THE MAN-GOD WHOM
ADVANCED THOUGHT PUBLISHING COMPANY
169 N. State St., Chicago, III., U. S. A.
L. N. FOWLER & CO.,
1, Imperial Arcade, Ludgate Circut,
ADVANCED THOUGHT PUB. CO.
THE NEW BIRTH; WHAT IT IS; INSTANCES DESCRIBED
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
MAN'S RELATION TO GOD AND TO HIS FELLOW-MEN
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
AREAS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
The Divine spark. Consciousness the essence of everything. Axiomg
of universal Occultism. The great central light The teach-
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
SELF-NESS AND SELFLESSNESS
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
INSTANCES OF ILLUMINATION AND ITS AFTER
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
EXAMPLES OF COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS, WHO HAVE
FOUNDED NEW SYSTEMS OF RELIGION
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
MOSES, THE LAW-GIVER
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
GAUTAMA THE COMPASSIONATE
Prenatal conditions influencing Buddha. His strange temperament.
His peculiar trances and their effect upon him. Why Buddha
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-
JESUS OF NAZARETH
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
PAUL OF TARSUS
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
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
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
MODERN EXAMPLES OF INTELLECTUAL COSMIC
CONSCIOUSNESS: EMERSON; TOLSTOI;
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;
LEO TOLSTOI RUSSIAN PHILOSOPHER
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
HONORE DE BALZAC
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-
ILLUMINATION AS EXPRESSED IN THE POETICAL
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
METHODS OF ATTAINMENT: THE WAY
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
THE SELF AND SYMBOL
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
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.
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
"Om," therefore, is the word we use to
express this Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omni-
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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-
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,
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
"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)
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
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 NEW BIRTH: WHAT IT IS:
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
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-
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
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
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
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
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
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
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-
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
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
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,
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,
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-
"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.
"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
MAN'S RELATION TO GOD AND TO
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
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
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,
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
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.
WHAT IS NIRVANA?
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
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,
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
"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
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
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
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.
AREAS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
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
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
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
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-
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
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
Soul (individual) "I" 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
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
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
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
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
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-
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
"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
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.
SELF-NESS AND SELFLESSNESS
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
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
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-
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
INSTANCES OF ILLUMINATION
AND ITS EFFECTS
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
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*
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
"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
"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
"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
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
"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
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
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.
EXAMPLES OF COSMIC CONSCIOUS-
NESS, WHO HAVE FOUNDED NEW
SYSTEMS OF RELIGION
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 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,
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
MOSES, THE LAW-GIVER
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
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-
"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
The "burning bush" is synonymous with the
"tree of life" which is ever alive with the "fires
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-
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
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
GAUTAMA THE COMPASSIONATE
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-
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,
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
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
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-
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
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
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
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."
JESUS OF NAZARETH
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
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
"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
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-
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
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
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 ?"
"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
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
"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
"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.
PAUL OF TARSUS
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
"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
"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
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.
"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
"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-
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.
"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.
"LOVE NEVER FAILETH.
"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 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
First of all, they might know because:
LOVE NEVER FAILETH.
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
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-
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
THE FIRST FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT, even
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,
THINK ON THESE THINGS/'
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.
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
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
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
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-
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-
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
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
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.
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,
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,
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
"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
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-
"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
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,
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
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-
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
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
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-
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-
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.
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
MODERN EXAMPLES OF INTELLEC-
TUAL COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS: EM-
ERSON; TOLSTOI; BALZAC
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
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,
"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
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
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
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.
LEO TOLSTOI: RUSSIAN PHILOSOPHER
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
"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
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.
HONORE DE BALZAC
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-
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
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
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
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
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.
ILLUMINATION AS EXPRESSED IN THE
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
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
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.
"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
"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
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
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.
"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
None has ever yet adored or worshipped half
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
ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON
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.
"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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
WILLIAM SHARP "FIONA MACLEOD"
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
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
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
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."
"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."
METHODS OF ATTAINMENT: THE WAY
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;
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
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
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
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
"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
"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
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
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
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/''
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