Saturday, December 29, 2012

Readings for a year's end: "do not have your hopes on possession of the key"

from The Door That Ends All Doors
(Thomas Merton)

The three doors (they are one door).

1)  The door of emptiness.  Of no-where.  Of no place for a self, which cannot be entered by a self.  And therefore is of no use to someone who is going somewhere.  Is it a door at all?  The door of no-door.

2)  The door without sign, without indicator, without information.  Not particularized.  Hence no one can say of it "This is it!  This is the door."  It is not recognizable as a door.  It is not led up to by other things pointing to it:  "We are not it, but that is it--the door."  No signs saying "Exit."  No use looking for indications.  Any door with a sign on it, any door that proclaims itself to be a door, is not the door.  But do not look for a sign saying "Not-door."  Or even "No Exit."

3)  The door without wish.  The undesired.  The unplanned door.  The door never expected.  Never wanted.  Not desirable as door.  Not a joke, not a trap door.  Not select.  Not exclusive.  Not for few.  Not for many.  Not for.  Door without aim.  Door without end.  Does not respond to a key--so do not imagine you have a key.  Do not have your hopes on possession of the key.
There is no use asking for it.  Yet you must ask.  Who?  For what?  When you have asked for a list of all doors, this one is not on the list.  When you have asked for all the numbers of all the doors, this one is without a number.  Do not be deceived into thinking this door is merely hard to find and difficult to open.  When sought it fades.  Recedes.  Diminishes.  Is nothing.  There is no threshold.  No footing.  It is not empty space.  It is neither this world nor another.  It is not based on anything.  Because it has no foundation, it is the end of sorrow.  Nothing remains to be done.  Therefore there is no threshold, no step, no advance, no recession, no entry, no nonentry.  Such is the door that ends all doors;  the unbuilt, the impossible, the undestroyed, through which all fires go when they have "gone out."

from The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton (New Directions, 1973). 

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