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ravenscape
February 6th, 2007, 06:43 PM
The concept of creating a space between the worlds via ritual or meditation is almost foundational for modern Pagans.

I'm curious about the degree of significance the concept holds to someone who has a pantheist and/or metaphysical naturalist philosophy/spirituality.

Does the concept resonate? If so, what does it mean for you?

ravenscape
February 7th, 2007, 03:31 AM
For me, it definitely resonates. It's about getting out of one mode of thinking/being and into a different mode. It's about exploration from a different vantage. It's about setting something part and keeping it special and meaningful. It's about trying to make a moment endless, by simply experiencing it.

Windsmith
February 7th, 2007, 01:08 PM
I have to confess that that phrase has never entirely made sense to me. There's the "mundane" world, right, and the "magical" world - how can you be between them? Does that mean you're in neither? Or is it like a Venn diagram, with the idea that humans can never entirely enter the magical world, and that magical beings can never entirely enter the mundane, so we have to meet up in this in-betweenish netherworld that's not really one or the other? If I'm in ritual space, I'm in the magical world, not between anything.

Semantics aside, though, I like the idea the phrase conveys, even if I interpret it differently than many who use it. I use it as a signal to my body and mind, a key that tells them, "OK, we're in a different way of thinking and understanding now" and helps me unlock a different kind of consciousness.

cheddarsox
February 7th, 2007, 07:35 PM
I don't hold the concept of seperate or divided worlds, it's all one to me. That is the reality, but in day to day life, I spend more time/energy on my awareness of parts of the ALL. Ritual and meditation help me practice a more wholistic awareness than I have the luxury of doing most of the time.

I don't experience magic and mundane seperately either. I'm an artist and writer, and even though I know that I create the work, and go through a process, when it is completed, is seems completely magical to me. There was once nothing, then I had an idea, and now something new exists. To me, that is magic, no matter the process between points A and B.

cheddar

Eleisawolf
February 9th, 2007, 12:22 PM
I have to agree that the phrase "between the worlds" works for me more as a mind-state transformation than as a literal description. However, those mind-state transformations are very real, so again it is something that I believe exists. Just not in the literal sense. ;) I love metaphor, though, so it doesn't really bother me as a phrase. I just know what it means to me.

Much of spirituality is metaphor. It has to be, because we don't understand all of the literal of it yet, and may never completely (it comes of being limited, mortal beings, I think). And to echo what Cheddar said, even when we do know the logic behind the process, sometimes the metaphor is more apt, more meaningful, for the way that the result or the space feels when we get there. But while I feel the same as Cheddar about that, I don't dismiss the metaphor because I find it, in itself, as transformational as the steps from process to result are. So "between the worlds" is wonderfully appropriate in my mind.

Peace

skilly-nilly
February 9th, 2007, 05:31 PM
I have to confess that that phrase has never entirely made sense to me. There's the "mundane" world, right, and the "magical" world - how can you be between them? Does that mean you're in neither?




I have to agree that the phrase "between the worlds" works for me more as a mind-state transformation than as a literal description. However, those mind-state transformations are very real, so again it is something that I believe exists.


There's a real, look-up-able word for this: liminal

I believe that there's a metaphor and an actuality or, to put it a different way, that the Magical World and the mundane one are separated only by perception. or presence.

Threshold is tremendously important to me---I believe (and my beliefs are supported by folklore) that the 'edges' of things are a by-way into magical perception.

The tidal zone of the beach--sometimes sea, sometimes land; sunset and sunrise--not quite day, not yet/still night; marsh and bog--not quite water, not quite earth; Samhein and Bealtaine--not Winter, not Summer, dozing and waking--not awake, not asleep; hedgerow and grown-up hayfield--not cultivated, not wild................all of these places and states are 'between the worlds' to me.

I can go to a liminal place or be aware of a liminal time or trance into a liminal mental state (all very 'real') and from there go into Magic.

cheddarsox
February 9th, 2007, 06:36 PM
There's a real, look-up-able word for this: liminal

I believe that there's a metaphor and an actuality or, to put it a different way, that the Magical World and the mundane one are separated only by perception. or presence.

