• Nance Harding

Liminal Space & the Art of Creative Suffering

Updated: Aug 22


In Western cultures where the collective mantra is, I consume; therefore, I am we imagine ourselves beyond such realities as illness and death. This is an illusion, a denial that human beings are part of Nature and as such subject to the laws of cause and effect.


Covid-19 has ripped the veils of this illusion and forced us into a liminal space of betwixt and between where we are not certain nor are, we in control.


This betwixt and between time, the threshold state Jungians call liminality, is where we are invited to discover and live from broader perspectives so that we can learn to have eyes that see and ears that hear.


This is the place of the artist; the writer; the shaman; the mystic and the intuitive. It a place of illumination but only after the ego props have fallen away, usually through some sort of hardship that touches us personally like the Covid-19 illness or the Great Recession or the Iraq War or 9/11.


Do not let others tell you suffering is optional. It is not but what you do with it is. Only you can choose to allow your personal suffering to bring you closer to that within which holds you together when that which is without no longer can. Maybe that is what Carl Jung meant when he wrote:


Every psychic advance of man arises from the suffering of the soul. People are never helped in their suffering by what they think for themselves, but only by revelation of a wisdom greater than their own. It is this which lifts them out of their distress.


So, feel what you need to feel. Write it all down – the dreams, the thoughts, the love, the fear and the anger or rage. These emotions will be the necessary energy need to change the trajectory of your own life.


Then when we collectively step over the threshold into our brave new world you’ll have much work to do if you’re interested in becoming the CEO of Me, My Soul & I, Inc - my metaphor for those who choose to go their own way.


Photo: Matt Kochar at Unsplash


Nancy A. Harding, MAHS-LPC

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