Since 2005 I have been solving the 64 Doors. On a rainwater lake in parallel~dimension Malaysia four huts on stilts house 64 puzzles waiting to be solved. Each Door presents me with a challenge related to my current stage in life; honing the skills most required to traverse non~physicality. It is a more simplified version of myself that I create, increasingly emptied of the unnecessary baggage of false thought I have acquired. The more empty I become, the more lightweight, the more control I have over what I create.
The lesson that all Doors have in common is trust in myself and the path I have chosen. In my version of this universe, I have chosen physical matter as the medium with which I mould challenges for myself, both beneficial and detrimental, in order to discover the unique way in which I wish to advance ever~onwards through eternity.
In my version of existence, I am the extension of an energy that takes many forms, both physical and non~physical, as part of the purpose of experiencing infinite possibility. Energy re~creates itself continuously and at will can, through me and everything in the universe, mould its own physical matter to serve its own purpose. It, through me, only needs to create, but the baggage I have taken on blocks its frequencies. Thus, it is up to me to clear those frequencies, that the full flow of source energy can move through me and carry out our purpose. And what is that purpose? To experience.
When I fully buy into physical life as concrete and immovable, I embrace the illusion that anything is “out of my hands”, and that the suffering of this world is for nothing. To accept responsibility for the suffering in my life as having been tailor~made for me, by me, is to release myself from the weight of helplessness and victimization, and to accept freedom.
It is also the permission I give myself to create! It was only when I was able to come to this conclusion that I could begin to know contentment right here, right now; not depending on whether my life became something else that seemed more “successful” or “pleasing”, but exactly as it is in this moment, for all its pain and pleasure. It was only when I began to fathom this knowledge that I could be part of the solution, instead of a continuing part of the problem. It’s a daily process, to be sure. The Doors give me a place to practice remembering that, like they, physical life is also malleable.
The Ninth Door experience was initiated several weeks ago by a nightly visit to another world I explore; the solely~flora planet, Stillevarden. I’ve been exploring this “still world” for several years now, directed by my master Dap Ren. Recently I’ve been walking the Coarse Shore, so named because of the coarse grade of the uniform quartz (?) sand beneath my feet and the strange, dark and lichen~like patch of trees along the beach. This particular night I was suddenly catapulted to the 64 Doors. I sat down on the bamboo dock, remembering that it has been a year+ since solving Door Eight (the Window and the Mirror in the post The 64 Doors). It always seems like lifetimes between these solvings, but it’s rarely longer than a year and a half.
I fell asleep anticipating what this new Door would teach me, and questioning myself. So much questioning cycles through the initial phases of a solving; generally involving whether or not I will force events and images to be created with my ego instead of allowing the process to unfold naturally. Control of the mind and the ability to focus attention here and now are the greatest of all practices we can undertake in this life, as preparation for the Next of Things. Living on Earth is only part of the journey. In Eternity there is no final destination.
It didn’t even occur to me that night that I was essentially asking my sleeping self a question: is it really time to solve the Ninth Door? As so often happens, my dream question was answered. I found myself before the Door, the first time I’ve ever visited that place in dreams. The wall surrounding its Moorish~styled archway, leading into thick, dark green leaves, was made of concrete.
I woke that morning with a start and realized that it was, in fact, time! Always so exciting, even in my nervousness and lack of faith in myself. I always question whether or not I’ll somehow fail or come to a dead end, unable to move forward~~as if such a thing is even possible.
I had time that morning to lay in bed. I was curious as to why the wall around the Door was made of concrete when every other Door I’ve ever solved, be it open to darkness or made of wood, sits in a jade door frame and surrounding wall. As usual, my first instinct is to think that I, myself am conjuring what I am seeing, moulding my surroundings to my idea of reality instead of allowing reality to be what it is. It’s a game I play with myself, thinking that I’m not “worthy” of the task. Part of remembering the process is to learn to trust myself over and over again.
Night after night I went to the concrete wall and stood before it. I’ve learned that it is best to stand quietly and simply observe to keep the mind from attempting to do something, as our minds are want to do. I touched the concrete, felt the cool of it, noticed the small bubbles and pock marks that dotted its surface. Night after night I went and stood before it until, one night, my thoughts won.
