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Harvest of Collective Alchemy Practice Circles—23 April 2021

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Welcome to this 24th Portal Day – we’ve also had some hangouts together during this unfolding journey. The signature energy of this wave has been FOG. The more we have tried to sense together, the thicker the fog has become. It’s a gentle, intense, dusty fog – you can see the light shimmering through but there’s no clarity yet. Our feet are wet and we’re bumping into things. We have understood that we must still travel through this misty space, to understand its geography. There are boundaries to this liminal space but we don’t yet know whether to stay or let go – we are in a quest, starting the day with the overarching guiding question of this journey:

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE NAVIGATING THE ERA SHIFT TOGETHER?

We set the scene with a guided visualisation:

Let’s imagine you woke up very early. It’s so early that you cannot feel daylight coming yet, but it’s clearly not midnight either. There are almost no birds singing yet. You get up, and get out.

You sense it’s a special moment, something’s different, it’s no ordinary morning. Is it even morning? How can it not be morning, if it is no longer night? You walk around in this weird atmosphere.

And you keep walking. And you keep sensing. No rays of light peaking through the mist. Still, only that very occasional bird tweeting, but it’s not getting any company to its solo choir. It feels so weird, this is not how a day is supposed to be … How does your body respond?

You start getting hungry, time is passing by, and nothing really seems to change. Nuances here and there, but more like mini-waves of change that do not even seem to last or have any direction.

Not having seen the sun, you decide to go back inside to sleep. You sleep, you dream. You wake. Still – no dark midnight, but no sense of a sun breaking through. What is this? What do you do? Do you get up? Do you go out again? You no longer have the certainty that after dusk dawn is coming. What do you become aware of, in this liminal space, that might serve us in navigating the era shift, individually and collectively? What questions do you hold now? What are the gifts this liminal space is offering?

You decide to stay with it just a little longer … there’s no other option anyhow …

You take a deep breath …

And another one …

Early call:
One of the features of liminal space:
there are no external prompts.
Nothing to tell us it’s time
to do or to speak,
or to assume any particular role or identity.
In the absence of such prompts
we wait… for one to come along!
What happens if the earth has stopped turning
when the sun is on the other side of the horizon?
Then even nature could not follow its habitual clues;
even the birds are waiting.
My mother, in the liminal space of a care home
waiting to die.
I feel an opportunity, an openness
having to do with freedom.
Much of humanity seems to be waiting
for orders.
I too am sitting waiting,
not for orders, but for my own inner prompts.
Even the signals coming from within
are ambivalent—some coming from parts of myself
that aren’t real:
from bits of old conditioning, old identities.
An eternally enduring liminal space
gives me time to dismantle myself completely.
Recognising that the liminal space we are in is man-made:
the sun has risen this morning;
nature is getting on with it.
The frost frosted; the sun is sunning; the birds are birding;
the river is rivering.
My path is to melt into and merge with the natural world,
whatever that means, as a human being;
however that ends up being.
My own thinking process is no longer relevant;
the thought forms arising in my mind
are part of what’s leaving, what is past.
Learning to be in silence,
when not in communication
about the coordination of daily life.
All language—even poetics—
seem so anchored in human concerns.

Having a free afternoon—all meetings cancelled.
Frustrated. I didn’t know what to do.
I’ll sit here in the sun until I know what to do,
on a bench in front of a hospital.
This strategy serves me.
I don’t know what to do, so I’ll just lean into not knowing.
Now I feel acceptance and rest.
I don’t know where things will go,
I don’t have to steer, to push and to pull.
I can just be.
A Dutch campsite is a funny space to call home.
Nothing has to be done.
The other people are happy here, on holiday.
Once I accept to be here, there is calmness.
An ability to rest.
It helps me to know that nature is still
being itself.
Blossoms blossoming,
sunsets of beautiful details.
Looking around this space,
it’s a relief to be here.
I cannot believe this space will endure for a lifetime.
Somewhere there is a stream of purpose.
It cannot keep on forever!

