Ecstasy - Literally: the withdrawal of the soul from the body; mystical or prophetic exaltation or rapture characteristic of shamanism and visionary states, originally and naturally catalyzed by entheogenic plants; also, such states artificially induced by breath control, fasting, meditation, drumming and other shamanic and yogic practices. Hence: Ecstasied, Ecstasis, Ecstasize, Ecstatic, Ecstatical.1857 Ludlow The Hasheesh Eater, 55. My ecstasy became so great that I seemed to cast off all shackles of flesh.
1957 Wasson Mushrooms, Russia & History, 295. On both nights RGW stood for a long time... transfixed in ecstasy by the visions that he was seeing... For the first time the word 'ecstasy' took on a subjective meaning for him. 'Ecstasy' was not someone else's state of mind. It was no longer a trite superlative cheapened by overuse. It signified something different and superior in kind, about which RGW could now testify as a competent witness.
1961 Wasson Botanical Museum Leaflets, 19: 137. At last you know what the ineffable is and what ecstasy means. Ecstasy! The mind harks back to the origin of that word. For the Greeks ekstasis meant the flight of the soul from the body. Can you find a better word than that to describe the bemushroomed state? In common parlance, among the many who have not experienced ecstasy, ecstasy is fun, and I am frequently asked why I do not reach for mushrooms every night. But ecstasy is not fun. Your very soul is seized and shaken until it tingles. After all, who will chose to feel undiluted awe, or to float through that door yonder into the Divine presence?
- The Age of Entheogens & The Angel's Dictionary
by Jonathan Ott