life and 
attainment, and trace, briefly, the evolution of 
consciousness, from pre-historic man, to the 
highest examples of human devotion and wis- 
dom, of which, happily, the world affords not 
a few instances. 


Consciousness may be termed, simply, "the 
divine spark," which enters into every form 
and phase of manifested life emanating from 
that one Eternal Power which materialists desig- 
nate as "energy" and which Occultists, both Ori- 
ental and Occidental, best define as "Aum," 
God! The Absolute The Divine Mind, and many 
other terms. 

Consciousness, therefore, enters into every- 
thing is the life essence of everything. 

The materialistic hypothesis formerly pred- 
icated the axiom that there were two distinct 
phases of manifestation, namely organic and 

Organic life was sentient, or conscious, 
while inorganic life was insensate a structure 
acted upon from forces outside itself, and 
dependent upon an exterior force for its 

Other names for this differentiation, would 
be "matter" and "spirit." The point is, that 
the old materialistic philosophy failed to recog- 

68 Cosmic Consciousness 

nize the fact that consciousness, in varying 
degrees, characterizes all manifested life. 

This fact every phase of Oriental philosophy 
recognized, and always has recognized. The 
assumption of the Christian Science devotee, 
that there is anything new in the postulate 
that "all is spirit," is possible only because 
of his ignorance of Oriental philosophy, as 
will be seen later on in these pages, when we 
take up the relative comparison between the 
Oriental and the Occidental systems of "salva- 

To resume therefore, we postulate the fol- 
lowing recognized axioms of Universal Occult- 

All life is sentient or conscious. 

All life is from the one source, and there- 
fore contains this "divine spark." 

All manifestation expresses degrees or 
phases of consciousness. 

The degree of this consciousness fixes the 
status of the organism, and determines its 
classification, whether it is organic or in- 
organic; simple, or complex. 

Every cell, each separate cell, in fact, has its 
own consciousness that is each cell is a cen- 
ter of this power that we term consciousness ; 
a group of cells with this power focalized to a 
given point, or center, makes an organ of con- 

Areas of Consciousness 69 

sciousness, and so on up the scale through 
many many degrees of complexity of organ- 
ism, until we come to man. 

Webster defines consciousness as "the abil- 
ity to know ones mental operations." But, 
we do not take this definition in Occultism, 
for the obvious reason, that it is not possible 
to state arbitrarily whether 'or not, the cell 
"knows its operations," and since all opera- 
tions are necessarily mental in the final analy- 
sis, we assume that there is a phase of con- 
sciousness below that of cognition of "self," 
which may be termed "the unconscious con- 
sciousness," which again is synonymous with 
the phrase "automatic cerebration." 

Coming up through the various myriad de- 
grees of sub-conscious life (sub being here 
used as below self consciousness) we arrive at 
the stage of simple consciousness which 
characterizes the animal kingdom, remember- 
ing that consciousness in the abstract is not a 
condition, or state of environment. It is one 
of the eternal verities. It is just as Aum is. 

The attainment of a wider and wider area 
of consciousness, is but the uncovering, or the 
attracting to a central point or to an individual 
organism of this that is. Thus consciousness, 
in the abstract, may say of itself "before crea- 
tion was, I am." 

70 Cosmic Consciousness 

That is what is meant when it is said that 
God is omnipotent, and omniscient. 

The difference between mere power, or 
energy, and consciousness, whether considered 
from the standpoint of the organic or the in- 
organic kingdom, may be likened to the differ- 
ence between a blind force, and a power that 
knows itself. 

Consciousness is practically the great cen- 
tral light that "lighteth every man that cometh 
into the world." Without consciousness, 
manifestation would be darkness. Thus it is 
said, "the light shineth in darkness and the 
darkness comprehendeth it not." This applies 
to that tiny spark of divinity in which con- 
sciousness exists but where there is not realiza- 
tion of its divinity. 

This fact is not applicable to the inorganic, 
or the animal kingdoms alone. Many men 
are not conscious of the light that shineth 
within them, save as there is an aggregate of 
cell consciousness which recognizes its focal- 
lized power as an organism. 

Manifestation then, is the vehicle (carrying 
character) of universal consciousness, and we 
may logically assume that manifestation is due 
to the necessity of developing individualized 
entities, who may, through successive phases 

Areas of Consciousness 71 

of conscious unfoldment, or uncovering of 
areas of Being, become gods. 

The western writers, and indeed, many 
Oriental seers prefer to put it thus: "become 
fit to dwell with God, in eternal bliss and 

To dwell with God, must be to become gods. 
Once more, we must remember that only gods 
are immortal. Souls continue to exist after 
the physical body has been discarded, for the 
reason that no body in these days, lives as long 
as its psychic counterpart or dweller. But, 
although the soul continues to exist on another 
plane or note of the scale of vibration, it does 
not argue that the identity shall continue eter- 
nally, except in such instances, as when the 
soul through numbers of incarnations shall 
have finally accomplished the purpose of its 
pilgrimage and attained to mukti (liberation 
from the law of change and death). 

Returning to a consideration of what may 
be said to constitute certain specific phases of 
consciousness, we will take into consideration 
the phase of consciousness, which we see ex- 
pressed in the mineral kingdom. That there 
is a distinct and separate character of con- 
sciousness thus expressed is evident from the 
fact that there is a law of chemical affinity, 
i. c. attraction and repulsion, which causes dif- 

72 Cosmic Consciousness 

fercnt minerals to respond, or to refuse to 
respond, as the case may be, to certain condi- 
tions or chemical processes, more or less crude 
in character. 

From this to the vegetable kingdom we 
assume a step in advance, as vegetable life 
measured by complexity and refinement, re- 
sponds with a greater degree of sensitiveness 
to the laws of evolution, as expressed in culti- 
vation, selection and environment. 

Even in this phase of manifestation, we find 
the law of Being, is measured by the perfection 
of species. Evolution of inorganic life, is as 
real, and as much a part of the plan, (or what- 
ever name we choose), as is organic, and self- 
conscious life. 

That which is less perfect, measured by 
the law of beauty and usefulness, we find grad- 
ually being exterminated. That the earth, as 
a planet, is obeying this cosmic law of evolu- 
tion from grossness to refinement ; from crud- 
ity to perfection; from the limited to the all- 
inclusive, is indisputable. As the motor power 
of electricity has become general, we find that 
beasts of burden are fast disappearing from 
the earth, according to the law of the "survival 
of the fittest," this law, always being subject 
to change. The "fittest" means that which is 
best fitted to the conditions of the time. 

Areas of Consciousness 73 

Brute force survives among brutes, in the 
degree that it is strong or weak ; coming out 
of that expression of law into the mental areas 
of consciousness, we find that the mentally fit 
survive among those who live only in the areas 
of the mind; so on, into the spiritual, we will 
find the "survival of the fittest" will be those 
who are best fitted for spiritual eternity for 

Coming again, to our consideration of the 
term consciousness, we will take a brief sur- 
vey of that phase of consciousness which we 
see manifested in the forms of life that have 
the power to move from their immediate 
environment; such for instance would include 
the fish in the sea; insect life; reptiles; the 
birds in the air; and all forms of animal life. 

While expressing a very limited degree of 
consciousness, yet there is evident a certain 
degree or aggregate of cell consciousness, 
which transcends that of the mineral and vege- 
table life. This apparently advanced degree of 
consciousness, does not, as we have stated, 
presuppose a nearer approach to immortality, 
however, for the reason that we apply the law 
of the survival of the fittest to all manifesta- 
tion, and that which is best fitted for certain 
stages of the planet's life during the process 
of evolvement, may be most unfitted for sue- 

74 Cosmic Consciousness 

ceeding stages, and will, by the inexorable law 
of survival, be discontinued discarded, even 
as the properties and stage-settings of a drama 
are thrown aside, when the play has been 
"taken off the boards." 

It is admitted, therefore, that those forms 
of life having the power of locomotion, in- 
volve a more complex degree of consciousness, 
than does that of the mineral or vegetable. 

In that phase of life that we see possessing 
the power to move, to change its immediate 
environment, even though not capable of 
changing its tiabitat we may perceive the begin- 
ning of that consciousness expressed as "free- 
will." Here, we assume, the organism recog- 
nizes its self as distinct from its environment, 
and from its counterparts, etc., but this recog- 
nition has not sufficient consciousness to assert 
that recognition, and so we say that there is no 
^//-consciousness. There is what occultists 
have agreed to call simple consciousness, but 
this does not include a realization of identity, 
as apart from environment. This may be bet- 
ter understood if we separate these degrees or 
phases of consciousness into groups, applicable 
to the human organism, leaving, for a time the 
consideration of whether or not some human 
specimens are higher in the scales than are 
some animals. 

Areas of Consciousness 75 

Physical, or sense consciousness, is shared 
alike by man and the animals. 

Beyond this phase of consciousness we may 
classify the human species in the following 

Physical self-consciousness. 

Mental self-consciousness. 

Soul (individual) "I" consciousness. 

Spiritual self-consciousness. 

Physical self-consciousness is that phase of 
self-recognition which knows itself as a body 
distinct from its neighbors; from its natural 
environment. This awareness of the self it is 
that actuated pre-historic man when he mani- 
fested the blind force that is sometimes called 
"self-preservation," which force has errone- 
ously been termed "the first law of nature." 

Preservation of this physical self is the most 
"primitive" law of nature, but not "first" in 
the sense that it is the most important, or the 

The world's long list of heroes refutes this 
idea. The pre-historic species of human, then, 
in common with his brother, the animal, 
sought to preserve this physical self, because 
he felt that this physical self, his body, was all 
there was of him, and he wished to preserve 
it, even as the wise man of today, sacrifices 
everything to the preservation of the moral 

76 Cosmic Consciousness 

and spiritual Self which he realizes is the real 
of him. 

To this end, he cultivated physical force, 
sufficient to overcome his environment; and 
as he developed a little of that consciousness 
which we term mental (using the term merely 
as a part of the physical organism called the 
brain), he realized that co-operation would 
greatly enhance his chances for self-preserva- 
tion, and therefore, this mental consciousness 
impelled him to annex to his forces other 
physical organisms so that their united 
strength might preserve each other. 

This side of the story of man's evolution in 
consciousness is not however a part of our 
present work, and we will therefore leave it, 
for a brief consideration of the successive steps 
in attainment of consciousness, leading 
through devious paths, and through millions 
of relative time called years, into the present 
state of man's consciousness which in so many 
instances presages the oncoming of that state, 
called liberation, or illumination mukti. 

Through mental self-consciousness the way 
has been long and arduous. There are many, 
many degrees of this phase of consciousness, 
and to this phase we owe what is called our 
present civilization. 

The true occultist, whether viewing mani- 

Areas of Consciousness 77 

festation from the standpoint of Oriental or 
of Occidental ideals, realizes that everything 
is right which makes for human betterment, 
and that dharma (right-action) consists in act- 
ing in accordance with the highest motive of 
which one's consciousness is capable. 

That our present civilization is most un- 
civilized in many respects, will be admitted by 
all whose range of consciousness has touched 
in any degree, the infinite areas of wisdom 
expressed in altruistic action. 

But, though the path be long, and thorny, 
the cycle is closing, and many have reached 
the goal through its zigzag course. 

But, underlying, as it were, and upholding 
and uplifting the expression of sense con- 
sciousness in which so many persons seem lost 
today, there are evidences of a consciousness 
which observes the effects, of this tremendous 
mental activity, and knows itself as something 
apart from, and superior to this manifestation. 

This, we define as soul individualized ex- 
pression of the spiritual consciousness the 
central light, which as we previously quoted, 
"lighteth every man that cometh into the 

Many there are who merely perceive this. 
To them there is a vague and indefinable 
something which seems to realize that the 

78 Cosmic Consciousness 

operations of the mind are something 
phenomenal and apart from the real Self. 

Psychology, even so empirical a psychology 
as is possible of demonstration in western 
schools and colleges, evidences the fact that 
there is a far greater field of mental operation 
than is covered by the outer, or mental con- 

The outer, or objective action of the mind, 
considers but one subject, one question, one 
problem at a time. Many varied phases of this 
problem may present themselves, but the men- 
tal forces are focalized upon one subject at a 
time. And yet to state that but one idea, 
thought-concept, or desire, can enter the mind 
at a time, is not a safe assumption. 

After many centuries of material strife, with 
the object of satisfying the demands of 
human life, the conviction is forcing itself 
upon people in all walks of life, that wealth, 
ambition, power and possessions, do not give 
us the answer to the eternal unescapable and 
insistent question of the way to happiness. 

This means that there is awakening in the 
human race more generally than at any other 
time in recorded history, a realization that the 
human organism is not merely a physical 
aggregate of cells, nor yet that it is mind 
individualized and in operation for the purpose 

Areas of Consciousness 79 

of exercising new powers. The fact is becom- 
ing apparent that all discovery is but an un- 
covering of those vast areas of consciousness 
which are limitless; and which include not 
only all life on this planet, but all life in the 
Cosmos. In short, cosmic consciousness is 
becoming perceived, by a vast majority, and is 
being realized by not a few. 

But in the immediate future of the race, we 
find the next step, for the majority to be that 
of soul-consciousness. 

Back of thought, like a guardian angel 
stands the desire of the soul, stimulating and 
directing; back of action stands thought, as 
the master directs the servant, or as the cap- 
tain decides the course of the ship. 

Spiritual evolution may be understood, or 
at least perceived, from a study of physical and 
mental evolution. From the crude to the per- 
fect is the law ; if this perfection of species, or 
of phases, could be attained without pain, it 
were well. Pain comes from lack of wisdom 
to realize that out of the lower the higher 
inevitably springs, as the butterfly springs 
from the cocoon; as the flower springs from 
the seed; "as above so below" is a translation 
of an old Sinto saying, which also bids us 
"trust in Kami and keep clean." 

Again it is said "to him who overcometb', 

So Cosmic Consciousness 

will I give the inheritance." Overcoming may 
be variously interpreted. In the past, it has 
been presented to the initiate, as sacrifice. If 
so it be, then is it because of lack of that wis- 
dom which knows that there is no sacrifice 
in exchanging the physical for the spiritual 
the ephemeral for the abiding. 

Says the ancient manuscripts : 

"The body is purified by water, the mind by 
truth, the soul by knowledge and austerity, the 
reason by wisdom." 

But as the groping, undeveloped soul 
struggles for consciousness, it reaches out for 
the gratification of mental desires. The soul 
is moved by desire for perfect happiness. The 
mind seeks to satisfy this craving for happi- 
ness in increased activities; in accumulation; 
in so-called pleasure, i. e. always looking out- 
side thinking outside, living in the outside 
the maya. But the soul has but one answer to 
this quest for happiness. It is love, because 
only love and wisdom give immortality 
which is self-preservation in the true sense. 

It is written in the Shruti: "Brahman is wis- 
dom and bliss." 

No higher text can be given the disciple. 

Wisdom comes from reflection upon the 
results of Experience, in the search for happiness. 

When the mind has sounded the depths of 

Areas of Consciousness 81 

its resources, and the urge forward can not 
be appeased, when the voice of the inner seif 
the soul, cannot be silenced; the disciple 
pauses to ask the way. He wants to know 
what it is all about, and why it is that all he 
has so striven and struggled for fails to satisfy. 
He wants to know how to avoid pain; and 
how to find the most direct road to that satis- 
faction which endures ; and which is not 
synonymous with the so-called "pleasures" of 
the senses. 

When this stage of development has been 
reached, the disciple is ready for another phase 
of Experience which shall extend his conscious- 
ness into those areas of knowledge, in which 
the Real is distinguishable from the Illusory. 
Experience will then teach him that only Love 
is real. 

That which is for the permanent good of all, 
as opposed to that which is transitory and 
only seemingly satisfying to the few, may be 
said to constitute the perception of the Real, 
and the avoidance of Illusion. 

To exchange a present seeming advantage 
to the physical environment, for a future and 
permanent satisfaction of the soul is the prero- 
gative of the wise the soul that has discov- 
ered itself and its mission. 

In all organisms below the scale of the hu- 

82 Cosmic Consciousness 

man, there is a constant growth in complexity 
of organism, with specialization of functions. 

When we come to this last-mentioned stage 
of human development, we find that there is 
no more specialization in the way of develop- 
ment of the physical functions. Instead, there 
is a determined effort at perfecting the higher 
functions, through the gradations of conscious- 
ness, until the spiritual consciousness of the 
individual entity has been awakened. 

Then, indeed, has been awakened the "di- 
vine man" and the path to immortality is 
henceforth comparatively short, although by 
no means strewn with roses, judged from the 
limited standard of Relativity. 

A man's karma simply and mathematically, 
proves the direction of his former desires. 
Karma does not punish or reward, as is fre- 
quently imagined. 

The general impression that one is reaping 
"good or bad karma" according as his life is 
one of pleasure or of pain, is not the solution 
of the problem of karma, and has no relation 
to the law of karmic action. 

If a soul has in a previous life outgrown or 
outworn that evolutionary phase of develop- 
ment, in which the mind seeks temporary 
pleasures, and has come to the place where he 
wants to distinguish the Real from the Illusory, 

Areas of Consciousness 83 

his karma, in compliance with the law of de- 
sire, will bring him in relation to those condi- 
tions which will teach him to know the Real 
from the Illusory, and in those conditions he 
will experience pain because he will, if he re- 
main in the activities of the world, be acting 
contrary to the ideas of the average. 

Thus, to the onlooker, and in accordance 
with the general misinterpretation of the law 
of karma, he will be thought to have reaped 
a "bad" karma, while as a matter of reality, 
he will be making very rapid strides on the 
path to godhood. Said a famous Japanese 
high priest: 

"Desire is the bird that carries the soul to 
the object in which his mind is immersed, and 
thus his future actions are the result." 

This means that by the law of desire, acting 
in accordance with the evolutionary pilgrim- 
age of the soul, the karma is produced. The 
American poet, Lowell, says: "No man is 
born into the world whose work is not born 
with him." However, whether or not this ap- 
plies to man in the first stages of his upward 
climb to the goal of attainment of conscious 
godhood, it most assuredly applies to those 
souls who have become aware of their pur- 
pose, and who have made a conscious choice 

84 Cosmic Consciousness 

of their karma. And of this class of souls, the 
world today has a goodly number. 

The end of a kalpa finds many avatars, and 
angels on earth, and however obscured the 
mind of these may become in the fog of Illu- 
sion, the inner light guides them through its 
mists to the safe accomplishment of their 

There is a story of a Buddhist priest, who 
when dying, was comforted by his loving dis- 
ciples with the reminder that he was at last 
entering upon a state of bliss and rest. To 
which the earnest one replied: 

"Never so long as there is misery to be 
assuaged, shall I enter Nirvana. I shall be 
reborn where the need is greatest. I shall 
wish to be reborn in the nethermost depths of 
hell, because that is the place that most needs 
enlightenment; that is the place to point out 
the path to deliverance; that is the place 
where the light will shine most brightly." 

Thus it will be seen we may not readily de- 
termine what is "good" and what is "bad" 
karma, by judging from external conditions. 

As we are told that we may entertain "an- 
gels unawares," so we may pass the world's 
avatars upon the street, and judging from the 
external, the physical environment, we may 

Areas of Consciousness 85 

not know them from the vampire souls that 
contact them. 

The point of our present consideration is 
that this "year of grace," meaning not the 
mere twelve months of the calendar year, but 
the century, is the end of the present kalpa 
(cycle), and demonstrates that period of evo- 
lution has terminated, and the era is at hand 
when spiritual alchemy shall transform the old 
into the new, and that the desire, which has 
so long ministered to the wants of the phys- 
ical body, shall be turned (converted) into the 
channels that lead to spiritual consciousness. 

The undefined, instinctive urge that has 
actuated so many intrepid souls, is becoming 
recognized for what it is the awakening of 
the inner Self; the blind groping in the dark 
will cease and there shall arise a race of human 
beings liberated; free; aware of their spiritual 
origin and their inherent divinity. 

All who have conformed their life activities 
to the divine law of action, which may be 
tersely stated as "Not mine, but thine, dear 
brother," will have achieved the goal of the 
soul's purpose will have found Nirvana. 


During what is historically known as the 
Dark Ages, the esoteric meaning of religious 
practices became obscured. This is true no 
less, and no more, of Oriental countries, than 
of European. The long night through which 
the earth passed during that time and since, 
but foreshadowed a coming dawn. In the 
still very imperfect light of the dawning day, 
truth is seen but dimly, and its rays appear 
distorted, whereas, when seen with the "pure 
and spotless eye" they are straight and clear 
and simple. 

Indeed, the very simplicity of Truth causes 
her to pass unnoticed. 

While to the superficial observer; the 
student who is mentally eager but who lacks 
the wonderful penetrating power of spiritual 
insight, there seems to be a great complexity 
in Oriental philosophy, the fact is, that the 
entire aggregation of systems is simple enough 
when we have the key. 

One of the stumbling blocks; the inexplic- 
able enigma to many Occidental students, is 


Self-ness and Selflessness 87 

the problem of the preservation, of the Self, 
and the constant admonition to become self- 
less. The two appear paradoxical. 

How may the Self acquire consciousness and 
yet become selfless? 

Throughout the Oriental teachings, no mat- 
ter which of the many systems we study, we 
find the oft-repeated declaration that libera- 
tion can never be accomplished and Nirvana 
reached, by him "who holds to the idea of 

It is this universally recognized aphorism 
which has given rise to the erroneous concep- 
tion of Nirvana as absorption of all identity. 

Hakuin Daisi, the St. Paul of Japanese 
Buddhism, cautioned his disciples that they 
must "absorb the self into the whole, the 
cosmos, if they would never die," and Jesus 
assured his hearers that "he who loses his life 
for my sake shall find it." 

Christians have taken this simple statement 
to mean that he who endured persecution and 
death because of his espousal of Christianity, 
would be rewarded in the way that a king 
bestows lands and titles, for defense of his 
person and throne. 

This is the limited viewpoint of the personal 
self; it is far from being consistent with the 
wisdom of the Illumined Master. 

88 Cosmic Consciousness 

He who has sufficient spiritual conscious- 
ness to desire the welfare of all, even though 
his own life and his own possessions were the 
price therefor, can not lose his life. Such a 
one is fit for immortality and his godhood is 
claimed by the very act of renunciation not 
as a reward bestowed for such renunciation. 

By the very act of willingness to lose the 
self we find the Self. Not the self of exter- 
nality. Not the self that says "I am a white 
man ; or a black man ; or a yellow man ; or a 
red man." That says "I am John Smith" or 
any other name. The awareness of this kind 
of selfhood, this personal self, is like looking 
at one's reflection in the mirror and saying, 
"Ah, I have on a becoming attire," or "my 
face looks sickly today." It is the same "I" 
that looked yesterday and found the face look- 
ing excellently well, so that there must have 
been consciousness behind the observation, 
that could take cognizance of the difference in 
appearance of yesterday's reflection and that 
which met that cognizing eye today. 

Eagerness to retain consciousness of the 
personal self blocks the way of Illumination 
which uncovers the real, the greater, the 
higher Self the atman. 

This constant adjuration to sink the self 
into The Absolute, is what has given rise to so 

Self-ness and Selflessness 89 

much difference of interpretation as to the 
meaning of mukti, liberation. It sounds par- 
adoxical to state that it is only by giving up 
all consciousness of self, that immortal Self- 
hood is gained. 

Thus has arisen all the confusion as to the 
meaning of "absorption into a state of bliss." 
How may the Self realize a state of selflessness 
and yet not be lost in a sea of unconsciousness ? 

Only one who is capable of self-sacrifice 
were he called upon, can correctly answer this 
question, and by what may be termed the 
very law of equation, the sacrifice becomes 

Should any one seek to bargain with him- 
self to pay the price of loss of self, so that he 
might gain the higher, fuller life, his sacrifice 
would be in vain because it would not be self- 
lessness, but selfishness there could be no 
sacrifice, were it a bargain. 

Let no one think that this unchanging law 
of the Cosmos is in the nature of either reward 
or punishment, or that it was devised by the 
gods, as a method of initiation a test of fit- 
ness for Nirvana. Even though the test be 
applied by the gods, it is not of their planning. 

It is, just as the absolute is, and analysis of 
the way and wherefrom is not possible of 

90 Cosmic Consciousness 

If it sometimes appears that Illumined Ones 
have seemed to infer a loss of identity of the 
Self, it should be remembered that not only 
have these reported instances of liberation 
(cosmic consciousness attained), been vague, 
but they have necessarily suffered from the 
impossibility of describing that which is in- 
describable. We should also remember that 
translators employ the words in the English 
language which most nearly express their in- 
terpretation of the original meaning. 

Words are at best but clumsy symbols. 

Perfect bliss is voiceless inexpressible. 

This does not, however, mean that perfect 
bliss is nothingness. Rather is it everything- 
ness, in that it is all-embracing in its realiza- 
tion. In complete realization of the Cosmos 
nothing is excluded. Exclusiveness is a con- 
comitant of the state of consciousness 
pertinent to the personal self, which state is 
not excluded from the consciousness described 
as cosmic, nimana or mukti, but on the con- 
trary, is included in it, even as the simple 
vibrations of the musical scale are in- 
cluded in the great harmonies of Wagner's 

"He who has realized Brahman becomes 
silent," says Ramakrishna. "Discussions and 
argumentations exist so long as the realization 

Self -ness and Selflessness 91 

of The Absolute does not come. If you melt 
butter in a pan over a fire, how long does it 
make a noise? So long as there is water in it. 
When the water is evaporated it ceases to 
make further noise. The soul of the seeker 
after Brahman may be compared to fresh but- 
ter. Discussions and argumentations of a 
seeker are like the noise caused during the 
process of purification by the fire of knowl- 
edge. As the water of egotism and world- 
liness is evaporated and the soul becomes 
purer, all noise of debates and discussions 
ceases and absolute silence reigns in the state 
of samadhi." 

A better translation of the word "noise" 
would be "sputtering." 

Sound is not necessarily noise. The idea 
conveyed is not intended to be a condition in 
which the soul becomes anaesthetized as it were, 
but a state of knowing, and the effort and 
the sputtering of questioning and searching is 

The same gospel better expresses the mean- 
ing thus: 

"The bee buzzes so long as it is outside the 
lotus, and does not settle down in its heart to 
drink of the honey. As soon as it tastes of the 
honey all buzzing is at an end. Similarly all 
noise of discussion ceases when the soul of 

92 Cosmic Consciousness 

the neophyte begins to drink the nectar of 
Divine Love, at the lotus feet of the Blissful 

Who will not say that the bee is more sat- 
isfied when he has found and drank of the 
honey than when he is buzzingly seeking it? 

Surely it is not necessary to be of one mind, 
in order that we may be of one heart. Even 
though we were as "like as two peas in a pod," 
it is well to note that the two peas are two 
spheres nature has made them separate and 
distinct despite their close resemblance. 

To unite with the absolute should cor- 
respond to this unity of all hearts in the desire 
for a common effort to establish harmony, 
while we permit to each individual the freedom 
of mind; of taste; of choice of pursuits; of 
choice of pleasure; of discrimination; and 
preservation of identity. 

Our contention is that mukti, or libera- 
tion (which we believe to be identical with 
attainment of cosmic consciousness) does not 
mean an absorption into the Universal, the 
Absolute, Brahm, to the extent of annihilation 
of identity. And we claim that this view finds 
corroboration in the best interpretation of 
Oriental philosophies and religions, as well as 
in the Christian doctrine. 

Says Nagasena, the Buddhist sage: 

Self-ness and Selflessness 93 

"He who is not free from passion experi- 
ences both the taste of food, and also the 
passion due to that taste; while he who is free 
from passion experiences the taste of food but 
no passion." 

Hence we discover that the state of Illumi- 
nation, samadhi, or mukti, according to the 
most enlightened and logical interpretation, 
means a calm and peaceful consciousness, un- 
disturbed by passion. But we should not 
interpret the word "passion" as here used, to 
mean absence of all sensation, feeling or 

There is absolutely no arbitrary interpreta- 
tion or translation of the words of Buddha, 
nor can there be. The same is true of Con- 
fucius; of Mohammed; of Krishna; of Laotze; 
of Jesus ; of all the teachers and philosophers 
of the world. 

Who of you who read these words has not 
listened to debates and endless discussions 
as to what even so modern a writer as 
Emerson or Whitman, or Nietzche or Kobo 
Daisi, or some other, may have meant by 
certain statements? 

In the Samyutta Nikaya we read : 

"Let a man who holds the Self dear, keep 
that Self free from wickedness." 

This does not imply annihilation of identity, 

94 Cosmic Consciousness 

absorption of consciousness, although it has 
been so interpreted by many students. On the 
contrary, instead of losing consciousness of 
the Self (which is not merely the personality), 
we find the Real Self. 

As an adult we realize more consciousness 
than we do as infants. Not that we possess 
more consciousness. We cannot acquire con- 
sciousness as we accumulate things. We can 
net add one iota to the sum of consciousness, 
but we can and do uncover portion upon por- 
tion of the vast area of consciousness which is. 

Says the Dhammapada: 

"As kinsmen, friends and lovers salute a 
man who has been long away and returns safe 
from afar; in like manner his good deeds re- 
ceive him who has done good, and who has 
gone from this world to the other, as kinsmen 
receive a friend on his return." 

If this state of mukti were annihilation of 
individual consciousnesss it would hardly be 
an incentive to do good deeds, except that 
good deeds in themselves bring happiness, but 
if the bringing of happiness did not also bring 
with it a larger consciousness, it would not be 
true happiness, but merely a condition, and 
conditions are always subject to change. 

"It is not separateness you should hope and 
long for; it is union the sense of oneness 

Self-ness and Selflessness 95 

with all that is, that has ever been and that 
can ever be the sense that shall enlarge the 
horizon of your being, to the limits of the uni- 
verse; to the boundaries of time and space; 
that shall lift you up into a new plane far 
beyond, outside all mean and miserable care 
for self. Why stand shrinking there? Give 
up the fool's paradise of This is I'; This is 
mine.' It is the great reality you are asked to 
grasp. Leap forward without fear. You shall 
find yourself in the ambrosial waters of Nir- 
vana and sport with the Arhats who have 
conquered birth and death." 

This admonition to give up the struggle 
and strife for separateness is interpreted by 
many to declare for annihilation of conscious- 
ness of identity, but we contend that union 
is in no wise akin to annihilation, and since 
this assurance of union is further described as 
an enlargement of the horizon of your being, 
it is evident that your being can not be en- 
larged by becoming annihilated, or even 
absorbed into The Absolute, as in that event it 
would cease to be your being. Moreover, you 
are told that you will "sport with the Arhats 
who have conquered birth and death." Arhats 
are alluded to in the plural, and not as One Being. 

To be sure there may be a final state of 

96 Cosmic Consciousness 

absorption of consciousness far beyond this 
state of being which is described as Nirvana. 

Theosophy lays much stress upon the as- 
sumption that the attainment of godhood is 
possible to every human soul, but that this 
godhood must inevitably have an ultimate 
conclusion. That is, there is a place or heaven, 
which is called the Devachanic plane, and this 
plane, or place, is inhabited by "gods," for a 
definite period, approximating thousands of 
years, but that the final conclusion must be 
absorption of identity into the universal 
reservoir of mind, or consciousness. But we 
may readily see that beyond the Devachanic 
plane, we may not penetrate with the limited 
consciousness which takes cognizance of ex- 
ternal conditions. Any attempt, therefore, at 
a description of what occurs to the individual 
consciousness beyond the areas of Devachan, 
must be futile. 

The argument that most logically postulates 
the assumption that all identity, or differenti- 
ation of consciousness, becomes absorbed into 
The Absolute, is based upon the fact that we 
remember nothing of previous states of con- 
sciousness. That is, the devious pathway by 
which the advanced and progressive individual 
has reached his present state or realization 
of consciousness, is shrouded in oblivion. 

Self-ness and Selflessness 97 

From this it is not unnatural to assume that 
since we have come OUT OF THE VOID, 
having apparently no memory or realization 
of what preceded this coming, we will return 
to the same state, when we shall have com- 
pleted the round of evolution. 

This postulate, is, however, merely the 
result of our limited power of comprehension, 
and may or may not be true. The answer is 
as yet inexplicable to the finite mind, con- 
sidered from the standpoint of relative proof. 

If it were a fact, that all Oriental sages ex- 
periencing the phenomenon of liberation, 
nmkti, had reported what would seem to be 
annihilation of identity of consciousness, we 
still maintain that this fact would not be proof 
sufficient upon which to postulate this con- 
clusion, for the very obvious reason that the 
present era promises what Occidental theology, 
science, and philosophy unite in designating 
as a "new dispensation," wherein the "old 
shall pass away," and a "new order" shall be 

"Look how the fine and valuable gold-dust 
shifts through the screen, leaving only the 
useless stones and debris in the catches; even 
so that which is infinitely fine substance be- 
comes lost when sifted through the screen of 

98 Cosmic Consciousness 

the limited mind of man," said a wise Japanese 
high priest. 

However, it is our contention that Buddh- 
ism, far indeed from postulating the assump- 
tion that individual consciousness is swallowed 
up in The Absolute, as is frequently understood 
by Occidental translators of Buddhistic writ- 
ings, announces a calm and unquestioning 
conviction in the power of man to attain 
to immortality, and consequent godhood, 
through contemplation of faith in his own 
identity with the Supreme One. 

