Alliance for Mystical Pragmatics

Alliance for Mystical Pragmatics

Harmonizing Evolutionary Convergence

Glossary Menus

Ocean of Consciousness

Over the years, some humans have described their experiences of Consciousness with the metaphor of an all-embracing Ocean. One example was Romain Rolland, the 1915 Nobel laureate for literature, who was much inspired by his studies of the lives and works of Rāmakrishna and Vivekānanda. In a famous letter to Sigmund Freud in 1927, Rolland described his experience of Consciousness as an ‘oceanic feeling’, which he said he had never been without. He felt the sensation of the ‘eternal’, “entirely independent of all dogma, of all organization of the church, of every holy book, of all hope of personal survival, etc.”

Another who has experienced the Ocean of Consciousness underlying all spiritual traditions is Stanislav Grof, whose book The Holotropic Mind greatly helps us to understand human development from conception onwards. In this insightful book, Stan says that our early experiences in the womb “have strong mystical overtones; they feel sacred or holy. … In this state of cosmic unity, we feel that we have direct, immediate, and unlimited access to knowledge and wisdom of universal significance.” This rapturous period in our lives, a reminder of “Gardens of Paradise in the mythologies of a variety of the world’s cultures”, can be referred to as ‘oceanic ecstasy’.

All humans are ejected from Paradise through the trauma of birth, which can affect behaviour during a person’s life until such painful memories are brought up from the sub- and unconscious shadow and intelligently examined in the brilliant Light of Consciousness. Indeed, such traumas can be even more devastating when experienced in utero. For, as Stan says, the embryo or fetus can then experience a ‘bad womb’, which can be even more challenging to heal in later life because it is so deeply hidden.

In Panosophy, the Ocean of Consciousness is visualized as a multidimensional hyperball of water with an infinite diameter, as a generalization of David Bohm’s metaphor of a one-dimensional holomovement or holoflux, with which he reconciled the apparent incompatibilities between quantum and relativity theories.

Thus, completing the spiritual journey, as the Cosmogonic Cycle, can be seen as returning to the bliss of ‘oceanic ecstasy’, where all troubles cease to exist.


About 1300, occean, ‘the main or great sea, the vast body of water on the surface of the globe’, from Old French occëan, from Latin ōceanus, from Greek ōkeanós, an endless stream or sea surrounding the then known land masses of Eurasia and Africa, in contrast to the Mediterranean.

The ancient Greeks and Romans personified this enormous river encircling the world in the figure of Ōkeanós, the elder of the Titans in classical Greek mythology.

See also Consciousness.

Common ancestor(s):