By Celia Coates
When I picked up Bernice Hill’s new book, COSMIC HUMAN, COSMIC INTENT, I wondered what she meant by “cosmic.” What she wrote on the first page began to answer my question:
“It was a lovely, warm spring evening with moonlight filtering through the leaves on the quiet road ahead. Dr. Richard Maurice Bucke thoughtfully drove his horse and buggy back to his country home. He was filled with the contentment of a beautiful evening spent with friends speaking of ideas and feelings close to the heart. Suddenly everything changed! He found himself filled with a vast glowing light and penetrated with immense joy. The expanding illumination heightened his awareness. He knew without doubt that the Cosmos was not dead matter but a living Presence, built with underlying order and principles. He knew that all souls were immortal.”
Enlightenment experiences like Bucke’s are allowed to mystics and saints, but not to psychiatrists. He’d begun speaking about that awakening in 1894 and even though he was well-established in both Canada and America, he could not get his book – COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind – published until 1901.The traditional field of mental health is still skittish about including anything so “immeasurable.”
Bernice’s own study of the nature of consciousness began years ago. She had found herself on a path leading to the front door of a Jungian analyst because she was troubled by recurring dreams of being on “the wrong road.” The dreams were signaling that she needed to find a different way forward. The perennial questions – “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” – were demanding new answers, as they often do in mid-life. The life travels she then chose to go on brought her the knowledge and wisdom found in this book.
Bernice began by following Jung’s approach to discovering and fulfilling our deep, innate potential:
“Carl Jung emphasized that if we are to know ourselves, it is important we explore our fear, anger, and grief down to their roots. Only gradually by peeling away these shadowy layers, will the greater light seep in.”
She became a Jungian analyst herself and continued studying her own self and the nature of human consciousness. A few people experience spontaneous enlightenment and, although we all have that potential, for most of us reaching higher states of consciousness involves a disciplined process of developing psychological maturity and spiritual insight. The greater light “seeps in” one perceptual shift at a time.
The shifts can add up and take us to the extraordinary kind of knowing that Bernice describes this way,
“The fundamental quality of Cosmic Consciousness is a pervasive connectedness, a swelling love for all life. It is a carrying wave that brings aliveness, grounded-ness and expansiveness. There is essential good here and a deep sense that beyond all chaos lies order, wisdom and meaning … a more ultimate Truth.”
In the first section of her deceptively slender book, Bernice presents information about approaches that people have found meaningful and useful as we struggle with our own questions about who we are and why we are here. She was drawn to study the Ancient Wisdom Tradition with its basic belief that,
“…all we find in the universe emanates from the One, the divine Absolute. Through processes of creativity and chaos, there is an underlying Intelligence that expresses through living principles, supporting the physical Universe and our evolution.”
Bernice studied the ideas of Helena Blavatsky’s Theosophy that arose from the Ancient Wisdom Tradition and presents them in a compressed, thorough, and understandable way.
“Its basic themes arise from thousands of years of reflection and meditation and can be found in the teachings of Christ, Buddha, The Kabbalah, The Gnostics, and the Rosicrucians. A fundamental principle of Theosophy is found in most of the world religions: we all arise from a common, original spiritual Force and – we are our brother’s keeper.”
Theosophy held a view that there are different planes of reality and a belief in the unfolding levels of consciousness:
(There are) “(m)any dimensions of increasing materializations of consciousness and matter are created, from subtlest to the densest. In these dimensions, are a multitude of forms and entities, each with its own quality and purpose.”
Bernice has been a fine student and she is a fine teacher. She is not just wonderfully curious – she is adventurous:
“Unexpected insights begin to slip into the personality. The qualities, the felt sense of these experiences, are meaningful; the individual is slowly moved past his or her everyday mundane perceptions.”
And she has welcomed the unexpected. She has been open to ideas and experiences that lie far beyond those found in standard psychotherapy. Bernice refines her discoveries through good sense and her steady ability to follow through with research to find confirmation for new views. Bernice is not one of those teachers, or psychotherapists, who hasn’t traveled the roads they recommend for other people. I also have to add that she has a lively sense of fun and a good sense of humor. Frankly, a sense of humor is necessary when we approach the wild and unusual aspects of reality – it helps us keep our balance.
