Opening the Door

A man meets his life most poignantly in moments of painful contraction and expansion. At those moments he senses the difference between being present and being taken. If he keeps himself open to the question, he will move in what he believes is a fruitful direction.

Many roads will beckon: art, studies, perhaps drugs – other pursuits. He may not find the answer to his fundamental question but he senses that a reality is escaping him; perhaps that something within himself can change existence. Maybe he has a fleeting feeling while listening to a passage of music, or is struck by a word, by nature. Perhaps some flash appears in the midst of love, of sorrow, or joy – a moment of ah…! Something is here, strange, wondrous.

And at that moment, a door opens. He may or may not go further. The chances are that the pull of gravity will close the door. He will be shut away from his ever-present possibility. Back to the office and workplace, to vacations, to family, to having a good time/bad time, getting and spending. The door may never open again –- or will it?

— From William Segal, “Openings”

It is only when the doors of a home are open that clean air flows in, guests come to visit, and the melodious sounds of bird song float in.

A person’s mind is like a great house. Those who keep their minds closed cut themselves off from the life-giving vitality of Tao. Conversely, those who want Tao open themselves to it and so find an influx of great energy.

The two leaves of each person’s door are ignorance and selfishness. The ignorant think they know everything, and so they are not open to anything new. The selfish cannot think beyond themselves, and so they do not have the farsighted qualities needed to understand Tao. The wise open their doors wide and let the vitality of Tao flow freely.

— Deng Ming Dao, Everyday Tao

“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.” — Flora Whittemore

“When you follow your bliss… doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else.” — Joseph Campbell