The Art of Losing Control by Jules Evans
A Philosopher's Search for Ecstatic Experience

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The question of what can reliably fill the gap left by organised religion is beyond the scope of this, or perhaps any one book. Yet, as Evans shows us, we can have a high old time trying to answer it.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Jules Evans is lying at the bottom of a mountain after a skiing accident. But he's not thinking about his broken femur. He's having an ecstatic revelation. Jules's brush with ecstasy leads him on an investigation: why have we been happy to accept Greek philosophy's attitude that rationality is the highest part of human nature for so many centuries, when we are capable of so many more states of experience? On his way, Jules discovers that by mastering the art of losing control, we can liberate ourselves from toxic habits and lead and better, deeper life. Balancing personal narrative, interviews, and readings from ancient and modern philosophers, The Art of Losing Control is a fascinating, funny and thrilling guide to the different ways we can experience ecstasy and how it can motivate us, heal us and set us free.
 

About Jules Evans

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Jules Evans is research fellow at the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London. His recent media work include talks or interviews on ecstatic experiences on Radio 3 and Radio 4 (most recently on radio 4's Archive, about stadium rock as an ecstatic experience), as well as an appearance to talk about drug policy on Newsnight. This summer, he has given talks about the place of ecstasy in modern culture at venues including the British Museum, the National Gallery, and Wilderness and Latitude festivals. He has also spoken internationally at many venues and media, including the Month of Philosophy in Amsterdam, NPR radio, ABC Australia, and the South Korean government's global publishing conference. His TedX talk has 150,000 hits. Jules also runs practical philosophy workshops with organizations including Arsenal, Saracens, Deloitte, Escape the City, Sunday Assembly, the School of Life and Her Majesty's Prisons. He has an ongoing involvement in the Stoicism Today research project and is organizing the Stoic Week 2015 conference in November.
 
Published April 25, 2017 by Canongate Books Ltd. 352 pages
Genres: History, Self Help, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
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Guardian

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Reviewed by David Shariatmadari on May 18 2017

The question of what can reliably fill the gap left by organised religion is beyond the scope of this, or perhaps any one book. Yet, as Evans shows us, we can have a high old time trying to answer it.

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