Friday, June 14, 2013

Liminality - Insight into Emptiness - Śūnyatā

     The term "'liminal' first appears in publication in the field of psychology in 1884, but the idea was introduced to the field of anthropology in 1909 by Arnold Van Gennep ... (who) described rites of passage such as coming-of-age rituals and marriage as having the following three-part structure:

     liminal period

     The initiate (person undergoing the ritual) is first stripped of the social status that he or she possessed before the ritual, inducted into the liminal period of transition, and finally given his or her new status and reassimilated into society. ...
     ... 'the subject of passage ritual is, in the liminal period, structurally, if not physically, "invisible". That is,
the status of liminal individuals is socially and structurally ambiguous. ... 'Liminality may perhaps be regarded as the Nay to all positive structural assertions, but as in some sense the source of them all, and, more than that, as a realm of pure possibility whence novel configurations of ideas and relations may arise.'"



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