Tag Archives: Love

Belongingness & Transcendence: Transcendence and Belongingness, Part 3

In the first post in this series, we explored Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In the second post, we looked at belongingness, transpersonal psychology, and transpersonal experiences. In this — the last — post, we’ll tie everything together in a section on belongingness & transcendence, followed by the conclusion.


Belongingness and Transcendence

In this section, we will explore some of the experiences of transcendence that relate specifically to belongingness. We will do this by reviewing a series of examples of transcendence. In the first example, Maslow (1968) refers to transcendence as transcending the ego or the self. Specifically, Maslow (1968) stated “The phrase ‘being in harmony with nature’ implies this ability to yield, to be receptive to, or respond to, to live with extra-psychic reality as if one belonged with it, or were in harmony with it” (p. 58). Meaning, if one transcended one’s ego, one would not only feel a sense of belongingness with the people around one’s self, but one would also feel a sense of belongingness with nature. In this example, we can see how there is a transpersonal element within belongingness.

In another example of transcendence, Maslow (1968) refers to love being a kind of transcendence. Specifically, this refers to love for one’s child or for one’s friend (Maslow, 1968). According to Maslow (1968), “This can also be expressed intrapsychically, phenomenologically, as experiencing one’s self to be one of the band of brothers, to belong to the human species” (p. 59). Meaning, when one experiences a state of transcendence by way of loving one’s child or one’s friend, there is possibility that they are experiencing a state of belongingness with all of humanity. This state of belongingness is possible by one’s state of transcendence. Just as in the first example, this example also shows us how belongingness has a transpersonal element to it.

In an additional example of transcendence, Maslow (1968) refers to a “special phenomenological state in which the person somehow perceives the whole cosmos or at least the unity and integration of it and of everything in it, including his Self” (pp. 63-64). In this example, not only does the person feel connected to all human species, but to the whole of the universe. “He then feels as if he belongs by right in the cosmos” (Maslow, 1968, p. 64). This is an example of transcendence leading to a sense of belongingness. The belongingness feeling is attained once the person has transcended. This is another example showing us transpersonal elements within belongingness.

In the next example of transcendence, Maslow (1968) refers to one transcending “individual difference in a very specific sense” (p. 64). Maslow (1968) stated that “the highest attitude to have toward individual differences is to be aware of them, to accept them, but also to enjoy them and finally to be profoundly grateful for them” (p. 64). This is, yet another way of attaining a sense of belongingness through transcendence. According to Maslow (1968), “Rising above them [individual differences] in the recognition of the essential commonness and mutual belongingness and identification with all kinds of people in ultimate humanness or species-hood” (p. 64). This illustrates another potential way of attaining belongingness by transcending individual differences.

In this section, we have seen that there are transpersonal elements to belongingness. Specifically, we have seen that there is an aspect of transcendence to belongingness. We have seen examples of how transcendence is present in belongingness by way of four separate examples. In the first example, we saw that one could transcend one’s ego or self to attain a feeling of being one with nature and feel a sense of belongingness with everything. In the second example, we saw that one could transcend by way of loving one’s child or one’s friend and in turn, feeling a sense of belongingness with all of humanity. In the third example, we saw that one could transcend to the point that one attains a feeling of oneness with the cosmos or the universe and in turn, feels a sense of belongingness with the whole of the universe. In the fourth example, we saw that one could transcend the individual differences between people to feel a sense of belongingness with all kinds of people.


In this paper, there was a brief description of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. There was an explanation of each of the needs of the hierarchy: physiological, safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization. There was an expanded description of one of the components within love needs – belongingness. There was a brief explanation of transpersonal psychology followed by a description of a transpersonal experience, specifically, transcendence. There were then connections made between transcendence and belongingness to illustrate that there are transpersonal elements to belongingness. This was demonstrated by using examples of transcendence and belongingness.



Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation, Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497-529.

