Seeking Euphoria

Have you ever wondered what people are looking for?

Every day I read about my friends who are:

  • Climbing mountains
  • Taking kids to camp/retreats
  • Going on mission trips (guilty, as charged)
  • Going to the desert to be alone
  • Moving from one church to another
  • Changing careers
  • Reading books or writing books
  • Going to concerts
  • On and on…

And I wonder what it is that they are looking for? I look at their stories and think about Pilgrims Progress. “Where are you headed, Christian?” They are going on these trips, seeking something, some find it while others don’t. It’s a mysterious phenomenon that has been going on forever, I suppose. But this spiritual seeking is now on full display thanks to Facebook status updates and Twitter posts.

We are all seekers of something. But why?

I often wonder what I’m looking for. Right in the middle of one of these experiences I’ll have an annoying moment of clarity when I ask myself, “Adam, what the heck are you doing this for?

Humans are hard-wired to seek religious euphoria

We aren’t usually able to articulate it. But we spend countless energy trying to find it or repeat it.

The first time is mystical… almost magical. For many people, we were going about our daily life and one day an experience got us. (See the list above) Maybe we were sitting around a campfire at a retreat when it happened. Or maybe we were at a Christian concert? Or maybe we were at home, sitting in front of our laptop, writing a blog post, when it happened?

We have a euphoric experience. Something so powerful that we almost can’t explain what it was or what happened that made it so amazing.

It just was.

Some people remember just weeping and they don’t know why. Others remember a tremendous warm feeling overcoming them. Still others talk about an intense peace that washes over them.

The intensity of these experiences defies description. It may have only lasted 5 minutes but those five minutes felt like hours. And we spend weeks on a slow decent back to normal life.

Then, when we come down off of that high moment– we spend the rest of our lives sub-consciously seeking it again.

So we try to go back to the place it happened before.

And we’re a little disappointed when we can’t replicate it. So we try again. And again.

And again. Some find it again while others don’t.

And, in moments of clarity, we are left to wonder: What is it that I’m truly looking for?

Two articles on this experience that speak to the science of it, it literally is a high:

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

Leave a Reply