25 dic. 2010

Liminality

from the latin word limen, meaning threshold


Christo_Rifle_Gap.gif (JPEG Imagen, 2933x1950 pixels), Available at: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2f/Christo_Rifle_Gap.gif


It is a psychological, neurological, or metaphysical subjective state, conscious or unconscious, of being on the "threshold" of or between two different existential planes.
Van Gennep stressed 'the importance of liminality, the transitional time or condition in which one, or a group, or a territory, or the season, is not what it was and not what it will become, but something in between, something marginal, vague, and flexible'.




threshold by multimedia artist Allison Urban


'The attributes of liminality or of liminal
personae ("threshold people") are necessarily ambiguous'. One's sense of identity dissolves to some extent, bringing about disorientation, but also the possibility of new perspectives.

'According to Turner, all liminality must eventually dissolve, for it is a state of great intensity that cannot exist very long without some sort of structure to stabilize it...either the individual returns to the surrounding social structure...or else liminal communities develop their own internal social structure, a condition Turner calls "normative communitas". During the liminal stage, normally accepted differences between the participants, such as
social class, are often de-emphasized or ignored. For example, during a pilgrimage, members of an upper class and members of a lower class might mix and converse as equals. When in normal life they would rarely converse at all or their conversation might be limited to giving or receiving orders.



'Following Victor Turner in The Ritual Process', one may see such communitas as the product of 'anti-structure...Anti-structure is anti- "structure", ideological rejection of the idea of structure itself. 'what Turner's concept of social liminality does for status in society, Jung...does for the movement of the person through the life process of individuation". Individuation can be seen as a 'movement through liminal space and time, from disorientation to integration....What takes place in the dark phase of liminality is a process of breaking down...in the interest of "making whole" one's meaning, purpose and sense of relatedness once more'

General Examples of use of liminality
New Years Eve, whatever its connection or lack of one to the astrological sky, is a liminal time. Customs such as fortune-telling take advantage of this liminal state. In a number of cultures, actions and events on the first day of the year can determine the year, leading to such beliefs as First-Foot. It can also mean a "threshold" in time and space, the middle ground between more than one entity without being either entity. The energy of both entities meet at this spot. The top of a mountain- in between the sky and the earth. Seashore- in between earth and ocean. Midnight- for those 60 seconds it is neither the past, present, or future.



It has been suggested that of itself 'the Internet...creates a natural environment for liminality: a place separate from one's space where the ordinary norms of everyday life easily may be suspended'

source wikipedia

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