The Liminal Man

“There are lines that separate reality. They govern perception and divide the colors from the grays. Most people are ignorant of these great divides—accepting and unwilling to focus their eyes on the negative spaces that exist between these lines. Some fall prey to these negative spaces, trapped in great monochromatic webs, devoid of any life or substance, victims of their own mediocrity.

Some avoid this fate. Some approach the inevitable threshold, grasp the presented epiphany of their condition and choose to progress forward rather than remain and stagnate in despair. These cautious souls revel in their wisdom for they know their choices have freed them from the bonds of the monochromatic void, and they do not look back to gaze upon those caught in the gray mire. These souls embody a life random, and move forward to live extraordinary lives.

There is, however, one exception: Suppose a man approaches the threshold, entranced by the rapture he sees beyond but also too hesitant to move forward. He wants to move, but something holds him back. And so he remains there upon the threshold, a slave to his own doubts, for what holds a man back but himself? The tragedy of the liminal man is that he has fallen victim to his own mind. He has come all this way, besting the greatest dangers that lurk in that monochromatic realm, only to falter at the last step.

What hope, then, is there for him? What hope could this man, who has accomplished so much only to be beaten by his own mind, possibly find in this barren place at the line which divides reality?

We see him there, standing with feet planted on either side, not moving but altogether not standing still, his eyes wide with fear, doubt, and wonder. What must he be thinking in this empty Golgotha? He stands with his hands at his sides, watching, waiting for the right moment, and suddenly he begins to smile. The light of realization falls upon his face, and for a brief moment he has become more powerful than either life dichotomy. Here he has the limitless stretched before him, the power of spectrum and monochrome at his fingers, and it is in this epiphany that he chooses to use this power to overcome.

A life transparent lives in fear of waking on the other side, a permanent fixture in one reality or the other. A life random finds a way to avoid this transition, sacrificing mediocrity for uncertainty. The liminal man, if only for a single, impossible moment of his life, chooses to embrace both.”

Excerpt from A Life Ordinary: A Comprehensive Study in Human Mediocrity by Dr. Albert Sparrow

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