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Each chapter in this book contains exercizes which will help the readers comprehend and “internalize” (learn to use) the principles of Quantum Psychology. Ideally, the book should serve as a study manual for a group which meets once a week to perform the exercizes and discuss the daily-life implications of the lessons learned.
Some parts of this book will seem “materialistic” to many readers, and those who dislike science (and “understand” new things very quickly) might even decide the whole book has a Scientific Materialist or (they might even say) “scientific” bias. Curiously, other parts of the book will seem “mystical” (or worse-than-mystical) to other readers and these people might decide the book has an occult – or even solipsistic – bias.
I make these gloomy predictions with great assurance, based on experience. I have heard myself called a “materialist” and a “mystic” so often that I have become wearily convinced that no matter how I change my style or “angle of approach” from one book to the next, some people will always read into my pages precisely the overstatements and oversimplifications that I have most carefully avoided uttering.
A young American named Simon Moon, studying Zen in Zendo (Zen School) at the New Old Lompoc House in Lompoc, California, made the mistake of reading Franz Kafka's The Trial. This sinister novel, combined with Zen training, proved too much for poor Simon. He became obsessed, intellectually and emotionally, with the strange parable about the door of the Law which Kafka inserts near the end of his story. Simon found Kafka's fable so disturbing, indeed, that it ruined his meditations, scattered his wits, and distracted him from his study of the Sutras. Somewhat condensed, Kafka's parable goes as follows:
A man comes to the door of the Law, seeking admittance. The guard refuses to allow him to pass the door, but says if he waits long enough, maybe, someday in the uncertain future, he might gain admittance. The man waits and waits and grows older; he tries to bribe the guard, who takes his money but still refuses to let him through the door; the man sells all his possesions to get money to offer more bribes, which the guard accepts - but still does not allow him to enter. The guard always explains, on taking each new bribe, "I only do this so that you will not abandon hope entirely."
Eventually, the man becomes old and ill, and knows that he will soon die. In his last few moments he summons the energy to ask a question that has puzzled him over the years. "I have been told," he says to the guard, "that the Law exists for all. Why then does it happen that, in all the years I have sat here waiting, nobody else has ever come to the door of the Law?"
"This door," the guard says, "has been made only for you. And now I am going to close it forever." And he slams the door as the man dies.
The more Simon brooded on the allegory, or joke, or puzzle, the more he felt that he could never understand Zen until he first understood this strange tale. If the door existed only for that man, why could he not enter? If the builders posted a guard to keep the man out, why did they also leave the door temptingly open? Why did the guard close the previously open door, when the man had become too old to rush past him and enter? Did the Buddhist doctrine of dharma (law) have anything in common with this parable?
Did the door of the Law represent the Byzantine bureaucracy that exists in virtually every modern government, making the whole story a political satire, such as a minor bureaucrat like Kafka might have devised in his subversive off-duty hours? Or did the Law represent God, as some commentators claim, and, in that case, did Kafka intend to parody religion or to defend it's divine Mystery obliquely? Did the guard who took bribes but gave nothing but empty hope in return represent the clergy, or the human intellect in general, always feasting on the shadows in the absence of real Final Answers?
Eventually, near breakdown from sheer mental fatigue, Simon went to his roshi (Zen teacher) and told Kafka's story of the man who waited at the door of the Law - the door that existed only for him but would not allow him to enter. "Please," Simon begged, "explain this Dark Parable to me."
"I will explain it," the roshi said, "if you will follow me into the meditation hall."
Simon followed the teacher to the door of the meditation hall. When they got there, the teacher stepped inside quickly, turned, and slammed the door in Simon's face.
At that moment, Simon experienced Awakening.
1. Let every member of the group try to explain or interpret Kafka's parable and the Zen Master's response.
2. Observe whether a consensus emerges from this discussion or each person finds a personal and unique meaning.
When the doorkeeper notices this he laughs and says, 'If you're tempted give it a try, try and go in even though I say you can't. Careful though: I'm powerful. And I'm only the lowliest of all the doormen. But there's a doorkeeper for each of the rooms and each of them is more powerful than the last. It's more than I can stand just to look at the third one.' The man from the country had not expected difficulties like this, the law was supposed to be accessible for anyone at any time, he thinks, but now he looks more closely at the doorkeeper in his fur coat, sees his big hooked nose, his long thin tartar-beard, and he decides it's better to wait until he has permission to enter.