What’s next?

verb gerund or present participle: transcending
1. be or go beyond the range or limits of (a field of activity or conceptual sphere).

I think this is something we intuitively understand – that as we mature we should seek spiritual growth in anticipation of an old age filled with enlightenment.*
Arthur Brooks

If I haven’t figured out that human life is
transcendent in nature,
It is likely I’m done
rooting around.

Arthur Brooks has just introduced me to
Hinduism’s four ashramas or
stages of life,
Being in their most stripped-down forms:
Brahmacharya: learning;
Grihastha: career, wealth, family;
Vanaprastha: spirituality, wisdom;
Sannyasa: enlightenment.

These reminded me of Brian McLaren’s four seasons:
Simplicity: the joy of beginning;
Complexity: things aren’t as straightforward as we thought;
Perplexity: there are things that will never reconcile;
Harmony: we find a way of holding all that is together.**

And then there are Theory U’s four levels of transformation:
Downloading: we are at the centre of our small world;
Opening the mind: we move to the edge of our world and see there is more;
Opening the heart: we move deeper into the worlds of others;
Opening the will: we create together what is wanting to emerge.^

My point is not that these exist in some
coincidence –
They do not overlay each other neatly –
Here are three understandings of transcendent life –
Helpful to us on their own
or together –
Encouraging us to keep moving.

There is more to come for you and for me.

*Arthur Brooks’ From Strength to Strength;
**Brian McLaren’s Naked Spirituality;
^Otto Scharmer’s Theory U.

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