Exit, stage left!

photo: karate

Closing doors

When I was a fresh Reiki apprentice, one of my teachers told me that when one door closes another one opens. Deep as this may sound, when you consider it logically it’s only wishful thinking. It does not really mean anything. New Age adepts used to say it when they were trying to give meaning to what was (not) happening. Failing at what we are trying to do, we try to reassure ourselves. It is exactly the same as saying things like everything will be alright in the end and everything happens for a reason.


Even if everything were happening for a reason, without knowing what that reason is, the average person is pretty much lost. After all, if somebody loses their leg in a car crash, what could be the reason for that? In time, they may reach a deeper level of consciousness and know more about themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, their friends and relatives, but in the end they will still have only one leg left. And that sucks!

Maybe there is no reason. The things we do, the shit that happens… It just happens. The universe may contain some form of intelligence, but what if that intelligence lacks the notion of giving a shit? That would mean we have to learn to tap into the intelligence and how to use it without expecting any pity or logic of it. The universal life force is not a god. It neither reasons nor show mercy. One can argue that everything is connected and that the butterfly effect really exists, but that is not the same as random acts of nature meaning anything. Did Katrina cause so much damage and suffering because the planet, the universe or some omnipresent egomaniac (or all of them conspiring) decided to teach us stupid humans a lesson? Or maybe the animals needed to be taught a lesson, because they had broken some rule The Big Chief had just thought up? Bullocks!

So, let’s forget about the idea that shit happens for a reason and come to terms with that. Surely cause and effect are real; driving too fast can make you miss a curve and slam into an enormous tree. This in turn could kill your passengers and an innocent bystander or two. The reason for that is not that you learn to be a better – more responsible – driver. That is what you may tell yourself, after the funerals, jail time and rehabilitation. No, the reason for the damage is much simpler: you drove too fast, that’s all. Please, let’s stop blaming the universe and imaginary friends for our collective assholyness.

Opening doors

When one door closes… It means that it is time to move on. There is no magical connection to another door that will show itself while being hidden from your level of consciousness previously. If you want another door to open it is up to you to find one and open it. With head, hands and feet. Use a crowbar if you have to. The chance that someone will walk up to you and say “here, let me take you by the hand and show you the way to next opportunity” is a very slim one. Stop counting on others to bring you what you want or need.

Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities, the political, the religious, the educational authorities who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing, forming in our minds their view of reality. To think for yourself, you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable, open-mindedness; chaotic, confused, vulnerability to inform yourself.

Timothy Leary