I have just experienced the most amazing collection of doors I have ever seen. If you love beautiful, unique and exotic doors as much as I do, you have to visit this blog site.
Which lead me to thinking about doors. So what is so special about a door? A door is a gateway. It is an opening where you leave a space, however confining or expansive, and enter another space . . . possibly confining, possibly liberating, or possibly just a passage from one reality to another. The first ‘door’ we ever pass through is the ‘door’ of our mothers womb. From then on our lives are spent passing from one door to another. Through gateways of opportunities and experience, hence ‘the door of opportunity knocks’. Jim Morrison highlighted the importance of doors by naming his band ‘The Doors’. His band title was based on Aldous Huxley’s ‘Doors of Perception’, a personal accounting of his experiences with the psychotropic drug mescaline.
‘Doors’ have long been used as an analogy for the passing of the mind from one plane of reality or thought to another. This from Neil Turnbull on his blog site:
The Doors of Philosophy
“Doors are the first threshold into life.
We are always between doors; either indoors or outdoors.
The Romans worshipped doors because they knew that, like life, they look both ways: to the past and to the future.
The philosopher is also in a sense a door: a door from the false to the true; from akrasia to sophia.
The door is the true symbol of philosophy.”
He reveals a clue of why doors are so significant in our lives. Doors are symbolic representations of our passage from ‘past to future’. We travel through doors to reach an objective or a goal. A place where we either want to go, or are forced to go. Doors can lead to euphoria, as in the discovery of a new and exciting location or space. Doors can lead to misery, as in the closing cell doors of the prison or jail. And doors can lead to immediate comfort, as in the welcome door to our homes. Doors can express an attitude, such as ‘an open door policy’. Or represent secrecy and deception, as in ‘behind closed doors’. Doors can also represent the process of decision making, ‘choose which door to open’.
But there is one more very important and symbolic representation of doors. Doors are so intricately woven into our psyche because they represent ‘mystery‘ and the ‘unknown‘. In the process of discovery we do not know exactly what lies beyond the door. The physical act of ‘opening a door’ means that we are an active participant in the ensuing discovery. To ‘open a door ‘means we are are open to something novel, a new experience, or a new adventure. There is an excitement to opening a new door. But the door can also be closed to represent an ending or an exclusion. To be ‘locked out’ or ‘close the door’ represents a finite termination. We open the door for new freedoms and we close the door for containment. This important duality of mental psychology is what makes doors akin to a switch that you can turn ‘on or ‘off’. But we can also leave the door halfway open or halfway closed. This represents a further level of mystery. Are we being enticed to enter? Or are we being warned not to enter?
Doors can also be symbolic in relationships. Do we leave our doors open for others to enter and experience our emotional depth and complexities? Or do we keep our doors shut tight and refuse others entry into our innermost fears, joys and emotions? Or are we one of those that keep the door halfway open/closed? Where the mistrust and the perception of a world that can be both cruel and kind has tainted us to be forever wary.
Imagine the excitement when Howard Carter first opened the door to King Tut’s tomb. Or when Neil Armstrong first opened the door of his capsule to step onto the moon. While some are excited at the thought of opening a new door, many fear the thought of having to open or walk through a door. After reviewing a long list of phobias and fears (I had no idea there was such a long list of phobias), I found no technical term for fear of walking through doors, opening doors, or closing doors. Yet I know for a fact many people suffer from an extreme fear of walking through or opening doors. They fear the thought of what they might find when they open a door. If we fear opening doors, we are unlikely to experience anything new in our lives. We are less likely to succeed and advance in life. And we are highly unlikely to find meaningful relationships in our lives.
Always remember there are sometimes two doors, the fornt door and the back door. ‘Back door’ has taken on a derogatory sexual connotation. But there are also ‘back door deals’. Do you enter proudly through the front door? Or are you consistently trying to sneak in through the back door?
If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
“The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less sure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend”
– Aldous Huxley
“Be an opener of doors”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Every wall is a door.
– Ralph Waldo emerson
“A very little key will open a very heavy door.”
– Charles Dickens, Hunted Down
Men shut their doors against a setting sun.
– William Shakespeare
When one door closes, another one opens. But we often look so regretfully on the closed door that we don’t see the one that has opened for us.
– Helen Keller
We often get in quicker by the back door than by the front.
– Napoleon Bonaparte
There are things known and things unknown and in between are the doors.
– Jim Morrison
The courage of the poet is to keep ajar the door that leads to madness.
– Christopher Morley
Listen, real poetry doesn’t say anything; it just ticks off the possibilities. Opens all doors. You can walk through anyone that suits you.
– Jim Morrison
The story of my life is about back entrances, side doors, secret elevators and other ways of getting in and out of places so that people won’t bother me.
– Greta Garbo
I feel very adventurous. There are so many doors to be opened, and I’m not afraid to look behind them.
– Elizabeth Taylor
A small key opens big doors.
– Turkish Proverb
It is often the last key on the ring that opens the door.
The greatest step is out the door.
– German proverb