Throughout time and across global, spiritual traditions and cultures, elevated/ ecstatic states of human experience have been recognized, aspired to and valued as discernible, relevant and inherent states of consciousness for humans to access regularly. This article offers an overview of the existence of the human, innate drive to attain elevated/ecstatic states. This subject area has been examined through a variety of theories, from the biological to the philosophical, and referenced to the considerable body of research on this topic.
The authors propose that these states are normal, necessary and purposeful. We posit the emerging genre of freeform/ecstatic dance as being at the beginning stages of a potential cultural revival – a ‘movement’ movement of sorts – as this genre re-introduces western and eastern cultures to what is, in reality, an ancient tradition carried out by and chronicled in civilizations throughout time.
Freeform/ecstatic ways of movement and release are put forth as a practical and effective way of accessing essentially blissful and expanded states of consciousness that can, in turn, enhance mood, improve self-esteem and provide a practical application for a postmodern daily wellness practice.