Threshold is tremendously important to me---I believe (and my beliefs are supported by folklore) that the 'edges' of things are a by-way into magical perception.

The tidal zone of the beach--sometimes sea, sometimes land; sunset and sunrise--not quite day, not yet/still night; marsh and bog--not quite water, not quite earth; Samhein and Bealtaine--not Winter, not Summer, dozing and waking--not awake, not asleep; hedgerow and grown-up hayfield--not cultivated, not wild................all of these places and states are 'between the worlds' to me.

I can go to a liminal place or be aware of a liminal time or trance into a liminal mental state (all very 'real') and from there go into Magic.



nice! Do you listen to the music of the Moody Blues? I ask because the label they started is called "Threshold", and that aspect comes up in lots of their early music. I somtimes use that term as a screen name, because that liminal state is very powerful for me as well.

cheddar

maverick9750
February 10th, 2007, 01:35 AM
liminal huh. I had never quite thought of it that way, but that really resonates. the magickal and the mundane are seperate. I believe this because it is possible to become aware of only one of them at a time, mundane only, many people live in that state constantly, others can "shut down, and enter it at will. if you enter a very deep meditation, you become unaware of the mundane, ond only live in the magickal. in order to actually work ritual, you munst still be aware enough of both that you can work with the energy, but still move, you are therefore in between.

Tranquility
February 10th, 2007, 10:33 PM
What first came to mind, in an additional attempt to explain this, was having a foot in each world. According to myth/folklore when Brighid was born, it was at sunrise, and her mother was standing in the doorway with one foot inside, one foot outside. Apparently, a tower of flame shot forth from the top of her head to the heavens too :). Fascinating stuff if you ask me, but it's another attempt to illustrate this balance but also very real presence in both realms.

ravenscape
February 11th, 2007, 02:39 AM
Thanks for sharing your thoughts! It's great to be able to compare notes with other pantheist pagans. I seem to feel my way a great deal, trying to decide if, why and how some aspects of paganism are relevant to my own practices.

equinox2
February 12th, 2007, 01:07 PM
I've found that an evolutionary understanding almost always enhances spirituality.

skilly-nilly wrote:


There's a real, look-up-able word for this: liminal

I believe that there's a metaphor and an actuality or, to put it a different way, that the Magical World and the mundane one are separated only by perception. or presence.

Threshold is tremendously important to me---I believe (and my beliefs are supported by folklore) that the 'edges' of things are a by-way into magical perception.

The tidal zone of the beach--sometimes sea, sometimes land; sunset and sunrise--not quite day, not yet/still night; marsh and bog--not quite water, not quite earth; Samhein and Bealtaine--not Winter, not Summer, dozing and waking--not awake, not asleep; hedgerow and grown-up hayfield--not cultivated, not wild................all of these places and states are 'between the worlds' to me.

Definitely!

And notice the evolutionary connection. Our hominin ancestors survived better if they were attracted to liminal places like this. Those are the places where you can do one thing (like hunt, fish, look around) but then quickly switch to another activity (fleeing, hiding, mating). Our brains evolved to find these places special, to like how they look, etc., - thus making it more likely we'd spend time there, walk over to there, etc. The love of the liminal was selected then by natural selection - those mutations that made our brains that way allowed their owners to survive, and so we have them today.

That doesn't make these places any less magical. On the contrary, understanding this, just like understanding fire or the northern lights, makes them all the more wonderful. Our love of the liminal is a quiet call from our ancient mothers and fathers, telling us, their children, their wisdom......

Birdy
February 19th, 2007, 01:29 AM
...That doesn't make these places any less magical.

To be perfectly honest, it kinda does.

Damn objectivity! I like my warm fuzzies.

Eleisawolf
February 19th, 2007, 12:24 PM
I'd agree with you, Birdy, but I think it depends on how someone defines "magical." Rereading Equinox's post, I don't think there's any reference to anything that is not scientific, but to something that affects one's mind in an extremely subjective manner.

