I was writing an entry in my Spanish language blog, about a great fusion group called Salsa Celtica, that by the way, is highly recommended for those who like either salsa or celtic music, or both. But I’m not going to repeat the same that I posted there. However the topic of the syncretism, fusion, cross-over, and many other names came to my mind.
How can we define ourselves? Is definition by itself a way to put boundaries to our experiences or a way to state that you are part of something? Mixing over everything is good?
Well, it’s very complex to answer this questions with a single yes or no, as most of thing in life they are full of colours, and not only black or white. We need some definition, some stability in our lives. For some is the need to know who they friends are, for others, know that the person you love, loves you back and is that there’s a commitment in there. For others is religion, work, sport, etc.
But having a wider spectrum than the majority of people is really to not be defined? For example, I’m following a spiritual path that even when is mainly based on celtic spirituality, it also have something of eclectic paganism and I even incorporate the Christians roots of my childhood. That, I assure you, in not drifting in the limbo between all this, I have very clear what I believe and what I don’t, I have very clear what it’s really rooted in the past and what is a modern interpretation, however, I don’t need to totally reject the ethics and even some of the spirituality that shape me as a boy and a teenager; nor I reject that some modern interpretations of ancient lore has value; I just make a great effort to don’t loose of my sight the main tree of my grove, the one on which I’m centred, the celtic reconstructionism.
But whilst examining my life I saw that pattern repeated in several points of my life: I can write with my right and my left hand. I love music cross-overs and fusions, to explore into different rhythms, melodies, styles. My favourite time of the day are sunrises and sunsets. I fancy both women and men. I’m an engineer who loves spiritual thinking and philosophy. All that elements of my particular life make me think about the concept of liminal spaces in the celtic myths.
The liminal spaces where the most sacred ones, they were the times and places where magic was more powerful; they were entrances to the other world, and sources of wisdom. There was an important colour for them, nglas, which was between our grey, blue and green. It had, or represent at least, the three realms of which this world was made, Samhain and Beltaine were taken as liminal day between the dark and the bright side of the year. etc. There are a lot of references in literature and myths.
The question is why? what are the attributes of those places moments... are they important because they are not defined, because they are open to more possibilities? or are they defined in their own nature but not by our standards?
We live in a world where everything tends to be dualistic, you are with me or against me, you are good or evil. And by those standards, yes people like me, moments like those, places like that, are undefined. But I really thing that they are not, that what we need is a wider spectrum of definitions, a perception that life is not a simple as black and white, and then realise that the beauty, the power of the concept of liminal is that its definition is to itself and not to exterior forces. Just look around you, do you see a static and perfectly defined nature, or do you see a diversity of colours, smells, tastes, shapes and sounds.
Don't be afraid if reality is not simple and flat, that is what it makes it so beautiful, that is not.
The great Argentinean writer, Borges, in a short story, that some could classify as “Magic Realism” (what a lovely literary term, isn’t it?) defined the maximum expression of Liminal that as the Aleph "The only place on earth where all places are -- seen from every angle, each standing clear, without any confusion or blending”.
So it’s not to be undefined, is a definition beyond boundaries.