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What does it mean to transcend?

Posted on August 11th, 2017 by Mariana Osorio

I have always been fascinated by the meaning of this word, perhaps precisely because most people today don’t seem to understand the depth of it. To transcend is an act of love, of including and respecting the integrity of something or somebody while at the same time enriching it by contributing something new. It is the sum of two wholes to form a new one that has qualities and capabilities that none of its parts could have on its own. To transcend is to me, our mission as human beings during our life. Beyond the shallowness that invades our modern lives and the worries that seem to constantly occupy our hours and our minds, beyond our constant quest for happiness outside of ourselves, to transcend as humans – meaning to become something more than just caring for ourselves all the time – is the key for our self realization and true happiness. So, how do we do it?

If this is the one thing that could indeed bring sense and peace to our hectic lives, how do we get started? There are as many ways to go about it as there are people in the world, but I am here to tell you about my own experience. In 2014 I left my country and became an International student; looking backwards I know it has been a beautiful and transcending experience. By joining the International student´s club in my school, I went from being an individual to being part of a family. I grew and learn in a way that is difficult to put in words. I once read that there are two basic movements when it comes to self development, transition and transformation. The first one is horizontal in nature. As an analogy, imagine that you live in a house with several stories. A transition movement would be equivalent to moving from one room to another in the same floor. We do this all the time in our lives, circumstances change and we adapt, but these everyday changes do not really affect who we are. The second one is a vertical leap. A transformation would be equivalent to moving from the first floor to the attic of the house. Our whole perspective changes, we see things from above, with more depth and reach.

Most importantly, it becomes impossible to keep interpreting the world by our old standards. The beautiful aspect of going through a transformation of our consciousness is that the very first thing we want to do after experiencing it, is to share it! We feel a human responsibility to help and encourage others to look deep inside them and take the leap. My personal advice is that if you are thinking about studying abroad, do it, you will never regret it!

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