Cosmic Consciousness

Posted on February 13, 2018 by Robert Ringer


Each of us discovers his own path to what is commonly referred to as a “higher consciousness” or “heightened state of awareness.”  For me, the path opened up in my early twenties in New York City.

It was a very active, very exciting time of my life, filled with high hopes, eternal youth, and unlimited opportunities.  I experienced new things every day, and I constantly thirsted for more.  I was passionate about my work and was always on the go.  Sleep was an occasional distraction; gourmet dining was a corned beef sandwich at a Lower East Side deli.

I didn’t have any money to speak of, so I got to know the less trendy parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens pretty well.  I could not have imagined a more exhilarating activity than walking around Greenwich Village, taking the subway to Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, or browsing at Macy’s on 34th Street (at a time when only New York could boast of having a Macy’s store).

I usually stayed at the old Prince George Hotel on 28th Street, as it was inexpensive and more than suitable for my needs at the time.  Best of all, there was an automat right across the street, and when it came to dining treats, the automat was just a notch below my favorite deli.

As exciting as those times were for me, I probably did not fully appreciate the magnificence of it all.  There was a feeling of urban spirituality that I certainly will never again experience — first, because I will never again be in my mid-twenties and, second, because the world was much younger than today, much more wholesome and innocent.

To be sure, the hippie revolution was in full bloom, but most of the certitudes that formed the foundation for American culture were still in place.  I had never heard such terms as “illegal immigrant,” “transgender,” or “global warming.”  College and pro football players were clean-cut, all-American role models, and, for the most part, television networks reported the news fairly and objectively.

To be sure, life wasn’t always fair to everyone, but, for better or worse, it was a time of certitudes.  It was comforting to know that Western culture stood strong on the foundation of a generally accepted code of conduct.

This was my world when I discovered New York City in my early twenties.  I didn’t give it much thought at the time, but I now realize that I was in an elevated state of consciousness as a result of my incredibly active life.

Thus it was that on a beautiful, sunny day in November, I was driving on the Grand Central Parkway on my way to JFK International Airport.  My mind was exploding with a thousand and one thoughts about my life, both business and personal.

Then, just as I began steering my car south onto the Van Wyke Expressway, everything about my life seemed to coalesce into sharp focus in my consciousness.  It was as though I were being given the cognitive means to solve all my business and personal problems simultaneously.  A sense of being connected to an infinite source of power came over me.

Instead of having to exert the usual intense mental effort to sort out my thoughts, every item that was significant to me at the time — perhaps forty or fifty in number — instantly became clearly fixed in my mind in such an orderly fashion that I felt a sort of omniscience.

It seemed as though a bright light had suddenly brought my thoughts out of the dark recesses of my subconscious mind and allowed me to consciously focus on all of them simultaneously.  It was a feeling of immense power, incredible joy, and an inner ecstasy that made me feel almost immortal.

I do not recall exactly how long my euphoric state of heightened awareness lasted, but I would estimate that it was perhaps two or three minutes.  Since that time, I have had similar experiences on a handful of occasions, each of them lasting only a few seconds to a few minutes, but nothing to match the intensity of that unexpected blink of heightened consciousness I experienced on my way to JFK Airport many years ago.

My experience became more understandable years later when I read a book titled Cosmic Consciousness, by Dr. Richard Maurice Bucke, published way back in 1901.  Dr. Bucke was a graduate of McGill Medical School and a prominent psychiatrist in Canada.

At age thirty-six, he experienced an “illumination” that lasted only a few seconds, but during which time he claimed to have learned more than he had in all his years of academic study. Dr. Bucke ultimately came to believe that his experience was the emergence of a new faculty in man that takes simple consciousness to a new level of awareness.  He postulated that such historical figures as Jesus, Buddha, Dante, and even Walt Whitman possessed advanced consciousness on a consistent basis, while in the rest of us this aptitude is still evolving.

If Dr. Bucke was right in his assessment, the implications are enormous.  It would mean that human beings, through the phenomenon of free will, have the power to break through their mental paradigms and accomplish things they have previously believed were not possible — in their careers, in their personal relationships, and, above all, in spiritual matters.

Which is where high-energy activity comes in.  Who is more likely to succeed, the guy sitting on his couch, watching television, guzzling beer, and stuffing himself with taco chips … or the person who’s out and about and actively engaging the world with a high level of energy?  It seems self-evident that the atoms in a person’s brain vibrate at a much higher rate of speed when he’s actively living life than when he’s sedentary.

