Self-Transcendent Experience: Narrative & Analysis

QuantumDream (2011)
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Abstract
How one transcends the self depends on the self that experiences it. Is it instigated or sought, does it happen by accident, or by an act of Grace? Is it common or rare? Is it brought on by the ingestion of psychedelic agents or by meditation or by being overcome by fear or merely by caring more about the welfare of others than oneself? Is it transcendence to experience a shift of perspective or dissolution of the self? In the pages that follow, each of these paths is explored in nine ways, each unique unto itself. None of them deal with absolute self-transcendence, which should be no surprise, for, as I’ve indicated, there would no longer a self or person to record or communicate the event. Many of them deal the transcendence of self-consciousness, my own included, but only two describe the ingestion of mind-altering psychedelics to catalyze the event. One sees self-construction from the ground-up, as it were, as a form of transcending a previous self that has disintegrated. One looks to acts of kindness to sidestep the illusion of self-consciousness. Two, at least, look to creative experience in the arts as a way to connect with universal spontaneity, but in very different ways. The others refer to what might be called spiritual experiences that, though thirsted for or sought, arrive unexpectedly, almost like a gift.
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Archival date: 2015-11-21
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2011-10-19

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