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Richard Maurice Bucke   Richard Maurice Bucke

Richard Maurice Bucke was born March 18, 1837, in Methwold, a village on the edge of the Norfolk fens, in England. When he was one year old, his father moved to Canada and Richard was subsequently educated at London Grammar School. He studied medicine at McGill University, graduating in 1862.

He continued his studies in England and France, before returning to Canada in 1864 to take up medical practice. In 1876 he became medical superintendent of the insane asylum in Hamilton, Ontario, and in 1878 was medical superintendent of the insane asylum in London, Ontario.

Around 1872 Bucke had what became for him a life-changing mystical experience which he called an ‘intellectual illumination.’ He spent the next thirty years seeking out other people who had a similar experience and reflecting upon the significance of such altering of consciousness. The literary result of his study, the book Cosmic Consciousness (1901), became a classic work on the subject. He theorized that a higher consciousness was a natural faculty in man at a certain state of development.

Bucke passed away after slipping on a step on February 19, 1902, in London, Ontario.

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Cosmic Consciousness   Cosmic Consciousness
Richard Maurice Bucke
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