Two days to Groundhog.
What is about to begin? I am feeling very apprehensive and dubious.
Something that is somewhere between the usual podcast interview series and a think tank is the general idea. The aim is to explore the subject of liminality and the possibility of liminalism as a “movement.”
As far as I can tell, the idea of liminalism as a movement (or even a “movement”) refers to the possibility of active, conscious (not just passive, unconscious) participation and cooperation with the liminal state. This is an idea I am seriously divided (liminal) about. It may be folly.
My view is that, once something becomes a movement, it ceases to move. It becomes fixed as an ideology, and ideologies create ideologues.
So how to set about deconstructing and removing ideology from human dialogues and interaction without turning that process into a new ideology? The answer is perhaps by observing how this can, will, and does inevitably happen with everything we do, because liminality (constant change, or flux) is both the nature of existence and the one thing we are all trying to escape from. Or I should say, if it is, since this is really all about me (though it becomes about you once you are reading this).
The medium is the messenger. But the reverse also applies: there is no messenger as separate from the medium (which is the message). And there can be no messenger without someone to receive the message. (That’s you, again.)
What did I just say? Close your eyes and try and remember the gist of what you just read. I dare you!
The Liminalist podcast ~ if it happens ~ will focus on the subject of liminality and the ways in which it can be used as a lens through which to view, and recontextualize our experience of, ourselves, the world, and everything in between. And naturally, to examine whether that’s a worthwhile thing to do with our time.
According to the moving target of liminalism, there are (currently) four primary ways in which liminality can be applied: spiritual/religious; social; political; and psychological.
Liminalism is ~ or might someday become ~ the conscious application of liminality in order to discover if it really is a working tool that fits every situation. (I think it is, obviously.)
Liminalism is ~ or could be ~ the willing cooperation with the undoing of our preconceptions and beliefs about ourselves, the world, and everything in between.
For example, to apply liminality to writing would mean allowing the writing process to occur in a liminal state, that of not knowing what one is writing about or why one is writing it. This leads to the focus of writing coming more and more into the moment of writing itself. The writing becomes a means to explore its own “happening.” Writing, after all, is itself (potentially) a liminal act, in that it occurs on the threshold between unconscious and conscious mind.
What is the purpose of this present sentence and how exactly will I end it if I do not know its purpose?
It can be seen how the sentence ended itself by formulating the question as to how it should be ended; hence the question transformed, mid-sentence, into its own answer.
It can also be observed how nothing has actually happened. The sentence has no reason to exist save to point to itself. (Sound familiar?)
Liminalism explores the possibility that all human endeavors have a similar quality: they are exclusively referring to the moment in which they arise and so destined always to end with it. They covertly provide the sought for solution, simply by recognizing the act of seeking as happening.
And I am not sure if that made sense or not.
The idea of continuity (of an end to liminality) is an illusion created by language, or more correctly, by thought, which is the product of internalizing language.
That which seeks to provide a solution (thought) is that which first introduces the need for a solution.
Problem, reaction, solution: all pertain to the realm of conscious thought.
This is why all ideologies are self-serving: they seek to bring about and perpetuate the circumstances that give rise to the need for themselves. The more ideology changes, the more it stays the same.
To then see ideology as a problem to be solved would be to play the ideological game and perpetuate ideology as a solution to the (illusory) problem it has created.
There is no way to win at this game.
The aim of liminalism can’t be to provide a solution but rather to allow for a full immersion in the perceived problem without any corresponding drive to fix it, solve it, or escape from it. Most important of all is for our experience of problem-immersion to transform, over time, from one of intense discomfort, panic, frustration, and existential anguish, to one of acceptance, comfort, contentment, and eventually, delight.
Let’s say that the human problem is the human tendency to perceive undesirable situations as problems.
And let’s just add that the end goal of liminalism is to accept that the need to achieve an end goal—either individually or collectively—is both imaginary and inessential to the psychic well-being, both of individuals and of the collective.
Hmmm. We can say that. But does that make it so?
I welcome all contributions.
I am going to be inviting other people onto the podcast to explore this; if you want to suggest someone, including yourself, email me or leave a comment.