When we consider that there are in the 
religion of Buddhism, as many as sixty dif- 
ferent expositions of the teachings of the Lord 
Buddha, and that these vary, even as the 
Christian sects vary in their interpretations 
and presentments of the instructions of the 
Master, Jesus of Nazareth, we begin to have 
some idea of the difficulties of correct inter- 
pretation of the obscure and mystical 
language in which mukti is ever described. 

One of the most quoted of the translations 
of the Life of Buddha, reaches the English 
readers through devious ways, namely, from 
the Sanskrit into Chinese, and from the 
Chinese into English, and again edited by an 
English scientist who is also an Oriental scholar. 

We must also consider the poverty of the 

Self-ness and Selflessness gp 

English language when used to describe 
supra-conscious experiences, or what modern 
thought terms Metaphysics. Only within 
very recent times, approximating twenty-five 
years, there have been coined innumerable 
words in the English language. 

The advances made in mechanical, scientific, 
ethical and philosophical thought, have made 
this a necessity, while, when it comes to an 
attempt at clarifying the meaning of mystical 
terms, a very wide range of interpretation is 

Buddha, addressing his servant, says: 

"Kandaka, take this gem and going back 
to where my father is, lay it reverently before 
him, to signify my heart's relation to him." 

It is related that the gem mentioned was a 
beryl, which in the language of gems signifies 
purity and peace. It must be remembered 
that all Oriental languages give power to gems, 
perfumes and talismanic symbols. This fact 
makes direct translation of Oriental writings 
a difficult task for the Occidental scholar, who, 
until recently at least, gave no power to so- 
called "inanimate" things. 

"And then for me request the king to stifle 
every fickle feeling of affection, and say that 
I, to escape from birth and age and death, 
have entered the forest of painful discipline. 

IOO Cosmic Consciousness 

"Not that I may get a heavenly birth, much 
less because I have no tenderness of heart, 
or that I cherish any cause of bitterness, but 
only that I may escape this weight of sorrow ; 
the accumulated long-night weight of covetous 
desire. I now desire to ease the load, so that 
it may be overthrown forever; therefore I 
seek the way of ultimate escape. 

"If I should gain the way of emancipation, 
then shall I never need to put away my 
kindred, to leave my home, to sever ties of 
love. O grieve not for your son. The five 
desires of sense beget the sorrow; those held 
by lust themselves induce sorrow; my very 
ancestors, victorious kings, have handed down 
to me their kingly wealth ; I, thinking only on 
eternal bliss, put it all away." 

The meaning here conveyed is simple 
enough to understand. From a long line of 
ancestors who had ruled with the unquestioned 
authority of Oriental monarchs, the young 
prince felt that he had inherited much that 
would retard his soul's freedom. The ex- 
amples of kings and emperors who have 
abandoned their possessions have been too few 
to cause us to believe that they have held these 
possessions as naught. 

Through rivers of blood; through ages of 
despotism, and self-seeking, kings and em- 

Self -ness and Selflessness lot 

perors have maintained their vested 
bequeathing to their progeny the same desires ; 
the same covetousness of worldly power; the 
same consideration for the lesser self; the 
same hypnotism that takes account of caste. 

To escape from these fetters of the soul, 
into a realization of the Eternal Oneness of 
life, was no easy task for the inheritor of such 
desires and beliefs and appetites as an an- 
cestry of rulers imposes. 

And Prince Siddartha was anxious to escape 
reincarnation a theory or conviction insep- 
arable from Oriental religion. 

His reference to "fickle affection" means 
literally that selfish affection of the parent, 
which would retain the fleeting joy of a few 
short earthly years of companionship, while 
the larger and more perfect love would bid 
the child seek its birthright of godhood. The 
word "fickle" here would more properly be 
translated transitory. 

Buddha's desire to escape from a con- 
tinuous round of deaths and "leave-takings 
from kindred," does not necessarily imply an 
absorption into The Absolute; it may as logic- 
ally be interpreted to mean, that liberation 
from the hypnotisms of externality (mukti) in- 
sures the possession and power of the gods 
power over physical life and death, and this 

IO2 Cosmic Consciousness 

power need not mean a cessation from indi- 
vidual consciousness, but rather, a full 
realization of individual unity with the sum of 
all consciousness. 

There is another mistaken interpretation of 
the means of attainment of that state of liber- 
ation, which has been alluded to in so many 
varied terms. The fact that Buddha, like many 
of the Oriental Masters, sought the seclusion 
of the forest; the isolation, and simplicity of 
the hermit, has given rise to the belief, 
almost universally held among Oriental dis- 
ciples, that liberation from maya, the delusions 
of the world, can not be attained save by these 

Monasteries are the result of this idea, and 
this Buddhistic practice was adopted by the 
first Christian church, since which time the 
real purpose and intention of the monastery 
and the nunnery have become lost in the 
concept of sacrifice or punishment. The 
Christian monk almost invariably retires to 
a monastery, not for the purpose of con- 
sciously attaining to that enlarged area of 
consciousness which insures liberation, tnukti, 
but as an "outward and visible sign" that he 
is willing to undergo the sacrifice of worldly 
pleasures at the behest of the Lord Jesus. 
Thus, the real object of retirement is lost, and 

Self -ness and Selflessness 103 

the sacrifice again becomes in the nature of a 

In the Bhagavad Gita, we find these words : 

"Renunciation and yoga by action both lead 
to the highest bliss ; of the two, yoga by action 
is verily better than renunciation of action. 
He who is harmonized by yoga, the self- 
purified, self-ruled, the senses subdued, whose 
self is the self of all beings, although acting, 
yet is such an one not affected. 

"He who acteth, placing all action in the 
eternal, abandoning attachment, is unaffected by 
sin as a lotus leaf by the waters." 

This is interpreted according to the view- 
point of the translator, even as, among an 
audience of ten thousand persons, we may find 
almost as many interpretations, and shades 
of meaning of a musical composition. 

True, the Oriental meaning seems to be the 
one that we shall cease to love friends, rela- 
tives, and lovers, abandoning them as one 
would abandon the furniture of one's house- 
hold when outworn, and no longer of service. 

We do not accept this interpretation. 

To abandon one's friends, one's loved ones, 
yea, even one's would-be enemies is equiva- 
lent to leaving one's companions on a sinking 
raft and, without sentiment or remorse, save 
pne's physical self from destruction. 

104 Cosmic Consciousness 

No higher sentiment is known to struggling 
humanity than love of each other. "Greater 
love hath no man than this, that he lay down 
his life for a friend." 

Oriental or Occidental philosophy, which- 
ever may be presented to the mind, as an 
unfailing guide, should be distrusted, if that phi- 
losophy prescribes the abandonment of lover, 
friend, relative, neighbor, brother, companion. 
That is, if we accept the dictionary meaning 
of the word "abandoned" as translated into 

A western avatar has said: 

"I will not have what my brother can not," 
and in this we heartily concur, not hesitating 
to say that until all human life shall accept 
and realize the fullness of this message, we 
shall not, as a race, have attained to the in- 
heritance that is ours. 

But shall we then believe, that the Oriental 
doctrine is erroneous? Not necessarily. 

Errors of interpretation are not only natural 
but inevitable, and this interpretation of aban- 
donment is in line with the idea of sacrifice 
(using the word in its old sense of paying a 
debt), which prevailed throughout all the cen- 
turies just passed centuries in which the idea 
of God was estimated by the conduct of the 
kings and monarchs of earth. 

Self-ness and Selflessness 101 

A later revelation or dispensation has given 
what the Illumined One said was a "new com- 
mandment," and it is one more in accord with 
our ideals of godhood. 

"A new commandment I give unto you, that 
ye love one another." 

But love, like everything which is, means 
much or little, according as the soul is ad- 
vanced in knowledge, or is undeveloped. 

Perfect and complete love is not selfish; it 
desires not possession, but union. There is 
a world of difference between the two words. 

"The soul enchained is man, and free from 
chain is God," said Sri Ramakrishna. 

And the soul is enchained by illusion by 
mistaking the effect for the cause, and by 
regarding the effect as the real, instead of 
realizing the incompleteness; the limitedness; 
the unsatisfying character of the changing 1 
the external. 

Not that the pursuit of the external is sinful, 
but it is unsatisfying, while the soul that has 
caught a glimpse of that wonderful ecstacy of 
Illumination, has found that which satisfies. 

Upon this point of attainment of complete 
satisfaction, and certainty, all who have 
experienced the consciousness we are con- 
sidering seem to agree, according to the 
testimony here submitted. 



The term Illumination seems a fitting de- 
scription of the state of consciousness which 
is frequently alluded to as cosmic conscious- 
ness. Without the light of understanding, 
which is a spiritual quality, words themselves 
are meaningless. When the mind becomes 
Illumined the spirit of the word is clear and 
where before the meaning was clouded, or 
perhaps altogether obscured, there comes to 
the Illumined One a depth of comprehension 
undreamed of by the merely sense-conscious 

If we consider the recorded instances of 
Illumination found among Occidentals, we will 
find that such extreme intensity of effort as 
that which is reported of Sri Ramakrishna, 
and other Oriental sages, does not appear. 

It would seem that the late Dr. Richard 
Maurice Bucke of Toronto, Canada, was the 
first in this country to present a specific classi- 
fication of what he termed the "new" 
consciousness, and to describe in some detail, 

Illumination and Its Effects 107 

:ie experience of himself and others, notably 
iValt Whitman. 

Dr. Bucke's first public exposition of these 
ixperiences was made at a congress of the 
British Medical Association in Montreal, 
Canada, in September of the year 1897. Dr. 
Bucke described this state of consciousness 
a subject that seemed to him at that time to 
be a new one in the following words: 

"But of infinitely more importance than 
telepathy, and so-called spiritualism no mat- 
ter what explanation we give of these, or what 
their future is destined to be is the final act 
here touched upon. This is, that superim- 
posed upon self-consciousness as is that faculty 
upon simple consciousness, a third and higher 
form of consciousness is at present making its 
appearance in our race. This higher form of 
consciousness, when it appears, occurs as it 
must, at the full maturity of the individual, 
at or about the age of thirty-five, but almost 
always between the ages of thirty and 
forty. There have been occasional cases 
of it for the last two thousand years, and 
it is becoming more and more common. In 
fact, in all appearances, as far as observed, it 
obeys the laws to which every nascent faculty 
is subject. Many more or less perfect ex- 
amples of this new faculty exist in the world 

io8 Cosmic Consciousness 

today, and it has been my privilege to know 
personally and to have had the opportunity of 
studying-, several men and women who have 
possessed it. In the course of a few more 
milleniums there should be born from the 
present human race, a higher type of man, 
possessing this higher type of consciousness. 
This new race, as it may well be called, would 
occupy toward us, a position such as that 
occupied by us toward the simple conscious 
'alulus homo.' The advent of this higher, bet- 
ter and happier race, would simply justify the 
long agony of its birth through countless ages 
of our past. And it is the first article of my 
belief, some of the grounds for which I have 
endeavored to lay before you, that a new race 
is in course of evolution." 

At a subsequent date, having given the sub- 
ject further consideration and having collected 
data corroborative of his former observations, 
Dr. Bucke said: 

"I have, in the last three years, collected 
twenty-three cases of this so-called cosmic 
consciousness. In each case the onset or in- 
coming of the new faculty is always sudden, 
instantaneous. Among the unusual feelings 
the mind experiences, is a sudden sense of 
being immersed in flame or in a brilliant light. 
This occurs entirely without worrying or out- 

Illumination and Its Effects 109 

ward cause, and may happen at noonday or in 
the middle of the night, and the person at first 
feels that he is becoming insane. 

"Along with these feelings comes a sense of 
immortality; not merely a feeling of certainty 
that there is a future life, that would be a 
small matter but a pronounced consciousness 
that the life now being lived is eternal, death 
being seen as a trivial incident which does not 
affect its continuity. 

"Further, there is annihilation of the sense 
of sin, and an intellectual competency, not 
simply surpassing the old plane, but on an 
entirely new and higher plane. * * * The 
cosmic conscious race will not be the race 
that exists today, any more than the present 
is the same race that existed prior to the 
evolution of self-consciousness. A new race 
is being born from us, and this new race will 
in the near future, possess the earth." 

Dr. Bucke later published an article in a 
current magazine, illustrating the illumination 
of his friend Walt Whitman, and supple- 
mented with an account of his own experience. 
We quote briefly from Dr. Bucke's account of 
his own experience: 

"I had spent the evening in a great city 
yvith some friends reading and discussing 
K>etry and philosophy. We had occupied 

no Cosmic Consciousness 

ourselves with Wordsworth, Shelley, Brown- 
ing, and especially Whitman. We parted at 
midnight. I had a long drive in a hansom to 
my lodgings. My mind, deeply under the in- 
fluence of the ideas, images and emotions 
called up by the reading and talk, was calm 
and peaceful. I was in a state of quiet, almost 
passive enjoyment, not actually thinking, but 
letting ideas, images and emotions flow of 
themselves, as it were, through my mind. All 
at once, without warning of any kind, I found 
myself wrapped in a flame-colored cloud. For 
an instant I thought of fire, an immense con- 
flagration somewhere close by in that great 
city. The next moment I knew that the fire 
was within myself." 

While Dr. Bucke is unquestionably right in 
his estimate of the fact that "a new race is 
being born," as he expresses it, there can 
scarcely be any question of individual age, in 
which the new consciousness may be expected. 
Physical maturity can have nothing whatever 
to do with the matter, since the acquisition of 
supra-consciousness is a matter of the ma- 
turity of the soul. This completement of the 
cycle of the soul's pilgrimage and service, may 
come at any age, as far as the physical body is 
concerned. Indeed, science records no definite 
age at which even physical maturity is in- 

Illumination and Its Effects in 

variably reached, although there is an approxi* 
mate age. 

A case recently widely commented upon 
was that of a child of six years who showed every 
symptom of senility or old age, which could hardly 
be possible without having passed what we call 

Again, we find that some persons retain 
every indication of youth, both of mind and 
body, long after their contemporaries have 
reached and passed middle age. It is coming 
more and more to be admitted that age is 
relative, and that what we know as 
the relative is the effect of mental opera- 
tions. Mental operations are subject to 
change to enlargement. 

The advent of cosmic consciousness is, 
therefore, not subject to what we know as 
time, as applied to physical development. 

Nor should we speak of cosmic conscious- 
ness as an acquisition, but rather as a 
realization, since the consciousness is, at all 
times. It always has been. It will always be. 
Our relation to it changes, as we develop from 
the sense conscious to the self-conscious state 
and finally to what we term the "cosmic" 
conscious state. This latter must of neces- 
iity have been as yet omy imperfectly realized. 

112 Cosmic Consciousness 

even by those of the Illuminati, who are known 
to the world as avatars and saviours. 

Several instances of the possession of cos- 
mic consciousness by children, are personally 
known to the writer. A well-known woman 
writer in America thus describes a succession 
of experiences in what were evidently con- 
ditions of cosmic consciousness, although as 
she said, she did not until many years later 
realize what had taken place. 

Like Lord Alfred Tennyson, who tells of 
inducing in himself a state of spiritual ecstasy 
or liberation, by repeatedly intoning his own 
name, this lady acquired the habit of repeat- 
ing in wonder and awe the name by which 
she was called in the household, which was an 
abbreviation of her baptismal name. The 
effect is best described in her own words: 

"It seems to me that I never could quite 
become accustomed to hear myself addressed 
by name. When some member of the house- 
hold would call me from study or play even 
at the early age of five or six years I would 
instantly be seized with a feeling of great and 
almost overwhelming awe and amazement, at 
the sound, which I knew was in some way 
associated with me. 

"I found it extremely difficult to identify 
myself with that name, and often w r hen alone 

Illumination and Its Effects 113 

would repeat the name over and over, trying 
to find a solution of the 'why and wherefore.' 

"At length this wonderment grew upon me 
to such an extent that I felt I must see this 
self of me that was called by a name. 

"I acquired the habit of standing on a chair 
to gaze into the mirror above the chest of 
drawers in my mother's bed-room, and putting 
my face close to the mirror, I would gaze and 
gaze into the eyes I saw there, and repeat over 
and over the name which seemed to me not to 
belong to that 'other self hidden behind those 
eyes. On one occasion I became quite en- 
tranced and fell from the chair, after which 
I refrained from looking into the mirror, 
although I did not for many years get over 
the feeling of wonderment at the sound of my 
own name, and many times, on repeating the 
name aloud, I would feel myself being lifted 
up into what seemed to me the clouds above 
my head, until I felt myself being 'melted,' as 
I termed it, into the moving cloud of soft 
transparent light. 

"At this time I was between seven and eight 
years of age, and although I was far beyond 
children of my age, in my school studies, I was 
frequently admonished for being 'stupid,' 
owing to the fact that I could not remember 

114 Cosmic Consciousness 

the names of objects, nor could I be trusted on 
an errand. 

"While walking from our house to the 
grocer's, scarcely a block away, I would ftel 
that sudden wonderment and awe of my name 
steal over me, and again I would be trans- 
ported to some unknown, yet immanent 
region, utterly losing consciousness of my sur- 
roundings. I would sometimes awake to find 
myself standing before the counter of the 
grocery store, struggling to remember who 
and where I was, and what it was that I had 
been sent to that strange place for." 

This lady relates that she never dared to tell 
of her strange experiences, although she did 
not "outgrow" them until early womanhood, 
when she dropped the abbreviation of her 
name, and assumed her full baptismal name. 
Whether this latter fact had anything to do 
with the cessation of the experience is doubt- 
ful. At the same time, she declares that she 
can even now induce the same sensations, and 
transport herself into childhood again by 
repeating her childhood name. 

The following extract from a paper pub- 
lished in London, England, in 1890, gives a 
description of an experience of a young man 
who had fallen into a condition which the 
physicians pronounced "catalepsy." This 

Illumination and Its Effects 115 

young man was at the time a medical student, 
and had always exhibited a tendency to en- 
trancement, or catalepsy. On recovering 
from one of these cataleptic attacks, and being 
asked to give a description of his sensations or 
experiences, the young man said: 

"I felt a kind of soothing slumber stealing 
over me. I became aware that I was floating 
in a vast ocean of light and joy. I was here, 
there, and everywhere. I was everybody and 
everybody was I. I knew I was I, and yet I 
knew that I was much more than myself. In- 
deed, it seemed to me that there was no 
division. That all the universe was in me and 
I in it, and yet nothing was lost or swallowed 
up. Everything was alive with a joy that 
would never diminish." 

Such, in substance, was the attempt of this 
young man to describe what all who have experi- 
enced cosmic consciousness unite in saying is inde- 
scribable, for the very obvious reason that there 
are no words in which to express what is word- 
less, and inexpressible. This authentic account of 
a young man under twenty years of age, how- 
ever, serves to prove that there is no special 
age of physical maturity in which the attain- 
ment of this state of consciousness may be 

This account was published seven years pre- 

n6 Cosmic Consciousness 

vious to Dr. Bucke's statement, and yet, since 
it is not quoted in Dr. Bucke's account, it is 
most unlikely that he had seen the article. 
Certainly the young man had never heard of 
the experience which Dr. Bucke later records, 
as "cosmic consciousness," and yet the simi- 
larity of the experience with the many which 
have been recorded is almost startling. 

The salient point in this account, as in most 
of the others which have found their way into 
public print, is the feeling of being in perfect 
harmony and union with everything in the 
universe. "I was everything and everything 
was I," said this young man, and again "I was 
here, there and everywhere at once," he says 
in an effort to describe something which in 
the very nature of it, must be indescribable 
in terms of sense consciousness. 

Illustrative of the connection between relig- 
ious ecstasy and cosmic consciousness, we find 
the experience of an illiterate negro woman, 
a celebrated religious and anti-slavery worker 
of the early part of the last century. 

This woman was known as "Sojourner 
Truth" and was at least forty years of age, 
in 1817, when she was given her freedom 
under a law which freed all slaves in New 
York state, who had attained the age of forty 

Illumination and Its Effects 117 

Sojourner Truth never learned to read or 
write, and her education consisted almost en- 
tirely of that presentation of religious truth 
which finds its most successful converts in 

With this fact in mind, nothing less than the 
attainment of a wonderful degree of spiritual 
consciousness could account for her marvel- 
ous power of description, and her ready flow 
of language, when "exhorting." 

Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote of her, 
in an article published in the Atlantic Monthly, 
as early as 1863 : 

"I do not recollect ever to have been con- 
versant with any one who had more of that 
silent and subtle power which we call per- 
sonal presence, than this woman. In the 
modern spiritualistic phraseology, she would 
be described as having a 'strong sphere.' ' 

The wonderful mental endowment which 
seems to follow as a complement to the ex- 
perience of Illumination, when not already 
present, as in the case of Whitman, for ex- 
ample, is characteristic of "Sojourner Truth," 
or Isabella, as she was baptized. 

Naturally, this mental power, seemingly 
inconsistent with her humble origin, and her 
unlettered condition, is evidenced along those 
tines which made up the sum and substance of 

Ii8 Cosmic Consciousness 

her life. Judging her from the broader con- 
cept of philosophy, Isabella appears somewhat 
fanatical, but the influence of her life and 
work was so great, that Wendell Phillips 
wrote of her: 

"I once heard her describe the captain of a 
slave ship going up to judgment, followed by 
his victims as they gathered from the depths 
of the sea, in a strain that reminded me of 
Clarence's dream in Shakespeare, and equalled 
it. The anecdotes of her ready wit and quick 
striking replies are numberless. But the whole 
together give little idea of the rich, quaint, 
poetic and often profound speech of a most 
remarkable person, who used to say to us: 
'You read books; God Himself talks to me." 

Isabella's conviction that she had "talked to 
God," was unshakable, and was, indeed, the 
dynamic force which moved her. She was 
accustomed to tell of the strange and startling 
experience in which she met God face to face, 
and in which she said to Him : "Oh, God, I 
didn't know as you was so big." In the New 
England Magazine for March, 1901, there was 
given a full account of the work of this noted 
negro woman. Commenting on her sense of 
awe of the immensity of God "when she met 
him," the writer says: 

"The consciousness of God's presence was 

Illumination and Its Effects 119 

like a fire around her and she was afraid, till 
she began to feel that somebody stood between 
her and this brilliant presence; and after a 
while she knew that this somebody loved her. 
At first, she thought it must be Cato, a preacher 
whom she knew or Deencia or Sally people who 
had been her friends. 

"We are not told whether these persons 
were living- or dead, or whether she thought 
they had come in the flesh, or in the spirit to 
her relief. However this may be, she soon 
perceived that their images looked vile and 
black and could not be the beautiful presence 
that shielded her from the fires of God. She 
began to experiment with her inner vision, and 
found that when she said to the presence 'I 
know you, I know you,' she perceived a light; 
but when she said 'I don't know you,' the light 
went out. 

"At last, she became aware that it was Jesus 
who was shielding her and loving her, and the 
world grew bright, her troubled thoughts were 
banished, and her heart was filled with praise 
and with love for all creatures. 'Lord, Lord,' 
she cried, 'I can love even de white folks.' ' 

The question will legitimately arise here, as 
to the authenticity of an experience in which 
Jesus is said to be personally guiding and 
shielding her, but it must be remembered that 

I2O Cosmic Consciousness 

the mind is the medium through which the 
spiritual realization must be expressed and, as 
has been stated previously, the description of 
the phenomenon of Illumination, particularly 
when experienced in a sudden influx must par- 
take of the character of the mind of the 
illumined one. 

William James, late professor of Psychology 
of Harvard University, in his exhaustive book 
The Varieties of Religious Experiences, in the 
chapter on "The Value of Saintliness," says: 

"Now in the matter of intellectual standards, 
we must bear in mind that it is unfair, where 
we find narrowness of mind, always to impute 
it as a vice to the individual for in religious 
and theological matters, he probably absorbs 
his narrowness from his generation. More- 
over, we must not confound the essentials of 
saintliness with its accidents, which are the 
special determination of these passions at any 
historical moment. In these determinations 
the saints will usually be loyal to the tempo- 
rary idols of their tribe." 

Applying this explanation to the case of 
"Sojourner Truth," we may realize that the 
literal conception of Jesus as her guide and 
shield, was a mental image, inevitable with 
her, as Jesus was the motive power of her 
every thought and act. And although at the 

Illumination and Its Effects 121 

moment of her Illumination, she realized the 
"bigness" of God, later, in arranging and re- 
cording the phenomenon, in her mental note- 
book, she tabulated it with all she knew of God 
the religious enthusiasm of her work of con- 
version to the religion of Jesus. 

Says James, commenting upon the question 
of conversion in human experience: and this 
tendency to what seems a narrow and limited 
viewpoint : 

"If you open the chapter on 'Association,' 
of any treatise on Psychology, you will read 
that a man's ideas, aims and objects form 
diverse internal groups, and systems, rela- 
tively independent of one another. Each 'aim* 
which he follows awakens a certain specific 
kind of interested excitement, and gathers a 
certain group of ideas together in subordina- 
tion to it as its associates." 

It is perhaps natural to assume that most 
instances of the attainment of Illumination, 
have been inseparable from religious devotion, 
or at least contemplative mysticism. 

This view is held almost exclusively by 
Orientals, and seems to have been shared to a 
great extent by western commentators upon 
the subject. 

A notable example among Occidentals, 
bearing the religious aspect, and one which 

122 Cosmic Consciousness 

is important from the fact that the person de- 
tailing his experience, was a man of mental 
training, is the case of Rev. Charles G. Fin- 
ney, formerly president of Oberlin College. 
In his "Memoirs," Dr. Finney describes what 
Orthodox Christians generally call the "bap- 
tism of the Holy Spirit" : 

"I had retired to a back room for prayer," 
writes Dr. Finney, "and there was no fire or 
light in the room; nevertheless it appeared 
to me as if it were perfectly light. As I went 
in and shut the door after me, it seemed as if 
I met the Lord Jesus Christ face to face. It did 
not occur to me then nor did it for some time 
afterwards, that it was wholly a mental state. 

"On the contrary, it seemed to me a reality, 
that he stooft before me and I fell down at his 
feet and poured out my soul to him. I wept 
aloud like a child and made such confessions 
as I could with choked utterance. 

"It seemed to me that I bathed his feet 
with my tears, and yet I had no distinct im- 
pression that I touched him, that I recollect. 
As I turned and was about to take my seat, I 
received a mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost. 

"Without any expectation, without even hav- 
ing the thought in my mind, that there was 
any such thing for me, without any recollec- 
tion that I had ever heard the thing mentiontd, 

Illumination and Its Effects 123 

by any person in the world, the Holy Spirit 
descended upon me in a manner that seemed 
to go through me body and soul. 

"I could feel the impression like the waves 
of electricity going through me and through 
me. Indeed, it seemed to come in waves of 
liquid love. For I could not express it in any 
other way. It seemed like the very breath of 
God. I can recollect distinctly that it seemed 
to fan me like immense wings. No words can 
express the wonderful love that was shed 
abroad in my heart. 

"I wept aloud with joy and love. These 
waves came over me, and over me, one after 
the other, until I recollect that I cried out, 'I 
shall die if these waves continue to pass over 
me.' I said 'Lord, I cannot bear any more.' ' 

We will note, that although Dr. Finney says 
that he could not remember ever having heard 
the thing mentioned by any person, yet he felt 
"the baptism of the Holy Spirit." It is prac- 
tically impossible that Dr. Finney could have 
lived in an age and a community which was 
essentially strict in its Orthodoxy, without 
having heard of the phrase "baptism of the 
Holy Spirit," even though the words had 
escaped his immediate recollection. However, 
the point that characterizes Dr. Finney's ex- 
perience, in common with all others, is that of 

124 Cosmic Consciousness 

seeing an intense light, and of the realization 
of the overwhelming force of love. 

The relation of this experience to a creed 
or system of religion, is something which, we 
believe, may be accounted for, as Professor 
James has said, on the fact of "historical 

Until very recently, the idea that spirituality 
was impossible save in connection with relig- 
ious systems, and rigid discipline, has been 
quite general. 

In the case of Dr. Finney, we find that all 
his life previous to this experience he had been 
noted for his simplicity and child-like trust. 
Following his Illumination we learn that he 
became a man of great influence, and power, 
because of "the wonderful humanity which he 

Similar in experience, in its effects, is a case 
related by Theodore F. Seward, the well- 
known American philanthropist. 

Mr. Seward relates the following story: 

"The strange experience which I here relate 
came to a friend whom I knew intimately, and 
from whose lips I received the account. It 
is a lady in middle life, who has for years been 
an earnest seeker for truth and spiritual light. 
She was alone in her room sewing. 

"Thinking, as was her wont, of spiritual 

Illumination and Its Effects 12^ 

things and feeling a strong sense of the pres- 
ence and power of God, she suddenly had a 
consciousness of being surrounded by a bril- 
liant white light, which seemed to radiate from 
her person. The light continued for some 
minutes, and at the same time, she felt a great 
spiritual uplifting and an enlargement of her 
mental powers, as if the limitations of the body 
were transcended, and her soul's capacities 
were in a measure set free for the moment. 
The experience was unique, above and beyond 
the ordinary current of human life, and while 
the vision or impression passed away, a per- 
manent effect was produced upon her mind. 
She had never heard the term 'cosmic con- 
sciousness/ and did not know that the subject 
it covers is beginning to be discussed." 

It must be noted that in these experiences, 
the idea most strongly felt was the one of the 
"power and presence of God," and we are im- 
pressed with the fact that, no matter how 
varied may be the creeds of the world, as 
founded by "saviours" and incarnations of 
God, there is a unity among all races, as to 
the fact of a one supreme universal power, 
which is Aum, the Absolute, and which must 
represent perfect love and perfect peace, since 
all who have glimpsed their unity with this 

126 Cosmic Consciousness 

power, testify to a feeling of happiness, peace 
and satisfaction, rare and exalted. 

By comparing the experience of those who 
have attained this state of liberation from illu- 
sion, through religious rites and ceremonies, 
or "sacrifice to God," as it is not infrequently 
called, with the experience of those who have 
recorded the phenomenon, apparently arriving 
at the goal through intellectual and moral 
aspiration, we will find that the results are 
almost identical, and the after-effects similar. 

It has been said that those who attain lib- 
eration have invariably sought to found a new 
system of worship, and this fact has given rise 
to the many paths or methods of attainment 
which have been taught by various Illumined 
Ones, both in the Orient and in the western 
world, supplementary as it were to the main 
great religious systems. 

We will take a short survey of a few of these 
systems in Japan and India in comparatively 
modern times, or at least during the last two 
thousand years, which is modern compared 
to the history of the Orient. 



The early religion of Japan, before the 
advent of Buddhism, was extremely simple. 

It consists of the postulate that there was 
but one God, Kami, from him all things came, 
and to him all things shall return. As has 
been stated previously, the chief injunction of 
Shintoism is: "Keep your body and your mind 
clean, and trust Kami." 

Shintoism literally translated, means "the 
way to God," and includes the belief that all 
persons ultimately reach the place where God 
dwells, and become "one with Him." 

In present day interpretations and descrip- 
tions of Shintoism, we read of the "heathen" 
belief that Kami himself dwells in person, in 
the "inner temple" or sacred place of Shinto 

This idea doubtless exists as a reality among 
the very ignorant superstitious devotees, 
much as among the ignorant Catholics we find 

128 Cosmic Consciousness 

the unquestioned belief that the actual body 
and blood of Jesus the Christ is contained in 
the Eucharist. 

The Shinto temple always contains an 
"inner or sacred shrine," which is equivalent 
to the "holy of holies," of the Mystic Brother- 
hoods, and typifies the fact that within and 
not without, will be found the God in man, by 
finding which, man reaches liberation, or cessa- 
tion from the cycle of births and deaths. 

A Shinto funeral is an occasion for rejoicing, 
because the departed one may be a step farther 
on the way to God, and since his ancestors 
were directly responsible, as a favor, for his 
occasion to become reborn, thus fulfilling the 
law of karma, the Shintoist pays much respect 
to his ancestors. 

The advent of Buddhism into Japan was 
made possible by the simple fact that the 
people were becoming somewhat disgruntled 
with Shintoism, because of its emphasis upon 
the never-to-be questioned postulate that the 
Mikado and his progeny was the direct gift 
of Kami to his people, to be obeyed without 
demur, and to be adored as divine. 

Several generations of Mikados who did not 
fulfil the ideal of Deity an ideal to which 
even savages attach the qualities of justice 
and mercy left the masses ready and eager to 

Examples of Cosmic Consciousness 129 

grasp at a religion that gave them some other 
personified god, than the Mikado, much as a 
drowning man clutches at a straw. 

The Lord Buddha was a prince, therefore 
worship of him would not be an absolutely 
impossible step an unforgivable breach of 
contract with the Mikado, and as he exhibited 
the qualities of humility and mercy and toler- 
ance, he was welcomed. The religion of Japan 
is today regarded as Buddhistic, although the 
Imperial family, and consequently the army 
and the navy are to all outward appearance, 

Coming, then, to a consideration of the vary- 
ing sects of Buddhism in Japan, and the corres- 
ponding sects in India, we find that there have 
been nine different incarnations of God, and 
that another, and, it is believed the final one, 
is expected. 

