“Reversal [peripeteia] is change to the opposite of what happened before”—Aristotle, Poetics
Visual consciousness constellates itself in the relationship between the perceived spatial locus of the eye, on the one hand, and the vanishing point, on the other. The soul identifies itself with the first of these poles and defines the periphery of its vision by the second. The ecstatic movement is a reversal of this identification. Hence the vanishing point becomes the standard of reference and all objects in the visual field begin to “float” as a result of intensive parallax. It has something to do with the peripheral, instead of the foveal mode of vision and I suspect it is also related to making use of visual signaling from rods over that of cones, though colour is intensified and not diminished so I could be wrong about this.
I ordinarily conceptualize “the world ” in juxtaposition to “me,” which I largely identify with my physical body and its location in space. When I raise a hand, for instance, I think of this as me raising a hand and the world remaining as it was, just “looking on,” as it were. The ecstatic movement is a sort of “turning-inside-out” of the usual structure of postulates. As a result, the world, in which my body is already part and parcel, raises its hand while I “look on.” Put another way, will and awareness trade places and consolidate themselves. Hence the world manifests will and the I kindles consciousness.
Every plant is an ecstasy of its seed and every blossom is an ecstasy of its bud. The seed correlates to the physical body and to the element of Earth, the leaf to Water and to the etheric body, the blossom to Air and the astral body, and the seed to the I and to fire.
“Love is important not as one of our feelings, but as the transfer of all our interest in life from ourselves to another, as the shifting of the very center of our personal lives.”
—Vladimir Solovyov, The Meaning of Love (1891)