John Donne’s The Ecstasy
John Donne’s ”The Ecstasy” raises the question of a transpersonal dimension contingent in our interactions with one another that would break the fantasm. 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
A spectator watches in the poem the souls of its ecstatic lovers “negotiate” without being able to determine “which soul spake,” as if there were a third agent involved in the encounter, as if there be another dimension of being, beyond binaries.
The ecstasy is a break, it is an ex-stasis, an uprooting; it breaks the eternal return of the real; it breaks our karma, you might say. It is a break (from the past) that carries the promise of a rewriting of ourselves/our bodies in that the ecstasy “doth unperplex,” thus leaving us in the nakedness of unconcealment as we are thrown elsewhere, head over heels. It’s diabolic.
The perceptions derived from “The Ecstasy” cannot be ignored: It points toward a transpersonal dimension at work in intersubjective relations; a dimension of which we can have no knowledge except through subjective experience.