"I have spent most of my life (like most people) avoiding transcendence at all costs, mainly because the shit hurts. Merely defining transcendence can sometimes be painful. I once heard that 'Transcendence is the act of going through something'. Ouch. I see plate glass windows and divorces. Someone else told me that it was 'rising above whatever one encountered in one's path' but at this point in my life that smacks of avoidance as well as elitism of some sort. I am compelled to look back on years of going through, above, as well as around my life looking for loopholes to redefine everything including any and all of the ideas that I have held close to my heart along the way - Art - Freedom - Justice - Revolution - Love (a big one) - Growth - Passion - Parenting (a really big one) - and I find that for me, for now, transcendence is about being still enough long enough to know when it's time to move on. Fuck me."

- Steve Earle -
(interview, Chicago, January 2000)

In the Sartrean sense, transcendence refers to the human ability to change oneself through an act of will. We are never without freedom or choice, because we can always make a change in how we see ourselves or how we interpret the world. Of course, such changes may not stick, or they may be genuine but immaterial to the people we have affected in the past. Thus, transcendence must be balanced with facticity, or the unchangable facts of one's past, in order to avoid falling into bad faith.

Sartre referred to transcendence as "nothingness" in his opus Being and Nothingness. This is because transcendence is that which changes, and has no nature or immutable properties of its own. Using transcendence as a source of energy to alter facticity can be seen as the goal of cognitive behavioral therapy.

Tran*scend"ence (?), Tran*scend"en*cy (?),[Cf. L. transcendentia, F. transcendance.]


The quality or state of being transcendent; superior excellence; supereminence.

The Augustinian theology rests upon the transcendence of Deity at its controlling principle. A. V. G. Allen.


Elevation above truth; exaggeration.


"Where transcendencies are more allowed." Bacon.


© Webster 1913.

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