About liminality

Liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning “a threshold) is a psychological, neurological, or metaphysical subjective, conscious state of being on the “threshold” of or between two different existential planes, as defined in neurological psychology (a “liminal state”) and in the anthropological theories of ritual by such writers as Arnold van GennepVictor Turner, and others. In the anthropological theories, a ritual, especially a rite of passage, involves some change to the participants, especially their social status.The liminal state is characterized by ambiguity, openness, and indeterminacy. One’s sense of identity dissolves to some extent, bringing about disorientation. Liminality is a period of transition where normal limits to thought, self-understanding, and behavior are relaxed – a situation which can lead to new perspectives.

People, places, or things may not complete a transition, or a transition between two states may not be fully possible. Those who remain in a state between two other states may become permanently liminal.


One thought on “About liminality

  1. Interesting that I should read this particular blogpost of yours this evening due to the fact I have been working on an analysis of the poem written by T.S. Elliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock..
    After many hours attempting to read the man behind the poignant words he wrote, in my opinion T.S. Elliot was in a removed state of mind when writing this poem.. yet, removed was derisory in an attempt to describe his mindset… I knew it went much deeper than that, then I read this post and knew liminal was the force behind Mr. Elliot’s objectification of the world in which he lived during the time he wrote this poem… The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock…

    If you have not read this piece, you may find it interesting…

    Thank you for educating me on a new subject this evening…

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