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The Spiritual Brain

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posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 02:44 AM
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The paper (abstract):


Highlights

Self-transcendence is a stable personality trait measuring predisposition to spirituality
Brain damage induces specific and fast modulations of self-transcendence
Self-transcendence increases after damage to lt and rt inferior parietal cortex

Summary

The predisposition of human beings toward spiritual feeling, thinking, and behaviors is measured by a supposedly stable personality trait called self-transcendence. Although a few neuroimaging studies suggest that neural activation of a large fronto-parieto-temporal network may underpin a variety of spiritual experiences, information on the causative link between such a network and spirituality is lacking. Combining pre- and post-neurosurgery personality assessment with advanced brain-lesion mapping techniques, we found that selective damage to left and right inferior posterior parietal regions induced a specific increase of self-transcendence. Therefore, modifications of neural activity in temporoparietal areas may induce unusually fast modulations of a stable personality trait related to transcendental self-referential awareness. These results hint at the active, crucial role of left and right parietal systems in determining self-transcendence and cast new light on the neurobiological bases of altered spiritual and religious attitudes and behaviors in neurological and mental disorders.


The Spiritual Brain: Selective Cortical Lesions Modulate Human Self-Transcendence

Analysis:


Although it is well established that all behaviors and experiences, spiritual or otherwise, must originate in the brain, true empirical exploration of the neural underpinnings of spirituality has been challenging. However, recent advances in neuroscience have started to make the complex mental processes associated with religion and spirituality more accessible.

"Neuroimaging studies have linked activity within a large network in the brain that connects the frontal, parietal, and temporal cortexes with spiritual experiences, but information on the causative link between such a network and spirituality is lacking," explains lead study author, Dr. Cosimo Urgesi from the University of Udine in Italy.

Dr. Urgesi and colleagues were interested in making a direct link between brain activity and spirituality. They focused specifically on the personality trait called self-transcendence (ST), which is thought to be a measure of spiritual feeling, thinking, and behaviors in humans. ST reflects a decreased sense of self and an ability to identify one's self as an integral part of the universe as a whole.

The researchers combined analysis of ST scores obtained from brain tumor patients before and after they had surgery to remove their tumor, with advanced techniques for mapping the exact location of the brain lesions after surgery. "This approach allowed us to explore the possible changes of ST induced by specific brain lesions and the causative role played by frontal, temporal, and parietal structures in supporting interindividual differences in ST," says researcher Dr. Franco Fabbro from the University of Udine.

The group found that selective damage to the left and right posterior parietal regions induced a specific increase in ST. "Our symptom-lesion mapping study is the first demonstration of a causative link between brain functioning and ST," offers Dr. Urgesi. "Damage to posterior parietal areas induced unusually fast changes of a stable personality dimension related to transcendental self-referential awareness. Thus, dysfunctional parietal neural activity may underpin altered spiritual and religious attitudes and behaviors."

These results may even lead to new strategies for treating some forms of mental illness. "If a stable personality trait like ST can undergo fast changes as a consequence of brain lesions, it would indicate that at least some personality dimensions may be modified by influencing neural activity in specific areas," suggests Dr. Salvatore M. Aglioti from Sapienza University of Rome. "Perhaps novel approaches aimed at modulating neural activity might ultimately pave the way to new treatments of personality disorders." www.physorg.com...


The article:


By studying patients before and after surgery to remove a brain tumour, a team of Italian researchers has identified anatomical changes in the brain that may be linked to shifts in spiritual and religious attitudes.

The team has uncovered another clue that directly links brain activity and spirituality.

"Neuroimaging studies have linked activity within a large network in the brain that connects the frontal, parietal, and temporal cortexes with spiritual experiences, but information on the causative link between such a network and spirituality is lacking," lead study author Dr. Cosimo Urgesi, from the University of Udine in Italy, was quoted as saying.

Dr. Urgesi’s team scored patients on a personality train called self-transcendence (ST) before and after brain tumour surgery and combined analysis of those scores with advanced brain mapping.

They found selective damage to the left and right posterior parietal regions of the brain caused a specific increase in ST.

"Damage to posterior parietal areas induced unusually fast changes of a stable personality dimension related to transcendental self-referential awareness," Urgesi.

