Health & Fitness:Mental Health
S2 - Ep.5: Encountering The Transcendant
In this episode, the hosts discuss about encountering the transcendent broadly understood as that which is experienced as beyond oneself, greater than oneself and which usually yields an intense emotional experience ranging from awe to terror. Rudolf Otto called this “the numinosum” and coined the name “mysterium tremendum” to denote this unique experience could be marked not only by awe and joy but also by inner trembling and fear. Various cultures, spiritual practices or philosophies refer to the transcendent as the sacred, God, the realm of deities, Being, or the “ultimate concern” (Paul Tillich). The human experience of being in the presence of something larger than oneself towards which one has an attitude of awe or reverence can occur in various circumstances during one’s life such as in front of the majesty and beauty of nature or exquisite artwork, during spiritual practices (e.g., prayer or meditation) or when confronted with an intense experience that takes one outside oneself and brings it in contact with a transcendent realm of experience. Existential Analysis recognizes the human capacity of self-transcendence and the spiritual or noetic dimension of the human beings as central to who we are as persons. The capacity to self-transcend is unique to human beings and it is intimately linked with experiencing meaning, belonging and fulfillment as well as with the sense of being connected to a larger context and purpose. While self-transcendent experiences cannot be pursued or generated by one’s own will, we can cultivate certain conditions and attitudes that may confer openness and receptivity to such experiences both in our daily life and within the therapeutic context.
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