Hungry for Ecstasy: Trauma, The Brain, and the Influence of the Sixties by Sharon Klayman Farber explores the hunger for ecstatic experience that can lead people down the road to self-destruction. In an attempt to help mental health professionals and concerned individuals understand and identify the phenomenon and ultimately intervene with patients, friends, and loved ones, Farber speaks both personally and professionally to the reader. She discusses the different paths taken on the road to ecstatic states. There are religious ecstasies, ecstasies of pain and near-death experiences, cult-induced ecstasies, creative ecstasies, and ecstasies from hell. Hungry for Ecstasy explores not only the neuroscientific processes involved but also the influence of the sixties in driving people to seek these states. Finally, Farber draws from her own personal and professional experience to advise others how to intervene on behalf of the person whose behavior puts his or her life at risk.
Acknowledgments Preface Introduction Chapter 1: The Rapture of Falling, Dying, and Being Born Again The Manic Defense The Ineffable Nature of Ecstasy Some Thoughts about Ecstasy "After the Ecstasy Comes the Laundry" Ecstasy as an Altered State The Author's Interest in Ecstasy The Sixties and Ecstasy Needing to Get Out of Our Own Skin To Heaven or Hell for Ecstasy The Spectrum of Normal and Ecstasy Chapter 2: Altered States of Consciousness Consciousness and the Self What is an Altered State? Dissociative States The History of Altered States in Psychoanalysis Altered States can Enrich our Lives Chapter 3: The Brain and Altered States of Consciousness Ecstasies of Hysteria Freud's Victorian Ladies Suffering from Hysteria Hysteria and Dissociation Fainting, Swooning, and Seizures Atiques de Nervois and Other Ecstasies The Remarkable, Impressionable Human Brain Attachment and the Brain The Brain's Plasticity Sensitization, Kindling, and Addiction Trauma and Altered States of Consciousness The Third Eye and Altered States of Consciousness The Brain and Ecstasy Out of Body Experiences Near-Death Experiences Religion, Spirituality, and Ecstasy Orgasm and Ecstasy The Brain During Ecstasy "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" Chapter 4: The Sixties: "Something is Happening Here..." The Legacy of the Sixties "Life Should be Ecstasy" Generations X and Y The Culture of Narcissism Like a Motherless Child Neglected and Unprotected Group Initiation Rites and Ecstasy When Life Becomes Ecstasy Chapter 5: Marketing and Producing Ecstasy A Separate Reality Pharmaceutical Paradise Marketing Religious Ecstasy Chapter 6: Cult-Induced Ecstasy and Psychosis Extreme Altered States "You Create Your Own Reality" Est, Also Known as The Forum and Landmark Forum: "It Is What It Is" Cults, Motivational Seminars, and the < Human Potential Movement Snapping and Ecstasy What Psychotherapists Treating Cult-Involved Patients Need to Know Cults and the Consciousness Explosion Ecstasies of Cosmic Consciousness The Transcendental Meditation "Vision of Possibilities" Soul Murder She Saw Me Glowing, Just Like Freedom, Her Guru Chapter 7: Ecstasies of Pain and Near-Death Experiences Bob Flanagan: Super-Masochist The Nature of Pain Ritualistic Violence in Music and Dance Sadomasochism Playing with Death and Resurrection To Humiliate and to be Humiliated Playing with Death Through Starving, Purging, and Mutilating the Self Initiation into the Tribe Body Modifications Needle Freaks, Piercing Junkies, and Tattoo Addicts Our Cultural Obsession with Skin The Tribe of Lambs Who Lay Down for the Slaughter Bodily Self-Harm, Body Modifications, and Suicidality Beware the Gurus and Shamans of Pain Raellyn Gallina, Queen of Blood Sports Fakir Musafar Chapter 8: Religious Ecstasies Sri Ramakrishna's Ecstasies Sacred Erotica and Ecstatic Seizures Ecstatic Stigmatics and Holy Anorexics Born-Again Ecstasies Speaking Tongues and Snake Handling Ecstasies The Spiritual Ecstasies of Generations X and Y The Oceanic Experience: Riding the Waves or Going Under? Without the Darkness there is no Light Crossing the Border The Hunger for Spirituality What is The Sacred? Chapter 9: Killing, Cannibalism, and Other Ecstasies from Hell An Ancient Taboo in Modern Times "I Am a Cannibal" Human Sacrifice and the Demon God The Ecstasies of Hitler's Willing Executioners The Ecstasies of the Suicide Bombers Jailhouse Conversions The Ecstasies of a Born-Again Killer Chapter 10: Creative Ecstasies The Nature of Creativity Theories of Creativity The Drive to Write The Compulsion to Write and Endlessly Write Mental Illness, Addiction, Epilepsy and Creativity Creativity in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis Our Best Creative Minds Speak Out About Their Own Mental Illness Creative Writing of Scientific Prose Chapter 11: Intervening with Those Hungry for Ecstasy Resilience can Surprise You Problems in Self-Care The Crux of the Matter Sex Produces Orgasms; Perversions Produce Ecstasy Preventive Interventions The Holistic Inquiry Alcoholism, Compulsive Eating and Bipolar Disorder Self-Mutilation: "Nothing to Get so Cut Up About" Goth Culture Huffing, Sniffing, Dusting, and Bagging "Dear Abby, My Sister Plays the Choking Game and I'm Worried" Summing Up Chapter 12: Power of the Therapist's Affective Experience An Integrated Approach to Treatment Rising to the Challenge Attunement and Attachment-Based Psychotherapy The Therapist as Tuning Fork: Revisiting the Concepts of Neutrality, Abstinence, and Anonymity The Dissociative Response as a Form of Communication Projective Identifications and Enactments Passion: A Peculiar Kind of Love Intuition and Improvisation Walking About: In Dream Time, Following a Trail of Breadcrumbs The Ecstasy of Oneness and the Rage of Twoness Hope is the Thing with Feathers References Index About the Author