"Thus, dysfunctional parietal neural activity may underpin altered spiritual and religious attitudes and behaviours," Urgesi added.

Self-transcendence is thought by experts to be a measure of spiritual feeling, thinking and behaviours that reflects a decreased sense of self and an ability to identify oneself as an integral part of the universe.


Brain changes linked to spirituality

Related definitions:

Transcendence (philosophy)
Transcendence (religion)
Transcendent theosophy

Right ... I realize that all the above material is rather voluminous, but there you have it.


Basically, to make a long story short, they believe they have found different brain characteristics for those who embrace spirituality more that others.

Now ... in case you didn't pick up on it, they are also making the case that said characteristics a 'dysfunction" ... what is a "dysfunctional parietal neural activity" you ask and what is it associated with?

Well, let us have a look:

Dysfunctional Long-Range Coordination of Neural Activity during Gestalt Perception in Schizophrenia


Recent theoretical and empirical research on schizophrenia converges on the notion that core aspects of the pathophysiology of the disorder may arise from a dysfunction in the coordination of distributed neural activity. Synchronization of neural responses in the -band (15–30 Hz) and -band range (30–80 Hz) has been implicated as a possible neural substrate for dysfunctional coordination in schizophrenia. To test this hypothesis, we examined the electroencephalography (EEG) activity in 19 patients with a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, edition IV criteria, diagnosis of schizophrenia and 19 healthy control subjects during a Gestalt perception task. EEG data were analyzed for phase synchrony and induced spectral power as an index of neural synchronization. Schizophrenia patients were impaired significantly in the detection of images that required the grouping of stimulus elements into coherent object representations. This deficit was accompanied by longer reaction times in schizophrenia patients. Deficits in Gestalt perception in schizophrenia patients were associated with reduced phase synchrony in the -band (20–30 Hz), whereas induced spectral power in the -band (40–70 Hz) was mainly intact. Our findings suggest that schizophrenia patients are impaired in the long-range synchronization of neural responses, which may reflect a core deficit in the coordination of neural activity and underlie the specific cognitive dysfunctions associated with the disorder.


Again, rather a mouthful, but basically if you're spiritual you share the same dysfunctional brain as a schizophrenic!

Interesting no?

I am not fluent in neural medicine thus I can't tell if there is validity to the above claims or if this is another not so subtle attempt by some elements of the scientific community to marginalize those with spiritual proclivities. Not that there are not some spiritual/religious schizophrenics mind you, but it is likely that there are just as many scientist schizophrenics.

Yet, perhaps that is just an interpretational angle some are taking from this study to further their cause. At it's root, from what I can gather, the study simply mapped differences in brain behavior between 'spiritual' and 'non spiritual' people. In this context difference in brain activity between the two is hardly surprising.

I hope I didn't miss the mark in my understanding of the above information, please correct me if I have.


Anyhoot, I'm going to do some further digging into this fascinating development and will add further comment as I discover it. Any thoughts, feedback, and information is as always greatly appreciated.


Cheers!

Edit to add ATS related thread: Art, the Shaman and a Quantum Physicist

[edit on 12 Feb 2010 by schrodingers dog]




posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 03:06 AM
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This is quite interesting, schrodingers dog. Thank you for digging this up and bringing it here to ATS. It's 3 am where I'm at, but will look into this tomorrow and do my own research.

I've had deep spiritual inclinations since early childhood. I also had oobe's, which seem to be associated with temporal lobe epilepsy. Jeez, I have some abnormal neurobiology, apparently.

Thanks again



S+F

[edit on 12-2-2010 by unityemissions]



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 04:43 AM
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So people who have a history of mental illness no longer can communicate honestly? Their every word is now a product of the mental illness, whether they are being treated successfully, or if it was a healthy mental achievement for them to even understand or consider spirituality in their "damaged" condition?

Wow. It once was considered a mark of a highly evolved person to ponder spirituality and deeper things, but now it's a mark of lunacy or mental illness? And which one, please?

If people buy into this, then the number of reports about ETs or spiritually-gained information (precog dreams, etc) will just be muffled and ignored...hmmm.

