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What is Transcendence, how does one Transcend?

EndogenousRebel

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Etymologically it come from Latin words and translates to something like: to go beyond a climb of some sort.

Objectively there is no such thing as objective transcendence, as it's an unreachable ideal by definition. Furthermore it doesn't really specify to what end transcendence can be used besides the implication that it is towards something allegedly better, a goal. A climb is hardly definitive as a good or bad goal though. Saying one transcends stupidity can mean that they are no longer stupid, or they have created a new level of stupidity that warrants a new name.

If you ask me the way people see transcendence typically as some ideal is pretty strange. It usually comes from a loss or sacrifice/shedding of something. I guess my question is what exactly these sacrifices do, do they have weight, what is their value? It seems something too tied to perceptions. The reason this is done in stories is easy to see, because people relate to them, but- idk it seems farcical a lot.

I would give examples but I don't want to cherry pick. Rapid transformations that happen to characters come to mind, such as Goku seeing Krillin die and becoming a Super Saiyan, or Walter White from Breaking Bad.

I guess in reality it's a trade between attaining something a giving something up, but does that really take us where we want to go? Progression I suppose is a different thing.
 
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Well, from a Jungian point of view, transcendence of one's persona or ego comes from integration with one's shadow.
 

Animekitty

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Spiritual transcendence is about "letting go". Attachments block you from experiencing transcendent reality. Mostly it is an ego thing. pride, envy, etc. But once you get past it you can transcend. The transcension experience is different each time. Getting rid of blockages is rough. But it is emotionally relieving. It must be emotionally intensive.

The most intense spiritual experience I had came from forgiving someone. I was in a white void with this woman cloaked in liquid gold. It was one of the top events of my life.

Some people experience heaven, ride on butterfly wings. Stuff like that.
 

Cognisant

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Transcend, to overcome, to rise above.

In terms of wisdom transcendence is overcoming/escaping the current paradigm, however before you shave your head and rush off to Tibet consider that happiness is relative. On your way to the monastery you may find yourself in the company of a monk who is heading the other way, and ever so grateful to trade you his prayer wheel and robes for your smartphone and modern clothes.

Perhaps it is not happiness that we seek but the idea of happiness.
 

sushi

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its different for everyone. For me its total understanding of self and universe, and
overcoming weaknesses and limitations.
 

onesteptwostep

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Transcendence isn't a thing, it's just something humans want, something that's out of this world, or out of this reality. Transcendence as a word was hijacked by New Ageists in the 60s and really has lost its theological significance. A better word, or a word similar to it would be 'the sublime'.

The only thing wholly transcendent thing is God. People don't 'achieve' transcendence. The subject of the achiever is still rooted in the world, thus the agency is something that is rooted in reality, not the transcendent. Basically, it is still centered on the Self. The way some secular people use it is the same as vein as Nirvana or the Renaissance enlightenment, but those are false parallels as well. The term supernatural is more in line with transcendent. The term transcendent usually was contrasted with the theological term of immanence, that God rests in the world, rather than transcending it. Some theology 101 for you.
 

Animekitty

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The subject of the achiever is still rooted in the world, thus the agency is something that is rooted in reality, not the transcendent.

That seems like resistance in two opposing directions. The world and the transcendent. Depending on how one resists or submits will make one go either way.

The difference between the transcendent and the world is in quality one has over the other. The sublime comes from above it is perfect.

The quality of the transcendent is like a superconductor, with no resistance at all but a huge charge. The quality of everything now is a fight upward. A struggle.

A part of it is divine grace.
 

The Grey Man

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To transcend something is to go beyond it, in a sense. A familiar example of transcendence is 'thinking outside the box.' To solve a counter-intuitive problem like the nine dot problem, it is necessary to abandon certain restrictive assumptions concerning the conditions under which it may be solved, thereby transcending one's conception of the whole problem.

Another example is the containment of one object by another with more dimensions. You can trace a line indefinitely without ever reaching the end of it, but when the line is visualized as the circumference of a circle, then its finiteness is seen and transcended. Similarly, a plane can be visualized as a sphere with a finite radius (as in schematic representations of 'positively curved' Riemann spaces).

