• Rick & Lita

Journeys of The Soul - The Cave

You have been here how long?” Jake uttered incredulously.

“Two years” Assaji repeated calmly.

“No visitors, no speaking, barely any food and living in a cave in this remote area of the Himalayas; two years!” Clearly Jake was dumbfounded by what he had just heard and

fell silent to let this extraordinary feat of endurance sink in.

Angelique, his French girlfriend, who he had met during his 15 months sojourn, was less surprised, but still astounded.

How do you put up with not speaking or interacting with anyone for so long,” she said, “I would go crazy!”

Well it is like this,” spoke Assaji, the early morning sun glistening off his shiny head, “The idea that I am alone is incorrect.” “You see I have experienced for myself that we are never alone.”

“There is just one of us, one spirit, one energy, whatever label we want to put on it, just one source of everything, inhabiting 7.3 billion bodies on this planet alone.”

Whoa!” exclaimed Jake.

Angelique could feel Jake tense up with this revelation and gently touched his arm in a loving gesture of support.

She was born in the South of France on the Côte d'Azur, spending her early childhood on that dramatically spectacular coastline and later to explore all around the area on solo hikes. She was a lover of Nature, no doubt about it. It was her love of sketching the flowers and countryside that subsequently found her studying at École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (National School of Fine Arts) in Paris.

The first year and a half went well, then the longing to be out in Nature bekoned her away from the city and following her heart and intuition, she bid her family farewell and set forth on an overseas adventure of a lifetime.

Jake’s story was different. He was running away from an unhappy childhood and an inability to fit in to mainstream society. He was a troubled boy with an addictive personality, which brought him into contact with alcohol, drugs and a perchant for high risk activities. His sporting prowess, mingled with the associated huge adrenalin rushes, had earned him over the years, a broken arm, mild concussion and fractured ribs. As far as Jake was concerned, he could not get further away from his hometown in Canterbury, England. Seven months into his escapism, he bumped into Angelque on the Ponte Vecchio ("Old Bridge") over the Arno River in Florence, Italy.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

He literally bumped into Angelique when passing her leaning up against the bridge, he suddenly turned and his overburdened rucksack containing his life’s possesions struck her so forcibly, that she was almost hurled into the River Arno.

“Hey watch it stupide, mon dieu, you are such a clumsy bastard!” she retorted, barely able to contain herself.

“Sorry,” Jake blurted out unconvincingly, but was immediately taken back by her firery eyes, aurburn hair and charming French accent.

Look , I really am sorry, it was very clumsy of me, please, let me buy you a cappuccino?”

Angelique, stood motionless for a moment, her parents words of caution racing through her head, but there was something magnetic about this young man that she could not resist. Her journeying had repeatedly encouraged her to trust her heart and intuition, her most reliable guides, so throwing fear to the wind and heeding the message, she confidently replied, “Yes, why not, afterall, I didn’t finish up in the river!”

Angelique had learnt that fear could hold her back from doing what her heart was calling her to do, that is, step out of her comfort zone, be brave and courageous and live life to the fullest.

Jake and Angelique spent over fours hours chatting over coffee and cake at the Cantinette Tratoria Signorvino, thus sealing their ongoing friendship and adventures together.

Angelique would constantly question Jake with Where did you learn that?” whenever she witnessed his self-sabotaging behaviour.

Of course Jake shrugged it off with “I’ve always been this way.” But Angelique would not accept him stopping at the observable tip of the iceberg and gently guided him into the guts, that which remains out of sight, but there nonetheless and impacting upon his behaviours.

Slowly but surely, Jake began to wake up to the source of his aberrated behaviours learnt from witnessing the dysfunctional behaviour of his parents. Who in turn learnt it from their parents going back and back in time.

Not only his behaviours were being carried forward, but his DNA too, half of which came from his Mum and half from Dad, going back in time, generation after generation.

One day, the magic of Kathmandu, Nepal, wove it’s wonderful spell upon Jake, when thanks to Angelique’s gentle persuasion and heart-centredness, he realised that some of his destructive behaviours that he learnt from his parents, he was playing them out in present time and not being authentic. This ah-ha moment really changed his life and started him on his Path of self-discovery, much to Angeliques pleasure, persistence and patience.

“If you think it is hard out in the world, getting triggered by events, people and places, you should try living in a cave with all those demons for a while!” said Assaji quietly.

Jake was quick to respond with “Er... no thanks!”

“But in essence,” chimed in Monique to Assaji, “Isn’t it more challenging and ultimately uplifting to be in the world, among all that craziness and finding peace within and outside of ourselves?”

“Ahhh.. you have got in young lady” Assaji said, The real test of all time is to be at ease, residing in the quietness of our hearts amid

all the chaos, confusion and transformation of the human family!”

This is part one of a nine part series to be published here over the next few weeks

Volume 1

Stay tuned!!