Cosmic Consciousness, by Richard Maurice Bucke, , at sacred-texts.com
Born 1821. Entered Cosmic Consciousness 1859, aet. thirty-nine years. Was a Methodist and in high standing in his church. He prayed fervently for light, for assurance of salvation, etc. Seemed no use, so he ceased praying—then light broke gradually; no subjective light, but a steady, continuous intellectual illumination, and with it a deeper and deeper feeling of moral peace, rest and happiness. This intellectual illumination and moral peace steadily grew until the whole man was transformed. He became an acknowledged authority among enlightened and able men on all spiritual matters. Consciousness of immortality came shortly after intellectual and moral new birth. It really came with the others, but took longer to attain to its full growth. He had had the hope of immortality all along, in common with other members of his church, but never the thing itself or anything approaching it. Now (that is, since illumination) he does not look forward to immortality, but is conscious that he has attained to it, entered into possession and enjoyment of it. He was born in England; was a weaver; in America has for years been an undertaker. Is, from the point of view of the schools, entirely uneducated. The present writer passed several hours in his company, about 1890, and was impressed by his intellectual enlightenment, but far more by his perfect happiness, his absolute moral peace.
An informant, himself an able and thoughtful man, a dweller in a great capital, who all his life has seen, heard and read the best men and books, and who for years has been an earnest seeker for the truth, saw J. B. first in 1870 and has been intimate with him ever since. He says: "I had not heard him talk ten minutes before I knew that I was now for the first time in the presence of a
man who had what I wanted. I have never met a man who was so mighty in the Scriptures. He knew the Bible almost by heart and had the same inspiration as Paul and John. There never was a time when I met J. B. that he did not by a word, a sentence, or a long talk, make it clear that he stood on a rock of solid truth."