Analyzing an Experience



This is what initiates the pathway towards the transformation. The second stage, the Threshold, is when one tests his or her limit to break away from the boundaries into a newly formed threshold, just as Halifax discovered the grief after her mother’s tragic death. It is when the concealed truth is disclosed and “the gate to the unconscious” is re-opened (Halifax, 17). Finally the third stage, the Return, is when the individual realizes the deeper truth that had been hidden from him or her as a husk covers the core (Halifax, 16). The whole cycle leads an individual to the path of spiritual understanding which Halifax describes as a successful initiation experience where “the husk of alienation” is conquered (178). In his essay “Once More to the Lake”, the author E. B. White has explored the state of mind and the power of mental retention of experiences. As White recollects the memories of a visit he made with his son to a camp near a lake, he points out its resemblance to the visit he made with his own father in 1904 (1). What is more important is his understanding of trivial details regarding the scenic environment and the natural context. White has looked upon the temporal development of a human being as it is captured in our minds as memories. As such, White’s experiences of his visits are aligned with the three stages of initiation experience which Halifax describes as separation, transition, and incorporation, namely Severance, Threshold, and the Return (15). Halifax explains that the pathway towards Threshold experience allows an individual to transcend the borders to move on from the realm of society to one which has unobstructed space (Halfax, 108). As such, White chooses to return to the natural setting of Maine to recollect memories of his childhood in an attempt to seek isolation from the social realm and realize the limits of life yet the longevity of time that brings him closer to nature. Therefore,