In this regard, Lee Iacocca, the legendary automobile industry innovator, once said something that has served me well over the years.  Iacocca explained that whenever he was feeling down, the one thing he found that always picked him up and got him back into high gear was rolling up his sleeves and immersing himself in work.

Plain and simple, when you raise your energy level, good things happen.  That’s because when you take action, the atoms in your brain vibrate more rapidly, which in turn makes it possible to telepathically draw to yourself the things, people, and circumstances you need to accomplish your objectives.

And if you raise your energy level high enough, you may, on occasion, even find yourself in a heightened state of awareness — call it “cosmic consciousness” — that could forever change your life.  I feel privileged to have experienced this phenomenon, and all I can tell you is that it’s an awesome experience.

Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

54 responses to “Cosmic Consciousness”

  1. Steve V. says:

    I've had similar experiences, but I chalk them up to an active brain simply making cohesive sense of various aspects of life. Nothing mystical about it.

  2. ellis baxter says:

    Just being alive is cosmic.

  3. Richard Lee Van Der says:

    In spite of what certain if not most materially minded readers will think here, after being let out, however temporarily, of my beloved college teaching career in the mid-70s, and after a confusing transition period, I had "inner experiences" that led to a full career as a touring psychic counselor and healing channel. I KNOW what you are talking about here!
    My work (They through me) was AUTHENTIC, by the way!)

  4. JJ Martinelli says:

    I am midway through a book I am reading when your email reached me. “The Map of Heaven” authored by Eben Alexander MD. He is a Duke /Harvard trained neurosurgeon who had a NDE — near death experience. This book will help explain to you what you experienced and why. Incredible book as well as his first book “Proof of Heaven”
    As an aside I have been a fan of yours for a long time. Keep writing!!

  5. Bob says:

    When you are young, you have no idea of the wealth of information that is available to kick start your thinking.
    You don't know that you don't know… Almost scary,

  6. JJ Martinelli says:

    Please read them — You will see this wonderful world full of miracles with a new perspective. Happy reading :)

  7. larajf says:

    Momentum is a wonderful thing….and it's good to stay so busy that you can't focus on being upset, offended, etc.

  8. Rick G. says:

    I seemed to have experienced this the first time I read your book, Looking Out For Number One, back in the mid-seventies. Back then, I was just working a temporary job in Cincinnati, unsure about what I wanted to do in life, and still not dry behind the ears as they would say, on how the Real World really is and how it really works. At that time in life I felt aimless, somewhat confused, and without direction. During lunch time at work I did my occasional stroll through B. Dalton Booksellers (no longer around) bookstore and, on that one fine day, I came upon a paperback book titled, Looking Out For Number One by Robert J. Ringer. I remember slowly thumbing through it in awe and immensely intrigued by all the theories in it about how to do one's life and what life is really like, not that unreality garbage they subject you to and for you to accept and believe in school. I remember immediately buying it and rushing back to work. Later while going home using public transit, I immediately began reading the book and I began feeling to be in an alternate universe, so to speak. Nothing else around me mattered. Now I found an entirely new door that has just opened for me to actually affect real and permanent change in my life, like none else I had ever experienced before. It became a major turning point in me, my life, and how I can see and deal with how the real world really is, without feeling a constant helpless victim in a fantasy world anymore. And I began to feel an inner hostility toward my former professors and instructors for their training me to become their disciple of Unrealism. In the course of weeks and months to come, I read and re-read the book over and over while implementing Robert Ringer's theories into my life and being constantly amazed and astounded about how well they really work! I still have that first copy I bought. And the price of it brand new was $2.95! That was back at a time when paperbacks were never ten and twenty dollars as they are today. Oh how I yearn to be back in those days again. The next book I bought was Winning Through Intimidation….. This year I wholeheartedly intend to do a "start from zero" again on this Looking Out For Number One (and Robert Ringer's other great works) and my subsequent philosophy and hope to re-experience that mind-opening, heightened sense of awareness again, just as I felt back when I first discovered this book and Robert Ringer. It will be like being "born again". This time though, I won't make the mistake of trying to celebrate with anyone from the Discouragement Fraternity! Big, big mistake. Remember them? Well, I try not to. And finally but not lastly, thank you Robert Ringer for your outstanding life-changing masterpiece and all the other great works you created over the decades!