Buzzkill. Buddhists are schizos? Unbelievable. I REFUSE to believe this.

Spirituality is one of mankind's greatest attributes. This paper is an insult to human beings, and to God, of course. It's almost as if he is proving he doesn't believe in God by provoking Him and then still being alive, so surmising that there is no God. That's like saying you have no dad to punish you for stealing his car and wrecking it, just because He's not at the house when you get home from the police station. We've all been rebellious teens, but hopefully, have grown beyond simple-minded rebellion. We're intelligent people, here, looking for the truth. This person is insulting 99% of us on the site alone, many of whom would never dream of calling their spiritual experiences a "disease" or "defect" of any kind.

Neither should we.

Nothing personal, Schrodinger'sDog! Excellent find.

[edit on 12-2-2010 by Copperflower]



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 04:54 AM
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So, basically if you are spiritual you are nuts.

Since I believe that a huge part of being human is the spiritual aspect, then I am nuts. I can live with that, personally, but really how feasible is this?

While scientists can analyse brain function, they cannot analyse the function of the spirit or the soul.

So I believe that science has taken a misguided step here.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 05:01 AM
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It's always funny when someone tries to prove something like this wrong, when their work is on the basis that it has a perspective.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 05:31 AM
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If pharma says I mad, then I proud to be mad!

Who paid for this research?



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 05:50 AM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Thanks for this interesting article Schrodinger,

I have a really big opinion about spirituality and religion but I'll refrain from derailing your thread with my own personal issues and just say that this is a really interesting development.

S+F for bringing it to our attention.

Peace



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 07:22 AM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
Basically, to make a long story short, they believe they have found different brain characteristics for those who embrace spirituality more that others.

Now ... in case you didn't pick up on it, they are also making the case that said characteristics a 'dysfunction" ... what is a "dysfunctional parietal neural activity" you ask and what is it associated with?

[...]

Again, rather a mouthful, but basically if you're spiritual you share the same dysfunctional brain as a schizophrenic!


Not at all.

They used a dysfunctional brain for comparison, yet that does not mean the qualities are shared with spiritual brains in such a way to say they are the same symptoms. They are just unable to compare what they consider a normal brain with a spiritual brain, and so they have had to compare it with what they consider a dysfunction brain.

Recent changes in psychology have gotten rid of the term schizophrenic and merged it in with bipolarism since the genes of schizophrenia are the same as people with bipolar, and bipolarism is the larger category. This also means that unipolar people are technically incapable of being considered to have schizophrenia. The changes in the shcools of thought to incorporate this new take on bipolar/unipolarism has helped those with unipolar from being mistreated. Gene-maps have obviously helped here, but that's the sad fact of how many people were being mistreated before such gene-maps were known.

It would be quite odd to claim that the unipolar brain is incapable of being spiritual due to them being different than the bipolar brains.

[edit on 12-2-2010 by dzonatas]



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 10:01 AM
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Originally posted by dzonatas

They used a dysfunctional brain for comparison, yet that does not mean the qualities are shared with spiritual brains in such a way to say they are the same symptoms. They are just unable to compare what they consider a normal brain with a spiritual brain, and so they have had to compare it with what they consider a dysfunction brain.


Well, I did say that I'm mostly in the dark on the science and that that's not the way I personally took the study but I thank you for the clarification, because quite honestly I wasn't sure.


The reason I mentioned that some are choosing to interpret it as a "dysfunction" was based on this above quoted comment:


"Damage to posterior parietal areas induced unusually fast changes of a stable personality dimension related to transcendental self-referential awareness," Urgesi.

"Thus, dysfunctional parietal neural activity may underpin altered spiritual and religious attitudes and behaviours," Urgesi added.


... which seemed on the surface to indicate that 'spiritual' brain activity is both dysfunctionally based and shared with forms of brain damage ... "damage" perhaps being the key term. (though I do appreciate that in scientific terms 'damage' isn't a judgmental position.) Still, something didn't sit quite right with those comments ...



Recent changes in psychology have gotten rid of the term schizophrenic and merged it in with bipolarism since the genes of schizophrenia are the same as people with bipolar, and bipolarism is the larger category. This also means that unipolar people are technically incapable of being considered to have schizophrenia. The changes in the shcools of thought to incorporate this new take on bipolar/unipolarism has helped those with unipolar from being mistreated. Gene-maps have obviously helped here, but that's the sad fact of how many people were being mistreated before such gene-maps were known.


