Transcension for Dummies
    Transcension: A baseline-comprehensible description of what one experiences breaking through a (theoretically any) toposophic barrier, by MikE 150-07, year 5669


One's memories remain intact and unaltered. One may find it easier to recall things which once seemed trivial and slipped from one's consciousness, either recently or long ago. But one forgets nothing, strictly speaking - there are no instances, confirmed or otherwise, of transcension resulting in memory loss - nor does one remember anything not previously experienced or thought. Transcension itself does not provide one with knowledge (that gained from experience) not already possessed. It is not a data download (Transcension has been, somewhat more accurately, characterized as a rewriting of one's operating system, the "algorithms," if you will, which shape one's thought processes). Transcenson does not add nor subtract from one's memories. But one's "take" on all that one remembers - from outward experiences to the most private inner thoughts never communicated to anyone else - changes entirely, almost as a definition of going through transcension. No traditional rite of passage, however solemn or involving, or life-changing experience, however intense, that doesn't involve transcension so alters one's thinking or way of viewing/interpreting what one remembers or has experienced, even closely.

No aspect of one's identity is automatically lost or changed going through a transcension. Transcension does not change one against one's will. But as far as one's will is concerned, that is a different matter entirely. What mattered to one previously may cease to have any relevance at all. Concerns which one's entire existence seemed to revolve around before may no longer have any meaning whatsoever, while thoughts and objectives which never occurred to one before may take on new and great importance, possibly even becoming the focus of one's entire existence in one's new transcended state. It is largely for this reason that transcensions are notoriously bad for marriages (hence polities which consider marriage sacred often prohibit transcensions for those already married, or strongly discourage them), romantic involvments in general, and really any relationship based on less-than-clear perceptions, less-than-complete understanding, or less-than-sincere motives. Even couples who transcend together (a recurrent fad among baselines and lower Singularities which periodically comes into vogue), as through SNARE and such, more often than not discover they no longer have anything in common and really want nothing to do with each other. As a flip side to this, transcensions have been known to play a role in reconciling mortal enemies, even those who seemed literally unreconciliable. Both come to perceive what they had hated each other over to be of little or no consequence. Friendships, those that were based on sincere mutual respect and trust from the start, have an amazingly high survival rate, even when one transcends one or even two toposophic barriers and the other remains as ey were. Of course one is perfectly free to form whatever sorts of relationships with whomever ey will after transcension, but one's choices in this area and one's reasons for doing so are inevitably different. All such change is voluntary. It's just that what's voluntary to one changes with transcension.

It has been said that no sophant of any S-level ever perceives one of a lower S-level as anything but a collection of variables. While not entirely accurate (Not all, in fact no more than a minority of S>1's are detached, analytical, "scientific" types who dispassionately evaluate everything ey see, though almost by definition, most S>1's find baseline logic and reasoning as easy as simple arithmetic), it conveys the right general idea. One inevitably perceives lower-S entities - friends, lovers, enemies, strangers - as simple beings guided by simple concerns, hopelessly preoccupied with a narrow view and simplistic ideas. Inevitably, any sophant of a particular S-level has the ability to make any sophant of a lower S-level exclaim, 'Why the hell didn't I think of that?