We cannot deny humanity’s constant search for something more, the stretching after our best selves, nor our consistent reactions to what feels most dissonant and most consonant in life. This is what many have called, “transcendent formation.” For Father Adrian van Kaam, it is the “art and discipline of living the good life.” It is our human response to forces and longings embedded deep within us. And in an age where authenticity acts as a crowning standard for the good life, we have a lot of good and bad people wondering about their lives. Have I remained faithful to myself and others? Am I the person I thought I would be? What great questions. They are the heart of transformation.
No matter who you are or what you believe– whether you know it or not–, this process of transcendence is always preparing you for transformation. We express it in the clothes we wear, in the styles we try to create, in the projects we love to build. Ancient wisdom tries to let us know two things. 1. We cannot force or deny transformation. Living exclusively in either extreme is a sickness. And 2. many of our life issues happen when we get overly attached to anything less than creator of the universe. If who we are or what we want to become is out of sync with the nature of this Being, the universe will create for us first dissonance and then crisis. At the most objective level, it is the universe magnetically pulling on our will to love. It is the Mystery of this life unfolding our destinies changing us into manifestations of its love, peace, and joy.1. Quote from Father Adrian found in his book on Transcendent Formation, pp.1.