HomeSelf-Actualization4 Ways to Transform the Self and Transcend

4 Ways to Transform the Self and Transcend

“Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing.” ~ Euripides 

There is a world beyond our perception, a world that is all at once far away, nearby, and invisible. It is there where infinity lives, where God dies and is reborn, where everything is connected to everything else. 

This world sings with a voice older than worlds. It speaks with a silence louder than anything in existence. And yet, it can be heard. But to hear it, we must be using the correct technology: transcendent technology.

There are basically two types of transcendent technology to transform the self: soft and hard. Wilderness immersion, fasting, and drumming meditation are soft technologies that gently dissolve boundaries.

Hallucinogens, psychedelics, and other entheogenic tools are hard technologies that shatter the ego and break apart rigid perceptual paradigms of reality. 

Either way, the purpose is to connect the wilderness within to the wilderness without; and to access the sacred coordinates of health, beauty, truth, and harmony. Let’s break it down…

 Transform the Self with Wilderness Immersion

“To put everything in balance is good, to put everything in harmony is better.” ~ Victor Hugo

Wilderness immersion is perhaps the most primary technology of transformation and transcendence. This is because it grounds us. It reveals that the flower of the inner self has always been connected to the roots of the outer self. Indeed. Our inner wilderness is a reflection of outer wilderness, and vice versa. 

Solitude in the wild, away from the things of man, can trigger archetypal responses. It leverages our soul in the eternal, helping us relocate the creative energies of the ancient past with the updated present, where past-present-future are merely different faces of a single reality. It’s what Jean Gebser described as an “ever-present origin.”

Out there, immersed in the wild, a kind of ego-melting occurs that dissolves boundaries and reveals the infinite horizon between inner and outer experience. Small-picture belief expands into big-picture perception.

Answers become ashes through the fire of interconnected introspection, giving birth to transcendent questions that reorient the self. Indeed. Wilderness immersion will transform the self-as-ego into the self-as-cosmos.

Transform the Self with Fasting:

“Impermanence is more than an idea. It is a practice to help us touch reality.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Fasting is a healthy transcendent practice overlooked by most people. It helps sharpen the edge of our awareness by launching us out of the unhealthy quick fix and instant gratification of our hyperreal consumerist lifestyles.

It is a potent act of cleansing. It empties the body of food so that the mind and soul can feed. The natural rhythms of the body are given the chance to melt into the natural rhythms of the interconnected cosmos, thus transforming perspective.

The absence of food, the loss of rigid mealtimes and the upset cycle of feeding, leads our mind and soul in search of sustenance elsewhere. We become open to next-level consumption, to higher forms of nourishment. Our stomachs turn outward, searching for the sacred. Lacking food, we hunger for a panacea, a magic elixir, a liquid ambrosia to quench our soul’s thirst. 

Without the usual omnipresent feeding mode to occupy our time, we are given precious moments of inner reflection that can deepen our awareness of a hunger greater than our own—the sacred hunger of the Earth’s need for harmony. 

Transform the Self with Drumming meditation:

“Life is at its best when it’s shaken and stirred.” ~ F. Paul Pacult

Nothing shakes and stirs the self like a good drumming meditation. Especially in combination with Grandfather Fire. 

Drumming meditation initiates a trance experience, a fantastic journey to an invisible but vitally real and important encounter with extraordinary states of awareness — altered, non-ordinary, and expansive. We are able to step outside of our ego-defined body and experience cosmic ecstasy. Joseph Campbell called this dimension, “the inner reaches of outer space.”

transform the self with drumming meditation

The deep rhythm of the drum acts like a boundary-crossing medium, or bridge, between worlds. From within the vibrations emerges the structure of self-reflective consciousness. It ignites our imagination.

A larger, more compelling reality comes into focus, illuminating a vastly expanded yet ultimately mysterious soul-centric reality that dwarfs the tiny ego-centric reality of Plato’s Cave (the codependent comfort zone that came before).

Rising on the higher cosmic frequencies of a drumming meditation, we experience the life-enhancing, game-changing, life-hacking harmony of the numinous. After which, we feel healed, reinvigorated, and reprogrammed.

Utterly shaken by the revelations we have experienced, life becomes silhouetted by a harmony of interconnectedness and a deeper sense of purpose emerges. This purpose compels us to create more meaning in our lives. 

Transform the Self with Entheogenic tools

“Life lived in the absence of the psychedelic experience that primordial shamanism is based on is life trivialized, life denied, life enslaved to the ego.” ~ Terence McKenna

Hallucinogens, psychedelics, and other entheogenic tools constitute “hard” transcendence. They are “hard” because they shatter egoic predisposition and initiate an instant launch out of our comfort zone. They break apart our rigid understanding of the universe and open us up to the fountainhead of heightened states of awareness.

The world unhinges and then rehinges itself, revealing that we were always overly hinged (that is, contingent upon a single consideration). We transcend one-dimensionality and embrace multi-dimensionality. Or, as the Fang Tribe of the Gabon say, we “break open the head,” revealing Infinity to our otherwise finite-biased minds. 

Entheogens have a huge advantage over the softer technologies of transformation and transcendence in that they produce profound dramatic effects on cue, every time. Where the softer technologies are a slog toward the numinous, the harder technologies are a guaranteed rush straight into the numinous. 

From LSD to mescaline, from ayahuasca to shrooms, the entheogenic experience is extraordinary, launching us through the “hoop” of ourselves, propelling us over the hump of our ego’s fortified walls, catapulting us out of the rigid cannon of our indoctrinated canon. Where we are free to explore worlds literally beyond our dreams.

These tools create a telescope of the psyche, where we can gaze deeply into Campbell’s “inner reaches of outer space” and experience the outer reaches of inner-space, the profound union of the yin-yang self, merging and reemerging within and out of itself in an alchemical prima materia.

Thus, revealing the Great Mystery (mystereum magnum) of the captive world-soul—the “egg” of the self, from which emerges the mighty Phoenix of the liberated soul. 

Image Source

Transformation by Maciej Wierzbicki
Masoud Kibwana – Synced Rhythm 2

Gary Z McGee
Gary Z McGee
Gary 'Z' McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.

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