Hartelius, G., Caplan, M., & Rardin, M. A. (2007). Transpersonal psychology: Defining the past, diving the future. The Humanistic Psychologist, 35(2), 1-26.

Hastings, A. (1999). Transpersonal psychology: The fourth force. In D. Moss (Ed.), Humanistic and transpersonal psychology: A historical and biographical sourcebook (pp. 192-208). Westport, CN: Greenwood Press.

Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370-396.

Maslow, A. H. (1969). Various meanings of transcendence. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 1(1), 56-66.


If you liked this paper/series, you might want to check out some of the other papers/series I’ve posted.


Is An Eye For An Eye Ever Justified?

As I’m sure you’ve heard/read/seen, the United States conducted a mission in which Osama bin Laden “passed away.” At first, I was quite shocked. Everything we’d been told about bin Laden was that he was . Moreover, he hadn’t been in the news in ages, and all of a sudden — boom. Then, I felt empathy. Yes, I understand that this person was seen as a security threat to the United States and in some cases, the world, but it is my belief that no matter the crime, taking life is never the solution, nor is it justifiable.

Some of the archived footage of President Obama talking about bin Laden ( and ) and just my general feelings about President Obama make me think that Obama’s original intention in this mission was not to take an eye for an eye. President Obama doesn’t seem like the kind of president who is out for ‘revenge.’ Rather, I think the initial intent was to capture. Some have already , and others think . Others still, think that for the United States (and the world). Other than some of the footage I’ve seen of Obama talking about bin Laden, and my own intuition, I have no hard evidence. There may be some out there, but I haven’t come across it. Mind you, I haven’t looked very hard, either.

The “An-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye… ends in making everybody blind,” is often to Mahatma Gandhi. In looking at the wiki article for “,” Jesus Christ is also quoted as saying: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’. But I say to you, do not resist an evildoer. If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” However, there is no reference to a specific passage from the Bible (or other book), so I don’t know if that’s accurate.

Byron Katie often says, “.” When I first heard that, it took me a some time to wrap my head around what that is really saying. Defense is the first act of war. So, not the aggressor, but the defender. Sounds a bit strange, yes? She’s so eloquent that instead of trying to paraphrase her ‘thoughts’ on the topic, I decided just to include a YouTube video of her talking about the concept:

While Katie is referring to defense in a communication-sense, I think that her ideas on this topic can be extrapolated to other areas of interaction. As an example: think about a school-yard bully. On the playground, the bully pushes another kid down. In one scenario, the kid gets up, retaliates, is seen by one of the people “on-duty” for lunch and is subsequently sent to the principal’s office. Another way this first scenario could play out is the two get into some sort of brawl whereby both are left injured. In the second scenario, the kid gets up and walks away. The kid does not allow the antagonism of the bully to get to her/him. The kid just ‘brushes it off’ and leaves the situation. More times than not, the bully, who is actually seeking some sort of reaction from someone, will not follow the kid as s/he walks away, but instead, will seek out another person to bully.

Now, the two scenarios I’ve presented leave little to be desired. Many people would want the kid to retaliate or have someone reprimand the bully for what they have done — and I can understand this. But looking at this scenario systemically, the problem is much deeper. The questions that need to be asked are less about the kid and the bully, and more about the environment’s in which these two roles have grown up in. That is, what kind of things are happening in the bully’s environment such that would make the bully more likely to be a bully and what kinds of things are happening in the kid’s environment such that would make the kid more likely to be bullied? If we begin looking into the roots of the problem, we see through the veil, so to speak, and gain a better understanding of the world around us, especially as it relates to ‘unrest.’

With Love and Gratitude

Dr. Emoto, love and gratitude, water crystal, healing intention, power of wordsAnytime I write something to another person, I nearly always end the message with: With Love and Gratitude. I’ve been asked on a number of occasions why it is that I do this. I usually give people the abridged version (spreading joy) or something like that. I thought it would be good to have a post here explaining why it is that I use these four words to sign off on what I’ve said. Initially, I will refer you to two posts I have already written here having to do with the importance of our words & thoughts (for ourselves and for others).