The intelligent and open minded seeker 
after truth of whatever race or color, will find 
in the instructions given man by each and 
every great teacher, whether we believe in 
them as especially "divine" or as mere humans 
who have attained to the realization of their 
godhood (avatars,) a complete unity of pur- 
pose, and if these teachers differ in method of 
attainment, it is only because of the immutable 

130 Cosmic Consciousness 

fact that there can be no one and only way of 

Methods and systems are established con- 
sistently with the age and character of those 
whom they are designed to assist in finding 
the way. 

And again we must emphasize the fact that 
by the phrase "the way," we mean the way 
to a realization of the godhood within the 
inner temple of man's threefold nature. 

Thus, the intelligent, unprejudiced student 
of the religions and philosophies of all times 
and all races, will find that, while there are 
many and diverse paths to the goal of "salva- 
tion," the goal itself means unity with the 
Causeless Cause, wherein exists perfection. 

Perhaps it has been left for the expected 
Incarnate God, which Christians speak of as 
"the second coming of Christ," to make clear 
the problem as to whether this attainment or 
completement means an absorption of individ- 
ual consciousness, or whether it will be an 
adding to the present incarnation, of the 
memory of past lives, in such a manner that 
no consciousness shall be lost, but all shall be 

In considering instances of cosmic con- 
sciousness, mukti, which have been recorded as 
distinctly religious experiences, and the effect 

Examples of Cosmic Consciousness 131 

of this attainment, the system best known to 
the Occident, is contained in the philosophy of 
Vedanta, expounded and interpreted to west- 
ern understanding by the late Swami 

But it should be understood that the 
philosophy taught by Vivekananda is not 
strictly orthodox Hinduism. It bears the 
same relation to the old religious systems of 
India that Unitarianism bears to orthodox Chris- 
tianity such as we find in Catholicism, and its 

Vivekananda honored and revered and fol- 
lowed, according to his interpretation of the 
message, Sri Ramakrishna, whom an increas- 
ing number of Hindus regard as the latest 
incarnation of Aum the Absolute. Not that 
the reader is to understand, that Sri Ramak- 
rishna's message contradicted the essential 
character of the basic principles of orthodox 
Hinduism, as set down in the Vedas and the 

The same difference of emphasis upon cer* 
tain points, or interpretations of meaning, 
exists in the Orient, as in the western world, 
in regard to the possible meaning of the 

Sri Ramakrishna, who passed from thu. 
earth life at Cossipore, in 1886, was a disciple 

132 Cosmic Consciousness 

of the Vedanta system, as founded by Vyasa, or 
by Badarayana, authorities failing to agree as 
to which of these traditional sages of India 
founded the Vedantic system of religion or phi- 

Vedanta, particularly as interpreted by Sri 
Ramakrishna and his successors, offers a 
wider field of effort, and a more intellectual 
consideration of Hindu religion than that of 
the Yoga system as interpreted from the 
original Sankhya system by Patanjali, about 
300 B. C. 

Patanjali's sutras are considered the most 
complete system of Yoga practice, for the pur- 
pose of mental control, and psychic develop- 
ment. Patanjali's sutras are almost identical 
with those employed in the Zen sect of Budd- 
hist monasteries, throughout Japan. 

These sutras, together with Buddhist man- 
trams will be considered in a subsequent chap- 
ter, devoted to the development of spiritual 
consciousness as taught by the Oriental sages 
and philosophers. 

One other great teacher of modern times 
who has left a large following, was Lord 
Gauranga, who was born in India in the early 
part of the fifteenth century. Gauranga was 
worshipped as the Lord God, whether with his 
consent, or without, it is not exactly clear, 

Examples of Cosmic Consciousness 133 

even though his biographers are united on the 
fact of his divine origin. 

Those who have espoused the message of 
Gauranga claim that he brought to the world 
"a beautiful religion, such as had never before 
been known." But, as this claim is made for 
all teachers and founders of religions and 
philosophies, we suggest that the reader com- 
pare the message of Lord Gauranga with 
those of other avatars and teachers. 

Lord Gauranga's message is known as 
Vaishnavitism, and we will here consider only 
those passages of his doctrine which shed light 
upon his attainment of cosmic consciousness. 
Certainly his breadth of mind, and his stand- 
ards of tolerance, justice and consideration for 
all other systems of worship, would indicate 
his claim to cosmic consciousness. 

One of the contentions of the Vaishnavas 
is that they alone of all religious faiths, admit 
the divine birth and mission of the founders 
of all religions. 

Thus the Christians have declared that 
Jesus was the only Son of God ; the Buddhists 
have claimed Buddha; the Hebrews have 
clung tenaciously to their prophets as the 
only true messengers from heaven, and the 
Mohammedans have refused, until the present 
century, to even sit at the table with the 

Cosmic Consciousness 

"infidels" who would not acknowledge 
Mohammed as the only true incarnation of 

It is well to remember that these claims 
have been made by the blind followers of these 
great teachers, and that it is almost certain 
that not any one of them made such claim 
for himself. Certainly he did not, if he had 
attained to spiritual consciousness. 

One passage from the doctrines of Gauranga 
is almost identical with many others who 
have sought to express the feeling of security, 
of deathlessness which comes to the soul which 
has realized cosmic consciousness. He says: 

"My Beloved, whether you clasp me unto 
your heart, or you crush me by that embrace, 
it is all the same to me. For you are no other 
than my own, the sole partner of my soul." 

The gospel of Gauranga and his followers 
is, indeed, much more a gospel of love, than 
of methods of worship, or of intellectual re- 
search. The realization of our union with 
God, in deathless love, is the key-note of the 
message, and this great joy or bliss comes to 
the soul as soon as it has attained Illumination 
through love. 

God is alluded to in Vaishnavism most fre- 
quently as Anandamaya meaning all joy. 
Vaishnavism more nearly resembles the gos- 

Examples of Cosmic Consciousness 135 

pel of Jesus, as taught by orthodoxy, than it 
does the Vedantic systems, since it does not 
claim that God is within each human organism, 
as the seed is within the fruit, but that, by 
love, we may gain heaven or the state or place 
where God dwells. 

"If you would worship God, as the Giver of 
Bounties, then shall the prayer be answered, 
and further connection cut off, God having 
answered the demand. So if you would wor- 
ship God in simple love, He will send love. 
The real devotee seeks to establish a relation- 
ship with God which will endure. He will ask 
only to worship and love God, and pray that 
his soul may cling to God in divine reverence 
and love." Thus, say the Vaishnavas, "God 
serves as he is served, in absolute justice." 

Another salient point which the followers of 
Lord Gauranga emphasize, is the "All-Sweet- 
ness" of God. This idea is impressed, doubt- 
less that the devotee may not feel an impossible 
barrier between himself and so great and all- 
powerful a being, as God, when His Omnipo- 
tence is considered. The idea is similar to that 
of the Roman church, which bids its untutored 
children to select some patron saint, or to say 
prayers to the Virgin Mary, because these 
characters were once human and seem to be 
nearer, and more approachable than the Great 

136 Cosmic Consciousness 

God whose Majesty and All-Mightiness have 
been exploited. 

Be that as it may, the fact remains, that 
Lord Gauranga is said to have earned the 
devotion and love of some of the most learned 
pundits of India and, according to a recent 
biographer, "he had all the frailties of a man; 
he ate and slept like a man. In short, he be- 
haved generally like an ordinary human 
being, but yet he succeeded in extorting from 
the foremost sages of India, the worship and 
reverence due a God." 

The fact that Lord Gauranga "behaved 
like a man," is comforting, to say the least, 
and presages the coming of a day when "be- 
having like a man" will not be considered un- 
godly. When that time shall have arrived, 
surely there will be less mysticism of 
the hysterical variety and probably fewer 

Very unlike Lord Gauranga, is the report 
of a writer of India, who tells of the effects 
of cosmic consciousness upon Tukaram, con- 
sidered to be one of the greatest saints and 
poets of Ancient India. Tukaram lived early 
in the sixteenth century, some years later than 
Lord Gauranga. 

This Maharashtra saint is chiefly remem- 
bered for his beautiful description of the 

Examples of Cosmic Consciousness 137 

effects of Illumination, in which he likens the 
human soul to the bride, and the bridegroom 
is God. This poem is called "Love's Lament," 
and might have been written by an impas- 
sioned lover to his promised bride. 

The life of Tukaram, like that of the late 
Sri Ramakrishna Paramanansa, was one long 
agony of yearning and struggle for that peace 
of soul which he craved. One of his chroni- 
clers thus describes, in brief, the final struggle 
and the subsequent attainment of Illumination 
of this good man : 

"Selfless, he sought to gather no crowds of 
idle admiring disciples about him, but followed 
what his conscience dictated. He listened not 
to the counsel of his relatives and friends, who 
thought he had gone mad; and he bore in 
patience the well-meant but harsh rebukes of 
his second wife. After a long mental struggle, 
the agonies of which he has recorded in heart- 
rending words, now entreating God in the 
tenderest of terms, now resigning himself to 
despair, now appealing with the petulance of 
a pet child for what he deemed his birthright, 
now apologizing in all humility for thus taking 
liberties with his Mother-God, he succeeded at 
last in gaining a restful place of beatitude 
a state in which he nuerged his soul in the uni- 

138 Cosmic Consciousness 

versal soul," that is, Illumination, or cosmic 

Sadasiva Brahman, one of the great Siddhas, 
and a comparatively modern sage of India, 
left a Sanskrit poem called Atmavidyavilasa, 
which gives a comprehensive description of 
the experience and the effects of Illumination, 
as for example : 

"The sage whose mind by the grace of his 
blessed Guru is merged in his own true nature 
(Existence, Intelligence, and Bliss Absolute), 
that great Illumined one, wise, with all egotism 
suppressed, and extremely delighted within 
himself, sports in joy." 

"He who is himself alone, who has known 
the secret of bliss, who has firmly embraced 
peace, who is magnanimous and whose feel- 
ings other than those of the at man, have been 
allayed, that person sports on his pleasant 
couch of self-bliss." 

"The pure moon of the prince of recluses, 
who is fit to be worshipped by gods and whose 
moonlight of intelligence that dispels the 
darkness of ignorance causes the lily of the 
earth to blossom, shines forth in the abode of 
the all-pervading Essence of Light." 

The above stanzas represent a more imper- 
sonal idea of the bliss of attainment than those 
of many others who have experienced Illumi- 

Examples of Cosmic Consciousness 139 

nation, but they emphasize the same point that 
we find throughout all writings of the Illumi- 
nati, namely, the realization of the kingdom 
within, rather than without, and the necessity 
of selflessness meaning the subjugation of the 
lesser self, the mental, to the soul. 

We come now to a consideration of the life 
and character of the Lord Buddha, whose 
influence is still stronger in all parts of the 
world than that of any other person who has 
ever taught the precepts of attainment. 

In Japan, for example, Buddhism, in its 
various branches, or interpretations, is the 
religion of the vast majority and even w r here 
Shintoism is the method of worship, the 
influence of Buddhism may be seen. So too, 
we find in Japan, a form of Buddhism, which 
shows evidences of the influence of Shintoism, 
but I think it may be admitted that Japan, above 
all other countries, represents today, the religion 
of Buddhism. 

Buddhism has been called the "religion of en- 
lightenment," but the term "illumination" as it 
is used to describe the attainment of cosmic con- 
sciousness, is what is meant, rather than the 
purely intellectual quality which we are ac- 
customed to think of as enlightenment. 

Sakyamuni, another name for Buddhism, 

140 Cosmic Consciousness 

means also illumination, or realization of the 
saving character of the light within. 

The lamp is the most important symbol in 
Buddhism, as it typifies the divine flame or illumi- 
nation (which is cosmic consciousness), as the 
goal of the disciple. 

Another interpretation of the symbol of the 
lamp, is that of the power of the lamp to shed 
its rays to light the way of those who are travel- 
ing "in the gloom," and by so doing, it lights the 
flame of illumination in others, without diminish- 
ing its own power. An article of faith reads : 

"As one holds out a lamp in the darkness that 
those who have eyes may see the objects, even 
so has the doctrine been made clear by the Lord 
in manifold exposition." 

Again, in the Book of the Great Decease, we 
learn that Buddha admonished his disciples to 
"dwell as lamps unto yourselves." Another 
symbol used throughout Japan as a means of 
teaching the masses the essential doctrines of 
"The Compassionate One," has become familiar 
to occidental people as a sort of "curio." It is 
that of the three monkeys carved in wood or 

One monkey is covering his eyes with both 
paws; another has stopped his ears; and the 
third has his paw pressed tightly over his mouth. 
The lesson briefly told is to "see no evil; hear 

Examples of Cosmic Consciousness 141 

no evil; speak no evil," and the reason that the 
monkey is employed as the symbol, is because 
the monkey, more than any other animal, resem- 
bles primitive man. If, then, we would rise from 
the monkey, or animal condition (the physical 
or animal part of the human , organism), we 
must avoid a karma of consciousness of evil. 

Buddhism is full of symbolism, and these sym- 
bols must be interpreted according to the age, 
or of the individual consciousness of the inter- 
preter, or the translator. But the fundamental 
doctrine of Buddha is essentially one of renun- 
ciation as applied to the things of the world. 
Nevertheless this quality of renunciation has 
been greatly exaggerated during the centuries, 
because of the fact that the Lord Buddha had 
so much to give up, viewed from the standpoint 
of worldly ethics. 

In the following "sayings of Buddha," we find 
that the quest of the noble sage was for that 
supraconsciousness wherein change and decay 
were not, rather than that he regarded the 
things of the senses, as sinful. For example: 

"It is not that I am careless about beauty, or 
am ignorant of human joys ; but only that I see 
on all the impress of change; therefore, my 
heart is sad and heavy." Or this: 

"A hollow compliance and a protesting heart, 
such method is not for me to follow: I now 

742 Cosmic Consciousness 

will seek a noble law, unlike the worldly methods 
known to men. I will oppose disease, and change 
and death, and strive against the mischief 
wrought by these, on men." 

According to the Samyutta Nikaya, the twelve 
Nidanas (or chain of consequences) are: 

"On ignorance depends karma; 

"On karma depends consciousness; 

"On consciousness depends name and form; 

"On name and form depends the six organs of 

"On contact depends sensation; 

"On sensation depends desire; 

"On desire depends attachment; 

"On attachment depends existence; 

"On existence depends birth; 

"On birth depend old age and death, sorrow, 
lamentation, misery, grief, and despair. 

"Thus does this entire aggregation of misery 

Having arrived at this conclusion, the problem 
may be solved by learning how to avoid existence. 
But, let us consider what the term "existence" 
means. The common acceptance of the word, 
as used in the English, seems to include being; 
but if we will consider the word in its literal 
meaning, when analyzed, we find that it comes 
from "est" (to be), and the prefix "ex," meaning 
actually "not-being." 

Examples of Cosmic Consciousness 143 

The word Being, is a synonym for eternal life 
for Deity. It does not savor of anything that 
has been created, or that will terminate. Being 
is, therefore, to cease to ex-ist, is to cease to live 
under the spell of the illusory and changing 
quality of maya, or externality. 

Far from meaning to be "wiped out," or ab- 
sorbed into The Absolute, in the sense of com- 
plete loss of consciousness, it means the eternal 
retention of consciousness, unhampered by the 
delusion of sense as a reality. 

To escape from this chain of illusory ideas, 
and their consequences, the obvious necessity is 
to claim the soul's right to Being. This is done 
by dispelling ignorance (A-vidya) by vidya 
(knowledge). Thus karma ceases: 

"On the cessation of karma ceases conscious- 
ness of self; 

"On the cessation of this consciousness of self, 
cease name and form; 

"On the cessation of name and form, cease 
the organs of sense; 

"On the cessation of sense, ceases contact; 

"On the cessation of contact, ceases sensation ; 

"On the cessation of sensation, ceases desire; 

"On the cessation of desire ceases attachment ; 

"On the cessation of attachment ceases exist- 

"On the cessation of existence, ceases birth. 

$44 Cosmic Consciousness 

"On the cessation of birth cease old age, and 
death; sorrow; lamentation; misery; grief and 
despair. Thus does the entire aggregation of 
misery cease." 

But, as to the exact interpretation of all these, 
Buddha himself says: 

"Ye must rely upon the truth; this is your 
highest, strongest vantage ground; the foolish 
masters practicing superficial wisdom, grasp not 
the meaning of the truth ; but to receive the law, 
not skillfully to handle words and sentences, the 
meaning then is hard to know, as in the night- 
time, if traveling and seeking for a house, if all 
be dark within, how difficult to find." 

But let it be understood, that Buddhism as 
now taught and practiced is necessarily colored 
by the effect of the centuries which have elapsed 
since the Lord Buddha lived and taught the 
precepts of his Illumination. Modern Buddhism, 
as a religious system of worship bears the same 
relation to Prince Siddartha, as does modern 
Christianity to Jesus of Nazereth. 

A short review of the life and character of 
the personalities around whom the great religious 
systems of the world have been formed will aid 
us in perceiving the unity of thought and char- 
acter of the Illumined, and the similarity of re- 
ports as to the effect of this realization of cosmic 
consciousness will be apparent. 


The salient feature of the law as given by 
Moses unto his people, the Jews, is that of strict 
cleanliness of mind and body. In this we find 
a similarity to the oft-repeated behest of Gau- 
tama, the Buddha, who constantly admonished 
his followers to keep their hearts pure and their 
minds and bodies clean. 

This spirit of cleanliness finds also a counter- 
part in the saying ascribed to Jesus, "blessed are 
the pure in heart." 

The cleanliness here referred to is doubtless 
not so much physical neatness as mental purity 
of thought thought free from doubt and 
calumny and petty deceits and hypocrisy and 
selfishness and debasing perversions of the life 
forces; but during various stages of history we 
find that all teachings have their esoteric and 
their exoteric application. 

The law, as enunciated by Moses, according 
to the Jewish reports, laid much stress upon 
physical cleanliness, as an attribute of godhood. 

But Moses, if we may credit reports, was 
something far more inspired and illumined than 

146 Cosmic Consciousness 

a mere physical culturist commendable as is 
personal cleanliness and his admonitions were 
the result of that fine sense of discrimination 
and enlightenment which comes from cosmic per- 
ception, even if he had not experienced the 
deeper, fuller realization of liberation, of which 
Buddha is a shining example. 

It is evident that the laws laid down by Moses 
were taught and practised by the Egyptians 
many many years prior to the time in which 
Moses lived, which from the most reliable author- 
ities, must have been about four to five hundred 
years before the Exodus. 

This does not detract from the evidence that 
the great Egyptian-Hebrew, was a man of won- 
derful intellectual attainments, and from what 
we know of modern examples of Illumination, 
he also possessed a degree of cosmic conscious- 

The story of the seemingly miraculous birth 
of Moses, and the mystery with which his ances- 
try is surrounded, is also typical of one who has 
attained to cosmic consciousness. 

The Illumined one realizes his birthlessness 
and his deathlessness, and expresses it in sym- 
bolism, meaning of course, the realization that 
as the spirit is never born and can never die, the 
idea of age is an unreality and should find no 
place in the consciousness of one who regards 

Moses, The Law-Giver 147 

himself as an indestructible atom of the Cosmos. 

But the evidences regarding the probable 
Illumination of Moses are to be found in the 
reports of his ascension of Mt. Sinai, and what 
occurred there. 

The phenomenon of the great light which is 
inseparable from instances of cosmic conscious- 
ness, and which gives to the phenomenon its 
name "Illumination," was apparently marked in 
the case of Moses. 

The "burning bush," which he describes is the 
experience of the mind when the illusion of sense 
has ceased, even temporarily, to obscure the men- 
tal vision. 

"And the angel of the Lord appeared unto 
him in a flame of fire, and out of the midst of a 
bush ; and he looked and behold, the bush burned 
with fire and the bush was not consumed." 

There is a subtler interpretation to this re- 
port than that usually given, even by those who 
realize that this expression is an evidence of 
the sudden influx of supra consciousness which 
attends the soul's liberation from the limits of 
sense consciousness. 

The "burning bush" is synonymous with the 
"tree of life" which is ever alive with the "fires 
of creation." 

All who realize liberation are endowed with 
the power to understand this symbol. For 

148 Cosmic Consciousness 

those who have not attained to this degree of 
consciousness, the esoteric meaning is necessar- 
ily hidden. 

The phenomenon of the strange mystical light 
which seems to enfold and bathe the Illumined 
one, is concisely expressed in the case of Moses. 

"And it came to pass, that when Moses came 
down from Mount Sinai with the tablets of the 
testimony in hand, that Moses wist not that 
the skin of his face shone, or sent forth beams 
by reason of his speaking with Him. 

"And when Aaron and all the children of 
Israel saw Moses behold! the skin of his face 
shone and they were afraid to come nigh him." 

Again we find in the case of Moses, a momen- 
tary fear of the phenomenon which he was ex- 
periencing, in the influx of light and the sound 
of the voice which seems to accompany the light. 

The interpretation given the words spoken, 
and the identity of the voice is ever dependent 
upon the time and character of the mind experi- 
encing the Illumination. 

Thus Moses claims to have heard the voice 
of the God of the Hebrews, but the probabilities 
are, that the "voice" is the mental operations of 
the person experiencing the phenomenon of 
supra-consciousness, and this interpretation will 
vary with what Professor James calls the "his- 
torical determination," i. e. it is dependent upon 

Moses, The Law-Giver 149 

the age in which the illumined one lived, and 
upon the character of the impressions previously 

This apparent difference of report, as to the 
identity of the "voice," is of small import. 

The salient point is that each person relating 
his experience has heard a voice giving more 
or less explicit instructions and promises. 

In each instance it has been characterized as 
the voice of the God of their desire, and adora- 

Certainly, whatever may be our opinions as to 
whether God, as we understand the term, talked 
to Moses, giving him such explicit commands as 
the great leader afterwards laid down to his peo- 
ple accompanied by the insurmountable barrier 
to dissent or discussion, "thus saith the Lord," 
we can but admit that the prophet was possessed 
of intellectual power far in advance of his time, 
and his laws did indeed, save his people from self 
destruction, through uncleanliness and strife, and 
dense ignorance. 

The ten commandments have been the "word 
of God" to all men for lo ! these many ages, and 
even Jesus could but add one other commandment 
to those already in use : "Another commandment 
give I unto you that ye love one another." 

To sum up the evidences of cosmic conscious- 

150 Cosmic Consciousness 

ness, or Illumination, as reported in the case of 
Moses, we find : 

The experience of great light as seen on Horeb. 

The "voice" which he calls the voice of "The 

The sudden and momentary fear, and humility. 

The shining of his face and form, as though 
bathed in light. 

The subsequent intellectual superiority over 
those of his time. 

The perfect assurance and confidence of au- 
thority and "salvation." 

The desire for solitude, which caused him to 
die alone in the vale of Moab. 

The intense desire to uplift his people to a 
higher consciousness. 


Gautama, prince of the house of Siddhartha, of 
the Sakya class, was born in northern India in 
the township of Kapilavastu, in the year 556 
B. C, according to the best authorities, as inter- 
preted and reported by Max Muller. 

The Japanese tradition agrees with this, prac- 
tically, stating that O Shaka Sama (signifying 
one born of wisdom and love) was born as a 
Kotai Si, crown prince of the Maghada country. 

We have the assurance that as a youth, Gau- 
tama, like Jesus, exhibited a serious mindedness 
and an insight into matters spiritual, which as- 
tonished and dumbfounded his hearers, and the 
sages who gave him respectful attention. 

Some accounts even go so far as to state that 
at the very moment of his birth the young prince 
was able to speak, and that his words ascended 
"even to the gods of the uppermost Brahma- 

Divesting the traditions that surround the 
birth and early life of the world's great masters, 
of much that has been interpolated by a designing 
priesthood, we may yet conclude that a certain 

152 Cosmic Consciousness 

seriousness, and a deep sympathy with the sor- 
rows of their fellowmen, would naturally char- 
acterize these inspired ones, even while they were 
still in their early youth. 

It is evident that the young Prince Siddhartha 
was subject to meditation and that these medita- 
tions led at times to complete trance. 

It is reported that one day while out riding in 
all the pomp and accoutrements of the son of a 
ruling king, he was visited by an angel (a messen- 
ger from the gods of Devachan), and told that 
if he would lessen the sorrows of the world that 
he must renounce his right to his father's king- 
dom and go into the jungle, becoming a hermit, 
and devoting his life to fasting, prayer and medi- 
tation, in order to fit himself for the work of 
preaching the "way of liberation," which con- 
sisted of, first of all, to take no life; be pure in 
mind ; be as the humblest, which latter admonition 
found little favor with the world of his personal 
environment where caste was and still is, a seem- 
ingly ineradicable race-thought. 

The sorrows of humanity weighed heavily upon 
his heart, and the superficialities of the wealthy 
and ostentatious court in which he lived, irked 
his outspoken and truth-loving spirit. 

Surrounded, as he was, by wealth and ease, 
with time for contemplation and a mind given 
to philosophic speculation, the young prince 

Gautama, The Compassionate 153 

found no sense of comfort or permanent satis- 
faction in his own immunity from want and sor- 
row. He pondered long upon the way to become 
freed from the "successive round of births and 
deaths," and thus pondering, he sought solitude 
in which to find his questions answered. 

Fasting and penance have ever been the gist of 
the instruction given to those who would "find 
the way to God," and so to this end Gautama 
fasted and prayed, and practised self -sacrifice 

But the attainment of liberation was not easy, 
and Siddhartha suffered long and practiced self- 
mortification assiduously, at length being re- 
warded; and "there arose within him the eye to 
perceive the great and noble truths which had 
been handed down; the knowledge of their na- 
ture; the understanding of their cause; the wis- 
dom that lights the true path ; the light that ex- 
pels darkness." 

The terrible struggle which characterized the 
attainment of cosmic consciousness, by so many of 
the sages and saviours of history, is, we believe, 
due to the fact that no one individual may hope 
to rise so immeasurably above the plane of the 
race-consciousness of his day and age, except 
through intense and overwhelming desire. 

Gautama abandoned his heritage, his relatives, 
his wife to whom he was devoted, and his infant 
son, as we have previously stated, not because 

154 Cosmic Consciousness 

Illumination is purchasable at so terrible a price, 
but because his desire to know transcended all 
other desires, and in order to be free from the 
demands made upon him, he must of necessity, 
seek solitude. 

Few examples of the attainment of cosmic 
consciousness are as complete and of such full- 
ness, as that attained by Buddha, and no instance 
which history affords has left so great an effect 
upon the world. 

It is estimated that at least one-third of the 
human race are Buddhists. This is not saying 
that any such number of persons are like unto 
Buddha, nor do we contend that this is any evi- 
dence that his message is greater or more fraught 
with truth than that of other illumined ones. 

The intelligent student of occultism in all its 
phases will arrive, sooner or later, at the inevit- 
able conclusion that all illumined souls have seen 
and have taught the same fundamental truth. 

Buddha was convinced that in The Absolute, 
or First Cause, there could be no sin and conse- 
quently no sorrow, and he persistently sought to 
inaugurate such systems of conduct and such a 
standard of morals as would lead the disciple 
back to godhood, or liberation from the "wheel 
of causation." 

To keep the mind pure and clean was the bur- 
den of his cry, well knowing that the mind is 

Gautama, The Compassionate 155 

the fertile field wherein illusions of sense con- 
sciousness thrive. He says : 

"Mind is the root (of evil) ; actions proceed 
from the mind. If anyone speak or act from a 
corrupt mind, suffering will follow, as the dust 
follows the rolling wheel.'* 

That we can not expect to escape the result 
of our thoughts and acts was ever a doctrine of 
Buddha, albeit, he seems also to have sought to 
make clear to his disciples, the UNREALITY of 
sin as a part of the indestructable "First Cause." 

Many Buddhist sects interpret the doctrines of 
Buddha to deny a belief in a future existence, in 
at least as far as identity is concerned, but this 
conception is not consistent with the most reliable 
reports, neither is it in keeping with the extreme 
peace and satisfaction which all illumined ones 

If extinction of identity were the goal of Il- 
lumination, it is inconceivable that the illumined 
ones should report the attainment of perfect sat- 
isfaction and bliss. 

Besides, it is clearly stated that Gautama told 
his disciples that he had already entered Nirvana, 
while yet in the body. 

"My mind is free from passions; is released 
from the follies of the world. I have gained 
the victory," said Lord Buddha to his disciple 

156 Cosmic Consciousness 

It is also asserted that Buddha appeared in his 
own "glorified body" to his disciples after his 
physical dissolution, plainly indicating that far 
from being swallowed up in The Absolute, he had 
acquired godhood in his present body. 

Detailing the advantages of a pure life, Buddha 
said to his disciples : 

"The virtuous man rejoices in this world, and 
he will rejoice in the next ; in both worlds has he 
joy. He rejoices, he exults, seeing the purity of 
his deed." 

Again, alluding to a sage (rahan), Buddha is 
reported to have said: 

"He is indeed blest, having conquered all his 
passions, and attained the state of Nirvana." 

This alluded to the acquisition of Nirvana 
while still in the physical body. In other words, 
as we of this century understand the teaching, 
he had experienced cosmic consciousness. 

The modern version of the commandments of 
Buddha are almost identical with those of the 
Christian creed, and these commandments are, as 
we have previously observed, the same that Moses 
laid down for the guidance of his people. That 
they were old before Moses was born, is also 
more than problematical. 

It is also more than probable that Buddha did 
not personally write the ethical code which we 
now find submitted as the "Commandments of 

Gautama, The Compassionate 157 

Buddha," but that Buddha merely emphasized 

These commandments are not, however, under- 
stood, by the intelligent Buddhist as "sacred," in 
the sense that "God spoke unto Buddha." 

Moses doubtless assumed to have been divinely 
instructed in the law, although that supposition 
may be erroneous. He may have had in mind the 
same fundamental idea which all those expressing 
cosmic consciousness have had, that of being a 
mouthpiece of a higher power, rather than to at- 
tract to themselves any adulation or worship, as 
being specially divine. 

The "Commandments," therefore, as trans- 
lated and ascribed to modern Buddhism, are an 
ethical and moral code for the MORTAL con- 
sciousness, rather than a formula for developing 
cosmic consciousness. These commandments arc : 

i Thou shalt kill no animal whatever, from 
the meanest insect up to man. 

2 Thou shalt not steal. 

$ Thou shalt not violate the wife of another. 

4 Thou shalt speak no word that is false. 

5 Thou shalt not drink wine, nor anything 
that may intoxicate. 

6 Thou shalt avoid all anger, hatred and bit- 
ter language. 

7 Thou shalt not indulge in idle and vain 
talk, but shall do all for others. 

158 Cosmic Consciousness 

8 Thou shall not covet thy neighbors goods. 

9 Thou shalt not harbor envy, nor pride, nor 
revenge, nor malice, nor the desire of thy neigh- 
bor's death or misfortune. 

10 Thou shalt not follow the doctrines of 
false gods. 

And the devotee is assured, even as in the 
Christian creed, that "he who keeps these com- 
mandments, shall enter Nirvana the rest of 
Buddha." But let it be understood that Gautama, 
the Lord Buddha, did not formulate these com- 
mandments. Neither are they considered as in- 
fallible formulae, by the enlightened Buddhist. 

They constitute the ethical and moral code of 
the undeveloped man in all ages of the world, 
and among all peoples. They had become tradi- 
tional long before Buddha came to interpret "the 
way of the gods." But Gautama, like Jesus, was 
an evolutionist, and not a revolutionist. He came 
"not to destroy, but to fulfill," and so Buddha 
paid no attention to the code of morals as it stood, 
but merely contented himself with emphasizing 
the importance of unselfishness purity of heart 
and mind, because he realized that the mental 
world is the trap of the soul, even as "the ele- 
phant is held tethered by a galucchi creeper." 

Buddha taught the way of emancipation of the 
soul held in bondage by means of the illusions 
of maya, even as the elephant is held in captivity 

Gautama, The Compassionate 159 

by so weak a thing as a galucchi creeper, which 
could be broken by a single effort. 

That many who keep the commandments are 
yet a long way from cosmic consciousness must 
be apparent to all. Therefore we are justified in 
assuming that the mere keeping of the com- 
mandments will not bring about mukti. Many a 
man follows the letter of the law, and escapes 
prison, but if he does this through fear of pun- 
ishment, and not because of a desire to main- 
tain peace that his neighbors may be benefited, 
then he is not keeping the spirit of the law at all, 
and his reward is a negative one. 

According to the most reliable authorities, 
Buddha died in his eightieth year, having spent 
about fifty years in preaching, in healing the sick, 
in conversing with exalted beings in the heavenly 
worlds, and in leaving at will his physical body 
and visiting other worlds. 

Buddha prophesied his coming dissolution, and 
expressed to his disciples, a hope that they would 
realize that he still lived, even when his physical 
body should have become ashes. 

As his last hour approached, Buddha sum- 
moned his disciples, and after a moment's silent 
meditation, he addressed himself to Ananda, his 
relative, as well as his favorite disciple, thus : 

"When I shall have disappeared from this 
state of existence, and be no longer with you, do 

160 Cosmic Consciousness 

not believe that the Buddha has left you, and 
ceased to dwell among you. Do not think there- 
fore, nor believe, that the Buddha has disap- 
peared, and is no more with you." 

