Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Ecstasy of Love

The word ‘ecstasy’ comes from the Greek ‘ekstasis; meaning ‘to stand outside’.  The state of ecstasy is central to shamanism and the core from which all religious experience evolved (Bolstad, 2003).


The ecstasy produced by prolonged shamanic drumming and dancing. It is the same as that produced by the prolonged chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra by modern Hindu devotees, or by the whirling dances of the Islamic Sufis. 

Islamic Sufis

Neuroscientists Andrew Newberg and Gene D’Aquili have studied brain in both Tibetan Buddhist meditators and in Franciscan nuns (Newberg, D’Aquili and Vince, 2002).

SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography)

They used a SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) camera to observe these people in normal awareness, and then at the times when they were at a peak of meditating or praying. At these peak moments, as the person’s brain stopped separating out their “self” from the “outside world” and simply experienced life as it is; as one undivided experience.

Brain at highest states of timelessness and infinity

The Buddhist meditators would report, at this time, that they had a sense of timelessness and infinity, of being one with everything that is. The nuns tended to use slightly different language, saying that they were experiencing a closeness and at-oneness with God and a sense of great peace and contentment.

The stilling of the sense of separate self creates an emotional state, which is described variously as bliss, peace, contentment or ecstasy. Newberg and D’Aquili speculate that the same stilling of brain area occurs in peak sexual experiences, and that earlier in human history this may have been the main source of such states of oneness (and may be its evolutionary “purpose” in the brain – Newberg, D’Aquili and Rause, 2002).

What is love?

“To love is the most important thing in life. But what do we mean by love? When you love someone because that person loves you in return, surely that is not love. To love is to have that extraordinary sense of affection without asking anything in return. You may be very clever, you may pass all your examinations, get a doctorate and achieve a high position, but if you have not this sensitivity, this feeling of simple love, your heart will be empty and you will be miserable for the rest of your life….

You may have a clear skin, a nice face, you may wear a lovely sari or be a great athlete, but without love in your heart you are an ugly human being, ugly beyond measure; and when you love, whether your face is homely or beautiful, it has a radiance. To love is the greatest thing in life; and it is very important to talk about love, to feel it, to nourish it, to treasure it.

Otherwise, it is soon dissipated, for the world is very brutal. If, while you are young, you don’t feel love, if you don’t look with love at people, at animals, at flowers, when you grow up you will find that your life is empty; you will be very lonely, and the dark shadows of fear will follow you always. But the moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed.” (Krishnamurti, 1964)

Does Ecstasy of Love exist without religious and other spiritual practices? – Yes, it does.

Meditation is good. It has many forms,
but not everybody wants to practice it,
sitting cross-legged.

Ecstasy of love is the highest and the most natural state between a woman and a man. It encompasses not only “being in love”, intimate and soul being-one-with-each-other in pleasure. It is something more, available to every person.

I’m developing a special seminar for those who wish to enter the state of ecstasy without (!) drugs, smoking marihuana or meditation (in its traditional meaning). Follow the news.

We shall also deliver information to wide public about  states ‘ecstasy’ in our documentary film “You Are Loved…”

  1. Anand, M. The Art of Sexual Ecstasy. Jeremy P. Tarcher Inc, Los Angeles, 1989
  2. Bolstad, R. Integration: NLP and Spirituality. Christchurch, NZ, 2003
  3. Krishnamurti, J. Think On These Things Harper & Row, New York, 1964
  4. Newberg, A., D’Aquili, E. and Rause, V. Why God Won’t Go Away Ballantine, New York, 2002
  5. Pattee, R. “Ecstasy and Sacrifice” p 17-32 in Doore, G. ed Shaman’s Path Shambhalla, Boston, 1988

Natalia Levis-Fox

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