Even ‘transcendence’ is misleading

For a long time, I assumed the phrase ‘transcendence’ was the best to describe the spiritual process – transcendence of experience, after all, appears to describe the spiritual journey in a nutshell. But even this word, I have to admit, is misleading for many reasons. Three of them are:

  • Transcendence connotes ‘loss’. While the true definition of transcendence is not about loss, but about gain, there still is the association that transcendence somehow means or involve some sort of loss. In truth, only the sense of loss is lost, nothing more, but the connotation still stands.


  • Transcendence connotes we can exist outside ourselves – a transcended state so to speak. However, that connotation is wrong. Neither we, nor any object, exists outside of itself.


  • Transcendence connotes escape – escape from the here and now. It requires no elaboration that the spiritual journey, ultimately, is not about escape at all.


So, what word is a replacement for transcendence? I’ve determined ‘relationship’ is the best one. Relationship doesn’t insinuate an escape from the current situation, nor does it connote any existence outside of current circumstances and objects, nor does it connote loss. If we focus on relating to each and everything, transcendence takes care of itself, needing no extra attention or even definition whatsoever.

Ranjeeth Thunga
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