The Silver Thread: Hope and Faith
I feel the icy fingers as my eyes open, coming out of a soundless sleep. It touches me each time I meet whoever’s gaze, and cannot see my light reflected in their eyes.
My body feels it. Past and present. The challenges I have undertaken. Big and small. Each step or movement the last. Will I take another?
Before my birth. Before I entered this world I choose this path. I guess it was the path of grey. Every step infused with some darkness. Each step strewn with fears.
In moments of clarity it takes form. I see it in my myths and stories. Mara assaulting Buddha while he struggles for clarity. Moses, as he faces his imperfections and ponders his worthiness, as God calls to him. Teddy Roosevelt taking on that dark South American river after suffering his worst political defeat. Cyrano fighting the ghosts of his past as he ponders the meaning of his last days.
Yes I see it clearly, my every doubt. For surely the ceaseless questioning, the valuing, the issue of purpose has been a thorny presence my entire life.
I have always struggled and sought certainty. At times I have even touched its face. Only to see it fade away in a fog of more confusion.
The hard way I have learned there is always doubt. Perhaps I see it clearer than most. But I know they and I will never hold onto solid form in this strange world.
The shrouded pinnacle I seek is only reached through faith, an angel whose ethereal form transcends this world. It resides in Atzilut one step removed from God. It shines as feeling, both pure and simple, reflecting His divine light.
I guess I can call it faith. God’s antidote to doubt. Like all words, there is inherent corruption. They too become wellsprings of uncertainty, unless used as one step to reach and finally touch that light. One step to further attach to God and effect yichudim.
Touching Our energy of faith dissolves that grey. It translates as purity of intention and moves me into harmony, into balance, with His wish. Once touched I feel that transformation. From cell to soul I am different. I am light in vision and in weight: in this world and in those above it, being at the same time.
Only God’s light is pure. Only when I let His light touch me does this miracle happen. It is not a bush on fire without consumption. It is not the miracle of a vast sea parting. It is not a wall of stone tumbling through sound. No, it is the miracle of living in his world, not the airy dream of metaphor.
Miracle is the dissolving of doubt. And it shows itself in the mundane, in those daily acts we take for granted and move through without awareness. When we as vessels contain His light, miracles are made. Day to day. We can see them in the smallest acts and in the grandest purpose.
I once visited a prisoner in jail. He was going to trial and likely faced spending much of his life in the hell of a small concrete cell. For reasons I cannot comprehend, our conversation touched his heart. I could sense the hope with which we bonded. I made no promise that his material future would be any different, but left knowing his spirit would not succumb to those slings and arrows of shame, insult and pain, which he would face.
As a child I always felt for the needy. Perhaps it was in the first grade. My mother would pack my lunch. Peanut butter was my favorite. That day my teacher passed a collection can, asking for money to support the deprived of somewhere. I only had enough to buy a milk to wash down that sticky stuff, yet without hesitation I put my nickel in that container and spent lunch hour manufacturing saliva to wash it down. Yet, I had no regret. Putting that nickel into a cardboard can never created doubt. Instead, there was a purity of bond with some faceless child I had not nor would ever meet.
When my daughter was born, I held her with the unclouded act of Our intention. I touched her through love. Through her tribulations, pain and self-doubt growing up, I was able to allow her to be as she was, generating warmth and understanding. Yes, I was tempted with doubt, with judgment and with the blindness of my own ego desires, for her to be as I wished. Yet there was always that spectral presence that kept me focused on the purity of her being, and the transcendence of my own wishes. I was able to bring kavannah into my bond with her, an intention marshaled toward compassion, egoless understanding, and self-giving.
I now realize that was God speaking through me. He spoke with the purity of my heart. It was not the magnitude of the deeds. By any objective measure these were small acts. But like the raindrop that contains the entire world within it, such acts marshal God’s light and Our common purpose on this earth.
We are tempted to focus on the heroic, on the romantic and on those stories that inspire generations. Yet the purity of faith with which I speak may exist in all our actions. To discover its heart is our project with God. It is an act of discovery; at times it is planned, at times it dawns on us with the swiftness of serendipity. But it is always present; waiting for us to open our eyes to its light, to hear its sound, and to touch its presence.
To touch the needy, to let go of self, to hear that calling as we move through this day-to-day world is God’s purpose for us. When Abraham raised the knife to plunge it into Isaac’s heart, he felt no fear. His faith told him God would not take his only son. He felt the purity of heart in what he did; he saw the light in Isaac’s eyes as we too can see it in the moment, as we translate faith into action.
There is no doubt when we are infused with Divine purpose. There is no doubt when faith bathes our life. There is no doubt when our actions and His are One.
Michael Abramsky PHD, ABPP
Michael is a licensed psychologist with 35 years of experience treating adolescents and adults for anxiety, depression and trauma. He is nationally Board Certified in both Clinical and Forensic psychology.. Dr. Abramsky also has a MA in Comparative Religions, and has practiced and taught Buddhist Meditation for 25 years. You may call him at: 248-644-7398
About the writer: Dr. Michael Abramsky
Michael Abramsky PhD, ABPP is a licensed psychologist with 35 years of experience treating adolescents and adults for anxiety, depression and trauma. He is nationally Board Certified in both Clinical and Forensic psychology. Dr. Abramsky also has an MA in Comparative Religions, and has practiced and taught Buddhist Meditation for 25 years.