Religiously speaking, transcendence is more complicated. On one hand, God transcends the cosmos because he created it and, on the other hand, transcendence is the aim of we who are wedded to the cosmos by the soul's connection to the body; as God transcends the cosmos 'from without', so are we are supposed to transcend it 'from within.' How this happens is what is, in the proper sense, mysterious.
 

Puffy

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Rip a bong of DMT and blow the smoke up your ass.
 

onesteptwostep

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The subject of the achiever is still rooted in the world, thus the agency is something that is rooted in reality, not the transcendent.

That seems like resistance in two opposing directions. The world and the transcendent. Depending on how one resists or submits will make one go either way.

The difference between the transcendent and the world is in quality one has over the other. The sublime comes from above it is perfect.

The quality of the transcendent is like a superconductor, with no resistance at all but a huge charge. The quality of everything now is a fight upward. A struggle.

A part of it is divine grace.

What you're making up is 100% New Age nonsense from the 60s.
 

Animekitty

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I would not call it nonsense.
There is just no way to understand the distinction you are making between the world and the transcendent. What does that even mean? I tried I guess.
 

Animekitty

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I suppose the only way to experience the transcendent is to have God give it to you.

So the simple answer is to pray to God.
 

Hadoblado

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Mostly I think it's just glorifying yourself. If you think yourself transcendent you think you've overcome limitations. But limits are limits, not obstacles. You need to have overcome obstacles to become a new thing that doesn't have the same limits. You learned or developed. That's great but something entirely expected. If you just said you learned a skill or idea or came to see things differently it's just not the same. Kinda boring.

But I do think it's interesting when people recognise their current struggles and try to figure out how to change to become the person that can better address them.

TLDR: IMO "transcend" = bad in past tense but good in future tense.
 

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People feel transcended when they are unusually accepting of everything, find getting distressed and overly happy not possible. That is as far as Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism go in defining the path to transcendence. It does seem like an impossible ideal but not exactly impossible because we got people like Buddha and Mahavira who actually lived a barebones life. They are only human beings but it looks like they defined their transcendence with having a very capacity of being apathetic.


Psychologically speaking, long-term apathy is extremely difficult for a layman like you and I given our predilections towards converging towards a singular belief. However, dair or HadoBlado may be much calmer than I because they are elder to me and have more experience. My point is that the old adage of time and wisdom being positively correlated actually gives rise to a commonsense deduction that transcendence is a state or having so much wisdom that it makes you quite apathetic. We all know that our grandmas and grandpas are significantly poised and calm even in the face of bad news (assuming that they are not senile and have a healthy personality)

One should not try to theorize too much about what transcendence means because it is a simple calculation and not something divine or outwordly. Sadly, transcendence is described and imagined as the states one obtain after tripping on LSD
 

BurnedOut

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Well, from a Jungian point of view, transcendence of one's persona or ego comes from integration with one's shadow.
Notwithstanding the usual psychoanalytic magniloquence, this is what transcendence in the real world means, in my opinion
 

onesteptwostep

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I would not call it nonsense.
There is just no way to understand the distinction you are making between the world and the transcendent. What does that even mean? I tried I guess.

Transcendence is not an experience, the way it is being used in this topic. It literally means beyond this world, meaning supernatural. If you experience something, it's a part of this world. In Christianity, God is beyond the world, transcendent.

Any interpretation beyond this is just new age ramble.
 

EndogenousRebel

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Coming to the idea that we can transcend past states, but transcendence in the present is impossible because of its evasive definition. This along with the need that what is being transcended be strictly defined. So at best, you can make progress on a goal (target) to transcend past states.

Rip a bong of DMT and blow the smoke up your ass.
I feel like that's overdone. The most common pictures that people get revolve around the human condition or the universe in some abstract grandiose fashion. You can think of and even draw the same thing without drugs, it's just you wouldn't hallucinate a physical representation of it. Tying into what @Animekitty is saying, I think this divination (nontypical word use) of certain experiences associated with transcendence is a curious thing. Maybe it's just the raising and lowering of certain inhibitions, a perfect storm caused by a certain situation (or drugs) that makes it special to us.