‘I wonder if there’s something I’m supposed to be doing? Maybe…building a jade front over the concrete?’ I thought about concrete and what it symbolizes: rough, abrasive, rigid, unnatural structure i.e. man’s influence on nature. Jade is the opposite. It is soft, smooth, nature~made. Unlike the jade door frames on the other Doors, this concrete doorway was rough and sharp.
Just for fun I researched jade and where it is found, interested in the discovery that certain forms of jade are found in Malaysia. The next time I went to Door Nine, the concrete had turned green. I chided myself for altering its reality by thinking there was something I had to do, as opposed to sitting quietly and allowing things to happen organically. But night after night, the concrete wall remained green. Anything I attempt to force the creation of eventually disappears. This consistency was an indicator that I could trust what I saw.
After about a week or so, I noticed jade welling through the concrete in liquid form. When I touched it, the parts of it that were hardened were warm. There was nothing giving about the softer parts of it as I would have imagined. It felt more like glass; nothing I could push my finger into but still soft somehow. Because of my interpretation of concrete as being man~made, I began to feel as if what this wall was trying to tell me was that I had some part in creating the Doors…and why should that be such a bad thing?
Previously I had believed that this lake already existed on some plane or dimension that anyone could go to if they knew how. In the initial visit to this place was a message in the form of a poem, which said “One day dream this place with me,” as if everyone should go to the Doors. What I know now is that the poem means that each of us will Go to our own place, a place perfectly tailored to our preferences and needs. It impresses upon me again and again that the rigid thought structures we hold against mystical or astral experiences as “made up” or “false”, part of mental illness, miss the point completely. If something helps us, it doesn’t matter whether it is “real” or not. The proof is in the proverbial fruit of the tree. If your beliefs create joy in you and cause you to affect others positively, they are of the Source. If your beliefs continue your suffering and the suffering of others, they are illusion.
I used to be a zealot, believing that my path was for others and that I needed to prove that fact to them, but over years I’ve come to quite enjoy that this path is mine, alone. Each of us lives within our own worlds, and learning to trust our own worlds and lean into them is to lift us from the heaviness of hot soil and human thought. One of my sisters is a Christian and another is a Buddhist, yet we all experience the same lessons simultaneously, much to our constant wonder and excitement. We share what is similar of our paths, and find common truths in each other as fresh, new points of view. It is incredibly satisfying!
Sitting on the dock before the Door, I looked down the forming wall to notice that there were no other Doors there but the Ninth. It occurred to me then that I’ve never actually looked at the entire side of one of these huts as a whole, I’ve only ever looked at the single Door I was entering. For the first time ever, I leaned to the right and looked down the wall at Doors 5-8. Though I’ve explored the lake, swam in it, skated over the surface of it and along the line of willows bending there, and walked the white~sand path through rice patties to the village of the Dreamtribe, I’ve never lucidly explored the building in which these first sixteen Doors sit.
While the wall’s jade was forming, I began earnestly observing the hut, its Doors and the surrounding area. Listening to the lap of the water against the large poles holding up the bamboo dock. Watching algae wave on the surface and seeing long, dark plants rocking in the movements of its murky green depths. Listening to the wind in the trees. After about two weeks of exploring in this way whenever I got the chance, the wall was done and cooled and the Door was open.
The leaves of the rainforest beyond were large, almost completely masking a cloudless blue sky but for light gusts of wind that barely revealed it. The leaves are none I’ve ever seen before; having five parts like a star but with squared off ends. I felt a nervous anticipation, wondering if I should simply walk through the Door or what to do. I leaned towards the leaves and felt as if I would fall in! It seemed almost as if the Door was looking down into an endless sky. I thought about the meaning behind the concrete; our very human ideas of things that are set in stone. I thought about the other Doors and what they had meant: trust in myself, healing, contemplation, places to rest or to gain knowledge. I thought of Door One and how long it took me to move forward with solving it. With this thought, I suddenly phased right through the entire building and appeared in the First Room, the Golden Medallion in the middle of a concave floor. One more bit of proof that this Door is about defying the calcified thought I have become accustomed to considering law.
