3 Reasons to Seek Out Profound Religious Experiences

In a recent post entitled, “What American Gods Tells Us About the Need for Religious Ecstasy“, I speculated that one of the reasons Neo-Paganism seems to be on the decline and Devotional Polytheism on the rise, is that the former no longer offers the experience of ecstasy or transcendence to many people, while the latter does.  In response, Rua Lupa argued that “the search for transcendence or ecstasy in order to have a ‘deep religious experience’ is frankly hedonistic.”

I am sympathetic to the argument that pursuing “peak experiences” for their own sake can be problematic.  At its most benign, “blissing out” may be “purely aesthetic”, but at worst, it can resemble drug seeking behavior.  Nevertheless, I believe there are real benefits to seeking out mystical or ecstatic states. Continue reading “3 Reasons to Seek Out Profound Religious Experiences”

What American Gods Tells Us About the Need for Religious Ecstasy

American Gods is a novel by Neil Gaiman, which has now been made into a (really good) TV series on Starz.  The premise of American Gods is that the people who came to the American continent–including conquerors, slaves, and immigrants–brought with them their gods … literally.  The gods now walk around disguised as human beings.  But the old gods have weakened as belief in them disappeared, and they now battle with new gods, gods of the internet and credit cards and super highways. Continue reading “What American Gods Tells Us About the Need for Religious Ecstasy”

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