Liminal Passages (Liminality, Part Two)  

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Victor Turner said of the betwixt-and-between (where one is likely to experience marginalized feelings during this Transition stage of a Rite of Passage) that one is caught up, as it were, within a Liminal Zone—like a limbo or purgatory—which Turner describes as Anti-Structure.  You have left the settled life of being part of the Structure of a society to enter into this no-persons land. You have stripped away or have had stripped away much of your former identity (this point is for my sister to read re. her recent dream of identity loss; Hi, Lee!).  You have obstacles to face in your Descent as you pass through the Forbidden territory of Anti-Structure, before you can (with your successful passage) re-enter Structure but in a new role and status based on the transformation of your consciousness and personhood you will have attained during this important, meaningful Transition. There is usually a role model or Guide to lead you through this stage; s/he has been where you are aiming to go and has achieved the new status/ level of consciousness you seek to attain with your Quest. Your Guide will help you so far as you need, or ask.

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Liminality is such an important stage for anyone (or group) seeking to bring about a positive, transformational adjustment in order to realize a deeply beneficial goal, that I want to share more examples here for you to ponder in their possible relation to your own contemplated, desired changes.

Hiawatha and the League of the Iroquois (A Whole-Society Revitalization)

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Hiawatha has lost his wife and three daughters, who were murdered by a chief of his own village during a blood feud among the Iroquois tribes and other regional tribes.  He wanders in the woods, desolate and alone. Some say he develops cannibalistic (Windigo-like) thoughts which he despises in himself.

Hiawatha, either from a boat looking into the waters or in a cabin looking in a pot of water, sees a figure—a god, as he is called—named Deganawidah, looking back at him. This figure—some say a real man with a speech impediment also in the woods—conveys to Hiawatha a Condolence Ritual to help him and his peoples grieve their losses, and he imparts guidelines for a new political confederacy, an alliance of the member tribes: the League of the Iroquois. Six tribes eventually joined this League, which still has relevance today. They put aside their internal fighting and agreed to select lifelong delegates (sachems), installed by the Clan Mothers, who would adjudicate disputes. Greater peace, and strength, ensued for many generations to follow.

Lost Horizon (A Personal Calling and Realization of True Potential)

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Robert Conway and a small crew of allies (unknowingly hand-picked) are hijacked when a small plane leaving China-controlled Tibet (in the post-WWII era) suspiciously crash lands in the deep snows of the Himalayas.  Porters carrying just the right-sized and number of coats appear and the porters escort Conway’s group through a difficult passage in the Himalayas over several days. Eventually they round a bend and see the spectacular, verdant and temperate valley where the Abbot and staff of the amazing Temple of Shangri-La welcome them.

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Conway comes to understand after meeting with the aged Abbot that he has been called to replace this spiritual giant when he (soon to be) passes. Yet he has to reach a degree of faith in the validity of this calling and of the purpose of Shangri-La itself in both a world-beneficial and personal sense.  He escorts his cynical brother away from the Temple when his brother nearly convinces him Temple staff have been lying, but once his brother dies in an avalanche and the woman who claimed she was not protected from aging at the Valley suddenly ages and dies, Conway develops but one core ambition: to return to Shangri-La even after he returns briefly to the US. Following another arduous adventure and crossing (a Second Threshold), Conway returns to Shangri-La to return to the woman there he had fallen in love with and to assume his unselfish, divinely inspired role.

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Star Wars Episode 5: Return of the Jedi (Spiritual Warrior Training and Transformation of Consciousness)

A name that you all recognize: Yoda.  Luke Skywalker departs (separates) from his compatriot rebels to find this Jedi Master so he can train to become a Jedi Knight, “like his father before him.” Luke’s training has all the character of a Liminal Passage. He feels frustrated and powerless at first, doubting his own abilities and doubting the veracity of Yoda’s capabilities as a Teacher. Yoda shows patience with young Luke and reveals his own strengths only as needed, asking the Acolyte to work at self-mastery instead of relying on his master’s techniques. When Yoda sends Luke into the mysterious, swampy domain where he will meet his own negative side in the form of Darth Vader (his Dark Father nature, after all), Luke disregards Master Yoda’s suggestion that he leave his light saber behind. Luke ends up defeating only himself by allowing his fear and anger to lead him to confront the image of Vader therein, a lesson very important for Luke to learn.