Personally, the only times I have experienced something "transcendental" is when I believe that no matter what my next decision will be adequate. Specifically, if I've been working hard recently, and notice I can go for a walk, having the choice to take that walk and be happy, or keep on doing work, and be happy. Even if I do go on the walk I might come upon new insights being tied down to a desk would not allow. So I just walk because I've earned it from all the work, not trying to relax but relaxing because there no tension or worries about having to get things done, because I know I can get them done. The circumstance just feels so pure and it leaves me extremely content. The feeling this gives me even if it is just temporary leaves me feeling good for a couple of days. Thinking on it now I might be confusing transcendence with genuine bliss, only describing it as transcendence because of past experiences.

Habildaldo is a bit harsh with the glorification comment but is right in some way. Transcendence can only be objectively measured with numbers, claiming you transcend [x] thing would be pretentious and bold, and having the goal of transcendence is an admirable yet unachievable one without specification. Oh the implications
 

Puffy

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@EndogenousRebel My post was basically sarcasm, to be honest, like Mr. Frank Zappa's love of hippies and talking with vegetables.
 

Animekitty

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Other realities exist. To transcend is to visit them. lucid dreaming well awake.
 

EndogenousRebel

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@EndogenousRebel My post was basically sarcasm, to be honest, like Mr. Frank Zappa's love of hippies and vegetables.
No troubles intended, it was just a repeating sentiment so I picked the one that stuck out the most and explained my general reaction to it haha

AK
I understand too well that a fractured mind might make sense and elaborate on something in such a manner, but I don't know whether to take you literally or not because I know you're not a dunce. I have to assume you're implying that changing sensations is changing reality, which subjectively is true, but this sort of perceptual transcendence means very little unless it can impact causation in base reality in a noticeable way. Dreaming is the ultimate propaganda of the mind, telling you what you should remember and shaping your future attitudes and thoughts, taking place mostly outside our consciousness. It is the main thing that would

I don't see what element implicates other realities and accessing them. From my standpoint, real rather than metaphorical realities are harder to access than merely dreaming.
 

Puffy

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@EndogenousRebel That's no problem, I was only clarifying :)

I would not call it nonsense.
There is just no way to understand the distinction you are making between the world and the transcendent. What does that even mean? I tried I guess.

Transcendence is not an experience, the way it is being used in this topic. It literally means beyond this world, meaning supernatural. If you experience something, it's a part of this world. In Christianity, God is beyond the world, transcendent.

Any interpretation beyond this is just new age ramble.

@onesteptwostep If anything we can experience will always be of this world, and not the transcendent, then it isn't possible for us to have any knowledge of the transcendent. And as the transcendent is completely beyond this world we also cannot infer anything about the transcendent from our experiences in this world.

Some say that God is omnipotent, omnibenevolent, etc. But by that definition of the transcendent these are things that we can't even infer. All we can say is that God is completely unknowable. Which means it's also not possible to have any real communion or relationship with God or what is transcendent as we will always only be able to experience what is a part of this world, what is fundamentally non-transcendent.

I'm unsure I see any value in that take on it. If the transcendent exists, there must be some bridge or way of dialogue between worldly experience and the transcendent or some means of moving from worldly experience towards the transcendent. Otherwise it's essentially a non-concept and pointless to spend any time contemplating as you'll never get any closer to it. It would fundamentally not even be possible to have any evidence of the transcendent's existence. Even people saying they had an experience of God would be redundant as it wouldn't be possible for them to have such experience by your definition.

Reading the theological model of Plato and Neo-Platonists like Plotinus inspired me a lot years ago and I'll just give it as a counter-example to what you've suggested. In that, the world and the transcendent are not separate as the world is an emanation of the transcendent like an object casting a shadow. The world is an image of the divine and is mental in nature; like characters originate as thoughts in the minds of artists like Shakespeare, so are we actors or thoughts in the mind of the transcendent. This means that by studying the world, and through worldly experience, we can infer things about the transcendent. And as we are emanations or projections of the transcendent that means we are the transcendent at our origins.

Not exactly new age ramble, this was written about before Christ was even born and was a strong influence on St. Augustine and the early Christian church founders.
 

onesteptwostep

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I'm unsure I see any value in that take on it. If the transcendent exists, there must be some bridge or way of dialogue between worldly experience and the transcendent or some means of moving from worldly experience towards the transcendent. Otherwise it's essentially a non-concept and pointless to spend any time contemplating as you'll never get any closer to it. It would fundamentally not even be possible to have any evidence of the transcendent's existence. Even people saying they had an experience of God would be redundant as it wouldn't be possible for them to have such experience by your definition.
That bridge is Jesus. Welcome to Christianity.
 

