The first book I had been planning to write was titled “Secular Ecstasy,” and was to be an exploration of secular ritual through which people enter altered states of consciousness, often called “ecstasy.”
I’ve long been fascinated with and attracted to methods of stimulating ecstatic states. The “higher levels” of consciousness, whether through use of psychedelics, ecstatic ritual, sex (particularly kink or group sex), or dancing.
I studied neuroscience in college and was planning on continuing on to grad school to research ecstatic states, but got waylaid by the realization that I REALLY didn’t want to be a research scientist. Oops.
But the next best thing, and one that fits in most with my lifestyle, is writing a book about it. I read a lot of fantastic books in my preliminary research including Barbara Ehrenreich’s Dancing in the Streets, John Horgan’s Rational Mysticism, and the incomparable Howard K. Bloom’s Global Brain. These newer books were terrific assets to the work of Abraham Maslow, who could be argued was one of the first psychologists who concerned himself with such states of consciousness.
As I compiled my research, I wrote a paper for Professor David Higgins’ academic conference, the Glaukopis Conference, which was presented at Black Rock City in 2008.
This paper was the very beginning stages of a draft for the book.
Since I’ll be out in the desert starting today, reveling with 40,000 other ecstasy-seekers, I’ve decided to serialize the paper, starting on Monday. The paper isn’t all lesbian werewolves, I’m afraid, but I’ll be back to my old tricks as soon as I’ve washed the dust out of my ears after Labor Day.