We have another challenge, another step to take. Psychologist Abraham Maslow ended his hierarchy of needs with self-actualization. He thought that was the highest point we could reach. When you are self-actualized, you understand yourself and you understand what you bring to the world. But recently I learned that two years before Maslow died he basically said, “Wait, there is more. We have a need to transcend ourselves.” That, he said, was the missing piece.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is pictured as a pyramid. At the bottom (the fundamental need) is physiological (shelter, food), next is safety, topped by love/belonging. Esteem is next, with the top of the pyramid being self-actualization.
The premise is that you have to fulfill each of these needs before you can move to the one above it. Until you’re safely sheltered, you’re focused on that rather than on introspective work. So, if you’ve worked your way up to self-actualization, you have one more step to take – to “transcend” yourself. Transcend – go beyond, rise above.
Our next step is to move beyond ourselves into the unseen, the Great Mystery. We have to journey beyond the confines of our Body Suit experience and move into a deeper relationship with our Invisible Self.
How do we experience transcendence?
Transcendence is an existence or experience above the known physical level. We experience this unseen world when we get a hunch or follow our intuition, or simply know with certainty the action we should take.
Transcendence is experienced in our deepest meditation, our shamanic journeying, our dreams, our visioning, whatever means we use to move beyond the confines and limitations of our Body Suit into the unseen spaciousness of the Great Mystery. It’s in those times that we transcend, that we go beyond the physical plane.
Why do we want to experience transcendence?
I have taught that the more we know and understand ourselves the more aligned our choices will be. The most powerful thing you can do for yourself is to become more self-aware. To know your passion, your gifts, and develop the tools and techniques that allow you to offer your unique expression to the world. But Maslow says that there’s more – that there’s yet another step for us to take.
I got serious about this exploration when I moved into a senior center where there is, by age alone, a lot of death. I’m 84 and not ready to die for many years. I also had a philosophy of death that seemed to work for me but as I get closer to the experience, I needed and wanted to expand this philosophy. I explored more deeply. What’s next? What is “out there”?
How do we explore transcendence?
I now explore and work within the inner places I find through shamanic journeying. That includes spirit guides, angels, fairies, elves, Cosmic Mother and even a representative from another universe. They are all parts of myself that I’ve identified in a specific form, but they are also messengers from the Great Unknown.
Only 5% of our world is experienced through our consciousness; the other 95% is from our unconscious. Our unconscious! That part of us that we barely understand but a level of ourselves that’s responsible for most of what we experience in our own life.
The good news is that the Great Mystery wants us to come exploring and is very generous with the clarity it brings to us.
The more we practice transcendence the more we understand
Each moment of mindfulness, each request for messages from our inner world, each intuition we follow leads us further along this path of transcendence. As we explore and begin to understand, we also begin to apply that knowledge to our Body Suit lives. We take what we learn and use it to climb higher, move further, or dive deeper.
Nature is a powerful teacher of transcendence
We are all one energy. All connected. All the same. We all move through cycles that have a beginning, a middle and an end. Nature gives us examples of those cycles and teaches us to allow life and circumstances to simply unfold. Nature can lead us into experiences of the unseen world.
I use various techniques to purposefully focus energy. I meditate with rocks and crystals to receive their messages. I have drummed and chanted, and used symbols to heal. I have sent energy outside of time and space. I have practiced affirmative prayer. I have meditated in many forms. I continue to practice and expand my shamanic journeying. Now I’m joining with others in the ever-expanding Transformational Community to deepen and expand the collective consciousness.
The more I explore the “unseen” world, the more I “see.”
What is “out there”?
Transcendence is when we go beyond “me” to “we” – when we feel and know and accept that there is one great mysterious energy and that we’re each encompassed in it.
We learn to transcend our individual self and feel how deeply we’re a part of All That Is, the Great Mystery, just like everyone else.
When we realize how completely we’re connected, we become more aware of our words and actions and choices because we know how subtly and deeply we affect others – because we’re all one energy. Our choices become more aligned with a universal group consciousness, a joining of our minds in a collective energy that moves us all to places and spaces where we’ve never gone before.
Transcend – to go beyond one’s self, to move above our earthly limitations even while being alive in our body suits.
The final step beyond self-actualization is to transcend
Simply begin to notice and think about and allow yourself to experience transcendence. Notice the spaces in your meditation when you mind stills and you drift off and can no longer experience your body.
Notice the powerful calling that you have to understand “more”. This is obviously not about dying, although dying is certainly a form of transcendence.
Look for ways to transcend right now, from here in your Body Suit. You can begin to explore the invisible realms, to transcend from the limitations of being human into the expansion of being and feeling and knowing that you are totally encompassed in the whole.
How do you experience transcendence? What practices will you put in place to help you take this powerful next step?
To Sing a Deeper Song Consider:
Podcast: 45-How to Become a Mindful Presence