What do you understand by "Transcendence"?

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Evinnra
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Post by Evinnra » Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:35 am

jufa wrote:

Transcendent does not necessary mean going beyond sentient intelligence. It simply means rising above a stage of thought.
That was my understanding too when reading the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. What transcends ego or the projected mirror image of the true Self is still a sentient and discerning entity. Above it all, indeed, but most skilled at discerning precisely because of clarity gained by transcending. 8)
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Post by nandu » Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:53 am

Evinnra wrote:Thought you had mentioned once upon a time that you were a Hindu...
For want of a better term, yes.
Evinnra wrote: ...and as far as I know, all hindus believe in reincarnation. Is this belief correct?
No. Even though reincarnation is taken as part and parcel of the "accepted" belief sets of Hinduism, this is a religion which cannot be standardised. If you look at Indian philosophy through the ages, it contains atheism, theism, monotheism, polytheism, pantheism, agnosticism and many other -isms. The name "Hindu" was given by the Persians to people who lived beyond the Sindhu (Indus in English) river (because they had no "S" in their alphabet, they used the equivalent letter "H"), and the pot-pourri of beliefs of the people who lived in co-existence in this land was made into the religion of "Hinduism". It is not a religion in the sense Christianity and Islam are religions.

As a Hindu, I can deny all my gods and the possibility of a god even, and still remain a Hindu. So being a Hindu does not compel me to believe in something: since nobody can expel me from my religion!

Nandu.
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Post by nandu » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:46 am

From Wiki:
Aum in the Mandukya Upanishad

There are three mātrās ("letters", syllabic instants in prosody) in the word aum : ‘a’, ‘u’ and ‘m’. The ‘a’ stands for the state of wakefulness, where we experience externally through our mind and sense organs. The ‘u’ stands for the dream state, in which inward experiences are available. In the state of deep sleep, represented by the sound ‘m’, there is no desire and consciousness is gathered in upon itself.

But there is a fourth, transcendent state, which is "neither inward-turned nor outward-turned consciousness, nor the two together; not an indifferentiated mass of consciousness; neither knowing, nor unknowing; invisible, ineffable, intangible, devoid of characteristics, inconceivable, indefinable, its sole essence being the consciousness of its own Self; the coming to rest of all relative existence; utterly quiet; peaceful; blissful: without a second: this is the Ātman, the Self; this is to be realised."
This parallels my views on transcendence closely, except for the bolded part about "consciousness of Self", which is not an exact translation of the Sanskrit original, which talks only about "the Atman which is to be known". In my dictionary, this knowledge is not conscious: to gain this, one has to go beyond consciousness.

And I think the Atman is only a useful concept - the "Anatman" would do just as well. :D

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Post by jonsjourney » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:25 am

It is an age old conundrum. I do have my doubts about consciousness. We tend to assume blithely (I think) that we have it. -Rom
Well, I suppose it would be hypocritical for me to call a skeptic too skeptical, but I feel perfectly content with our having consciousness. It's a word that describes a kind of experience, just like the word "arm" describes an appendage that is more than any one of it's parts. I have an arm...two in fact. The devil may be in the details, but that sword cuts both ways, I think.

Consciousness describes experienced phenomena beyond simple awareness to the areas of projection, reflection and the ability to consider what another being considers in varying degrees of order. While the matter of whether we "receive" consciousness via our brain or other sense organs, or generate it as an emergent property may not be settled conclusively, I think it is an emergent property of brain evolution.

As for me, I think that consciousness and metacognition are directly related to not only transcendent experience, but even having any notion of it to begin with.
That view is the exception in this thread, methinks.

I do not think that ants or elephants have the experience of transcendence, but I may be committing an error of human centrism.
"He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher... or, as his wife would have it, an idiot." -Douglas Adams
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Post by Clemsy » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:58 am

I do not think that ants or elephants have the experience of transcendence, but I may be committing an error of human centrism.
"All things are Buddha things." :-)

Perhaps an existence that is purely in the moment is a transcendent existence, and our prefrontal cortex distracts us out of an awareness of such an existence? So much for the so-called benefits of evolution!

