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Cosmic Consciousness, by Richard Maurice Bucke, [1901], at


Alexander Pushkin.

Born May 26, 1799; died January 29, 1837.

If Pushkin traced the following lines after his own personal experience he was almost certainly a case of Cosmic Consciousness. Be this as it may, their descriptive power makes them

p. 290

worth quoting. The translation into English is by Dana, of the "New York Sun":

Tormented by thirst of the spirit,
I was dragging myself through a gloomy forest,*
When a six-winged seraph
At the cross-roads appeared to me.
With fingers light as a dream
My eyes he touched,
And my eyes opened wide,
Like those of a frightened she eagle.
My ears he touched,
And roaring and noise filled them;
And I heard the trembling of the heavens;
And the high flight of the angels,
And the movement of the creatures beneath the sea,
And the growing of the grass in the valleys!
And he laid hold of my lips,
And tore out my sinful tongue—
Sinful, frivolous and cunning;
And the sting of a wise serpent,
Between my unconscious lips,
With bloody right hand he planted.
And he cut through my breast with a sword,
And took out the trembling heart,
And a coal blazing and flaming,
Into the open breast he thrust.
Like a corpse I lay in the desert,*
And the voice of God called me:
Rise up, Prophet, and see, and understand!
Filled full of My Will,
Going forth over sea and land,
Set men's hearts afire with the Word.

* Dante's dark forest in which he was lost.

Compare Isaiah's vision.

* The dazed condition which is so common following illumination.

Intellectual illumination.

Next: Chapter 15. Ralph Waldo Emerson