Ecstasy

The term refers to the supernatural state of being beyond reason and self-control, as when obsessed by emotion or overpowering feeling such as joy or rapture. External patterns of behavior such as incoherent speech, insensibility to pain, wild leaping contortions, jerking, and glossolalia (or “speaking in tongues”) are examples of the ecstatic state. In the OT there are several instances of ecstasy recorded, usually in connection with the prophets. In the Christian Church, ecstasy has been held to be one of the normal stages in mystic life, although never regarded as normative for the Christian life. The ecstatic state is not sought for its own sake, but rather as an external indication of the union of the human will with the divine. A central characteristic of the ecstatic state is the alienation of the senses, with the individual perhaps becoming immovable and inoperative.