Puffy

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I'm unsure I see any value in that take on it. If the transcendent exists, there must be some bridge or way of dialogue between worldly experience and the transcendent or some means of moving from worldly experience towards the transcendent. Otherwise it's essentially a non-concept and pointless to spend any time contemplating as you'll never get any closer to it. It would fundamentally not even be possible to have any evidence of the transcendent's existence. Even people saying they had an experience of God would be redundant as it wouldn't be possible for them to have such experience by your definition.
That bridge is Jesus. Welcome to Christianity.

Hah, I thought you'd say that. That doesn't really make sense by your reasoning and is contradictory to your prior post. But to be honest if you can't be bothered to substantiate your position in the same way I'm willing to then I deem this Christian ramble and a waste of anyone's time.
 

onesteptwostep

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I'm unsure I see any value in that take on it. If the transcendent exists, there must be some bridge or way of dialogue between worldly experience and the transcendent or some means of moving from worldly experience towards the transcendent. Otherwise it's essentially a non-concept and pointless to spend any time contemplating as you'll never get any closer to it. It would fundamentally not even be possible to have any evidence of the transcendent's existence. Even people saying they had an experience of God would be redundant as it wouldn't be possible for them to have such experience by your definition.
That bridge is Jesus. Welcome to Christianity.

Hah, I thought you'd say that. That doesn't really make sense by your reasoning and is contradictory to your prior post. But to be honest if you can't be bothered to substantiate your position in the same way I'm willing to then I deem this Christian ramble and a waste of anyone's time.
The entire point of Jesus was that his advent was special because it was the transcendent coming to earth as a temporal human. It isn't an argument, it is history, accompanied by witnesses in the 1st century. Apostle Paul never argued about Jesus. He simply preached what has happened. Gentiles, the Stoics and the Epicureans, were simply preached to, not argumented with.

In Athens​

16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)

22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[b] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[c]

29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.
 

Puffy

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I'm unsure I see any value in that take on it. If the transcendent exists, there must be some bridge or way of dialogue between worldly experience and the transcendent or some means of moving from worldly experience towards the transcendent. Otherwise it's essentially a non-concept and pointless to spend any time contemplating as you'll never get any closer to it. It would fundamentally not even be possible to have any evidence of the transcendent's existence. Even people saying they had an experience of God would be redundant as it wouldn't be possible for them to have such experience by your definition.
That bridge is Jesus. Welcome to Christianity.

Hah, I thought you'd say that. That doesn't really make sense by your reasoning and is contradictory to your prior post. But to be honest if you can't be bothered to substantiate your position in the same way I'm willing to then I deem this Christian ramble and a waste of anyone's time.
The entire point of Jesus was that his advent was special because it was the transcendent coming to earth as a temporal human. It isn't an argument, it is history, accompanied by witnesses in the 1st century. Apostle Paul never argued about Jesus. He simply preached what has happened. Gentiles, the Stoics and the Epicureans, were simply preached to, not argumented with.

In Athens​

16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)

22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[b] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[c]

29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.

I could probe further but I get the feeling it's not a conversation you want to have. Thanks for taking the time to post and clarify where you're coming from though.
 

Animekitty

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I had a vision once. It came from God. I'd say it was transcendent.
 

Puffy

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What conversation? You're all within your rights to come and amuse me :)

I like talking about faith and religion, so... shoot?
Sure no worries, I take back the Christian ramble comment. My main issue with that position, as someone who personally believes in spiritual or metaphysical things, is that it implies that Jesus is the only evidence of the transcendent and the only human who had access to the transcendent in human history. I think there's a lot more evidence than that which would contradict that position.

My understanding is that the miracles that Jesus did throughout his ministry would be provided for as special evidence for this position (preaching is a form of argument and the miracles, "He rose from the tomb!", are the evidence).

An issue I have with this as an example is that there are plenty of accounts in history across cultures of miracles. For example, healers accomplishing 'miraculous' healing, as intermediaries for divine or transcendent power. As you say, "it is history." This would be an example (of someone who also identified as Christian and would've described himself humbly as doing God's work) just as a case study.

