Intra-personal Self-transcendence

Intra-personal Self-transcendence

Intra-personal transcendence is one of the dimensions of self-transcendence, a concept that refers to various ways of transcending one’s self-boundaries. Self-transcendence is a process that promotes or supports well-being, especially in situations of increased vulnerability. The theory of self-transcendence is based on three major concepts: vulnerability, well-being, and self-transcendence.

Intra-personal transcendence involves expanding one’s inner awareness and finding meaning and purpose in life. It is related to the existential dimension of spirituality and can be fostered by activities such as meditation, reflection, and creative expression. Intra-personal transcendence can help individuals cope with challenges and losses by enhancing their sense of coherence and resilience.

Intra-personal transcendence fits in the overall theory of transcendence as a salutogenic resource for well-being that can be activated by personal and contextual factors. It is also influenced by the quality of nurse-patient interaction, which can support or hinder the patients’ self-transcendence process. Intra-personal transcendence has been found to have a strong association with quality of life in cognitively intact nursing-home patients.

In the salutogenic model, the emphasis is put on the factors which cause global well-being. It focuses on creation and maintenance of good health rather than to look for the cause of specific diseases. This is opposite of traditional pathogenic model which focus on risk factors involved in disease generation.
Intra-personal transcendence is the ability to go beyond one’s own self-limitations and ego-boundaries, and to connect with a higher or deeper sense of self that is more authentic, expansive and integrated. Intra-personal transcendence can be seen as a form of self-actualization, or the realization of one’s full potential and unique individuality.

Some techniques that might help to develop intra-personal transcendence are:

  • Meditation: Meditation is a practice of focusing one’s attention on a chosen object, such as the breath, a mantra, a sound or a sensation, and letting go of distracting thoughts and emotions. Meditation can help to calm the mind, reduce stress, enhance awareness and foster a sense of inner peace and harmony. Meditation can also facilitate the experience of altered states of consciousness, such as mindfulness, flow, bliss and transcendence, in which one feels a sense of unity with oneself and the world.
  • Self-inquiry: Self-inquiry is a process of asking oneself deep and meaningful questions, such as “Who am I?”, “What is my purpose?”, “What are my values?” and “What is my true nature?”. Self-inquiry can help to uncover hidden aspects of oneself, challenge false beliefs and assumptions, clarify one’s goals and motivations, and discover one’s essence and identity. Self-inquiry can also lead to insights, revelations and transformations that can expand one’s sense of self and reality.
  • Creativity: Creativity is the ability to generate novel and valuable ideas, products or solutions that express one’s individuality and originality. Creativity can help to enhance one’s self-esteem, confidence and joy, as well as to overcome challenges, problems and obstacles. Creativity can also stimulate one’s imagination, intuition and inspiration, and enable one to access higher levels of intelligence, wisdom and spirituality.
  • Service: Service is the act of giving or contributing something of value to others, such as time, energy, skills or resources, without expecting anything in return. Service can help to cultivate compassion, empathy and altruism, as well as to reduce selfishness, greed and egoism. Service can also create a sense of meaning, fulfilment and gratitude, and foster a connection with other beings and a greater cause.

Intra-personal transcendence is a human capacity to expand personal boundaries and connect with oneself, with others, with nature, and with purposes or dimensions that are larger than or beyond the self. It is a spiritual need that facilitates well-being and mediates the relationship between experiences of increased vulnerability and well-being outcomes. Intra-personal transcendence can be realized by individuals at any age through spiritual practices or coping with trauma.

Some of the benefits of intra-personal transcendence are:

  • It helps individuals discover meaning in life, which is an innate desire and a vital resource for global well-being. Meaning in life can be found in various sources, such as relationships, values, goals, faith, creativity, or service to others.
  • It enhances nurse-patient interaction, which is a powerful influence on patient’s hope, self-transcendence, and meaning-in-life, as well as on anxiety and depression. Nurse-patient interaction can be improved by being present, attentive, empathic, respectful, and supportive of patient’s intrapersonal self-transcendence and meaning-in-life.
  • It reduces the negative effects of stress, suffering, and loss by providing a broader perspective and a sense of connection with something greater than oneself. It also fosters resilience, optimism, and coping skills that help individuals overcome challenges and grow from adversity.
  • It enriches the quality of life by increasing happiness, satisfaction, gratitude, and altruism. It also promotes positive emotions, such as awe, wonder, joy, and love, that enhance psychological and physical health.
    Intra-personal transcendence is a valuable asset for quality of life that can be cultivated and nurtured by individuals and caregivers. It is a source of strength, wisdom, and inspiration that can help individuals face life’s difficulties and opportunities with grace and dignity.

The intra-personal self-transcendence journey is a process of going beyond one’s ego and identifying with a higher purpose or meaning in life. However, this journey is not without its challenges and drawbacks. Some of the negative aspects of the intra-personal self-transcendence journey are:

  • It can be lonely and isolating. The journey may require one to detach from social norms, expectations, and attachments that are not aligned with one’s true self. This can create a sense of alienation and estrangement from others who do not share the same vision or values.
  • It can be stressful and demanding. The journey may involve facing one’s fears, doubts, and insecurities, as well as overcoming various obstacles and difficulties that test one’s faith and resilience. This can create a lot of pressure and anxiety for the individual who may feel overwhelmed or inadequate at times.
  • It can be risky and uncertain. The journey may require one to take leaps of faith, experiment with new possibilities, and embrace change and uncertainty. This can create a lot of ambiguity and unpredictability for the individual who may face unexpected outcomes or consequences.
  • It can be painful and challenging. The journey may involve letting go of old beliefs, habits, and identities that no longer serve one’s growth and development. This can create a lot of grief and loss for the individual who may experience a sense of emptiness or identity crisis.
  • Many of the states of being that an individual has to transition through during the intra-personal self-transcendence journey can be confused with serious mental health problems, such as confused thinking, delusional beliefs and even psychosis.

These negative aspects of the intra-personal self-transcendence journey should not be ignored or denied, but rather acknowledged and accepted as part of the process. They can also be seen as opportunities for learning, growth, and transformation, if approached with courage, compassion, and curiosity.

Intra-personal self-transcendence is very closely associated with spiritual awakening, it can involve many different spiritual aspects and is often an individual’s quest, is not just for a deeper knowledge of self, but also a deeper knowledge of their relationship with the wider spiritual self and ultimately “God”, though it is likely that there is no single image of what self-transcendence looks like, and it’s possible to arrive at self-transcendence without any recognition of a higher “being”.

Intra-personal self-transcendence can be thought of as the act of taking the disparate and often hidden aspects of self, and pulling those aspects together to create a unified-self that represents the totality of self.

The major obstacle with the intra-personal self-transcendence journey is that it is poorly understood, and often misunderstood, when symptoms of transcendence become misidentified as symptoms of mental illness and are treated in a way that halts the self-transcendence journey in its tracks. Meaning the individual will be left with a long term “mental illness” that is actually an unresolved and blocked transitional phase of self-transcendence.

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