Hi everyone. During the recent call-in event with Steve Ozanich, the topic of liminality came up. Coincidentally, it also came up in today's drop-in chat, and people seemed interested in it, so I thought I would do some research. Basically, Liminality means that you are at the threshold of something new, but you aren't quite there yet. Instead, you are in a "null-space," a special state in between the new state and the old state. The term originally came from anthropology, where it was used to describe rituals in tribal cultures. For example, adolescents might go through a rite of passage or ritual in which they transition from being viewed as a child to being viewed as an adult. Before the ritual they are children and after the ritual they are adults. But what are they during the ritual. During the the ritual, some anthropologists argue that they are neither children nor adults. Rather, they are in a special, liminal space of transition. We can see the same thing in TMS healing. Before we understand TMS, our life is one way. After we are healed, it is another. But how about while we are healing? This is a period of real upheaval that is wonderfully transformative, but can also be scary. It is a time when peer support and connecting with others is especially important, to provide us some stability while so much is unfamiliar and changing. Likewise, sometimes liminality can be what causes TMS. As we go through transitions, there can be a strong sense of disorientation and anomie (a weakening of social bonds and structure). This can cause a great deal of distress (dis=bad stress) and is a good example of the existential anxiety caused by freedom (for those who are keeping up with Dr. Zafirides' existential approach). With that background, here are some quotes from Wikipedia's article on Liminality: It says the following about Arnold van Gennep on liminality: The Wikipedia article also review's Victor Turner's contributions, which I find to be a bit technical, so I won't excerpt it. However, I thought it was interesting that it mentioned that "However, liminal situations can be, and in actual fact in modern era, rather quite different: periods of uncertainly, anguish, even existential fear: a facing of the abyss in void." Certainly, we see this on the forums among some people who are going through TMS healing! Managing this fear is, of course, an important thing that we can assist each other in doing. The Wikipedia article has a terrific list of examples of liminal spaces as well. It includes everything from puberty (between childhood and adulthood) to sudden events like divorce, family deaths, or illness (like TMS). For a society, it includes wars and other national tragedies like 9/11. You can see the whole list here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liminality#Types One final section that I thought was particularly interesting was one on the sense of community that can develop during liminal times. Distinctions that separate people can break down, allowing people from all walks of life to connect. This seems like a wonderful thing, and we definitely see it here at the wiki: In terms of applying this concept to TMS, Steve Ozanich was the first person to discuss the term in a TMS book, so it seems only fair to use his words to draw that connection. On pages 328-329 of The Great Pain Deception, he writes, He has an additional paragraph on the subject, but while I think it is good stuff, I won't quote it, in order to avoid pressing the boundaries of the "fair use" doctrine and irritating a valued member of this forum. Anyway I hope you all find it interesting. Good luck in your travels through your own personal liminal spaces!