From these words, it is evident that the state 
of Nirvana which Buddha assured his followers 
that he had already attained, did not argue loss 
of identity, nor translation to another planet. 

Nor is there anywhere in the sayings of 
Buddha, rightly interpreted, any suggestion of 
expecting or desiring personal worship. This, the 
great sage particularly avoided, as indeed have all 
illumined ones. 

It is evident that Gautama the Buddha had 
experienced that divine influx of light and wis- 
dom in which he sought for others the happiness 
he had gained for himself, and to this end he 
was eager to leave to his friends and disciples 
such rules of conduct of life as should aid them 
in attaining the divine peace that comes from 

But that he founded a religious system of wor- 
ship of himself, is wholly unbelievable in the 
light of a study of comparative religions and the 
wisdom which illumination confers. 

To realize that one has attained to immortal- 
ity, and claimed his birthright of godhood, is not 
synonymous with the claim to worship as the one 
eternal source of life. 

Gautama, The Compassionate 161 

It is a part of human weakness to insist upon 
idealizing the personality of a teacher, and this 
tendency becomes in time merged into actual wor- 
ship, whereas the teacher, if he or she be truly il- 
lumined, seeks only to inculcate the philosophy 
which will bring his faithful followers into a 
realization of cosmic consciousness. 

The points which characterize the person who 
has experienced a degree of illumination (en- 
tered into cosmic consciousness), were particu- 
larly evident in the life and character of Gautama, 
the Buddha. They may be summed up thus: 

A marked seriousness in youth. 

A great sympathy and compassion with the 
sorrows of others. 

A deep tenderness for all forms of life. 

A realization of the nothingness of caste and 
pomp and power. 

The firm conviction that he was instructed by 

The wonderful magnetism and illumination of 
his person. 

The firm conviction of immortality released 
from the "wheel of life" as he expressed it. 

The knowledge of when and where he was to 
pass out from the life of the body. 

The love of solitude and meditation. The in- 
tellectual power maintained even into old age. 

The unselfish desire to help others. 

1 62 Cosmic Consciousness 

Great and never-failing sympathy with suf- 
fering, a divine patience, and insight into the 
hearts of all forms of life, earned for this great 
soul the name "Buddha The Compassionate." 


Turning now to the next in order of the world's 
great masters, or illumined ones, we come to a 
consideration of Jesus of Nazareth, in whose 
name the great moral system of religion, called 
"Christianity," is promulgated. 

It has been conclusively shown that the essen- 
tial features of the present-day system of re- 
ligion, known as Christianity, were instituted by 
Paul rather than by Jesus, and that the system 
itself, like Buddhism, is the work of the follow- 
ers of the great teacher, rather than that of the 

Our present concern, however, is not with the 
system or method of the church, but with those 
historic facts which bear upon the question of 
the Illumination of Jesus, classifying Him, not 
as an incarnate son of God, in the accepted the- 
ological interpretation, but in the light of cosmic 

Jesus the Christ was born, according to the 
most reliable authorities, about six hundred years 
after Gautama, the Buddha. 

Whether or not the Nazarene was familiar with 

164 Cosmic Consciousness 

the Buddhist doctrines or whether He spent the 
years of His life which are shrouded in mystery, 
in the inner temples of either Thibet, India, Per- 
sia, China, or other oriental country, will doubt- 
less always be a disputed point among controver- 

The fact does not matter, either way. 

There is an encouraging similarity in the fun- 
damentals of all religious precepts, arguing that 
when a teacher is really inspired, the truth makes 
friends with him or her. 

Some writers on the subject of Illumination 
give exact dates when the flash of cosmic con- 
sciousness came to the various teachers of the 
world, but these dates are problematical, and they 
are also inconsequential. 

That Jesus was among those historic characters 
who had attained cosmic consciousness, there can 
be no possible doubt, even though his exact words 
will be disputed. 

Enough has come down to us through the ages 
to prove the fact that Jesus knew and taught the 
illusory character of external life (niaya) and 
that he was himself absolutely certain of the 
"kingdom within," which he admonished his 
hearers to seek, rather than to live so much in the 
external. This he did because he well knew that 
constant dwelling in the external consciousness 
led not to liberation. 

Jesus of Nazareth 165 

The light within, was the substance of his cry, 
and that light, when perceived, leads to illumina- 
tion of everything 1 , both the within and the 

The transfiguration of Jesus was undoubtedly 
the effect of his being in a supra-conscious state, 
a state of exaltation, in which many mystics enter 
at more or less frequent intervals, according to 
their mode of life, and their objective environ- 

"And he was transfigured before them; and 
his garments became exceedingly white," we are 
told in the gospels, and there are many persons in 
the world today possessing the power of the inner 
or clairvoyant vision (not identical with cosmic 
consciousness), who have witnessed similar phe- 

In the "Sermon on the Mount," we find that 
Jesus spoke with such certainty and such author- 
ity, as one who had experienced the very essence 
of the cosmic conscious state, and was already 
freed from the illusions of the senses. His 
words, like those of all who have sought to give 
directions and instructions for the attainment of 
freedom from externality, are capable of inter- 
pretation in various ways, according to the de- 
gree of consciousness of the age in which the 
interpretations have been made. 

For example, we find these words of Jesus 

1 66 Cosmic Consciousness 

given different meanings, and in fact, there have 
been many and diverse discussions and conclu- 
sions as to exactly what the Master did mean 
by them : 

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is 
the kingdom of heaven." 

Let us examine the phrase, and see if it accords 
with our ideas of cosmic consciousness. To be 
"poor in spirit," is not consistent with our under- 
standing of the requirements for the expansion 
of the soul. 

Those who take this phrase literally, and who 
are opposed to religious concepts, as a factor in 
human betterment, are fond of using this phrase 
as an evidence of the fanatacism of Jesus, and his 
concurrence in the worldly habit of exploiting the 
poor, and "riding the backs of the wage slaves," 
as our Socialist brothers put it. 

Now let us, for a moment, consider the phrase 
as a person who possessed cosmic consciousness 
would have said it. 

One possessing the cosmic sense, viewing the 
external more as a trap of the senses, than as 
realities, would readily perceive that to amass 
wealth (external possessions), the mind must be 
in harmony with the methods and the ideals of 
the world, rather than that it should be concen- 
trated upon the "things of the spirit." 

This idea is expressed in the phrase, "no man 

Jesus of Nazareth 167 

can serve two masters," and while we are not 
prepared to say that the possession of worldly 
goods is absolutely impossible to the attainment 
of cosmic consciousness observation, reflection, 
and intuition will unite in the conclusion that 
they are more or less improbable. 

If then, we will interpret these sayings of Jesus 
in the light of a broader outlook than was pos- 
sible to the understanding of his chroniclers, we 
will find that what he doubtless said was : 

"Blessed in spirit are the poor, for theirs shall 
be the kingdom of heaven." 

And in his vision, which extended beyond the 
times in which he lived, and foresaw that the at- 
tainment of cosmic consciousness must involve a 
degree of physical hardship, he said: 

"Blessed are they that have been persecuted 
for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom 
of heaven." 

A survey of the world's progress will readily 
prove the fact that those who have bent their 
talents and their energies toward the uplift of 
the race, have done so under great stress, and in 
the face of persistent opposition. 

This opposition is an accompaniment to altru- 
istic effort, for me very obvious reason that the 
race-thought of the world is still materialistic. 

The thoughts that predominate are commer- 
cial, This is due to the fact that those who are 

j 68 Cosmic Consciousness 

wealthy have large financial interests to main- 
tain ; business problems to solve ; that take about 
all their time. The poor find the maintenance of 
physical existence a task that absorbs the greater 
part of their mortal mind, and therefore, those 
who are devoting their time and talents to the 
work of regeneration (the coming of the cosmic 
sense), are necessarily in the minority, and the 
majority rules in thought, as in act. 

The present metaphysical movement lays great 
stress upon worldly success and "attraction" of 
wealth, as an evidence of possession of power and 
truth, but the law of equation proves that we 
obtain that which we most desire. A religious 
system which amasses great wealth in a short 
time does so, only because its dominant teaching 
inspires the desire for worldly advancement, as 
the prime requisite. 

The same is true of an individual, as of a 

Not that the attainment of cosmic conscious- 
ness is absolutely impossible to a rich man, be- 
cause a man may inherit riches and position and 
power, as in the case of Prince Siddhartha, the 
Lord Buddha ; or he may have set in motion cer- 
tain currents of desire for wealth, and later in 
life may change that desire, when naturally, the 
"business" he has created will follow the law 

Jesus of Nazareth 169 

which instigated it, and increasing wealth will 

But, let it be known, that Buddha renounced 
all his possessions, and there are many instances 
today of renunciation of worldly life and wealth, 
in order to attain to that supreme consciousness 
in which the illumined one possesses all that he 
desires, even though he have but one coat to his 

Let it not be thought that we mean to infer 
that God is partial to poverty, and that the rich 
man will be excluded from the attainment of the 
kingdom, merely because of his riches; but if 
riches be any man's aim, then assuredly he cannot 
"serve two masters" and it will not be possible 
for him to become illumined while in pursuit of 
worldly goods. 

Jesus said: 

"It is easier for a camel to go through the 
needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter the 
kingdom of heaven." 

It is now thoroughly established that the 
"Needle's Eye" was the name given to a certain 
narrow and difficult pass through which camels 
bearing heavy burdens, could not find room to 
pass, and Jesus sought to convey to his hearers 
the truth that persons bearing in their mental de- 
sires the load of many possessions, would hardly 
find room for the one supreme desire which would 

170 Cosmic Consciousness 

bring them into the kingdom (the possession of 
cosmic consciousness). 

But the most significant of the utterances of 
the illumined Nazarene is the one in which he 

"Except ye become as little children, ye can in 
no wise enter the kingdom of heaven." 

The possession of cosmic consciousness brings 
with it, invariably, the simplicity, the faith and 
innocence of a little child. The child is pleased 
with natural pleasures, and does not know the 
worldly standard of valuation. And above all, 
the soul, while still attached to the physical body, 
is like a little child. 

The attainment of cosmic consciousness is pos- 
sible only to one who has first "got acquainted 
with his soul" ; when we are really soul-conscious 
we possess the innocence (not ignorance), of a 
little child, and we also possess a child's wisdom. 
We are, in other words, "as wise as the serpent 
and as harmless as the dove." Wisdom brings 
with it harmlessness. The truly wise person 
would not wilfully harm any living thing; wisdom 
knows no revenge; no "eye for an eye" philoso- 
phy; makes no demands. 

And what may be considered the second most 
significant remark of the Master is this: 

"The kingdom of God cometh not with obser- 
vation ; neither shall they say Lo, here ; or Lo, 

Jesus of Nazareth 171 

there, for Lo, the kingdom of heaven is within 

Jesus, although forced by the conventions of 
the time in which he taught to conform to the 
laws laid down by the scribes and Pharisees, in- 
fluenced by the strict views of the Israelites, who 
honored the law laid down by Moses and the 
prophets, still possessed cosmic consciousness to 
such an extent that he knew the folly of judging 
others by outward appearance, and also of prom- 
ising them cosmic consciousness in return for 
obedience to prescribed rules or commandments. 

When it would seem to his critics that he did 
not sufficiently emphasize the traditional laws, 
that he was seemingly making it too simple and 
too easy for people to live, they sought to trap 
him into a statement that would oppose the ac- 
cepted commandments. 

But this Jesus steadfastly refused to do. "I 
came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it," he 

Like all those who have experienced cosmic 
consciousness, his policy was one of construc- 
tion, and not of destruction. Evolution accom- 
plishes peacefully what revolution seeks to do by 

Jesus laid little stress upon the commandments 
as they stood. He neither sought to emphasize 
them, nor to criticise them. All that he said was : 

172 Cosmic Consciousness 

"A new commandment give I unto you: that 
ye love one another." 

All truly illumined minds have made love the 
basis of their teaching, well knowing that where 
true love reigns there can be no destruction. 

Love conquers fear the arch-enemy of man- 

Love makes it impossible to harm the thing 
loved, and universal love would make it impos- 
sible, for one experiencing it, to consciously bring 
the slightest pain to any living thing. 

Therefore Jesus taught repeatedly the doctrine 
of love, and he made no new commandments 
other than this. 

It has been said that inasmuch as Jesus laid 
greater emphasis upon this one great need than 
had any previous inspired teacher, he deserves 
greater honor. 

Theologians whose purpose it is to promulgate 
the doctrine of Christianity as superior to others, 
use this argument in support of their contention 
that Jesus was the only true son of God. 

But this view will be recognized as prejudiced, 
and lacking in the very essentials taught and 
practiced by the Christ. 

In the light of Illumination, it will readily be 
perceived that all persons expressing any con- 
siderable degree of cosmic consciousness, have 

Jesus of Nazareth 173 

taught the same fundamental and simple truths, 
as witness the following: 

Do as you would be done by. Persian. 

Do not that to a neighbor which you would 
take ill from him. Grecian. 

What you would not wish done to yourself, do 
not unto others. Chinese. 

One should seek for others the happiness one 
desires for oneself. Buddhist. 

He sought for others the good he desired for 
himself. Let him pass on. Egyptian. 

All things whatsoever ye would that men 
should do to you, do you even so to them. 

Let none of you treat his brother in a way 
he himself would dislike to be treated. Moham- 

The true rule in life is to guard and do by the 
things of others as they do by their own. Hindu. 

The law imprinted on the hearts of all men is 
to love the members of society as themselves. 

Whatsoever you do not wish your neighbor to 
do to you, do not unto him. This is the whole 
law. The rest is a mere exposition of it. Jewish. 

While it is probable that Jesus gave no direc- 
tions or methods of attainment, yet the records 
of his sayings give the clue to the character of 
his instruction to those of his students who were 

174 Cosmic Consciousness 

capable of understanding, particularly as shown 
in a recently discovered papyrus, authentically 
identified as belonging to the early Christians. 
This papyrus was discovered by Egyptian ex- 
plorers in 1904. Although the papyrus was more 
or less mutilated, the meaning is sufficiently clear 
to justify the translators in inserting certain 
words. However, we will here quote only such 
of the "sayings" as were decipherable, without 
having anything supplied by translators. 

Evidently having been asked when his kingdom 
should be realized on earth he answered: 

"When ye return to the state of innocence 
which existed before the fall" (i. e., when mani- 
festation will be perceived in its illusory charac- 
ter, and the soul freed from the enchantment of 
the mortal consciousness). 

"I am come to end the sacrifices and if ye cease 
not from sacrificing, the wrath shall not cease 
from you." 

This evidently corresponds to his saying, 
"They who use the sword, shall perish by the 

The conclusion is obvious that hate and de- 
struction beget their kind, and that love is the 
only power that can prevent the continuation of 
destruction. This may with equal logic, be ap- 
plied to the sacrifice of animal and bird life for 

Jesus of Nazareth 175 

food, as well as the sacrifices of blood whicn 
formed a part of ancient ritual. 

His disciples said unto him: 

"When will thou be manifest to us, and when 
shall we see thee ?" 

He saith: 

"When ye shall be stripped and not be 

The time is near at hand, when the body will 
not be regarded as something vile and unworthy ; 
something of which to be ashamed and to keep 
covered, as if God's handiwork \vere vile. 

In fact, the function of sex, from the extreme 
of ancient sex worship to the present extreme of 
sex degradation, shall soon be established in its 
rightful place. It is not the purpose of this book 
to deal with this important subject, so we will say 
no more here. 

Nevertheless, this saying attributed to Jesus, 
the Christ, resurrected as it has been in this cen- 
tury, is timely. It is almost universally conceded 
that the time of the "Second Coming of Christ" 
is already at hand. Just what this second coming 
means, is interpreted differently by theologians, 
philosophers, scientists, poets and prophets, but 
there is a unanimous belief that the time is here 
and now. 

Those who have the comprehension to read 
the signs of the times, are cheerfully expectant 

176 Cosmic Consciousness 

of radical changes in our attitude toward the 
function of sex and the divinity of love. 

"When the two shall be one, and the outside 
as the inside, and the male as the female, neither 
male nor female these things if ye do, the king- 
dom of My Father shall come." 

Again, the meaning of these words depends 
upon the degree of illumination of the person 
reading them. They mean the present inevitable 
equality of the sexes, when each individual will 
count not as a mere man or a mere woman, but 
as an important factor in the world's redemption. 
Or, it will appeal to a few as the promised time 
when every soul which has completed the circle, 
ended its karma, and claimed its god-hood, unites 
with the soul of its mate, the two blending into 
one perfect whole the Father-Mother God of 
the New Dispensation. 

Again we find in these newly discovered papyri 
a phrase bearing upon this subject: 

To the question of Salome : 

"How long shall death reign?" The Lord 
answered : 

"As long as ye women give birth. For I am 
come to make an end to the works of the woman." 

Then Salome said to him : 

"Then have I done well that I have not given 

To this the Lord replied : 

Jesus of Naeareth 177 

"Eat of every herb, but of the bitter one eat 

When Salome asked when it shall be known 
what she asked, the Lord said: 

"When you tread under foot the covering of 
shame, and when two is made one, and the male 
with the female, neither male nor female." 

"Howbeit, he who longs to be rich is like a 
man who drinketh sea water : the more he drink- 
eth the more thirsty he becomes, and never leaves 
off drinking till he perish." 

"Blessed is he who also fasts that he may feed 
the poor, for it is more blessed to give than to 

"Let thy alms sweat in thy hand until thou 
knowest to whom thou givest." 

It is not probable that any one who reads these 
words will make the mistake of assuming that 
Jesus advised us to inquire into the character or 
the antecedents of the one on whom we are to 
bestow a gift. Neither are we expected to ascer- 
tain whether he belongs to our "lodge" or not. 

If you give alms as though to an inferior; if 
you assume a self-righteous mind; if you give 
for hope of reward ; then withhold your gift. In 
fact, unless you can realize that you are giving 
as though to yourself, keep your gift. It will do 
neither you nor the one receiving it, any good 

178 Cosmic Consciousness 

"Good things must come. He is blessed 
through whom they come." 

This presages the coming of the kingdom of 
love on earth, as a foregone conclusion. Yet, 
those who lend themselves consciously, as serv- 
ants of the cause helpers in the establishment of 
the new order are blessed. 

"Love covereth a multitude of sins, so be not 
joyful save when you look upon your brother's 
countenance in love." 

"Let not the sun go down upon your wrath, 
for the greatest of crimes is this: if a man shall 
sadden his brother's spirit." 

"For our possessions are in heaven ; therefore, 
sons of men, purchase unto yourselves by these 
transitory things which are not yours, what is 
yours, and shall not pass away." 

For the Lord has said in a mystery: "Unless 
ye make the right as the left ; the left as the right ; 
the top as the bottom; and the front as the 
backward, ye shall not know the kingdom of 

"Keep the flesh holy and the seal undefiled, that 
ye may receive eternal life." 

"If a man shall sadden his brother's spirit." 
This indeed is the greatest of all crimes, because 
out of man's inhumanity to man springs all the 
sin and sorrow of the world. 

"Unless ye make the right as the left ; the top 

Jesus of Nazareth 179 

as the bottom; the front as the backward." The 
meaning should be clear enough and the words 
are worthy of the illumined mind of Jesus of 

The great sin is separation; segregation; "My 
and mine" as opposed to "Thee and thine." To 
the truly illumined one there can be no "mine," 
as distinct from another's. 

The sinner is no less my brother than is the 
saint. The beggar is as dear to me as is the rich 
man. Every man is a king. There are no 
"chosen of God" to the one who has entered 
cosmic consciousness. 

"For our possessions are in heaven. Use, 
therefore, the things of earth, while ye are living 
in the flesh (sons of men), in such a way and 
to such purpose that they \vill not enchain you in 
the maze of manifestation, and thereby require 
that you postpone your claim to immortality." 

This statement is distinct enough, as is also the 
one: "He who longs to be rich is like a man 
drinking sea water. The more he drinketh, the 
more thirsty he becomes and never leaves off 
drinking until he perisheth." 

The hypnotism of the external world is too 
well illustrated to need further comment. The 
man who enters upon the pursuit of worldly 
possessions; temporal power; personal ambition; 
thinking that when he shall have attained all 
these, then will he turn to the solution of the 

180 Cosmic Consciousness 

mystery of mysteries, finds himself caught in the 
trap of his desires, and he can not escape. He is 
under the spell of enchantment, wherein the un- 
real appears as real, and the real becomes the 

To sum up, the fragmentary accounts we have 
of the life and character of the man Jesus are 
conclusive proof that he had entered into full 
realization of cosmic consciousness. 

Like Lord Gautama, he appeared to his dis- 
ciples after he had left the physical body, "glo- 
rified," as one who had taken on immortality. 

Nor was there ever, it would appear, any doubt 
in the mind of Jesus, of his right to godhood, 
while retaining, also, his self -consciousness. 

The intellectual superiority. 

The wonderful spiritual magnetism and attrac- 
tion of his presence. 

The absolute, unwavering conviction of his 
mission, and of his immortality. 

The transfiguration, after his "temptation" and 
his prophetic vision. 

His great love and compassion for even his 

These are what made him indeed a Christ. 

The term "Christ" and the term "Buddha" 
are synonymous. They both mean one who has 
entered into his godhood. One who has attained 
to cosmic consciousness, leaving forever the lim- 
itations of the lower self. 


The system of worship known as Christianity 
owes its systematic foundation to Paul of Tarsus. 
Paul's sudden conversion from zealous persecu- 
tion of the followers of Jesus of Nazareth to 
an equally zealous propaganda of the gospel of 
Light, offers a perfect example of the peculiar 
oncoming of cosmic consciousness. 

Paul evidently occupied a position of authority 
among the Jews and it is equally probable that 
he was near the same age as Jesus, as he is re- 
ferred to as a "young man named Saul" in Bible 
accounts of the persecution of the early Chris- 
tians. His illumination occurred shortly after 
the crucifixion, probably within two or three 

In Acts, chapter 8-9, we read : 

"And Saul was consenting unto his death 
(Stephen). And at that time there was a great 
persecution against the church which was at Je- 
rusalem and they were all scattered abroad 
throughout the regions of Judea, and Samaria, 
except the apostles. 

"And devout men carried Stephen to his 
burial, and made great lamentation over him. 

1 82 Cosmic Consciousness 

"As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, en- 
tering into every house, and hailing men and 
women, committed them to prison. 

"And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings, and 
slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went 
unto the high priest and desired of him letters 
to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found 
any of this way, whether they were men or 
women, he might bring them bound, unto Jeru- 
salem. 'i'f'-<ZL^r |>r-*>~r-U~ ^ *^ 

"And as he journeyed he came near unto Da- 
mascus, and suddenly there shone round about 
him a light from heaven. 

"And he fell to the earth and heard a voice 
saying unto him: 'Saul, Saul, why persecutest 
thou me?' 

"And he said: 'Who art thou, Lord?' And 
the Lord said: 'I am Jesus, whom thou perse- 
cutest; it is hard for thee to kick against the 

"And he trembling and astonished, said : 'Lord, 
what wilt thou have me do?' 

"And the Lord said unto him : 'Arise and go 
into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou 
must do.' 

"And the men which journeyed with him stood 
speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no man. 

"And Saul arose from the earth, and when his 

Paul of Tarsus 183 

eyes were opened he saw no man; but they led 
him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 

"And he was three days without sight and 
neither did eat nor drink. 

"And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, 
named Ananias, and to him said the Lord in a 
vision : 'Ananias ;' and he said : 'Lord, behold, 
I am here.' And the Lord said unto him : 'Arise 
and go into the street called Straight, and en- 
quire in the house of Judas for one called Saul 
of Tarsus; for behold, he prayeth. And hath 
seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming 
in and putting his hand on him that he might 
receive his sight.' Then Ananias answered: 
'Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how 
much evil he hath done by thy saints at Jerusa- 
lem. And here he hath authority from the high 
priests to bind all that call on thy name.' But 
the Lord said unto him: 'Go thy way; for he 
is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name be- 
fore the Gentiles, and kings, and children of 
Israel. For I will show him how great things he 
must suffer for my name's sake.' 

"And Ananias went his way, and entered into 
the house; and putting his hands on him, said: 
'Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared 
unto thee in the way as thou earnest, hath sent me, 
that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be 
filled with the Holy Ghost.' And immediately 

184 Cosmic Consciousness 

there fell from his eyes, as it had been scales; 
and he received sight forthwith, and arose and 
was baptized." 

Like all those who have entered cosmic con- 
sciousness, Paul sought the blessing of solitude, 
that he might readjust himself to his changed 
viewpoint, since he now saw things in the light 
of the larger consciousness. 

He says: 

"Immediately I conferred, not with flesh and 
blood; neither went I up to Jerusalem to them 
which were apostles before me ; but I went away 
into Arabia; and again I returned unto Da- 

The irresistible longing to get away from the 
sights and sounds of the external world, is one 
of the most characteristic phases of Illumination. 
It is only in order that they may take up the work 
of bringing to others this great blessing that 
those who have entered into the larger conscious- 
ness, eventually bring themselves to enter the life 
of the world. 

Thus, we find that Paul's great desire to bring 
the light to others, took him again to Damascus ; 
and from the records we have of his utterances 
and his mode of living, we may gather some idea 
of the great change which Illumination made in 

Certain statements, which characterize all who 

Paul of Tarsus 185 

possess cosmic consciousness, in any degree of 
fullness, emanate from the converted Paul. He 

"I must needs glory though it is not expedient, 
but I will come to visions and revelations of the 
Lord for if I should desire to glory I shall not 
be foolish ; for I shall speak the truth ; but I for- 
bear, lest any man should account of me above 
that which he seeth me to be, or heareth from 
me. And by reason of the exceeding greatness 
of the revelations wherefore that I should not 
be exalted overmuch, there was given to me a 
thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to 
buffet me." 

"One of the characteristics of the Illumined 
is a deep humility. This is not in any sense an 
abasement of the self; not in any sense a feeling 
that it is necessary to "bow down and worship ;" 
nor yet a tinge of that nameless fear, which the 
carnal-minded self feels in the presence of ex- 
alted beings. 

It is a humility born of the desire to make 
every one know and feel a sense of kinship 
with him ; he hesitates to reveal all that has been 
revealed to him, lest those who hear his words 
may think he is either "speaking foolishly," 
through egotism, or else that they may look upon 
him as a being superior, more exalted, than them- 
selves. And a divine compassion and love for 

1 86 Cosmic Consciousness 

his fellow being characterizes the Illumined. 
Again, Paul wishes to make clear the fact that he 
is still living in the physical body; living the life 
of a body, and until liberated from the condi- 
tions that influence the external world, he is him- 
self subject to the lesser consciousness, and he 
does not want them to expect more of the per- 
sonal self, than that personal self is capable of, 
under the conditions in which he lives. 

He desires no personal exaltation, or praise, 
therefore he hesitates to speak fully of his own 
revelations, but prefers to teach by reference to 
the experiences of others. 

Nevertheless, he tries to make clear the fact 
that he is not merely preaching a "belief," which 
he has embraced because of doubt or fear, or be- 
cause it is a creed. Indeed, he is free from the 
"law" and is, therefore, not merely following a 
system, neither the old one which he has aban- 
doned, nor a new one which he has accepted. He 
speaks from the "Lord," which is no other than 
the highest authority that man may know 
namely, the authority that comes from the reali- 
zation of his own imperishable godhood the ef- 
fect of cosmic consciousness. 

He says: 

"For I make known to you brethren, as touch- 
ing the gospel as preached by me, that it is not 
after man. For neither did I receive it from man, 

Paul of Tarsus 187 

nor was I taught it, but it came to me through 
revelation of Christ. 

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the 
law. But before faith came, we were kept in- 
ward under the law, shut up unto the faith which 
should afterwards be revealed. For ye are all 
sons of God through faith in Christ. For with 
freedom did Christ set us free." 

This we take to refer to his former adherence 
to, and belief in, the system of worship taught 
by the Jews, as a necessary and probably the only 
"way of salvation" acceptable to God. He wishes 
his hearers to understand that he is not bound by 
adherence to any creed; neither the old one, nor 
yet the new one, but that what he preached 
came from the light of cosmic consciousness, in 
which there is no law, nor sense of law. Cosmic 
consciousness gives to the illumined one a sense 
of freedom (Christ means cosmic consciousness, 
and not a personality). 

Cosmic consciousness confers, above all else, 
perhaps, a sense of freedom from every form of 

The duty and the obligations that bind the av- 
erage person, are impossible to the cosmicallv 
conscious one. Not that he displays indiffer- 
ence toward the welfare and the rights of others. 
Far from that, he feels an added sense of re- 
sponsibility for the irresponsible; an overwhelm- 

1 88 Cosmic Consciousness 

ing compassion for the unfortunate, and a rela- 
tionship greater than ever to mankind. 

But this sense of freedom causes him to do all 
in love, which he hitherto did because it was so 
"laid down in the law." 

Again St. Paul makes this plain : 

"The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long 
suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meek- 
ness, temperance; against such as these there is 
no law neither is circumcision anything, nor un- 
circumcision, but a new creature." 

When we are armored with the "fruit of the 
spirit," we have no need for rules of conduct; 
for methods of salvation ; or for any of the bonds 
that are necessary to the merely sense-conscious 

Plainly, Paul recognized the fact that systems 
of religion, of philosophy, of rules and ethics of 
intercourse, are necessary only so long as man 
remains on the sense-conscious plane. When Il- 
lumination comes, there comes with it absolute 
freedom. God does not want to be worshipped 
on bended knee; by rites and ceremonies; by 
obedience to commandments, but the undiscip- 
lined soul acquires power and poise through these 
exercises, and in time grows to the full stature of 

Nor is intellectual greatness to be confounded 

Paul of Tarsus 189 

with the godlike character of the one who has at- 
tained to Illumination. 

Elsewhere in these pages we have made the dis- 
tinction between knowledge and wisdom. Knowl- 
edge alone can never bring a soul into the path 
of Illumination. Wisdom will point the way, but 
love is the unerring guide to the very goal. 

St. Paul's expression of this fact is concise, 
and to the point. This observation alone, stamps 
him as one possessing a very high degree of re- 
alization of what cosmic consciousness is. 

"If any man thinketh that he is wise among 
you in this world, let him become a fool that he 
may become wise. For the wisdom of this world 
is foolishness to God." 

The worldly wise man or woman asks "how 
much do I get?" The truly wise person cares 
nothing at all for possessions. He only asks 
"how much can I give?'" 1 - =* V*'V~ 

And although we find in the marts of commer- 
cialism a contempt for the gullible, and the credu- 
lous; the trusting and the confiding, let it be 
known that the "smart" bargainer will indeed 
smart for his smartness, for in the light of cos- 
mic consciousness, this alleged "wisdom" of men, 
appears as utter foolishness; wasted effort; a 
perversion of opportunity. 

Because "all these things shall pass away." 

Love alone is imperishable. 

190 Cosmic Consciousness 

Love alone is the savior of the human race, 
and whenever we fail to act from motives of 
love, we are disloyal to the light within us. 

Again says St Paul : 

"If I speak with the tongues of men and of 
angels, and have not love, I am as sounding brass 
and a tinkling cymbal. 

"And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know 
all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all 
faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not 
love, I am nothing. 

"And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, 
and if I give my body to be burned, but have not 
love, it profiteth me nothing. 


"But whether there be prophecies they shall 
be done away ; whether there be tongues they shall 
cease; whether there be knowledge it shall be 
done away. For we know in part and we pro- 
phecy in part, but when that which is perfect is 
come, that which is in part shall be done away." 

It must be remembered that in the days of St. 
Paul the high priests and the prophets were ac- 
counted the wisest and most exalted persons in 
the community. 

The ability to prophecy presupposed a special 
favor of the God of the Jews. St. Paul's expo- 
sition of the changed viewpoint that comes to 
one who has entered into cosmic consciousness, 

'Paul of Tarsus 191 

was therefore aptly illustrated by his open avowal 
that there was a far greater power a more ex- 
alted state of consciousness, than that of the gift 
of prophecy and of "knowing all mysteries ;" that 
state of one in which love was the ruler, and in 
order that they might the more fully comprehend 
the simplicity, and yet the perfection, of this state 
of consciousness, he made clear the fact that no 
one truly who became "a new creature", as he 
characterized this change, ever exalted himself, 
or made high claims; or became exclusive, or 
"superior," or "holy," in the sense the latter word 
had been used. 

How, then, would they know when they had 
attained to this state of consciousness, of which 
he spoke, and which they but dimly understood? 

How might they know when they had found 
this great love that was to make them "a new 
creature" ? 

First of all, they might know because: 


Love suffereth long and is kind; love envieth 
not; love vaunteth not itself; is not puffed up, 
does not behave unseemly; seeketh not its own; 
is not provoked; taketh not account of evil; re- 
joiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with 
the truth ; beareth all things ; believeth all things ; 
hopeth all things ; endureth all things. 

In act, LOVE NEVER FAILETH. Love is 

192 Cosmic Consciousness 

always a safe guide. No matter what may be 
said to the contrary ; no matter how much suffer- 
ing it entails; no matter how seemingly fruit- 
less the sacrifice; or how ungrateful the results, 
love never faileth. 

