Archival 280gsm Giclée Fiber-Prints All religions have an ecstatic component and all involve altering human consciousness to some extent by prayer, meditation, chanting, dancing, fasting etc. Although belief in a non-physical spiritual realm has diminished as part of our post-darwinian age it has not disappeared. Even those who have relinquished their belief are prone, if not compelled, to seek out substitutes. The altered states associated with Sex (orgasm), Drugs (intoxication), Madness (psychosis) are not only substitutes for religious experience but in some instances accomplices to these mystical practices.
The gamut of altered states may differ in their neuro-chemical details but they are united by their ability to shutout reality. They enable us to escape reality. They are anti-reality and at their most extreme, at the point of addiction, they are life-negating. We can conceive of them as piecemeal suicides. But they are also part of what defines us as human beings and for that we need to celebrate them.© givanlotz.com