The term Transcendent is here used to refer to that (or any) aspect, experience, and realisation of the Divine Reality that pertains to eternal and timeless Reality in Itself, regardless of whether it is the Absolute or Impersonal Nondual Self or the Divine Person of Theistic Mysticism.
The following topics give only a partial coverage of Transcendence. From highest to lowest:
Transcendent Divine Worlds - Infinite-Eternal worlds and hypostases within the Absolute Itself. I wrote this essay some years ago and I'm not sure if I still believe in this cosmology. But it seems to be a common theme in many esoteric systems. In any case, this represents a higher grade of Realisation (Higher Realisation and Godhead Realisation) than conventional duality - (standard Enlightenment/Realisation). The Integral Transformation means the actualisation of these Divine Worlds in phenomenal existence
The Transcendent Absolute Reality - the classic transcendence of time and space, form and idea - is the attainment of the nondual state, in which all deuifference and separateness is abolished. Although in Religion, Transcendence refers to Spirt or deity totally above the created universe, in nonduality spiritual traditions such as Mahayana Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta, the Transcendent is immanent as well; in fact, Reality incluses and is beyond both immanent and transcendent. There are also many other definitions of Transcendence, but these are for the most part not relevant to the present discussion.
Spiritualisation - Central to Transcendence is the Realisation experience ("Enlightenment" - although I no longer use that word), or what Sri Aurobindo calls Spiritualisation. Although Spiritualisation on its own can provide Liberation or nirvana, which is permanent Transcendence, an Integral Realisation includes both the Transcendent and Immanent aspects, and goes beyond the limitations of each.
Intermediate Zone - Transcendence that is only a partial Realisation, in which there is not yet the complete transparency of the Divine shining through the spiritual aspirant, and in which an element of ego still remains, is here called "Intermediate Zone" following the name of this region in an important letter by Sri Aurobindo to a sadhak (spiritual aspirant). The "Intermediate Zone" is so called because it is a dangerous region of half-truths between realative existence and full realisation of the Supreme. Experiences of this stage are so powerful and overwhelming to the ordinary human psychophysical entity, that they can easily be mistaken as the highest Supreme Reality. Hence the sadhak or spontaneous awakener deludes him/her-self and others into thinking he/she has attained the highest Reality, and is Supremely Enlightened. Many Gurus, considered Enlightened, are only at this stage. However, the aspirant guided by their Divine Soul (the immenent Divine) will never fall into this trap themselves, nor will trhey worship another of only that level. Hence the importance, on the Spiritual Path, of Inner Guidance above all.
images not loading? | error messages? | broken links? | suggestions? | criticism?