In talking about Ecstasies as experiences of the Divine we find ourselves talking about “forgetting oneself,” for that is what ecstasies do—they take us to a bigger world than the ego usually nests in. 

But I am not someone who bad mouths the Ego.  Having an ego is an adolescent accomplishment that deserves to be respected—our egos separate us from our parents so we become truer to who we are.  Ego also creates important boundaries that serve us the rest of our lives. 

“Baby Beanie Boy” by Nishant Aneja, Pexels

Thus I much prefer talking about our natural ecstasies as a starting point for spiritual experience than talking about putting down our egos.  Indeed, it is a sad thing when one has been deprived of having developed one’s ego in adolescence.  Ecstasies take us beyond our egos into transcendent experiences but we still need our egos for survival and even defense of our true self.

Still more natural ecstasies that open our hearts to God experience include lively occasions of celebration—folk dancing, music, laughter, games–all joyful moments shared with others.  Celebrating is a forgetting in order to remember: a loss of ego for the sake of a greater communion, an ecstasy shared.

“Joe Kennedy, Jr., also known as Rainbow Joe, leading the Meridian Hill Park drum circle in Washington, DC as he’s done for many years.” By Mike Maguire, Flickr

There is the ecstasy of serving.  Parents who pass on the joy of living to children; teachers who arouse the ecstasy of thinking in their students; musicians who touch people deeply; first responders who assist others in dire situations; scientists alerting us to global warming and what we can do about it; community organizers who arouse us to justice-making: Surely such persons live blessed lives.  For their work has become their ecstasy.  Everyone’s work can be an ecstasy to the extent that it performs a bona-fide service of healing and supporting and in the process passing on ecstasy to others.

“Hindu festival of Diwali, Uluwatu Temple, Indonesia” by Johan Mouchet, Unsplash

Visiting or traveling can be an experience of forgetfulness of self.  “No work today” can mean ecstasy today!  A forgetfulness of our everyday world of problem solving and concerns for self-survival.  In visiting relatives or friends or other cultures, we immerse ourselves in the world of joys and sorrows, that is, the ecstasies of others.  Making oneself vulnerable to another culture with its beauties and diversity of language, costumes, histories, ideas, puts one’s own world in a proper place of relativity and we learn some humility (hopefully).

In the last three meditations we have listed some examples of natural ecstasies.  But Life offers us a banquet of them; there are many more.  “Pay attention” as Mary Oliver would say.

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Whee! We, wee All the Way Home: A Guide to Sensual, Prophetic Spirituality, p. 50, 52f.
Banner Image: “Untitled” by Burak Kostak, Pexels

Queries for Contemplation

Feel free to add more ecstasies to the ones listed here and in the previous two daily meditations.  What do they tell you of your priorities in life, of your value system and what steers your decision making?

Is your work an ecstasy for you (at least some of the time)?  If not, is it possible to render it such?

Recommended Reading

One of Matthew Fox’s earliest books, this title explores the importance of ecstasy in the spiritual life. Fox considers the distinction between “natural” ecstasies (including nature, sex, friendship, music, art) and “tactical” ecstasies (like meditation, fasting, chanting); he names the spiritual journey as taking us from ecstasy (Whee!) to a community consciousness (We), to our battling forces that prefer control to pleasure shared or justice (wee).

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4 thoughts on “Additional Natural Ecstasies”

  1. Avatar
    Diane M Bingham

    Thankyou Matthew Fox, for helping me realize how meaningful my work is as a medical freedom warrior, mainly in bringing information and awareness to others about dangers of vaccines, and forced or mandated vaccines for all. If anyone would like to know more please look at

    1. Avatar

      Thank you. I feel the safety of vaccines is very questionable. My daughter doesn’t have her 3 yr old vaccinated and I agree because the number of vaccines has skyrocketed since we received them . And big pharma s like them for the money.
      And yes watching my grandson play, talk, laugh and love is an ecstasy.

  2. Avatar

    I felt ecstasy recently watching our newest grandchild crawling as swiftly as he could to explore new surroundings . Embraced by his relatives celebrating his curiosity, courage and the miracle of evolution encompassed by his tiny body. LOVE .

    And yes, he is protected from the ravages of life threatening diseases, by vaccinations

    1. Gail Ransom

      Thank you for reminding us of the ecstasy of watching our children meet the world. It reminds me of the absolute delight my nephew takes in parenting children Sharing their photos in all sorts of situations on Instagram is part of the celebration. I am also reminded of the toddlers I’ve seen crouched low to the ground, marveling at a bug on the sidewalk while we stand behind marveling at them!
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the DM Team

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