Transcendental Future Orientation

Psychologist Philip Zimbardo has proposed that much of our attitudes can be explained by our time orientation. Are we oriented to the past? The present? The future? Is our orientation positive? Or negative? That is, do we think about good things or bad things? He explains what he means at his site, The Time Paradox.

That site has an odd time orientation: Transcendental Future. He even has a quiz about it: Transcendental-future Time Perspective Inventory (TTPI).That quiz asks these questions about a Transcendental Future:

  • Only my physical body will ever die.
  • My body is just a temporary home for the real me.
  • Death is just a new beginning.
  • I believe in miracles.
  • The theory of evolution adequately explains how humans came to be.
  • Humans posses a soul.
  • Scientific laws cannot explain everything.
  • I will be held accountable for my actions on earth when I die.
  • There are divine laws by which humans should live
  • I believe in spirits

Not surprisingly, I scored very low. There are other Transcendental Future possibilities that Zimbardo could have been included: reincarnation and karma. He also ought to have included a scale of possible secular alternatives, like leaving behind some legacy or associating oneself with natural cycles.

One may also add a Transcendental Present: concern with religious and mystical experiences and enlightenment and feeling one with reality or some deity or whatever.

Also a Transcendental Past: concern with sacred books and sacred history and the like.

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