by Neil A. Bucklew
The Transcendent? Of course the idea boils down to unclear definitions and murky grammar. and none of us have the time to sort them all out.
the transcendent cannot be consumed by definition, but there are plenty of illusions that trigger a neurochemical reaction that is expressed as a transcendent emotion. if the experience is what you want to consume, how is it transcendent?
so mindfulness and fasting are more transcendent than illusory gods, who are symbolic guides at best, and ludicrous distractions as worst.
What is generally called the transcendent is as you describe, an emotional quest of sorts for some idea that triggers a neurochemical reaction. this is incorrectly named as transcendent and should have a different term. i am of the opinion that this need and behavior is related to atomizing individuality, and the loss of tribal/community connection. our “gods” were our connection to our tribe, throughout time.
But there is also a “real’ transcendent. there are real limits and boundaries. identifying and exceeding them could be called transcendent.
Self improvement as well as community improvement is simply work done to improve the market value of the individual or community. but it requires identifying and potentially exceeding limitations, opening the path of Caesar, Aristotle, Odin, Zeus, and Tesla to those who dare.
Tesla is an example we can look at because he is recent and well documented. There is no silliness involved. He had to eat and sleep just like everyone else, yet he achieved some sort of what i would tentatively call “real transcendent”.