A few years ago, Bernice’s clients began to talk about other-reality encounters:
“In my analytic practice, I was beginning to have clients who reported seeing UFOs and having dreams of extra-terrestrials. Curiosity led me to workshops and seminars on the topic. I was amazed at how much information was available and was drawn further in to the field.”
Bernice’s book has a two-part title that includes both cosmic human and cosmic intent. And it has a two-part text. The first section is about the personal, individual development of the human capacity for enlightened perceptions of the nature of reality – the cosmic perspective. The second section presents a vitally new perspective:
“This is the most important issue before us. We have depths we have not yet plumbed. Humans are being challenged to move from species adolescence to species maturity, an evolutionary step.” (This is about cosmic evolution for our species – the intent.)
“One cannot consider the expansion of the human psyche without acknowledging the stimulus of cosmic visitors.”
The reaction for most of us to sentences like that last one is to recoil.
“Hey, wait. What is that about! It’s just nuts.”
There’s an individual recoil and there’s also a cultural, collective recoil – all those jokes about tinfoil hats. But this is something to pay attention to. There is an increasing body of information that must be taken seriously and it already is by a sizable number of people. If you are not one of them, perhaps you can allow Bernice to introduce you to this level of consciousness, to realities and dimensions of awareness beyond the material level of being.
Ervin Laszlo, the well-known philosopher of science who was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, wrote this:
“The consciousness that’s present in you is not a finite, limited consciousness. It’s an infinite, Cosmic consciousness – a reflection, a holographic resonance, of the consciousness that forms and in-forms the universe. It’s present in the depths of your mind, in your heart.”*
He has said,
“We’re living at a time when the awakening to the wisdom of the universe is manifesting in increasing numbers of people. This is a time when the light of the deepest dimensions of the cosmos -the dimensions scientists know as the ‘zeropoint’ or ‘Akashic field,’ or ‘the implicate order’ – begins to penetrate the hearts of people.”
“At this critical point in our history, the consciousness needed to tackle the problems of our time is surfacing in the minds of a critical mass of people. This consciousness, which was known to insightful individuals for millennia, is now being rediscovered at the leading edge of the sciences.”
Bernice has written that the connectedness of all things is becoming more and more apparent and that we are a species on the brink of a great discovery. Our individual development is becoming part of our collective evolution as a species with the new teachers coming in from other parts of the universe.
“Just as here on earth where we have an abundance of life forms, there are different races of humans and a variety of intelligences throughout the universe. And how could this not be so – in a conscious universe.”
When I asked Bernice what she most wanted to say in this new book she answered,
“Our soul’s journey, with its joys, sorrows, challenges and heartbreaks is the path of awareness to our eternal Essence. Commitment to that path opens our understanding of the interconnectedness of all things and the life force itself. Our soul longs to discover this truth for when we open to this birthright of love and wisdom, we become cosmic citizens of a sacred planet, members of a larger cosmic community.”
It is helpful to remember in these troubled times that,
“The human heart holds the answers. When everything breaks down, when polarities become too intense, new possibilities arise.”
Our future lies in knowing about the new possibilities of becoming cosmic.
* * * * *
* The quotes by Ervin Laszlo are from Light Shining (pages 125 to 129) in SOUL AWAKENING PRACTICE: Prayer, Contemplation and Action, by James O’Dea. 2017, Watkins Media Limited.
Bernice Hill, Ph.D., has been a Jungian Analyst for more than thirty-five years.
She is a founding member of BoulderExo, a public forum for discussion of our expanding cosmic awareness.
She is the author of SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVES ON DEATH AND DYING (2015) and EMERGENCE OF THE COSMIC PSYCHE: UFOs and ETs from the Perspective of Depth Psychology (2010)
She may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The illustration that leads this post is from picserio.com on needpix.com