How can it fail when we "seek not our own," 
but only love for love's own sake, without regard 
to compensation or gratitude? 

St. Paul, with all who have expressed in any 
considerable degree this cosmic realization, seems 
to have expected a time, when cosmic conscious- 
ness should become so general, as to bring the 
kingdom of love upon earth. This corresponds 
to the Millenium, which has always been pro- 
phesied, and which the present era fulfills, in all 
the "signs of the times" that were to usher in 
The Dawn. 

Moreover, the idea that there shall come a 
time when death shall be overcome, is a persistent 
part of .every prophecy, and of every religious 
cult. In these days we find that science is specu- 
lating upon the probability of discovering a spe- 
cific for senile death, as well as for the final 
elimination of death from disease and accidents. 

Whether or not this is to be the manner of 
"overcoming the last enemy," the fact remains 
that the almost universally held idea of physical 
immortality has a basis in fact, which this postu- 
late of science symbolizes. 

Pal of Tarsus 193 

"For this corruptible must put on incorruption, 
and this mortality must put on immortality, but 
when this corruptible shall have put on incor- 
ruption, and this mortal shall have put on immor- 
tality, then shall come to pass the saying that is 
written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory.'' 

So said St. Paul, and his words show clearly 
that before his time there had been a prophecy 
and belief in the final triumph of love over death, 
not as an article of faith, but as a common knowl- 

St. Paul speaks of the time when "we shall not 
all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a mo- 
ment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last 

"And then come to the end, when he shall de- 
liver up the kingdom to God, even the Father; 
when he shall have abolished all rule, all au- 
thority, and all power." 

Unquestionably, if all men on earth in the 
flesh and in the astral, were to come into the 
light of the cosmic consciousness, there would be 
no need for laws, for authority or power. The 
kingdom, which signifies the earth as a planet, 
would indeed be delivered to God, which means 
Love, and "Love never faileth." 

And while we admit that these words of St. 
Paul may be applied to individual attainment of 
cosmic consciousness, and not refer to an era of 

194 Cosmic Consciousness 

earth life, in which the fruits of this larger con- 
sciousness are to be gathered in the physical, yet 
we maintain that the argument for such an hypo- 
thesis is strong indeed. He says : 

"For the earnest expectation of creation 
waiteth for the revealing of the sons of God." 

For the term "sons of God" interpret "those 
who have attained cosmic consciousness," and we 
may readily parallel this with the many allusions 
to the earth's redemption, with which history is 

To "redeem" the earth is quite comparable with 
the idea of redeeming any part of the earth's sur- 
face either as a nation, or as a tract of land 
which is not yielding the best that it is capable of. 

In the cosmogony of the heavens, the planet 
earth may well be likened to a territory that has 
possibilities, but which needs cultivation; en- 
couragement; work; to bring out its possibilities 
and make it a place of comfort and enlighten- 

So we have been informed and an under- 
standing of deeper occultism will bear out the 
information that this earth is being made a 
"fit habitation for the gods" (i. e., cosmically con- 
scious beings, to w-hom love is the only author- 
ity necessary). 

Paul clearly alludes to the redemption of the 

Paul of Tarsus 195 

body, as well as the continuance of the life of 
the soul, when he says : 

"For the creation was subject to vanity, not 
of its own will, but by reason of him who sub- 
jected it, in hope that the creation itself also shall 
be delivered from the bondage of corruption into 
the liberty of the glory of the children of God. 
For we know that the whole creation groaneth 
and travaileth in pain together until now. And 
not only so, but ourselves also, WHICH HAVE 
we ourselves, waiting for our adoption, to wit, 
the redemption of the body." 

St. Paul declared that even those who had 
glimpsed that wonderful Illumination (which 
have the first fruits of the spirit), are not free 
from the travail of the sense-conscious world, 
until such time as the cycle has been completed, 
and those who "are already in Christ, and then 
they that are Christ's at his coming," shall have 
made possible the perfected creation, and brought 
about the reign of *ave on earth. 

So that, when a sufficient number of souls 
shall have attained to this Illumination (cosmic 
consciousness), the "last enemy shall be over- 
come." That this present era gives promise of 
this hope, is evident. 

The attainment of cosmic consciousness brings 
with it immunity from reincarnation, as a neces- 
sity as a law, but it does not provide against the 

196 Cosmic Consciousness 

coming of avatars "sons of God," who are to 
"deliver Creation from the bondage of corrup- 

This also is clearly stated by Paul : 

"There is no condemnation to them that are 
in Christ. For the law of the spirit of life in 
Christ made me free from the law of sin and 

There never is any doubt in the minds of those 
who have attained cosmic consciousness, that they 
are spiritual beings and immortal free from the 
law of karma; neither is there any thought of 
evil or of condemnation. 

They know that men are gods in embryo 
and that until they have been born into the cos- 
mic consciousness the realization of their 
reality as spirit, they must travail ; but this sense- 
conscious state is not to be condemned any more 
than the child is to be condemned because it has 
not yet grown to adultship. 

The advice of St. Paul himself was simple 
enough and straightforward enough. It was de- 
void of all subtleties; free from complexity; free 
from fear, or haste, or doubt, or strife, while 
confidently awaiting the universal attainment of 

To the question as to what path to follow; 
what should be done to gain this great boon, if 
the law of the ancient Hebrews was not to be 
followed in its literal significance, Paul said : 

Paul of Tarsus 197 

"Whatsoever things are honest; whatsoever 
things are true; whatsoever things are just; what- 
soever things are pure; whatsoever things are 
lovely; whatsoever things are of good report; if 
there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, 

Which is to say, do not seek the letter of the 
way of Illumination. Do not look for forms and 
ceremonies and rules and systems, but look for 
that which is clean and pure and good wherever 
it may be found. 

In St. Paul we have fulfilled all the points 
that characterize those who have been blessed 
with the great Illumination. 

His broad outlook upon humanity, which re- 
fused to see evil or to condemn where formerly 
he had been noted for his zeal in bringing to con- 
demnation all whom he believed to be heretics; 
his conviction of immortality; his humility, as 
far as personal aggrandizement was concerned; 
the great light in which was revealed to him the 
truth; the annihilation of the idea of sin and 
death ; the realization that systems and laws and 
methods of worship and giving of alms and all 
the by-paths which formerly he had deemed 
necessary, were as naught compared to the great 
illuminating, all-embracing power of Love the 
Savior whose kingdom should sometime be es- 
tablished upon earth the time being when cosmic 
consciousness should be general. 


Despite the fact that the followers or Ma- 
hommed, the prophet, are among the mosi fanat- 
ical and prejudiced of all religious sects, Ma- 
hommed himself was unquestionably among the 
Illumined Ones of earth, and had attained and 
retained a high degree of cosmic consciousness. 

The wars; the persecutions; the horrors that 
have been committed in the name of Islam, are 
perhaps a little more atrocious than any in his- 
tory although the unspeakable cruelties of the 
Inquisition would seem to have no parallel. 

The religion of Persia, wrongly alluded to 
as "fire-worship," marks Zoroaster as among the 
Illuminati, but as the present volume is concerned, 
in the religious aspect of it, only with those cases 
of Illumination which we are classifying among 
the present great religious systems, we cite the 
case of Mahommed, the Arab, as one clearly es- 
tablishing the characteristic points of Illumina- 

When Mahommed was born, in the early part 
of the fifth century, the condition of his country- 
men was primitive in the extreme. 

Mahommed 199 

The most powerful force among them was 
tribal or clan loyalty, and a corresponding hatred 
of, and readiness to make war with, opposing 

Although at the time of Mahommed's birth, 
Christianity had made great headway in different 
parts of the old world, it had made very little im- 
press upon the Arabs. They worshipped their 
tribal gods, and there are traces of a belief in a 
supreme God (Allah ta-ala), but they were not 
as a race inclined to a deeply religious sentiment. 

One and all, whether given to superstitions or 
denying a belief in Allah, they dreaded the dark 
after-life and although the different tribes made 
their yearly pilgrimages to Mecca, and faithfully 
kissed the stone that had fallen from heaven in 
the days of Adam, the inspiration of their ancient 
prophets had long since died, and a new prophet 
was expected and looked for. 

The yearly pilgrimage to Mecca, which was at 
once the center of trade and the goal of the re- 
ligious enthusiast, was observed by all the tribes 
of Arabia, but it is a question whether the pil- 
grimage was not more often made in a holiday 
spirit than in that of the devotee to the Kaabeh, 
the most sacred temple in all Arabia. 

Indeed, it is agreed by all commentators, that 
the ancient Arab, "In the Time of Ignorance," 
before the coming of Mahommed, knew little 

2OO Cosmic Consciousness 

and cared less about those spiritual qualities that 
look beyond the physical ; not questioning, as did 
Mahommed, what lies beyond this vale of strife, 
whose only exit is the dark and inscrutable face 
of death. 

Besides the tribal gods, individual households 
had their special Penates, to whom was due the 
first and the last salam of the returning or out- 
going host. But in spite of all this superstitious 
apparatus, the Arabs were never a religious peo- 
ple. In the old days, as now, they were reck- 
less, skeptical, materialistic. They had their 
gods and their divining arrows, but they were 
ready to demolish both if the responses proved 
contrary to their wishes. A great majority be- 
lieved in no future life, nor in a reckoning day of 
good and evil. 

Such, then, was the condition of thought among 
the various tribes when Mahommed was born. 

It was not, however, until he was past forty 
years of age, that the revelations came to him, 
and although it was some time later that these 
were set down, together with his admonitions 
and counsel to his followers, it is believed that 
they are for the most part well authenticated, 
as the Koran was compiled during Mahommed's 
lifetime, and thus, in the original, doubtless rep- 
resents an authentic account of Mahommed's 

Mahommed 201 

It is related that Mahommed's father died be- 
fore his son's birth and his mother six years 
later. Thus Mahommed was left to the care of 
his grandfather, the virtual chief of Mecca. The 
venerable chief lived but two years and Mahom- 
med, who was a great favorite with his grand- 
father, became the special charge of his uncle, 
Aboo-Talib, whose devotion never wavered, even 
during the trying later years, when Mahommed's 
persecutions caused the uncle untold hardships 
and trials. 

At an early age Mahommed took up the life of 
a sheep herder, caring for the herds of his kins- 
men. This step became necessary because the 
once princely fortune of his noble ancestors had 
dwindled to almost the extreme of poverty, but 
although the occupation of sheep herder was des- 
pised by the tribes, it is said that Mahommed him- 
self in later life often alluded to his early calling 
as the time when "God called him." 

At the age of twenty-five he took up the more 
desirable post of camel driver, and was taken 
into the employ of a wealthy kinswoman, Kha- 
deejeh, whom he afterwards married, although 
she was fifteen years his senior a disparity in 
age which means far more in the East, where 
physical charm and beauty are the only requisites 
for a wife, than it does in the West where men 

2O2 Cosmic Consciousness 

look more to the mental endowments of a wife 
than to the fleeting charm of youth. 

It is also to Mahommed's credit that his devo- 
tion to his first wife never wavered to the day of 
her death and, indeed, as long as he himself lived 
he spoke with reverence and deep affection of 

We learn that the next fifteen years were lived 
in the usual manner of a man of his station. 
Khadeejeh brought him wealth and this gave him 
the necessary time and ease in which to medi- 
tate, and the never- vary ing devotion and trust of 
his faithful wife brought him repose and the 
power to aid his impoverished uncle, and to be 
regarded among the tribes as a man of influence. 

His simple, unostentatious, and even ascetic 
life during these years was noted. He was 
known as a man of extremely refined tastes and 
sensitive though not querulous nature. A com- 
mentator says of him: 

"His constitution was extremely delicate. He 
was nervously afraid of bodily pain; he would 
sob and roar under it. Eminently unpractical in 
the common things of life, he was gifted with 
mighty powers of imagination, elevation of mind, 
delicacy and refinement of feeling. "He is more 
modest than a virgin behind her curtain," it has 
been said of him. 

"He was most indulgent to his inferiors and 



would not allow his awkward little page to be 
scolded, whatever he did. He was most affection- 
ate toward his family. He was very fond of 
children, and would stop them in the streets and 
pat their little cheeks. He never struck anyone 
in his life. The worst expression he ever made 
use of in conversation was : 'What has come to 
him may his forehead be darkened with mud.' 

"When asked to curse some one he replied: 
'I have not been sent to curse, but to be a mercy 
to mankind.' He visited the sick, followed any 
bier he met, accepted the invitation of a slave to 
dinner, mended his own clothes, milked his goats 
and waited upon himself. 

"He never withdrew his hand out of another's 
palm, and turned not before the other had turned. 

"He was the most faithful protector of those 
he protected, the sweetest and most agreeable in 
conversation; those who saw him were suddenly 
filled with reverence; those who came to him, 
loved him. They who described him would say: 
'I have never seen his like, either before or after.' 

"He was, however, very nervous and restless 
withal, often low-spirited, downcast as to heart 
and eyes. Yet he would at times suddenly break 
through these breedings, become gay, talkative, 
jocular, chiefly among his own." 

This picture corresponds with the temperament 
which is alluded to as the "artistic," or "psychic" 

2O4 Cosmic Consciousness 

temperament, and allowing that in these days 
there is much posing and pretense, we still must 
admit that the quality known as "temperament" 
is a psychological study suggesting a stage of de- 
velopment hitherto unclassified. It is said also, 
that in his youth Mahommed was subject to at- 
tacks of catalepsy, evidencing an organism pecu- 
liarly "psychic." 

It is evident that Mahommed regarded him- 
self as one having a mission upon earth, even 
before he had received the revelations which 
announced him as a prophet chosen of Allah, 
for he long brooded over the things of the spirit, 
and although he had not, up to his fortieth year, 
openly protested against the fetish worship of 
the Kureysh, yet he was regarded as one who 
had a different idea of worship from that of the 
men with whom he came in contact. 

Gradually, he became more and more inclined 
to solitude, and made frequent excursions into 
the hills, and in his solitary wanderings, he suf- 
fered agonies of doubt and self distrust, fearing 
lest he be self-deceived, and again, lest he be in- 
deed called to become a prophet of God and fail 
in his mission. 

Here in a cave, the revelation came. Mahom- 
med had spent nights and days in fasting and 
prayer beseeching God for some sign, some word 
that would settle his doubts and agonies of dis- 

Mahommed 205 

trust and longing for an answer to life's riddle. 

It is related that suddenly during the watches 
of the night, Mahommed awoke to find his soli- 
tary cave filled with a great and wondrous light 
out of which issued a voice saying: "Cry, cry 
aloud." "What shall I cry?" he answers, and 
the voice answered: 

"Cry in the name of thy Lord who hath 
created; He hath created man from a clot of 
blood. Cry and thy Lord is the most bounti- 
ful, who hath taught by the pen ; He hath taught 
man that which he knew not." 

It is reported that almost immediately, Mahom- 
med felt his intelligence illuminated with the 
light of spiritual understanding, and all that had 
previously vexed his spirit with doubt and non- 
comprehension, was clear as crystal to his under- 
standing. Nevertheless, this feeling of assur- 
ance did not remain with him at that time, defi- 
nitely, for we are told that "Mahommed arose 
trembling and went to Khadeejeh and told her 
what he had seen and heard; and she did her 
woman's part and believed in him and soothed 
his terror and bade him hope for the future. Yet 
he could not believe in himself. Was he not per- 
haps, mad ? or possessed by a devil ? Were these 
voices of a truth from God? And so he went 
again on the solitary wanderings, hearing strange 
sounds, and thinking them at one time the testi- 

206 Cosmic Consciousness 

mony of heaven and at another the temptings of 
Satan, or the ravings of madness. Doubting, 
wondering, hoping, he had fain put an end to a 
life which had become intolerable in its chang- 
ings from the hope of heaven to the hell of des- 
pair, when he again heard the voice: "Thou art 
the messenger of God and I am Gabriel." "Con- 
viction at length seized hold upon him; he was 
indeed to bring a message of good tidings to the 
Arabs, the message of God through His angel 
Gabriel. He went back to his faithful wife ex- 
hausted in mind and body, but with his doubts 
laid at rest." 

\Yith the history of the spread of Mahommed's 
message we are not concerned in this volume. 
The fact that his own nearest of kin, those of 
his own household, believed in his divine mis- 
sion, and held to him with unwavering faith dur- 
ing the many years of persecution that followed, 
is proof that Mahommed was indeed a man who 
had attained Illumination. If the condition of 
woman did not rise to the heights which we 
have a right to expect of the cosmic conscious 
man of the future, we must remember that east- 
ern traditions have ever given woman an inferior 
place, and for the matter of that, St. Paul him- 
self seems to have shared the then general belief 
in the inferiority of the female. 

It is undeniable that Mahommed's domestic 

Mahommed 207 

relations were of the most agreeable character; 
his kindness and consideration were without par- 
allel; his harem was made up for the most part 
of women who were refused and scorned by 
other men ; widows of his friends. And the fact 
that the prophet was a man of the most abstemi- 
ous habits argues the claim that compassion and 
kindness was the motive in most instances where 
he took to himself another and yet another wife. 

However, the points which we are here deal- 
ing with, are those which directly relate to Ma- 
hommed's unquestioned illumination and the 
spirit of his utterances as contained in the Ku-ran, 
corroborate the experience of Buddha, of Jesus, 
and of all whose illumination has resulted in the 
establishment of a religious system. 

Mahommed taught, first of all, the fact of 
the one God. "There is no God but Allah," was 
his cry, and, following the example, or at least 
paralleling the example of Jesus, he "destroyed 
their idols" and substituted the worship of one 
God, in place of the tribal deities, which were a 
constant source of disputation among the clans. 

Compare the following, which is one of the 
five daily prayers of the faithful Muslim, with 
the Lord's prayer as used in Christian theology. 

"In the name of God, the compassionate the 

208 Cosmic Consciousness 

Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds, 

The compassionate, the merciful. 

The king of the day of judgment. 

Thee do we worship and of Thee do we beg 

Guide us in the right way, 

The way of those to whom Thou hast been gra- 

Not of those with whom Thou art wroth, nor of 
the erring." 

Mahommed never tired of telling his disciples 
and followers that God was "The Very-Forgiv- 
ing." Among the many and sometimes strangely 
varied attributes of God (The Absolute), we 
find this characteristic most strongly and per- 
sistently dwelt upon the ever ready forgiveness 
and mercifulness of God. 

Every soorah of the Kur-an begins with the 
words : "In the name of God, the compassionate, 
the merciful," but, even as Jesus laid persistent 
emphasis upon the love of God, and yet up to 
very recent times, Christianity taught the fear and 
wrath of God, losing sight of the one great and 
important fact that God is love, and that love is 
God, so the Muslims overlooked the real message, 
and the greatness and the power and the fearful- 
ness of God, is the incentive of the followers of 
the Illumined Mahommed. 

Mahommed 209 

The following extracts from the Kur-an are 
almost identical with many passages in the Holy 
Scriptures of the Christian, and are comparable 
with the sayings of the Lord Buddha. 

"God. There is no God but He, the ever-liv- 
ing, the ever-subsisting. Slumber seizeth Him 
not nor sleep. To Him belongeth whatsoever is 
in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. 
Who is he that shall intercede with Him, save 
by His permission?" 

The Muslim is a fatalist, but this may be due 
less to the teachings of the prophet than to the 
peculiar quality of the Arab nature, which makes 
him stake everything, even his own liberty upon 
the cast of a die. 

The leading doctrine of the all-powerfulness 
of God seems to warrant the belief in fatalism 
a belief which offers a stumbling block to all 
theologians, all philosophers, all thinkers. If 
God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, how 
and where and in what manner can be explained 
the necessity of individual effort? 

This problem is not at all clear to the western 
mind, and it is equally obscure to that of the East. 

It is said of Mahommed that when asked con- 
cerning the doctrine of "fatalism" he would show 
more anger than at any other question that could 
be put to him. He found it impossible to explain 
that while all knowledge was God's, yet the indi- 

aio Cosmic Consciousness 

vidual was responsible for his own salvation, by 
virtue of his good deeds and words. Neverthe- 
less, it is not unlikely that Mahommed possessed 
the key to this seeming riddle; but how could 
it be possible to speak in a language which was 
totally incomprehensible to them of this knowl- 
edge the language of cosmic consciousness? 

Like Jesus, who said : "Many things I have to 
tell you, but you can not bear (understand) 
them now," so, we may w-ell believe that Mahom- 
med was hard-pressed to find language compre- 
hensible to his followers, in which to explain the 
all-knowingness and all-power fulness of God, 
and at the same time, not have them fall into 
the error of the fatal doctrine of fatalism. 

But throughout all his teachings Mahommed's 
chief concern seemed to be to draw his people 
away from their worship of idols, and to this end 
he laid constant and repeated emphasis upon the 
one-ness of God ; the all-ness, the completeness of 
the one God ; always adding "the Compassionate, 
the Loving." 

This constant allusion to the all-ness of God 
is in line with all who have attained to cosmic 
consciousness. Nothing more impresses the illum- 
ined mind, than the fact that the universe is One 
uni (one) verse (song) one glorious 
harmony when taken in its entirety, but when 
broken up and segregated, and set at variance, 

Mahommed an 

we find discord, even as the score of a grand 
operatic composition when played in unison 
makes perfect harmony but when incomplete, is 

Like all inspired teachers, Mahommed taught 
the end of the world of sense, and the coming of 
the day of judgment, and the final reign of peace 
and love. This may, of course, be interpreted 
literally, and applied to a life other than that 
which is to be lived on this planet, but it may 
also with equal logic be assumed that Mahom- 
med foresaw the dawn of cosmic consciousness 
as a race-endowment, belonging to the inherit- 
ors of this sphere called earth. In either event 
the ultimate is the same, whether the one who 
suffers and attains, comes into his own in some 
plane or place in the heavens, or whether he 
becomes at-one with God, The Absolute Love 
and Power of the spheres, and "inherits the 
earth," in the days of the on-coming higher de- 
gree of consciousness, which we are here con- 

That Mahommed realized the nothingness of 
form and ritual, except it be accompanied by 
sincerity and understanding, is evident in the 
following : 

"Your turning your faces in prayer, towards 
the East and the West, is not piety; but the pious 
is he who believeth in God, and the last day, 

212 Cosmic Consciousness 

and in the angels and in the Scripture; and the 
prophets, and who giveth money notwithstand- 
ing his love of it to relations and orphans, and 
to the needy and the son of the road, and to 
the askers for the freeing of slaves; and who 
performeth prayer and giveth the alms, and 
those who perform their covenant when they 
covenant; and the patient in adversity and afflic- 
tion and the time of violence. These are they 
who have been true; and these are they who 
fear God." 

Parallel with the doctrine taught by Buddha, 
and Jesus, is the advice to overcome evil with 
good. In our modern metaphysical language, 
we must dissolve the vibrations of hate, by the 
power of love, instead of opposing hate with hate, 
war with war, revenge with revenge. 

Mahommed expressed this doctrine of non- 
resistance thus: 

"Turn away evil by that which is better; and 
lo, he, between whom and thyself was enmity, 
shall become as though he were a warm friend." 

"But none is endowed with this, except those 
who have been patient and none is endowed with 
it, except he who is greatly favored." 

Mahommed meant by these words "he who is 
greatly favored," to explain that in order to see 
the wisdom and the glory of such conduct, one 
must have attained to spiritual consciousness. 



This was especially a new doctrine to the people 
to whom he was preaching, because it was con- 
sidered cowardice to fail to resent a blow. Pride 
of family and birth was the strongest trait in 
the Arab nature. 

In furtherance of this doing good to others, 
we find these words: "If ye are greeted with 
a greeting, then greet ye with a better greeting, 
or at least return it ; verily, God taketh count of 
these things. If there be any under a difficulty 
wait until it be easy; but if ye remit it as alms, 
it will be better for you." 

Mahommed here referred to debtors and 
creditors; as he was talking to traders, mer- 
chants, men who were constantly buying and 
selling, this admonition was in line with his 
teaching, which was to "do unto others that 
which you would that they do unto you." 

In further compliance with his doctrine of 
doing good for good's sake Mahommed said: 
"If ye manifest alms, good will it be; but if ye 
conceal them and give them to the poor, it will 
be better for you; and it will expiate some of 
your sins." 

Alms-giving, as an ostentatious display among 
church members, was here given its rightful 
place. It is well and good to give openly to or- 
ganizations, but it is better to give to individuals 
who need it, secretly and quietly to give, with- 

214 Cosmic Consciousness 

out hope, or expectation, or desire for thanks, or 
for reward, to give for the love of giving, for the 
sole wish to make others happy. This desire to 
bestow upon others the happiness which has come 
to them, is a characteristic of the cosmic con- 
scious man or woman. 

It is comforting to know that Mahommed, 
like Buddha and The Man of Sorrows; and like 
Sri Ramakrishna, the saint of India, at length 
attained unto that peaceful calm that comes to 
one who has found the way of Illumination. It 
is doubtless impossible for the merely sense-con- 
scious person to form any adequate idea of the 
inward urge; the agony of doubts and question- 
ings; the imperative necessity such a one feels, 
to KNOW. 

The sense-conscious person reads of the lives 
of these men and wonders why they could not 
be happy with the things of the world. The 
temptation that we are told came to Jesus in 
the garden, is typical of the state of transition 
from sense-consciousness to- cosmic conscious- 
ness. The sense-conscious person regards the 
things of the senses as important. He is 
actuated by ambition or self-seeking or by love 
of physical comfort or by physical activity, to 
obtain the possessions of sense. To such as these, 
the agonies of mind ; the physical hardships ; the 
ever-ready forgiveness and the desire for peace 



and love of the Illuminate seem almost weak- 
nesses. Therefore, they can not fully comprehend 
the satisfaction which comes to the one who has 
come into a realization of illumination, through 
the years of mental tribulation such as that en- 
dured by Mahommed and Jesus and Buddha. 

We are told that the prophet repeatedly re- 
futed the suggestion of his adoring followers 
that he was God himself come to earth. 

"It is wonderful," says one of his commenta- 
tors, "with his temptations, how great a humility 
was ever is, how little he assumed of all the god- 
like attributes men forced upon him. His whole 
life is one long argument for his loyalty to truth. 
He had but one answer for his worshippers, "I 
am no more than a man; I am only human." 
* * * He was sublimely confident of this 
single attribute that he was the messenger of 
the Lord of the daybreak, and that the words he 
spake came verily from him. He was fully per- 
suaded that God had sent him to do a great work 
among his people in Arabia. Nervous to the 
verge of madness, subject to hysteria, given to 
wild dreaming in solitary places, his was a tem- 
perament that easily lends itself to religious en- 

While it may be argued that Mahommed did 
not possess cosmic consciousness in the degree of 
fullness which we find in the life of St. Paul, 

216 Cosmic Consciousness 

for example, we must take into consideration 
the temperament of the Arab, and the conditions 
under which he labored. But that he had at- 
tained a high degree of Illumination is beyond 
dispute. This fact is evidenced by the following 
salient points characteristic of cosmic conscious- 
ness: A fine sensitive, highly-strung organiza- 
tion; a deep and serious thoughtfulness, espe- 
cially regarding the realities of life; an indiffer- 
ence to the call of personal ambition; love of 
solitude and the mental urge that demands to 
know the answer to life's riddle. 

Following the time of illumination on Mount 
Kara we find Mahommed possessing a convic- 
tion of the truth of immortality and the good- 
ness of God; we find him also with a wonderful 
power to draw people to him in loving service; 
and the irresistible desire to bring to his people 
the message of immortal life, and the necessity to 
look more to spiritual things than to the things 
of the flesh. Added to this, we find Mahommed 
changed from a shrinking, sensitive youth, given 
to much reflection and silent meditation, into a 
man with perfect confidence in his own mission 
and in his ultimate victory. 


While the Swedenborgians, as a religious sect, 
are not numerically sufficient to be reckoned 
among the world's great religions, it is yet a 
fact that the followers of the great Swedish seer 
and scientist hold a prominent place among the 
innumerable sects which the beginning of this 
century finds flourishing. 

Swedenborg was born in Stockholm, in Janu- 
ary, 1688, and lived to the advanced age of 
eighty- four years. 

Swedenborg was well born ; he was the son of 
a bishop of the Swedish church, and during his 
lifetime held many positions of honor. He was 
a friend and adviser of the king, and his expert 
knowledge of mining engineering gave him a 
place among the scientists of his age. 

He was a voluminous writer, his early work 
being confined to the phases of materialistic 
science, notably on mines and metals, and later 
upon man, in his physiological aspect. 

His "De Cerebro and Psychologia Rationales," 
published in his fifty-seventh year, showed a dif- 
ferent Swedenborg from the one to whom his 

218 Cosmic Consciousness 

colleagues were accustomed to refer with much 

This book dealt with man, not as a product of 
brute creation, but as an evolutionary creature, 
having at least a possibility of divine origin. It 
is, however, his "Arcana Coelestia" upon which 
"The Church of the New Jerusalem" is founded ; 
and it is this work which caused Swedenborg's 
friends and colleagues to determine that he had 
become insane. It is, in fact, only within very 
recent years, that the so-called scientific world 
has deigned to regard Swedenborg's revelations 
with any degree of serious and respectful atten- 

Swedenborg's Illumination was not, like that 
of so many others, who have founded a new relig- 
ion, a sudden influx of spiritual consciousness, 
but rather a gradual leading up to the inevitable 
goal, by virtue of serious thought, deep study, 
and a high order of mentality. 

But that the Swedish seer received, in full 
measure, the blessing of cosmic consciousness, is 
beyond doubt. 

Swedenborg's extremely simple habits of life; 
his freedom from any desire for display, or for 
those social advantages into which he was born ; 
his gentleness and unassuming manner, of which 
much is written by his followers, all point to 
him as one upon whom the blessing might read- 

Emanuel Swedenborg 219 

ily descend. Swedenborg was a vegetarian, but 
this seems not to be a necessary characteristic of 
those possessing illumination, although, when 
cosmic consciousness shall have become almost 
general, vegetarianism must inevitably come 
with it, as animal life will disappear from the 

Swedenborg, like many others who have per- 
ceived the cosmic light, evidently believed that he 
had been specially selected and consecrated for 
the work of the new church. That is, he took 
his illumination, not as an initiation into the 
higher degrees of cosmic truth, but as a special 
and personal revelation. This view characterizes 
those who founded a new, or a reformed religious 
system, while as a matter of truth, the light 
that comes is a part of the cosmic plan, and not, 
as Swedenborg and others imagine, as a per- 
sonal revelation. 

However, Swedenborg considered himself a 
direct instrument in the hands of God, and God 
is alluded to as a personality. He believed that 
his great mission was to disclose the true nature 
of the Bible, and to prove that it was actually the 
inspired word of God, having an esoteric mean- 
ing, which has wrongly been interpreted to apply 
to the creation of a material world, and to its 
history and its people, but that when understood, 
it explains clearly, the nature of God, and the 

22O Cosmic Consciousness 

nature of man, and their relation to each other. 
It should be remembered that at the time Sweden- 
borg wrote his theological works, the church had 
fallen into rank materialism and superstition. 
That Swedenborg should have received his illu- 
mination, or revelation, direct from the Lord, 
oniy serves to prove that the mortal conscious- 
ness clothes the revelation with whatever per- 
sonality appeals to it, as having authority. 

Thus, the angel Gabriel was the dictator in the 
case of Mahommed, and the "Blessed Mother" 
of the Hindu reveals to them the vision of mukti. 
Swedenborg says of his vision: "God appeared 
to me and said, 'I am the Lord God, the Creator 
and Redeemer of the world. I have chosen thee 
to unfold the spiritual sense of the Holy Scrip- 
tures. I will myself dictate to thee what thou 
shalt write.'" 

In "The True Christian Religion," published 
shortly before his death he says: "Since the 
Lord can not manifest Himself in person as has 
been shown, and yet He has foretold that He 
would come and establish a new church, which 
is the New Jerusalem, it follows that He is to 
do it, by means of a man, who is able not only 
to receive the doctrines of this church with his 
understanding, but also to publish them by the 
press. That the Lord has manifested Himself 
before me, His servant, and sent me on this 

Etnanuel Swedenborg 221 

office, and that, after this, He opened the sight 
of my spirit, and thus let me into the spiritual 
world, and gave me to see the heavens and the 
hells and also to speak with spirits and angels, 
and this now continually for many years, I tes- 
tify in truth; and also that, from the first day 
of that call, I have not received anything that 
pertains to the doctrines of that church from 
my angel, but from the Lord alone, while I read 
the Word." 

It is stated with great positiveness by Sweden- 
borg's followers, and indeed, apparently by the 
seer himself, if we may take as authoritative, the 
translations of his works, that the revelations 
accorded to him covered a period of many years, 
whereas, we find in most instances of cosmic 
consciousness, the illumined ones have alluded 
to some specific time, as the great event, even 
while claiming that the effect of this illumination 
remains indefinitely in fact, forms a part of a 
wider area of consciousness which is ever increas- 

But when we take the numerous instances of 
revelations, in which the devout ones firmly be- 
lieve that they and they alone have been accorded 
the vision, we must realize that this phenomenon 
is impersonal, looked at as a favor to any one 
human being. By that we mean that Illumina- 
tion comes to every soul who has earned it, 

222 Cosmic Consciousness 

just as mathematically as the sun seems to set, 
after the earth has made its hourly journey. 