Mmm, see this is where you and I perhaps diverge ... not because I disagree with you interpretation, simply because I have a fundamental issue with bipolarism. It's perhaps a conversation for a different thread, but I simply reject the term as I see it as a convenient catch all umbrella term du jour for the psychiatric industry who really in most case is in the dark about brain function.

I have actually visited psychiatric wards and sat in on group meetings where eight out of ten people were diagnosed with bipolar disorder yet most exhibited vastly different symptoms and behaviors ... heck so far as I have read most bd medication descriptions start with "we believe that this medicine does this" and never claim complete understanding. This is personal anecdotal evidence of course, so perhaps I am once again erroneous in my position.

And I'm not even going to get into the self-serving "disorder" nomenclature that underpins the entire psychiatric industry and the accompanying "big pharm" industry.

In any case, my personal take is as always the least valuable element of the OP, I just found the whole thing fascinating and mostly just wanted to share the info.


Cheers, and thanks for the considered response.


[edit on 12 Feb 2010 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 11:06 AM
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This doesnt suprise me. That spritual people would show sighns of dysfunction expecially when it comes to working with norms of attitude and actions associated with what are considered right ways of thinking and acting in an industral age or the work aday world.

You can find a great deal of difference between folk that work at the manufacturing plant from those that work with the earth and livestock simply because of exsposure to the conditions and realites of the seperate environments.

Compare mental illness between an industral culture and an agrarian culture. Mental illness in agrarian cultures are due to organic conditions in the afflicted by and large whiel mental illness in an industral setting is largly due to exposure to the environment itself.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 11:22 AM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Wow, I must be a total loony tune! I went over all the material and tried to come to the realization that what I believe is the result of a disorder. It didn't work. I still believe what I believe and I know I'm right. See what I mean? I'm out there! Star and flagged and I will be watching this one my friend!



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 12:47 PM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog

"Damage to posterior parietal areas induced unusually fast changes of a stable personality dimension related to transcendental self-referential awareness," Urgesi.



While we can accept his statement as-is as his truths, it doesn't work well when analyzed:
Your 3rd eye can't see your brain.




"Thus, dysfunctional parietal neural activity may underpin altered spiritual and religious attitudes and behaviours," Urgesi added.


That one caught my eye and mainly why I replied to this thread about such difference in unipolarism and bipolarism.

There is an obvious ordinal to reference away from in his terms of dysfunctional. To say a shared symptom exists between dysfunctional and spiritual is one thing. It further pinpoints schizophrenia, which is bipolarism. That would be like if unipolarism is incapable of being spiritual since they do not posses the schizophrenic genes. So, we can rule out schizophrenia as the terms of what is dysfunctional in his comparison. People that are diagnosed as unipolar are stated so with no known cause (classified with DSM). That would mean the only reason why the unipolar brain would thought to be dysfunctional is becuase the person that made that prognosis of being dysfunctional is that one who is being that cause of dysfunctionality, which would mean the unipolar brain is not the one dysfuntional even if spiritual.

I hope you can see this logic above that has been recommended by many doctors.



Mmm, see this is where you and I perhaps diverge ... not because I disagree with you interpretation, simply because I have a fundamental issue with bipolarism.


I understand.

Any attempt to talk about unipolarism on the Drugs-Forum website will most likely result in a ban from that website. They are interested only in money from the members, and the new schools of thought debunk many of their (I mean swim's) so-called studies.

When they were questioned hard about their process to blog information on their site, they stated there are two ways. 1) earn rep points 2) pay money. It was noted how often rep points can quickly go into the negative, which meant only option 2.

They only revealed the Drug-Forums website to be on par with Big Pharma in money grabs.

I do understand how to agree to disagree and how just plainly diametrically opposed truths work.

[edit on 12-2-2010 by dzonatas]



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 01:12 PM
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Further related info:

Spirituality Spot Found in Brain


What makes us feel spiritual? It could be the quieting of a small area in our brains, a new study suggests.

