John Donne’s The Ecstasy

John Donne’s The Ecstasy raises the question of a transpersonal dimension contingent in our interactions with one another. As the poet says,

This ecstasy doth unperplex,
We said, and tell us what we love
We see by this it was not sex;
We see we saw not what did move

while a spectator in the poem watches the souls of its ecstatic lovers “negotiate” without being able to determine “which soul spake.”

The ecstasy is a break, it is an ex-stasis, an uprooting; it breaks the eternal return of the fantasm; it breaks our karma, you might say, as the ecstasy subverts the I on which the fantasm rests. It is a break (from the past) that carries the promise of the future, of rewriting ourselves/our bodies in that the ecstasy “doth unperplex,” leaving us in the nakedness of unconcealment as we are thrown elsewhere, falling into being, into a future point in time.

The insights from “The Ecstasy” cannot be neglected: it points toward a transpersonal dimension at work in intersubjective relations; a dimension of which we can have no knowledge except through subjective experience.

Shades of Cogs shows an array a mapping a new media reading of texts published in the ‘old’ media print. The readings speaks about the indeterminacy and ex-stasis of signs, of mappings and structural frameworks. And music.


By happy coincidence, and despite his ambivalent relation to music, the string instrument kora resounds in Plato’s concept the chora, which he sees as a receptacle for the soul.

By happy coincidence, the string instrument kora resounds in Julia Kristeva’s rereading of the chora as the semiotic chora, a receptacle for the unconscious that embodies our being in the world. And this chora, this otherness, can be heard in the rhythms of our language, in the body’s movement…, and in the compositions we create.