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• CONVERSATIONS: Personal Journeys of Transcendence and Healing
NOTE: This level can be considered in 2 overlapping parts: Self-transcendence and Spiritual Transcendence.
In a study by Schnell & Becker, they considered S-T in the:
▶︎ Horizontal, as the Self connecting with health, reproduction, care for others, social commitment & unison with nature
▲ Vertical, as the Self relating to explicit religiosity & spirituality
Transcendence combines a psycho-social-spiritual drive toward personal maturity, distinct from the more self-absorbed striving for self-esteem & intimacy (Levels 3 & 4), by finding greater goals & ideas that serve as a backdrop for one’s whole life.
Strengths of Self-transcendence (S-T)
✩ Appreciation of beauty & of excellence in every experience, & value the excellence in oneself & others
✩ Gratitude – leading to contentment (31 Benefits )
✩ Hope – making difficult tasks & goal-attainment easier
✩ Humor & playfulness – helps to cope with life’s stresses, & facilitate healing wounds in self & others
✩ Spirituality – finding one’s life-goal & positive self-story to give one’s life meaning, greater than just getting through the day.
Spiritual transcendence is the perceived experience of the sacred that effects one’s self–perception, feelings, goals, & the ability to transcend / overcome one’s difficulties. HERE meaning comes from connecting to other people, to universal energy & to a Higher Power (of one’s understanding)
Barbara Hanfstingl’s research lists 3 Measures of spirituality – Implicit self-regulation, Meaning in life & Mysticism, with the latter including:
– Timelessness = feeling at one with the universe
– Good power = feeling moved by an ethereal, heavenly force
– Spiritual insights = which cannot be put into words, too sacred to describe
3 TYPES of S-T (review of Julius Kuhl‘s life & work – scroll UP)
Kuhl & Fuhrmann postulated that human personality is a composite of inner processes for regulation – focused on maintaining the individual’s intended goals:
a. Ego transcendence – self beyond ego = overcoming the barrier between explicit & implicit self-regulation (thinking vs. emotions) – such as deliberately switching between analytic & holistic information processing (intention vs. extension memory).
Implicit self-regulation includes:
▪︎ Positive self-perception ✳️
▪︎ Self-motivation ⬆️ & self-calming ⬇️
▪︎ Action oriented failure management ➡️
b. Self-transcendence – beyond self toward the other = connecting the I & the You, the capability to get & stay involved with another. NOTE: it’s the opposite of narcissism, where the self & the ego are fused
c. Spiritual transcendence – Generally, religious people show higher levels of emotional well-being than nonreligious ones, while also striving for high standards. Transcending experiences go beyond the space-time world that surrounds us, & includes a perception of divinity. (MORE….)
TIME & SPACE
DEF: Transcendence – An experiential meaning-making process to form extraordinary connections within, & beyond the self – with other, in time & space.
Pamela Reed’s Self-Transcendence Theory’s assumptions:
a. Human beings are integral to their environment
b. Self-Transcendence is a developmental imperative
Figure 1 shows a “healthy, open & multidimensional entity, with continuously fluctuating imaginary boundaries, existing within time.”
Past, present & future interact with the person. With transcendent development – their perception of boundaries becomes less distinct, so they can identify Self well beyond the physical & present moment….. and time can become less obvious to them, so everything, including boundaries (separateness), seen less affected by the passing of time.
Figure 2 represents one of an infinite number of possible scenarios for people who are unable to successfully develop self-transcendence. They have more distinct but constricted boundaries & a limited relationship to the external environment. The future is not well integrated into the present, & there’s too much identification with the past.
There is a strong sense of self, but it’s mainly focused on their physical presence, without any real connection to others, the world, or intangible truths (intuition, spirituality….) – ie. narcissism.
♦ Our BRAIN’s GPS can help track time & distance, using grid cells – (originally done with rats). These cells “lay down the sequence of time & space that provide a framework for unfolding events” (a critical aspect of memory) says Howard Eichenbaum, at Boston U.
☆ Grid cells that act like a spatial map in the brain have been identified for the first time in humans, in new research by UCL scientists in the UK (MORE….)
NEXT: Maslow & Meaning