Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Ecstasy according to Wikipedia

"Ecstasy is subjective experience of total involvement of the subject, with an object of his or her awareness. Because total involvement with an object of our interest is not our ordinary experience since we are ordinarily aware also of other objects, the ecstasy is an example of altered state of consciousness characterized by diminished awareness of other objects or total lack of the awareness of surroundings and everything around the object. For instance, if one is concentrating on a physical task, then one might cease to be aware of any intellectual thoughts. On the other hand, making a spirit journey in an ecstatic trance involves the cessation of voluntary bodily movement.

"For the duration of the ecstasy the ecstatic is out of touch with ordinary life and is capable neither of communication with other people nor of undertaking normal actions. Although the experience is usually brief in physical time (from momentary to about half an hour), there are records of such experiences lasting several days or even more, and of recurring experiences of ecstasy during one's lifetime. Subjective perception of time, space and/or self may strongly change or disappear during ecstasy. The word is often used in mild sense, to refer to any heightened state of consciousness or intense pleasant experience. It is also used more specifically to denote states of awareness of non-ordinary mental spaces, which may be perceived as spiritual (the latter type of ecstasy often takes the form of religious ecstasy). Some religious people hold the view that true religious ecstasy occurs only in context of their religion (e.g. as a gift from the deity whom they worship) and it cannot be induced by natural means (human activities). They consider ecstasy as a way of contacting with the divine and usually value the experience as highly desirable."
source: Wikipedia
Everything I've read and heard about ecstasy so far views it as a state of being connected with, or dissolved in, the divine. The four times I've experienced it, it seemed that way to me, I experienced such a different state of being and a sense of sometimes overwhelming goodness, other times, overwhelming love. "Like being dissolved in god's heart," I remember explaining it back then.
What are secular perceptions / explanations / productions of ecstasy through non-drug means?

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