The Collapse of Self-Transcendence

COVID-19 and the Reshaping of Meaning-Making in Everyday Life


  • David B Perrin St. Jerome’s University, Waterloo, ON, Canada


Self-transcendence, Logotherapy, Emplotment


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.


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