Transcendence means to go beyond our limitations. This word is often used in spiritual and religious contexts, and we can also use it in a psychological sense to describe going beyond our own ego. As we progress through the virtues, an element of transcendence starts with justice, matures in humanity and grows into wisdom. Transcendence takes us beyond ourselves through cultivating respect and fairness for others, we also go beyond ourselves when we practice generosity, love and compassion.
Transcendence takes us to a larger space beyond our daily concerns, and teaches us that there is something bigger than ourselves. This can take the form of communities, humanitarian work, the physical universe, religious and spiritual experiences. When we participate and believe in something larger than our own ego, it can be very humbling and beautiful. Just by taking the time to contemplate the billions of stars in the Universe, and reflect on the infinite time since the beginning of the Universe, can be humbling and give us a sense of transcendence.
Time spent in contemplation in nature can often bring a feeling of transcendence. In nature we recognize that we are quite small in relation to our natural surroundings. The natural world and its forests, seas and mountains all sing softly to the gentle parts of our being that seek quietness and serenity. By cultivating love, appreciation and respect for nature, we can enter into some of the deepest qualities of our being and experience a profound state of joy. When was the last time you feel a deep union with the natural world that was full of beauty and grace?
Believing in something larger than ourselves can also connect us with people, and give us a greater sense of appreciation and gratitude for this special gift of life. When we are pre-occupied with our individual self, suffering can easily result as we cling to the small self of the ego. By embracing the larger circle of life around us, we enter into our communities, humanity, heart and soul. Experience transcending your ego by engaging with others in more deep and meaningful ways.