Spirituality Series 2021 #2 – How to Achieve Self-Transcendence

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“Our present conscious self and our shadow must learn how to coexist. The first step to attaining personal transcendence commences when the conscious mind and the unconscious mind square off and battle for preeminence. A person who achieves self-realization understands the interworking of both their conscious mind and the unconscious mind and integrates their unique dichotomy into their sense of a self.”

Kilroy J. Oldster


In earlier articles I have written about Transcendence. A term often related to spiritual practice, however we can also look at the tools that can help us in daily life and improve the way we feel, the quality of our relationships and life in general

If you want to achieve self-transcendence for yourself, there are ways to go about it. It’s not an easy path, as it represents the highest heights of human development, beyond even Maslow’s rarely achieved self-actualization.

However, there are a few things you can do to propel your development and reach toward self-transcendence:

  1. Discover what puts you into “theta” (the quiet and peaceful state just between asleep and awake) and harness it to enter the inspirational and expanded state more often.
  2. Practice meditation, whether through the stereotypical sitting on a cushion with crossed legs or through mindful activities (mindful listening, mindful walking, mindful eating, etc.).
  3. Make time to get creative, and allow it to lead to inspiration, new experiences, and self-transcendence.
  4. Keep a journal, even if you’re not a strong writer—especially if you’re not a strong writer. Put your thoughts and feelings onto paper to separate yourself from them.
  5. Get out of the house and go where you are closest to nature; allow yourself to “commune” with nature, finding inspiration, healing, and perhaps a sense of transcendence through nature.
  6. Engage in “shadow work”—make time to reflect and dive into your deepest, darkest parts. It’s vital to acknowledge and address that which is worst in us as well as that which is best in us.
  7. Practice excellence—in whatever you do, wherever you go, whoever you’re within your day-to-day life. It doesn’t really matter what it is (as long as it’s not harmful to anyone), all that matters is that you’re doing what you do well (Eckl, 2017).

Further, author Stephanie Flood proposes five creative ways to achieve self-transcendence inspired by Buddhism:

  1. Explore basic meditation techniques—even if you’re an experienced meditator!
  2. Empower yourself with knowledge and wisdom to build your awareness.
  3. Don’t be afraid of the journey—spiritually or physically—to find insight.
  4. Find your own spiritual techniques that bring you closer to your higher purpose and your ideal self.
  5. Raise your vibrations (i.e., live in a positive and transcendence-conducive environment)

Although these tips can help, the most important factor in achieving self-transcendence is simply an awareness and openness to the idea. When we open ourselves up to the good in life, we cannot help but be changed by the experience. Keep your mind and your heart open to self-transcendence, and you will have taken the first and most vital step to achieving it.


“Self-transcendence gives us joy in boundless measure. When we transcend ourselves, we do not compete with others. We do not compete with the rest of the world, but at every moment we compete with ourselves. We compete only with our previous achievements. And each time we surpass our previous achievements, we get joy.”

Sri Chinmoy


extracts taken from https://positivepsychology.com/team/courtney-ackerman/