So, the Buddha did not transcend the world, he experienced it fully and deeply. Really, it is the opposite of overcoming it. It could be said that we are overcoming the world in our conventional daily experience of distracting ourselves with story-lines filled with the self-frustrating hope and fear of wishing things were different than they actually are. That is the description of someone who overcomes her world by creating an artificial conceptual padding around herself so as not to have deal with the realities of life and existence.
There are two levels of enlightenment in Buddhism. The first, the Hinayana (smaller view) has as its goal the realization of selflessness, or the absence of the ego. The basis for this school is that there exists no entity that could be identified as the “self”. What we conventionally refer to as “I” is really a compounded formation of reducible parts. There is no single thing that exists that can be identified as a self. Each part can be broken down further and further ad infinitum. The second school, the Mahayana (larger view) holds the position that not just the self, but everything in the entire universe has as its basis this quality of emptiness (that is, emptiness of an independent existence).
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