“No gate stands on the public road.
Those who pass this barrier
Walk freely throughout the universe.”
When we open our eyes to our inner universe with its hopes, its dreams, its fears, its gods and demons (which we now call psychological complexes), and we then open our eyes to the outer universe with its grass and trees and animals and stars and galaxies, we find that we are a gateway between the two. We are a gate between the inner and the outer universe.
When we close that gate, the gate that we are, we stand in danger of becoming isolated, of becoming accustomed to our closure, of feeling like isolated protoplasmic blobs.
When we, through contemplative prayer, through meditation, through mindful awareness, through laughter and joy, through dance, through song, open our closedness and take the gate off, become a gateless gate as the zen dudes and dudesses say, the two universes become one. The gods and demons come and go, the psychological complexes arise and dissipate.
As Rumi says, we are a guest house:
“This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.”
(Translation by Coleman Barks)
The door that we are stays open. We keep it open.
Our inner and our outer are an interflow.
We are always already home.
George Breed is the author of several books published by Anamchara Books including The Inner Work of the Warrior: A Manual for Embodying Spirit, Jesus and Lao Tzu: Adventures with the Tao Te Ching, and The Hidden Words of the Living Jesus: A Commentary on the Gospel of Thomas.