At the Door: A Short Story
One minute, I was sitting in my work cubicle. The next, I was standing outside a doorway, across from a stranger. Had I just been transported to another dimension? Perhaps I was just dreaming.
“Welcome,” the man said in a soft, soothing voice. He was dressed casually, in material that flowed easily. I don’t usually remember such details, but I believe his clothes were white, or maybe cream-colored. Seems like he wore a short-sleeved collared shirt that was tucked into slacks. His hair was blonde, jaw square, and teeth perfect. The man exuded neatness, cleanliness, and impeccability. Was he a television actor, or an angel?
When he smiled, I felt the sincerity of his kindness in the depths of my soul. This man was genuinely pleased to see me.
“We’ve been expecting you,” he said.
Oh, God, I thought. Am I dead?
“No, you’re not dead,” he continued. “At least, not in the physical sense.” His eyes twinkled with knowledge of a joke that was beyond my grasp.
“Where am I?” I asked.
“You are at a threshold,” he answered, fixing his eyes on mine. Somehow, I did not feel intimidated by his gaze, and held it with my own.
“Are you real?”
“Of course,” he said. “But what you believe to be real may be different than what I believe to be real. That’s why you’re here. To change your perceptions.”
I didn’t know what to say. Thankfully, he didn’t wait for my reply.
“We know that you have been exploring the unseen,” he said. “Trying, wishing to find the reality your heart tells you exists beyond your conscious mind. You have been reading books, meditating, praying for change. Your efforts reflect a true desire to know more.”
“I want to be the best I can be,” I said, and realized my words sounded like a bumper sticker.
“Yes. And that’s where we come in.”
He glanced at the doorway. For the first time, I noticed that it led to a cavernous room. No, not just a room – an entire domain. Another world, perhaps. The setting was bright and shiny, and glowed with an aqueous blue and green energy.
He continued. “This is a place where we teach those who are ready for transformation.”
“Teach?” I raised an eyebrow. “Like at a school?”
“Exactly. A school for souls that are ready to evolve.”
I tried to hide my amazement. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe him, or even that I doubted such a place existed. Rather, something told me this was very real, or at least as real as any out-of-body experience. I had fantasized about such a place many times. But now, here it was, and I couldn’t believe I was really here. Why had I been picked?
“Because you asked for our help,” he answered. “You submitted yourself to us, to your higher self, by acknowledging you are ready to give up your old life.”
“So, I am dead?”
He chuckled. “No. You are very much alive. But I don’t think we need to convince you that life extends beyond the physical, human existence that you experience in your body. You are a spirit, and in that sense, you cannot die. You can be reborn, however, through a process that requires the demise of your former self.”
“The death of my ego,” I said.
“Of your earthly beliefs, yes.”
My eyes darted to the doorway again. “What is in there?”
“Teachers. Guides. Friends. Beings that can answer the questions you have, that will help you find the knowledge you seek.”
My eyes returned to the stranger. “I seek enlightenment. I want to know more, to be more,” I said pleadingly. “I have glimpsed the possibility so many times. I’ve sensed that I am more than… this.”
He smiled. “And so you are. All you must do is walk through the door.”
“What do I have to give up?” Even as I spoke the words, I heard the doubt in them.
“Your current way of thinking,” he answered. “Afterwards, you cannot be the same.”
Instinctively, my eyes darted away from the door, in the opposite direction, as if that was the way I had come.
“Is this a one-shot offer?” I asked.
“No. But you may only enter this doorway in your current vibration. If your energy increase or decreases, this door will be locked.”
“So, I may never have this opportunity again?”
“That’s up to you. There is no wrong answer here, Mugwai.”
“Your ancient name. Mugwai is the name you chose long ago.”
“What does it mean?”
“Wise dog?” I must have looked incredulous. “I chose that?”
He smiled again, then looked back at the door. “Well?”
I followed his gaze. This was a moment I had often meditated on. Why did I hesitate now?
“You are uncertain?” the man asked.
“No,” I replied, shaking my head. “Well, yes. I mean, I’m not sure. So, yeah, I guess I’m uncertain.”
“What is your fear?” he pressed.
I thought about that. “Giving up what I love here?”
“Do you love it?”
“I love my family.”
“Your family is God,” he said. “As you are God. You cannot be without them, as you cannot be without yourself.”
He spotted the flash in my eyes. Maybe this was death, after all.
“There is no real death,” he said softly. “Not the way you imagine it, anyway. What else do you fear?”
I looked at the door again. “I don’t know. That I don’t have what it takes? You know – to change. To succeed.”
“You have what it takes,” he assured me in his smooth voice. “We only choose those who are ready.”
“So, I am guaranteed to succeed… in there?”
“What do you mean, succeed?”
I blurted out the first thought that came to mind. “Not fail.”
“You cannot fail,” he explained. “You either enter the door and transform, or you return to the life you know. That is all.”
“How long do I have to make my decision?”
“As long as you wish. Eternity, if you choose. Just remember what I said. You may only enter this door with the energy you are emitting now.”
“What if I wait… and my energy increases?”
“A different door will await you.”
“And if it lowers?”
He smiled. “There is no hell, Mugwai. You are where you are. It is your choice to ascend or descend. Your happiness is up to you.”
This time, it was my turn to smile.
My happiness is up to me.
My thoughts create my reality.
This I knew from the books I had read. From my meditations. From somewhere deep down inside. They had led me to this point in my life, but then I had felt stuck. Which is why I asked for help.
Now, my prayer had been answered.
Help was here.
All I had to do was walk through the door.
© 2018 Andrew C. Katen. Originally published 4/12/2018 here. All rights reserved. Feel free to republish so long as credit is given.