I don't really have a strong position on whether Jesus was authentic or not, I lean towards perennialism and see evidence of the transcendent in lots of cultures. My point's more that I find this overall phenomena better integrated by the kind of theology I was writing about before, in which people theoretically have the capacity to develop in order to access and act as intermediaries for the transcendent, with the historical Jesus perhaps being an example of someone who was very highly developed in that respect.
 

Glaerhaidh

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Why would transcendence involve giving something up? Doesn't always have to be that way. Giving something up is present in many cultures and religions as part of the transcendence.

Buddhism is a simple example of that. By giving up possessions one can become free from the flaw of desiring material possessions and thus transcend materialism, assuming one agrees that this is a flaw. By giving up one's attachment to one's body, its appearance and state one can transcend vanity or fear of mortality. It may look like a sacrifice to someone who values material stuff, or values their own body, but to someone who agrees that such things have no value they are not a sacrifice but a burden that one gives up to become free.

The other aspect of it is common sense, one shouldn't get something for free, if one attains great power it should come at a great personal cost, or maybe the consequences of attaining power and responsibilities become the constant sacrifice that one needs to make to pay off that transcendence.

In a basic sense if one were to fully disregard their life, they would not fear death and that's a superpower, maybe even objective transcendence by your definition. One gets 100% immunity to intimidation / maximum bravery, the cost would be losing a sense of fear and becoming considerably less human or becoming superhuman because of it.

I question the idea that overcoming limits is impossible, mainly because nobody knows their limits and nobody knows human limits. Most limits are based on existing knowledge, norms and human traits. If transcendence is going beyond the normal then it's a fairly every day affair. Someone who plays any chess is better than 95% of humanity that never played chess, a transcendental chess player. Someone who works 50 hour weeks is transcendentally hard working. Someone who doesn't waste a lot of time has transcended most human's tendency to become distracted.

I view spending 50% less time on things that I will not remember after a week as doubling my effective lifespan and it's a transcendental goal of mine to give myself an even longer lifespan building self-discipline and using existing and future technology. To that end if there ever is a life extension technology that would prolong my natural life beyond its theoretical limit I would then transcend human biology.


People view transcendence as an ideal, because almost everyone has a problem or flaw they would like to transcend and overcoming one's problems of any kind is widely regarded as heroic. Overcoming one's flaws and problems in such a way that they never reoccur, or attaining qualities such that one is no longer troubled by the problem, or such that one is capable of things impossible before, is viewed as something empowering and positive.

Why heroes in stories suffer, deal with problems and transcend? Because this is what makes them heroic and also this is what convinces people that they are similar to them, relatable even if over the top. They follow an ideal goal that resonates with the audience's values so as to appeal to their aesthetics, sense of justice, etc. The unrealistic aspects of every hero often are related to a set of ideals they personify.

I would be surprised if someone hated transcending or the idea of transcendence, but I'm sure there are such anomalies.

Objectively you can't build a straight wall, or make a perfectly efficient engine, yet it doesn't stop designers, mathematicians, engineers and scientists from drawing straight lines, writing ideal efficiency equations, etc. Limits and ideals are a useful concept to work with.
 

onesteptwostep

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What conversation? You're all within your rights to come and amuse me :)

I like talking about faith and religion, so... shoot?
Sure no worries, I take back the Christian ramble comment. My main issue with that position, as someone who personally believes in spiritual or metaphysical things, is that it implies that Jesus is the only evidence of the transcendent and the only human who had access to the transcendent in human history. I think there's a lot more evidence than that which would contradict that position.

My understanding is that the miracles that Jesus did throughout his ministry would be provided for as special evidence for this position (preaching is a form of argument and the miracles, "He rose from the tomb!", are the evidence).

An issue I have with this as an example is that there are plenty of accounts in history across cultures of miracles. For example, healers accomplishing 'miraculous' healing, as intermediaries for divine or transcendent power. As you say, "it is history." This would be an example (of someone who also identified as Christian and would've described himself humbly as doing God's work) just as a case study.

I don't really have a strong position on whether Jesus was authentic or not, I lean towards perennialism and see evidence of the transcendent in lots of cultures. My point's more that I find this overall phenomena better integrated by the kind of theology I was writing about before, in which people theoretically have the capacity to develop in order to access and act as intermediaries for the transcendent, with the historical Jesus perhaps being an example of someone who was very highly developed in that respect.

