by Alex Vikoulov
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Transcendentalism was an American literary, political, and philosophical movement of the early nineteenth century, centered around Ralph Waldo Emerson. Other important transcendentalists were Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Amos Bronson Alcott, Frederic Henry Hedge, and Theodore Parker.
Transcendentalists believed that society and its institutions - particularly organized religion and political parties - ultimately corrupted the purity of the individual. They had faith that people are at their best when truly "self-reliant" and independent. It is only from such real individuals that true community could be formed. Even with this necessary individuality, the transcendentalists also believed that all people possessed a piece of the "Over-soul" (God). Because the Over-soul is one, this also unites all people as one supreme being.
Full definition of transcendentalism by Merriam-Webster:
1: a philosophy that emphasizes the a priori conditions of knowledge and experience or the unknowable character of ultimate reality or that emphasizes the transcendent as the fundamental reality;
2: a philosophy that asserts the primacy of the spiritual and transcendental over the material and empirical;
3: the quality or state of being transcendental; especially: visionary idealism.
As a precursor of the things to come, we see a new wave of transcendentalists, or rather Neo-Transcendentalists, luminaries of the transhumanist movement, singularitarians like Vernor Vinge, Ray Kurzweil, Max More, Ben Goertzel, Peter Diamandis, Zoltan Istvan, David Pearce, Natasha Vita-More, Gray Scott, Michael Anissimov to name just a few, media artists, "digital shamans" of our day and age, such as "mindgasmic" Jason Silva.
The essence of transcendence is to become more than we are, transcend ourselves, our biology, our human condition, our human nature and then all other conceivable limitations. There's only one Universal Consciousness, each of us individually is part of, and knowing it through experience has been called transcendence, through the ages. As "cosmic revolutionaries", we dream of transcendence - we dream of what we might become.
Self-Transcendence is a dynamic evolutionary process of proceeding through stages toward more complexity, higher consciousness, love and state of being. Imminent physicists and philosophers of mind argue that the evolution and the rise of complex observers may have been woven into the cosmic code from the beginning - life and mind play a necessary participatory role in reality. Evolution of mind is a fundamental process of the Universe, an open-ended game with new unexpected turns, layers of truth and emerging patterns.
...to read the full story:
Tags: self-transcendence, transcendence, artificial intelligence, Ray Kurzweil, Kevin Kelly, Vernor Vinge, Ben Goertzel, David Pierce, Jason Silva, Max More, Natasha Vita-More, Gray Scott, Alan Harrington, Peter Diamandis, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Amos Bronson Alcott, Frederic Henry Hedge, Theodore Parker, Syntellect Hypothesis, transcendental object, transcendentalism, neo-transcendentalism
*Image Credit: Ecstadelic Media
About the Author:
Alex Vikoulov is a neo-transcendentalist, cosmist, singularitarian, evolutionary extrapolist, digital philosopher, futurist, founder of Ecstadelic Media, painter and media artist, author of "The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution". Graduated from Armstrong University, Berkeley, CA. Lives in Burlingame, California (San Francisco Bay Area).