I began to think that Door Nine had something to do with soul travel. I explore the Doors and other places through the Tibetan mental technique, but have only physically left my body a handful of times, and only then with assistance. Despite eleven years worth of experience~~led by my master into other realms~~I still like to think that I’m not pure enough to walk with the masters at the Temples of Golden Wisdom, though the single desire I have for this life is to attain the control required to trust myself as soul experiencing non~physicality.
Fear gripped me. For two weeks I returned to the Door every night but made no move to enter. Sometimes I was standing in front of the Door and could feel a pulling, as if a gravitational force was moving me towards the leaves and beyond. Eventually I would find myself laying beside the Door, as if it were a pool. The surface rippled when I would lay next to it. On one visit I noticed myself in the reflection, and afterwards spent many weeks laying beside the Door, looking in.
This fear to move forward is a common theme in my life, and I passed it to my daughter. She is in her twenties and doesn’t know what she wants to do, afraid to take a wrong step. Due to a mysterious disorder that she has experienced since about 10 years of age, she has twitches in her hands, legs and even mouth that cause her to drop things, throw things, trip and stutter. Neurologists have been unable to find any abnormality in her brain, which leaves her feeling helpless. Many things she would like to do require using her hands, such as bartending, and she’s afraid she’ll embarrass herself.
She’s stagnated in life and it’s making her depressed, but from a mother’s point of view I see so clearly how fear is more a killer than any embarrassment she could suffer. I know that all she has to do is go out there and do something, and the rest will take care of itself. It takes bravery to go against everything your mind is assuring you is true. Sometimes it takes acknowledgment of the thoughts that feel as if they must be obeyed “or else…”, in order to realize full potential.
And yet I, myself sat for a week staring at the Door terrified to go in. As if a Door would open but I wouldn’t be able to solve it. Just as in life, Doors only open when we are able to enter them. Whether or not we do is another story. It’s our choice whether to allow fear to control us or to take that first step bravely. It is this, with consideration to thoughts of my daughter’s situation, that caused me to roll my form into the ripples while laying beside the Ninth Door pool.
I found myself hovering just beyond the portal surface of the Door. It is, indeed, a portal, not the liquid water I had thought it was. The first thing I noticed was that my body had no discernible features; vague lumps where breasts would be, and these only because I was thinking of myself in human terms. With the realization of this the lumps disappeared. There are no legs, just grey, translucent substance like the body of a jellyfish, dwindling down to a cord which connects me to the surface. I am neither falling nor rising, and there is nowhere to move forward, backward, up or down to.
My first thought was that this space is Nowhere…which I recognised as “now” and “here”. There is nothing to do, nothing to see, nothing but focus on my presence in that form. The practice of fleshing out my surroundings while waiting for the jade to form had actually taught me something about holding focus. I think this Nowhere place is a “green room” of sorts, where I am holding in preparation to leave my body.
I have refused to ask DapRen to help me accomplish this task; it’s something I want to do on my own. I have faith that taking that first step and just doing it, as I have been telling my daughter, is key; getting out there and finding out how to maneuver, controlling my mind by learning quickly what I can and cannot do. I’ve been telling my daughter that she shouldn’t be afraid because she always has home to fall back on. She’ll never fail and be homeless, she can always come back here.
In that same sense, I’m not going out there alone! I have DapRen to look out for me, and he has on many occasions. Those as he are there waiting for us who require their assistance, whether or not we know it. My stubborn refusal to ask for his help has caused me many delays and problems over these past eleven years. True, the master is not to be leaned on. It is up to us to make our own way. Yet, to refuse to go to the Beacon or call for aid can only hold me back from my goals.
I kept returning and falling into the event horizon, holding still in the tuza body, suspended in Nowhere. Nothing else ever happened, and eventually I realized that I had solved the Door. Nowhere IS where the Door leads, and I can continue to go there and practice until I am ready to use that body to leave mine and begin my journey into the spirit realms. Solving only ever opens the gate through which I can return again and again.
Eventually the surface of the event horizon changed. When I lay beside it my face was reflected in the cream~coloured, cracked marble floor of a koi pond where salmon-coloured fish and lotus flowers drifted. I felt a sense of accomplishment, but didn’t realize that the solving was far from over.
