Thresholds: Doorways to Transformation

One of the thousands of temples in Bagan, Myanmar, 2014

One of the thousands of temples in Bagan, Myanmar, 2014

Pilgrimage always involves a threshold experience. In this stage, one steps decisively through a doorway—leaving one way of being behind and taking an irrevocable step forward toward the unknown.

Cousineau in The Art of Pilgrimage writes,

"Threshold comes from threshing, what was done to separate the seed from the chaff right on the entrance to the farm houses....The threshold divides the inside from the outside, the sacred from the profane, the past from the future."

The resistance and fear we feel at the beginning of a significant journey is in part the (usually unconscious) knowledge that we are leaving the self we currently are behind.

If the journey is successful and the inner change we seek is attained, the old life we are leaving will never be able to be returned to in quite the same way.