Additional Benefits of Ecstatic States

by James Lawer

The first clear evidence of people  entering ecstatic states begins around 36,000 years ago. Ecstatic States are ordinary, human physiological experiences, natural to human functioning, entered into by rattling, drumming and ritual, that:

  • Enhance communication
  • Reduce stress and tension
  • Inspire ecstatic feelings of oneness with other people, nature, the universe, and God
  • Alter perception and consciousness in alignment with your intentions
  • Awaken creativity
  • Aid in memory and concentration
  • Focus the mind in the present
  • Have positive immune system responses
  • Create group cohesion
  • Foster emotional processing
  • Support peace of mind, feelings of  comfort, and release of anxiety
  • Reduce feelings of isolation

Modern research and field work studies have led to a gradual reintroducion of these ancient practices for our time.  Ecstatic states are now being used for:

  • healing
  • alcohol & drug misuse
  • repairing psychic brokenness
  • the creation of rituals
  • alternative therapies to Western medical practices
  • relief of anxiety
  • healthy psychological functioning
About James Lawer:
James lives at the far edge of the North American continent, about 90 miles south of the Oregon border, among fog and redwoods, between the ocean and the near mountain wilderness, on a little bump of land called Eureka, CA.  His retirement has only made him busier but probably no less naughty.  He was raised in the Army, became a teacher, professor and United Church of Christ clergy, from which he exhaled a pleasing breath and became a Pagan Druid Priest.  He is Provost for the Druid College of North America, runs a sweat lodge in his back yard, plays the harp for personal pleasure, and is a Certified Teacher for The Cuyamungue Institute, specializing in Ecstatic Postures as rediscovered by Dr. Felicitas Goodman.  His personal motto is “Reclaiming the human capacity for ecstasy.”  Twice he has worked in the midst of death and dying, first for the UCC AIDS Ministry (No CA/Nevada Conference) at the height of the AIDS crisis in the San Francisco Bay Area, and then for hospice, from which he retired.  Jim currently uses trance states, induced with the help of rattles and drums, to provide a context within which people may find connections to ancestors and to their own inner wisdom, in order to make meaningful transitions and expansions of consciousness.  He works with individuals and with groups.  His other motto:  “Laughter is a prophetic act,” and one of his closest friends is an old woman who was a street clown back in the day.