The Art of Losing Control by Jules Evans
(Canongate, 2017)

The Art of Losing Control

by Jules Evans

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.


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
Compelling . . . His sensitivity as a thinker, like his skill as a storyteller, is never in doubt”
- Guardian
A captivating exploration of humanity's journey toward self-transcendence”
- Prospect
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”
- Psychologist