So if the more distracted we are the less transcendent our experience of life, I guess America during an election cycle is about as non-transcendent as it can get. :lol:
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Post by Neoplato » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:34 pm

Evinnra wrote:
jufa wrote:

Transcendent does not necessary mean going beyond sentient intelligence. It simply means rising above a stage of thought.
That was my understanding too when reading the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. What transcends ego or the projected mirror image of the true Self is still a sentient and discerning entity. Above it all, indeed, but most skilled at discerning precisely because of clarity gained by transcending. 8)
That was my take as well. 8)
Infinite moment, grants freedom of winter death, allows life to dawn.
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Post by jonsjourney » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:39 pm

Perhaps an existence that is purely in the moment is a transcendent existence, and our prefrontal cortex distracts us out of an awareness of such an existence? So much for the so-called benefits of evolution! -Clemsy
I am not ruling this out as a possible explanation, but it seems somehow wrong to ascribe a metaphoric attribute to a non-metaphor/symbolic language using group! :lol:

I do not like the idea of seeing our culture and it's creations as being roadblocks to transcendence, but again that is a bit human-centric. It just feels wrong and I cannot really put a finger on why. Of course that is not to say that culture is not laden with problems of it's own creation, but that is the interesting part of it...it creates beyond simple biological drives.

Art, literature, mythology, music, poetry, religion...on and on. We have it. We've created it. Why? Are these driven to take us backward in our evolution? I guess this is possible.

We observe the world around us and what do we see? The "four F's of survival" being played out everywhere...fighting, fleeing, feeding, and mating. :wink: :lol:

This may well be the authentic transcendent experience, but as I said, it seems, somehow, wrong.

Maybe I need to work on that de-evolution thing and get back to nature! :lol:

The other thing that I cannot shake is the possibility that we (humans) want something to be outside of what can be defined. We want mystery.

It feels good to have a sense wonder, that's for sure. :)

I am enjoying this thread a great deal even though I am no closer to really "getting it".
"He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher... or, as his wife would have it, an idiot." -Douglas Adams
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Post by Neoplato » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:03 pm

I think this is applicable here at the moment.
"THE WORLD IS TOO MUCH WITH US; LATE AND SOON"

THE world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

Wordsworth 1806.
Although I must say, I never considered that I may be "A pagan suckled in a creed outworn." :wink:
Infinite moment, grants freedom of winter death, allows life to dawn.
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Post by SteveC » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:15 pm

If all is cause and effect, then is transcendence nothing more than being farther along in the falling chain of dominoes than we were before?

Epiphanies are fair-weather friends.

From the movie/play Passing Strange
Narrator: Wish we could talk about how the means will not prepare you for the ends
how your epiphanies will become fair weather friends
how death will make you lower your defenses
the only truth of youth is the grown up consequences
you see song is a bomb but song cannot heal
you believed in it too long
now i need something more
I need something more than real
some day the chords of age will drown out the life you have been dreaming of
and you’ll out on your ass
and cursing alas
because your song was just passing for love
Narrator:
I remember when I owned everything:
The Sun and the Moon and the rain
and My domain
Stretched and yawned along the astral plane

The universe is a toy in the mind of a boy
And life is movie, too
Starring you
Your whole family's the cast and crew
That's a little secret between God and you

But ain't it strange how it all makes perfect sense?
Once your life becomes evidence
of the need to feel...
Love is more than Real

Because your mother's love might seem insane
That’s 'cause she really knows everything
Too bad it takes so long to see what you've been missing...

(Love like that can't be measured anyway)
Too bad it takes so long to see what you've been missing
(Love like that can't be measured anyway)
Too bad it takes so long to see what you've been missing
Too bad it takes so long...

'Cause the Real is a construct
It's the raw nerve's private zone
It's a personal sunset,
You drive off into Alone.
Last edited by SteveC on Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by JamesN. » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:27 pm

Neoplato wrote:I think this is applicable here at the moment.
"THE WORLD IS TOO MUCH WITH US; LATE AND SOON"

THE world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

Wordsworth 1806.
Although I must say, I never considered that I may be "A pagan suckled in a creed outworn." :wink:


Posted: 23 Oct 2012 12:39 Post subject:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
.
Jon said:
I am enjoying this thread a great deal even though I am no closer to really "getting it".