My whole system has an initial response of excitement.
I love the lack of definition, structure, boundaries.
There’s a difference in reaction
between my mind and body.
In the swamp without signposts,
my mind is curious
while my body is fearful.
What disturbs me in the question
is its infinite character.
What if that liminality has no border?
I love the liminal space because it’s bounded.
It’s the boundaries that allow me to feel free.
Without those boundaries, there can be no direction.
Having no direction means having no purpose—
questioning the purpose I had before.
That makes me itchy, uncertain.
If I surrender there, do I find rest?
Or the numbness of giving up?
Can I give up long enough
so that I can surrender?

My heartbeat quickens.
The whole of it
reverberating, reverberating.
The whole of what, I don’t know.
Images come and go.
Not really dark, a hint of light,
enough to see silhouettes
of unidentifiable, unknown things.
It feels like grief, love, joy,
a deep will.
It feels like dance, movement, deep stillness.
A swamp of feelings, of states of being.
No space for things to think of or do.
As if something else has taken over.
Even forever feels like a tangible measure…
what if that’s how it is?
It feels like home – not necessarily
comfortable or nice,
just everything that is.
The question of what to do
just went away.
Now there is peace.
The space feels tangible;
like it has boundaries.

I feel as if I’ve sat on that bench
for many years already
and am ready to stand up and take a direction.
I feel as if I have been avoiding
doing things for the sake of it.
Rather do nothing than do something that
doesn’t feel right.
But now, I’m getting through that,
gaining new, important insights.
Learning about myself,
coming closer to the end of the puzzle,
the pieces fall into place much faster.
I’m feeling that inner prompt to do a lot more
experimenting, learning, choosing to risk.
No more sitting on the bench.
The suggestion that the liminal space
can take my entire lifetime…
perhaps it can include some doing,
with an attitude of not knowing.
Looking from another perspective
seeking a meta-view:
How does humanity organise itself?
Is my liminal self a researcher?
I’m longing for something new to arise,
to find more balance.
How does this go together with the lingering liminal?

The thinking, language, images around liminal
show the limits of our thinking, language and images.
Masking the fiction of the non-liminal.
It’s just an illusion of control, our urge to grasp.
In the liminal, we truly don’t know yet.
Is it language? Or is it reality?

A recurring memory of a time
out walking in the Scottish mountains in November
at nightfall in the snow.
To stop in that contourless place
was not an option.
How you navigate at night time and in the mist
requires a different quality of sensing,
a different attunement to the undulations and contours underfoot.
One foot in front of the other,
recognising that endurance is needed,
a steadiness of presence, staying out of panic.
Liminality.
I snag on the energy of space:
it assumes an unbounded quality.
Being in our liminality, without separation.
So light it doesn’t break the surface tension of the water.
Interweaving and meshing
with what we might perceive liminality to be.
Like the space before death,
an attunement to the pacing of another’s passing.
A depth of listening to the contours of the journey
of one human in their leave taking.
Expansive, subtle, tender.
I rest more deeply into the sphere of liminality
when I engage with the possibility
that there is no beginning and no end.
It reassures me and helps me to drop deeper.

The word ‘fiction’ is haunting me now.
I’m afraid of this idea…
It brings me back to the Truman Show.
Walking out of the decor world:
it’s all fiction. I’ve been feeling that
for quite a while.
I’m looking at the circus.
It’s cruel to train beings to do things
they don’t normally do.
I want to end it.
It’s cruel to my children:
How can I ensure that they don’t become
party-trained animals!
I’m trembling at the prospect:
what if?
What if the rest is fiction?
I don’t want to fictionalise this space any more.
I want to really explore it.
If you put this in the middle,
what does time mean? Structure? Daily routine?
We have to eat and bathe, but apart from that?
I didn’t expect this.
I love to watch fiction, but I’m
in fiction.
I’ve been fictionalising my life.
“It all had a purpose because it lead me to here”.
It’s taking me away from the beauty of real presence
with whatever is.
I’m glad that the wind on my face feels real.
I have no idea of the liminal,
I see the non-liminal more clearly: the fiction of it.
I need to anchor myself somehow.
What does this anchoring mean for me?
It’s the beginning of a new inquiry.

