A Shared Journey
There once was a man named Maury who had left his home to travel the world in a small vessel. Maury had been to many places and experienced many things. His most recent journey was much like one described earlier. Maury had also encountered a Giant who shared with him a tale about a very special amulet. He had also met a wise old man who instructed him on matters that gained him much new knowledge. And, at the end of the adventure, he too had found his way to a strange but familiar island where he was greeted by a group of individuals whom, he soon realized, were special friends.
As with many adventurers, Maury loved to travel and on this day he was preparing to set out on another journey. As he was readying his small craft a woman approached and asked if she could join him. Maury barely knew this woman as she had just arrived on this island a few days earlier. She had been traveling about, meeting strangers, encountering bizarre situations while gaining knowledge for herself to bring back to her homeland. Her vessel was now defective, she explained to Maury, and she wished to return to her home. But she was willing to wander about with him until he satisfied his need for adventure and growth experiences. Madeline was her name and she was very beautiful. Something told Maury he should agree to this request. And he did, with the full knowledge that his own plans might be disrupted by including this unknown travel companion.
As soon as the preparations were complete Maury and Madeline set out on their journey together. At first all was smooth and peaceful. The seas were calm, the sky was bright and the sun shone warmly overhead. All in all, it was a pleasant start to a new adventure. Neither one noticed that a distant storm was about to blow in on them. Madeline was fast asleep and Maury was also lying down, dreamily staring at the bright blue sky.
The storm caught them by surprise. The howling winds fiercely shook their small craft and ultimately tossed both of them into the sea. As they floated on the water’s surface a shark swam by looking very threatening. Terrified, they both began to swim toward the now empty vessel. Madeline fell behind and the shark appeared to be focusing on her. Maury did reach the vessel and climbed back to safety. Looking about for Madeline he could not see her. She had disappeared from view. How awful, he thought. He barely knew her and now he was left wondering what had happened to her on this fateful day.
As the storm blew itself out, Maury sought refuge on a nearby island beach. Here he set about repairing his craft all the while mourning the loss of a friend. While Maury was involved with his chores, a beautiful Goddess appeared at the scene. She was all aglow, resplendent in appearance and emanated a warm peaceful feeling. Maury was initially taken aback, but then listened closely as she began speaking to him in soft gentle tones.
“My dear, Maury,” she began. “I see you are very sad.”
“Yes, indeed,” Maury replied. “I was at sea with a new friend and I fear she was taken by a shark. I am deeply saddened by this. I came ashore to rest and then repair my craft. But now I’m not so sure I ever want to return to the sea.”
“That’s quite understandable,” reflected the Goddess. “You have suffered a great loss. Even though you did not know this person well, you did find her amiable and hoped that a friendship might be established.”
Maury lowered his head as he heard those words. He truly did feel sad. He knew this for certain now. There was grief in his heart and a feeling of heaviness he could not shake. Advising him she would return later, the Goddess departed at that point. Maury continued with his repairs, but with little enthusiasm. After a time he decided to rest, so he lay down near his craft’s bow. Soon he was dreaming of faraway places and great mysteries to be solved, but always with dark creepy shadows lurking about.
Maury was still asleep when the Goddess returned. As he awoke, she informed him that his friend Madeline was not lost but had washed up ashore on the other side of the island.
“If you come with me I can take you to her,” the Goddess added. “Just follow me and I’ll show you the way.”
As the two of them set off another storm seemed to be gathering force off in the distance. Maury was alarmed; but, the Goddess was very reassuring.
“Never mind that storm,” she asserted. “We must stay focused on our goal and move quickly if we are to reach your friend before dark. She may be injured and in need of assistance.”
As they moved along through the island forest, a loud cackling noise was heard nearby. Once again Maury was visibly shaken. “What could this be?” he thought, continuing to press on as the Goddess led the way. Another cackling sound was heard, and then another, and another.
“What was that?” Mary blurted out, no longer able to contain his alarm.
“That was the sound of the devil at work,” answered the Goddess. “He comes for those who cannot resist his call.”
“How does that happen?” Maury quickly asked, feeling more and more anxious with each repetition of the sound.
“Well,” the Goddess began, “the devil is really just a thought form that takes on differing shapes throughout the world. Whenever people become frightened, they emit a vibration through their thoughts that allows him to surface. When they withdraw that energy from their fears, he disappears.”
“So how is it that he is here, now?” Maury continued.
“You must be feeling afraid,” the Goddess explained. “And with your fear you give him power. You see, fear separates you from yourself and sends out a part of you to seek completion. With that part based in fear, then a fearful result is likely be generated. In this case, the cackling sound you have heard repeatedly has been the result.”
“I see,” Maury reflected. “So it was my fear that generated this effect.”
“Quite so,” was the reply, “and when you accept that and then release your fear, the effect will dissipate.”
“So how do I correct this situation?” Maury asked.
“By withdrawing your fear from the situation at hand.” The Goddess went on. “There can be no danger if you release your attachment to the perceived threat.”
Just then, Maury let out a big sigh of relief. There on the beach up ahead stood Madeline. She was playing in the surf, letting the waves wash up on her legs. She seemed happy and at ease, and largely unharmed. Maury greeted her with a hug and a kiss and set about explaining how he had found her.
“So you were led to me by a Goddess?” Madeline asked.
“That is so,” Maury replied. “But she seems to be gone now,” as he looked about the area. “I believe she vanished at the same time I saw you here playing in the surf.”
“I know,” said Madeline. “I saw her, too.”
“You did!” exclaimed Maury.
“Yes, I did,” Madeline continued. “When I fell into the sea during the storm, she came to me immediately and reassured me that all would be well.”
“But I saw a shark,” Maury interjected.
“As did I,” Madeline went on. “The shark was my fear in an expressed form.”
“And mine too?” suggested Maury.
“Perhaps yours to a certain extent, but primarily it was mine.” Madeline continued. “And as soon as I saw it I began to pray. The Goddess came to me immediately and explained what I should do. She instructed me to accept and then release my fear, by breathing through it and then letting it go. As soon as I was able to do this the shark disappeared. By that time you had already scrambled back into the vessel and I was carried off by the sea until I washed up on this beach. The Goddess stayed with me until I felt safe again. Then she left for a time, to greet you I suppose, for when she returned later she announced that you too were safe on the other side of the island.
"At that point I wanted to rush to you but the Goddess said “No,” that I should wait, for you had a lesson to learn and only she could help you with that. I did not know then what that lesson was, but now I realize that it also had to do with fear.
Remember when you were in the water swimming for the craft and climbing aboard? You thought the shark had disappeared, so your fear dissipated and the lesson was interrupted. But on your crossing of the island your fear returned and the lesson resumed. What you had to confront was still with you, the fear in that cackling sound. Looking at you now I can see that the lesson was completed successfully. I am so happy that you found me, for I was lonely without you.”
“As was I,” Maury responded. “I am only too happy to see that you are not hurt or lost at sea.”
“We are both relieved then,” Madeline echoed. “What an interesting experience that was for the two of us.”
With that said they sat down in the sand to continue reflecting on this journey, on their time together so far and their respective lessons with fear. They accepted that it was the same lesson for each of them, just cast in different sets of circumstances. Somehow they had been drawn together to experience this lesson and to share the results. Both were amazed at how fortunate they were. No matter how grim things looked there was some way through it and help was there to lend a hand. There seemed to be no end to the surprises and good fortune available to them. Their future, once again, appeared to be bright with possibilities. What adventures would they encounter next? Both were eager to know.