If I may add; " Ditto! " 8)

Really nice thread going on here!
What do I know? - Michael de Montaigne
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Post by Cindy B. » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:28 pm

zoe wrote:It is interesting that no direct comparisons between and among religion, transcendence, insanity and induced altered states has been made in this discussion. This exchange brought it to mind.
Transcendent does not necessary mean going beyond sentient intelligence. - jufa
For me, it does.- Nandu


Hence the illusionary and transient nature of the experience.
The two primary effects you mention (visual hallucinations, sense of connection to the universe) are generally believed to be consequences of the modified patterns of serotonin release. Outside visual stimulus doesn't get processed in the same way, allowing other systems in the brain to influence your experience of visual perception. At the same time, because you're not processing external input in the same way, your brain stops doing such a good job of effectively differentiating between your self and the surrounding world.
http://www.quora.com/How-does-LSD-work
Hey, Zoe.

Nandu said that he preferred this thread not be one of "brain/anti-brain," the reason that science hasn't been part of this mix, but you're welcome to start a new thread if you'd like. :)

I did manage to sneak in, though, a Jung quote inclusive of primordial images <-- archetypes/psychophysical instincts. :wink: The field of neurotheology is quite interesting, too.

Cindy
If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s. --Jung
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Post by Clemsy » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:37 pm

I do not like the idea of seeing our culture and it's creations as being roadblocks to transcendence, but again that is a bit human-centric. It just feels wrong and I cannot really put a finger on why. Of course that is not to say that culture is not laden with problems of it's own creation, but that is the interesting part of it...it creates beyond simple biological drives.
JJ, I don't think culture and it's creations as being roadblocks to transcendence. Our tendency to be distracted does that. We get displaced in time, as it were, by fixating on where we're going, where we've been or where we'd rather be.

The greatest of our cultural expressions, the arts, are born from our capacity for the transcendent. The arts don't take us backward. They focus the mind. You can't appreciate a work of art without being wholly in the moment.

Birds and squirrels are not conerned with transcendence. They just exist. They are. Our capacity for contemplating our own mortality has complicated our existence no end, but it's who we are. No going back!
Give me stories before I go mad! ~Andreas
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Post by jonsjourney » Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:50 pm

The greatest of our cultural expressions, the arts, are born from our capacity for the transcendent. The arts don't take us backward. They focus the mind. You can't appreciate a work of art without being wholly in the moment. -Clemsy
I certainly agree with this.

I see consciousness and culture as being co-emergent phenomena of human experience, which in my mind links consciousness to the experience of the transcendent.

And you are quite correct in that there is no going back!
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Post by jufa » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:23 pm

The only illumination was that of the myself. There were no distinct features which I could point to to say who the light form was, only a conscious awareness it was I. My hands, feet, head, torso, all were light.

I was moving through darkness, and the fear I acknowledged would rupture my heart if I could not find the touch of God or awaken.

I moved, going nowhere, and I cried "Father! embrace me." I moved, but no response came, and I was totally alone, and became total fear.

I awoke from my hell to comprehend truth is not knowledge nor dreams and visions traveling to and fro through the darkness and lights of the my soul. And I am not the illumination of the myself. Truth is the Wisdom which formed the knowledge of Conscious. I am that conscious, that knowledge manifested displaying the activity of Wisdom's intent and purpose.

To get this far, the majority of the myself has been dissolved. To go further, I, the myself is no more. - jufa
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Post by romansh » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:32 am

jonsjourney wrote: I do not think that ants or elephants have the experience of transcendence, but I may be committing an error of human centrism.
Do I experience the transcendent JJ?

I do see some people seeming to claim they experience the transcendent? Do you think their experience is a true reflection of transcendence?

And if transcendence is beyond all categories of thought then ants by some definitions may be eminently equipped to experience transcendence.
"That's right!" shouted Vroomfondel, "we demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"
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