Perhaps the most foundational principle of fetishamanism is the idea that fetish can be used to “drive” an ecstatic practice.
Ecstatic Practice is a total involvement with an object of interest to deliberately produce an altered state of consciousness
. It is characterized as diminished awareness of other objects or total lack of the awareness of surroundings and everything around the object. Subjective perception of time, space and/or self may strongly change or disappear during ecstasy. The word is often used in mild sense, to refer to any heightened state of consciousness or intense pleasant experience. It is also used more specifically to denote states of awareness of non-ordinary mental spaces, which may be perceived as spiritual
(the latter type of ecstasy often takes the form of religious ecstasy
). (from Wikipedia: Ecstasy (Emotional))
Ecstatic practice is often equated with “spiritual practice”, but that word carries a lot of baggage with it– it is usually construed to mean something like “reaching for God” and, therefore, often has religious overtones. “Spiritual” scares a lot of people away while it may attract the very people who are most likely to consider fetish as evil or unsavory. In constrast, “ecstacy” has a more generic foundation and, if anything, is more likely to be equated with extreme happiness, rapture or exalted states of mind without religious baggage.
Many regard “spirituality” as the quest for oneself. It is the act of trying to transcend oneself toward all that he can be.
This, above all,
To thine own self be true,
and, as the day follows the night,
thou canst not be false to any man.
Sexuality is behind almost everything we do. It is one of the most powerful and pervasive forces evident in all living things. Sex makes the world go round! Why not harness the sexual energy of fetishism to “push” us into ecstacy? How can we integrate fetish into an ecstatic practice?
There are two aspects of fetish which play here.
The first part is that fetish is an expression of who you are. It’s part of your identity and, probably, a fairly significant part, as well. To strive to be all of the Rubberist that you can be is a big part of self-actualizing yourself in the Maslowian sense.
The second part is that fetish can be a motive force behind spirituality. The drive to survive as both individual and as a species is one of the strongest forces in any living thing on this planet. There is enormous energy there and it tends to be at the root of almost anything we do. If the sexual energy that underlies fetish can somehow be applied to the spiritual quest — possibly by eroticizing it’s activities, then there will be a strong force toward accomplishing that quest. It’s the kind of thing that can get you out of bed at 3a.m. to meditate if you know that it is also connected to sexual activity. (Although, it would seem that there is no end to it. The quest is all about climbing the mountain, not reaching it’s summit.)