The Playground of Consciousness

Part 1: Experiments and Experience

Recommended reading

Cosmic Consciousness
Cosmic Consciousness

Classic work by Richard Bucke.

Synchronicity: The Bridge Between Matter and Mind
Synchronicity: The Bridge Between Matter and Mind

by F David Peat.

Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming
Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming

by Stephen Laberge.

Journeys Out Of the Body
Journeys Out Of the Body

by Robert Monroe.

Into a Timeless Realm
Into a Timeless Realm

A magical account of the experiences of this Australian author.

Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul
Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul

The first Seth Book dictated through Jane Roberts.

Consciousness from within

It is impossible to give an overview of the immense variety of traditions and experiences. We will ourselves to two types of illustrations. First, we will discuss some phenomena that come back time and again in various forms in many different traditions. We will return to many of these phenomena in the fifth class, when we will point out where they fit in the Playground of Consciousness. We will also briefly look at the experiences of some individuals that are very much in line with our conclusions from the previous two sections.

Conscious Experiences


Every culture has its own mythology, a world beyond this one of beings, physical or non-physical, that still have an influence on daily life. The Greek gods lived on the Olympos mountain. Christianity has a world of Angels. Modern mythologies talk about the Cosmic Hierarchy, the Ashtar Command, Ascended Masters, the Keepers of the Akashic Records…

Often the consistency of these mythologies across different sources is quite remarkable. We also often find the same theme recurring in completely different cultures. Some figures appear in many cultures under different guises. One example is the Egyptian Toth, who is identified with the Greek Hermes, Roman Mercurius, and Quetzalcoatl in Mayan mythology as the messenger of the gods, the bringer of civilization.

What is the source of these stories? Both the similarities and the differences are significant. Because of the similarities, it cannot be denied that these mythologies are to some degree valid. Their differences and mutual contradictions show that none of them can be absolutely valid.


The Bible has many accounts of God speaking through prophets. In modern times, this would be called channeling. A person The phenomenon has received more widespread attention in recent decades. Last century, when spiritualism took root in Western Europe and the United States, channelers were called mediums. The oracles at Delphi were almost undoubtedly channelers, as were many others in the service of a wide variety of deities throughout time and history.

Basically, channeling is the process of communicating with entities through non-physical means. The channel herself will usually be in an altered state of consciousness, and may be aware of what is being said to varying degrees. Sometimes, the voice and disposition of the channel can change dramatically when the other entity is speaking.

Channeling has come to mean communicating with entities who have either inhabited a body but now don’t or who claim to have never inhabited a body. It is possible to channel someone who is currently alive, though that isn’t generally what people mean when they speak of channeling.

This subject is intimately connected with the previous one. Most often, the entities that ‘come through’ are players in the mythology of the channel. To what degree are these channeled entities truly who they claim to be? To what extent are they products of the channel’s culture or personal imagination?

Cosmic consciousness

In his classic book with the same title, originally published in 1902, Richard Bucke writes that “there is a state of consciousness (‘cosmic consciousness’) which is far removed from everyday experience, where the person perceives a new kind of reality where the boundary between subject and object does not exist and is meaningless.” He goes on:

“Like a flash there is presented to [a person's] consciousness a clear conception (a vision) in outline of the meaning and drift of the universe . . . He sees and knows that the cosmos . . . is in fact . . . in very truth a living presence. He sees that instead of men being, as it were, patches of life scattered through an infinite sea of non-living substance, they are in reality specks of relative death in an infinite ocean of life. He sees that the life which is in man is as immortal as God is; that the universe is so built and ordered that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all; that the foundation principle of the world is what we call love, and that the happiness of every individual is in the long run absolutely certain.”

He found this core vision in the experiences of many mystics throughout the ages. Modern accounts also speak of the “interconnectedness of all life,” of “knowing every thought, every idea that ever was and ever will be.”

These experiences hint at the potential of consciousness to hold infinite amounts of information within its awareness. These experiences are open to anyone, which means that this ability to expand one’s awareness may be a universal property of consciousness.


