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


J. B. B.

J. B. B., Doctor of Medicine, born 1817. Entered into Cosmic Consciousness 1855, at the age of thirty-eight years. An informant says of him: "He is not a refined man," and he goes on: "It is one of the strange things in this whole matter that the attainment of the truth seems to leave a man in this respect about as it finds him. Dr. B. was an example. He seemed content to live in a cheap, bare house, and he rather courted coarseness in dress, talk and life." As regards coarseness in dress, food and surroundings, our informant need not have looked upon J. B. B. as so exceptional. He might have compared him with Tilleinathan Swamy [56: 142], with Edward Carpenter, or even with Jesus, Mohammed or Walt Whitman. "At the same time," our informant continues, "touch him on the subject of the inner vision and he was alive to the core. He had been a spiritualist, but after illumination, while seeming to know that much that spiritualism taught was true, its importance was dwarfed by the much greater truths to which he had access." "He once told me," the informant continues, "a curious thing: He said he died, his spirit left his body for twenty minutes, and he looked at, hovered over, and finally went back into it. He told this in a grave, convincing way,

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which caused in the hearer a gruesome feeling. No one who heard him tell it could help believing it."

Next: Chapter 18. Henry David Thoreau