Healthy Transcendence Includes Supposed Negative Qualities

Those who have made a spiritual virtue out of bypassing what they deem to be “negative” fail to realize that healthy transcendence is neither a flight nor a disconnection from “lower” things and qualities, but rather a going beyond them that does not exclude them. Through such radical inclusion, we expand both horizontally and vertically, opening ourselves to include a particular quality while at the same time not identifying or fusing with it.

There is separation in this, and there is also connection; in fact, both co-arise, both coexist, both function in mutual resonance.

For example, if we are reactively angry, right at the edge of hostility, we can step back from it just enough to see it for what it is and begin relating to our emotional state, almost as if engaging in dialogue with that angry aspect of ourself. We do not exclude that angry “I” but are sufficiently expansive now to include it without letting it overcome or govern us. We are both apart from that angry “I” and connected to it. We have not fled it, but have rooted ourselves in a perspective that allows us both to see our anger more clearly and to work with it more cleanly.

~Robert Augustus Masters



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