Listening to a podcast between Scott Barry Kaufman and Ken Wilbur, Scott raised an interesting concept I hadn't heard of before, vertical vs horizontal transcendence. It opened up a lot of thoughts and feelings around my spirituality at present. These are pretty much just my thoughts and are pretty much completely ignorant of existing thinking on the matter.
I'm relating horizontal transcendence to the bodhisattva path and its feeling to me as life affirming. In my practice I've long started with the prayer "Until enlightenment I go for refuge to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Through the merits of this practice may I free my mind from craving, hatred and delusion so I may be of benefit to others". I think years of having done this practice has created in my mind the notion that even though my practice benefits me, ultimately it is also for others, in experience and intent it isn't a purely selfish pursuit. Scott mentioned that in the idea of horizontal transcendence there isn't such a strict delineation between what is good for oneself and what is good for others. In terms of the interview it felt a lot of the time like Scott was pushing back against Ken's more vertical notion of transcendence.
The way it has me thinking at the moment is in terms of the notion that the path of the Arhat is relatively quick and the path of the Bodhisattva is eons long. The enlightenment of an Arhat is that vertical transcendence that escapes the world, the enlightenment of a Buddha embraces the world. But because it embraces the world it has to psychologically bring the rest of existence along with it.
I'm just making stuff up, but it feels opening and empowering for me. Probably in part because I don't really feel able to escape life right now, and in my experience my practice does have a positive impact on those I interact with. Or maybe it fits with the type of bodhisattva I've always resonated with, that of the ferry man vs king like (Amitaba) or shepherd like(Avalokiteshvara).