Ecstatic comes from the Greek word ekstatikos, of “unstable, inclined to depart from.” Heidegger made a big deal about it by writing existence as ek-sistence. “Ek” as outside of yourself. This eksistence is characteristic of Dasein’s temporality, because the present is always sandwiched between the past and the future, where we also, strictly, are.

That is the ontological ecstasy that characterizes our existence (ek-sistence) as a whole. But there is also an ontic ecstasy—the feeling when joy/bliss/good-fortune/grace hits you, leaving you dizzy to respond other than silences interlaced with hysterical giggles. The moment of ecstasy is, in this sense, almost traumatic. It is too good to be true. We can only hold it in our imagination, treat it as a dream, rather than accepting its happening (and its passing away).

These series of traumatic events characterize life. From one to the other.

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