THE FOUNDER, brief bio
For those who wish to know the story… First projects originate from individuals. Then they outgrow the persons and acquire their independence.
Born of a catholic mother and a jewish father, both of them atheists and non believers, Jacques Albohair spends the first 4 years of his life in subsaharian Africa, in Dakar and in Abidjan where he is pampered by african nannies. Back in greater Paris, he has some difficulties finding his bearings and finds himself several times imploring this unknown god which is not part of his education but whon he nevertheless asks to save him.
As a young adolescent, he discovers the works of existentialist philosophers like Jean-Paul Sartre and Karl Jaspers but also reads “The Great Initiates” of Edouard Schuré, among others. Very soon he understands the limitations of such philosphies and seeks another message.
He thus comes across the work of J. Krishnamurti, the contemporary indian philosopher. For him, it is a true revelation. From the back of the classroom, he reads “To liberate oneself from the known”, hoping secretely to liberate himself from all the, to him, inadequate or incomplete information accumulated at school.
The road. 2 years before the baccalaureate, he decides to go hitch-hiking to Scandinavia searching for real philosophers actually living what he was discovering with wonder in books. It was the time of flower power, of hippies, of the Beatles, of the migrations towards India, of Woodstock, of Ravi Shankar and of the May 1968 student revolution in France. He sets out with a guitar in hand, a small shoulder bag, 2 books and 300 french francs in the pocket.
India. he quickly realises that it is not with those grass smoking drop-outs that were oozing a pseudo indianising philosophy that he will find what he seeks. He hits the road again, this time heading south, until he is picked up in the middle of a rainy night on some secondary roadside in Italy by the man who became my first mentor. He discover yoga and learn the basics of indian spirituality and with him travel for the first time to India with 16. During 8 years he spends the 6 winter months in India and the 6 summer months in Italy. During this period he travels to India twice overland, by public local transport, prefiguring what he plans to do this time under different circumstances.
With 24, he decides to settle down to the average middle class dream, but cannot resist to say goodbye to India beforehand. He leaves for a 3 week visit and stays this time 6 continuous years. On the 5th year, he meets a spiritual master and takes the monastic vows. Meanwhile he becomes an expert in Indology and Hindusim, studies sanscrit and the sacred indian scriptures, reads the Bible, the Quran and the mystics of several religions.
Returning. His master sends him back to the West to speak out but also to open the road for her future visits, and lay the foundation of her european centres. He is then 30 when he returns to the West in late 1984 with the renunciant’s robes. He lives precariously and gives his first public talks in the West, organises his first workshops.
Ministry. During 8 years, as spokesman and interpretor of his master, he travels extensively throughout Europe and also sets up and spreads his own network of talks in several languages. All the while, confronted with the human nature, he gradually matures and decides to give up the robes and become a layman and to embrace my humaneness in all its fragility and all its contradictions.
Return to lay life. In 1993, he is nearly 40 and integrates society and wordly life, marries and later settles down in Switzerland. In 2000, he separates and moves to Geneva to work in various Human Rights and humanitarian organisations.
In 2014, the project idea is born in his mind. As far as the complexity of today’s world allows, he decides to become master of his destiny. In 2019, the brainchild has matured and a new cycle starts…