Hell, Ecstasy, and Drugs
The ecstasy of hell attained through intoxication and drug use. False euphoria and erroneous ecstasy.
A book excerpt from the spiritandflesh.com religion and spirituality online library.
"I once saw a woman attain to a level of ecstasy which only the most purified spiritual supplicant could normally accomplish after decades of mortification and discipline, and she was only a drunk and a junky. But she made it to the stars, to that type of ecstasy which can only come about in Hell- the type of release which rockets you up into the distant sky, only so as to let you tumble down even further. But it is that twinkling instant of escape, when everything vanishes but the dream, which keeps the pendulum ever swinging.
I saw her stumbling slowly along the bar, and then she suddenly stopped in her tracks just as what must have been an old, nostalgic rock tune for her came wailing over the stereo, and it was as if she was held there in suspended animation as the tune grew and soared through her, and at the moment of the elevated chorus her head went back, genuflecting in exultation, her arms went limp beside her, and she was as if lifted off of the ground for a millisecond of Hell's ecstasy, an ecstasy caused by the remembrance of a time when life spoke of beautiful and awesome things before the collapse of reality; an ecstasy which was always available, always pretending to be worth the plunge which followed, always beckoning to be known. The ecstasy of Hell. Always waiting there, offering another fix, another moment of forgetting, another tranquillizer or upper to white-wash over the shit, before the deluge of remembrance came and blew it all away.
These are the false redemptions that lift your mind up and shroud your heart but take your spirit nowhere and weaken your already bleeding soul; I know of these phantom pilgrimages into delusion and its hopeless possession, where at every turn in the carnival of lights and attractions the spirit reaches out for life and receives only a picture of life, and in the peril of its anguish and confusion imagines that the image is the thing, for with the heart gone the mind can tell no difference, and so the image is what is sought after from then on, for the real is unattainable, or worse- almost impossible to attain. The fact that it lies at a great distance makes it all the more woeful than if it were gone for good. Like a lost love somewhere far across the ocean, on a different continent, which wrecks you nightly instead of having died to let you grieve and then go on.
It is a horrid difference between the artificial and the real; as if a glass wall separates the soul from its source; as if a person reaches out for what can be seen, but cannot be touched, and in that woeful distance they get only visitor's rights to see themselves, because they come nearer and nearer, only to not come near enough.
I know now of a hell where the living spirit dies in the tomb of misdeeds and misunderstandings. For the living spirit alone is what connects us to the whole, and to each other, for it is life, and everything else is hollow, separate, and dead.
The ecstasies of hell, always displaying their hollow temptations with a devil's smile and the charm of medusa before she strikes. For there is no true ecstasy based on need, because ecstasy is the absence of need, and is a fulfilment beyond need, and therefore cannot be arrived at through need.
It was a game of shadows and their many disguises at the Ivanhoe, a dance of laughter without joy, friendship without brotherhood, and beauty without beatitude."
(excerpted from In and Of: memoirs of a mystic journey, by Jack Haas)