When I was a boy my family and I moved into a house with a living room that had two doors at opposite ends on the south wall. Opening the Left Door led you into the family room; the Right Door was a ‘false door’ made to balance the looks of the room. It did not open. However, I was certain if I only said the right words or had an hour of desperate need it would open. I would enter into another world.

Finding a passage to Somewhere Else is so ingrained into our psyches it is an archetype. Just think of the many stories that have somebody (usually a child) crossing a threshold only to enter into a different time and space:

Alice falls down the rabbit hole

Lucy enters the wardrobe

Milo goes through the tollbooth

Mary Lennox unlocks the door to The Secret Garden

Miss Tickle draws a door on the blackboard and through it they go….


In Jungian Psychology this portal type represents The Transitional Space. It is neither here nor there but between worlds or states of being. It is where we go to learn things that can’t be discovered in any other way. They are difficult to find, but vital for our psychological and spiritual growth. It is no surprise these portals often show up in dreams as well as in literature and stories. doors, windows, holes, breaks in the hedgerow etc. We need to enter into these realms to grow.

It takes courage and a bit of folly to cross this sort of threshold.

I never could open the Right Door. Eventually my mother redecorated the room and the door was gone. But I continue The Journey to find new doors and portals and cross into Lands Beyond, to learn the lessons therein.