Ecstasy (emotion)

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Ecstasy (from Ancient Greek ἔκστασις ékstasis, 'outside of oneself') is a subjective experience of total involvement of the subject with an object of their awareness.


  • O ye that look on Ecstasy
    The Dancer lone and white,
    Cover your charmèd eyes, for she
    Is Death’s own acolyte.
    She dances on the moonstone floors
    Against the jewelled peacock doors:
    The roses flame in her gold hair,
    The tired sad lids are overfair.
    All ye that look on Ecstasy
    The Dancer lone and white,
    Cover your dreaming eyes, lest she—
    (Oh! softly, strangely!)—float you through
    These doors all bronze and green and blue
    Into the Bourg of Night.
  • There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive. This ecstasy, this forgetfulness of living, comes to the artist, caught up and out of himself in a sheet of flame; it comes to the soldier, war-mad on a stricken field and refusing quarter; and it came to Buck, leading the pack, sounding the old wolf-cry, straining after the food that was alive and that fled swiftly before him through the moonlight. He was sounding the deeps of his nature, and of the parts of his nature that were deeper than he, going back into the womb of Time. He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars and over the face of dead matter that did not move.