Sunday Service: Ecstasy

Tibetan endless knot

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Ecstasy:
1a: a state of being beyond reason and self-control b archaic :swoon
2: a state of overwhelming emotion; especially : rapturous delight (from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary)

I’m going to try a new feature on Sundays, writing about spirituality and grace, usually based on the message from my church this morning. Today’s message was about the reason for religion — the relationship between reason and religion, and discussing the reasons humans find meaning in religion. Part of the sermon really resonated with me, that humans find ecstasy in many places, one of which is in religion.

In this context, ecstasy is anything that takes you out of yourself and connects you to a larger spiritual plane (see definition #2 above). Some people find ecstasy in music, art, or religion. Some people find it, yes, in sex. And some people find it in drugs.

That last one I wouldn’t recommend. I think the problem with drugs is that it is so easy to become addicted and be unable to live without that high — much safer to find ecstasy in something that won’t permanently rewire or fry your brain.

I find ecstasy in finding the perfect word or image for a poem, in reading poetry with those perfect words, in a well-written book, in singing in church with the congregation on a Sunday morning.

Ecstasy, for me, is a form of grace. Grace being the connection I feel to the larger spiritual forces that connect us all. That moment of perfection, of being taken out of myself, is a connection to humanity and the cosmos.

Do you find grace in your life? Where do you find ecstasy?

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