Experiencing Transcendence: The 7th Perspective
We’ve all heard the word ‘transcendence’ and, if you’re like most people, it brings to mind a little floating guru with a big otherworldly smile on his face. Not too applicable to our everyday lives, right? Well, when you learn how to access the highest perspective, transcendence is exactly what you’ll be experiencing…floating guru optional.
While the ‘live in the moment’ theme of the 6th perspective is all about enjoying each and every experience regardless of its positive or negative meaning, the 7th perspective takes even experience out of the equation and those who see life from this angle are simply content to exist. Everything ceases to have meaning, which means experiences don’t even factor in: you just ARE. I know, I know, I can see you guys shaking your heads right now. Is this even POSSIBLE? And if it is, do you REALLY want to cease having pleasurable experiences? The thing about this perspective is that there are very few people who actually stay in this perspective for long. It’s just not feasible to float through life, a big Buddha-like smile on your face because you’re alive. However, almost all of us have experienced the 7th perspective: probably numerous times.
When was the last time you were reading a book and got so absorbed in it that you forgot to eat dinner? Or when you were working on a painting or in the backyard one morning and the next thing you knew, it was pitch dark outside? These are all transcendent experiences. All of your physical needs went out the window. You were no longer worried about what was happening in the outside world (or your inner world for that matter), you were simply 100% content to be doing what you were doing. You weren’t judging yourself for missing dinner. There was no thought of, “Why am I painting when there is housework to be done?” Nope, you just WERE, and that was enough. Hobbies that overtake us like this can bring enormous joy and motivation to dive into when you need that jolt of, “OH! So THIS is what life is all about!”
I think it’s pretty obvious that if we stayed in this state for too long, though, things would start to fall apart. Not only would you become dehydrated, but you’d probably lose your job and your relationships would start to erode because you were no longer paying attention to communication, responsibilities or even good manners. Yep, transcendence can often go by another word if it is too prolonged: obsession. While it might seem pretty cool to be called a transcendent person every once in awhile, no one really wants to be known as that obsessed dude who never takes a shower and won’t leave his bedroom until his manuscript is finished.
The key, really, to ALL the perspectives is balance. Even the first victim perspective is beneficial to visit every now and then when you need to simply shut down and have someone take care of you. And, in fact, most people shift among the perspectives on a regular basis. The important takeaway from these articles is where do you spent MOST of your time? To identify this, just listen to yourself (or look back on your last few months of Facebook posts!). Do you find yourself picking fights? Getting defensive? Agreeing to do things for others even if it hurts you? Once you’re able to start identifying how you see things and react to them, you can nail down which perspective you’re operating under and, more importantly, see if some changes are in order. It’s easy to act on auto-pilot when you’re comfortably settled into a perspective: no thinking required, right? And that’s where the trouble comes in. By being more aware you can stop before that nasty phrase comes out of your mouth or before you accept one more project that will take you away from your family. You can sit back and say, “Is this who I really want to be right now?” You can take control of the moment instead of letting the moment control you.
If you’d really like to get a clear picture of what your primary and secondary perspectives for viewing the world are, as well as how much you utilize the other perspective, and how that might shift on you when you experience stress, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to take the Energy Leadership Index. This attitudinal assessment can show you exactly where you are putting your energies, and be a good guide for noticing where you’d like to make changes, or which perspectives you’d like to learn to use more.
Thank you so much for participating in this journey into the seven levels of perspective with me! I always love talking about perspectives and how they affect us as leaders, co-workers, friends and family members. If you have any questions or experiences of your own, I would love to hear from you.
Trish Cody has over 18 years of experience consulting with some of the world’s top Fortune 500 Companies. Today, as an ICF and iPEC Certified Coach and Energy Leadership Master Practitioner, Trish works with clients to uncover their core values and beliefs, clearly see how they are showing up in their behaviors and impacting their success, and to shift their thinking to naturally attract positivity and success. For more information, visit www.TrishCody.com.