He got aged and decided that it was too late to see if there were other rooms, so a house, though he sensed this might well be true. So, he lived and died in the one room.
The man went to heaven. God said, “Friend, I sent you messenger after messenger, telling you that you lived in a house with many rooms. You would never listen, so you never let yourself find out the truth. You could have explored the house and its many rooms, the variety of it all, the wonder of it all. You would hear, but not listen. I admit you into heaven, but how are you going to adjust to the spaciousness and freedom of heaven, when you spent your life living in only one room?" God continued, “Friend, it's going to be a very hard adjustment for you, for what you refused on earth, you must learn here, or you will never enjoy this heaven.”
* * *
In my mid-30s I suffered from depression, anxiety, agoraphobia, and panic attacks. I was living inside my house, rarely going outside, and if I did, into the yard around the house. This became my safe zone. My mother arrived one day to check on me. She could see how I was trapped in that small world. She urged me to walk with her up the road in front of the house. I hesitated, feeling the anxiety, the fear, but agreed. We walked together. The walk of some 10 minutes did not eliminate the anxiety, but, at least, I felt better, and I had taken a short stroll with my mother outside the familiar but limiting environment. More truthfully, where she and I walked was not unsafe, the unsafe was only in me. Thankfully, over time that changed, and I felt free to move outside the place that had become a very small space to live in. So, taking those steps was important, each step reminding me that there was hope to move freely, fearlessly again outside the limiting context that had enclosed around me. You could say that I was much like the man who lived in one room. And there was a messenger sent to me, my mother. And I would not have taken those steps, if someone that I loved and trusted had not come to walk with me, to be with me, in nonjudgmental presence, to have compassion for the suffering that was keeping me in a little world.
* * *
We can talk of freedom, that we have it or want it, while subverting it. We can claim to be seeking truth, while huddling together hugging old beliefs, not because they are true, but for we are unwilling to welcome the discovering of what has heretofore been unknown and unlived among us. Life never leads us to suffer, Life is not suffering. Life is naturally blissful. But the unlived life within us can generate immense discontent and dissatisfaction, even physical, emotional, or mental illness. All this, while Life waits, waits for our "Yes," a sincere "Yes." The adventure begins with that "Yes," even if fear appears still too strong for us to take one step outside our familiar environs within or without.