UFO Conjectures

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Cosmic Consciousness and the Real Reality

I suspect that most of you are familiar with Richard Maurice Bucke’s Cosmic Consciousness: A  Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind [E.P. Dutton and Company, NY, 1901/1956, my copy].
Bucke’s work is monumentally important but seems to have been lost in the vast array of books dealing with “consciousness.”

Dr. Bucke (he was a medical doctor), in Part One of the work, provides three kinds of awareness or consciousness: Simple Consciousness (attributed to the upper half of all living things), Self Consciousness (the awareness by mankind of Earthly things), and Cosmic Consciousness (an awareness of the life and order of the Universe, the cosmos.
Dr. Bucke offers list of those who have had the epiphany he calls Cosmic Consciousness, including notables such as Gautama, the Buddha, Jesus the Christ, St. Paul, Plotinus, Dante, William Blake, Balzac, Walt Whitman, et al. and lesser or “imperfect” lights: Moses, Socrates, Pascal, Spinoza, Thoreau, Wordsworth, Pushkin, et al.

Some persons (men and a few women, noted by initials, not their full names) are also included.

The persons “named” or noted were cited by events in their lives or, in the case of Bucke’s near contemporaries, detailed descriptions of what they experienced.

One notable lapse is the legendary “epiphany” of St. Thomas Aquinas, who was allegedly seen levitating, which is an apocryphal tale, as I see it, but who did have a “cosmic consciousness” moment that caused him to say that all he experienced and wrote about in his daily, real life was “as straw in the wind” and he stopped his theological discourses accordingly and removed himself from his academic endeavors.
Wikipedia [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Aquinas] puts it this way:

“On one occasion, at 1273 at the Dominican convent of Naples in the chapel of Saint Nicholas, after Matins, Thomas lingered and was seen by the sacristan Domenic of Caserta to be levitating in prayer with tears before an icon of the crucified Christ. Christ said to Thomas, "You have written well of me, Thomas. What reward would you have for your labor?" Thomas responded, "Nothing but you, Lord." After this exchange something happened, but Thomas never spoke of it or wrote it down.

“On 6 December 1273, another mystical experience took place. While he was celebrating Mass, he experienced an unusually long ecstasy. Because of what he saw, he abandoned his routine and refused to dictate to his socius Reginald of Piperno. When Reginald begged him to get back to work, Thomas replied: "Reginald, I cannot, because all that I have written seems like straw to me" (mihi videtur ut palea). As a result, the Summa Theologica would remain uncompleted. What exactly triggered Thomas' change in
behavior is believed by Catholics to have been some kind of supernatural experience of God.”

Aquinas “saw” something while in his ecstasy, something that was so profound and transcendental that it took him away from his personal existential life and theological speculations.

Bucke doesn’t mention Aquinas but Bucke’s discourse on St. Paul’s “illumination” is of a kind like that of Thomas Aquinas.

Advocates of hallucinogenic drugs try to compare “cosmic consciousness” with what users of such drugs experience. The “revelations” of drug users are far apart in description and actuality from a cosmic consciousness experience.

Near Death Experiences are said to mimic “cosmic consciousness.” They don’t.

UFO abductees (experiencers) are said, by some, to have had a cosmic consciousness experience. They haven’t.

Cosmic Consciousness is a transformational event, so profound for the person having such an awareness that it is life-altering and indescribable.

No UFO contactee professed anything like that proffered by those who’ve had a cosmic consciousness epiphany.

There are other realities, as most of you accept, I think.

And some persons from the past and near present have seen one of those realities, a reality so profoundly transcendental that it shook them to their core, causing a new and overwhelming insight to what is real and what isn’t.

Has any UFO witness had such an experience? Or an NDE participant? Not exactly.

But what is it that is seen? An hallucinogenic panorama? Or a glimpse of another dimension or universe? Or the “real reality” that Plato discusses in his cave mataphor?

How can we know?


History [and UFO reports] have been Fictive from the very Beginning?

“Fake news” is not new.

Ancient events were turned into fictive, myth-generating stories at the outset of oral and recorded accounts by primitive mankind.
A book I just received, The Story of Writing; Alphabets, Hieroglyphs, & Pictograms (Second Edition) by Andrew Robinson [Thames & Hudson, London, 1995/2007] had this:

“ … there is … a dark side to the spread of writing that is present throughout its history … Writing has been used to tell lies, as well as truth … to make minds lazy as well as to stretch them.” [Page 8]

“Socrates … writing in his story of the Egyptian god Thoth, the inventor of writing, who [was told by a king] … You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom … when they will seem to know many things, but are for the most part ignorant.” [Page 8]

We all know (or should) that Homer’s account of the Trojan War, in The Iliad and Odysseus, became laden with accretions over the course of its (oral) telling, ending up fraught with extraneous exaggerations and amendments when set down:

“In antiquity, the Greeks applied the Iliad and the Odyssey as the bases of pedagogy. Literature was central to the educational-cultural function of the itinerant rhapsode, who composed consistent epic poems from memory and improvisation, and disseminated them, via song and chant...

Venetus A, copied in the 10th century AD, is the oldest fully extant manuscript of the Iliad.”


And we know that The Hebrew Bible (The Holy Bible of Christians also) is a compilation of legends, not reportage, per se, [source Ginzberg] as are the mythical tales of the Greeks, and all other cultures of early mankind.

What is this penchant for elaboration or exaggerated representation that men and women need to indulge in?

(The Creative Ice Age Brain: Cave Art in the Light of Neuroscience by Barbara Olins Alpert , noted earlier here, seems to indicate that cave art, a form of “history writing,” shows reality as it was perceived by Neolithic man, but that’s not the case at all. Cave art, like writing or the oral tradition of history, is also encumbered by alterations of reality, as is art throughout the ages.)

It seems that all accounts of events, including news accounts, are marred by biases of memory or design.

Humans are seemingly flawed when it comes to relating events, even those they are privy to.

There are reasons for this, which I won’t go into right now, but we can assume that UFO reports that have accumulated over the years, in the modern era also, are replete with errant information.

Yes, people try to report their sightings and experiences correctly, but they can’t. The process for “reportage” is flummoxed by an inherent human flaw in its story-telling.

So, UFO buffs need to step back and take UFO accounts with a grain of salt.

What is the truth of things? We can never really know, can we?