The area in question — the right parietal lobe — is responsible for defining "Me," said researcher Brick Johnstone of Missouri University. It generates self-criticism, he said, and guides us through physical and social terrains by constantly updating our self-knowledge: my hand, my cocktail, my witty conversation skills, my new love interest ...

People with less active Me-Definers are more likely to lead spiritual lives, reports the study in the current issue of the journal Zygon.

Most previous research on neuro-spirituality has been based on brain scans of actively practicing adherents (i.e. meditating monks, praying nuns) and has resulted in broad and inconclusive findings. (Is the brain area lighting up in response to verse or spiritual experience?)

So Johnstone and colleague Bret Glass turned to the tried-and-true techniques of neuroscience’s early days — studying brain-injured patients. The researchers tested brain regions implicated in the previous imaging studies with exams tailored to each area’s expertise — similar to studying the prowess of an ear with a hearing test. They then looked for correlations between brain region performance and the subjects' self-reported spirituality.

Among the more spiritual of the 26 subjects, the researchers pinpointed a less functional right parietal lobe, a physical state which may translate psychologically as decreased self-awareness and self-focus.

The finding suggests that one core tenant of spiritual experience is selflessness, said Johnstone, adding that he hopes the study "will help people think about spirituality in more specific ways."


The Neurology of Spiritual Experience


The science of spirituality has become something of a hot topic in the past few decades. Some of this may be because the absolutist rational materialism that dominated much of the twentieth century has given way to something slightly more flexible. But mostly, it is because we finally have the advanced imaging technology — fMRI and SPECT scans and the like — to actually peer inside the brain and find out what is going on during so-called spiritual experience. No one has peered deeper than the Director of the Center for Spirituality and the Mind at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Andrew Newberg. During his career, Newberg examined the brains of Tibetan monks during peak meditation, Franciscan nuns during ecstatic prayer, Evangelicals in the throes of glossolalia — all with an eye towards understanding how brain function produces mystical experience. His books include How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist and Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief.


Also:

Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science & The Biology of Belief



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 01:18 PM
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Originally posted by Copperflower
So people who have a history of mental illness no longer can communicate honestly? Their every word is now a product of the mental illness, whether they are being treated successfully, or if it was a healthy mental achievement for them to even understand or consider spirituality in their "damaged" condition?

Wow. It once was considered a mark of a highly evolved person to ponder spirituality and deeper things, but now it's a mark of lunacy or mental illness? And which one, please?

If people buy into this, then the number of reports about ETs or spiritually-gained information (precog dreams, etc) will just be muffled and ignored...hmmm.

I don't buy this either. It is just another way for scientist to reject any of our theorys and information, as a matter of fact is this the true reason they have half of america on some type of anti depressants lets talk about that and how they try to poison our minds into trying to sugest that many of us being bi polar what a crock. Have any of you seen the documentry on treating children that have problem and the medicine that causes the tic syndrome. So what is going on here one minute were ok but if we dare to complain about depression it goes from that then ot bi polar give me a break. I know too many people that have fallen into this trap.

Buzzkill. Buddhists are schizos? Unbelievable. I REFUSE to believe this.

Spirituality is one of mankind's greates attributes. This paper is an insult to human beings, and to God, of course. It's almost as if he is proving he doesn't believe in God by provoking Him and then still being alive, so surmising that there is no God. That's like saying you have no dad to punish you for stealing his car and wrecking it, just because He's not at the house when you get home from the police station. We've all been rebellious teens, but hopefully, have grown beyond simple-minded rebellion. We're intelligent people, here, looking for the truth. This person is insulting 99% of us on the site alone, many of whom would never dream of calling their spiritual experiences a "disease" or "defect" of any kind.

Neither should we.

Nothing personal, Schrodinger'sDog! Excellent find.

[edit on 12-2-2010 by Copperflower]



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 01:38 PM
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Again, rather a mouthful, but basically if you're spiritual you share the same dysfunctional brain as a schizophrenic!


So that explains why so many ancient cultures revered those who were schizophrenic as being *at one with* or *touched * by the Gods.

Regardless I'm glad I'm on the list.

Doctors can all it whatever they want - tell me God is all in my head - but I'll tell you He's all in my heart.

