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Episode 78

Transrational Ways of Knowing

January 27, 2021
64 minutes

Rational thought is a valuable way of approaching reality, but could it be that we need to expand our ways of knowing to meet these unprecedented times?

In this conversation with coach and speaker Vivian Dittmar we explore the power of transrational thinking, the different types of thought or knowing, and what can get in the way of us having access to each of them.

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What is Transrational Thought

Rational thought has served us well the last few centuries but it seems like there are limitations to it. It’s a very robust way of engaging with certain aspects of reality but often fails to consider the bigger picture and ignores other ways of knowing.

Pre-rational thought is ignorant of the rational or fails to value it, leading to a reality where anything could be true. This is a worldview that is dictated by certain authorities and dogmas that are usually very simple explanations. Transrational understanding reveals itself to people through experience.

At the transrational level of thinking we no longer have simple linear answers and simple cause and effecting thinking; cause and effect become multi-dimensional and effects are multi-causal. This means that we can never fully name the entirety of the complexity that brings things into being.

Distinctions of Thought

Transrational thinking requires us to have done a fair amount of emotional clearing in order for there to be adequate openness to the different levels of informational access. Many people are using transrational thought already, but lack adequate distinctions. To help with this, Vivian has outlined five disciplines of thought, which are:

  1. The rational mind
  2. Intuition
  3. Inspiration
  4. Heart intelligence
  5. Intention

Each of these is either vertical (receptive; listening) or horizontal (proactive). Living with full use of our capacities for knowing is a continuous going back and forth between the linear, where we manifest and the vertical where we receive.

The Importance of Emotional Hygiene

Possibly the greatest thing holding us back is our collective lack of emotional intelligence. The first step is being able to make a distinction between feelings (arise in the moment in relation to what is right now) and emotions (feelings from the past that we didn’t feel at the time).

Many people try to get rid of emotional baggage but emotional baggage is your greatest growth potential – the emotions want to be felt so they can move. We need to learn to hold space for ourselves and each other and develop a culture of emotional availability.

This requires relinquishing control and opening to what wants to be felt, which is precisely the capacity we need to foster in order to engage in transrational thought. It also requires slowing down, which is something that is deeply necessary at this time, as only through slowing down do we become available to the vertical lines of thought.

Resources Mentioned:
Your inner GPS, Vivian Dittmar
The power of feelings, Vivian Dittmar

About Vivian

Vivian Dittmar

Vivian Dittmar is an author, wisdom teacher and founder of the Be the Change Foundation. Born in Germany, Vivian spent her childhood and youth on three continents, immersed in very diverse cultural and socio-economic contexts. This gives her a unique perspective on what it means to be human. Through her books, lectures, seminars and online offerings, she has been committed to a holistic development of people, society, economy and consciousness for over two decades. Her books include “The Emotional Backpack”, “The Power of Feelings“ and “Your Inner GPS“.


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