A Four Week Online Course with Dr. Kenneth Rose

Virtual Reality, Māyā,
and Yoga’s Virtual Bodies

Tues, Mar 3, 10, 17, 24 (7-9pm EST)

Course Description

Everyday life is rapidly going virtual, and we are experiencing the vaporization of physical reality as technology rapidly evolves. Apps are displacing shopping malls, and crude single-player video games have morphed into massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). This rapid virtualization of physical reality leads MIT computer scientist Rizwan Virk to suggest in The Simulation Hypothesis that we may be living in an MMORPG without knowing it.

If we are living in a hypnotic simulation controlled by beings greater than us but unknown by us, can we develop a powerful video game to break through to reality? Perhaps, but we would remain dependent upon machinery to awaken—like always needing a meditation app to meditate. Humanity’s mystical traditions teach that we are master simulators of our own experience—with or without machinery—and that it is our choice to sleep or to wake up.

In this course, we will unfold the classic Panchakosha, or Five-Bodies Teaching, from the Upaniṣads to realize the mystical depth in human life. This ancient teaching shows us how to perceive the multiple subtle or virtual bodies that cover up our ordinary consciousness. As we enter more deeply into this teaching over the four weeks of this course, we will also learn how to dismantle these virtual bodies and return to our inborn standpoint of natural enlightenment.


Students who take this course will learn:

  • The difference between virtual, augmented, and simulated reality

  • How Hinduism’s Five-Bodies Teaching uncovers the multiple bodies that cover our naturally illumined consciousness

  • How to use the natural technology of meditation
  • How the Simulation Hypothesis mirrors ancient teachings about māyā and illusion
  •  How to enter deeper stages of meditation

  • How to perceive and pass beyond the five bodies that enclose our true Self


4 Live, Interactive Zoom Sessions
4 Q&As with Kenneth
4 Downloadable Videos &amp MP3s
Course Readings
10 Embodied Philosophy Credits
10 Yoga Alliance Cont. Ed. Credits
Private Pop-Up Facebook Group

Course Outline

In Module 1, we will look at that as everyday life is rapidly going virtual, we are experiencing the vaporization of physical reality. Some philosophers and computer scientists now think that are living in a computer simulation without knowing it.

In module 2, we will discuss that the possibility that the universe is a simulation is an ancient insight, which we will probe in light of mystical or yogic experience and ancient and modern philosophy.

In module 3 we will explore that we might soon be able to simulate the enlightened state of illumined mystics and yogis, but as forms of artificial enlightenment (AE), they would keep us dependent upon machinery and corporations to awaken. It’s a bit like always needing a meditation app to meditate, with the result that artificial enlightenment turns out to be just another form of bondage.


The world’s ancient wisdom traditions teach that we already contain multiple virtual worlds and that we can travel through them and transcend with meditatively attuned consciousness.  The visionary practice known as the Five-Bodies Teaching in the Hindu Upaniṣads suggests that our true liberated Self is enveloped in five bodies of increasingly subtle consciousness. In module 4, we will use this teaching to collapse these bodies back into our deepest Self.

Kenneth Rose, Ph.D., has been a professor of philosophy and religion for three decades. His degrees include an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in the Study of Religion from Harvard University. He developed and lead the online course, “Wisdom from World Religions,” which is funded by a Templeton World Charity Foundation grant (https://wisdomfromworldreligions.com). His books include Yoga, Meditation, and Mysticism: Contemplative Universals and Meditative Landmarks, Pluralism: The Future of Religion, The Light of the Self: A Memoir of a Spiritual Awakening, and Edge of Awakening: Poems from the Borderline of Mind and Awareness. These books and his three Audible programs are available at: https://smile.amazon.com/Kenneth-Rose/e/B00B5J3ANO?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1574093203&sr=8-1 

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Join Kenneth Rose as he explores how the Simulation Hypothesis mirrors ancient teachings about māyā and illusion.

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