Great thread, thanks for all the info! Going to go back for another read.




posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 01:45 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


***********************************
Nice response. I dont agree with the original poster. I feel too many run to the doctors and are very illy diagnosed then put on some very hard core drugs that they never needed in the first place. I belive in Natures cure. I belive I am a product of earth and what I put in my body is important as to how I funtion. now lets say something developed at birth or over the years most crucial things would have been noticable by the time you leave puberty. After all your hormones have developed and at this stage we should be able to self diagnose our mental wellness. People that have any great mental problems which impeads thier daily funtions still have spiritual awareness. So how does this rank on the charts the fine line of say one with a boarderline issue??? or maybe another factor contributing to the illness? I don't thnk were at this stage of determination yet.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 02:00 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 



Because we are talking about spiritual, let us relize the dule nature of the spiritual within us. We think of this generaly in exstream good and bad terms but its much more complicated. Anyway it is possible to be very me orientated and spiritual at the same time even using these clumsy definetions. One just cannot detach the self from anything self does as if ones self is light or dark. Spritual unfoldings, reevaluations, ajustment, revelation. epiphany arises under all circumstances selfish or otherwise and engagement is always an emination of the spiritual.

We have praying nuns and chanting monks. How about a warrior killing a dozen men in a fit of rage to save a beloved comrade. Would his brain regester like the praying nun? It would be facinating to find this true. To engage in acts of pure violence and jealousy yet in total humility and selfless spirituality.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 02:19 PM
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S&F - Good topic, research, nice work.


...I'm thinking narcissism is the polar opposite of self-transcendence - tried to find brain imaging studies of narcissists. No luck so far, but learned narcissism is rt brain function issue.

...Maybe the guys trashing self-transcendence are actually narcissists defending their narcissistic superiority?

Here's an abstract on narcissism, truncated at the good part btw.





The Philosophy of Evil

Keywords philosophy, evil, self-deception, psychopathy, narcissism, sadism

Kubarych (2005) first draws on Peck (1983) to suggest a distinction between psychopaths who have no conscience and therefore no need for self-deception, and evil narcissists who use self-deception to keep the emotional consequences of their crimes out of awareness. He then draws on Davidson (1985) to emphasize a parallel between self-deception (or weakness of the warrant) where an irrational belief conflicts with the evidence, and akrasia (or weakness of the will) where an irrational intention is in conflict with one's values. Although self-deception has long been de-scribed and debated (Fingarette 2000; McLaughlin and Rorty 1988; Mele 2001), a cognitive-affective neuroscience of self-deception has become possible only recently. Such an approach includes several strands. First, contemporary information processing constructs (e.g., schemas) have been used to reframe the early insights of writers like Freud and James, and to emphasize how inattention to painful truths provide a shield against anxiety (Goleman 1997). Second, the theoretical framework of evolutionary psychology has been used to emphasize the adaptive advantages of self-deception (Lockard and Delroy 1988). Third, functional brain imaging...

Source Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology - Volume 12, Number 3, September 2005, pp. 261-263. The Johns Hopkins University Press




posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 02:27 PM
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Who in this world can say they are "Normal"?

Perhaps the difference in the structure of the neural pathways is like a muscle? use it more, and build it up? perhaps the "normal" people just are abnormally weak in that area?



nothing personal, SDog, but I do not believe that scientists are measuring the BEST thing for the mind, but the most COMMON.

Good find, though.



posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 02:46 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 



Narcissism is an extream and thus carries way to much baggage to stand up beside the almighty abstract and metaphysical self-tracendence so has to much of a logical disatvantage to be used as a tool to assertain truth or even measures of relitivity in a comparison.

In practical terms self-trancendance may be something a simple as using the public rest room as opposed to the narcissist taking a dump on the curb. And depending where you are from one could reverse the roles to the applications. The narcissist dumps in private and the public deficator is unaware of self. Thus the self-trancendent one is unaware of others. It may be better for the metaphysical one to exercise a bit of narcissim in this case if he doesn't live in certain parts of India.

Narcissism and self-trancendence outside of strict definitions, which are impossible, are clumsy and almost useless tools for measuring the degree of self and the motivation of self in any action.




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