// Perhaps this comparison is not as clear as to 
say: when the normal child has grown to man- 

/ hood or womanhood, his consciousness has 
widened, beyond that of the infant; not exclud- 

I ing that of the infant but inclusive of all hitherto 
acquired knowledge. Without in any degree 
lessening the importance and the verity of 

VN Swedenborg's visions, it may be assumed that his 
record of these visions and their meaning has 
partaken more or less of the limitations of mor- 
tal mind. 

Spiritual consciousness can not be set down 

; in terms of sense. The external world symbol- 

izes spiritual truths; each interpreter must of 

necessity weave into his interpretation and at- 
tempt at finite expression of these truths, some- 

thing of his own mortal consciousness; and this 
. "mortal mind" consciousness is bound to partake 

of the time and age, and conditions of environ- 
v ment of the person who has experienced the 

Making due allowance, therefore, for the im- 
possibility of exact expression of any spiritual 
illumination, we find in the revelation of Sweden- 
borg exactly what we find in all who have at- 
tained to cosmic consciousness, namely, the abso- 
lute, confidential assurance of immortal life; the 

Emanuel Swedenborg 223 

conviction that creation is under divine love and 
wisdom, administered by Cosmic Law and order, 
or Justice, and the final "redemption" (i. e., evo- 
lution), of all men. In his "Conjugal Love," 
Swedenborg touches upon the premise which we 
declare, as the foundation of all cosmic conscious- 
ness, namely the attainment of spiritual union 
with the "mate" which we believe to be insep- 
arable from all creation; the reunited principle 
which we see expressed in the male and female, 
whether in plant, bird, animal, man, or angel; 
the "twain made one" which Jesus declared would 
be the sign manual of the coming of his king- 
dom ; that is, the coming of cosmic consciousness 
the kingdom of pure and perfect love upon 
earth as it is in the heavens. 

In Corinthians (11:12) we read: 

"For as the woman is of the man, so is the 
man also of the woman; for the woman is not 
without the man, nor the man without the woman 
in the Lord." 

Which is to say, that in the attainment of cos- 
mic consciousness (in the Lord), the "twain are 
made one," and immortality (i. e., immunity from 
reincarnation) is gained, because of this union. 
God is a bi-sexual Being. This fact is evidenced 
throughout all creation. To attain to immortal- 
ity is to become as God. In this day and age of 
the world we have come into a realization of 

224 Cosmic Consciousness 

the Father-Mother idea of godhood, clearly and 
literally signifying the coming consciousness 
which is bi-sexual; male and female; perfect 
counterparts, or complements and through which 
alone, this earth can be made a "fit dwelling place 
for gods." This, too, is the message of the great 
seer Swedenborg, as it relates to love, as it is, 
when rightly understood and interpreted, of all 
who have felt the blessing of perfection, as ex- 
emplified in Illumination. 

The fundamental points of Swedenborg's doc- 
trine agree with those of all other Illumined 
ones, who have founded a system of worship; 
a "Way of Illumination" it may be called ; or in 
whose name such systems have been formed. 
That is, he testified to: 

A conviction of immortality; 

A realization of absolute justice, whereby all 
souls shall finally come into cosmic consciousness. 

An actual time when Christ (the cosmic illu- 
mination) shall come to earth. 

A great and abiding love for and patience 
with the frailties of his sense-conscious fellow- 
beings ; 

A transcendent desire to bestow upon all men, 
the blessing of cosmic consciousness. 

Few if any, have ever attained a full and 
complete realization of cosmic consciousness and 
remained in the physical body. 

Emanuel Swedenborg 

Those who have attained and retained the high- 
est degree of this glimpse of the Paradise of the 
gods, find it practically impossible to describe or 
explain the sensations experienced, even though 
they are more convinced of the truth and the 
reality of this realm than of anything in the 
merely sense-conscious life. 

Lastly, let us not lose sight of the all-impor- 
tant fact that no one system, creed, philosophy, 
or way of Illumination will answer for all types 
and degrees of men. "All things work together 
for good" to those who have the keenness of 
vision which precedes the full attainment of 
cosmic consciousness, as well as to those who 
have grasped its full significance. 

The characteristic evidence of the potential- 
ity of the present era of the world, is preemi- 
nently that of a desire for unity. 

This desire is expressed in all the avenues of 
external life; its inner meaning is obscured by 
commercialism and self-interest, as in trusts and 
labor unions, but it is there nevertheless the 
symbol of the inner urge toward unity in con- 
sciousness. It is found in efforts at Communism, 
and in allied reform movements. It is particu- 
larly evident in the breaking down of church 
prejudices. In these days a Catholic priest and a 
Jewish rabbi find it not only expedient but mu- 
tually helpful, to unite in the work of municipal 

226 Cosmic Consciousness 

reform; in the abolition of child labor; in all 
things that will bring a better state of existence 
into daily human life. 

The business man uses the phrase "let us get 
together on this" without knowing that he is ex- 
pressing in terms of sense-consciousness, the urge 
of his own and his fellow beings' inner mind, 
which senses the fact of our unescapable Brother- 

All religious systems then, are good, as are all 
systems of philosophy. They are good because 
they are an attempt at bringing into the per- 
spective of the mortal mind the reality of the soul 
and the soul life; the rule of the spiritually con- 
scious ego over the physical body in order that 
we may now, in our present incarnation, claim 



Passing over the ancient philosophers, Aris- 
totle, Albertus Magnus, Plotinus, Marcus Au- 
relius, Pascal, Socrates, Plato, Aspasia, and oth- 
ers, all of whom had glimpsed, if not fully at- 
tained, cosmic consciousness, we come to a con- 
sideration of those cases in our own day and 
age, in which this superior consciousness has 
found expression through intellectual rather than 
through religious channels. 

Of these latter, no more illustrious example can 
be cited than that of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the 
sage of Concord. 

Emerson's nature was essentially religious, but 
his religion was not of the emotional quality so 
often found among enthusiasts, and which is 
almost always openly expressed when this re- 
ligious enthusiasm is not balanced by intellectu- 

Analysis is frequently a foe to inspiration, but 
there are rare instances where the intellect is of 
such a penetrating and extraordinary quality that 

228 Cosmic Consciousness 

it carries the power of analysis into the unseen; 
in fact what we habitually term the unseen is a 
part of the visible to this type of mind. True in- 
tellect is a natural inheritance, a karmic attribute. 
The spurious kind is the result of education, and 
it invariably has its limitations. It stops short 
of the finer vibrations of consciousness and de- 
nies the reality of the inner life of man which 
inner life constitutes the real to the character of 
intellect that penetrates beyond maya. 

Of such a quality of intellect is that exempli- 
fied in Emerson. No mere tabulator of facts 
was he, but a dissector of the causes back of all 
the manifestation which he observed and studied 
and classified with the mental power of a god. 

Nor is there lacking ample proof that Emer- 
son experienced the phenomenon of the sudden- 
ness of cosmic consciousness a degree of which 
he seems to have possessed from earliest youth. 

In his essay on Nature, we find these words: 

"Crossing a bare common in snow puddles at 
twilight, under a clouded sky, without having in 
my thoughts any occurrence of special good for- 
tune, I have enjoyed a perfect exhilaration. I am 
glad to the brink of fear." 

Emerson here alluded to a feeling of fear, 
which seems to have been experienced during a 
certain stage by many of those who have entered 
into cosmic consciousness. 

Intellectual Cosmic Consciousness 229 

This fear is doubtless due to the presence in 
the human organism of what we may term the 
"animal instinct," which is an inheritance of the 
physical body. This same peculiar phenomenon 
oppresses almost everyone when coming into con- 
tact with a new and hitherto untried force. 

A certain lady, who relates her experience in 
entering into the cosmic conscious state, says: 
"A certain part of me was unafraid, certain, se- 
cure and content, at the same time my mortal 
consqiousness felt an almost overwhelming sense 
of fear." 

Continuing, Emerson says : 

"All mean egotism vanishes. I become a trans- 
parent eyeball ; I am nothing ; I see all ; the cur- 
rents of the Universal Being circulate through 
me ; I am part or particle of God." 

Emerson's powerful intellect would naturally 
describe such an experience in intellectual terms 
rather than, as in the instances heretofore re- 
corded, in religious phraseology, but it must not 
be inferred that Emerson was less religious, in 
the true sense, than was Mahommed or St. Paul. 

Emerson lived in an age when orthodoxy flour- 
ished, and he and his associates of the Trans- 
cendentalist cult, were regarded as non-religious, 
if not actually heretical. Therefore, it is that Em- 
erson's keen intellect was brought to bear upon 
everything he encountered, not only in his own 

230 Cosmic Consciousness 

intimate experience but also in all that he read 
and heard, lest he be trapped into committing 
the error which he saw all about him, namely, 
of mistaking an accepted viewpoint as an article 
of actual faith. His way to the Great Light lay 
through the jungle of the mind, but he found 
the path clear and plain and he left a torchlight 
along the way. 

Emerson fully recognized the illusory character 
of external life, and the eternal verity of the soul, 
as witness: 

"If the red slayer thinks he slays, 
Or if the slain thinks he is slain, 

They know not well, the subtle ways, 
I keep and pass and turn again." 

Horrible as is w r ar, because of the spirit of 
hate and destruction it embodies and keeps alive, 
yet the fact remains that man in his soul knows 
that he can neither slay nor be slain by the mere 
act of destroying the physical shell called the 
body. It is inconceivable that human beings 
would lend themselves to warfare, if they did 
not know, as a part of that area of supra-con- 
sciousness, that there is a something over which 
bullets have no power. 

This fact, regarded as a more or less vague 
belief to the majority, becomes incontrovertible 
'fact to the person who has entered cosmic con- 

Intellectual Cosmic Consciousness 231 

sciousness. His view is reversed, and where he 
formerly looked from the sense-conscious plane 
forward into a possible spiritual plane, he now 
gazes back over the path from the spiritual 
heights and sees the winding road that led up- 
ward to the elevation, much as a traveller on 
the mountain top looks back and for the first time 
sees all of the devious trail over which he has 
climbed to his present vantage point. During the 
journey there had been many times when he could 
only see the next step ahead, and nothing but his 
faith in the assurance of his fellow men who had 
attained the summit of that mountain, could ever 
have sustained him through the perils of the 
climb, but once on the heights, his backward view 
takes in the details of the journey and sees not 
"through a glass darkly," but in the clear light 
of achievement. 

Such is the effect of cosmic consciousness to 
the one who has seen the light. 

"One of the benefits of a college education," 
says Emerson, "is to show the boy its little 

Does this imply that an unlettered mind is de- 
sirable? Not necessarily, but there is a phase of 
intellectual culture that is detrimental while it 

It is as though one were to choke up a per- 
fectly flowing stream which yielded the moisture 

232 Cosmic Consciousness 

to fertile lands, by filling the bed of the stream 
with rocks and sticks. 

The flow of the spiritual currents becomes 
clogged by the activities of the mind in its acqui' 
sition of mere knowledge, and before that knowl- 
edge has been turned into wisdom. The same 
truth is expressed in the aphorism "a little knowl- 
edge is a dangerous thing." It is dangerous 
because it chains the mind to the external things 
of life, whereas the totally unlettered (we do 
not use the term ignorant here) person will, if 
he have his heart filled with love, perceive the 
reality of spiritual things that transcend mere 
knowledge of the physical universe. 

Beyond this plane of mortal mind-conscious- 
ness, which is fitly described as "dangerous," 
there is the wide open area of cosmic perception, 
which may lead ultimately to the limitless areas 
of cosmic consciousness. If, therefore, an edu- 
cation, whether acquired in or out of college, so 
whets the grain of the mind that it becomes keen 
and fine enough to realize that knowledge is val- 
uable ONLY as it leads to real wisdom, then in- 
deed it is a benefit; unless it does this, it is tem- 
porarily an obstruction. 

Out of the lower into the higher vibration; 
out of sense-consciousness into cosmic conscious- 
ness; out of organization and limitations into 
freedom the freedom of perfection, is the law 

Intellectual Cosmic Consciousness 233 

and the purpose. This Emerson with his clear- 
ness of spiritual vision, saw, and this premise he 
subjected to the microscopic lens of his pene- 
trating intellect. In his essay on Fate he says: 

"Fate involves amelioration. No statement of 
the Universe can have any soundness which does 
not admit its ascending effort. The direction of 
the whole and of the parts is toward benefit. Be- 
hind every individual closes organization; be' 
fore him opens liberty. * * * The Better; 
the Best. The first and worse races are dead. 
The second and imperfect races are dying out, 
or remain for the maturing of higher. In the 
latest race, in man, every generosity, every new 
perception, the love and praise he extorts from 
his fellows, are certificates of advance out of 
fate into freedom'* 

This phrase, "out of fate into freedom," may 
be read to mean, literally, out of the bondage of 
the sense-conscious life which entails rebirth and 
continued experience, into the light of Illumina- 
tion which makes us free. 

Further commenting, Emerson says: 

"Liberation of the will from the sheaths and 
clogs of organization which he has outgrown, is 
the end and aim of the world * * * The 
whole circle of animal life tooth against tooth, 
devouring war, war for food, a yelp of pain and 
a grunt of triumph, until at last the whole men- 

234 Cosmic Consciousness 

agerie, the whole chemical mass, is mellowed and 
refined for higher use * * * 

The sense of unity which is so inseparable 
from the cosmic conscious state, was always up- 
permost in Emerson's mind. Neither did he 
ever present as unity that state of consciousness 
that may be termed organization-consciousness 
group-consciousness it is often called. He re- 
alized that the person who stands for Individu- 
alism is much more than apt to recognize his in- 
dissoluble relationship with the Cosmos. A per- 
ception of unity is a complement of Individ- 

That which, in modern metaphysical phrase- 
ology, is best termed "The Absolute," was ex- 
pressed by Emerson as the Over-Soul, and this 
term meant something much greater, more un- 
escapable, than the anthropomorfic God of the 
church-goers. His assurance of unity with this 
Divine Spiritual Essence was perfect. It savors 
more of what is termed the religious view of life 
than of the philosophic, but we contend that in 
the coming era of the cosmic conscious man, all 
life will be religious, in the true sense, and that 
there will be no dividing line between philosophy 
and worship, because worship will consist of liv- 
ing the life of the spiritual man, and not in any 
set forms or rites. Bearing upon this we find 
Emerson saying: 

Intellectual Cosmic Consciousness 235 

"Not thanks, not prayer, seem quite the high- 
est or truest name for our communion with the 
infinite but glad and conspiring reception re- 
ception that becomes giving in its turn as the 
receiver is only the All-Giver in part and in in- 
fancy. I cannot nor can any man speak pre- 
cisely of things so sublime, but it seems to me 
the wit of man, his strength, his grace, and his 
tendency, his art, is the grace and the presence 
of God. It is beyond explanation. When all 
is said and done, the rapt saint is found the only 
logician. Not exhortation nor argument be- 
comes our lips, but paeans of joy and praise. 
But not of adulation; we are too nearly related 
in the deep of the mind to that we honor. It 
is God in us that checks the language of petition 
by a grander thought. In the bottom of the 
heart it is said, 'I am and by me, O child, this 
fair body and world of thine stands and grows; 
I am, all things are mine; and all mine are 
thine.' " 

We could quote passages from the essays ad 
infinitum, showing conclusively that the cosmic 
conscious plane had been attained and retained by 
this great philosopher one of the first of the 
early part of the century, which has been prophe- 
sied as the beginning of the first faint lights of 
the Dawn, but enough has been offered for our 
present purpose, that of establishing the salient 

236 Cosmic Consciousness 

points of the cosmic conscious man or woman, 
which points are the complete assurance of the 
eternal verity and indestructibility of the soul; 
of its ultimate and inevitable victory over maya 
or the "wheel of causation" ; and the joyousness 
and the sense of at-one-ness with the universe, 
which comes to the illumined one, bespeaking an 
unquenchable optimism and an utter destruction 
of the sense of sin points which characterize all 
who have attained to this supra-conscious state of 

These points are all expressed repeatedly in 
all Emerson's utterances and mark him as one 
of the most illumined philosophers, as he was 
one of the greatest intellects of the last century, 
or of any other century. 


A strange, lonely and wonderful figure was 
Tolstoi, novelist, philosopher, socialist, artist and 

Great souls are always lonely souls, estimated 
by sense-conscious humans. In the midst of the 
so-called pleasures and luxuries of the senses, a 
wise soul appears as barren of comfort as is a 
desert of foliage. 

Without the divine optimism that comes from 
soul-consciousness, such a one could not endure 
the life of the body; without the absolute assur- 

Intellectual Cosmic Consciousness 237 

ance that comes with cosmic consciousness, men 
like the late Count Tolstoi must needs die of 

From early childhood up to the time of his Il- 
lumination Tolstoi indulged in seriousness of 
thought. Like Mahommed, great and overpow- 
ering desire to fathom the mystery of death took 
possession of him. He was ever haunted by an 
excessive dread of the "darkness of the grave," 
and in his essay, "Childhood," he describes with 
that wonderful realism, which characterizes all 
his works, the effect on a child's mind of seeing 
the face of his dead mother. This may be taken 
in a sense as biographical, although it is not prob- 
able that Tolstoi here alludes to the death of his 
own mother as she died when he was too young 
to have remembered. He describes the scene in 
the words of Irteniev: 

"I could not believe that this was her face. I 
began to look at it more closely, and gradually 
discovered in it the familiar and beloved features. 
I shuddered with fear when I became sure that 
it was indeed she, but why were the closed eyes 
so fallen in ? Why was she so terribly pale, and 
why was there a blackish mark under the clear 
skin on one cheek ?" 

A terror of death, and yet a haunting urge 
that compelled him to be forever thinking upon 
the mystery of it, is the dominant note in every 

238 Cosmic Consciousness 

line of Tolstoi's writings up to the time which 
he describes as "a change" that came over him. 

For example, when Count Leo was in his 33d 
year, his brother Nicolai died. Leo was present 
at the bedside and described the scene with the 
utmost frankness regarding its effect upon his 
mind; and again we note that awful fear and 
hopeless questioning which characterizes the 
sense-conscious man whose intellect has been cul- 
tivated to the very edge of the line which sep- 
arates the self-conscious life from the cosmic 

This questioning, with the fear and dread and 
terror of death and of the "ceaseless round of 
births" and the cares and sorrows- of existence 
was what drove Prince Siddhartha from his 
father's court and Mahommed into the mountains 
to meditate and pray until the answer came in 
the light of illumination. 

It came to Tolstoi through the very intensity 
of his powers of reason and analysis; through 
the sword-like quality of mental urge a much 
more sorrowful path than the one through the 
simple way of love and service and prayer. 

His comments upon the death of his brother 
give us a vivid idea of the state of mind of the 
Tolstoi of that age : 

"Never in my life has anything had such an 
effect upon me. He was right (referring to his 

Intellectual Cosmic Consciousness 239 

brother's words) when he said to me there is 
nothing worse than death, and if you remember 
that death is the inevitable goal of all that lives, 
then it must be confessed that there is nothing 
poorer than life. Why should we be so careful 
when at the end of all things nothing remains 
of what was once Nicolai Tolstoi? Suddenly he 
started up and murmured in alarm: 'What is 
this?' He saw that he was passing into noth- 

From the above it will be seen that the Tolstoi 
of those days was a materialist pure and simple. 
"He saw that he was passing into nothingness," 
he said of his brother, as though there could be 
no question as to the nothingness of the indi- 
vidual consciousness that he had known as Nico- 
lai, his brother. 

This soul-harrowing materialism haunted Tol- 
stoi during all the years of his youth and early 
manhood, and threw him constantly into fits of 
melancholy and inner brooding. He could neither 
dismiss the subject from his mind, nor could he 
bring into the area of his mortal consciousness 
that serene contemplation and optimistic line of 
reasoning which marks all that Emerson wrote. 

Tolstoi's morbid horror of decay and death 
was not in any sense due to a lack of physical 
courage. It was the inevitable repulsion of a 
strong and robust animalism of the body, coupled 

240 Cosmic Consciousness 

with a powerful mentality both of which are 
barriers to the "still small voice" of the soul, 
through which alone comes the conviction of the 
nothingness of death. 

A biographer says of Tolstoi : 

"The fit of the fear of death which at the end 
of the seventies brought him to the verge of sui- 
cide, was not the first and apparently not the 
last and at any rate not the only one. He felt 
something like it fifteen years before when his 
brother Nicolai died. Then he fell ill and con- 
jectured the presence of the complaint that killed 
his brother consumption. He had constant 
pain in his chest and side. He had to go and try 
to cure himself in the Steppe by a course of kou- 
miss, and did actually cure himself. Formerly 
these recurrent attacks of spiritual or physical 
weakness were cured in him, not by any mental 
or moral upheavals, but simply by his vitality, 
its exuberance and intoxication." 

The birth of the new consciousness which 
came to Tolstoi a few years later, was born into 
existence through these terrible struggles and 
mental agonies, inevitable because of the very 
nature of his heredity and education and environ- 
ment. Although as we know, he came of gentle- 
folk, there was much of the Russian peasant in 
Tolstoi's makeup. His organism, both as to 
physical and mental elements, was like a piece of 

Intellectual Cosmic Consciousness 241 

solid iron, untempered by the refining processes 
of an inherent spirituality. His never-ceasing 
struggle for attainment of the degree of cosmic 
consciousness which he finally reached was wholly 
an intellectual struggle. He possessed such a 
power of analysis, such a depth of intellectual 
perception, that he must needs go on or go mad 
with the strain of the question unanswered. 

To such a mind, the admonition to "never mind 
about those questions; don't think about them," 
fell upon dull ears. He could no more cease 
thinking upon the mysteries of life and death 
than he could cease respiration. Nor could he 
blindly trust. He must know. Nothing is more 
unescapable than the soul's urge toward freedom 
and freedom can be won only by liberation 
from the bondage of illusion. 

Tolstoi's friends and biographers agree that 
along about his forty-fifth year, a great moral 
and religious change took place. The whole 
trend of his thoughts turned from the mortal 
consciousness to that inner self whence issues 
the higher qualities of mankind. 

From a man who, although he was a great 
writer and a Russian nobleman, was yet a man 
like others of his kind, influenced by traditionary 
ideas of class and outward appearance; a man 
of conventional habits and ideas ; Tolstoi emerged 
a free soul. He shook off the illusion of his- 

242 Cosmic Consciousness 

torical life and culture, and stood upon free, 
moral ground, estimating himself and his fel- 
lo\vs by means of an insight which ignores the 
world's conventions and despises the world's 
standards of success. In short, Tolstoi had re- 
ceived Illumination and henceforth should be 
reckoned among those of the new birth. 

In his own words, written in 1879, this change 
is described: 

"Five years ago a change took place in me. 
I began to experience at first times of mental 
vacuity, of cessation of life, as if I did not know 
why I was to live or what I was to do. These 
suspensions of life always found expression in 
the same problem, 'Why am I here?' and then 
'What next?' I had lived and lived and gone 
on and on till I had drawn near a precipice; I 
saw clearly that before me there lay nothing but 
destruction. With all my might I endeavored to 
escape from this life. And suddenly I, a happy 
man, began to hide my bootlaces that I might not 
hang myself between the wardrobes in my room 
when undressing at night; and ceased to take a 
gun with me out shooting, so as to avoid tempta- 
tion by these two means of freeing myself from 
this life * * * 

"I lived in this way (that is to say, in com- 
munion with the people) for two years; and a 
change took place in me. What befell me was 

Intellectual Cosmic Consciousness 243 

that the life of our class the wealthy and cul- 
tured not only became repulsive to me, but lost 
all significance. All our actions, our judgments, 
science, and art itself, appeared to me in a new 
light. I realized that it was all self-indulgence, 
and that it was useless to look for any meaning 
in it. I hated myself and acknowledged the 
truth. Now it had all become clear to me." 

From this time on, Tolstoi's life was that of 
one who had entered into cosmic consciousness, 
as we note the effects in others. Desire for soli- 
tude a taste for the simple, natural things of 
life, possessed him. The primitive peasants and 
their coarse but wholesome food appealed to 
him. It was not a penance that Tolstoi imposed 
upon himself, that caused him to abandon the 
life of a country gentleman for that of a hut in 
the woods. The penance would come to such a 
one from enforced living in the glare of the 
world's artificialities. Cosmic consciousness be- 
stows above all things a taste for simplicity; it 
restores the normal condition of mankind, the in- 
timacy with nature and the feeling of kinship 
with nature-children. 

It is not our purpose here to enter into any 
detailed biography of these instances of cosmic 
consciousness. The point we wish to make is the 
fact that the birth of this new consciousness fre- 
quently comes through much mental travail and 

244 Cosmic Consciousness 

agonies of doubt, speculation and questioning; 
but that it is worth the price paid, however seem- 
ingly great, there can be no possible distrust. 


Balzac should head this chapter, if we were 
considering these philosophers in chronological 
order, as Balzac was born in 1799, preceding Em- 
erson by a matter of four years. But Balzac's 
peculiar temperament might almost be classed as 
a religious rather than strictly intellectual ex- 
ample of cosmic consciousness. Of the latter 
phase or expression of this "new" sense, as pres- 
ent-day writers frequently call it, Emerson is 
the most perfect example, because he was the 
most balanced ; the most literary, in the strict in- 
terpretation of the word. 

Balzac's place in literature is due far more to 
his wonderful spiritual insight, and his powerful 
imagination, than to his intellectuality, or to lit- 
erary style. But that he was an almost complete 
case of cosmic consciousness is evident in all he 
wrote and in all he did. His life was absolutely 
consistent with the cosmic conscious man, living 
in a world where the race consciousness has not 
yet risen to the heights of the spiritually con- 
scious life. 

Bucke comments upon his decision against the 
state of matrimony, because, as Balzac himself 

Intellectual Cosmic Consciousness 245 

declared, it would be an obstacle to the perfecti- 
bility of his interior senses, and to his flight 
through the spiritual worlds, and says: "When 
we consider the antagonistic attitude of so many 
of the great cases toward this relation (Gautama, 
Jesus, Paul, Whitman, etc.), there seems little 
doubt that anything like general possession of 
cosmic consciousness must abolish marriage as 
we know it today." 

Balzac explains this seeming aversion to the 
marriage state as we know it today, in his two 
books, written during his early thirties, namely, 
Louis Lambert and Seraphita. "Louis Lambert" 
is regarded as in the nature of an autobiography, 
since Balzac, like his mouthpiece, Louis, viewed 
everything from an inner sense from intuition, 
or the soul faculties, rather than from the stand- 
ard of mere intellectual observation, analysis and 
synthesis. This inner sense, so real and so thor- 
oughly understandable to those possessing it, is 
almost, if not quite, impossible of description to 
the complete comprehension of those who have 
no intimate relationship with this inner vision. 
To the person who views life from the inner 
sense, the soul sense (which is the approach to, 
and is included in, cosmic consciousness), the ex- 
ternal or physical life is like a mirror reflecting, 
more or less inaccurately, the reality the soul 
is the gazer, and the visible life is what he sees. 

240 Cosmic Consciousness 

Balzac expresses this view in all he says and 
does. "All we are is in the soul," he says, and 
the perfection or the imperfection of what we 
externalize, depends upon the development of the 

It is this marvelously developed inner vision 
that makes marriage, on the sense-conscious 
plane, which is the plane upon which we know 
marriage as it is today, objectionable to Balzac. 

His spirit had already united with its spiritual 
counterpart, and his soul sought the embodiment 
of that union in the flesh. This he did not find 
in the perfection and completeness which from 
his inner view he knew to exist. 

Barriers of caste, or class; of time and space; 
of age; of race and color; of condition; may in- 
tervene between counterparts on the physical 
plane; nay, one may be manifesting in the phys- 
ical body and the other have abandoned the body, 
but as there is neither time nor space nor condi- 
tion to the spirit, this union may have been sought 
and found, and reflected to the mortal conscious- 
ness, in which case marriage with anything less 
than the one true counterpart would be unsatis- 
factory, if not altogether objectionable. 

With this view in mind, Seraphita becomes as 
lucid a bit of reading as anything to be found in 

Seraphita is the perfected being the god into 

Intellectual Cosmic Consciousness 247 

which man is developing, or more properly speak- 
ing, unfolding, since man must unfold into that 
from which he started, but with consciousness 

Everywhere, in ancient and modern mysticism, 
we find the assumption that God is dual male 
and female. The old Hebrew word for God is 
plural Elohim. 

Humankind invariably and persistently, even 
though half -mockingly, alludes to man and wife 
as "one"; and men and women speak of each 
other, when married, as "my other half." 

That which persists has a basis in fact, and 
symbolizes the perfect type. What we know of 
marriage as it is today, proves to us beyond the 
shadow of a doubt, that the man-made institution 
of marriage does not make man and woman one, 
nor insure that two halves of the same whole 
are united. The highest type of men and 
women today are at best but half -gods, but these 
are prophecies of the future race, "the man-god 
whom we await" as Emerson puts it. But that 
which we await is the man-woman-god, the Per- 
fected Being, of whom Balzac writes in Sera- 

It has been said that Madame Hanska, whom 
the author finally married only six months pre- 
vious to his death, was the original of Seraphita, 
but it would seem that this great affection, tender 

248 Cosmic Consciousness 

and enduring as it was, partook far more of a 
beautiful friendship between two souls who knew 
and understood each other's needs, than it did of 
that blissful and ecstatic union of counterparts, 
which everywhere is described by those who have 
experienced it, as a sensation of melting or merg- 
ing into the other's being. 

Seraphita is the embodiment, in human form, 
of the idea expressed in the world-old belief in a 
perfected being; whose perfection was complete 
when the two halves of the one should have found 
each other. 

The inference is very generally made that 
Balzac believed in and sought to express the idea 
of a bi-sexual individual a personality who is 
complete in himself or herself as a person; one 
in which the intuitive, feminine principle and 
the reasoning, masculine principle had become 
perfectly balanced in short, an androgynous 

This idea is apparently further substantiated 
by the fact that Seraphita was loved by Minna, a 
beautiful young girl to whom Seraphita was al- 
ways Seraphitus, an ideal lover; and by Wilfrid, 
to whom Seraphita represented his ideal of fem- 
inine loveliness, both in mind and body; a young 
girl possessing marvelous, almost miraculous, 
wisdom, but yet a woman with human passions 

Intellectual Cosmic Consciousness 249 

and human virtues his ideal of wifehood and 

But whatever the idea that Balzac intended to 
convey, whether, as is generally believed, Sera- 
ph ita was an androgynous being, or whether she 
symbolized the perfection of soul-union, our con- 
tention is that this union is not a creation of the 
imagination, but the accomplishment of the plan 
of creation the final goal of earthly pilgrimage ; 
the raison d'etre of love itself. 

One argument against the idea that Seraphita 
was intended to illustrate an androgynous being, 
rather than a perfected human, who had her spir- 
itual mate, is found in the words in which she 
refused to marry Wilfrid, although Balzac makes 
it plainly evident that she was attracted to Wil- 
frid with a degree of sense-attraction, due to the 
fact that she was still living within the environ- 
ment of the physical, and therefore subject to the 
illusions of the mortal, even while her spiritual 
consciousness was so fully developed as to en- 
able her to perceive and realize the difference be- 
tween an attraction that was based largely upon 
sense, and that which was of the soul. 

Wilfrid says to her: 

"Have you no soul that you are not seduced 
by the prospect of consoling a great man, who 
will sacrifice all to live with you in a little house 
by the border of a lake?" 

250 Cosmic Consciousness 

"But," answers Seraphita, "I am loved with 
a love without bounds." 

And when Wilfrid with insane anger and 
jealousy asked who it was whom Seraphita loved 
and who loved her, she answered "God." 

At another time, when Minna, to whom she 
had often spoken in veiled terms of a mysterious 
being who loved her and whom she loved, asked 
her who this person was, she answered: 

"I can love nothing here on earth." 

"What dost thou love then?" asked Minna, 

"Heaven" was the reply. 

This obscurity and uncertainty as to what 
manner of love it was that absorbed Seraphita, 
and who was the object of it, could not have 
been possible had it been the usual devotion of 
the religcuse. 

Seraphita, whose consciousness extended far 
beyond that of the people about her, could not 
have explained to her friends that the invisible 
realms were as real to her as the visible universe 
was to those with only sense-consciousness. It 
was impossible to explain to them that she had 
found and knew her mate, even though she had 
not met him in the physical body. 

To Wilfrid she said she loved "God." To 
Minna she used the term "Heaven," and when 
Minna questioned: "But art thou worthy of 

Intellectual Cosmic Consciousness 251 

heaven \vhen thou despisest the creatures of 
God ?" Seraphita answered : 

"Couldst thou love two beings at once ? Would 
a lover be a lover if he did not fill the heart? 
Should he not be the first, the last, the only one ? 
She who loves will she not quit the world for her 
lover? Her entire family becomes a memory; 
she has no longer a relative. The lover ! she has 
given him her whole soul. If she has kept a frac- 
tion of it, she does not love. To love feebly, is 
that to love? The word of the lover makes all 
her joy, and quivers in her veins like a purple 
deeper than blood; his glance is a light which 
penetrates her ; she dissolves in him ; there, where 
he is, all is beautiful; he is warmth to the soul; 
he irradiates everything; near him could one 
know cold or night? He is never absent; he is 
ever within us ; we think in him, to him, for him. 
Minna, that is the way I love." 