Very quickly, my health and mental state deteriorated, until I found myself at my lowest point in years. A Dark Night of Soul descended, one that far exceeded the hopelessness and disillusion of any previous experience. Complete lack of understanding of or compassion for self. Complete lack of understanding or compassion from others. People who didn’t know me reacted to me as if I was insane, drawing away from me for seemingly no reason. People on the street seemed to leer or glare. Other drivers in traffic became reckless and dangerous to me. I became obsessively self~absorbed, my mind turning over every detail of every wrong done me, every mistake I had ever made. No joy could be found within or without.
I began missing work and school due to pinched nerves, muscle pain and all forms of dis~ease and ailment. I couldn’t live with myself physically, emotionally. The door of the sky was shut to me; no words of wisdom could I comprehend. Nature was “out there” and I was trapped inside myself without access to relief. I could no longer carry on conversations with anyone, because I had no idea what I was saying or how I was being perceived, which was profoundly important to me and part of negative self~talk.
Everything began to dissolve. I was gripped with insomnia, waking each morning too early, with a horrific fear of some~nameless~something going very wrong. I flunked a chemistry test due to a migraine that kept me from being able to concentrate, and had to drop the class. My internet mysteriously quit working and I couldn’t do my homework or read my online books. I became more socially anxious than ever, phobic of being in public.
My twin sister was going through a very similar time, as happens so often between us. We both struggled with life events. She found out that she has Crohn’s disease. My father died for nearly 20 minutes before being resuscitated. A cat I have had for 13 years was ripped in half by a coyote or dog. I found her twisted body on a path through the woods behind my house and realized a blood~curdling scream of pain I’d heard out the window from that direction nights before must have been her last, excruciatingly~painful moments on this Earth. We buried her in the back yard.
Though I completely lost sight of the bliss and joy I’ve known these many years, I knew from experience that not only was this a lesson I was meant to learn during Door Nine, but that the Dark Night of Soul has always been followed by a period of great peace and change in my life. As removed from flow as I was, I knew without a doubt that I would come out the other side a better person. Not only that, but keeping a scientific mind throughout was fascinating; observing how our state of mind literally warps the world around us to reflect it. Frowns where there were once smiles. Coldness where there was once warmth. Isolation, hopelessness, a disconnect with nature, humans and the energy from which we are derived. It is this that I call materianimus, the manipulation of physical matter by thought to reflect the inner state.
So many people exist in such malcontent states every day of their lives. It was not something I was perceiving but a physical change, a literal change. This fact is undeniable, I can see it evidenced in how beautiful the world seems when I feel beautiful and how ugly it can be when I feel ugly. If you remain aware enough, you can observe that, more than mere perception, the world does, indeed, mould itself to your whim.
But I’ve seen what’s Next. In the midst of it I realized that I could either continue on in utter misery or I could reach for something, anything greater. I began living in Door Nine,
returning myself to silence with every thought. I began making mental lists of all the things going right in my life. My Other. My children. My father’s continued survival. My house. The pets still alive. I began to replace fear of what would happen next with possible hopeful futures, wildly daydreaming with no consideration for “realistic” guidelines and boundaries (which we don’t really need to begin with). I clung to every little beauty for dear life: falling leaves of autumn, colourful sunsets or sunrises, the worried smile of my Other. I began listening to YouTube talks from the masters once more. Even if the wisdom given seemed shut to me, I allowed it to drum on along in my background.
We always have a choice. No matter how hopeless things get, every single moment we have a choice to reach for any patch of light we can find that does not reflect and feed the darkened state within. The instinct is to gather everything to you that matches the emotions within. To go against that sometimes takes every drop of focus you can manage to muster.
My journey was as most human journeys go; the painstaking and near~blind gathering of practically nonexistent bread crumbs from a midnight forest floor littered with leaves, leading away from the mouth of the wicked witch’s gingerbread house. Depression is akin to a gingerbread house. As painful and terrifying as it is, it calls you to lose yourself in it. Succumb to it. But to reject or deny it is a trap door in tree roots, dropping you directly into the witch’s feeding cages. To deny it is to say you shouldn’t be feeling the way you are feeling.
My mind would swoop in with bared claws and close around me. Every time I could think of it I would let them go, cut them off in mid~sentence, with an acknowledgment of emotions if not silence. Returning to silence a million times a day. Returning to the Ninth Door. I would lay near the koi pond and stick my finger in the surface of the event horizon. The energy from my body causes it to vibrate, creating waves that do not move out but stay fixed around my finger. My face is devoid of pain in its reflection, that me who has never known suffering.
