A liminal state is a temporary state in the transition between two recognized and defined ways of being. Generally, in a liminal state:

i'm sure there are things that i'm forgetting, i'm doing this from memory. Liminal phases occur in all kinds of rituals, but often in landmark life rituals, like entering adulthood (in those societies civilized enough to have those).

Victor Turner did a great deal of studying liminal states, as a critical tool for understanding parts of social drama.
[Van Gennep] saw society as a house with rooms and corridors in which passage from one to another is dangerous. Danger lies in transitional states; simply because transition is neither one state nor the next, it is undefinable. The person who must pass from one to another is himself in danger and emanates danger to others. The danger is controlled by ritual which precisely separates him from his old status, segregates him for a time and then publicly declares his entry to his new status.1

Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo. 1966.

"Liminal" is from limen: "threshold" or "doorframe". In psychology, subliminal stimulus is below the threshold of perception ('outside the house'), and won't be noticed by the subject; conscious experience, if we needed a word for it, would be called superliminal.

More generally, liminal means "edgy".

From Mostly Harmless, by Douglas Adams:

"A beach house isn't just real estate. It's a state of mind. A beach house doesn't even have to be on the beach. Though the best ones are. We all like to congregate at boundary conditions. . . . Where land meets water. Where earth meets air. Where body meets mind. Where space meets time. We like to be on one side, and look at the other."

I think and feel in catagories, stereotypes and cells, so unclassifiable things that manage to sneak past perception and hit my naked brain make a big impression. These deeply-impressed states are rare enough that they feel new each time, giving me a peek into the world of children and the enlightened.

Liminal moments and things, even when they are sad, are beautiful:

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