  9. notpropagandized says:

    I would say work and thinking in tandem are revealing, thinking strategically on matters of much higher significance than simple work and effort, even drudgery. We are all vessels with potential to effect important events for our Maker. It's exciting to ponder and more so to execute. Great message.

  10. James says:

    Now that I think about it, I think I had a little illumination experience after I first experienced the real Internet around 1995.

    I'll never forget the epiphany of knowing without a doubt the Internet would be a big thing and how mind expanding it was.

    I remember driving back from the library feeling like a whole new world was opened up. Fast forward to today and I'm thinking social media is what is rotting away the world. Ha!

  11. WJK says:

    I too have had this experience. It's where everything makes sense and I felt whole for the first time. I was angry at the world and fighting for my very life before that moment. Now, I have a much deeper understanding and quiet acceptance of other people, their human failings and of situations beyond my control. My spirit is at peace.

  12. May I post the full article in This is a Blog dedicated to the subject, which, by the way is being taken very seriously by scientists in many fields around the world. Oxford University passed its archive of 6,000 case histories to Wales University for further study under a US Templeton Foundation fund. There's a wealth of readable public scientific literature on the subject, not the least of which suggest mere physical science has come to an impenetrable abyss as a tool for understanding human destiny. It's suggested experiences like ours are at the forefront of human evolution.

    Does your article suggest the stirrings of a mainstream breakthrough?

    Best wishes,

    Keith Hancock, publisher, mystic

  13. Dr Bucke and Dr Marsha Sinetar ("Ordinary People as Mystics and Monks") both suggested the possibility people with these higher experiences are a new species.

    Best wishes,

  14. Bruce Fraser says:

    I think you are referring to "KATZ DELI" where the corned beef and other sandwiches were the biggest and best in the city. My favorite was roast beef on rye with a pickle on the side. The goof old days are long gone but remembered for a relaxing moment.

    Your mental conscious can elevate in to a proven "state of flow". Athletes, rock climbers, scientists and many other people have reported periods of "flow" to get to the next level of endurance or mental solving ideas to propel them into a new realm of a almost spiral connection. Read FLOW by Mihaly Czikszentmihaly and discover his analysis of the flow process and its power to excel. I keep the book by my bed for inspiration. Thanks Bob

    • Jim Hallett says:

      That book was just recomended to me in the chapter I am reading in VIBE by Robyn Openshaw aka The Green Smoothie Girl. I am also remindex of quotes by the geat Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein about the true secrets to the universe are energy and vibration. It is a shame our decadent culture in the USA has turned us into low energy, negative vibration people. We can avoid being a victim of such, and articles like this by RR are a good antidote. I plan to check out the Bucke book he mentioned if it is still in print.

  15. Heidi McCauley says:

    Fascinating subject. Thank you. And Katz Deli is still there on E. Houston Street.

  16. Jim Hallett says:

    Some people are put off by expressions like cosmic consciousness, spirituality, and mysticism, but those are just words to describe a non physical experience, which we all have had. Our eternal selves are much more than a brief physical experience on Earth. Thanks for sharing this glimpse from your earlier life. The physical reality has indeed changed much from then, but keeping our minds a tive in worthwhile pursuits and spendi g most our time with high energy, positive folks can shield us from the depraved culture that surround us. Thanks for a great energy boost, Robert!

  17. Serge says:

    Activity of the mind followed by relaxation of the mind seems to help me acquire those special moments of creativity and solutions. To get the really special aha moments rarely happens for me. I wish i had the ingredients to that secret recipe.

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    Therefore it remained that on a lovely, sunlit day, I was heavy on the Outstanding Dominant Throughway on my way to JFK Global Airport. My mind was explosion by a thousand and one opinions around my life, both commercial and individual. Best Essay River Company in UK

  19. Martin Maher says:

    This is an interesting and relevant addition to what RR is talking about:

  20. Terence J says:

    CC is akin to a meditative state. The chaotic mind – full of the past trying to make sense of an uncertain future – is stilled, and the NOW ( the Being) is experienced. In that stillness is observed peace, creativity, beauty and happiness. There is no judgement, just acceptance. No ego – the linear gap that connects the past to the future. The truth is seen, and life altering decisions are possible.

