|1. Ecstasy is the lightning that
flashes whenever we get sufficiently close to being.|
2. Like lightning, ecstasy is a flow of
energy that cannot be long sustained, is dangerous, and is often
accompanied by storms.
3. Again like lightning, however, ecstasy can
be harnessed to create a more reliable, albeit feebler flow. The social
instruments that harness ecstasy are art, religion, and
4. Even so, as we approach the nakedness of
being, we feel a mingled terror, awe, and pleasure for which there is no
substitute. The self falls away, leaving the soul naked before the
nakedness of being, longing for fulfillment, for catastrophe, for
5. Such ecstasy can become addictive,
resulting in obsessive self-destruction, as with those who seek ecstasy in
repeated sex with strangers, or in serial love affairs, or in gambling or
danger or drugs.
6. Experienced within a discipline, however,
whether of meditation, prayer, creation, service, or love, ecstasy is the
principal way in which we experience being as pleasure, and is therefore
necessary to the attainment of happiness.
7. The pursuit of ecstasy is the surest sign
of obsession, just as the enjoyment of ecstasy in everyday life is the
surest sign of wisdom.
Principles of Wisdom: Death
Principles of Wisdom: Love
Wisdom: Table of Contents