Richard Maurice Bucke was born in 1837, the year before his parents emigrated to Canada from England. His father was very well educated, but had turned to farming in Canada. Bucke was taught Latin by his father and the rest of his education was obtained from studying the thousands of books his father had brought from England. His mother died when he was seven, and his stepmother died when he was seventeen. At that time he decided it was time to leave the heavy work of the farm and see what the world had to offer. He took on several different jobs, but one of them was as a driver for a wagon train heading to Mormon country. After arriving there, he continued West with several others. He was the only one remaining when he was rescued but with both of his feet frozen and he lost all of one foot and a portion of the other.
At that point he was of age and received the inheritance from his mother which he used to attend medical school. He was a renowned doctor and made many revisions in the way patients were treated.
He also had a great love for poetry, especially Walt Whitman’s, who played a major part in Bucke’s life. Bucke received spiritual illumination at age 35. He died after his book, Cosmic Consciousness was published, but before he realized how successful it would be.