  21. ashleykornee says:

    You share your personal experience so openly, I appreciate it. It's really interesting story of your life, thanks for sharing it. And your writing style is just perfect. I'm writing for my blog on getacademichelp following your example.

  22. Jurgy says:

    Robert, I find it fascinating that you recall the exact moment of your first – what I call – moment of clarity. On rare occasions I too have experienced similar moments, which lasted for – only a moment, however, I strive to recall when, where and what I was thinking when these moments happened because I want more of them – I believe that total clarity is the answer to – everything.
    As I age and find life slowing down a little at a time and being not as active as I once was, you have made me realize that if I want more moments of clarity, I gotta get busy again. THANK YOU!

    • thebacksaver says:

      I also found this post by RR to be a great wake up call for me to "get busier again".
      Moments of clarity can be achieved, but I can't help but think they are always preceded by long periods of less-than-complete-clarity. This is the time when your brain, consciously and subconsciously, is working things out.
      There really is no free lunch. To have moments of clarity you need to first pay the price of intense mental concentration.
      That darned price/value relationship never ceases to rear its ugly head :)

  23. Barry says:

    Robert…much of your life has been included in your previous books but I think you should write a memoir…it would be amazing.

  24. says:

    This happened to me twice and lasted a long time…months. I practiced TM from the age of 16…twice a day every day for years. First time I was in college and began a habit of walking all over campus. Trees were alive I could smell them and the air was so clear. I had a knowing of the whole big picture. The second time was in Mexico at a retreat. I attended a tezmecal(sweat lodge)and all of my chakras blew. I was catapulted into shamanism. That was in 1998 and it was so intense that I am still studying it today in 2018. This stuff is real and life changing. I hope for another one. May be my last,,,I'm in my 60's

  25. Rip Read says:

    As I realize now, as a "retired" California Hippie…and lifelong entre-manure, the cosmic connections and consciousness that you and others have referenced here, is and always has been, readily available to us all. That said, it took me a very long time to "wake up". Several things have had lasting and meaningful impact, starting in the 70's when I read two great books by a guy named Ringer…Winning Through Intimidation and Looking Out For #1…a book whose wisdom is truly Universal. To this day, almost daily, I quote and share with the potentially waking sheep, the pearls of wisdom I learned there…One To A Box Theory…Neurotic Person Theory…and on and on! Thank you Robert Ringer!!! My personal direct and super powerful "epiphany" came at 5:30 AM, on July 31st, 2011, in a jacuzzi, at my apartment in Las Vegas…a booming voice came through loud and clear…and I've been paying attention to the "voice in my head", intently, ever since. Of the many excellent messages received…this one, the loudest ever, came on January 1, 2014…Pay Attention…Or Attention Will Make You Pay! Can't find any reference to that message anywhere on this planet, so I share it with you and your readers, freely, and encourage you and them to share it freely. On further reflection, and based on your future life experiences, you'll find that it is undeniable fact! One more thing…check out SETH, starting with SETH Speaks…the COMPLETE guide to this life we are living, our/your place in it, and the definitive guide to all levels of consciousness. This life changing material has led me to a life of COMPLETE and TOTAL Peace of Mind, 24/7, and the complete elimination of fear and doubt. BTW RR, was just thinking about the Horn & Hardart Automats the other day…a staple of my youthful NYC trips with my dad, whose hotel of choice was The Governor Clinton (true story), near Penn Station!

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  33. Oliver says:

    Bucke developed a theory involving three stages in the development of consciousness: the simple consciousness of animals; the self-consciousness of the mass of humanity (encompassing reason, imagination, etc.); and cosmic consciousness – an emerging faculty and the next stage of human development. Among the effects of this progression, he believed he detected a lengthy historical trend in which religious conceptions and theologies had become less and less fearful.

  34. Paul says:

    Bucke's book is an interesting attempt to tie evolutionary theory to expanded states of consciousness (that James also noted in his "Varieties of Religious Experience"). Bucke's thesis is that life has moved from simple (animal) consciousness to self-consciousness (human reflective), and is now moving toward cosmic consciousness. The latter, at this time exhibited by only a few individuals who he references, is characterized by a feeling of living in eternity now and by moral elevation. There's a strong religious overtone associated with this consciousness and experience of "Brahmic Splendor."
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