I’m in professional limbo,
leaving what I no longer want to serve,
not knowing what is next.
Some voices say: hurry, make plans,
build a fiction, pick a role.
The deep self that brought me into this life
lets me know that life is a liminal space
for the soul.
When the human self takes over,
I go into this ‘knowing’ that predetermines
what I can be, sense, do,
what purpose I can build out of a story.
Endless summers of my youth:
Those were the moments when I was most free.
The greek word for vacation is “interruption”,
you always go back into the fiction.
The endless liminality: doing nothing is doing something,
but without knowing.
Today I feel comfortable with the idea
of spending my life in this space.

I’m not able to tell the difference
between liminality and being in the present moment.
In every present moment,
whatever I am aware of,
everything seems to be in flux,
in a liminal state.
If I am the sum of my parts,
I always experience some liminality.
I also have trouble distinguishing
What is the voice of my ego?
What comes from an impersonal equanimous consciousness?
There is also a sense of not knowing the distinction
between leaving and seeking a home to stay in.

(Late call)
I don’t think I’m in that space.
What might be going on?
I’d start by resting,
then I’d want to engage,
sense and take a step towards… whatever it is.
There comes a moment
when internal agency kicks in.
What we’re calling the liminal space
is a space, for me, where everything we’re used to driving us
is in the process of falling away.
It brings us into the raw reality of what life actually is—
which is being in the moment
in a state of unknowing as to what
the next moment brings.
Being in connection with our environment,
some relationships, with nature,
and allowing what arises to arise,
dreaming in the moment
and knowing we can bring that about.
It’s up to me to dream, to create,
to be an agent of action,
including the action of rest and stillness.
Taking one step at a time.
Standing up in that touch stone truth from inside,
creating reality moment by moment.
It’s the tiny day-to-day things.
Being at ease with allowing myself to change,
to start doing things differently.
Strengthening my trust in the impulses
that come through me in deep connection with nature:
when I allow them to carry me, I will be in harmony with life
and will find others working in that way,
with whom to build something new.
During the co-sensing time, whilst being off-line a lot,
what came up strongly were the islands of coherence,
what we start to create whilst in the liminal space.
This is coming about for me now in real time:
what am I calling into creation?
Local community, different ways of supporting myself,
different relationships and letting go of the fear-based self.
It’s a tightrope walk, the insidious programming and patterning
that just pops up, as I seek to maintain a centre
that allows me to not know how things will turn out,
while knowing it will all be beyond what we can imagine.
In this space we are in now, it has already started.
Much of the liminal space has to do with
giving us a breathing space
which allows for the necessary grieving
and the realisations, in terms of others,
their experiences and choices.
Becoming more comfortable with the big letting go
whilst starting to really build what’s new.

Lifetime is only a concept, a mirage.
The liminality is with us into infinity
as we transition into a whole new way of being.
It feels alive and grand to be there.
Liminal space can be when I’m dropping asleep
or waking in the morning.
Something in between.
Even in life, sometimes I’m there and I’m not.
It may be an aspect of my multidimensional self
which can see more than one reality at a time
and be present in both,
whilst being embodied in this one.
A subtle sense of being present in all of this:
that it’s real and not quite real.
‘Real’ is liminal in itself.
An expansive place—I go there more often than not.
Letting go of attachments or sense of obligation,
to let come what’s emerging, through me and around me,
part of the whole.

I’m expanding my concept of liminality.
When I was first ‘out of the matrix’
and blown away by the freedom
to sleep for eight hours,
I would wake up and allow my mind to be elevated,
opening the space to see what came in,
waiting until that happens before I get out of bed.
It has become a morning practice
to take my waking thoughts and move into a higher self.
It takes time.
I live in a rushed culture. Everybody’s in a hurry here.
To take the time to allow time before responding to another’s words,
to move in and out of reality into a higher reality
requires a slow pace.
I want to learn how to pause before responding
so that liminal realm is more with me.
I remember back when I was a teacher,
waiting for a moment before starting,
while the class gathered itself.
It was never time when the bell rang.
“It’s nice to be remembered.”