And when Minna, like Wilfrid, "seized by a 
devouring jealousy," demanded to know 
"whom?" Seraphita answered, "God." This she 
did because the one whom she loved became her 
God. We are told that "love makes gods of 
men." Perfect love, the love of those who are 
spiritual-mates soul-mates the "man-woman- 
god whom we await," becomes an immortal; 
and immortals are gods. 

Moreover, if Seraphita had intended 

252 Cosmic Consciousness 

the love of the religious devotee to The Absolute, 
instead of a perfected sex-love, she would not 
have pointed out to both Wilfrid and Minna that 
which she, in her superior vision, her supra-con- 
sciousness, perceived, namely, that Wilfrid and 
Minna were really intended for spiritual mates, 
and that what they each saw in her was really a 
prophecy of their own perfected and spiritualized 

The subject is one that is positively incompre- 
hensible and unexplainable to the average mind. 
All mystic literature, when read with the eyes 
of understanding, exalts and spiritualizes sex. 
The latter day degeneration of sex is the "trail 
of the serpent," which Woman is to crush with 
her heel. And Woman is crushing it today, al- 
though to the superficial observer, who sees only 
surface conditions, it would appear as though 
Woman had fallen from her high estate, to take 
her place on a footing with man. This view is 
the exoteric, and not the esoteric, one. 

They who have ears hear the inner voice, and 
they who have eyes see with the inner sight. The 
mystery of sex is the eternal mystery which each 
must solve for himself before he can comprehend 
it, and when solved eliminates all sense of sin 
and shame; brings Illumination in which every- 
thing is made clear and makes man-woman im- 
mortal a god. 

Intellectual Cosmic Consciousness 253 

Swedenborg's theory of Heaven as a never- 
ending honeymoon in which spiritually-mated 
humans dwell, has been denounced by many as 
"shocking" to a refined and sensitive mind. But 
this idea is shocking only because even the most 
advanced minds are seldom Illumined, their ad- 
vancement being along the lines of intellectual 
research and acquired knowledge, which, as we 
have previously explained, is not synonymous 
with interior wisdom. 

The illumined mind is bound to find in the 
eternal and ever-present fact of sex, the key to 
the mysteries the password to immortal god- 

The subject is one that cannot be set forth in 
printed words ; this fact is, indeed, the very Plan 
of Illumination. It cannot be taught. It must 
be found. Only those who have glimpsed its 
truth can even imperfectly point the way in which 
it may be discovered. No teacher can guarantee 
it. It is the most evanescent, the most delicate, 
the most indescribable thing in the Cosmos. It is 
therefore the most readily misinterpreted and 

Balzac doubtless understood, not as a matter 
of perception of a truth but as an experience, and 
this fact, if no other, marks him as one having 
a very high degree of cosmic consciousness. 

Seraphita called herself a "Specialist." When 

254 Cosmic Consciousness 

Minna inquired how it was that Seraphitus could 
read the souls of men, the answer was: 

"I have the gift of Specialism. Specialism is 
an inward sight that can penetrate all things; 
you will understand its full meaning only through 
comparison. In the great cities of Europe works 
are produced by which the human hand seeks to 
represent the effects of the moral nature as well 
as those of the physical nature, as well as those 
of the ideas in marble. The sculptor acts on the 
stone; he fashions it; he puts a realm of ideas 
into it. There are statues which the hand of man 
has endowed with the faculty of representing the 
whole noble side of humanity, or the evil side of 
it; most men see in such marbles a human figure 
and nothing more ; a few older men, a little higher 
in the scale of being, perceive a fraction of the 
thoughts expressed in the statue ; but the Initiates 
in the secrets of art are of the same intellect as 
the sculptor ; they see in his work the whole uni- 
verse of thought. Such persons are in them- 
selves the principles of art ; they bear within them 
a mirror which reflects nature in her slightest 
manifestations. Well, so it is with me; I have 
within me a mirror before which the moral na- 
ture, with its causes and its effects, appears and 
is reflected. Entering thus into the consciousness 
of others I am able to divine both the future and 
the past * * * though what I have said does 

Intellectual Cosmic Consciousness 255 

not define the gift of Specialism, for to conceive 
the nature of that gift we must possess it." 

This describes in terms similar to those em- 
ployed by others who possess cosmic conscious- 
ness, the results of this inner light, which Sera- 
phita calls a "mirror." 

And yet, with this seemingly exhaustive and 
lucid exposition of the effects of Illumination, 
Seraphita declares that "to conceive the nature of 
this gift we must possess it." 

Balzac further comments upon what he terms 
this gift of Specialism, which is cosmic conscious- 
ness or illumination, thus: 

"The specialist is necessarily the loftiest ex- 
pression of man the link which connects the vis- 
ible to the superior worlds. He acts, he sees, he 
feels through his inner being. The abstractive 
thinks. The instinctive simply acts. Hence three 
degrees for man. As an instinctive he is below 
the level ; as an abstractive he attains it ; as a spe- 
cialist he rises above it. Specialism opens to man 
his true career ; the Infinite dawns upon him he 
catches a glimpse of his destiny." 

The merely sense-conscious man is the man- 
animal; the abstractive man is the average man 
and woman in the world today the human who 
is evolving out of the mental into the spiritual 
consciousness. The specialist is the cosmic con- 

256 Cosmic Consciousness 

scions one, the one who "catches a glimpse of his 

Balzac, in company with all who attain cosmic 
consciousness, had a great capacity for suffering; 
and this soul-loneliness became crystalized into 
spiritual wisdom, which he expressed in the words 
and in the manner most likely to be accepted by 
the world. 

How else can that divine union to which we 
are heirs and for which we are either blindly, 
consciously, or supra-consciously, striving, be de- 
scribed and exploited without danger of defile- 
ment and degeneracy, save and except by the 
phrase "unity with God"? 

All mystics have found it necessary to veil 
the "secret of secrets," lest the unworthy (because 
unready) defile it with his gaze, even as the sin- 
ful devotee prostrates himself hiding his face, 
while the priest raises the chalice containing the 
holy eucharist in the ceremony of the mass. 



Poetry is the natural language of cosmic con- 
sciousness. "The music of the spheres" is a lit- 
eral expression, as all who have ever glimpsed 
the beauties of the spiritual realms will testify. 

"Poets are the trumpets which sing to battle. 
Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the 
world," said Shelley. 

Not that all poets are aware, in their mortal 
consciousness, of their divine mission, or of their 
spiritual glimpses. 

The outer mind, the mortal or carnal mind 
that part of our organism whose office it is to 
take care of the physical body, for its preser- 
vation and its well-being, may be so dominant as 
to hold in bondage the atman, but it can not ut- 
terly silence its voice. 

Thus the true poet is also a seer; a prophet; 
a spiritually-conscious being, for such time, or 
during such phases of inspiration, as he becomes 
imbued with the spirit of poetry. 

A person who writes rhymes is not necessarily 
a poet. So, too, there are poets who do not ex- 

258 Cosmic Consciousness 

press their inspirations according to the rules of 
metre and syntax. 

Between that which Balzac tabulated as the 
"abstractive" type of human evolvement and that 
which is fully cosmic in consciousness, there are 
many and diverse degrees of the higher facul- 
ties; but the poet always expresses some one of 
these degrees of the higher consciousness; in- 
deed some poets are of that versatile nature that 
they run the entire gamut of the emotional nature, 
now descending to the ordinary normal conscious- 
ness which takes account only of the personal 
self ; again ascending to the heights of the imper- 
sonal fearlessness and unassailable confidence that 
is the heritage of those who have reached the full 
stature of the "man-god whom we await" the 
cosmic conscious race that is to be. 

All commentators upon modern instances of Il- 
lumination unite in regarding Walt Whitman as 
one of the most, if not the most, perfect example 
of whom we have any record of cosmic conscious- 
ness and its sublime effects upon the character and 
personality of the illumined one. 

Whitman is a sublime type for reasons which 
are of first importance in their relation to char- 
acter as viewed from the ideals of the cosmic 
conscious race-to-be. 

Moralists have criticized Whitman as immoral ; 
religionists have deplored his lack of a religious 

Illumination in Poetical Temperament 259 

creed; literary critics have denied his claim to 
high rank in the world of literature; but Walt 
Whitman is unquestionably without a peer in the 
roundness of his genius; in the simplicity of his 
soul; in the catholicity of his sympathy; in the 
perfect poise and self-control and imperturbability 
of his kindness. His biographers agree as to his 
never-failing good nature. He was without any 
of those fits of unrest and temperamental eccen- 
tricities which are supposed to be the "sign man- 
ual" of the child of the poetic muse. 

In Whitman it would seem that all those petty 
prejudices against any nationality or class of 
men, were entirely absent. He exalted the com- 
monplace, not as a pose, nor because he had given 
himself to that task, but because to him there was 
no commonplace. In the cosmic perception of the 
universe, everything is exalted to the plane of fit- 
ness. As to the pure all things are pure, so to the 
one who is steeped in the sublimity of Divine Il- 
lumination, there is no high or low, no good or 
bad, no white or black, or rich or poor; all all 
is a part of the plan, and, in its place in cosmic 
evolution, it fits. 

Whitman cries: 

"All ! all ! Let others ignore what they may, I 
make the poem of evil also, I commemorate that 
part also; I am myself just as much evil as good, 

2<3o Cosmic Consciousness 

and my nation is, and I say there is in fact no 

Compared to the religious aspect of cosmic con- 
sciousness in which, previous to the time of Il- 
lumination, the devotee had striven to rise to spir- 
itual heights through disdaining the flesh, this note 
of Whitman's is a new note the nothingness of 
evil as such ; the righteousness of the flesh and the 
holiness of earthly, or human, love, bespeaks the 
prophet of the New Dispensation ; the time hinted 
of by Jesus, the Master, when he said, "when the 
twain shall be one and the outside as the inside," 
as a sign and symbol of the blessed time to come 
when the kingdom he spoke of (not his personal 
kingdom, but the kingdom which he represented, 
the kingdom of Love), should come upon earth. 

Whitman's illumination is essentially poetic; 
not that it is not also intellectual and moral; but 
after his experience at least an experience more 
notable than any hitherto recorded by him, in or 
about his thirty-fifth year we find his conversa- 
tion invariably reflecting the beauty and poetical 
imagery of his mind. He may be said to have 
lived and moved and had his being in a state of 
blissful unconsciousness of anything unclean or 
impure or unnatural. 

This absence of consciousness of evil is in no 
wise synonymous with a type of person who ex- 
alts his undeveloped animal tendencies under the 

Illumination in Poetical Temperament 261 

guise of liberation from a sense of sin. Neither 
is this discrimination easy of attainment to any 
but those who realise in their own hearts the very 
distinct difference between the nothingness of sin 
and the pretended acceptance of perversions as 

While we are on this point we must again em- 
phasize the truth that cosmic consciousness cannot 
be gained by prescription; there is no royal road 
to mukti. Liberation from the lower manas can 
not be bought or sold, it can not be explained or 
comprehended, save by those to whom the attain- 
ment of such a state is at least possible if not 

Illustrative of his sense, of unity with all life 
(one of the most salient characteristics of the 
fully cosmic conscious man), are these lines of 
Whitman's : 

"Voyaging to every port, to dicker and adventure ; 
Hurrying with the modern crowd, as eager and 

fickle as any; 
Hot toward one I hate, ready in my madness to 

knife him; 
Solitary at midnight in my back yard, my 

thoughts gone from me a long while ; 
Walking the hills of Judea, with the beautiful 
gentle God by my side ; 

262 Cosmic Consciousness 

Speeding through space speeding through 
Heaven and the stars." 

Oriental mysticism tells us that one of the at- 
tributes of the liberated one is the power to read 
the hearts and souls of all men; to feel what they 
feel; and to so unite with them in consciousness 
that we are for the time being the very person or 
thing we contemplate. If this be indeed the test 
of godhood, Whitman expresses it in every line: 

"The disdain and calmness of olden martyrs; 
The mother condemned for a witch, burnt with 

dry wood, her children gazing on ; 
The hounded slave that flags in the race, leans by 

the fence, blowing, covered with sweat; 
The twinges that sting like needles his legs and 

neck the murderous buckshot and the bullets ; 
All these I feel, or am." 

Seeking to express the sense of knowing and 
especially of feeling, and the bigness and broad- 
ness of life, the scorn of petty aims and strife; 
in short, that interior perception which Illumina- 
tion brings, he says: 

"Have you reckoned a thousand acres much ? have 

you reckoned the earth much? 
Have you practised so long to learn to read ? 
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of 


Illumination in Poetical Temperament 263 

Stop this day and night with me and you shall 

possess the origin of all poems ; 
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun 

there are millions of suns left; 
You shall no longer take things at second or 

third hand, nor look through the eyes of the 

dead, nor feed on the spectres in books ; 
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor 

take things from me ; 
You shall listen to all sides, and filter them from 

I have heard what the talkers were talking, the 

talk of the beginning and the end; 

But I do not talk of the beginning nor the end. 

There was never any more inception than there 

is now ; 

Nor any more youth or age than there is now ; 
And will never be any more perfection than there 

is now, 
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now." 

A perception of eternity as an ever-present re- 
ality is one of the characteristic signs of the in- 
ception of the new birth. 

Birth and death become nothing more nor yet 
less, than events in the procedure of eternal life; 
age becomes merely a graduation garment; God 

264 Cosmic Consciousness 

and heaven are not separated from us by any 
reality; they become every-day facts. 

Whitman tells of the annihilation of any sense 
of separateness from his soul side, in the fol- 
lowing words : 

"Clear and sweet is my soul, and clear and 
sweet is all that is not my soul." 

He did not confound his mortal consciousness, 
the lower manas, \vith the higher the soul ; nei- 
ther did he recognize an impassable gulf between 

While admittedly ascending to the higher con- 
sciousness from the lower, Whitman refused to 
follow the example of the saints and sages of old, 
and mortify or despise the lower self the man- 
ifestation. He had indeed struck the balance; he 
recognized his dual nature, each in its rightful 
place and with its rightful possessions, and re- 
fused to abase either "I am" to the other. He lit- 
erally "rendered unto Caesar the things that are 
Caesar's," by claiming for the flesh the purity and 
the cleanliness of God's handiwork. 

In WTiitman, too, we find an almost perfect re- 
alization of immortality and of blissfulness of 
life and the complete harmony and unity of his 
soul with all there is. Following closely upon the 
experience that seems to have been the most vivid 
of the many instances of illumination which he 
enjoyed throughout a long life, he wrote the fol- 

Illumination in Poetical Temperament 265 

lowing lines, indicative of the emotions imme- 
diately associated with the influx of illumina- 

"Swiftly arose and spread around me, the peace 
and joy and knowledge that pass all the art 
and argument of earth ; 

And I know that the hand of God is the elder 
hand of my own, 

And I know that the spirit of God is the eldest 
brother of my own, 

And that all the men ever born are also my broth- 
ers, and the women my sisters and lovers, 

And that a kelson of creation is love." 

In lines written in 1860, about seven years 
after the first vivid instance of the experience of 
illumination which afterward became oft-recur- 
rent, Whitman speaks of what he calls "Perfec- 
tions," and from what he writes we may assume 
that he referred to those possessing cosmic con- 
sciousness, and the practical impossibility of de- 
scribing this peculiarity and accounting for the 
alteration it makes in character and outlook. 

Says Whitman: 

"Only themselves understand themselves, and the 

like of themselves, 
As souls only understand souls." 

It has been pointed out that Whitman more 

266 Cosmic Consciousness 

perfectly illustrates the type of the coming man 
the cosmic conscious race, because Whitman's il- 
lumination seems to have come without the ter- 
rible agonies of doubt and prayer and mortifica- 
tion of the flesh, which characterize so many of 
those saints and sages of whom we read in sacred 
literature. But it must not be inferred from this 
that Whitman's life was devoid of suffering. 

A biographer says of him : 

"He has loved the earth, sun, animals ; despised 
riches, given alms to every one that asked ; stood 
up for the stupid and crazy; devoted his income 
and labor to others; according to the command of 
the divine voice; and was impelled by the divine 
impulse ; and now for reward he is poor, despised, 
sick, paralyzed, neglected, dying. His message 
to men, to the delivery of which he devoted his 
life, which has been dearer in his eyes (for man's 
sake) than wife, children, life itself, is unread, 
or scoffed and jeered at. What shall he say to 
God ? He says that God knows him through and 
through, and that he is willing to leave himself 
in God's hands." 

But above and beyond all this, is the sense of 
oneness with all who suffer which is ever a herit- 
age of the cosmic conscious one, even while he is, 
at the same time, the recipient of states of bliss 
and certainty of immortality, and melting soul- 
love, incomprehensible and indescribable to the 

Illumination in Poetical Temperament 267 

non-initiate. Whitman's calm and poise was not 
that of the ice-encrusted egotist. It is the poise 
of the perfectly balanced man-god equally aware 
of his human and his divine attributes ; and justly 
estimating both; nor drawing too fine a line be- 

"I embody all presence outlawed or suffering; 
See myself in prison, shaped like another man, 

And feel the dull unintermitted pain. 

"For me the keepers of convicts shoulder their 

carbines and keep watch; 

It is I left out in the morning, and barr'd at night. 
Not a mutineer walks handcuffed to jail, but I am 

handcuffed and walk by his side; 

"Not a youngster is taken for larceny, but I go up 

too, and am tried and sentenced. 
Not a cholera patient lies at the last gasp but I 

also lie at the last gasp ; 
My face is ash-colored my sinews gnarl away 

from me people retreat. 


"Askers embody themselves in me, and I am em- 
bodied in them; 
I project my hat, sit shame- faced and beg." 

If any one imagines that Whitman was not a 
religious man, let him read the following: 

268 Cosmic Consciousness 

"I say that no man has ever yet been half devout 

enough ; 
None has ever yet adored or worshipped half 

enough ; 
None has begun to think how divine he himself 

is, and how certain the future is." 

There is a sublime confidence and worship in 
these words which belittles the churchman's hope 
and prayer that God may be good to him and bless 
him with a future life. Whitman's philosophy, 
less specific as to method, is assuredly more cer- 
tain, more faithful in effect. Whitman had the 
experience of being immersed in a sea of light 
and love, so frequently a phenomenon of Illumi- 
nation; he retained throughout all his life a com- 
plete and perfect assurance of immortality. 

His sense of union with and relationship to all 
living things was as much a part of him as the 
color of his eyes and hair; he did not have to 
remind himself of it, as a religious duty. 

He experienced a keen joy in nature and in 
the innocent, childlike pleasures of everyday 
things, and at the same time possessed a splendid 

All consciousness of sin or evil had been erased 
from his mind and actually had no place in his 

Illumination in Poetical Temperament 269 


In the case of Lord Tennyson, we have a defi- 
nite recognition of two distinct states of con- 
sciousness, finally culminating in a clear experi- 
ence of cosmic consciousness; this experience was 
so positive as to leave no doubt or indecision in 
his mind regarding the reality of the spiritual, 
and the illusory character of the external life. 

In truth Tennyson had so fixed his conscious- 
ness in the spiritual rather than in the external, 
that he looked out from that inner self, as through 
the windows of a house; he was prepared, as 
he said, to believe that his body was but an imagi- 
nary symbol of himself, but nothing and no one 
could persuade him that the real Tennyson, the 
/ am consciousness of being which was he, was 
other than spiritual, eternal, undying. 

Like so many others, notably Whitman, who 
have realized a more or less full degree of cosmic 
consciousness, Tennyson was deeply and rever- 
ently religious, although not partisanly connected 
with church work. Tennyson's early boyhood 
was marked by experiences which usually befall 
persons of the psychic temperament. As he him- 
self described these states of consciousness, they 
were moments in which the ego transcended the 
limits of self consciousness and entered the limit- 
less realm of spirit. 

270 Cosmic Consciousness 

They do not tabulate with the ordinary trance 
condition of the spiritualistic medium, who sub- 
jects his own self consciousness to a "control," 
although Tennyson always believed that the best 
of his writings were inspired by, and written 
under "the direct influence of higher intelli- 
gences, of whose presence he was distinctly con- 
scious. He felt them near him and his mind was 
impressed by their ideas." 

The point which we emphasize is that these 
peculiar states of consciousness are not synony- 
mous with the western idea of trance as seen in 
mediumship, although Tennyson uses the term 
"trance" in describing them. 

He says: 

"A kind of walking trance I have frequently 
had, quite up from boyhood, when I have been 
all alone. This has often come upon me through 
repeating my own name to myself silently until 
all at once, as it were, out of the intensity of 
the consciousness of individuality, the individu- 
ality itself seemed to dissolve and fade into 
boundless being." 

It is a fact that children of a peculiarly sensi- 
tive or psychic temperament seem to have strange 
ideas regarding the name by which they are called, 
and not infrequently become confused and filled 
with an inexplicable wonderment at the sound 

Illumination in Poetical Temperament 271 

of their own name. This phenomenon is much 
less rare than is generally known. 

In Tennyson's "Ancient Sage" this experience 
of entering into cosmic consciousness is thus 
described : 

"More than once when I 

Sat all alone, revolving in myself, 

The word that is the symbol of myself, 

The mortal limit of the Self was loosed, 

And passed into the nameless, as a cloud 

Melts into heaven. I touched my limbs ; the limbs 

Were strange, not mine; and yet no shade of 


But utter clearness, and thro' loss of self 
The gain of such large life as matched with ours 
Were sun to spark unshadowable in words. 
Themselves but shadows of a shadow- world." 

Tennyson's illumination is certain, clearly de- 
fined, distinct and characteristic, although his 
poems are much less cosmic than those of Whit- 
man and of many others. There is, however, 
in the above, all that is descriptive of that state 
of consciousness which accompanies liberation 
from the illusion the enchantment of the merely 
mortal existence. 

Words are, as Tennyson fitly says, but "shad- 
ows of a shadow-world" ; how then may we hope 

272 Cosmic Consciousness 

to define in terms comprehensible to sense-con- 
sciousness only, emotions and experiences which 
involve loss of self, and at the same time gain 
of the Self? 

Tennyson's frequent excursions into the realm 
of spiritual consciousness while still a child, 
bears out our contention that many children not 
infrequently have this experience, and either 
through reserve or from lack of ability to ex- 
plain it, keep the matter to themselves; gener- 
ally losing or "outgrowing" the tendency as they 
enter the activities of school life, and the mortal 
mind becomes dominant in them. This is espe- 
cially true of the rising generation, and we per- 
sonally know several clearly defined instances 
which have been reported to us, during conver- 
sations upon the theme of cosmic consciousness. 


Any one who has ever had the good fortune 
to read a little book of verse entitled "From the 
Eastern Seas," by Yone Noguchi, a young Jap- 
anese, will at once pronounce them a beautiful 
and perhaps perfect example of verse that may 
be correctly labeled "cosmic." 

Noguchi was under nineteen years of age when 
he penned these verses, but they are thoughts 
and expressions possible only to one who lives 
the greater part of his life within the illumina- 

Illumination in Poetical Temperament 273 

tion of the cosmic sense. They are so delicate 
as to have little, if any, of the mortal in them. 

It is also significant that Noguchi in these later 
years (he is now only a little past thirty), does 
not reproduce this cosmic atmosphere in his writ- 
ings to such an extent, due no doubt to the fact 
that his daily occupation (that of Professor of 
Languages in the Imperial College of Tokio), 
compels his outer attention, excluding the fullness 
of the inner vision. 

The following lines are perfect as an exposi- 
tion of spiritual consciousness in which the lesser 
self has become submerged: 

"Underneath the shade of the trees, myself 
passed into somewhere as a cloud. 

I see my soul floating upon the face of the deep, 
nay the faceless face of the deepless deep 

Ah, the seas of loneliness. 

The silence-waving waters, ever shoreless, bot- 
tomless, colorless, have no shadow of my 
passing soul. 

I, without wisdom, without foolishness, without 
goodness, without badness am like God, a 
negative god at least." 

The almost perpetual state of spiritual con- 
sciousness in which the young poet lived at this 
time is apparent in the following lines : 

274 Cosmic Consciousness 

"When I am lost in the deep body of the mist 

on a hill, 

The universe seems built with me as its pillar. 
Am I the god upon the face of the deep, nay 
The deepless deepness in the beginning?" 

And the following, possible of comprehension 
only to one who has glimpsed the eternal verity 
of man's spiritual reality, and the shadow-like 
quality of the external; could have been written 
only by one freed from the bonds of illusion: 

"The mystic silence of the moon, 
Gradually revived in me immortality; 
The sorrow that gently stirred 
Was melancholy-sweet; sorrow is higher 
Far than joy, the sweetest sorrow is supreme 
Amid all the passions. I had 
No sorrow of mortal heart: my sorrow 
Was one given before the human sorrows 
Were given me. Mortal speech died 
From me: my speech was one spoken before 
God bestowed on me human speech. 
There is nothing like the moon-night 
When I, parted from the voice of the city, 
Drink deep of Infinity with peace 
From another, a stranger sphere. There is noth- 
Like the moon-night when the rich, noble stars 

Itomntnation in Poetical Temperament 

And maiden roses interchange their long looks 

of love. 

When I raise my face from the land of loss 
Unto the golden air, and calmly learn 
How perfect it is to grow still as a star. 
There is nothing like the moon-night 
When I walk upon the freshest dews, 
And amid the warmest breezes, 
With all the thought of God 
And all the bliss of man, as Adam 
Not yet driven from Eden, and to whom 
Eve was not yet born. What a bird 
Dreams in the moonlight is my dream: 
What a rose sings is my song." 

The true poet does not need individual experi- 
ences of either sorrow or of joy. His spirit 
is so attuned to the song of the universe; so 
sympathetic with the moans of earthly trials, 
that every vibration from the heart of the uni- 
verse reaches him; stabs him with its sorrow, or 
irradiates his being with joy. 

Jesus is fitly portrayed to us as "The Man of 
Sorrows"; even while we recognize him as a 
self-conscious son of God an immortal being 
fully aware of his escape from enchantment, and 
his heirship to Paradise. 

Cosmic consciousness bestows a bliss that is 
past all words to describe and it also quickens 

Cosmic Consciousness 

the sympathies and attunes the soul to the vibra- 
tions of the heart-cries of the struggling evolv- 
ing ones who are still travailing in the pains of 
the new birth. We must be willing to endure the 
suffering in order that we may realize the joy; 
not because joy is the reward for suffering, but 
because it is only by losing sight of the personal 
self that we become aware of that inner Self 
which is immortal and blissful; and when we 
become aware of the reality of that inner Self, 
we know that we are united with the all, and 
must feel with all. 

It would be impossible in one volume to 
enumerate all the poets who have given evidence 
of supra-consciousness. As has been previously 
pointed out, all true poets are at least tempo- 
rarily aware of their dual nature rather, one 
should say, the dual phases of their conscious- 
ness. Many, perhaps, do not function beyond the 
higher planes of the psychic vibrations, but even 
these are aware of the reality of the soul, and 
the illusion of the sense-conscious, mortal life. 

Dante; the Brownings; Shelley; Swinbourne; 
Goethe; Milton; Keats; Rosetti; Shakespeare; 
Pope; Lowell where should we stop, did we 
essay to draw a line? 

Illumination in Poetical Temperament 277 


Wordsworth, the poet of Nature has given us 
in his own words, so clearly cut an outline of 
his Illumination, that we can not resist record- 
ing here the salient points which mark his ex- 
perience as that of cosmic consciousness, tran- 
scending the more frequent phenomenon of soul- 
consciousness and its psychic functions. 

Wordsworth's Ode to Immortality epitomizes 
the lesson of the Yoga sutras out of The Ab- 
solute we come, and return to immortal bliss 
with consciousness added. Wordsworth also 
affords an excellent example of our contention 
that cosmic consciousness does not come to us at 
any specific age or time. Wordsworth distinctly 
says that as a child he possessed this faculty, as 
for example his oft-repeated words, both in con- 
versation and in his biography: 

"Nothing was more difficult for me in child- 
hood than to admit the notion of death, as a 
state applicable to my own being. It was not 
so much from feelings of animal vivacity that 
my difficulty came, as from a sense of the in- 
domitableness of the spirit within me. I used 
to brood over the stories of Enoch and Elijah, 
and almost to persuade myself that, whatever 
might become of others, I should be translated, 
in something of the same way, to heaven. With 

Cosmic Consciousness 

a feeling congenial to this, I was often unable 
to think of external things as having external 
existence, and I communed with all that I saw 
as something not apart from, but inherent in, 
my own immaterial nature. Many times while 
going to school have I grasped at a wall or tree, 
to recall myself from this abyss of idealism to 
the reality." 

In later life, Wordsworth lost the realization 
of this supra-consciousness, in what a commen- 
tator calls a "fever of rationalism"; but the 
power of that wonderful spiritual vision, pro- 
nounced in his youth, could not be utterly lost 
and soon after he reached his thirtieth year, he 
again becomes the spiritual poet, fully conscious 
of his higher nature the cosmic conscious self. 


A pronounced instance of the two phases of 
consciousness, is that of the late William Sharp, 
one of the best known writers of the modern 
English school 

It was not until after the death of William 
Sharp, that the secret of this dual personality 
was given to the public, although a few of his 
most intimates had known it for several years. 
In the "Memoirs" compiled by Elizabeth Sharp, 
wife of the writer, we find the following: 

"The life of William Sharp divides itself 

Illumination in Poetical Temperament 279 

naturally into two halves : the first ends with the 
publication by William Sharp of "Vistas," and 
the second begins with "Pharais," the first book 
signed Fiona Macleod. 1 ' 

In these memoirs, the point is made obvious 
that Fiona Macleod is not merely a nom de plume; 
neither is she an obsessing personality ; a guide or 
"control," as the Spiritualists know that phenom- 
enon. Fiona Macleod, always referred to by Wil- 
liam Sharp as "she," is his own higher Self the 
cosmic consciousness of the spiritual man which 
was so nearly balanced in the personality of 
William Sharp as to appear to the casual ob- 
server as another person. 

It is said that the identity of Fiona Macleod, 
as expressed in the manuscript put out under 
that name, was seldom suspected to be that of 
William Sharp, so different was the style and the 
tone of the work of these two phases of the same 

In this connection it may be well to quote his 
wife's opinion regarding the two phases of per- 
sonality, answering the belief of Yeats the Irish 
poet that he believed William Sharp to be the 
most extraordinary psychic he ever encountered 
and saying that Fiona Macleod was evidently a 
distinct personality. In the Memoirs, Mrs. Sharp 
comments upon this and says: 

"It is true, as I have said, that William Sharp 

280 Cosmic Consciousness 

seemed a different person when the Fiona mood 
was on him; but that he had no recollection of 
what he said in that mood was not the case 
the psychic visionary power belonged exclusively 
to neither; it influenced both and was dictated 
by laws he did not understand." 

Mrs. Sharp refers to William Sharp and Fiona, 
as two persons, saying that "it influenced both," 
but both sides of his personality rather than both 
personalities, is what she claims. In further ex- 
planation she writes : 

"I remember from early days how he would 
speak of the momentary curious 'dazzle in the 
brain,' which preceded the falling away of all 
material things and precluded some inner vision 
of great beauty, or great presences, or some sym- 
bolic import that would pass as rapidly as it 
came. I have been beside him when he has been 
in trance and I have felt the room throb with 
heightened vibration." 

One of the "dream-visions" which William 
Sharp experienced shortly before his last illness, 
is headed "Elemental Symbolism," and was re- 
corded by him in these beautiful words: 

"I saw Self, or Life, symbolized all about me 
as a limitless, fathomless and lonely sea. I took 
a handful and threw it into the grey silence of 
ocean air, and it returned at once as a swift and 
potent flame, a red fire crested with brown sun- 

Illumination in Poetical Temperament 281 

rise, rushing from between the lips of sky and 
sea to the sound as of innumerable trumpets." 

"In another dream he visited a land where 
there was no more war, where all men and wo- 
men were equal; where humans, birds and beasts 
were no longer at enmity, or preyed on one an- 
other. And he was told that the young men of 
the land had to serve two years as missionaries 
to those who lived at the uttermost boundaries. 
'To what end ?' he asked. 'To cast out fear, our 
last enemy.' In the house of his host he was 
struck by the beauty of a framed painting that 
seemed to vibrate with rich colors. 'Who 
painted that?' he asked. His host smiled, 'We 
have long since ceased to use brushes and paints. 
That is a thought projected from the artist's 
brain, and its duration will be proportionate 
with its truth.' " 

In explanation of why he chose to put out so 
much of the creative work of his brain under 
the signature of a woman, and how he happened 
to use the name Fiona Macleod, Sharp explained 
that when he began to realize how strong was 
the feminine element in the book Pharais, he 
decided to issue the book under a woman's name 
and Fiona Macleod "flashed ready-made" into 
his mind. "My truest self, the self who is be- 
low all other selves must find expression," he 
explained. The Self that is above the other self 

282 Cosmic Consciousness 

is what he should have said. The following ex- 
tracts are from the Fiona Macleod phase of Wil- 
liam Sharp and are characteristic of the Self, as 
evidenced in all instances of Illumination, par- 
ticularly as these expressions refer to the noth- 
ingness of death, and the beauty and power of 
Love. "Do not speak of the spiritual life as 
'another life'; there is no 'other life'; what we 
mean by that, is with us now. The great mis- 
conception of death is that it is the only door 
to another world." This testimony corroborates 
that of Whitman as well as of St. Paul, not- 
withstanding all the centuries that separate the 
two. St. Paul did not say that man will have a 
spiritual body, but that he has a spiritual body 
as well as a corporeal body. 

