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Glossary

This list provides a brief summary of many of the terms used on this web-site. I do not claim them as ‘generally accepted’ but are at least, hopefully, self-consistent. Unless otherwise stated, quotes are from The Chambers English Dictionary (1990). Non-quoted definitions are my own wording.

For a more in-depth discussion on key topics, see also my FAQs

Acceptance:
bringing our inner and outer perceptions of reality into alignment.

AHS:
Alister Hardy Society

Being (with a capital B):
Embracing the Heidegger, Buddhist and Taoist senses of the term. i.e. to be living in a transcendent state, to be ‘in the flow’, immersed in the world but not attached to it in any material or emotional way.

Consciousness:
“the waking state of the mind: the knowledge which the mind has of anything: awareness: thought”; includes, but is not restricted to, rational consciousness.

Divine:
Of God. Imbued with a depth of beauty, love and truth. Often used to distinguish something from being conventionally human.

Dualism:
where everything has to be categorised as ‘either A or B’, black OR white with no shades or grey or colours.

Evolutionary Consciousness: 
A transcendent and evolving consciousness consistent with the notion of an evolutionary imperative towards divine consciousness.

Faith:
“trust or confidence” (in a general sense, not necessarily implying any particular religious belief).

Feeling:
“resonance with being, the capacity by which we participate in and are co-present with our world” (Heron 1992, p1).

God:
used in the broadest, rather than specifically Christian, sense of the word, and thus interchangeably with ‘the Divine’.

Holistic:
(Following from the CED definition below): Whole: embracing the physical, mental and spiritual, yet more than their sum.

Holism:
“the theory that a complex entity, system, etc., is more than merely the sum of its parts.”

Holographic:
‘as above, so below’; the macrocosm reflects the microcosm in all things. Also embracing ‘body, mind and soul’ as interconnected aspects of our Being.

Inner (as opposed to ‘outer’):
thoughts, feelings and mental processes that are perceived as being within our minds rather than as being external to us.

Integrate: (and thus ‘integral’ and ‘integrated’):
“to make up as a whole: to make entire: to combine, amalgamate.”

Interfaith:
the working together of different faith groups for a common cause.

Interspiritual (or ‘global spirituality’):
“a consensus on the practical values, practices, and insights found in all traditions of spirituality” (Teasdale 1999, p74).

Mental transcendence:
integrated rational thought.

Modern Age:
that period of human history between the Enlightenment of the 18th century and present day.

Modernism: 
characteristics associated with the Modern Age, particularly rationalism and dualism.

Mystic:
“one who seeks or attains direct intercourse with God”.

Mystical: 
that which is mysterious, “sacredly obscure”, magical. Not necessarily inconsistent with being ‘ordinary’ or ‘normal’.

Normal:
“ordinary”, the spectrum of things generally accepted across human societies (as opposed to the “most frequent value”).

Non-local (and whole-body) transcendence:
a mode or level of consciousness, different to the normal, which transcends the separation between ‘self’ and ‘other’.

Oneness:
the totality of all that is.

Ordinary:
that which, in at least some human societies, happens on a day-to-day basis.

Outer (as opposed to ‘inner’):
things we perceive with our bodily senses; things outside of ourselves which are sensed as being external to us.

Post-dualism:
where contradictions, paradoxes and both/neither states are accepted as equally valid to either/or possibilities.

Postmodern Age:
the period from the 1960s onwards during which the key tenants of the Modern Age have been challenged.

Postmodernism:
characteristics associated with the postmodern Age, particularly extreme materialism, individualism and deconstructionism.

Post-postmodern Age:
the period, beginning with the start of the Transcendence Movement, when personal and collective commitments were being made to move on from both the modern and postmodern epistemologies.

Post-postmodernism:
characterised by genuine compassion, cooperation and ability to transcend divisions.

Post-rationalism: 
an acceptance that rational consciousness is but one facet of human consciousness.

Rationalism:
the pre-eminence of logical, rational, thought (i.e. rational consciousness) with an associated denial of any other forms of consciousness.

Religious Experience: 
An experience within a religious context, e.g. in a formal place of worship. May not be ‘transcendent’ in the terms of this thesis.

SDI:
Spiritual Directors International

SMN:
Scientific and Medical Network

Soft-skills:

If hard skills related to practical skills or facts and theories that can be deality defined, soft-skills relate to the touch-feely aspect of being human. It recognises that humans are thinking, feeling, beings and that denying our emotional natures and inner ways of knowing is to deny what makes us tick.

Soul:
Our higher self; our divine spark; the divine aspect of a human; the bit of humans that lives on other death (in whatever form); our true, inner, non-local, self which is also an integral part of the oneness of life.

Spirit:
An energetic as opposed to a material presence, which could be one of many forms. Spirits may be: divine or not; related to a human who has died, or not; malevolent or benign. i.e. a much broader term than ‘soul’.

Spiritual:
Having soul. Equivalent to ‘divine’. Not necessarily religious.

Spiritual Experience:
An experience within a spiritual context, e.g. whilst undertaking a spiritual activity such as meditation. May not be ‘transcendent’ in the terms of this thesis.

Suffer:
v.t. to undergo: to endure: to be affected by. v.i. to feel pain or punishment: to sustain loss: to be injured: to die: to be executed or martyred: to be the object of an action.”

Transcendent:
surpassing usual limits; and more specifically, ‘transcendent states of consciousness’ which means ‘beyond the range of normal perception’.

Transcendence movement:
those individuals and groups actively seeking the transcendent or mystical in their lives and activities.

Whole-body (and non-local) transcendence:
a mode or level of consciousness, different to the normal, which is felt rather than thought.


Copyright 2012 by Keith Beasley