I feel I’m on early retirement, at 35.
Embodying the necessity of slowing down
from a young age.
I cannot function at high pace
if my life is not threatened.
When I slow down I encounter that
different quality of liminal comfort.
Between moments of knowing,
there are so many ways of not knowing.
6 weeks ago, I had never heard the word ‘liminal’,
just knew of it from the perspective of wild intelligence.
Today I find myself ‘stuck’ between
my emotions and those of others around me—
confused and uncomfortable.
Where I have a deep sense of awe for my innate immune system,
which allows me to adapt to whatever comes—from outside or inside—
I see so much collective fear and mistrust of our innate capacity to heal.
I see dogma in the science, and a dominant narrative that invites us
to abandon our innate knowledge.
This creates an inner tension, where I don’t acknowledge
my sadness, where I don’t accept the limits
of our conditioning as a species.
This expresses in me as anger:
I don’t accept the limits of others
and I cannot forgive.
The slower pace of life has brought me closer to nature
not because I take the time to be with nature,
but because I am nature.
I wish I could tap into the transgenerational knowledge
held by indigenous populations,
on how to survive in nature,
how to be with nature.
I fear that I am lost.
For me, today, liminality brings a level of awareness:
between the in-breath and the out-breath
I can decide how much oxygen I really need.
I notice that as I’m speaking
my breathing is completely deregulated
—I’m almost out of breath!
When I don’t speak,
I probably need 6 breaths a minute.
Choosing how I want to welcome the unknown
ahead of whatever wants to emerge.

Liminality is like breathing out
and staying there,
knowing that I don’t want to go anywhere.
Knowing that I’m here,
feeling that I’m me,
and seeing how the choice to stay
sets me free.
Quite a long journey has taken me home
and I’ll carry what was into the unknown.
And one day I might pack my bags
and set course for the sea,
but right now, it’s here that I see myself be.
Because what’s been is already far behind
and what will be is not even yet in my mind.

I feel blessed:
having stayed in the liminality all day,
and hearing all of your words,
it all starts coming together.
There’s been an evolution throughout the day,
in my bodily, emotional and energetic reactions
to the question and the invitation.
Where I am now feels like having gone through
one full cycle.
The pieces started to fall into place
with the mention of “personal and close” and “decision-making”.
The picture I physically sense
is when I’m fully allowing myself to be in the not knowing
—in the limitless liminality—
I’m fully centred and completely back to myself,
and I can expand completely
from the inside out.
By contrast, when I’m in the controlled, clear,
black/white zero/one non-liminal space
(whatever we think that is!)
I physically sense that I’m not centred,
and my expansion comes
not from the inside out,
but the outside is pulling me open
and my density is dropping.
In the liminality I can expand
and still be full throughout my volume.
When the external stimuli and controls are gone
I can give up for long enough to surrender.

There are many intimations of
movies like the Truman Show and the Matrix
that hint at the fictional nature of non-liminality:
of our shared, consensual “reality”
(“Be realistic!!”).
How fascinating that co-sensing—in this field and others—
keeps bringing us to this liminal space.
It’s like the ground of being,
the space from which all manifestation arises.
Meanwhile humanity is currently manufacturing
ever more homogeneity, sameness,
as the fiction closes in, tightens its grip,
edging towards implosion.
But in the liminal space
—which we share with nature (when left to its own devices)—
there is ever more diversity.
So the liminal is the space not only
of infinite potential, but of infinite diversity,
where each of us is fully free to to express
what is alive in us at every moment.
When that expression is in response to the expression
of another being, creativity goes gloriously haywire!
“Creativity” seems such a clichéd word:
all of our language arises from inside the fiction
unable to do justice to the awesomeness.
Every day I awaken to the question:
what if everything I thought I knew
is just not worth knowing?
It’s just taking up bandwidth:
hoarding factoids, keeping memories…
instead of moving cleanly through life
leaving no trace, with nothing adhering, attaching, sticking.
Letting it all go without a second thought about
who I become when I jettison my past.
As I speak this, I sense my multidimensional self
heave a sigh of relief: Finally!

