The Evolution of Ecstasy

(excerpted from the revised and expanded edition of Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia)


According to ecstasy expert Rapunzel Blavatsky, the very nature of ecstasy seems to be evolving. Researchers at her Berkeley, California-based Beauty and Truth Lab have found that increasing numbers of people are able to cultivate a chronic, low-grade rapture that never fully dissipates. This altered state often sensitizes their perceptions to the presence of subtle miracles that are hidden from others.

Blavatsky's team has also discovered that for these "everyday ecstatics," extraordinary stimulation and peak experiences are not necessary to sustain the constant flow of bliss.

The testimony of one such "everyday ecstatic," Sheila Samizdat, illustrates the phenomenon.

"My handmade, fresh-cooked booster dose of euphoria arrived," Samizdat reports, "while I was waiting in line at the post office on a Tuesday afternoon. I already felt pretty good, because a few minutes earlier I'd witnessed a man and a woman squirting each other in the head with yellow squirt guns as they embraced and wrestled and conducted a raucous make-out session in the alley behind the post office.

"But my giddiness really kicked into high gear when an exuberant toddler tipped over a trash can, turned it upside down, climbed up on top, and leaped off as he shouted, 'God sucks!' Meanwhile, the customer behind me in line was telling someone on her cell phone that she kissed a lesbian from Amnesty International outside a pungent-smelling herb shop in Chinatown while a gang of elegantly dressed thugs orchestrated a drug deal in a nearby alley.

"Moments later, a barely-five-feet-tall Vietnamese man in his 40s, sporting shoulder-length black hair and wearing an oversize green silk pajama top, rode a neon pink girl's bike one-handed right through the open front doors of the post office and into the lobby as he sipped a Laffy Taffy Blue Vanilla Slurpee and sang 'The Impossible Dream' from the Broadway musical, Man of La Mancha.

"And suddenly I found myself thrust into the throbbing core of delight, awash in murmuring, quizzical amazement. The center of my gravity exploded like a supernova, instantaneously spreading my awareness out to the size of the universe, turning me into a furious sun-blasted ocean-soaked wind-cured radiance, arriving everywhere at once from the heart of the Only Intelligence There Is. And I was home again, worshiping inside the tabernacle in the wilderness. 'Oh, yeah,' I thought to myself with a rush of eternal glee, 'Now I remember: I am you and you are me and they are we and we are they.'"