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Back to cartooning class... I had done all my practice but still had that pre-kindergarten-dancing-school what-excuse-can-I-find-not-to-go bout of anxiety.
(I must have been a tiresome 4-year-old to be dragged whining to dancing school every week. Once there, I was fine, not because of my talent but because I could pay attention and follow instructions. So why did I resist?)
It's all about crossing thresholds isn't it?
I guess there are those people who blunder boldly through life — no matter if they are "here" or "there," "inside" or "outside." But in many belief systems thresholds are a big deal — both symbolically and practically .
In Hindu Bali, we saw little food offerings left for the gods at every doorway — to keep them happy and out of mischief. I think. In Thailand, thresholds on every dwelling were very high, to keep out evil spirits.
Crossing the major thresholds of life are occasion for our grand rituals — baptisms, graduations, marriages, funerals. They mark a difference between who you were yesterday and who you will now be.
In every tradition, the "hero's adventure" involves a deliberate and dangerous threshold crossing. From wikipedia:
The hero eventually must cross into a dark underworld, where he will face evil and darkness, and thereby find true enlightenment. Before this can occur, however, the hero must cross the threshold between his home world and the new world of adventure. Often this involves facing off against and quelling a "threshold guardian". [From Joseph Campbell]
In Star Wars, the threshold is Mos Eisley, a spaceport that acts as a doorway between Luke's home planet and the wider universe; Luke must avoid capture by the threshold guardians, the imperial stormtroopers... In The Lord of the Rings, Frodo finally accepts his mission in Rivendell and crosses the threshold once he leaves there... In The Odyssey, Odysseus must pass the island of the Sires. In The Silence of the Lambs, Agent Starling must enter not only Lecter's hospital, guarded by the semen-flinging guardian, but also the second threshold of the sealed storage facility Lecter directs her to.
In the Tantric tradition of spinal energy centers, the second chakra "svadhisthana" is located at the sacrum and its symbol is water. It energizes our emotions and our sexuality. To me, it's about the ability to surrender to a change, to whatever is on the other side of the threshold. It's about taking the plunge. It's that quantum leap between the comfortable now and the unknown next.
Conclusion. It's easier to talk about thresholds than it is to cross one.
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