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Luke gains Jedi skills from Yoda, yet he has more to learn in the forge of experience as the saga continues. He returns to the fields of battle to save his friends and to serve the Rebellion as best he is able.

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To conclude this reflection on Liminal Passages, consider their role in your personal Life Story.  The more deeply the Liminal Zone is entered into and absorbed, the greater the transformation of consciousness that may occur and with that, the greater the benefits may radiate out from the Hero(ine) to the Whole and its values they are pledged to defend and uphold. The Hero is a Role Model for those s/he serves and  hence can become a guide or Teacher for other Acolytes.

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images are from pixabay.com

And so the Great Cycle continues, life after life, purpose after purpose.  What is YOUR PURPOSE for being Here? What strengths can you develop to be of greatest value to the Whole?

I welcome YOUR Comments and STORY!

 

THE HOLOGRAPHIC ADVENTURE OF YOUR LIFETIME

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Where do you go when you imagine following your Call to Adventure? What image or scene comes to mind when you envision feeling a sense of utter fulfillment?

Your Call to Adventure may come as an IMAGE that beckons and pulls at you like the “thin biting call of Soul.” Ron Neary’s vision of the Devil’s Tower butte in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, for instance, or the memory of Shangri-La that won’t let Robert Conway be happy anywhere else after he has found his fateful oasis of the Soul in Lost Horizon are two great fictional examples.

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I remember from high school and early college years that I would often close my eyes and imagine rowing a boat to the middle of a lake, then I would set the oars to rest and settle back to read a good book while floating on the lake, listening to the rhythmic lapping of the water under the calm blue sky. Sometimes in this reverie I would nap and my boat would drift until it came to moor on a deserted island shoreline.

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Many years later I will soon enough be retiring to a lakeside community. I intend to explore the lake with a kayak and maybe a rowboat. Was my youthful daydream then a trip in spacetime to a future I could already imagine?

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Your Call to Adventure evokes more than a desirable place or a future activity, though this vision might signal the context of your greater Life Dream.

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This past week I had a thought while walking university halls to teach yet another class, this time a five day, 40 hour “winterim” with 33 students that turned out to be a delight because of our combined enthusiasm for the material. The thought that came through one morning was:

Is my life a hologram?

The more I consider this profound possibility, the more probable I find it to be. Quantum physicists have been entertaining this notion, too, it turns out. Some venture so far as to suggest our entire reality is but a holographic projection along the event horizon of a black hole!

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If my life is a hologram, what this means to me is that every Moment (as only Now is Real and therefore All of life experience is “in the NOW”) is a microsegment of the Whole projection of a lifetime. Remember that in a hologram, the Part is embedded in the Whole such that the Whole is always present in every fraction (or, fractal) of Itself. I “live” (have my physical attention and sense of ‘being’) in the “present” projection of our illusionary three dimensions of timespace, yet from higher dimensions (4th and beyond) I can perceive the Whole of my complete lifetime and perhaps zooming further Beyond with spiritual awareness I can even see the broader context of THIS lifetime in multiple lifetimes, multiple universes, and a limitless expanse of Cosmos.

So then future and past and present are all ONE, and the Whole is so much greater than the sum of its luminously integrated Parts.

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all images are from pixabay.com

I realize with this Life is a Hologram perspective, then, that I/you/Soul can EXPLORE the Whole from ANY location within the holographic Whole, at any “time.”

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the Stream;
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is BUT A DREAM.

Try it, I invite you. Close your Eyes and DREAM! I welcome your Comments and Story!

Where Are You Going?

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Socrates is known for the following zinger:

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Why did he say this, do you think? It is so easy to become settled into crusted routines and habits in our lives. Years pass, decades even, until one day we wake up and ask ourselves, where has the time gone? This is especially true with regard to fulfilling our life’s purpose.  I have shared before the motivational “wake-up call” I received one morning 13 years ago. Plastered before me like a placard posted squarely  in my inner vision between sleeping and waking were these bold words:

YOU HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY

TO REALIZE YOUR DREAMS,

NOT JUST FOR GETTING BY.

