Transcendence 1920 1280 Gary Ruelas, D.O., Ph.D.

The ability to rise above and go beyond is the definition of transcendence.

Western Civilization has been one of the most advanced cultures of current times, yet here we are in a struggle with the evolving turbulence of our biosocial psychological dilemmas. We continue to be mired in a rolling movement of change and disruption, constantly full of new challenges. We are called upon to adapt, yet many times, we are pushed to our cognitive and perhaps biological limits. We could in some way take assurance by looking at various time periods, such as the 2020’s, 1960’s, 1950’s or the early 1920’s and describe them as defining moments as well. To some respect, that would be an accurate perception. However, the further we stand back, the more we realize they are and were all just a point in a large continuum of time, of ongoing change. Reflecting gives us a bit of reassurance that we are and were not alone. Looking back, however, does not change our present waves of growth and disruption. One thing is for sure, we are here, so we must have survived those other times, or we would not be discussing this one. There are those that challenge the change, who are holding on to what is known, perhaps applying the logic or reason of science to determine the next step. But the truth be told, both reason and science are part of the evolution and subject to the same changes we are all undergoing. No logic is sacred.

So what? You may ask. Well, here is where it gets personal, biologically deep in our inner brain, and perhaps even spiritual in some resonance of frequency as we venture into these unknown worlds, which will remain intangible to us.

Let us try to understand survival from a brain perspective for a moment. We are born with a tabula rasa (or a blank slate). We acquire behavior (eating, walking and other biological functions). We acquire knowledge, learn language, acquire other skills etc. Information that is then stored to be retrieved and used repeatedly many times without thought (such as walking, digestion, or talking. Sometimes we encounter new situations, and our brain goes into search mode to find the right pattern to accommodate. Most of the time it does, sometimes it remains confused because there is no previous pattern of behaviors for what we are experiencing. But the key point here is that adaptation is not from thought, it is:

  1. From retrieval of stored tools and methods
  2. An unconscious process of unknown variables adjusting to create a new paradigm through struggle.

Like a new jigsaw puzzle or math problem, the acquisition of stability is moving into the confused pieces and allowing them to adjust.

This is called transcendence. We are in it, and we can all do it.

And now, we must support each other through it.


Gary Ruelas, D.O., Ph.D.

Dr. Ruelas holds doctoral degrees and is licensed to practice in both medicine and psychology. He approaches his patients by gathering and analyzing data differently from other physician’s moving away from a disease model to a holistic functional model. Read Bio

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