Third Space is Peace

First space is my reality, perception, belief, and vision. Second space is difference perceived in interaction with a second party, a per­ception that is often associated with ethnocentrism, orthodoxy, and righteousness, and accompanied by feelings of anxiety, fear, anger, and conflict, which can be combative and violent. The phenomenon of peace is an experience involving a perception of third space; in this study a spiritual phenomenon interrupting and interpenetrating the interaction of first space and second space, often transforming the relationship between the two. This interaction is often described in ways that bear remarkable resemblance to dialogical descriptions of human encounters but are said to occur in the depths of the human soul. Often accompanying this experience are moments of heightened awareness, experiences of reflection, instances of physical movement and activity, and a sense of making connections with other aspects of life, although in no particular order. The encounter with third space is often attributed to God and associated with artifacts, signs, symbols, words, and feelings. In spite of its association with these more concrete phenomena, the encounter itself is often perceived as ineffable. This encounter with God, experienced as an interruption to more normal binary interactions, is often associated with transformative changes in perspective, attitude, belief, and behaviors that are described by participants as instilling peace. The concept of third space in the spir­itual encounter provided a distinct awareness that was a catalyst in the formation of different perspectives and decisions to change be­haviors. These changes have significant implications for the practice of religious education. (397)

Davis, Dent C. “Dialogue of the Soul: The Phenomenon of Intrapersonal Peace and the Adult Experience of Protestant Religious Education.” Religious Education 102, no. 4 (2007): 387-402.