Bacon and Enlightenment

Bacon (in the Shakespearian Sonnets) has treated the cosmic sense so emphati­cally as a distinct person that the world for three hundred years has taken him at his word and has agreed that the “person in question (whatever his name may have been) was a young friend of the poet’s! It has already been incidentally mentioned that a race entering upon the possession of a new faculty, especially if this be in the line of the direct ascent of the race, as is certainly the case with cosmic consciousness, the new faculty will necessarily be acquired at first not only by the best specimens of the race but also when these are at their best—that is, at full maturity and before the decline incident to age has set in. What, now, are the facts in this regard as to the coming of the cosmic sense.

To illustrate the objectification of this purely subjective phenomenon (though it must be remembered that to the person with cosmic consciousness the terms objective and subjective lose their old meaning—and “objects gross” and the “unseen soul” become ‘‘one”), it will not be amiss to quote a passage [173: 5] from a poet who, though he is a case of cosmic consciousness, is not in­cluded in the present volume for the reason that the present writer has not been able to obtain the details necessary for that purpose.

And in regard to cosmic consciousness, enlightenment, so St. Paul, when he was “caught up into paradise,” heard “un­speakable words.” And Dante was not able to recount the things he saw in heaven. “My vision,” he says, “was greater than our speech, which yields to such a sight.”

That he began writing the “Sonnets” immediately after his illumination. The “Sonnets,” as considered here, are the first one hundred and twenty-six, which distinctly constitute a poem in and by themselves and deal with the subject here considered. That the earlier of these one hundred and twenty-six “Sonnets” are addressed to the Cosmic Sense, and the later to it and its offspring, the plays. e. That in the “Sonnets” the following individualities may be recognized: (a) the Cosmic Sense; (b) the Bacon of the Cosmic Sense, and of the plays and “Sonnets”;. (c) the special offspring of the Cosmic Sense—the plays; (d) the ostensible Bacon of the court, politics, prose writings, business, etc., and possibly others. 

But, as the Self Conscious man (however degraded) is in fact almost infinitely above the animal with merely simple consciousness , so any man permanently endowed with the Cosmic Sense would be almost infinitely higher and nobler than any man who is Self Conscious merely . And not only so, but the man who has had the Cosmic Sense for even a few moments only will probably never again descend to the spiritual level of the merely self conscious man, but twenty, thirty or forty years afterwards he will still feel within him the purifying, strengthening and exalting effect of that divine illumination, and many of those about him will recognize that his spiritual stature is above that of the average man .




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