The Art of Losing Control

A Philosopher's Search for Ecstatic Experience

Jules Evans

I went searching for the white light I’d found on the mountain in Norway, and spent five years chasing it, like Alice chasing the White Rabbit
The Art of Losing Control by Jules Evans (Paperback ISBN 9781782118787) book cover

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A wise, witty and dynamic guide to the philosophy of human ecstasy from the leading expert in the modern science of ecstatic experience

Since the Enlightenment, western culture has written off ecstatic experience as a form of mental illness. But why should rationality be considered the highest part of human nature when we are capable of so many more states of experience?

Piecing together interviews, analysis of ancient and modern philosophy, and his own eclectic encounters with the sublime, philosopher Jules Evans mounts an investigation into what we can gain from mastering the art of losing control. From Aristotle and Plato to the Bishop of London and Sister Bliss, radical jihadis to Silicon Valley transhumanists, The Art of Losing Control is a funny, life-enhancing journey that will change the way you think about how you feel.

“Compelling … His sensitivity as a thinker, like his skill as a storyteller, is never in doubt”

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“An original and outstanding investigation into a poorly understood but central experience in all our lives. Jules Evans is brave, honest and wise - a great companion and guide on a fascinating journey”
Caspar Henderson, Author Of The Book Of Barely Imagined Beings

“A captivating exploration of humanity’s journey toward self-transcendence”

“In keeping with the ecstatic experience itself, this is a wild, wondrous, wide-eyed journey, and Evans has convinced me at least that it’s a trip worth taking”

“Fascinating stuff … Evans is a natural storyteller and his honesty about his own experience is refreshing and disarming … A smart book that delivers on entertainment as well. Evans takes his subject matter seriously but delivers his investigations in an endlessly amusing and eye-opening manner”
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Jules Evans

Jules Evans is policy director at the Centre for the History of Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London. He is the author of Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations, which was published in 19 countries and was a Times Book of the Year. Jules has written for The Times, Financial Times, Guardian, Spectator and WIRED and is a BBC New Generation Thinker. He also runs the London Philosophy Club, the world’s biggest philosophy club. @julesevans77

Jules Evans introduces The Art of Losing Control: A Philosopher’s Search for Ecstatic Experience.