Thoughts on the Perpetual Ecstatic Experience

Aripiprazole (ay-ri-PIP-ray-zole) (marketed as Abilify, Abilify Discmelt; also known as BMS 337039, OPC-14597, and APZ) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on November 15, 2002 for the treatment of schizophrenia, the sixth atypical antipsychotic medication of its kind. More recently, it received FDA approval for the treatment of acute manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar disorder, and as an adjunct for the treatment of major depressive disorder.[1]

A recent rendez vous with a long lost friend, who very much so found Jesus, has me ruminating over the phenomenon of joyful living. I don’t mean to say that I am unmoved by the simple pleasures of daily life: spending time with loved ones, a great glass of wine, a good book, or a standout one liner from, for example, but rather that I am intrigued by the existence-altering, earth-shattering joie de vivre that thrusts those who are lucky (or diligent or willing or self-sacrificing) enough to experience it out of the stagnancy the rest of us suckers suffer.

It may take at least some sort of glimmer into the sublime to realize that there is something greater or Other to experience, but is it a heightened awareness or an acceptance of ignorance that can propel us into perpetual bliss? I mean, do they really not believe in evolution??

I’m seriously no Schopenhauer, but it does appear that the pangs and obligations of reality such as financial worries and familial dysfunction do weigh more heavily on those without some higher calling. And I don’t mean just that of the spiritual variety. Without a “purpose”, whatever that is, it is as if gardening, celebrity-blogging, yoga, and the other little delights we partake in are fleeting fulfill-ers. From amphetamines to orgasms and religion to rock concerts, it seems that the ecstatic experience is becoming increasingly inaccessible, or at least impermanent.

I realize that my Jesus-loving, Bible-quoting brothers in Christ do have their moments, and that it is only natural for humans to feel less than exuberant at all times, but there is a consistency in yogis and monks alike that eludes me. How can I be more like them without relegating myself to an ashram? And am I looking for permanence where I should instead be considering sustainability in this eternal pursuit of happiness?

Confucius once said (something along the lines of), “The one who would be in constant happiness must frequently change,” and as I’ve gathered, other common tenets of contentment include compassion, relationship, community, and gratitude—all of which I can practice or cultivate every day.

That should be enough of an anti-Aripiprazole for my anxieties, and I think it could just get me a little closer to euphoria.

After all, Nirvana is more than a nineties grunge band.

[1] “Aripiprazole.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 11 Jul 2009, 03:46 UTC. 11 Jul 2009

Lady Dada can be reached at

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