Sunday, March 11, 2012


Every tradition has as a feature of its foundation some people who experience ecstasy.  This is not limited to any one religion. Its a human condition, a channel through us for reaching the divine. 

Ecstasy has universal features, too, which is not surprising.  Whether Hindu, Christian, Wiccan, or a personal journey, there is a sense of merging into a unity with a deity.  This brings with it a sense of presence of that deity, or divine awareness which fills the person.  It creates a rapturous experience of supreme bliss and pleasure.  It has a very strong focus in union with this divine cosmos or deity within.  This has been expressed in very physical terms with the Hundu using the physical union of the masculine and feminine within, of Shakti and Shiva.  This is the merging of the two archetypes in Hindu and it is through their higher order union that incredible bliss is conferred upon those who awaken to it.  St Teresa of Avilla described her experience as having married God and Jesus.  Jesus was her spouse.  Everything she was sought to please him, to bring him ever closer into her being.  She sought his love, his attention, and the bliss that comes from such union. 

Ecstasy is as though your own lower sexual energy has been suddenly released to flow all through your body. As it does, it is further refined into an essence to perfect that the aspirant seeks its power constantly.  It is our own evolutionary urge.  Pain is the antithesis of this.  While some would sow fear about this pleasure, it is universal and not predicated upon any one god or religious view. Its what we are, a birthright as humans.  This energy flows like a liquid fire, a presence that makes one feel as though one is "being made love to by God."  So much for vows of chastity and obedience!

If you consider that everything that is related to pleasure generally tends towards positive results and pain results in negative results, we are hardwired to go for the  pleasure.  It seems awfully simple, but the consciousness that set this all in motion  was not some messed up being that didn't understand how best to bring us into a unity with ourselves and others.  It can be a very reliable system if you let it.  Many people, though, have very real problems surrendering, and surrender is an important facet of ecstasy.  It is letting go enough to allow this divine current to flow in you.

Associated with these ecstasies are also the "dark nights of the soul" often described from a wide range of sources.  The early christian mystics spoke about it as well as more contemporary mystics as well. This is the difficulty that we will experience as the infinite literally pours through us in that ecstatic-filled moment.  The difficulty comes exclusively from the ego's hold on the personality.  By learning to let go, the ego is allowed to soften and surrender becomes fuller and less conditional. Ecstasy increases proportionally to this.  Most, if not all of the mystics did not know this was ego, but you will see that once they have surrendered, given their own issues up, their ecstasy come easier and more completely.  I have not read extensively these accounts, but I know that it has to be a facet of the experience.  There is something in them that allows them to simply give up and let go, and so does the dark nights of the soul.  This also ties us to our shadow side of the self, which is fear.  Who wouldn't be afraid when they first feel kundalini moving in them?  What if it suddenly felt sexual?  Would you feel as though you were possibly being possessed?  Its possible.  And like all fears, you would give in to them and it would absolutely color your experience until you were able to find peace with these aspects of your being.  I was reading a little about what some have had to say about ecstasy and found an account of a woman who was obviously having awakening symptoms who was part of what I think is a very traditional conservative christian church.  She wound up seeing the experience as being like a demon coming to possess her.  Because she couldn't get over the sexual aspect, I suspect it became a giant hurdle.  Mix in ones own beliefs about what this is supposed to be like, and I think you can have the possibility for some real troubles to work through.  This is where surrender can become so hard.  For someone like that, surrender is the last thing your ego is going to tell you is alright.  But eventually, surrender will have to happen or madness will ensue (my thoughts).  The power of this is just too great to withstand the pressure that this exerts on the psyche.  Ultimately, some part of the self marshals that very yielding part within and we relax.  Instantly things change.  We are in a very different space.  By watching these reactions within, we can allow such an experience to teach us how to reach the bliss.  Its an almost single minded approach and faith that this thing in you DOES have your best interest at heart.  And the key, no matter how funny you feel about pleasure is ecstasy.

Its letting yourself be bathed in the universe, and this universe is very passionate and it is loving.  Our cultures are so steeped in egoic emphasis that its not surprising that so many have trouble with it.  Its actually quite natural.  In this, what is happening, is we are returning to our own inner garden of bliss where this very passionate fire will consume you, love you, and make you over.  Yes, all the things that didn't support this experience will be burned away.  Let it. You have nothing to lose....but what did not serve it.  And in the end, you alone must make this determination. 


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