What Is Self-Transcendence?

                                                  By Brad Bell

                Self-transcendence is an important concept, and there could be a number of conceptualizations of the concept.  In my book, Finding Meaning (Bell, 2007), I stated, "self-transcendence involves understanding, appreciating, caring about, and feeling connected to things that transcend the self." (p. 31).  This quotation from my book can be viewed as one self-transcendence definition.  

          To gain a better understanding of the concept of self-transcendence, it is important to consider possible examples of self-transcendence.  Some self-transcendence examples would include starting a nonprofit that would benefit society, developing an identity that transcends the self (e.g., the feeling of being part of society), donating money to a charitable organization, and other altruistic behaviors.


Bell, B. (2007).  Finding meaning (3rd. ed.).  Portland, OR:  Blue Fox Communications.