Cisspirituality & Transspirituality
For some of us this orientation speaks more deeply. It goes to our very sense of meaning in life.
For those whose sense of meaning in life is satisfactorily fulfilled when following the dominate culture's sociocultural conventions, their spirituality could be characterized as cisspirituality. They are likely to enjoy widespread social supports, which could potentially make up for any imperfections in sociocultural norms. Indeed, they may rely on one more deeply and this interdependence may satisfactorily provide for their psychosocial development needs.
For those whose sense of meaning in life is satisfactorily fulfilled by going against the dominate culture's sociocultural conventions, their spirituality could be characterized as transspirituality. They are likely to enjoy a deeper sense of connection in life, which could potentially make up for any deficits in social supports. Indeed, by transcending or transgressing arbitrary and often stifling human conventions they may enjoy more meaningful resolution to their psychosocial development needs.
Am I more cisspirit or transspirit?
Someone who feels naturally compelled to transvalue a widely accepted response to need, especially polarizing responses they experience as limiting their full potential for deeper connection.
Someone who is normatively inclined to follow social norms as an important means for social existence, being drawn to a sense of social connection that results from pragmatically fitting into familiar categories.
Cisconventionality & Transconventionality
Conventionality appears to have two general directions: toward conformity and away from conformity. Human behavior is far more complex than this simple binary, but this dichotomy provides a useful starting point.
Cisconventionality speaks to "being on the same side" or conformity to a given convention. In the U.S. and many other countries, driving involves the convention of staying on the right side of the road. In the U.K. and a few other countries, the convention is to drive on the left side of the road. Available vehicles in their respective markets fit their respective norms, and so this convention enjoys widespread conformity. When it comes to driving, cisconventionality is necesary for the basic need for safety.
Transconventionality speaks to "being on the opposite side" or nonconformity to a given convention. The transgender phenomenon could be characterized as transconventional, or on the opposite side of traditional gender norms. Same-sex marriage as well, and both engender considerable resistance from the cisconventionality toward traditional gender norms and heterosexual marriage. When it comes to sociocultural norms that stifle full human potential, transconventionality tends to find its expression.
Cisconvenionality and transconventionality appear as dominate modalities along a continuum. We may conform wholly to some conventions, skirt the rules on others, and totally disregard others. For example, we may abide completely to the convention of paying taxes, while skirting some of the rules of reporting some revenues, while fully defying the expected norm to contribute a dollar to the election fund. Conventions rapidly change, so we find ourselves in a complex of cisconventional and transconventional living.
Some of us tend to gravitate toward cisconventionality. Whether it's because we benefit from following conventions or prefer to avoid the risks of defying convention, we express something of a cisconventional "convention orientation." We find value in the given standards.
Some of us, on the other hand, gravitate toward transconventionality. Whether it's from finding meaning beyond the given conventions or we find ourselves smothered in them, we express something of a transconventional "convention orientation." We find alternative standards.
We may express a cisconventional orientation toward conventions others defy, while expressing a transconventional orientation toward conventions others largely abide. For example, cisconventionality in civic engagement including voting, but transconventional by educating their kids at home. The difference often comes down to the value one finds in being cisconventional, or transconventional.
Good or Bad?
There is no good or bad except need. Each responds to need in its own and potentially complementary way. Each side has its benefits, and its drawbacks.
This is not an exhaustive list. It is merely a starting point to help appreciate the angle contributed by each convention orientation.
Conventionality: 3 basic areas
In this section, we look at three convention orientation areas to explore their value: 1) economics, 2) justice, and 3) politics.
As the site develops, this segment will look at the conventions of economics from both angles.
As the site develops, this segment will look at the conventions of justice from both angles.
As the site develops, this segment will look at the conventions of politics from both angles.
For the sake of our needs, we are creatures of habit. We find a routine to ease our needs and we generally stick to it. This is conventionality.
Conventionality grows mostly from our shared routines. Being together on the same side of such norms generally makes it easier to respond to our needs. This is cisconventionality.
The more rigid of these norms tend to limit our full potential. When testing our limits to reach new heights, such conventionality may be transcended. This is transconventionality.
Proposed conventionality types
Conventionality: Orienting to needs
More to come as time allows for developing this section.