I think it just depends on whether you take the witnesses to Jesus seriously or not. Sure, I do think there are plenty of other people in the past who have perhaps 'accessed' the transcendent, but I think Jesus, like you expect to hear, was different. I think one thing I can think up that is specially different about Christianity and Jesus is that Jesus said he himself was the answer. Other religions turn to things in the world for answers, like some type of rationality, like in Buddhism, or some metaphysical or spiritual system, like in many of the polytheisms. In some ways, Xianity is the sole religion which outlandedly states Jesus IS God.

Personally speaking, I feel like there is a long ways to go before really proclaiming that Jesus is actually God. In my personal spiritual faith, Jesus is still a mystery to me, and is a figure I still have to really grasp with, and confront. But I guess that's what the journey of faith is about.

I do agree with the sense of sacredness that is underlying in almost all cultures though. I think it's just an innate yearning for what's beyond the earth, the sky, and the air we breathe. That's probably the gateway drug to the cocaine of religion, huh? ^^
 

Animekitty

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How do you know what the transcendent is if only Jesus knows but not you? Jesus rose from the dead and his body transcended, he has a perfect body now. But you don't know what it is like. The only thing you can do is pray, connect somehow to Christ but you don't have a perfect body, you did not transcend. So you can only know by what Christ gives you through prayer. So what is that? I think I know because I saw God once but it makes no sense to people who have not experienced it. But if you reject my experience then there is no way to know even by prayer what transcendence is because only Jesus did it not you and you reject pray and all testimony so what then? Then it is nothing and you are just saying things you don't understand.
 

onesteptwostep

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Maybe. Language is fluid and elusive. The case really isn't between you and I though, it's between you and God. If you have faith, confidence naturally arises upon that relationship. There no need for outside intervention or affirmation. Coram Deo: in front of God.
 

Animekitty

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Can there be transcendence outside of God? That is the question that arises from your statements. And my question is that if only God is transcendent can we as humans know what that is? What gave us the concept of "The Transcendent" in the first place. We must have something inside us that knows the meaning behind that word. And is that from God or is it just a property of God that can be accessed without or separate from God?

God is love so these events where the transcendent is accessed have to be out of love and that means they are always of God. The quality of the events would not be transcendent if they were not from love so whatever it is that is the transcendent consists of would only be known if love was involved and always involve God.

God was covered in gold sunlight in a white void.
I saw this after I forgave someone I loved and confessed it.

Whether that involved Jesus or not I do not know.
God's face was a female Philippines girl. Not unlike mother mary.
But it involved love so it was God.

It is because of this I believe in something above me.
 

Puffy

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What conversation? You're all within your rights to come and amuse me :)

I like talking about faith and religion, so... shoot?
Sure no worries, I take back the Christian ramble comment. My main issue with that position, as someone who personally believes in spiritual or metaphysical things, is that it implies that Jesus is the only evidence of the transcendent and the only human who had access to the transcendent in human history. I think there's a lot more evidence than that which would contradict that position.

My understanding is that the miracles that Jesus did throughout his ministry would be provided for as special evidence for this position (preaching is a form of argument and the miracles, "He rose from the tomb!", are the evidence).

An issue I have with this as an example is that there are plenty of accounts in history across cultures of miracles. For example, healers accomplishing 'miraculous' healing, as intermediaries for divine or transcendent power. As you say, "it is history." This would be an example (of someone who also identified as Christian and would've described himself humbly as doing God's work) just as a case study.

I don't really have a strong position on whether Jesus was authentic or not, I lean towards perennialism and see evidence of the transcendent in lots of cultures. My point's more that I find this overall phenomena better integrated by the kind of theology I was writing about before, in which people theoretically have the capacity to develop in order to access and act as intermediaries for the transcendent, with the historical Jesus perhaps being an example of someone who was very highly developed in that respect.

I think it just depends on whether you take the witnesses to Jesus seriously or not. Sure, I do think there are plenty of other people in the past who have perhaps 'accessed' the transcendent, but I think Jesus, like you expect to hear, was different. I think one thing I can think up that is specially different about Christianity and Jesus is that Jesus said he himself was the answer. Other religions turn to things in the world for answers, like some type of rationality, like in Buddhism, or some metaphysical or spiritual system, like in many of the polytheisms. In some ways, Xianity is the sole religion which outlandedly states Jesus IS God.

