Liminal Consciousness: Threshold of Miracles

In Blog by Patricia Albere10 Comments

A while ago, I found myself using the word liminal when describing the practices and perspectives of the Evolutionary Collective.  Given the emergent nature of this work, it often happens that the living logos of this consciousness chooses words and images that I come to understand more fully after they are spoken and worked with.  The consciousness of the new paradigm is an expression of the power of the ‘space between’ or the liminal.

The concept of liminality was first developed in the early 20th century by anthropologist Arnold van Gennep and then later expanded upon by Victor Turner.  It comes from the Latin word limen, which means ‘a threshold’.  It is used to describe the transition phase in a ritual – the ambiguous and disorienting space that occurs when our sense of identity before the ritual is no more and the new  sense of self hasn’t arisen.  We stand at the ‘threshold’ between our previous reality and way of structuring our experience and the new reality we are moving into.

You may have heard the word used in Tibetan Buddhism for the bardo state – the “transitional state” or “in-between state” or “liminal state”. Used loosely, the term “bardo” refers to the intermediate state of existence between lives on earth.  The liminal space lies between the known and the unknown – the space is a transitional space of heightened intensity.  When we are in the midst of true creativity we are in a liminal space.

If you feel into your sense of the ‘liminal’ right now – the subtle space between any sense of identity you’ll find there is something there that is neither and both and more.  There is a dimensionalization of consciousness that allows us to exist in a kind of quantum reality where both ‘the particle and the wave’ co-exist.  The practice of mutual awakening allows people to focus on this liminal space.  Some people think it’s a simple practice that allows two people to be in the present moment with one another and go into a deeper space of relationship.  Of course, that happens but there is a much deeper invitation to develop, over time, a capacity to reside in this liminal consciousness.  I feel this is the consciousness we are being invited to move into as a species.

In the current paradigm our self-reflective consciousness gives rise to linear thinking, deep interiority,  rationality, witnessing, mindfulness and the awareness of choice.  The consciousness of the new paradigm arises in the space between – it’s both the wave and the particle simultaneously – it’s the sense of unity that includes a clear experience of individuation that doesn’t depend on being fixed in any way.  It doesn’t depend on groundedness and embodiment.  It effortlessly includes those elements but the locus of consciousness is elsewhere.  In extreme sports,  athletes sometimes defy the laws of time and space – they move into what I am calling the liminal, a powerful flow state where new potentials are possible.  They become the whole, while functioning individually from a place of pure spontaneity and choicelessness and a portal opens that allows for the impossible to occur.

As we learn to release our identification with being fixed entities (the particle) and allow ourselves to exist in a kind of multidimensional freedom we may discover openings that allow us to ‘pop-through’ into new worlds, with new solutions.  Could it be that that is the new paradigm?  A consciousness that allows for new realities to display themselves without the painful linear struggle as a fixed identity in a fixed reality with laws of cause and effect?  Our normal sense of identity (egoic structure) is more or less fixed – in the current paradigm we work to heal that sense of identity, we learn to ground ourselves deeply within and heal and grow.  Maybe in the new paradigm – we discover that the origination point of Being is always there – so unique and so profound is our experience of being ‘home’ that we no longer need to be so solid and fixed.  New paradigms really are ‘new’ paradigms.

wormholeWormholes are bridges through space-time that create a shortcut from one reality to another.  The consciousness we are exploring in the Evolutionary Collective is liminal in nature – a consciousness that is wormhole friendly.  The ‘space-between’ is a 24/7 consciousness that we are living in and giving to that is dissolving the need for a solid sense of self.  As we practice together, our unique point of existence (the point) is alive, vibrant and scintillatingly awake and the ‘wave’ or flow of existence simultaneously arises.  Liminality, the space between, the both/and, spontaneity and multidimensionality are all characteristics of the consciousness.

One of the definitions of liminal is ‘barely perceptible’ and of or relating to a sensory threshold.  The subtle and causal dimensions are invisible.  We need to develop soft eyes and highly sensitized inner senses to remain available to occupy this liminal world and develop a tolerance for being more invisible.  It’s a place where more people will not be able to see or understand you and the results that are occurring around you.  A liminal persona is a different category of existence.  The more power you are able to access in this dimension, the more invisible and the more effective you become.  It helps to remember that as human beings, we can never see beyond our own level of development.  So even though the consciousness and the power of it may not be recognized easily – those who are sharing the space of this consciousness of awakened mutuality have the joy of discovering what its potentials are together.

The dissolution of order during liminality creates a fluid, malleable situation that enables new forms to arise.  We speak of emergence – but it’s usually inside the unexamined current perspective of thinking emergence is an action that happens between solid realities – rather than an ongoingness – a quality of consciousness that exists ‘as emergence’.

This is a note from one of the Evolutionary Collective Core members in New York that gives a sense of the liminal:

I don’t know what it is about this work you’ve created that is allowing for this delicious and fascinating flow. This “I” experiences a broader arch of “we” brought into focus as this singular “I” and then traipses out in curiosity and delight again to collect more of the “we” among the local fields in which it plays.

There seems a felt, but unlanguaged, commitment underlying the interplay, which appears to be sourcing it and that is quite perfect. I no longer need to “know” its/our intent as I trust the we/I. The farther afield the “I” goes the more difficult it may be to describe but there is more of a sense of being “at home”. I am welcomed by the “we” and “they” quite happily merge into one……dancing into a multitude of musical collections, each with its own distinct loveliness.

I’m loving it.        Justin

With (R)evolutionary love,  Patricia

A liminal moment :)


  1. I think your description of this “Liminal” state of consciousness the inbetweeness is just wonderful and very exciting. Thank you. I look forward to your March virtual gathering.

    1. Author

      Hi Gillian, I’m happy you will be there and I look forward to reading your book. Patricia

  2. Thanks for becoming suddenly available on my screen while I was looking at something different and your information came on and felt interesting.

    I was blown away when I saw your illustration of the Wormholes – – I had SEEN it this morning in my mindfulness half asleep meditation when I have stayed with a question of “who am I “ which came out of some strange feelings about myself lately – – liminality resonates – – my image was not colored and more dimensionally plain and I did not know what it meant.
    I am looking forward to further contacts.

    1. Author

      Thanks for taking the time to share your experience of liminality – I hope you’ll join us for the global call on March 23rd – I have a feeling that many of us are discovering new dimensions of this between place. Patricia

  3. Great that you choose this concept !
    Now it will become more easy to talk about it and share experiences and emerging insights. We need more words to describe the freeflow dimensional elements connected to the in-between space, so we can start to play and co-create with more skill.

  4. liminality…hooray! As I enjoy this space, I have recently found that I feel very rooted… deeply and wide as a redwood tree . Did you know redwood tree roots are joined together underneath the soil…and joined together with the branches at the top creating a canopy; the beautiful redwood forest.. Perhaps this is my metaphor for this unity and a sense that the space is becoming greater while it also becomes more grounded.

    1. Author

      How beautiful – thank you for sharing that example – I love it!

  5. Thank you for a most beautiful post. It provides a great context for my study on combining Liminal Thinking (Dave Gray) and Paralogical Thinking (Tim Freke).

  6. Donald Winnicot spoke wrote of the transitional space of play between baby and mother in early 1900’s. This feels to be the further evolution of that awareness.

    Dear to me and joyful to see such lovely next steps.

    Breath quickens, eyes soften inner senses ease into ready receptive unknowing delight.

    Yum :)

    1. Author

      It’s interesting that we begin in dual unity with mother – not having separate boundaries… maybe tells us something about a higher level of where we are headed.

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