If God is near and vitally present in all that exists, all of life, we see why ecstasy is the experience of God. Speaking theologically we can say that revelation happens through creatures and our experience as creatures interacting deeply with nature, music, love, sex, dance, suffering, thinking, meditating, working and more. This is another way of saying that revelation, “the veritable speech of God” and the unveiling of the Divine, occurs far more broadly than merely in books (however sacred) or through church authorities (however insistent).
If every creature is “a word of God and a book about God” (Eckhart), then time spent with other creatures can be deep time, contemplative time, prayerful time—if we bring an open heart and mind to it. Our oneing experiences remind us of that. Each creature is a Logos or Word of God or another Christ.
Everything that is, is holy, and our experiences of ecstasy can be our recognition of this fact. “The world is not only a good world,” warns philosopher Joseph Pieper, “it is in a very precise sense holy.” To cite Rabbi Heschel: “Just to be is a blessing, just to live is holy.” Pieper adds: “Wherever we encounter something that has flamed anything real, anything existent in any way whatsoever, we encounter something that has ‘flamed up’ directly from God.”
The revelation of the Divine is available in many forms to many people—to all those who can undergo ecstasy or breakthrough or oneing and are moved by the Creator who is intimately present in his/her creation. How loudly the Creator shouts to us through creation’s beauty! How deaf we so often are.
For all these reasons and more, we can agree that our experiences of ecstasy are our experiences of God. God and the very action of God is ours to experience if we care enough to treat ourselves to the ecstasies of living. That is mysticism. Our prophetic lives are sharing the ecstasies of living by way of working for justice and compassion in our communities and our work worlds, our citizenship and our families, working to see that all, irrespective of social or economic, racial or gender status, also share in the table that Wisdom sets.
For Deeper Contemplation
“How is God with us in other people and in other creatures?” Think on revelations that have come your way from your interactions with humans or other creatures based on this belief. What comes up? Gratitude? Reverence? Wonder?
How can you more fully admit ecstasy into your life and be moved by the Creator who is in his/her creation in an intimate way?
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).