The Collapse of Self-Transcendence
COVID-19 and the Reshaping of Meaning-Making in Everyday Life
The human capacity to self-transcend – generally meaning a conscious or unconscious experience of going beyond oneself. We are constantly being sold something bigger than ourselves. The author suggests that the pandemic reaching the world population in March 2020 – and that a year later is still in full
stride – has further restricted our access to “transcendental experiences.” The article is a brief analysis of transcendence to deepen our understanding of its role in human becoming and human flourishing. It looks briefly at a contributing voice from psychology (Victor Frankl), from the poetry community (Rumi), and from theology (Karl Rahner) to grasp how these three writers, from within their discipline, appreciate the human person as a self-transcending being.
Augustine (1961).Saint Augustine: Confessions (R.S. Pine-Coffin, Trans.). London: Penguin.
Braman, B. (2008). Meaning and authenticity: Bernard Lonergan and Charles Taylor on the Drama of Authentic Human Existence. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Burrows, M. (2005). Raiding the Inarticulate: Mysticism, Poetics and the Unlanguageable. In E. A. Dreyer,&M. S. Burrows (Eds.), Minding the Spirit: The study of Christian Spirituality. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 341–62.
Chittister, C. (2017). The Rule of Benedict: A Spirituality for the 21st Century (2nd ed.). Chestnut Ridge, NY: Crossroad.
Cox, H. (2016). The Market as God. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Frankl, V. (1988).The will to meaning: Foundations and applications of Logotherapy (New York: Meridian.
Frankl, V.,&Allport, G. W. (2006). Man’s search for meaning. Boston: Beacon Press.(First published in 1945).
Frey, J. A., Vogler, V. (Eds.)(2019).Self-Transcendence and virtue: Perspectives from philosophy, psychology, and theology. New York: Routledge, Helminiak, D. A. (1986). Four viewpoints on the human: A conceptual schema for interdisciplinary studies: I,” The Heythrop Journal XXVII.
Helminiak, D. A.(1987). Spiritual development: An interdisciplinary study. Chicago: Loyola University Press.
Helminiak, D. A. (2008). Confounding the Divine and the spiritual: Challenges to the psychology of spirituality. Pastoral Psychology, 57, 161-182. doi: 10.1007/s11089-008-0163-9
Hogan, K. (1998). Entering into Otherness: The postmodern critique of the subject and Karl Rahner’s theological anthropology. Horizons, 25(2), 181–202.
Jastrzebski, A. (2020). Self-respect as a Spiritual Attitude in the Face of Unchangeable Fate. In M. Marshall,& E. Marshall (Eds.), Carried by the Spirit our Hearts sing. Discerning Meaning during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Ottawa: Ottawa Institute of Logotherapy, 99-106.
Langan, T. (1959). The meaning of Heidegger: A critical study of existential phenomenology. New York: Columbia University Press, 32.
Lonergan, B. (1992). Collected works of Bernard Lonergan, Insight (Vol. 3) (F. Crowe, & R. Doran, Eds.). Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Morris, C. W. (2020). The cross now rooted breaks in bloom: A study of Bruno Barnhart’s ‘Wisdom Knowing’ and wholeness in Christian life [Doctoral dissertation, University of Divinity]. Divinity Repository. https://repository.divinity.edu.au/4084/1/CMorrisPhD2020.pdf
Oxford Learners Dictionary (n.d.). Transcendence. In Oxford learners dictionaries.com dictionary. Retrieved January 14, 2021, from https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/transcendence
Perrin, D. B. (1996). Mysticism and Art: The Importance of Affective Reception. Égliseet Théologie, 27(1), 47–70.
Perrin, D. B. (1997). Asceticism: The Enigma of Corporal Joy in Paul Ricoeur and John of the Cross. Pastoral Sciences, 16, 135–62.
Perrin, D. B. (2007). Studying Christian Spirituality. New York: Routledge, 31-32, 40, 47-50.
Perrin, D. B. (2007). The uneasy relationship between Christian spirituality and the human sciences: Psychology as a test case. Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality, 7(2), 169-192.doi: 10.1353/scs.2007.0037
Perrin, D. B. (2018). Stories, Hermeneutics and Maturation in Christian Life. Vinayasādhana: Dharmaram Journal of Psycho-Spiritual Formation,9(1), 35–57.
Perrin, D. B. (2019). Sin as a sign of God’s original blessing. In The 20-Minute Retreat: 18 Sessions with the Saints to Nourish Your Faith Life. Toronto: Novalis, 112–19.
Ricoeur, P. (1970). Instinct and Idea in the ‘Papers on Metapsychology. In Freud and Philosophy: An Essay on Interpretation. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 115–51.
Ricoeur, P. (1975). Biblical Hermeneutics.Semeia: Experimental Journal for Biblical Criticism, 4, 27–148.
Ricoeur, P. (1977a).The Rule of Metaphor: Multi-disciplinary Studies of the Creation of Meaning in Language. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 247–48.
Ricoeur, P. (1977b). “Toward a Hermeneutic of the Idea of Revelation. Harvard Theological Review, 70(1–2), 1–37.
Ricoeur, P. (1981). Metaphor and the central problem of Hermeneutics. In Hermeneutics and the Human Sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 165–81.
Ricoeur, P. (1984). Time and Narrative I. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 60.
Ricoeur, P. (1991). The Creativity of Language. In M. J. Valdes (Ed.), A Ricoeur Reader: Reflection and imagination. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 463–81.
Ross, S. A. (2012). Anthropology: Seeking light and beauty. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press.
Schneiders, S. M. (1989). Spirituality in the academy. Theological Studies, 50, 676–97.
St. John of the Cross(1991). Living Flame of Love, Stanza 3, Paragraphs 19–21. In The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross(K. Kavanaugh, & O. Rodriguez, Trans.). Washington, DC: Institute of Carmelite Studies, 681.
Stevens, W. (n.d.). The Man with the Blue Guitar, verse 32. Poem Hunter website. Retrieved January 4, 2021, fromhttps://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-man-with-the-blue-guitar
Taylor, C. (1991). The Malaise of Modernity, CBC Massey Lectures. Toronto: House of Anansi Press.
Taylor, C. (2007). A Secular Age. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 300–308.