Sometime during the summer of 2005, I had the chance to see the documentary, What The Bleep Do We Know!? Much of what was offered in the film was not new to me (given my unique exposure to many esoteric influences while growing up), but there was something that I found uniquely interesting about one of the clips from the movie that I’ve included here.

Dr. Emoto, Masaru Emoto, Hidden messages in water, water messages, healing intentionAfter watching the documentary, I was so happy that there was science being done to “back-up” the sorts of things that I already thought to be true. During the Fall of that same year, I was able to get a copy of Dr. Emoto‘s book: “The Hidden Messages in Water.” I didn’t want to take what the movie was telling me at face value, so I wanted to read his book. After reading his book, I was confident that there had to be something to the experiments he was doing. So this is half the story. The other half involves a piece of synchronicity.

At the same time I was reading about Emoto’s work, I happened upon an email (or maybe I stumbled onto the site, I really don’t remember exactly how it happened) regarding “The Go Gratitude Experiment.”Go Gratitude Logo The ‘experiment’ was all about Gratitude. I really enjoyed getting the “42 knew views on Gratitude” [spelling intended] and I still have the emails they came in. Some of the work by the Go Gratitude folks has shifted over to a new website (Blooming Humans), but from what I can tell, it’s essentially the same message: Gratitude matters.

After reading Emoto’s book and pairing it with the knowledge from the “Gratitude Experiment,” I was so pleased that I printed off a document containing the words “Love & Gratitude” filling the page in size 80 font and taped the words in different parts of my room. I put one on each wall, I put one on the face of the shelf just above where my computer monitor was and I even put some in my closet and drawers (why shouldn’t my clothes radiate Love & Gratitude, right?)

At first, I was a little shy signing off emails to people “With Love and Gratitude.” It didn’t necessarily feel appropriate to have the word “love” in certain kinds of emails. That word can be quite ‘charged’ for some folks, and I didn’t necessarily want to invoke those sorts of feelings when they were reading my email. Eventually, as I got into the habit of signing off emails “With Love and Gratitude” to people, it would sometimes just slip out when signing off emails that were of a more business-like nature. As this started to happen more and more,Emoto, Masaru Emoto, hidden messages in water, water crystals, love and gratitude I began to realize that my initial trepidation was unnecessary. In fact, I began to relish sending emails to people as it allowed me the chance to say what I needed to say, with love and gratitude.

Since Emoto’s work was published, there have been a number of critics, which I suppose is to be expected, and some of them even raise important points. The clincher for me is Dean Radin. I’ve spoken about Dean Radin before a number of times on here. He is a Senior Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and is the “author or coauthor of over 200 technical and popular articles, a dozen book chapters, and several books.” In 2006, Dean Radin (along with Emoto and other researchers) sought out to test the effects if distant intention on water crystal formation. They used a double-blind method (an experiment in which the experimenters and the participants both do not know which group is experimental and which is the control) and their results:

Results indicated that crystals from the treated water were given higher scores for aesthetic appeal than those from the control water (P = .001, one-tailed), lending support to the hypothesis.

A couple of years later, Radin set out to replicate the findings — again. This time, it was a triple-blind study. A triple-blind study is when the experimenters, the participants, and the evaluators, all, do not know who is receiving treatment and who is not receiving treatment. And again, their results:

Results suggested that crystal images in the intentionally treated condition were rated as aesthetically more beautiful than proximal control crystals (p = 0.03, one-tailed).

I had already believed the water crystal experiments to be true, but after reading the papers published by Radin, now I can be much more sure that they are true. So there you have it. Now you know why I sign-off my emails and comments with:

With Love and Gratitude

Dr. Emoto, love and gratitude, water crystal, healing intention, power of words