You don’t need a Ninth Door. Silence is enough. Watching the storm pass overhead without getting swept up in it. A tornado comes and carries you away. Blind again, lost again. You find yourself once more on the ground. Swept up, on the ground, swept up again. It feels hopeless for much less time than you would think. In fact, the moment you begin reaching for solid ground some of the pain eases, and when you feel that bad, any tiny bit of relief is the difference between survival and ruin.
In a week I was experiencing days filled with that nameless, tear~less peace and Oneness with the cosmos. It has been many weeks since that first week of freedom and I’m light enough again to feel the doors thrown wide, access to the All That Is. It seems like everything that dissolved in my life and others close to me is resolving itself. Synchronicities abound.
One night I went to the Ninth Door, laying beside the koi pond as my physical body was laying to sleep. I thought to myself that when I went to sleep I wanted to connect with my dead cat, to see where she had gone. To my surprise she appeared in the reflection, standing on my back. I was overwhelmed and called her name, but when I reached for her she ran away.
Suddenly I found myself on the white beach of that rainwater lake that holds the Doors. She was standing on the path ahead of me, looking at me with that curious look she always had. When I went to her she ran away a distance, then turned to look at me again. In life, she would do this when she wanted me to follow her somewhere. I followed her into the rainforest, to the dwelling place of the indigenous Dreamtribe, the Orang Asli, or Senoi Indians native to Malaysia. I had been in the area once before.
When I entered the clearing I found her eating at a bowl beside a woman sitting at a fire. The woman was very old, with few teeth and stringy black hair that looked strangely American-style; shoulder length and curling inwards. She was very thin, and skin swung back and forth from her bony arm as she stirred the contents of a pot on the fire. I looked in it to see yams and fish parts boiling together in water. The woman had taken a chunk of the yam and some white fish flesh and mashed it together with a stone on a small, wide wooden plate. My kitty friend loves it.
Time began to move forward then and I was allowed to see her daily life with the tribe. She loves chasing small rodents through the rainforest. She runs ahead of the men walking on the path between camps. She follows the women to the lake to wash their clothes or draw water, and laps from the surface of it. She is so happy and healthy. When I awoke the next morning, all pain of her passing and the violence of her death was gone from inside me, and has not returned.
Many changes have come over me during this time of the Ninth Door. I’ve had three experiences with apparitions and ghostly figures. I’ve had dreams which feel prophetic, and old prophetic dreams are resurfacing and living themselves out. Through a dream of silver and blue I have connected to a woman that used to live on Earth but does no longer. She left us music from the Next, which she tapped into before she left.
But the most exciting part is that I can Go to the Nowhere inside Door Nine and, there, can experience a more concrete focus than ever before. It is a place I run to when negative thought patterns overtake me, a place of instant solace from the sickness I create with my mind. You cannot know how sick you are until you become well again. Most people don’t even feel the sickness anymore, as they literally poison themselves and the world with negative thought patterns. We believe every single word we tell ourselves, and our personal worlds each reflect the belief that moulds them.
Once you regain control over your mind, you can notice negative thought processes and remove yourself from them. When you pull out you can feel it: muscles relax, your body instantly stops hurting, your stomach settles, your headache goes away. The mental and physical dis~ease that doctors and society tell you are incurable become bearable, or go away completely. Every breath can be a joy and a gift, and no matter what your life situation is you are not an exception to that rule… unless sickness and ruin were what you had planned for yourself. Even in such a life there is necessary movement.
Through re~training the mind to accept each moment just as it is, can we begin again. There are trees out your window and clouds in the sky. Every person you are surrounded by, with their many gifts and challenges, are there by your design! There is work to be done, games to play. Joy to be had. Sorrow to help ease. Even what’s inside, such as emotions we feel, are true. It’s what we tell ourselves about truth that is where things go wrong. It is these lies that create sorrow in us and in the world.
To use our innate and long~forgotten power of materianimus is to reshape the physical world to benefit ourselves and others. It is this that the Ninth Door has instilled in me to continue perfecting.