Once there was a prisoner who was jailed in a dark prison in what he thought was a great fortress. The cell was dark and damp. There was a tiny window with bars on it. The rest of the cell was so dark he could not see the other three walls. The only wall he could make out was the wall with the window in it. The only light the room received was from this window. Occasionally the prisoner would manage to climb up to the window and look out on the world outside. If he stretched and looked, he could see a little bit of the life-giving sun out there.
For the first five years of his imprisonment in that prison the prisoner stayed in the tiny patch of light thrown in through the window. He never ventured past the edge of the little square of light. But then he became restless. The prisoner started to move a little bit at a time deeper into the darkness of his prison cell. He moved a few inches a day. After what seemed like a year he had found the left-hand wall of the cell. It took him much less time to find the right-hand wall as he was becoming more confident.
Then he began to search for the wall opposite the window. As he went deeper and deeper into the darkness of the cell he thought of turning back. But his curiosity drove him forward. In the darkness of his cell he found the back wall had a door. And the door was open!
The door had always been open. The door led to a passage, which led him out of the dark prison, into freedom and the life-giving sun. His imprisonment had all been in his mind.
Originally from Adventure Learning Initiatives.