On the Kern River, LAKE ISABELLA, CA—I’ve been thinking a lot about thresholds lately. Wait! Come back!
Anyway, for those of you still with me: Thresholds.
I’m camped right on the Kern River having just survived a frigid snow-melt(?) bath and, contrary to what my mind was trying to tell me, it didn’t give me a heart attack and kill me. While I was drying off in the sun and allowing the shivering to subside, I noticed that the flora and fauna here is dramatically different than the desert environment that I just left.
Lots of sandy ground (like the desert) but also lots of trees and wildlife (like the west side of the Sierras). It’s a threshold between two worlds.
Another reason I’ve been thinking about thresholds so much is that in my recent revelation about consciousness having five traits, one of those traits is that consciousness acts as a nexus: a threshold between two worlds (the manifest and the unmanifest).
I think all mystics (and most spiritual seekers) thrive in thresholds, that the dynamic, in-between state of thresholds is where they are most comfortable. Not in the middle of society, but on the outskirts. Not in total solitude, but in communion with a few like-minded individuals.
They don’t get into the latest fads, but they don’t get into the whole monastic thing either. Most mystics are neither hedonists nor ascetics, but somewhere in between.
Don’t get me wrong, when they want to move their center, they head to the extremes: the solitude of the desert, the silent retreat, or even the chaos of the big city, but where they are most comfortable living is in the thresholds, that whole in-this-world-but-not-of-it thing.
Thresholds are where mystics thrive.
Why is this?
Because mystics no longer believe they are merely human. They believe they reside—no, they know they reside—in that mysterious realm—that threshold—between the Mortal and the Divine.
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