canadian journal resonate first edition is online. there is a lot there. the first issue focuses on liminality - if you are wondering what that might mean read len hjalmarson's forty years in a narrow space which is a really good piece. here's a taster...
Liminality is a place in between. It is emptiness and nowhere. Adolescence is the liminal space between childhood and adulthood. But liminality is more than a point along the way to somewhere else. It represents anti-structure to structure, chaos to order. The place between two world views is a liminal place. It is a place of dying and rebirth, even of metamorphosis, the place where the caterpillar spins its cocoon and disappears from view. Liminality is Israel in the desert, Jesus in the tomb.
The Latin word limina means threshold. Liminality is where all transformation happens. It is when we are betwixt and between, and therefore by definition “not in control.” Nothing new happens as long as we are inside our self-constructed comfort zone. Much of our day to day effort at life is toward maintaining our personal little world. Richard Rohr comments that,
“Nothing good or creative emerges from business as usual. This is why much of the work of God is to get people into liminal space, and to keep them there long enough so they can learn something essential. It is the ultimate teachable space.. maybe the only one. Most spiritual giants try to live lives of “chronic liminality” in some sense. They know it is the only position that insures ongoing wisdom, broader perspective and ever-deeper compassion. The Jewish prophets… St. Francis, Gandhi, and John the Baptist come to mind.
Liminal space tends to be counterintuitive. In liminal space we need to walk in the opposite direction. We not eat instead of eat – we remain silent instead of talking. We search for emptiness instead of fullness. In liminal space we descend and intentionally do not ascend; “status reversal” instead of status-seeking. We indulge in shadow boxing instead of ego confirmation.
Few of us choose liminal space. Instead, God usually has to engineer the journey. Someone we trusted fails us; a job we counted on suddenly ends; a child or spouse dies; we are struck blind on the road to Emmaus. Once we arrive there, we are disinclined to call it home. This is why spiritual directors and counselors are often sought in times of transition.. we need outward support and encouragement to endure liminal space. On our own we tend to run for security, back to the familiar gardens of Egypt.