Liminality is the state of not knowing how or if a situation will resolve itself. It’s a rite of passage. If wise elders have not prepared us for this rebirth experience and taught us the necessity of relaxing into it, we will almost certainly resist it. Once a pattern of resistance has become established, our embryonic potential for love is lost. We become weirdly animated fossils, waiting for a death that has already happened.
“I take my vows seriously.” Well, harrumph! Is there an aggrandizement more ponderous and self-justifying than this one? It’s frequently employed to deny fear, avoid responsibility, rationalize inaction, and rally support for the status quo. Perhaps that’s why Jesus’ instruction was so categorical and explicit: “Take no vows.” Hidden agendas aside, why do we take life so seriously? It’s a lila, after all.
The problem is that we are in thrall to subordinate forces just as Adam and Eve were, and for which originating sin they were expelled from the Garden. In our case, these forces are fear and anger, both of which render us incapable of love. They are our emotions, they originate within us, but we project them onto other individuals, groups and nations. We need these others. For us to be good, someone has to be bad.
There is a tendency in men to say what other men say, to believe what other men believe, and to go where other men direct them. We’ll call this expert-itis or sheep mind. Or religion. Or politics. Or armed service. Our unwillingness to stand alone, to be alone, to find ourselves within ourselves, betrays a great fear. And where fear is, love is not.
The emotion of fear ranges from a feeling of chronic unease or worry to anxiety about relationships to a full-blown panic attack. In the fear state, man loses his intelligence. He’s essentially feral.