Transcending as a driver of development

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Abstract

This paper draws from three different bodies of research to discuss the hypothesis that age-appropriate experiences enhance brain and cognitive development throughout the life span. These age-appropriate experiences could be considered as the drivers of development at each age, including drivers to foster development beyond adult abstract thinking, as described in Piaget's formal operational stage. We explore how a nurturing caregiver is the driver in the first 2 years of life, how language learning is the driver from 3 to 10 years, and how problem solving is the driver in the teenage years. To develop beyond adult rational thinking, we suggest that the driver is transcending thought, which can result when practicing meditations in the automatic self-transcending category, such as Transcendental Meditation.

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