Believe me, I know how hard it can be to persist, daily, toward the realization of your dreams. For ever since I received this inner beckoning, I have not turned back. This inner vision led me to revise my career in the direction of developing the approach of life mapping which my book-in-progress, Life Paths: Live Your Dream, Now! will, eventually, provide for the general public. I realize now that this visionary admonition to pursue one’s dreams was intended not just for me but for everyone, including you.

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So, WHERE ARE YOU GOING?

This week I am presenting you with journaling or contemplation prompts to consider: Where Are You At? (Sunday); Where Are You Going? (today through Thursday); and How Will You Get There? (Friday).  These are not random questions. Together they comprise a call to action with respect to your life dreams. They allow you to examine your current position within the overall life you choose to live. 

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Have you read or seen a movie version of Lost Horizon? When I was growing up, maybe around 12 years old, I read and re-read that amazing novel by James Hilton several times, about Hugh Conway finding his mission in life at the fabled Himalayan temple of Shangri-La. The Universe/ Spirit delivers Hugh and his brother and a small group of fellow air crash passengers to this hidden Temple where an aged master awaits Conway to bestow upon him the mantle of responsibility to maintain the vision and purpose of Shangri-La as a place of peace and knowledge that will be of immeasurable value to the future of humanity in the case of a worldwide calamity. After having to escort his brother and other non-believers back to the mundane world of European urbanity, Conway returns on his quest to find Shangri-La on his own, and eventually, he does. Here is a Soul who knows “where he is going,” at least in the sense of his life’s calling and mission. He becomes so passionate about fulfilling this Quest that nothing can possibly prevent him from achieving his purpose; he is a man utterly transformed by the awareness of his own potential and responsibility to life itself.

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Can you relate to Hugh Conway’s Quest in some way in your own life? What is your Shangri-La? Let me ask again, then:

WHERE ARE YOU GOING?

I invite you to contemplate inwardly and to journal or otherwise engage with this question and the response that it elicits from Within. As always, I invite and welcome all of your insights and stories.

Movies I Love, Except for Their Endings!

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The list below includes a few of the movies whose endings I would re-vision.  A few of these films I would not even want to watch again because of the way they end.

  • Mr. Holland’s Opus — Mr. Holland gives up on his dream, settles for less.
  • What Women Want (the Mel Gibson film) — A strong-minded career woman gives up her career to marry.
  • Romeo and Juliet — Do they really have to die?
  • Brokeback Mountain — Does it really have to end with a hate crime?
  • Groundhog Day — Wouldn’t Phil arrive at higher aspirations than to marry Rita and settle down after such a deep transformation of his character?

And here are some films that seem to me to be calling out for Better Ending sequels:

  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind II (or, Mr. Neary’s Return) — What has Roy been exposed to on the aliens’ planet or space voyage; what will he bring back to enlighten humanity?
  • Lost Horizon II — After Hugh “Glory” Conway returns to Shangri-La and his soul mate Sondra to assume the spiritual position of High Lama, what happens in the outside world and how does Hugh respond from Shangri-La to bring a New Dawn to humanity after a major catastrophe?
  • Contact II —  Once the President’s Secretary goes public to reveal that Eleanor Arroway’s trip through a wormhole was indeed real, what are the next ‘small steps’ in store for humanity as it joins with the larger intergalactic community? Certainly the technology will need to be protected from those who would use it for harm or personal profit.  Will science and religion be finally reunited in Eleanor and Palmer Joss’s marriage and co-authored books?
  • Harry Potter 9 (-?): The ‘New’ Generation — Now that Voldemort (yes, we can name him now), and all he represented has been cleansed from the world, might Harry / Ginny’s and Hermione / Ron’s progeny lead the way to helping Muggles themselves to become aware of and begin to learn from the Wizarding world? (or, not…)

    Now then, of course these lists are only my own, and as such they raise an interesting question: Why these? Are there certain kinds of endings to certain kinds of films or stories that I or you simply “cannot abide”?  Let’s look at this on Friday. For now, exercise your imagination, write your own list.What movie endings would you like to re-vision, why, and how? Please share your Comments or your own list in the Comments box below. You can submit your Better Movie Ending Story (by Saturday, if you would wish to be considered for Story of the Week) by Submitting your story.