Going back to the quiet space in the beginning
I was “seeing” a long line of ancestors
—beings, not just personal ancestors—
flowing down, having crossed a threshold.
And then there was the experience of the moment:
of beings now, at this end,
getting ready, perhaps, to join the flow.
I have times of different realities coming in.
Experiences, not concrete.
Words cannot even approach the liminal,
at least not for me.
They might even be anachronistic…
I also experience this group;
I used to think you had to be in a room together
to get the feeling of a group.
But I feel this one!
So whether we can think about, talk about
or experience the liminal,
I can’t say too much about it.

My attention was drawn to these words in the invitation:
“Spending time in the liminal space
seems to be key to successful rites of passage…”
“What and who emerges from the liminal space
is beyond our capacity to imagine.”
The rushing society, structured time,
not allowing the silence to permeate,
wanting to fill space and time, for fear of wasting it…
Squeezing out the serendipitous, the synchronicities,
the spaciousness that allows not-knowing
to touch our threshold.
If we’re always in the purposeful striving of things-to-do,
the voiced space—
we wring out the juicy parts of life,
the spaces that might soften the edges,
create more contour, allow a ripple effect.
Letting go in order to surrender
calls for an inner shift:
being willing to open to that space,
and commune and abide.
The liminal space can often show up in
the emergency state or the life-stages shift,
and when we haven’t cultivated some kind of curiosity
or capacity to abide in that sphere,
we’re completely washed away with it.
And yet there’s a dogged holding-onto-the-known.
When I look at what’s emerging in our world,
and the fractality with what I’ve been through in recent months,
these are the spaces where we learn the ways of the liminal.
What I notice most predominantly in the outer
is a desire to go back to the ‘normal’.
Culturally, we’re terrified of not knowing,
terrified of endings.
There’s danger in not allowing a sense of spaciousness
and liminality as a presence teases open the weave
which is oftentimes so tight.
If we fail to learn the ways of the liminal
(the gulls cry confirmation)
we’ll be taken there and swept away by it,
rather than receiving the grace of that space.

So many beings
from so many dimensions
have walked this path
that we now walk.

Today I feel at a loss for words,
even my synapses and neurons aren’t working.
This is my amoeboid time of day.
My body is saying something else—
tight aching throat: to speak or not to speak,
in the awareness of the nervousness
on the other side of the door
waiting for dinner to appear.
The collapsing of multiple realities and worlds
in this moment.

Check-out: What is one gift the liminal space offers me?

Release, freedom, letting go, one-pointed consciousness,
the water we swim in, the air that we breathe,
it’s an aspect of life.
Being in the liminal space IS the gift.
Sharpened observation of my inner world,
helping me better navigate the outer world.
Simply not knowing, and being in life’s complexity.
Grace, spaciousness, sinking, immediacy,
deep gratitude, pre-verbal.
The liminal offers me a reason to slow down,
The liminal space provides space,
Deeper understanding of the ways of the liminal,
The challenging freedom of the unknown and uncertainty,
the potential of wordlessness.

Who showed up

An van Damme, Ellen Decoodt, Keerthi Palisetti, Dhruva, Patricia Hunt Perry, Louise Carpenter, Anna Brunain, Madeleine Schwab, Judy Wallace, Pavol Kukucka, Marie-José d’Aprile, Wini Condic Begov, Pieter Deceuninck, Giorgios Kastrinos, Sarah Whiteley, Helen Titchen Beeth.

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Invitation Page

Invitation to Practice

Our invitation to practice Collective Alchemy continues 23 April 2021

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE NAVIGATING THE ERA SHIFT TOGETHER? As the times intensify, our co-sensing seems in no hurry to leave the liminal space where nothing is certain, nothing is clear, and everything that we had thought was important to us seems to be on hold.* The word “liminal” comes from the Latin root, limen, which means “threshold.” The liminal space is the “crossing over” space – a space where you have left

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