After the experience of his illumination, Wil- 
liam Sharp, writing as Fiona Macleod constantly 
testified to the ever-present reality of his spiritual 
life; a life far more real to him than the sense- 
conscious life although he alluded to it as his 
dream. In one place he says : 

"Now truly, is dreamland no longer a phan- 
tasy of sleep, but a loveliness so great that, like 
deep music, there could be no words wherewith 
to measure it, but only the breathless unspoken 
speech of the soul upon whom has fallen the 
secret, dews." 

Of the impossibility of adequately explaining 

Illumination in Poetical Temperament 283 

the mystery of Illumination and the sensations it 
inspires, he says, speaking through the Self of 
Fiona Macleod: "I write, not because I know a 
mystery, and would reveal it, but because I have 
known a mystery and am today as a child before 
it, and can neither reveal nor interpret it." 

This is comparable with Whitman's "when I 
try to describe the best, I can not. My tongue 
is ineffectual on its pivots." 

Another sentence from Fiona: 

"There is a great serenity in the thought of 
death, when it is known to be the gate of Life." 

Like all who have gained the Great Blessing, 
the revelation to the mind of that higher Self, 
that we are, William Sharp suffered keenly. The 
despair of the world was his, co-equal with the 
Joy of the Spirit. Indeed, his is at once the gift 
and the burden of the Illuminati. 

Mrs. Mona Caird said of him: "He was 
almost encumbered by the infinity of his percep- 
tions; by the thronging interests, intuitions, 
glimpses of wonders, beauties, and mysteries 
which made life for him a pageant and a splendor 
such as is only disclosed to the soul that has to 
bear the torment and revelations of genius." 

The burden of the world's sorrow; the long- 
ings and aspirations of the soul that has glimpsed, 
or that has more fully cognized the realms of the 
Spirit which are its rightful home; are ever a 

284 Cosmic Consciousness 

part of the price of liberation. The illumined 
mind sees and hears and feels the vibrations 
that emanate from all who are travailing in the 
meshes of the sense-conscious life; but through 
all the sympathetic sorrow, there runs the thread 
of a divine assurance and certainty of profound 
joy a bliss that passes comprehension or descrip- 

Mrs. Sharp, in the final conclusion of the Mem- 
oirs says "to quote my husband's own words 
ever below all the stress and failure, below all 
the triumph of his toil, lay the beauty of his 

In accordance with an oft-repeated request, 
these lines are inscribed on the lona cross carved 
in lava, which marks the grave wherein is laid to 
rest the earthly form of William Sharp: 

"Farewell to the known and exhausted, 
Welcome the unknown and illimitable." 

And this: 

"Love is more great than we conceive, and 
death is the keeper of unknown redemptions." 

They are from his higher Self ; from the illu- 
mined "Dominion of Dreams." 



Oriental philosophies recognize four important 
methods of yoga. 

Yoga is the word which signifies "uniting with 

From what has gone before in these pages, 
the reader will understand that unity with God 
means to us, the uncovering of the god-nature 
within or above, the human personality ; it means 
the attainment and retainment in fullness of cos- 
mic consciousness. We do not believe that any 
one retains full and complete realization of cosmic 
consciousness and remains in the physical body. 
The numerous instances to which we allude in 
former chapters, are at best, but temporary flights 
into that state, which is the goal of the soul's 
pilgrimage, and the only means of escape from 
the "ceaseless round of births and deaths" which 
so weighed upon the heart of Gautama. 

The paths of yoga then, are the methods by 
which the mind, in the personal self, is made to 
perceive the reality of the higher Self, and its 

286 Cosmic Consciousness 

relation to the Supreme Intelligence The Abso- 

The various methods or paths are pointed out, 
but no one, nor all of these paths guarantees 
illumination as a reward for diligence. That 
which is in the heart of the disciple is the key 
that unlocks the door. 

These paths are called: 

Karma Yoga; Raja Yoga; Gnani Yoga; 
Bhakti Yoga. 

Karma Yoga is the path of cheerful submis- 
sion to the conditions in which the disciple finds 
himself, believing that those conditions are his 
because of his needs, and in order that he may 
fulfill that which he has attracted to himself. 
The admonition "whatever thy hand finds to do 
that doest thou with all thy heart," sums up the 
lessons of the path of Karma Yoga. The urge to 
achieve; to do; to accomplish; to strive and at- 
tain, actuates those who have, whether with con- 
scious intent, or because of a vague "inward 
urge," devoted their lives to taking an active part 
in the material or intellectual achievements of 
the race. 

There are those who are blindly following (as 
far as their mental operations are concerned), 
the path of Karma Yoga; that is, they work 
without knowing why they work; they work 
because they are compelled to do so, as slaves of 
the law; these will work their way out of that 

Methods of Attainment 287 

necessity of fulfillment, in the course of time, 
even though they blindly follow the urge; but, 
if they could be made to work as masters of 
the conditions under which they labor, instead 
of as slaves to environment, they would find 
themselves at the end of that path. Karma Yoga 
would have been accomplished. 

"Work as those work who are ambitious" but 
be not thou enslaved by the delusion of personal 
ambition this is the password to liberation from 
Karma Yoga. 

Raja Yoga is the way of the strongly indi- 
vidualized will. "Knowledge is power" is the 
hope which encourages the disciple on the path 
of Raja Yoga. He seeks to master the personal 
self by meditation, by concentration of will; by 
self discipline and sacrifice. When the ego gains 
complete control over the mental faculties, so 
that the mind may be directed as the individual 
will suggests, the student has mastered the path 
of Raja Yoga. If his mastery is complete, he 
finds himself regarding his body as the instru- 
ment of the Self, and the body and its functions 
are under the guidance of the ego; the mind is 
the lever with which this Self raises the con- 
sciousness from the lower to the higher vibra- 
tions. The student who has mastered Raja Yoga 
can induce the trance state ; control his dreams as 
well as his waking thoughts; he may learn to 

288 Cosmic Consciousness 

practice magic in its higher aspects, but unless 
he is extremely careful this power will tempt 
him to use his knowledge for selfish or unworthy 

, Let the student of Raja Yoga bear in mind 
the one great and high purpose of his efforts, 
which should be: the realization of his spiritual 
nature, and the development of his individual 
self, so that it finally merges into the spiritual 
Self, thus gaining immortality "in the flesh." 

Does this "flesh" mean the physical body? 
Not necessarily, because this that we see and 
name "the physical body" is not the real body, 
any more than the clothing that covers it, is the 
person, although frequently we recognize ac- 
quaintances by their clothing. Immortality in the 
flesh means cessation from further incarnations, 
the last and present personality including all oth- 
ers in consciousness, until we can say, "I, mani- 
festing in the physical, as so-and-so, am now and 
forever immortal, remembering other manifesta- 
tions which were not sufficiently complete, but 
which added to the sum of my consciousness 
until now I know myself a deathless being." 

To those who seek the path of Raja Yoga, we 
recommend meditation upon Patanjali's Yoga 
Sutras, of which there are several translations, 
differing slightly as to interpretation. We have 
selected some of the most important, from the 

Methods of Attainment 289 

translations by Johnston. They are designed to 
make clear the difference between the self of 
personality, and the Self, or atman which mani- 
fests in personality: 

"The personal self seeks to feast upon life, 
through a failure to perceive the distinction be- 
tween the personal self and the spiritual man. 
All personal experience really exists for the sake 
of another: namely, the spiritual man. By per- 
fectly concentrated meditation on experience for 
the sake of the Self, comes a knowledge of the 
spiritual man." 

The wise person seeks experience in order that 
he may attain to the standard of the spiritual 
man; doing all things for the lessons that they 
teach; working "as those work who are ambi- 
tious," and yet having no personal ambition. 
Looking on all life, and at the self of person- 
ality and knowing the illusion of the self he is 
raising the personal self to the spiritual plane; 
but always he has the handicap of the desires 
of the lower self, the personal, which "seeks to 
feast on life," because it is born of the external, 
and its inherent appetites are for the satisfaction 
and pleasures of that physical self. 

We do not say to look upon the body with 
its needs and its desires, as an enemy to be over- 
come; or that its allurements are dangerous 
although pleasurable. No. We say to the stu- 

290 Cosmic Consciousness 

dent, "control the desires of the body. Make 
them do the bidding of the Self, because it is 
only by so doing that you can gain the immortal 
heights of god-hood, looking down upon the 
fleeting dream of personality, with its so-called 
pleasures, as a bad nightmare compared to the 
joys that await the immortals. 

Therefore, concentrate upon experience for 
the sake of the Self that you are, and learn the 
lesson of your experience, throwing aside the 
experience itself, as you would cast aside the 
skin of an orange from which the juice had 
been extracted. Don't fill the areas of your 
mortal mind with rubbish with memories of 
"benefits forgot;" or loves unrequited; or 
friendships broken; or misspent hours; or un- 
hallowed words and acts. 

Cull from each day's experience all that helps 
to develop the spiritual man all that will stand 
the test of immortality kind words and deeds; 
principle maintained; a wrong forgiven; a ser- 
vice cheerfully extended; a tolerance and gen- 
erosity for the mistakes of others as well as for 
your own. These seem small things to the per- 
sonal self the ambitious, the gloating, the sense- 
desiring self of the personality; we scarcely take 
them into account, but to the Self that is seek- 
ing immortality, these are the grains of wheat 
from the load of chaff; the diamond in the car- 

Methods of Attainment agi 

bon; the wings upon which the spirit soars to 
realms of bliss. 

Meditate upon this sutra. 

"By perfectly concentrated meditation upon 
the heart, the interior being, comes the knowl- 
edge of consciousness." 

The heart is the guide of the inner nature, as 
the head is of the outer. Love, the Most High 
God, is not born in the head, but in the heart. 
The heart travails in pain through sorrow and 
loss and compassion and pity and loneliness and 
aspiration and sensitiveness; and lo! there is 
born from this pain, the spiritual Self, which 
embraces the lesser consciousness, enfolding all 
your consciousness in the softness and bliss of 
pure, Seraphic Love the heritage of your im- 

Meditate long and wisely upon this sutra. 

"Through perfectly concentrated meditation on 
the light in the head, come the visions of the 
Masters who have attained ; or through the divin- 
ing power of intuition he knows all things." 

There is a point in the head, anatomically 
named "the pineal gland"; this is frequently 
alluded to as the seat of the soul, but the soul is 
not confined within the body, therefore, it is in 
the nature of a key between the sense-conscious 
self and the spiritually conscious Self; it is like 
a central receiving station, and may be "called 

292 Cosmic Consciousness 

up," and aroused to consciousness by meditation. 
Realizing and focusing the light of the spiritual 
nature upon this part of the head, opens up those 
unexplored areas of consciousness in which the 
masters dwell, and the student knows by intui- 
tion, which is a higher aspect of reason, many 
things which were heretofore incomprehensible 
to the merely sense-conscious man. 

The spiritual Self is not a being unlike and 
wholly foreign to our concept of the perfect mor- 
tal-man; all the powers of discernment which 
we find in mortal consciousness are accentuated, 
intensified, refined; all grossness, all imperfec- 
tions and embarrassments removed; pleasure 
sensitized to ecstasy; love glorified to worship. 

"Shapeliness, beauty, force, the temper of the 
diamond; these are the endowments of that 

The spiritual body is shapely, strong, beautiful, 
imperishable, as the diamond, with all its bril- 
liancy. No vapory, uncertain, or unreal being, 
but the Real, with the husk of sense-conscious- 
ness dropped off, and only the kernels of truth 
buried in the chaff of Experience, retained from 
the experiences of the personal self. 

"When the spiritual man is perfectly disen- 
tangled from the psychic body, he attains to 
mastery over all things and to a knowledge of all." 

The spiritual Self, the cosmic conscious Self, 

Methods of Attainment 293 

must not be confounded with the psychic body, 
which is formed from the emotions passions; 
fears; hatreds; ambitions; resentments; envy; 
regrets. Know thyself as a being superior to 
all baser emotions, and the mastery over them 
is complete. They are not destroyed, but con- 
verted into love the everlasting Source of Life. 

"There should be complete overcoming of 
allurement or pride in the invitations of the dif- 
ferent regions of life, lest attachment to things 
evil arise once more." 

It is said that the disciples, seeking the paths 
of Yoga, reach three degrees or stages of devel- 
opment; first, those who are just entering the 
path; second, those who are in the realm of 
allurements, subject to temptations; third, those 
who have won the victory over the senses and the 
external life maya; fourth, those who are 
firmly entrenched behind the bulwark of cer- 
tainty; the spiritual being realized; cosmic con- 
sciousness attained and retained. 

"By absence of all self indulgence at this point, 
also, the seeds of bondage of sorrow are de- 
stroyed, and pure spiritual being is attained." 

Self-abnegation and self-sacrifice have ever 
been the way of spiritual development; but we 
are prone to misunderstand and mistake the true 
interpretation of this admonition; men shut 
themselves in monasteries and women become 

294 Cosmic Consciousness 

nuns and recluses as a penance, in order to pur- 
chase, as it were, absolution (at-one-ness with 
The Absolute, which knows not sin) ; this is not 
the point intended here. Spiritual consciousness 
can not be bought; the desires of the personal 
self may be sublimated into divine force and 
power, through recognizing the desires of the 
self as baubles which attract and fill the eye, 
until we fail to see the glories of that which 
awaits us. 

"Thereafter, the whole personal being bends 
toward illumination, full of the spirit of Eternal 

Here again, we have assurance that the spirit- 
ually-conscious man, the "luminous body" is not 
a being apart from the self that we know our 
inner nature to be, but rather it is the inner Self 
even as we in our ignorance and our lack of 
initiation, know it, raised to a higher realm of 
consciousness; our desires refined, spiritualized, 
made pure, and our faculties strengthened and 
immortalized. We do not withdraw from ex- 
perience but we draw from Experience the lesson 
the hidden wisdom of the initiate. 

Meditate upon these sutras. 

"He who, after he has attained, is wholly free 
from self, is set in a cloud of holiness which is 
called Illumination. This is the true spiritual 

Methods of Attainment 295 

This aphorism is self-explanatory. He who 
attains illumination, and afterward lives and acts 
from the inner consciousness the spiritual man, 
is free from the desires of the sense-conscious 
life, with its consequent disappointments; he sees 
everything from the spiritual, rather than the 
mental point of view, and understands the phrase 
"and behold, all was good." 

"Thereon comes surcease from sorrow and 
the burden of toil:' 

The one who has attained cosmic conscious- 
ness, acting always from the Self, and not from 
personal desires, is set free from karma; he has 
fulfilled the cycle; he makes no more bondage 
for himself; he is free and is already immortal. 

"When that condition of consciousness is 
reached, which is far-reaching, and not confined 
to the body, which is outside the body and not 
conditioned by it, then the veil which conceals 
the light is worn away." 

The acquisition of spiritual consciousness, Illu- 
mination, endows the mortal mind also, with a 
degree of power sufficient to penetrate the veil 
of illusion the maya; the disciple then sees for 
the first time, all things in their true light. The 
separation between the personal self, and the 
spiritual being that we are, is so fine as to be 
like a cob-web veil, and yet how few penetrate it. 
The suddenness with which this awakening (for 

296 Cosmic Consciousness 

it is like awakening from a dream of the senses), 
comes, startles and surprises us, and then we be- 
come astonished at the transparency of the bonds 
that bound us to the limitations of the mortal, 
when we might have soared to realms of light. 

"By perfectly concentrated meditation on the 
correlation of the body with the ether, and by 
thinking of it as light as thistle-down, will come 
the power to traverse the ether." 

The Zens say that the way of the gods is 
through the air and afterwards in the ether. 
This means that we must evolve from the physi- 
cal to the psychic, and thence to the etheric or 
spiritual body. This is the \vay of the many. It 
is only the few who attain to perfect spiritual 
consciousness while manifesting in the physical, 
but these do not have to undergo "the second 
death" w^hich is the dropping off of the psychic 
body, and assuming the spiritual body. They 
attain to immortality in the flesh, (i. e., in the 
present personality). 

"Thereupon will come the manifestation of the 
atomic and other powers, which are the endow- 
ment of the body, together with its unassailable 

The body here referred to, it must be borne in 
mind, is the etheric or spiritual body, which 
possesses the power to disintegrate matter; the 
power to annihilate time and space; so that *rs 

Methods of Attainment 297 

may look backward into remote antiquity and 
forward into boundless futurity; or as the com- 
mentator says, "he can touch the moon with the 
tip of his finger"; the power of levitation and 
limitless extension; the power of command; the 
power of creative will. These are the endow- 
ments of the spiritual body with which the dis- 
ciple is seeking to establish his identity that he 
may overcome the second death and become im- 
mortal in consciousness, here and now. 

Of this spiritual, or etheric body it is said, 
"Fire burns it not; water wets it not; the sword 
cleaves it not; dry winds parch it not. It is un- 

Meditate upon this sutra. 

"For him who discerns between the mind and 
the spiritual man (the Self) there comes perfect 
fruition of the longing after the real being." 

When the disciple has once grasped the fact 
that he is a soul, and possesses a mind and a 
physical covering, he has entered on the way of 
Illumination, and must inevitably reach the goal ; 
then shall he find "perfect fruition of the long- 
ing" after the perfect Self, and its completement 
in union with the love that he craves. "Have you, 
in lonely darkness longed for companionship and 
consolation? You shall have angels and arch- 
angels for your friends and all the immortal 
hosts of the Dawn." 

298 Cosmic Consciousness 

Such are the Yoga sutras, or aphorisms, as 
enunciated by Patanjali. 

If the aspiring one were to give up a whole 
lifetime to their practice, gaining at last the 
consciousness of immortal life and love, what a 
small price to pay. 

Raja Yoga with its methods and exercises, is 
the path of knowledge, through application ; con- 
centration ; meditation. 

The practice of Raja Yoga will lead the student 
to the path of Gnani Yoga; and to the realiza- 
tion that Bhakti Yoga, the way of love and 
service will be included, not as an arduous task; 
not as a study, or as a means to an end, but be- 
cause of the love of it. 

Gnani Yoga comes as complementary to prac- 
tice of the sutras because knowledge applied for 
the purpose of spiritual attainment brings irisdom. 
Gnani Yoga, then, is the path of wisdom. The 
follower of Gnani Yoga seeks the occult or hid- 
den wisdom, and always has before him the idea 
of whether this or that be of the Self, the atman, 
or of the self, the personal, gradually eliminat- 
ing from his desires all that does not answer the 
test of its reality in spiritual consciousness; he 
welcomes experiences of all kinds, as so many 
lessons from which he extracts the fine grain of 
truth, and throws aside the husks; he accepts 
nothing blindly or in faith, but "proves all things 

Methods of Attainment 299 

holding fast to that which is good"; not that 
he lacks faith, but because the very nature of his 
inquiry is to discover the interior nature and its 
relation to God. 

There are many in the world of today who feel 
the urge toward the path of Gnani Yoga, be- 
cause of the conviction that is forcing itself upon 
every truly enlightened mind, that civilization 
with all its wonderful achievements, does not 
promise happiness, or solve the question of the 
soul's urge. In short, the educated, and the 
well conditioned, if he be a thinker, and not sub- 
merged in may a, lost in the personal self, 
inevitably finds himself searching for the real 
in all this labyrinth of mind creations and sea 
of emotions, and then as a rule, he seeks the path 
of Gnani Yoga, because his intellect must be 
satisfied, even though his heart calls. The mys- 
tic, the teacher, and the philosopher are following 
the path of Gnani; so is the true occultist, but 
many who deal in so-called occultism are employ- 
ing knowledge only, entirely missing the higher 
quality zvisdom. 

Bhakti Yoga, the path of self-surrender; the 
thorny way through the emotions ; the "blood of 
the heart," is the short cut to Illumination, if 
such a thing could be. But there is no "short 
cut" ; nor yet a long road. 

Some one has said there are as many ways tc 

300 Cosmic Consciousness 

God as there are souls. And yet, all persons who 
are on the upward climb, are demonstrating some 
one of these four paths, or a combination of the 
paths. It is, however, a significant fact that we 
do not hear anything of the great intellectual 
attainments of the three great masters Kirshna, 
Buddha and Jesus, but only of their great com- 
passion; their wonderful love for mankind, ancf 
all living things. 

St. Paul, who was probably an educated man, 
as he held a position of prominence among those 
in authority, previous to his conversion, laid par- 
ticular stress upon the love-nature as the way of 

And Jesus repeatedly said "Love is the fulfill- 
ing of the law." What is the law? The law 
of evolution and involution; of generation and 
regeneration; when the time should come, that 
Love was to reign on the planet earth as it does 
in the heavens above the earth, then should the 
kingdom of which he foretold "be at hand," and 
in conclusion of this to-be, Jesus promised that 
the law would be fulfilled when Love should 

So Swami Vivekananda in his exposition of 
Vedanta declares : 

"Love is higher than work, than yoga; than 
knowledge. Day and night think of God in the 
midst of all your activities. The daily necessary 

Methods of Attainment 301 

thoughts can all be thought through God. Eat 
to Him, drink to Him, sleep to Him, see Him in 
all. Let us open ourselves to the one Divine 
Actor, and let Him act and do nothing ourselves. 
Complete self -surrender is the only way. Put 
out self, lose it; forget it." 

Let us substitute for the words "God," and 
"Him," the one word Love, and see what it is 
that we are told to do. 

Love of doing good frees us from work, even 
though we labor from early dawn until the night 
falls; so, too, if we have some loved one for 
whom we strive, we can endure every hardship 
with equanimity, as far as our own comfort is 
concerned. Few human beings in the world to- 
day are so enmeshed in the personal self as to 
work merely for the gratification of selfish in- 
stincts. The hard-working man, whether laborer 
or banker, must have some one else for whom he 
struggles and strives; otherwise, he descends to 
a level below that of the brute. 

This is the reason for the family; the lodge; 
the community; the nation; there must be some 
motive other than the preservation of the personal 
self, in order to develop the higher quality of 
love which embraces the world, until the spirit 
of a Christ takes possession of the human and 
he would gladly offer himself a sacrifice to the 

302 Cosmic Consciousness 

world, if by so doing he could eliminate all the 
pain from the world. 

How natural it is to feel, when we see a loved 
one suffering, that we would gladly take upon 
ourselves that pain ; the heart fills with love until 
it aches with the burden of it; this love enlarged, 
expanded and impersonal in its application is the 
same love with which we are told to love God, 
and to "do all for Him." Do all for love of all 
the other hearts in the Universe that feel as we 
feel when their loved ones suffer that is the 
way to love God it is the only way we know. 
We only know divine love through human love; 
human love is divine when it is unselfish and 
eternal not fed upon carnality, but anchored in 
spiritual complement. 

The story of Abou Ben Adhem ("may his 
tribe increase") tells us how we may know who 
loves the Lord. The angel wrote the names of 
those who loved the Lord most faithfully and 
fully, and coming to Abou Ben Adhem asked 
if he should write his name, and received the 
reply that he could not say whether he deeply 
loved the Lord, but he was quite certain that 
the angel could "write me as one who loves his 
fellow-men." And, lo! when the list was made 
and the names of all who loved the Lord re- 
corded, Abou Ben Adhem's name headed the list. 

The Vedanta philosophy teaches non-attach- 

Methods of Attainment 303 

ment and Vivekananda himself says: "To love 
any one personally is bondage. Love all alike 
then all desires fall off." 

To love only the personal self of any one binds 
us to the sorrow of loss and of separation and 
disappointment; but to love any one spiritually 
is to establish a bond which can never be broken ; 
which insures reunion, and defies time and space. 

We can not love all alike, though we can love 
all humanity impersonally. All desires that have 
their root in the sense-conscious plane of expres- 
sion, will fall off when the heart is anchored in 
spiritual love ; but let it be understood that spirit- 
ual love is not opposed to human love ; we do not 
grow into spiritual love by denying the human, 
but by plussing the human. 

Spiritual consciousness is all that is good and 
pure and noble, and satisfying in the mortal and 
infinitely more. It is the love of personal self 
plus the Self the atman. 

Love is never unrequited. It is never wasted ; 
never foolish. Love is its own self-justification; 
if it be real love, and not vanity, or self admira- 
tion, misnamed, give it freely, and don't ask for 
a return; don't ask whither it leads; only ask 
if it is real if the love you feel is for the ob- 
ject of your love, or if it is for yourself for 
you to possess and to minister to your pleasure; 

304 Cosmic Consciousness 

ask whether it is from the senses or from the 

The way of the Bhakti yoga, is the way of love 
and service, because service to our fellow beings, 
is the inevitable complement of love. Where we 
truly love, we gladly serve. It has been said: 
"The chela treads a hair-line." That is to say, 
the initiate must be prepared to meet defeat at 
every turn. Not defeat of his object of attain- 
ment, but the personal defeat that so many seek 
in the delusion that the world's ideal of success 
is the real success. 

In conclusion we can only repeat what has 
been told and retold many times by all inspired 
ones, of whatever creed and race ; namely, think 
and act always from the inner Self, cheerfully 
taking the consequences of your choice. Let 
not the opinions of the illusory world of the 
senses balk and thwart you. Let not the "world- 
ly-wise" swerve you from your ideal and your 
faith in the final goal of your earthly pilgrimage 
the attainment of spiritual consciousness in 
your present personality; this is the meaning of 
immortality in the flesh Doubt not this. 

Make love your ideal; your guide; your final 
goal; look for the inner Self of all whom you 
meet. "Learn to look into the hearts of men," 
says the injunction in Light on the Path; dismiss 
from your mind all the accumulation of tradi- 

Methods of Attainment 305 

tional concepts and prejudices that are not 
grounded in love, and above all falter not, nor 
doubt no matter what seeming hardships you 
encounter in your earthly pilgrimage; they are 
but the Indian-clubs of your soul's gymnasium 
Experience. "Meet with Triumph and Disaster, 
and treat these two impostors just the same." 

Triumph and Disaster as seen with the eyes 
of sense-consciousness are both illusions; but 
don't for this reason cease your work. The 
phrase "you must work out your own salvation" 
Is true. So also, you must be willing to do your 
part in working out the salvation of the world; 
salvation means simply the realization of the 
spiritual Being that you are the attainment of 
that state of Illumination which guarantees im- 

Experience teaches one important lesson: Our 
sense-conscious life is filled with symbolic lan- 
guage if we have the inner eye of discernment. 
An unescapable truth is symbolized in our daily 
life by the evidence that we get nothing for noth- 
ing. Everything has its price. 

Immortality godhood, will not be handed to 
you on a silver salver; neither can any one with- 
hold it from you, if you desire it above all things. 
And, altho' it has its price, yet you can not buy 
it. A seeming paradox, but the Initiate will see 
k all clearly enough when the time come*. 

306 Cosmic Consciousness 

"He who would scale the Heights of Understand- 

From whence the soul looks out forever free 
Must falter not; nor fail; all truth demanding 
Though he bear the cross and know Gethsemane.'' 

The discouraged student says to himself: "If 
Truth demands such sorrow and sacrifice as this, 
I will not serve her. It is a false god that would 
so try his devotees." 

Have you not said it? 

The toll you pay is not to the Divine Self 
within, but to the "keepers of the threshold," 
that guard the entrance to the dwelling place of 
the Illuminati. 

Earthly lodges and brotherhoods are symbols 
of the higher initiations. 

There is a common mistake in the idea that the 
invisible states of consciousness are chaotic, or 
radically different from the visible. 

"As below r , so above, and as above so below" 
is an aphorism constantly held before the eyes 
of the would-be initiate. Each of whom, must 
interpret and know it for himself. 

If the student finds the Raja Yoga sutras dif- 
ficult of comprehension or of practice let him 
meditate upon the following mantrams: 

I know myself to be above the false concepts 
which assail the personal self that I appear to be. 

Methods of Attainment 307 

I am united with the All-seeing All-knowing Con- 

I abide in the consciousness of the Indestructi- 
bility and Omniscience of Being. I rest secure 
and content in the integrity of Cosmic Law which 
shall lead my soul unto its own, guaranteeing im- 
mortal love. "5- ^-^i *^ ^^^-f m ^i. 

I unite myself with that Power that makes for 
righteousness. Therefore nothing shall dismay 
or defeat me, because I am at-one with the limit- 
less areas of spiritual consciousness. 

My mind is the dynamic center through which 
my soul manifests the Love which illumines the 
world. Only good can come to the world through 

Much that is called Mental Science, New 
Thought and Christian Science has for its aim 
and ideal, avoidance of all that does not make 
for personal well-being, and worldly success. 
Avoid this ideal; distrust this motive. Be ever 
willing to sacrifice the personal self to the Real 
Self, if need be. If the ideal is truly the desire 
for illumination, and not for self -gratification, 
the mind will soon learn to distinguish between 
the lesser and the greater. Have you longed for 
perfect, satisfying human love? 

You shall have it plussed a thousand fold in 
immortal srv*. f aal union with your god. 


In the foregoing chapters we have set forth 
only a few of the facts and instances which the 
inquirer will find, if he but seek, of the reality 
of a supra-conscious faculty, no less actual, 
than are the faculties of the sense-conscious 
human, which type forms the average of the race. 

This faculty, or rather we should say these fac- 
ulties because they find expression in many 
ways, through avenues correlative to the phys- 
ical senses prove the existence of a realm of 
consciousness, far above the planes of the mortal 
or sense-conscious man, and transcending the re- 
gion known as the astral and psychic areas of 

All who have reported their experiences in con- 
tacting this illimitable region unite in the essen- 
tial points of experience, namely: 

The experience is indescribable. 

It confers an unshakable conviction of immor- 

It discloses the fact that we are now living in 
this supra-conscious realm; that it is not some- 
thing which we acquire after death ; it is not to be. 

This realm is characterized by a beautiful, won- 
derfu r radiant iridescent light. 

Methods of Attainment 309 

"O green fire of life, pulse of the world, O 

It fills the heart with a great and all-embracing 
love, establishing a realization of the silent Broth- 
erhood of the Cosmos, demolishing all barriers of 
race and color and class and condition. 

Illumination is inclusive. It knows no separa- 

It announces the fact that every person is right 
from his point of view. 

"That nothing walks with aimless feet ; that no 
one life shall be destroyed ; or cast as rubbish on 
the void; when God hath made the pile complete." 

That Life and Love and Joy unutterable are 
the reward of the seeker ; and that there is no one 
and only path. 

All systems; all creeds; all methods that are 
formulated and upheld by altruism are righteous, 
and that the Real is the spiritual the external is 
a dream from which the world is awakening to 
the consciousness of the spiritual man the at- 
man the Self that is ageless; birthless; death- 
less divine. On all sides are evidences that the 
race is entering upon this new consciousness. 

So many are weary with the strife and struggle 
and noise of the sense-conscious life. 

The illusions of possessions which break in our 
hands as we grasp them; of empty titles of so- 
called "honor," builded upon prowess in war; 

310 Cosmic Consciousness 

the feverish race after wealth cold as the marble 
palaces which it builds to shut in its worship- 
pers all these things are becoming skeleton-like 
and no longer deceive those who are even remotely 
discerning the new birth. 

The new heraldry will have for its badge of 
royalty "Love and Service to my Fellow Beings," 
displacing the "Dieu et mon Droit" of the anciea* 

The Dawn is here. Are you awake? 
" In the heart of To-day is the word of 

The Builders of Joy are the Children of Sorrow/'' 


The Conquest of 




Why Men Fail 



The Causes of Failure are so Intimately 
a Part of Man That He Overlooks Them 


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The man who does not want something is in 
a bad way. Everybody wants sometliing 
Friends, Money, Influence, Position, Success, 
Mental Virility, Self-Reliance, Initiative, 
Courage, Vitality, Youth, A Fascinating Per- 
sonality, Opportunity, Congenial Surround- 
ings, what is immaterial. This 78 page book 
gives the secret for the first time in eleven 


Why man does not get what he wants. What makes him want 
things. The moment man ceases to want that moment he ceases to 
progress. Why wants should not be surpassed. Anything really 
wanted by the human mind can be had. Wants are the real driving 
power of the world. Man grows according to his wants. 


The man that gets what he wants. The negative, cowardly atti- 
tude adopted by most people makes them failures. Few minds are 
fully awake to their own possibilities. The "self-made men" have 
been rien of wants. The vital secret of having your wants fulfilled, 
of getting what you want. What one seeks, comes to one. often to 
one's own undoing. 


The person that is a medley of conflicting wants. The real cause 
of unrealized goals. How many create violent mental storms 
which distort their vision. The Advanced Thinker is not moulded 
by circumstances. How the pov;ers of the mind are divided and 
their force dissipated. How to cultivate our wants and make them 
fruitful. Eow to avoid unwisdom in the direction of our "wants." 



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