Sometimes one needs to get lost
in order to find self.
The author of the internationally bestselling novel 'Jungle' and the subject of the major motion picture starring Daniel Radcliffe. At the age of 22 years, following his childhood dream to become a fearless world explorer, Yossi ventured into the very depth of the uncharted Amazon looking for a tribe never explored before by culture. Four weeks later, alone after a rafting accident separated him from his expedition members, it dawned on him that he received much more than what he had bargained for.
For three entire weeks, in the midst of the densest jungle on the planet, the Madidi, with no food, knife, or fire one man against the mighty elements in their full explosive potential. Torrential rains, storms and floods, jaguars and man-eating termites, deadly snakes and fire ants, swamps and famine and disease, One man against all odds survived to tell one of the greatest survival stories of our times.
Besides his resilience, it seemed that Yossi went through what he calls his moment of activation. After five days in the jungle feeling, he is the greatest victim on the face of the earth; in a skirmish with a deadly snake over fruits, Yossi was suddenly awash with a feeling of total immersion. His senses were fully awakened, and for the first time in his life, he felt truly at home.
In his 3 weeks of harrowing survival, he made a few other discoveries. Since every inch of his body was scratched, bitten, wounded, or inflamed, and both his feet were nothing but chunks of raw puss oozing flesh, worms hatching under his skin, and reduced to skin hanging on bones. The pain he endured was beyond tolerance. Yossi then experienced something that entirely changed his demeanor and attitude and that of many thousands of people in the years to come. Pain is a product of the body, it is a sensation, and pain cannot be avoided, no one can escape it, however, suffering is not a product of the body but that of the mind, suffering is evitable, suffering is a choice.
Another of his amazing discoveries was in a moment of exhaustion when he collapsed after 17 days of nonstop struggle and couldn’t get up. Ready, to give up on life, he had a mystical experience, a young tribal woman appeared next to him, but she didn’t come to help; rather she was frightened and in despair. Immediately, Yossi jumped on his feet and for the entire two days focused all his energy on helping and delivering her to safety. Once he regained his power, the girl disappeared. Yossi has realized, we are actually more devoted to helping others than to help ourselves - giving and serving others is our highest calling.
Another fundamental event was being stuck deep in a muddy swamp; it was only through a miracle that an unseen hand has pulled him out. But once out his burning feet wouldn’t carry him anymore. Noticing a tree covered with fire ants, Yossi crawled to the tree and showered himself with hundreds of fire ants - a human touched in flames he burnt, so much pain he couldn’t feel his feet, and thus pain saved his life.
One more fundamental experience was on his 20th day, after 6 days of complete starvation, he encountered a turtle and was ready to smash its shield and tear its flesh, but then the turtle shoved his head out and their eyes met. Something exploded in Yossi’s consciousness realizing that the turtle is not separated from him, he couldn’t hurt it.
Many such deep experiences and miracles that occurred on a daily basis, became Yossi’s spiritual trauma. He couldn’t go back to his normal life and eventually he has become a nomad. Traveling the entire planet for his quest for meaning and looking for ways to be touched again, directly, by the force of creation.
Eventually, he returned to the Amazon, this time he made it his home. Living 3 years with the Uchupiamonas he learned from them about survival in what is considered the most hostile terrain on the planet. But instead, he has realized that the underlying principles in the jungle are abundance, relations, connection, and codependency.
Yossi a modern-day Percival, has created ‘Laws of the Jungle’ spending over 35 years of a life dedicated to search for truth. He traveled the planet to meet spiritual teachers, shamans, and curanderos. He lived with tribal people in the Amazon and in Papuan New Guinea, lived with the Bedouins of the Sinai desert for 3 years, and was initiated as one of the Uchupiamona tribes in the Amazon.
But his life is not only about searching for the truth. Yossi was involved in many adventures also in the business world. He has co-produced a Hollywood movie about his youth adventure starring none other than Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame. He was involved in conservation, biodiversity prospecting, and ecotourism. He was recruited to be the vice president for development for CITA who disrupted the opiate addiction treatment field bringing a compassionate and groundbreaking method of detox and reintegration. He founded Collecteco, a visionary art gallery using recycled materials. He has risen to become one of the most sought after keynote speakers in business - with his popular theme of bringing amazon survival skills to business.