Unleashing the Joy of Self-Transcendence
Do we unleash joy or do we become joy?
The Spark and the Reward
While a person’s journey with self-transcendence often begins with the exaltation of an inspiring peak experience, my personal experience is that we do not unleash joy. We become joy as a result of continually transcending the limited self and living in deep communion with the True Self that I call the Wise Inner Counselor who lives in the heart of us, each one.
I see the peak experience as a spark and the enduring joy of self-transcendence as the reward for pursuing a transcendent path that involves the valleys of life as well as the peaks.
In fact, I believe that we unleash the joy of self-transcendence by not focusing on joy. For joy is the gift that arrives when you least expect it because you are so focused on doing the work of overcoming all in you that is less than the truth, beauty, and goodness of your authentic Self.
Describing the Ineffable
One sign that we are enfolded in joy is how words fall short in describing the experience. The best we may achieve is to say that joy is like a familiar image or other experience. In a way, Nature expresses joy in the exuberance of springtime’s new life, summer’s vitality, the final hurrah of autumn’s brilliance colors, and the serene interiority of winter.
To me, joy is a feeling in the heart that combines all of those sensations into a serene vitality that is a presence of perfect equipoise—dynamic in rest, a warmth in the core of being that is too deep for words.
William Wordsworth describes how joy may give us access to unseen realms:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.1
The Way Forward
A wise teacher once said that “joy is the engine of life.” You can certainly see that in people who are naturally joyful. They seem to generate an extra “something” that encourages us to pick up the pace of positivity for the sake of life itself.
Do they know a secret that eludes many of us? Or have they made a decision to simply tap into that inner vitality that comes from the Divine whose essence is joy?
The answer is likely unique for each one. And yet, I observe in my own life that the more completely I am attuned with my Wise Inner Counselor the more easily do I remain in the flow and the more joyful I find myself naturally being.
In those moments, I sense my Self as liberated, free to be who I really am, and actually acting as that person whom I aspire to be all the time. The key is to remember how it feels to be that balanced and to seek to reproduce the experience daily.
Minute by minute, day by day, year by year, growth motivation is the way forward. Especially if you are a self-transcender, progress is the law of your Being. And the way to continue growing is to consciously work to transcend your present state of awareness every single day.
The key is to transform the elevated states of consciousness that occur in peak experiences into stages of psychological development that become a way of being, rather than a fleeting experience.
Diving into Self-Transcendence
The following articles represent my most recent insights along with some tools for accomplishing the lifelong process of transformation that is the passion of those individuals who are always on the hunt for the “more” that is the self-transcendent way of life.
Enjoy the journey. This is a voyage that is worth the effort.
What Is a Peak Experience?
The Psychology of Transcendence
Maslow’s Revolutionary Insights
Notes on Being Cognition
How to Be a Self-Transcender
7 Ways to Enhance Your Self-Transcendence
Are You a Self-Transcender (take the survey)
1 William Wordsworth, Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798.