Jules Evans – The Insights of Ecstasy

Ecstatic experiences can be doorways to knowing, opportunities for profound transformation. The British philosopher Jules Evans joins Ken to discuss his own exploration of ecstasy, as chronicled in his book “The Art of Losing Control: A Philosopher’s Search for Ecstatic Experience.” They start with the stoics and the practical side of ancient Greek philosophy, then dive into the many ways that the ecstatic is now making itself available in our world, after centuries of repression— from raves to next generation Jesus Freaks to plant spirit medicine to rock music. Along the way, Jules describes his own Near Death Experience and how that has shaped his relationship to the ecstatic. And they explore the importance of community in mystical practice – the teaching, sharing and support of other people.  

Jules Evans is a research fellow at the Centre for the History of Emotions at Queen Mary University in London. His first book, "Philosophy for Life: And Other Dangerous Situations," has been published in 19 countries and was a London Times Book of the Year. He has talked about philosophy on BBC 2’s Newsnight, the Culture Show, on BBC Radio 3 and 4, RTE-1 and ABC Australia; and is a BBC New Generation Thinker. Publications Jules has written for include the Financial Times, The Times, the Guardian, the Spectator and WIRED. 

You can find out more about Jules Evans at http://www.philosophyforlife.org

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Theme music is “Measure by Measure,” courtesy of DJ Spooky, aka Paul D. Miller (@djspooky), from his album The Secret Song, and interstitial music are tracks by The Human Experience: "Sunu" from the album Soul Visions with Rising Appalachia, and Here for a Moment on the album Gone Gone Beyond.