The immediate future of our race, the writer thinks, is indescribably hopeful. There are at the present moment impending over us three revolutions, the least of which would dwarf the ordinary historic upheaval called by that name into absolute insignificance. They are: (1) The material, economic and social revolution which will depend upon and result from the establishment or aerial navigation. (2) The economic and social revolution which will abolish individual ownership and rid the earth at once of two immense evils-riches and poverty. And (3) The psychical revolution of which there is here in question.
Either of the first two would (and will) radically change the conditions of, and greatly uplift, human life; but the third will do more for humanity than both of the former, where their importance multiplied by hundreds or even thousands. The three operating (as they will) together will literally create a new heaven and a new earth. Old things will be done away and all will become new. Before aerial navigation national boundaries, tariffs, and perhaps distinctions of language will fade out. Great cities will no longer have reason for being and will melt away. The men who now dwell in cities will inhabit in summer the mountains and the sea shores; building often in airy and beautiful spots, now almost or quite inaccessible, commanding the most extensive and magnificent views. In the winter they will probably dwell in communities of moderate size.
As the herding together, as now, in great cities, so the isolation of the worker of the soil will become a thing of the past. Space will be practically annihilated, there will be no crowding together and no enforced solitude. Before socialism’s crushing toil, cruel anxiety, insulting and demoralizing riches, poverty and its ills will become subjects for historical novels.
In contact with the flux of cosmic consciousness all religions known and named to-day will be melted down. The human soul will be revolutionized. Religion will absolutely dominate the race. It will not depend on tradition. It will not be believed or disbelieved. It will not be a part of life, belonging to certain hours, times, occasions. It will not be in sacred books nor in the mouths of priests. It will not dwell in churches and meetings and forms and days. Its life will not be in prayers, hymns nor discourses. It will not depend on special revelations, on the words of gods who came to teach, nor any bible or bibles.
It will have no mission to save men from their sins to secure them entrance to heaven. It will not teach a future immortality nor future glories, for immortality and all glory will exist in the here and now. The evidence of immortality will live in every heart as sight in every eye. Doubt of God and eternal life will be as impossible as is now doubt of existence; the evidence of each will be the same. Religion will govern every minute of every day of all life. Churches, priests, forms, creeds, prayers, all agents, all intermediaries between individual man and God will be permanently replaced by direct unmistakable intercourse. Sin will no longer exist nor will salvation be desired. Men will not worry about death or the future, about the kingdom of heaven, about what may come with and after the cessation of life of the present body. Each soul will feel and know itself to be immortal, will feel and know that the entire universe with all its good and with all its beauty is for it and belongs to it forever.
The world peopled by men possessing cosmic consciousness will be as far removed from the world of to-day as this is from the world as it was before the advent of self consciousness.
There is a tradition, probably very old, to the effect that the first man was innocent and happy until he ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That having eaten there-of he became aware that he was naked and ashamed. Further, that then sin was born into the world, the miserable sense whereof replaced man’s former feeling of innocence. That then and not till then man began to cover his body . Stranger than all (so it seems to us), the story runs, that along with this change or immediately following upon it there came into man’s mind the remarkable conviction which had never since left it but which has been kept alive by its own inherent vitality and by the teaching of all true seers, prophets and poets that this accursed thing which has bitten man’s heel (laming him, hindering his progress and especially making this halting and painful) should eventually be crushed and subjugated by man himself-by the rising up within him of a Saviour-the Christ.
Man’s progenitor was a creature (an animal) walking erect but with simple consciousness. He was ( as to-day the animals of the so called lesser species) incapable of sin or of the feeling of sin and equally incapable of shame (at least in a human sense). He had no feeling or knowledge of good and evil. He as yet knew nothing of what we call work and had never labored.From this state he fell (or rose) into self consciousness, his eyes were opened, He knew that he was naked, he felt shame, acquired the sense of sin (became in fact what is called a sinner) and learnt to do certain things in order to encompass certain ends-that is, he learned to labour.
For weary ions this condition has lasted-the sense of sin still haunts his pathway-by the sweat of his brow he still eats bread-he is still ashamed. Where is the deliverer, the Saviour? Who or what? The Saviour of man is Cosmic Consciousness-in St Paul’s language-the Christ. The cosmic sense (in whatever mind it appears) crushes the serpent’s head-destroys sin, shame, the sense of good and evil as contrasted, one with the other, and will annihilate labour, though not human activity.
The fact that there came to man along with or immediately after his acquisition of self consciousness the inchoate premonition of another and higher consciousness which was yet, at that time, many millennium in the future is surely most noteworthy though not necessarily surprising. We have in biology many analogous facts such as premonition of, and preparation for, by the individual of states and circumstances of which he has had no experience and we see the same thing in the maternal instinct in the very young girl.
The universal scheme is woven in one piece and is permeable to consciousness or (and especially) to sub-consciousness throughout and in every direction. The universe is a vast, grandiose, terrible, multiform yet uniform evolution. The section which especially concerns us is that which extends from brute to man, from man to demigod, and constitutes the imposing drama of humanity-its scene, the surface of the planet-its time a million years.
Reference: Richard Maurice Bucke: Cosmic Consciousness: