|“||Here's how it works. We talk. I ask questions, you answer truthfully, if you do not I will know it. If your answers are satisfactory, your consciousness and that of your entire species will become one with ours. You will transcend your human form and then become infinite. If you fail to earn this evolutionary leap, you will be eliminated, turned to crystal the way the Bardoans and countless other civilizations before them were.||”|
|— The Judge explains the test to Bill Cadogan. [src]|
Transcendence is a concept introduced in Season Seven. When a being transcends, they evolve to become part of a universal consciousness, existing as energy beyond their original mortal forms. Transcended beings are at peace, will never feel pain, and will never die. The implication is that all transcended beings become part of an immortal hive mind.
Since the dawn of time, when a species reached a point where they were able to activate the final code on the Anomaly Stone, a member of the species could take the last test. The testee would cross the bridge created by the Anomaly Stone to an altered state of being and meet the Judge. The testee would have the chance to decline the test but if they accept, the test and the result of it cannot be halted.
The test itself involves the Judge asking the testee questions. The testee must answer truthfully and the Judge will then decide if their answers are satisfactory.
If the testee passes, then all alive members of the testee's species transcend. If the testee fails, then the entire species is wiped out with Gen-9. For species that pass the test, transcendence is a choice such that individuals can choose not to transcend with the rest of their kind and to thus return to their mortal form. However, once they choose not to transcend, the individual will never be able to have offspring and they will not be able to transcend upon their eventual death.
Hundreds of years ago, the Bardoans and the Ethereans took the test: the Bardoans failed and were wiped out, while the Ethereans successfully transcended. In 2054, Becca Franko discovered the code through the Flame, but Becca declined to take the test on behalf of humanity, instead returning to Earth. Hundreds of years later, Bill Cadogan accepted the test on behalf of humanity, but Clarke Griffin killed him before he could answer the first question, but failed to stop the test. Clarke failed in her own attempt at the test and the Judge deemed that humanity was unworthy of transcendence. However, Raven Reyes appealed to the Judge to reconsider her decision and to at least give humanity more time to be ready. After Octavia Blake convinced Wonkru, the Eligius Prisoners and the Disciples to stand down and stop fighting, the Judge deemed humanity worthy after all, and the human race successfully transcended. The Judge later admitted to Clarke that humanity had already added a great deal to the transcended in only a short period of time and she was glad to have been wrong about them.
Notes and Trivia
- In "The Last War", humanity achieves transcendence with the following exceptions:
- Clarke Griffin is the first being to have ever committed murder during a test. Because of this, the Judge does not allow her to transcend.
- These humans achieved transcendence but chose to give it up: Octavia Blake, Raven Reyes, John Murphy, Echo, Jordan Green, Hope Diyoza, Indra, Eric Jackson, Nathan Miller, Gaia, Emori, Niylah, and Levitt.
- Both Levitt and Echo had fatal injuries and were near-death when they transcended.
- Echo's heart had stopped, but Hope kept her alive using CPR.
- Madi Griffin had a massive stroke which left her in a paralytic state but with her mind still fully intact, hence she was still alive and able to transcend.
- Emori had originally passed away, but was resurrected due to Murphy using his own body as a living host for her Mind Drive. Thus she was still alive and was able to transcend.
- For individuals who transcend but later choose to return to their mortal form:
- Any mortal wound sustained prior to transcendence is fully healed, as was the case with Levitt and Echo.
- The individual can be restored to their original body even if they transcended in a host body, as was the case with Emori.
- Returning appears not to heal any non-mortal injuries as Raven still uses the leg brace that she required after her spinal injury from Murphy. Also, Echo still has scars and tattoo symbols on her face after being transcended. Levitt and Octavia also have tattoo symbols on their faces.
- While it is possible to return to mortal form, those who have can never transcend again nor can they have children, making them sterile and infertile.
- No matter what position the being transcended is in, the energy impression they leave behind is always in a standing position arms outstretched to the sky.
- Bill Cadogan states in "A Sort of Homecoming" that those who transcend become one with a universal consciousness.
- In "The Blood of Sanctum," Jordan Green had a vision of transcendence while he was being Adjusted. Russell Lightbourne also had a similar vision as revealed in "From the Ashes," but he never understood what it meant.
- The concept of Transcendence is very similar to Ascension in Stargate SG-1.