superliminal

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See also: super-liminal

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Latin super(above) + Latin līmen(threshold) (genitive līminis) + -al

Adjective[edit]

superliminal ‎(comparative more superliminal, superlative most superliminal)

  1. (psychology, physiology, of mental activity) Of, pertaining to, or involving conscious awareness; above the threshold of the subconscious.
    • 1924, James P. C. Southall (translator), Hermann von Helmholtz (author), Helmholtz's Treatise on Physiological Optics Volume 1 (1962 Dover edition, a translation of Handbuch der Physiologischen Optik, 1867), p. 367 (Google snippet view):
      If the illumination is steadily increased from sub-liminal to super-liminal values, the deeply saturated colour will come out from the blackness.
    • 1930 Nov., Hubbard Nye, "Playing Nursemaid to a Chimpanzee," Boy's Life, p. 67 (retrieved 20 Nov 2013):
      In him you simply have nature's top-notch imitator. He never questions, he never asks why. . . . His brain, the conscious, active, superliminal, is not able to grasp a situation and reason it out.
    • 1948, Stewart Edward White et al., The Job of Living, p. 80 (Google snippet view):
      And it does not matter how you subdivide the mind into what you call the subliminal, the superliminal, the superconscious, the subconscious or whatever.
    • 2011, R. S. Perinbanayagam, Discursive Acts: Language, Signs, and Selves, ISBN 9781412843539, p. 76 (Google preview):
      Conscious or subconscious, subliminal or superliminal, they are still “mental processes.”
  2. (rare, philosophy, parapsychology, of mental activity) Of, pertaining to, or involving a supposed kind of awareness which is above and beyond the experiential range of normal consciousness.
    • 1891, Frederic William Henry Myers, The Principles of Psychology, p. 118 (Google preview):
      The better we realise these differences, the more averse shall we be to predicting to what depth into our cellular being such perception may be pushed by those artifices of hypnotic trance, automatic writing, &c., which we are only just learning to employ. Who, even now, can maintain that there is any true psychological line of distinction between those processes which happen to rise above the threshold of our ordinary consciousness — which become super-liminal — and those processes which happen to remain sub-liminal throughout our whole bodily life?
    • 2000, Paul van Dijk, Anthropology in the Age of Technology: The Philosophical Contributions of Günther Anders, ISBN 9789042014022, pp. 77-78 (Google preview):
      The psychologist Gustav T. Fechner once introduced the idea of stimuli that are so weak that they are subliminal; they remain below the threshold of our perception and consciousness. Anders suggests that we must consider the opposite also, namely, stimuli that are absolutely too strong to be registered by our perception and imagination, stimuli that are superliminal. These can influence our behavior, passively and actively.
    • 2005, Eles T. Mann, The Image In The Mirror, ISBN 9781420829921, p. 216 (Google preview):
      Commonly the hero, in an altered state of consciousness or under an intoxication of the senses, must pierce the veil of secrecy and penetrate to the superliminal, there to experience that which is not easily communicated, but which, even religions agree, quells all false divisions and partakes of unity.

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