Consciousness: Pathways to the Self


Fall 2014, Winter 2015 and Spring 2015 quarters

Taught by

physics, plant physiology
music composition, theory, and technology

What is the relationship between our understanding of consciousness and our self-understanding? This yearlong, interdisciplinary program will provide an opportunity for students who are interested in doing intensive work on the nature of consciousness to cultivate self-awareness through challenging readings, written and expressive responses to program materials and self-reflection. We will examine our beliefs about the nature of reality from a variety of disciplinary viewpoints, including physics, music, psychology and philosophy. Prospective students should have a strong interest in the experiential study of relationships between reality and consciousness as well as college-level skills in reading, writing and pursuing research topics. Sincere effort and self-motivation will be essential for succeeding in this yearlong community learning process.

We will take an approach that welcomes and explores the complexity of many different views of consciousness as proposed by researchers, philosophers and spiritual leaders. We will read texts that cover many contemporary models of consciousness and we will examine topics from the basics of Jungian psychology through alternative areas of research, such as lucid dreaming and paranormal phenomena. Students will keep a structured journal of activities and practices that explores their developing understanding of the nature of consciousness. The fall quarter will include an overnight, off-campus retreat. During the winter and spring quarters we will integrate contemplative disciplines into our study as well as an in-depth study of dreams. This will include keeping a journal of experiences during contemplative practices and a dream journal. In spring, students will have the opportunity to pursue their interests in individually selected areas of activity for up to four credits.

This is an experiential and rigorous full-time program in which students will be expected to participate in all program activities and to document at least 40 hours of work per week being invested in program related activities.

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

consciousness studies, philosophy of modern physics and psychology.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day

Final Schedule and Room Assignment


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Online Learning

No Required Online Learning

More information about online learning.

Required Fees

$85 in fall and spring for overnight field trips, $10 in winter for supplies.


Date Revision
December 2nd, 2014 Winter fee reduced (from $25 to $10).
November 24th, 2014 This program will accept new enrollment winter quarter with signature.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall); 16 (Winter); 16 (Spring)

Class standing: Freshmen ONLY ; 100% of the seats are reserved for freshmen

Maximum enrollment: 36


Course Reference Number

Fr (16 credits): 10460

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Accepting New Students

Signature Required

Students entering the program will be asked to read text materials from the previous quarter and write a response to them.  Please contact faculty (Terry Setter: and Don Middendorf: for more information.

Course Reference Number

Fr (16 credits): 20268

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Accepting New Students


Student entering the program will be asked to read text materials from the previous quarter and write a response to them.

Course Reference Number

Fr (16 credits): 30181

Go to to register for this program.

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