Also known as meaningful coincidences, synchronicities abound once you begin to notice them. Probably the most famous example was given by Carl Jung. While he was working with a patient, a ‘scarab’ came up as a metaphor for the transformation this person was undergoing. At that same moment, a large beetle came flying in through the window. This greatly reinforced the power of the idea of transformation.

The pervasiveness of synchronicities suggests connections within or underlying our experience of which we are not consciously aware.

Dreams, lucid dreams, and Out Of Body experiences

We spend about 1/3 to 1/4 of our lives asleep. Research has shown that, in addition to the obvious physical rest and regeneration, dreams are just as essential. Experiments with sleep deprivation have shown that people will begin dreaming almost instantly after several days without sleep.

In her book, “Dreaming myself, dreaming a town,” Susan Watkins recounts the startling, interwoven fabric of nighttime dreams and daytime events, precognitions, and coincidences in her home town in upstate New York. T his informal investigation into the dream life of a small town shows that dreaming and waking reality are intimately connected. It would even seem that much of the waking drama has its source in the shared dream activity of the inhabitants.

On the other hand, people who keep dream journals often find that there dream experiences have an independent reality of their own. The same familiar people and places come back again and again over many years, even though this ‘dream world’ exists nowhere in the dreamer’s waking reality.

When an ordinary dream becomes lucid, the dream world feels as tangible and real as the waking reality. The dreamer knows he is dreaming. The dreamer identifies himself as his waking self, with its thoughts and memories. There is one major difference from ordinary reality, however, in that the laws of physics may be violated almost at will. For example, in a lucid dream, you can fly, make objects appear or disappear with ease.

The sense of a non-physical reality, is even more striking in lucid dreams and out-of-body experiences. Here, a peron often finds himself in a world which feels very real, vivid and stable, yet is clearly not our daytime physical world. Unlike in lucid dreams, the dreamer may not have full control over his experience. There is more of an order that appears to be imposed from the ‘outside,’ just as the laws of physics appear to impose an order.

It must be said that these two properties of dreams: their intimate connection to our waking life and the independent reality of the worlds in which they take place, are by no means contradictory.

Modern Mystics

Michael J. Roads

Michael J. Roads is the Australian author of “Into a Timeless Realm.” In this book, tells us about his journeys into other realms. He looks into different alternative futures for planet Earth. One where ‘scientism’ and Mankind’s self-centered persuit of technology are taken to the extreme, resulting in an ‘empty’ world, devoid of joy and feelings of (comm)unity. The other where Man uses technology for the benefit of all life, a happy, vibrant world where all life is sacred and respected. Their technology is far beyond anything we know today.

He also looks back into the past, at different races of humanoids. Again, his vision includes several alternative pasts. The scenes he witnesses are not merely dreams. These are real places, real people. He also ventures into entirely different worlds. Some appear to have the same physical laws as our own universe.

Here we find a direct experience of the parallel worlds we brought up in our discussion of quantum physics. Some of the worlds showed a much higher degree of telepathy and interconnectedness between all species than we see today, once again hinting at the inherent potential of human consciousness to master much greater complexity.

Seth / Jane Roberts

Jane Roberts deserves the title of pioneer of modern channeling. From 1963 until her death in 1984, she and her husband Robert Butts recorded many hundreds of channelings from an “energy personality essence” they called Seth. Together, they wrote more than a dozen books filled with metaphysical material. It would be impossible to summarize all this material in a few paragraphs. I will simply say that the theories presented in these books come closest to what is being presented in this course.

Seth Speaks: the Eternal Validity of the Soul was the first real ‘Seth’ book and gives a broad overview of what was to come later. The Nature of Personal Reality was in many ways a much more practical book, aimed at those who wanted to apply his ideas in their daily lives.

Introduction | Experiments and Experience | Science | Science and Consciousness | Consciousness | Expanding the Playground | The Dynamics of Creation