Short Story Page

The Door

by don the story teller

originally created November, 1999

imbedded in Ma Belle


There once was a city in some country at some time which was surrounded by a wall, The Wall, as it was referred to by the inhabitants of the city. The Wall had a door, The Door, to the inhabitants.

Our city of humans was fairly self-satisfied. There was relatively enough for everyone. No one was really starving or homeless, except if by choice. Because of this self-sufficiency most didn’t care about The Door, or where it went. As a matter of fact, life was good enough for most of the inhabitants that going through the Door to the Outside was scary compared to the smug comfortable feeling inside the Wall.

In spite of the ‘good life’ inside the Wall, some had gone through the Door outside the Wall. Some had returned with tales of strange, nearly unbelievable visions, while others never returned. Many of those who stayed Outside the Wall for a longer time seemed changed, ‘not necessarily for the better’, according to long term residents of the City. Even those who went Outside for even a short time seemed a little more dazed and confused upon their return - unable to really communicate clearly what had happened Outside the Wall. Those who had been Outside longest spoke in seemingly meaningless phrases based in paradox. Further because their values and goals seemed to have changed because of the time they spent Outside, they were sometimes called Outsiders. In many ways the Outsiders were distinctly different from the Insiders, those who had never been outside the Wall. Most residents of the City were Insiders.

The City was big enough that some of the Insiders didn’t even know that the Wall with its Door to the Outside even existed. Of those Insiders who knew of the Door, most were afraid of it. Most mothers warned their children to stay away from the Door. Thus the Door was mostly ignored or feared by the bulk of the population.

However there were always a few off beat types hanging around the Door waiting for it to open. Maybe it wasn’t mentioned, but the Door didn’t just open with a twist of the wrist. It seemed to open spontaneously, unpredictably, unusually for the strangest people. In fact those Doors - for there was more than one Door in the huge Wall surrounding the City - almost seemed to draw people through them. Then after a time the Door would also spit people right back into the City again. From external observation it was hard to tell if there was any way to really even ‘try’ to get in or out the Doors.

However some Outsiders said they had the Key to the Door. Some of these called themselves Masters; others called themselves Friends.

Some Masters: “I have the only Key to the only true Door.”

Other Masters: “Any of the Doors lead to the same Outside.”

Some of the Masters for the Insiders: “The Outside doesn’t even exist. The Doors lead nowhere. The only reality is inside the Wall.”

Other Insider Masters preached: “The Devil lives Outside the Wall. No ‘good’ person would even want to go outside the Wall.”

In fact some of these proclaimed: “It is a sin to go outside the Wall.”

The more extreme said: “It is a sin to even want to go outside the Wall.”

Regardless of this or that, most Insiders said: “I want to have nothing to do with the Door to the Outside.”

However there were always a few, for whatever reason, who were attracted to the Door. Many, who were attracted to the Door: “We are unhappy inside the Wall and are searching for a way out.”

Others: “We are left unsatisfied by the smug complacency of City life inside the Wall, and want more.”

One group: “We are looking for happiness outside the Wall.

The other: “We are looking for a deeper dimension to Life.”

Anyway, as is human, each Master gathered his own group of Disciples about him in front of the ‘true’ Door with the ‘true’ Key. Some of these Masters had been outside the Wall while others had merely dreamed they had been outside the Wall, creating an Outside from their own preconceptions. Those who had dreamed it, sometimes said that the Dream was the True Reality and that the Outside was only a Dream.

Some groups had been founded by Masters who had really been outside the Wall and had the Key. These Masters remained Inside to show their Disciples how to use the Key. After some time, however, the Masters returned Outside permanently. Some say they died - others that they lived on. Some called it Heaven; others called it Hell. Many said that they were reborn into a new Life; a final group said that they had escaped at last.

Unfortunately the Disciples frequently forgot how to use the Key after the Master left. Perhaps they had never been able to use the Key properly in the first place. Many had never been outside the Wall, even with the assistance of the Master. Lacking Direct Experience these groups gradually formed myths and legends surrounding their original Master and what it was like Outside the Wall. As is the nature of legends they contained some elements of truth, covered over by multiple Veils of Illusion. With many groups the Outside was only a legend that had been passed down, not a reality that anyone had really experienced. Because of the ambiguity of perception it was hard to tell these Masters apart.

Because not everyone could easily go beyond the Door to the Outside, many said: “We don’t even believe that the Outside exists.”

Others believed: “The Outside should be resisted.”

Some who had been Outside for just a short time: “I couldn’t tell if I was really there or merely in the midst of a dream.”

Over the centuries a certain consensus grew about certain Doors and what lay outside. Of course there were as many Keys as there were Doors. The perplexing part was that certain Keys seemed to work for some and not for others. Further some thought that they had opened the Door - when it didn’t appear they had, while others seemed to have gone beyond the Wall - but weren’t sure that they had. There were many misconceptions about the Outside. Needless to say there was a great ambiguity concerning the Door, the Outside, whether it was good or bad, the Keys and the Masters. Because of this external ambiguity some Masters told their students: “Look inside for the Key.”

While all of this controversy raged about the Doors to the Outside, the Keys and the Masters, John, intoxicated upon the juice of the Grape, stumbled through the Door to the Outside.

What did he see? What did he experience? More importantly how did he get through the Door?

Unfortunately the Outside is beyond words, but these are a few of the Words that John casually threw at his Experience.

“Our Person is just a metaphor created by the Full Mind to simplify an abundance of Data. Unfortunately we believe in its reality. This is the cause of our suffering. Simplicity in the midst of complexity. Complexity at the depth of simplicity. Outer and inner are one but neither. The World inside the Wall is merely an Illusion created by Mind; the only Reality is Outside the Wall of the Mind. Only the Constructs of Mind prevent us from going Outside.”

Needless to say he was only talking garble as far as the Insiders were concerned.

But how did John get through the Door? Intoxicated.

This was the hardest part for the Disciples to swallow.

Of those who were there, some said: “It wasn’t the Real Door.”

While others said: “John reached a False Outside because he used a False Key.

Most who weren’t there said: “We don’t believe that John made it Outside.”

      or “We don’t even care if he made it Outside or not.”

Many, who had spent their lives attempting unsuccessfully to get through the Door, nearly giving up hope: “We are highly skeptical.”

Those who had studied the Door and Key intensely: “We are in disbelief.”

Those who had been preparing in one way or another: “We are trying to not be jealous. He was merely lucky.”

But for those who were really familiar with the Outside: “We know that John had indeed stumbled drunkenly through the Door.”

Those who Knew, knew: “John really went Outside the Wall. Intoxication is one of the Keys that unlocks the Door.”