Just because we may prefer objectivity doesn't mean that the subjective doesn't exist and, most importantly, doesn't mean it isn't valuable to the way we perceive the world.

Peace

equinox2
February 20th, 2007, 03:31 PM
Hi Birdy-

I understand. Think about it though. You may be able to decide to see it differently. Thatís how it happened with me. First, like many people, I hoped for and looked for magic & the supernatural in my life (like thinking I hear a voice, then following it and finding a quarter on the ground). Each miracle can bring temporary joy, but after a while I wondered if I wasnít just being naÔve and fooling myself. So I tested the miracles more, and each one had an everyday explanation. I realized that I had been making up fake supernatural stuff. That was depressing for a while, until I realized that Iím surrounded by incredible, real miracles that donít need to be faked Ė they are the findings of science, the real world, and I can decide if I want them to be miracles Ė I decided they were miracles. Now everythingís a miracle, and I feel honest with myself.

Peter Mayer even wrote a song about it Ė hereís part of the lyrics:


When I was in Sunday school
We would learn about the time
Moses split the sea in two
Jesus made the water wine
And I remember feeling sad
that miracles don't happen still
But now I can't keep track
'Cause everything's a miracle
Everything, everything
Everything's a miracle . . .

This morning outside I stood
And saw a little red-winged bird
Shining like a burning bush
Singing like a scripture verse
It made me want to bow my head. . .
'Cause everything is holy now
Everything, everything
Everything is holy now
Everything, everything,
Everything is holy now . .


Or, as the great scientist Richard Feynman said:


"The idea that (technology) takes away mystery or awe or wonder in nature is wrong. It's quite the opposite. It's much more wonderful to know what something's really like than to sit there and just simply, in ignorance, say, "Oooh, isn't it wonderful?"

Blessed be-

Tranquility
February 20th, 2007, 03:43 PM
Equinox2, I will agree with you in some areas. Some things have added wonder when I learn about them scientifically, but others not so much. I used to love walking up to trees and just admiring their stature. Sometimes, when we learn so much about something, we have a compulsion to constant delve into thinking about it, not experiecing. I'm split 50/50 in that sometimes the added information I know about a subject will intensely help to interest me, other times not so much. I learned about Pistils/Stamens, and suddenly I have a much greater compulsion to closely observe wildflowers.. seeing if I can note all the parts of the flower, those small and large. On the other hand, I learn about that same big tree I knew as a kid, and instead of admiring it's beauty and wavering in the wind, I have a compulsion to name it, name it's properties, it's medicinal value.. etc. Just another perspective :)

Birdy
February 22nd, 2007, 05:43 PM
Damn objectivity! I like my warm fuzzies.

I didn't mean this literally and seriously, it's just how I felt at the moment. I keep forgetting that the internet doesn't convey tone.

Birdy
February 22nd, 2007, 05:50 PM
Equinox2, I will agree with you in some areas. Some things have added wonder when I learn about them scientifically, but others not so much. I used to love walking up to trees and just admiring their stature. Sometimes, when we learn so much about something, we have a compulsion to constant delve into thinking about it, not experiecing. I'm split 50/50 in that sometimes the added information I know about a subject will intensely help to interest me, other times not so much. I learned about Pistils/Stamens, and suddenly I have a much greater compulsion to closely observe wildflowers.. seeing if I can note all the parts of the flower, those small and large. On the other hand, I learn about that same big tree I knew as a kid, and instead of admiring it's beauty and wavering in the wind, I have a compulsion to name it, name it's properties, it's medicinal value.. etc. Just another perspective :)

Yes, this is exactly what I am talking about. As I become older it seems I get more analytical and keep breaking everything down thinking so much that I can't just experience things, like the presence of trees etc.. emotionally or "spiritually" like I used to do.

The evolutionary explanation for the liminal really hit that same note for me in it's contrast to the other posts.

equinox2
February 27th, 2007, 03:14 PM
Birdy wrote:


As I become older it seems I get more analytical and keep breaking everything down thinking so much that I can't just experience things, like the presence of trees etc.. emotionally or "spiritually" like I used to do.

