This book was written by Richard Maurice Bucke about 1901. I read it as a Kindle ebook, and later discovered that the ebook format really is challenged by the original layout, containing multiple nested references. As I was using an iPad, with a fat finger as my only pointing device, I gave up looking at the links, even though they are bi-directional. Might have been ok on a real Kindle, as selecting a small hyperlink is easy on that device.
Back to the subject. The author appears to have a strong hypothesis regarding a very enigmatic subject - a certain type of spiritual experience that a very small number of people have had. He calls it "illumination" and looks for evidence of it amongst historic figures as well as his own unidentified contemporaries. Its a very tricky subject, and I think he does a reasonable job, although its a heavy going book. And, frankly, I think there is no conclusion as to what exactly happens, why it happens, why so few people experience it, and what the implications are for them, as also those who don't experience it. However he does have some good material on what is experienced during and immediately after this glowing spiritual light is seen.
It is however a far better book on this subject than the much more recent effort also reviewed here "Divine Fire". I did mention in that review that my interest in this was sparked by having a friend who has experienced this, and who calls it "The Master's Golden Flame". Curiously its not a subject he and I have ever discussed, but he has written of it in one of his books, and he also came across another individual to whom the same had occurred, and they recognised it in each other, something Bucke suggests. I know that he also thinks its something that typically happens when one is in their 30's.
Is this something we should aspire to? As best I know, it is but one of many types of spiritual experience we can have, but it also appears to be one that is not up to us to call into being. I believe it is an upgrade of the mindal faculties we are issued with, but I don't know if this state of affairs is permanent. To comment on one individual, who I did not know prior to this experience, and who I only met late in his life, is hardly likely to be a good sample from which to extrapolate. However the Urantia book does indicate it is possible to obtain, while in this life, these additional mindal faculties. It is not a case that you become smarter, as that would require changes to the physical brain, but the adoption of more advanced perceptions. I suspect also that some people to whom this has happened, have not handled the process adequately, and end up either permanently, or for a time being at least, as insane.
By the way, Bucke makes a big thing about Francis Bacon being William Shakespeare. As we have had numerous messages from both, I revisited these to see if there was any suggestion from spirit that this is true. It appears not to be true. Furthermore his assertion that Shakespeare "must" have experienced this to have had the capacity to write as he did, is not supported by anything we have heard from the bard. So it seems that at least on that count, he was mistaken, and Shakespeare's talent had nothing to do with the Masters Golden Flame.
This forum is a short description/review of spiritual books. Its not meant to be in-depth.
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