Lothar grew up in East Germany. As a young man he became a member of the underground protest - movement there around the singer Wolf Biermann. Whenever he told us his stories about those times I grew envious: even though he had lived under a terrible regime, the tightness and solidarity of the secret movement he was in seemed filled to the brim with friendship and solidarity. My life in the capitalist west lacked such intensity and community, we all seemed to be stars scattered far away from a common Milky Way.
Lothar father had left the family and gone west. Lothar himself tried and was caught twice and put to prison, then eventually released. He tried a third time. He was crouched I do not remember how in a metal box somebody had fixed somehow under I don´t know what kind of a truck. This time they tried the border from Rumania to the West. But those border policemen were terrible: they had sniffing dogs and I don´t know what other tools to find escapees - and they did find Lothar.
He was put in a Rumanian prison. He said it resembled a medieval castle. They put him in chains.
There he sat in darkness, his hopes shattered again.
He said that exactly there and then he had the most wonderful experience of his life: he suddenly knew that no one and nothing could hurt him ever! He felt this something inside himself that was indestructible.
He was eventually released and given the opportunity to go to the West; the East German government wanted to get rid of him.
Forty years ago I heard this story for the first time. Lothar and I both studied psychology at the University Of Hamburg. We became lovers for a short and friends for a long time. We discovered Osho together and Buddhism, we did our thesis together. When I went to Mexico, I lost him.
A common friend told me lately that Lothar is a monk in a Buddhist monastery South of Hamburg.
What has stayed with me from our encounter is his story of - as a Buddhist would call it - his spontaneous awakening to Truth and Reality.
That is The Door I am still searching for. I am still sitting in chains and in darkness.
Art by Kiki