What is our primary drive? Stealing Fire makes the argument that it might just be reaching what the authors refer to as ecstasis - an extraordinary state of consciousness. Whether that is through sex, psychedelics, sound, flow, or meditation these escapes from ordinary state are pursued even when they put the survival of the organism at risk.
The book is incredibly well written, draws stories from antiquity to the present, and provides the absolute best overview of state shifting practices of any book I have ever encountered. While not central characters in the narrative, it is clear that Kotler and Wheal are not just academics scouring the literature, they have placed themselves at the front lines of many of these practices and offer some very sage advice on how to engage in them for maximum benefit and minimum risk.