The Liminal Zone: Nature’s Creative Connection

While I wandered in a rainforest today I wondered what was the reason why I need to regularly connect with nature and the sublime. Surprisingly I discovered that the answer lay in the liminal zone.

Nature as our creative muse.
Nature is a place that I can enter into the gap between thoughts.

Current Status

The ever changing nature of life means that we are always on the threshold of becoming. Nothing is ever in a permanent stasis.

Technology is making this seem to happen on a more rapid timeline. It is ironic that on Facebook we can post our current status yet this changes so incredibly rapidly sometimes on a hour by hour basis. Status used to mean things in our lives staying the same for some time, for example if we were in a relationship, our job, where we live.


This addiction to the new in our modern lifestyles often sees ourselves in a constant state of stimulation. Social media and the internet allows us to be switched on 24-7. Information on just about anything is available literally at our fingertips in a matter of seconds.

Technology has made it so easy to consume a vast amount of data at an ever increasing volume than we did a decade ago. Yet this mass consumption has left us starved of real wandering and wondering.

Wandering through nature allows us to explore the real world in real time.
Wandering in nature allows me to explore the real world in real time.

Internet Explorer

The internet allows us to satiate our curiosity. To develop our sense of wonder and find answers to questions. We can wander like an explorer through the cyber world letting one topic take us to discover facts that lead us onto the next one.

Twilight Zone

Yet in a ironic way, all this ease of access to information may have left us starved of mystery, of the not knowing.

It is in the twilight zone between light and dark that can ignite our curiosity and leave us in a sense of awe. This space of not knowing that can fill us with deep emotions. It isn’t a clearly defined space, just like when does the early evening become dark enough or lacking in light to be called twilight?

Technology cannot replace reality.
Exploring nature allows me to be present to my senses. To be able to pick up fallen fruit in the rainforest. To feel its weight, and coldness. To determine its ripeness by its hardness or softness or its colour or aroma.

Shadowy Thoughts

It is in the shadows of not knowing that draws me to wilderness and natural places of sublime beauty.

For in these places does the sublime stir emotions deep within me which are difficult to define yet are there and leave me with ‘positive’ emotions. These emotions are so subtle that words don’t make it easy to pinpoint them and the exact moment when they arise from within me.

Nature - the tonic for losing our minds and coming back to our senses.
Being nature is a physical act. Nature can make us go out of our mind and come back to our senses.

The Threshold

These moments are like the ambiguous point between sleep and walking. It is impossible to pinpoint the threshold when something becomes something else but it is there nonetheless.

Nature quietens the mind’s static.
Nature allows us the space to clear our thoughts. To eliminate the static. To enter that gap between thoughts and allow us through quietness to access the universal consciousness. Nature can be our muse.

The Gap

One reason that I need regular immersion in incredibly beautiful natural places is to quieten my mind and enter the gap between thoughts.

It is a barely perceptible and often imperceptible space of quiet. Within this silence lies the spark of creativity. It is like the space between atoms and the space within particles within an atom. It is this space that creates our reality, or what we perceive as real.

Nature’s Liminal Zone of Creativity
Nature can stir emotions within us. She can connect us to our base nature. She can fill us with awe, gratitude, beauty, mystery and inspiration.


This morning I wandered through Palm Grove National Park on Tamborine Mountain. This plateau in South East Queensland was inhabited by indigenous people for tens of thousands of years.

The name Tamborine comes from the Anglicised version of the Aboriginal word ‘Jambreen’ from the Yugambeh language.

It means ‘wild lime’ and refers to the finger lime trees growing on the mountain. [1]

Inner Wild

Spending time in nature and being able to stand in awe at a towering rainforest giant helps me connect to my ‘inner wild’ or ‘wild lime’.

That part of me that hasn’t been totally ‘domesticated’. It is that part of me that literally stops me in my footsteps to peer over a sublime vista. This feeling of the sublime is a mixture of awe and admiration of nature’s beauty and mystery.

Nature takes us outdoors and out of our minds.
Nature can release us from the prison doors of our minds and open us to the universal conscious mind.

Process of Elimination

Walking, sitting and spending time in nature helps me to eliminate or at the least reduce the amount of ‘static’ in my mind and quieten my thoughts. In that stillness lies the fertile ground of creativity and inspiration.

Elimination is about driving out the unnecessary, and in Latin elimination meant ‘turned out of doors’. By being outdoor in nature, the noise inside of ourselves can be released.

Nature’s Liminal Zone of Creativity
Walking on fertile ground of nature helps us to ground ourselves with our creative muse.


It is the marriage of the soul with nature that makes the intellect fruitful, and gives birth to imagination.

David Henry Thoreau

Nature has always been a muse, a place where artists and creatives had turned to reignite their creativity.

To be in places that literally takes your breath away and inspires you to breath in renewed creativity.

Nature’s Liminal Zone of Creativity
It is through embracing the not knowing, the great mysteries of nature that we ironically can access universal consciousness.

In The Liminal Zone

Nature provides us with a fertile ground. By grounding our bodies in nature our minds are given the opportunity to connect with universal consciousness where all ideas flow from.

In that space of infinite possibilities, in that gap between thoughts our creative conscious begins to emerge from the liminal zone, that transitional point where new ideas are just beginning to be perceptible.

The liminal zone is that transitional point when new ideas are just becoming conscious within us, like that barely perceptible point between sleep and wakefulness.

The word liminal is used to describe the point or the threshold of when we become aware of a physiological or psychological effect being produced. It comes from the Latin limen which means threshold. [2]

Nature gives us a glimpse through a window where creativity lives.
Through spending time in nature we get glimpses through a window where all creativity springs forth from.

Life & Creative Springs from the Unknowable

For someone who likes things to be black and white, nature provides me a place to be comfortable with the grey and green areas. It is an area on the cusp of light and darkness, of the tangible and the intangible, of what we perceive as dream and reality.

By simply being present to the beauty and mystery that surrounds me can I connect to the unknowable, that source of all inspiration, creativity that ultimately creates the known.

There are many reasons why people need to connect with nature. For me it is to take me into the liminal zone, a dark, mysterious and yet very fruitful and fertile place.

What are some of your reasons for spending time in nature?

Nature’s Liminal Zone of Creativity
Nature gives us the opportunity to embrace the unowable and in doing so gifts us with glimpses we call creativity and genius.

What do you think?

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