The evolutionary explanation for the liminal really hit that same note for me in it's contrast to the other posts.


Maybe our experience is different - hence our different views.

As I've grown older, there has been a tendancy for magic and miracle to fade - as you describe. This has been a continuing trend since I was a kid. To counter this, I've found that learning the real nature, history, reasons for being as it is, (Cheddar would say "WHAT IS"), etc behind everything is a powerful source of wonder and of magic. This is the force that creates magic in everything, bringing back the magic, in a mature and solid form, that has otherwise faded with age. Without science, I'd have nothing to pump magic back into my world. As such, science has been an incredible source of magic and wonder, replacing and expanding my ability to bite, chew and savor my life. Science is my adult teeth, which thankfully came in just in time as my baby teeth inevitably fell out.

Maybe we see this aspect of spirituality differently.

All the best-

maverick9750
February 27th, 2007, 06:22 PM
Yes, this is exactly what I am talking about. As I become older it seems I get more analytical and keep breaking everything down thinking so much that I can't just experience things, like the presence of trees etc.. emotionally or "spiritually" like I used to do.

The evolutionary explanation for the liminal really hit that same note for me in it's contrast to the other posts.

I've found that meditation helps alot with this, if you want the experience of a tree, instead of its attributes, sit at the tree and meditate on your feelings instead of what you think. never fails to work for me.

cheddarsox
February 27th, 2007, 07:39 PM
Amazing, simply amazing. The universe just knocks me out.

I work in a warehouse, we fill cd orders. And it's amazing, the machinery, the people, everyone doing their bit to get stuff where it is supposed to go...I feel like I'm a cell in a body.

I sort of "zoom" back and forth from experiencing my part, as if it is the whole reality, to experiencing my part as one tiny aspect of the whole. It's like a pulse, going back and forth from awareness on a very small level to awareness on a very big level.

I also enjoy this practice of experiencing the amazing paradoxes in other areas of my life as well. Whoosh...I feel like I am pulsing back and forth from one end of a 'wormhole' to the other. It's one of the essences of my faith, these differing levels of awareness.

Sometimes I feel so "in synch" with it, I feel "blessed", like I am exactly where I need to be, fulfilling my function...I feel like an atom, totally doing my thing, part of the whole, humming along.

I used to have a friend whom I would occasionally "resonate" with at a profound level. We used to refer to it as "shimmering" with one another.

I used to tell him he was beautiful when he shimmered...of course, he was always beautiful, but sometimes I had my metaphorical sunglasses on and missed his shimmering.

cheddar

Birdy
March 13th, 2007, 03:55 AM
I've found that meditation helps alot with this, if you want the experience of a tree, instead of its attributes, sit at the tree and meditate on your feelings instead of what you think. never fails to work for me.

You are right, thanks. :)

maverick9750
March 13th, 2007, 06:15 PM
You are right, thanks. :)

:) not a problem, glad I could help

maverick9750
April 3rd, 2007, 04:37 PM
I've been thinking alot about liminal states lately, and its really started to sing with me.

try thinking about it this way. a great forest, bordering on great plains. in the depths of the forest, it tends to maintain the status quo, as long as the trees are there, nothing is really able to grow under them, they take the light and water. but, very fragile grows is permitted because they are protected from the worst of the wind, rain, and sun.

in the plains, the status quo is also maintained. anything that tries to grow taller than the surrounding plants, is quickly cut down by the wind. but as long as it doesn't get too tall, it just gets lost in the crowd, keeping it safe.

in the liminal area between them though, both kinds of vegatation can grow, because the forest still stops the wind, rain, and partially shields from the sun, but it also gets real thick undergrowth providing the protection of the plains.

so what ends up happening is there is a place with the protection of both, without the limitations, a place where anything can grow. needing only the will to survive.

the same is true in sacred space. we are straddleing the viel, removing the limitations of both worlds, but granting us the possibilities of both. a place where anything can happen.

