Posts Tagged ‘transcend’

the presence of transcendence

June 26, 2011

I’ve been working on this blog about transcendence for about a month now. It is a slow process because I am in the process of practicing transcendence to get over myself, and I’ve got a lot of history being myself. The question is: can I be all of who I am and still find joy in my being even when I am limited, even when my circumstances are less than perfect? Can I maintain my presence within my boundaries no matter who or what is tugging me away from my true presence? Can I transcend the fact that I don’t have a clear handle on transcendence and write about it anyway?

It is a moment by moment decision with countless opportunities. I find that if I wait to write about transcendence until I have transcended my life completely, most of us will be a little bit dead.

The word transcendence is tossed around all over enlightenment literature. We are told to transcend this or that. We read about transcendent experiences. Transcendence generally means to go beyond something — beyond an experience, beyond our own states of being. Some definitions are particular in their nuances. One definition describes transcendence as surpassing others, being preeminent or supreme (think “God”). Another says that transcendence lies beyond the ordinary range of perception. Yet another describes transcendence as being above and independent of the material universe. Transcendence is also the state of excelling or surpassing or going beyond the usual limits.

I listen to these definitions carefully as I encounter moments of transcendent opportunity. The general meaning of transcendence – to go beyond something – fits best with how my life is unfolding right now. I define transcendence in terms of choosing how I want to interpret and experience the moments of my life.

I cannot abandon my history. All that I have experienced has brought me to this moment and will follow me into the next moments. I cannot change my experiences, but I can change my perception of those experiences. Much of my life is cued by what has happened in the past and what might happen in the future. If I want to have a different experience than the one I am having right now, it is up to me to transcend my preconceived ideas and ways of being. It may not necessarily change the situation, but it brings more of who I truly am into action.

Stay tuned.

©2011 by Barbara L. Kass

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Transcending consciousness

March 30, 2010

In Albert Einstein’s quote “You cannot solve a problem from the same level of consciousness that created it,” note that he does not define the level of consciousness. The implication is that the level does not have to be higher or lower, just different. Some people might believe that they have to develop a “higher” consciousness to solve their problem, but I believe that one has only to transcend the level of consciousness that he or she was in when the problem was created.

Transcendence can mean to rise above something, but it also means to go beyond the limits. I have to start with self-awareness to begin my transcendence journeys. How am I limiting myself? Where am I at right now with the problem at hand? Am I still stuck in the same place emotionally, mentally, and spiritually as when the problem first appeared? Just because I am older, have more experience, and grown in other areas does not mean that I have transcended the consciousness that perpetuates the problem or situation. If I want to help myself, I need to develop a “me” consciousness, and it is not the “me” who created the problem in the first place. The “me” who needs to respond to my problems is the person who I am becoming.                                       

This is where purposeful thinking shows how creative and wonderful the mind can be. I ask myself the question: how many ways can I think differently about the situation? And I watch as my mind grasps this new challenge, analyzes it, and starts delivering options. I judge the options based on how they make me feel and the response of my eternal presence. From the various viewpoints my mind delivers, I can see the problem differently, and often realize solutions I had not thought of before. Sometimes, the solution is to do nothing because by taking a different viewpoint – thinking differently about the situation – the “problem” changes and is no longer a problem. When a solution requires action on my part, I ask: Is the solution good for everyone? If not, who does it harm? Is it the right solution?

 And the solution that I go with is the solution I can live with.

In his book, Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabat-Zinn writes: “There is an art to facing difficulties in ways that lead to effective solutions and to inner peace and harmony. When we are able to mobilize our inner resources to face our problems artfully, we can orient ourselves to use the pressure of the problem to propel us through it, like sailor using the wind to propel a boat.”

 ©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

Thinking purposefully

March 29, 2010

Everything humans have made on this earth was first a thought – I mean EVERYTHING: money, cars, bridges, roads, Spam, hotdogs, medicine, landfills, hulahoops, styrofoam, computers, governments . . . think of one thing that was NOT first a thought. Yesterday, I wrote about how my word creates my world. My words could not exist if it were not for the thoughts my mind crafts with instantaneous precision.

 The mind is programmed to function continuously and relentlessly, and our thoughts form the words we say and the actions we perform. Thinking itself might be involuntary and many times thoughts are there bursting uncontrollably in our brains. Incredibly, though, we have the ability to monitor our thoughts, to change our thoughts, and to think purposefully.

 I believe it is our eternal presence who is always aware and nudges us to pay attention to what we are thinking before we speak or act. My presence exists only in this present moment and by connecting with the present, I connect with my presence, and can be aware to watch my thoughts, create my thoughts, and ask my mind to come up with a different thought. We all use our minds purposefully. How many times have you asked yourself to find a solution for a problem and you managed to think of one? How many times have you decided that you wanted to do something and found a way to do it? You used the power of your mind and your ability to manage your thinking process. It is an incredible power that we don’t use as effectively as we might.

 With our thoughts, we created a system of survival on this earth that is failing us. In order to create a system that will sustain us, we need to transcend the consciousness that created our current systems. More on this tomorrow.  

 ©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

Problem solving

March 27, 2010

“You cannot solve a problem from the same level of consciousness that created it.” ~Albert Einstein~
While I thought I was leaving a friend some words of wisdom and support on her blog, I read this quote. As it turns out, she was giving me words of wisdom. Ever since then, any time I have approached a situation in my life that has caused me any vexation at all, I have stopped and realized that I need to transcend whatever consciousness I was(am?) when I first entered the relationship with that situation before I can resolve it, and bing! suddenly I am in this balanced place . . . a place of sort of starting over, but with a whole lot more insight about myself.

In trying to keep things the same, we create stagnation and recreate the problem over and over and over. Transcendence requires change and when we change, we can see more, live more, and understand more.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass