Friday, May 20, 2016

The Lost Art of Ecstasy

I was recently sent a link to an article in the New Yorker reporting on the most recent results of research into the use of psychedelics for treating the anxiety of cancer patients. This led me to a longer and much more in depth article written last year by one of my favorite writers on food, in this case food for spiritual nourishment. As in all of Pollan's work, his investigation goes to great depths and approaches the subject from many angles, alternating history with personal anecdotes to deliver an encompassing view of the possibilities. 

For those of us who grew up in the sixties, and embarked on many of these same explorations on our own, without supervision or scientific rigor, these efforts to understand may appear absurdly restrictive. At the same time, they are very familiar. Although the Michael Pollan article is pretty long it’s worth a read, particularly for those facing problems of addiction or depression, the loss of loved ones or the prospect of impending sickness or death, or anyone interested in possibilities at the frontiers of therapy and science.   

Finally I include a link to a video that offers a look into the face of a person encountering the ecstasy of release and freedom. There was a time when this look was not so uncommon in the people we found around us. 

May we all be happy. May we all be well. May we all find freedom. 

The Short Version:


The Long Version:


The Ecstatic Version:


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