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Transcendence, the Driver of Social Growth


Transcendence is the fundamental that puts permanence of societies and institutions into action. Without an “instinct” of transcendence there is no possibility to make things grow.

Transcendence is a basic instinct that sustains the survival of any species.

As it is said in Ethology when the individual survival instinct prevails over the species survival instinct, a species is in extinction.

Lonely wolves are the demonstration of the consequence when individual goals prevail over group needs.

In human behavior, being influenced by rational conscious drivers, the spirit of transcendence is limited to those that are included in the pronoun “we”.

Human transcendence

Human transcendence includes four types of transcendence:

  • The transcendence through species
  • The transcendence through deeds
  • The transcendence through people
  • The individual transcendence

Transcendence through the species

The transcendence through the species is what provokes the necessary personal actions, including sacrifices, in order to ensure the survival of the species.

But people do not consider all other humans as part of their species. Slavery is a demonstration of this fact. That is why we say that “the reach of one’s globalization is given by the limit of the pronoun WE”.

Institutions need to be considered as part of the species of their members. Those individuals who take advantage of institutions are provoking its disappearance.

When “species” prevail over individual needs, the “species” is in evolution.

Transcendence through deeds

Doers transcend basically through their deeds. Their deeds have two different components, on the one hand they add value to the species and on the other hand, through such deeds Doers gain value to grow.

Individuals grow because the value of what their deeds add is higher than the energy they spend to produce the deeds. This is the meaning of gaining value.

Transcendence through deeds is what makes institutions and communities expand because it is the fundamental for science, technology, innovation and production.

Transcendence through people

Communities and institutions are integrated by people. Those individuals that transcend because of the recognition they get from people are necessarily those who sustain the subjective integration of the “species”.

This transcendent attitude has two different approaches that need to be integrated. On the one hand, the transcendence needs to be based on the community to make it grow.

But on the other hand, it must include the transcendence of individuals to make it possible. “Technology ensures results, but people make the difference” is a concept that shows transcendence through people.

When there is no interest in transcending through people “species” are in extinction.

Transcendence through people makes the distribution of spiritual, emotional o materialistic benefits possible.

Transcendence through individuals

Individual transcendence is part of life. Individuals need to have their own identity to be part of a community or institution.

When the individual identity is “erased”, we are in a sect that needs to prevail in spite of their members.

Individual transcendence is what ensures the minimum strategy of transcendent behaviors. Individuals need to have their place in order to “feel” that what they are doing is worth it.

Individual transcendence is at the same time the driver of “heroic” behavior. When individual transcendent goals prevail over the goals of the institution, the institution is in involution.

When this attitude becomes a habit, the institution has already disappeared, although its materialistic aspects might still exist.

Peter Belohlavek

NOTE: The Unicist Research Institute has been, since 1976, the pioneer in complexity science research to deal with adaptive entities and became a private global decentralized leading research organization in the field of adaptive systems and environments. It was one of the precursors of the Industry 4.0 concept.