13 Tamuz 5779 / Tuesday, July 16, 2019 | Torah Reading: Pinchas
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The Deer    

The Deer

Sihara feels free and elevated, but she doesn’t know if this is real or not; then she sees the deer, the one she thought had died in the abyss…


Warriors of Transcendence, Part 32

As Sihara descended the trail leading into the valley, she enjoyed the abundance of flowers in bloom. When she looked within herself, she discovered that what had been important to her in the past no longer mattered. The intense experience of the fire on the mountain had liberated her from her previous concerns. The shell that had enveloped her had been shed, and she now felt as light as a bird in flight.
The slopes leading to the valley were in full bloom. A soft breeze, full of hope, swayed the plant life, as if in a dance. Happy and free, Sihara proceeded down the path as if she were being led by an unseen guide. Eventually, she arrived at a fork in the road. To the right were vast yellow fields, surrounded by faraway hills. To the left, she could see a green valley in the distance, its borders obscured by a light fog.   Puzzled for a moment, Sihara paused and wondered: Which road should I take?
"Your heart is the key," words from a faraway song were heard.
My heart... Sihara covered her face with her hands and looked within herself. There, in her heart, all roads seemed futile. She looked towards the golden fields which spread as far as the horizon. This field was not in full bloom, though blue veins pulsated throughout and drew her heart towards them.
"Shall I go?" She asked joyfully. "Yes, I shall!" she replied to herself, as if calling the entire world to a challenge.
She walked into the field, ran forward, wishing to get closer to the blue lines, but they had become distant. For one hesitant moment she desired to return to the trail. Right or left, it was irrelevant, what was important was to return to a paved road. But a new determination had been born in her. 
"Whatever will be, will be," she whispered. "It is the blue that I desire."
She gazed at the blue lines and prepared to continue walking toward them, but she was shocked to find that the blue veins were already in her possession! Many wide, bright, inviting veins, promising pleasure and sweetening a secret.
Within a short time, the fields were behind her. Only shades of blue filled the horizon, as she found herself on the shore of a wide ocean. Between the towering waves and deep Abysses lay a path, her path. She walked along, descending before ascending to a higher place. An elevated White Chamber, surrounded by a bright light, was revealed to her in the ocean. A deep serenity emerged from within this Chamber. She held her breath and froze in place, feeling as if she could stay there forever, as the waves crashed around without touching her. A love-infused serenity radiated from the White Chamber, which calmed her spirits, and a softness full of compassion, like open arms, came her way.
Her eyes filled with warm tears and her lips trembled. "I'm on the way," she whispered, "but even if it were for this moment alone, everything would have been worthwhile. Thank you for granting me the privilege to be here, to see your Chamber!"
Sihara walked several steps forward on the trail, reaching an arched gate that stood at her height. Golden threads swayed at the entrance to the gate, like a curtain composed of many grains of sand. Sihara took a closer look at the fine threads and noticed that the changing colors created a sequence of small pictures. In the first picture a deer appeared in a forest. In the second picture the deer appeared to be nearing the edge of an Abyss, as if planning to skip over it. In the third picture the deer lay crushed at the bottom of the Abyss.
If I only could have built the deer a bridge! thought Sihara.
The pain of the animal's demise touched her heart. She gazed at the final picture and noticed the deer standing calmly in a green field located within the Abyss itself.
Sihara extended her hand reluctantly and moved the sand-thread curtain aside. Beyond it she saw a winding, white staircase, which she quickly ascended. Upon reaching the top of the staircase, she turned right, but came to a halt, confused. She had reached the top of the staircase, but she seemed to be standing in what appeared to be an unfinished painting. Further ahead, above her, was a heavy wooden gate, the second gate. It had numerous locks and bolts, its color was faded, and it appeared as if it had not been opened it in many years.
What am I to do now? She wondered. If I go on, I shall fall into the empty space...
I am being fooled! The thought crossed her mind, No man can walk through thin air, and no one can expect me to do so! Not even the Master of Transcendence.
She felt hurt. Was it possible that she was being mocked? This was not an illusion. She knew what she was up against.
"Reality?" asked a faint voice, and Sihara realized how gentle this voice was in comparison to the other voices that passed through her.
"Yes, reality," the other voices defied it, until it was silenced.
Sihara turned back and began descending the staircase, step by step. A wind began to blow, forcing her to stop and regain her balance, and she noticed that the descending steps were becoming transparent, fading into the air and vanishing.
"I am being fooled!" she said, her fists clenched tightly. "It is impossible to ascend, and impossible to descend!"
Her anger turned into defiance.
"What do you want from me?" she called into the empty space.
She stood on a step, suspended between heaven and earth.
"What do you want?!" she called out again. Her voice weakened and fear began rising in her throat.
"What do you want?!" echoed a distant voice.
"To escape! To leave this place! To return…"
"What do you want?!" asked the voice again, as if her initial answer had been totally rejected.
The repeated question embarrassed Sihara, but she began hearing the word you as if it had been given life, and she pondered its meaning.
Who are you? What do you want? You aren't who you think you are.
Sihara saw herself as two beings: One, an inner being, joyful, radiant and vivacious.
The second, wrapped around her, cocoon-like, made of gray threads, gloomy…an imposter, posing as herself.   She heard the imposter- cocoon respond to the questioning voice: "Return, retreat, there is no other way."
Then she heard the inner, radiant Sihara responding in a distant voice: "To carry on, to continue, to grow."
Sihara echoed the words she heard, holding onto them as if they were life itself.
"To carry on, to continue, to grow." A voice from behind seemed to emanate from a living being. She turned around and saw a deer, the one from the picture, approaching her as it ascended.    Wherever its hooves landed, a step was created in thin air until the staircase reached as far as Sihara and then beyond, up to the ancient gate. From close, the gate appeared even older and more faded. Sihara examined it, knocked on it and heard a solid thump.
Someone must help me, she thought.
The deer had already disappeared, and only the gate remained.
To be continued.
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(With sincere gratitude to www.levhadvarim.com)

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