Personally speaking, I feel like there is a long ways to go before really proclaiming that Jesus is actually God. In my personal spiritual faith, Jesus is still a mystery to me, and is a figure I still have to really grasp with, and confront. But I guess that's what the journey of faith is about.

I do agree with the sense of sacredness that is underlying in almost all cultures though. I think it's just an innate yearning for what's beyond the earth, the sky, and the air we breathe. That's probably the gateway drug to the cocaine of religion, huh? ^^

Well I appreciate your honesty in respect to where you are with that as I appreciate it's quite a personal thing.

As you say, I think the thing is within the Christian community the gospels (witness statements) are taken as being divinely inspired. But for someone whose not Christian there's less reason for them to take that on faith. It's entirely possible that Jesus never said he was the way, or that when he said that he had a different lesson in mind which was misinterpreted by his followers.

I'm reminded of Monty Python's Life of Brian which I don't think says anything bad about Jesus per se and more tries to parody how followers can blow things out of proportion. It's possible for example that Jesus was a very gifted healer and that some of the stories about demons he cast out or lepers he healed were true and then legends developed around his capabilities after his death.

A part of why I write my previous posts in this thread is that as AK says if there wasn't the possibility of any kind of tangible experience of what we're calling Transcendental then I wouldn't see any reason to place any value in it. The Bible seems to acknowledge that in allowing doubting Thomas to touch Christ's wounds.
 

sushi

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its just another word for enlightment
 

Old Things

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Wow. Some of you have some interesting things to say about this.

Personally, I don't know what it means to transcend.

I do think, however, that being kind to others, and to love God can produce a kind of transcendence about the way you live your life and people might take notice.
 

EndogenousRebel

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The other thread gets away from me and I don't see where it's going, I don't mind that, it's overly convoluted if you ask me, but I'll integrate some of what I initially comprehended here in hopes of sparking more interest. Please do add and correct any erroneous assumptions I make

A true pluralist of philosophy can look at the problems/puzzels that humanity has been trying to solve for millennia and in theory SHOULD transcend the dogma of all of them, noticing that many are dead ends with certain functions that aren't compatible with each other, and perhaps from that abstract a meta theory using principles that don't contradict each other too much. But there will always be a certain dogma present.

This sort of philosophical inquiry is exactly the reason science is the one successful meta religion today. It assumes there is no definitive answer but continue towards one, not trying to make everything fit within a box. If something does not fit within the box, simply get a new box. These philosophical inquiries are very good connective tissue, and they can each inform the other, and it's especially interesting when science validates theological theories, but there will always be a possibility of a future theory further decimating it. But I suppose this is just what happens when we believe that there are things that are definitively true. Circumstance changes everything, including truth.

This leads me to believe that at most the only transcendence we can achieve is within the construct we live in. All further transcendence comes from more knowledge about that construct, but doing so only expands the construct, and I don't know if this vertical or horizontal expansion. Is there a tipping point where something changes? Physics would point towards everything collapsing into a single point. Are humans capable of such a thing? Do we sacrifice one thing for another or do things forever become apart of us in varying degrees, and only forgotten?

Faith is a relative of hope. Like everything about humanity, they are a product of survival. We have transcended survival, in a way. The construct is changing. Now what we want to survive are our ideals. Why wouldn't we, they are what got us to this point. Why risk evolving ideals when the ones we have now have thousands of years of credit. But the construct is changing. Some integration is too risky not to dabble in.

So I guess transcendence is being able to ride the waves of the construct, like you are at sea. We are at the mercy of it and pray that storms that we will not survive don't come our way. Should one try to solve puzzles that they aren't compelled to? In capitalism solving puzzles for people will get you money. Is this a wave you can/want to ride? If not, go ride a different wave in a monk temple or something. Don't want to feel like you're running away, transcend that feeling and be free from it.

The only shackle that I think I have around me is the desire to be able to do what I want. I will be free from it when I am secure and satisfied. Is this "enlightenment"? We can only transcend limitations that we impose on ourselves. Perhaps not always intentionally or willingly. Not being too spiritual myself, true physical transcendence will only be possible via advancements in science. Both are Devine eitherway.
 
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