To this day, the Greek god Dionysus has to be used when talking about them: ecstasies are wild, they have an inherent energy that can be felt by those who have just been raptured, but which is all too difficult to put into words. Shamans move in ecstasy in invisible worlds, medieval mystics united with God in it, and intoxication was and is an integral part of every society. Because they are difficult to control, ecstasies are frowned upon to this day - but they have never completely disappeared. And they are returning with a vengeance: surprisingly, we encounter them today not only at raves or in shamanistic rituals, but also in yoga classes, mindfulness seminars and workshops designed to improve job performance. And last but not least, the new boom in ecstasy is evident in crisis phenomena such as a martial masculinity, in mass movements such as the violent storming of the Capitol in Washington or the protests against the Corona measures. But where does this new desire for ecstasy come from? It is high time to trace this basic human need for self-transgression with historical depth, critical curiosity, an analytical view of the present, and cultural respect in medical laboratories, witchcraft rituals, ayahuasca ceremonies, and club culture - in order to find an ethic for the ecstasies of the present.
English sample available
Paul-Philipp Hanske, born in Regensburg in 1975, co-founded the editorial agency Nansen & Piccard, where he still works today.
Benedikt Sarreiter, born in Munich in 1976, co-founded the editorial agency Nansen & Piccard, where he works.
“Paul-Philipp Hanske and Benedikt Sarreiter have written a book about the history of ecstasy on the psychedelic wave that has the potential to become a standard work.” – Adrian Kreye, Süddeutsche Zeitung