How do you experience the cosmos? Did people in the past experience such participation differently? Do mystics enjoy a type of participation that eludes most people? In this latest Science Set Free podcast, we discuss the notion of “original participation”, a phrase coined by The Inkling Owen Barfield, though also known as participation mystique and the “porous self”. We ask what might be made of this form of consciousness, how people try to engage with it today in experiences of ecstasy or by reading fiction, and what can be learnt from what seems to have been a commonplace sense of life for our ancestors, though can feel like fantasy or madness in an alienated age.