Xentor
April 3rd, 2007, 05:15 PM
I found no difference between my every day world and a magical world. For me, those are one and the same. Magic is around me all the time, and I am magic all the time.

There is a different world to which I travel when meditating. It's a world of concepts. It's where I can transcend space and time (because they too are considered mere concepts), and view topics from all angles. It's where I can reach out and touch someone, in order to heal them, to be with them, even half a world away. It's where I can focus on a single problem until it's solved. It's where I can go to come to rest, calm down, get rid of my anxieties, find my center and the power to go on. It's where I can hide in times of danger, and from where I can attack in times of need. It's where I can hear the murmur of the gods and a zillion other spirits, where I can feel the influence of big movers and the tiny ripples of the smaller ones. It's where the spirituality of my being becomes its own reality.

maverick9750
April 3rd, 2007, 05:18 PM
awesome. I could have never described it quite so well. those are the exact qualities that I find too.

Rhisiart
April 5th, 2007, 03:14 AM
I am the 'in-between', I am the magickal AND the mundane. All around me simply is as it is, Nature doesn't change its nature, and since its qualities are based on my perceptions, then the 'in-between' is within me. I make the storm magick or mundane, I make the experience surreal or so-so. One might take some of the magick away by explaining the lightning, but my fascinations may make experiencing the stroke even more astounding. Also one may look at birth and see a miracle, I may see a purely natural act performed by all living things and while the process may be interesting, the single act isnt magickal, its mundane. Its also how I do things, in relation to me. I can do a thing, I believe, magickally, but to someone else it could be quite boring, simplistic, mundane. Its all in how I look at it, not you. The place is with-in me...it is me.

cheddarsox
April 5th, 2007, 03:47 PM
I am the 'in-between', I am the magickal AND the mundane. All around me simply is as it is, Nature doesn't change its nature, and since its qualities are based on my perceptions, then the 'in-between' is within me. I make the storm magick or mundane, I make the experience surreal or so-so. One might take some of the magick away by explaining the lightning, but my fascinations may make experiencing the stroke even more astounding. Also one may look at birth and see a miracle, I may see a purely natural act performed by all living things and while the process may be interesting, the single act isnt magickal, its mundane. Its also how I do things, in relation to me. I can do a thing, I believe, magickally, but to someone else it could be quite boring, simplistic, mundane. Its all in how I look at it, not you. The place is with-in me...it is me.

wow..thanks for this. stunning, insightful...a huge help to me right now.

cheddar

Eleisawolf
April 5th, 2007, 05:54 PM
I am the 'in-between', I am the magickal AND the mundane. All around me simply is as it is, Nature doesn't change its nature, and since its qualities are based on my perceptions, then the 'in-between' is within me. I make the storm magick or mundane, I make the experience surreal or so-so. One might take some of the magick away by explaining the lightning, but my fascinations may make experiencing the stroke even more astounding. Also one may look at birth and see a miracle, I may see a purely natural act performed by all living things and while the process may be interesting, the single act isnt magickal, its mundane. Its also how I do things, in relation to me. I can do a thing, I believe, magickally, but to someone else it could be quite boring, simplistic, mundane. Its all in how I look at it, not you. The place is with-in me...it is me.

Thank you. You expressed what I meant in better words than I had.

Peace

cheddarsox
April 6th, 2007, 08:34 AM
There is a different world to which I travel when meditating. It's a world of concepts. It's where I can transcend space and time (because they too are considered mere concepts), and view topics from all angles. It's where I can reach out and touch someone, in order to heal them, to be with them, even half a world away. It's where I can focus on a single problem until it's solved. It's where I can go to come to rest, calm down, get rid of my anxieties, find my center and the power to go on. It's where I can hide in times of danger, and from where I can attack in times of need. It's where I can hear the murmur of the gods and a zillion other spirits, where I can feel the influence of big movers and the tiny ripples of the smaller ones. It's where the spirituality of my being becomes its own reality.

I have sort of gotten away from this lately, thanks for inviting me back to this aspect of spirituality. If you're not too busy, next time you're meditating...reach out and touch me with healing...I could use some these days.

cheddar